By: Max Good
The XL is Traeger’s largest residential pellet smokers. With 836 square inches of primary cooking surface it can cook 24 chickens or 16 slabs of ribs. This big boy has a large pellet hopper in front, two chimneys and two drip buckets. Although it has a digital controller, it uses an old style dial control like those made by Ortech. Not bad, but once you get into this price range some competitors feature more advanced touchpad controls that work better and include additional features beyond ignition and set points.
Even the older digital dial controllers provide the set it and forget it ease of use that is the main attraction of pellet smoking. They are often more accurate than your kitchen range and allow you to load up your smoker at 11 pm, set it to 225 F, then go to bed and sleep soundly, knowing you’ll wake up to a BBQ feast of delicious meat that’s been slow cooking for hours at a steady and accurate temperature.
Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. The consensus is that the more expensive Traegers, like the XL, are reasonably well built, but some buyers complain that since manufacturing moved to China quality has dropped, especially on entry level models.
All Traegers are black powder coated steel with porcelain enamel steel grates.
Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. And they aim to keep it that way even though competition is growing. New owners took over in 2014 and they appear to be on the move, investing heavily in product development and marketing. Traeger has an interesting variety of pellet smokers from a small portable, to large commercial models, to one that looks like a pink pig.
They offer a full line of branded extras from Traeger Pellets and rubs to Traeger insulation blankets and cold smoker add-ons.
Published On: 1/18/2013 Last Modified: 2/15/2021
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