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Set and Forget.... Not so much

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    Set and Forget.... Not so much

    Hi there everyone. This is Dononeg from New Jersey

    I bought my first pellet smoker (Traeger Lil Tex Elite). I found it has a temp swing of +- 25 degrees from the set temp. A water pan seems to narrow that range a little. I’ve turned out lots of chicken, ribs, meatloaf, and even frozen pizza with good success. I did have a problem during one cook where I wasn’t paying attention and the temp just dropped and never came back (Cook temp set was 225). When I opened the smoker, I found the fire pot full to the brim with pellets and no fire ( yes I was using Traeger Pellets ). Obviously the fire went out but the Traeger kept pumping pellets as the temp dropped.

    This only happened once but so much for "set and forget".

    Yep. There are a lot of tools we can become "comfortable " using to the point we go to sleep through the night, but we still tend to keep "one eye open" in a manner of speaking.

    I had had a similar experience with my old pellet cooker before I understood what was happening. So, my Maverick got some alarms and sat on the nightstand!

    My GMG with WiFi claims to warn me if the fire goes out or the hopper gets close to empty -- but I'm using my Maverick or my Fireboard to backup those alarms!


      I had that happen to me twice to date with my Traeger as well, the first time I relit and I did not clear out the pellets or the meat and it got too hot on me, after that I clean out the fire pot. I have a Maverick ET-733 and I now can set the hi and low temp alarm alarms. I think temperature swings happen and are normal and I think small ones +\- 25F are OK. There are probably some temperature settings that work best as far as temperature swings go and it probably depends upon outside air temperature and convection cooling from wind.


        Call Traeger to trouble shoot. Something obviously malfunctioned and could malfunction again. Do you routinely clean out ash?


          I too have had this issue in the past with my Jr. Elite, but i found the problem was more leaving pellets in the hopper and they become laden with mositure, and rushing the startup procedure. Emptying the hopper after a cook (a pain, but necessary) and better pellet storage (sealed plastic dog food container) will go a long way to eliminating the problem. Proper pre-cook warm up is also a necessity with the Traeger.


            I have owned one of my Traegers for around 7 years and I have always left the hopper full. I live in a very humid climate and I don't think I have ever had this problem with it. I clean it out after 3 or 4 cooks unless the last cook was a long one then I will clean it before using it again because the ash builds up in the fire pot and can cause this problem. If you were cooking with a clean fire pot I would say that there could be a problem with it. As far as the temp swings 25 degrees isn't so bad, I think mine has a grate temp of around 10 to 15 degrees higher than what is on the control unit display so if I have it set at 225 I am actually cooking at around 235. I do have a Grilla Silverback that I have had this problem with and all it was is that there was a lot of ash build up in the fire pot so I had to shut it down, clean it out and the problem was solved, I think that one did it a couple times so now I just keep it cleaned out so I avoid that when I am cooking.


              Welcome to The Pit Dononeg! Nice to have you with us, thanks for joining up!

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                Welcome Dononeg


                  Welcome to The Pit Dononeg!


                    I don't have a pellet smoker but from what I've heard dust, as in pellet dust can cause an issue. Using something to shake out the dust as you load the hopper is the way to go. Welcome to the Pit!


                      I had my 2007 Traeger Texas BB075 go out on me once. Four or 5 years ago i switched over to the Orotech Controller. In June I purchased a Smoke Daddy Pellet Pro Digital ans used it for the first time on the Fourth of July and again yesterday. Keeps temps within + or - 5 degrees and it will turn the hot rod back on at 150 degrees if the temps fall. It even adjusts itself for the ambient temps and weather. This thing has given my 10 year old Traeger Texas a new lease on life and so far set it and forget it. As I put my brisket on at Midnight of the 4th and let it smoke while I was sleeping.


                      • kmhfive
                        kmhfive commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Very nice!

                      My older, but upgraded, Traeger will occasionally do that if I rush it. Let it preheat for a good 10-15 minutes and then incrementally bump up the temp.


                      • gshayd
                        gshayd commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I agree I also let mine get to the operating temps for at least 45 minutes before putting the meat on

                      I just bought a Traeger from Costco, cooked a whole chicken and was totally disappointed then realized all I had really done was put it on smoke for @ 1/2 hour then bumped it to #00 degrees, Duh! yesterday I did baby back ribs smoked for @3 hours and bumped to 225 an hour later my wife says whats that beeping? I go out and I'm at 365 degrees, so I called Traeger and the guy said sometimes after smoking for an extended period of time then switching to a higher temp the auger will over feed the pot and you get a fire. Dandy, if I wanted an uncontrollable;;ed burn I could use my log burner,On the upside I caught the over heating early and after getting the heat back down I pulled the ribs off @ 190 and they were spectacular!


                      • EdF
                        EdF commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Spectacular is good!

                      Improvise, adapt, and overcome! Excellent! You may find that a controller upgrade is in order. Pellet Pro by Smoke Daddy has a Traeger kit.



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