As I'm sure many of you already know, whenever you buy a pellet smoker, you can't just flip the switch, set your temp, and start smoking.
You have to season it. You have to prime it to get the grill going. In this article, I'm going to how to season Traeger grill.
Keep in mind that you will have to do it only once on the initial startup.
Is It Necessary To Season Traeger Grills?
Traeger grills need to be seasoning before cooking--a process known as burning in your grill.
In this simple, once-off process, any nontoxic residual oils and lubricants will be burned off once you have seasoned your grill for the first time.
Because residual manufacturing oils are burned off during burn-in, an odd smell might occur. This is very common, and there is nothing to worry about.
Seasoning A Trager Grill : 13 Easy Steps Explained
I'm going to be showing you some detailed steps on exactly the proper way to do that with your pellet smoker. For this demonstration, I'll be using a Traeger Pro grill.
1. Plugging In The Grill
First things first. You should start off by plugging in the grill. And before plugging the grill in, you want to make sure that the button is in the off position. The O in the button indicates that the button is off.
2. Starting The Traeger Pro 575
After that, you're going to want to open up your hopper and pour some pellets in there. You don't want to fill it up completely. Keep it half full or half empty.
The hopper should be filled with enough wood pellets so that the safety grate is reached.
Filling the hopper is not necessary. For this first burn-in, about 4lbs is sufficient. After adding the pellets, turn on the power switch. Then, press any button on the controller to turn it on.
3. Cover The Hopper With The Lid
If you are doing a long cook, only add a lot of pellets. Otherwise, if you are only seasoning your grill, leave half of it empty. Storing wood pellets in a sealed bucket or closed bag will help prevent them from getting wet.
4. Selecting The Auger
If you are using the Traeger Pro 575, you will notice a nice splash screen there with the Traeger logo. It is welcoming us to the grill.
For there, we want to hit menu, and then we want to turn the knob we get to the auger. Now press in to select it. Now, select the first option, which is the Prime Auger.
5. Priming The Auger
Now, you will notice that a little countdown is starting. It will around four minutes. This indicates that the auger is priming. If you want to take a closer look, remove the drip pan and the baffle and all that, and you will be able to see what's going on.
You will see that the auger is rotating. Pretty soon, some pellets will come through that auger. There is a mechanism that drives the pellets. At this point, the auger will only let a few pellets, if any, into our little heating pot there.
6. Check Auger Operation
The auger should be rotating very slowly. When the auger motor is running, you will hear a "whirring" sound.
When you turn the controller to smoke for the first time, it will rotate for a few seconds.
After that, it will start for 30 to 40 seconds. It will periodically turn on and off over the next 5 minutes.
7. Completing The Priming
When the countdown is over, you will see only a handful of pellets in the pot. And if you look at the screen, it will tell you that the priming is complete.
The wood pellets will start to fall into the firepot within 7-8 minutes of being added to the hopper.
Next, move onto the next step as soon as this occurs. From here, we want to press in on the knob to select done.
8. Check Firepot
Now you will have to check the firepot. To confirm if the fan is working, check if any air is blowing out. You can check it by putting your hand over the top of the firepot.
Don't worry; it won't burn your hands. As soon as you turned the controller to the Smoke setting, you would have heard the fan running.
9. Selecting The Temp
Now we want to turn the dial to select the temp. Turn the knob and turn it to 350.
Once it gets to 350 on the screen, press the dial to set the temp. Push the Ignite button to start. Now it is starting the flame.
At this point, you can hear the fan kick on there. Now all you have to do is let the grill run and let it get its temperature up to 350 degrees, as we indicated.
10. Pre-Heating Process
This process should take around 20 – 30 minutes for the Traeger grill to get up to 350 degrees. On the screen, you can see the current temperature of the grill.
Once it reaches the halfway mark, you will see smoke coming out from the grill. After the half-point mark, the temperature will rapidly increase. It's already at the temp, but it's now getting caught up to it on screen.
Our goal is to get to 350 degrees before we go on to the next step. At this point, we are still priming or doing the initial firing of our Traeger Pro 575.
11. Running At 450
Now that we have obviously climbed up past our desired 350 degrees, we want to push the dial-in, and we want to adjust the temperature to 450.
After setting your temperature to 450, what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to let this run for 30 minutes before shutting it down.
12. The Shutdown Cycle
After running the grill for an additional 30 minutes at 450 degrees, hold and press the knob. This will trigger the shutdown cycle, which takes roughly 25 minutes.
After it runs the shutdown cycle, the grill will turn off automatically. You can go back there and flip your power switch. Now, the initial priming, firing, and seasoning of your Traeger grill are complete.
13. Your Grill Is Ready
Clean the grill racks with a moistened cloth after the grill has shut off by itself. After the grill has turned itself off, remove the lid and clean it with dry, clean water. Aluminum foil should be used to cover the grease tray.
As soon as you open the lid of the grill, turn it to the smoke setting. There will be lots of smoke after a few minutes.
After hearing the sound of a fire and seeing less smoke, close the lid and turn the temperature to your preference. Put your food in only after the temperature reaches a certain level.
Additional Tips for Your Traeger Grilling Machine
You must season your grill before you can use it, just as you would with any pellet smoker. It takes roughly an hour for the whole process to be completed.
Also, it will take around 45 minutes to an hour for the whole process. So, make sure you have enough pellets in the grill to run it on high settings.
In addition, you will need to ensure that the work is done outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Avoiding Common Mistakes When Seasoning Your Grill
You should be aware that the temperature is not accurate even when the temperature is displayed on the screen.
Most of the time, your oven is not set to 375 degrees in your kitchen. Your kitchen oven lies indoors, where the air is more constant and protected from the wind.
Regardless of the type of pellet smoker you use, you will see temperature swings if you use the grill outdoor.
It takes 15-20 minutes, sometimes even 30 minutes, for the temperature to set in. Using a pellet grill requires patience. You will see a change in temperature after the grill starts smoking.
Temperatures will be affected by outside conditions, how the lid is opened, etc. During the smoking process, it is common to see temperatures dropping and rising.
After 30 minutes, if your temperatures are high, you should lower them; if your temperatures are low, you should raise them. You should give your grill 15-20 minutes to adjust to a change in temperature before concluding it isn't working.
You will need to re-season your grill if you add new internal parts after you have seasoned it for the first time. This is necessary in order to remove the manufacturing oils on those parts.
What Is The Purpose Of Seasoning A Pellet Grill?
The best way to prepare your pellet grill is to season or break it in beforehand. When you season your grill, you will get rid of any kind of impurities or solvents.
In addition to adding a "grilled" flavor, the wood smoke on the inside of the grill adds a smokey taste to the food. Dutch ovens also use a similar seasoning process.
How Often Should I Prime The Auger?
Once it has been primed, it is ready to use every time. There is no need to re-prime the auger unless you purge the tube and clean it. It would be easier to clean the firepot if pellets were vacuumed out. It will be necessary to replace the vacuumed material.
Can You Leave Pellets In The Hopper?
In the outdoor environment, unused pellets can begin to rot if they are left in the hopper. Keeping your pellets fresh and long-lasting can be as easy as emptying your hopper after every cook and storing the leftovers in a secure container such as a sealed bucket.
Pellet grills should always be used with food-grade pellets. You will void your warranty if you use hardwood barbecue pellets that are not approved.
Keep pellets dry by avoiding getting them wet. It may clog the auger if the pellets get too wet.
There you have it; all you need to know about how to seasoning Traeger grills perfectly. The seasoning process is similar on all Traeger grills. It doesn't matter what type of pellet grill you use.