By: Max Good
In 2014 Traeger introduced their PRO Series, upgraded versions of their Select, Lil’ Tex and Texas pellet smokers. What the new PRO smokers have that other Traegers don’t is Traeger’s logo stamped into the lid, a choice of colors, dual meat probes integrated into the digital controller, an additional upper BBQ shelf, and a hopper clean out door that lets you empty the hopper to change from one type wood pellet to another.
The Lil’ Tex PRO is a medium size starter model in Traeger’s line of residential pellet smokers. Although it has an upgraded digital controller, it is still an older style notched dial control like those made by Ortech. Not bad, but once you get into this price range some competitors, like Green Mountain, feature more advanced touchpad controls that work better. Of course, having the new dual meat temp capability helps, but no way around it, these notched dial controllers are getting long in the tooth.
Traeger often offers deals throughout the year. MSRPs are identical on traditional and PRO smokers, but Traeger is trying to stick with the sticker price on their new PROs. They are also currently restricting sales to dealers and not going direct to the consumer as with older models.
Traeger pioneered and popularized the pellet smoker and remains the best known brand since it is in wide distribution. The consensus is that Traegers are reasonably well built, but some buyers complain that since manufacturing moved to China quality has dropped, especially on entry level models.
Lil’ Tex PRO is offered in rustic bronze and metallic blue. All Traegers have porcelain enamel steel cooking 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: 10/15/2014 Last Modified: 2/22/2021
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