Traeger Grills are mean machines.
Are you treating it with the respect it deserves?
Or do you want to understand in more depth how to maintain one?
Let me guide you with 3 fundamental steps to maintaining your favorite grill!
What Do I Mean by Maintenance?
I like to split this down into 2 different but still important explanations.
The Act of Consistently Safeguarding & Maintaining Against Common Wear & Tear
Examples of this would be cleaning regularly.
Or things to do with preventing grease buildup or any physical damage.
– Changing the drip tray liners.
– Checking the auger shaft or auger motor for jammed pellets.
– Scratches or burn holes.
The Act of Troubleshooting & Performing Maintenance on Broken Key Components
Examples of this would be understanding if your temperature probes are functioning properly.
Or if you have any inconsistency during the smoking or cooking process.
– Faulty electrical components like the power switch or RTD probe.
– Error codes, LEr
– Auger jam when empty.
– Heat fluctuation.
This troubleshooting part will be for more experienced users.
Users that have been with their machine for an extended period and know any nuances.
This just comes with owning your Traeger and understanding how it works.
The maintaining section should be done straight from your first use.
To get the best lifetime!
Why Should You Maintain Your Treager?
Are you asking why you should maintain your Traeger grill?
Don’t ask why, ask how!
Treating your property with respect in the view of longevity is something that we should all know to do.
I would argue that when this respect transcends into something I cook with, it not only becomes a maintenance issue…
But also one of safety.
In other words, if you do not properly maintain where you are cooking then harmful bacteria can build up.
Or a blockage might cause it to explode.
Maintaining your Traeger grill regularly after your grill sessions will make it last longer.
Plus it ensures you get the best-tasting food.
While also helping you gain a deeper knowledge of how it works.
This is good for the old brain!
Safety Notes Before Performing Matinence Your Traeger Grill
Notes of safety before attempting to troubleshoot and fix any complex issues on your Traeger.
– Make sure the power cord or power cable is completely removed from the power source outlet.
– Give yourself appropriate space.
– Make sure you have the appropriate tools ready.
– Always refer to your instruction manual.
– Have a clean and safe designated area for removed parts.
– Be aware of pinch points.
– If you are unsure then contact Traeger customer service.
Warranty Policy Notes Before Performing Maintenance
– Check your warranty policy and warranty claims.
– There is a three-year warranty period for all Traeger models.
– Contact Traeger’s customer service department if you are unsure.
– Be aware of how consequential damages may affect your warranty coverage.
Step 1 – Checking for Any Physical Damage
The first step for maintaining your Traeger is to check for any signs of blatant damage.
This could come in many forms…
A hole in your chimney or rust forming from scratch.
Take the time to get to know the machine.
Look thoroughly inside and out.
Make notes of anything you think might also be a problem in the future.
Step 2 – Troubleshooting Recurring Issues
Can’t find any physical damage but is it still not performing well?
I understand that troubleshooting issues are a bit vague.
This will depend on the issue at hand for you and there isn’t a “1 size fits all” explanation.
A Traeger grill is like a computer with many parts.
Not coming up to temperature? Maybe the fan isn’t working.
Not an accurate temperature reading? Maybe a sensor needs replacing.
Try and home in on the exact problem and then build from there.
Getting to know the machine just comes with experience.
Do not try and repair without checking your warranty.
Or if you don’t have the skills or tools to do it
Step 3 – A Thorough Cleaning Guide
Deep cleaning is probably the most important way you can maintain your Traeger.
How Often Should I Clean My Traeger?
So how often should I be cleaning?
I have briefly broken down the 3 main timescales for cleaning below.
Cleaning only takes a bit of time and is very important.
Read further for my complete guide which covers all the cleaning stages.
Cleaning After Every Use
This cleaning will focus primarily on the places the food has physically touched.
This will mostly be the grill grates, cooking chamber, and drip tray or grease bucket.
Cleaning After a Month of Use
This is for when you have had around 15 -30 hours of cook time.
It will need deeper cleaning on all the inside components and areas!
Any foil liners in the drip tray should be replaced, and scrubbing of the chimney and firepot.
Vacuum away any excess ash and leftover pellets.
Cleaning After 3 Months of Use
After around 3 months or 300 hours of cook time, the outside of your Traeger pellet grill should be cleaned.
Especially if you aren’t using grill covers which I highly recommend.
Unplug it before you start to clean and remove any outside grease that stands out and check for damage.
Be sure not to use any abrasive materials as this could scratch and cause rust.
What Do I Need to Clean My Traeger Grill?
We know why and when we should be cleaning, what do we need?
What Cleaning Utensils Do I Need?
Made to remove grease and debris from your cooking grill.
Used for holding and spraying liquid cleaner with warm water.
Dry or Cleaning Cloth
Typically used for buffing or removing moisture from clean grills.
Wire or nylon brushes are great for removing stubborn grit or hardened grease.
Wooden Grill Scraper
A hard wooden scraper is used to get loose debris off of your grill grates.
A vacuum with a thin head part will easily suck up ash and dry food debris in places you can’t reach.
Disposable paper towels are great for removing moisture and thin layers of grease you can then just throw away.
Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
Heat-proof aluminum foil to line the drip tray and grease drip bucket is important.
Warm Soapy Water
The main cleaning liquid we will be using is hot clean water mixed with dish soap.
It can cut through the oil and food residue that has likely built up on your Traeger grill, charcoal grill, or gas grill.
White vinegar is another great cleaning tool to get shiny clean grill grates!
The acid will help get rid of unwanted chemicals or greasy foods.
Protective gloves while cleaning is a good way to keep your hands clean and free of any harsh chemicals.
The Best Cleaning Products
What cleaning brands should I be using?
Well, considering you are using a Traeger grill, we recommend you use Traeger cleaning products.
This is of course the most rational as the products are tried and tested in balance with the materials the grills are made from.
You won’t have to worry about abrasion or a reaction that might damage the machine or any internal components.
Part 1 – How To Clean Your Traeger Grill (Cleaning Time 20 minutes)
Here is my easy-follow ultimate guide for cleaning the grill grates of your Traeger grill after cooking
- Ensure your Traeger pellet grill is switched off from the power source.
- Fill up a bucket with hot and soapy water.
- Make sure the above utensils are ready.
- Open the cooking chamber to expose the grill grates and drip tray.
- Scrape the grill grates with your wooden scraper to remove residual material.
- Check the drip bucket and empty it if it is full.
Note: If you use any cleaning products on the grill grates you will lose natural oils that act as a non-stick.
If you want to use water or a heavier brush because of a large build-up, then oil the grates before you cook again.
Part 2 – How To Clean The Inside Of The Traeger Grill (Cleaning Time 60 minutes)
This part is for after a month of use and doesn’t need to be done every time.
- Remove your clean grill grates and put them aside in a sanitized space.
- Using a cloth, remove any ash from the chamber walls and corners into the grease tray.
- Using a wire brush, scrape away any carbon or food residue on the grease tray. If there are loads then consider removing the foil and replacing it.
- With the drip tray removed, you now have access to the ignition chamber.
- Vacuum out the ignition chamber, heat baffle, auger, and hopper for ash or wood pellet debris.
- Wipe down the walls and ignition chamber with a dry cloth and put back the parts.
Need Some Recipes for Your Traeger?
Here are some declious recipes for your Traeger grill
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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