How to Start a Traeger

It’s BBQ season! You know what that means – tasty steaks and delicious burgers all around! Of course, first you need to start your grill in order to cook those foods. If you’ve just bought a traeger grill, you may be wondering how to start it.

It can sometimes be difficult to know how to start a new BBQ unit when you first get it, but don’t panic. Here, we have everything that you could possibly need to know about how you can start your traeger grill, all ready for the upcoming BBQ season. 

How A Traeger Works

First, how exactly does your Traeger work? Well, these units are essentially pellet grills. As such, the grill burns any wood pellets inside of it as they are lit by something called a HotRod. You need to put the pellets of wood into the hopper, and then they are moved into the firepot using an auger inside of the machine. Of course, you’re going to need electricity in order for it to work. 

Warm Up Time

Once you have set up your Traeger grill for the first time and you’ve put it on the correct temperature for the job, it shouldn’t take more than around 10-15 minutes for it to reach the heat that you need. 

Starting Your Grill

Okay, so now that you know all of that, how do you start your grill? Here’s the breakdown.

Preparing the Grill

The first thing that you are going to need to do is put your grill together if you haven’t already. Some models are already assembled when you take them out of the box, others are not. In most cases, you’ll need to put together a few pieces, including the grill body, heat baffle, lower cabinet, flue pipe, grease drain pipe, chimney cap, grease bucket and grill grates.

This will largely depend on the grill that you have so it’s always best to follow the instructions listed in the manufacturer’s manual. If you have misplaced this then you can usually find replacement instructions online. 

The next thing to do is to plug your grill into a suitable electrical outlet. This will help to ensure that the wood pellet auger, igniter rod, thermostat and fan work sufficiently. It’s important to ensure that the grill isn’t plugged in when you aren’t using it, however!

Got your pellets at the ready? Put these inside of the hopper of the grill. This is a big metal box that’s screwed onto the main body of the grill. You just need to open up the lid. If you have used the grill recently, you may also need to remove any pellets from the previous grilling session.

You can also do this by opening the cleanout door on the hopper if your grill has one. These wood pellets will be suitable for up to a week before you need to remove them and get new ones.

You are also going to need to clean the RTD temperature in some cases, especially if it’s dirty. You don’t want weird heat fluctuations while you’re trying to cook, after all.

Heating the Grill

Once all of the necessary preparations have been done, it’s now time to switch on the unit. First, open the lid of the grill and toggle the switch for power. It’ll be on the control panel – you just need to switch it on. It’s going to need to be preheated for a while, so don’t get too eager and start cooking straight away.

Then, you should put the temperature dial on the control panel onto the ‘smoke’ setting. Some grills don’t have this, in which case you should just set the temperature between 160-200 degrees fahrenheit. 

Allow the grill to heat up for a while – it’ll usually need around 5 minutes to do this. Keep on watching the grill to ensure that everything goes smoothly. It’s best to wait around 8 minutes if the grill is brand new too, as it’ll take a little longer for your grill to get working first off.

Eventually you will hear the grill starting to roar, which is a sign that it’s done with preheating. When you hear this, you should then close the lid of the grill. This will help to keep all of the smoke and heat trapped inside of the grill.


When you have done all of this, you can then begin cooking! 

My Traeger Isn’t Turning On – What Do I Do?

Ah, technology – there’s always a chance something can go wrong. What can you do if your Traeger doesn’t turn on? Well, there’s a good chance that it could be because a fuse is blown inside of the grill.

It could also be because there’s an issue with the socket or the plug, or it could be because you don’t have enough wood pellets in the grill. As such, there are a wide range of reasons why your grill isn’t starting.

The best course of action is to check the instruction manual. Here, you will find methods for turning the grill on and figuring out why it isn’t starting properly. If there are any further issues then you should contact the manufacturer for further advice.

Turning it Off

Remember to shut your grill down properly when you have finished with it. Take any food that’s remaining off the grill, cleaning off anything remaining on the grates once it has cooled down. You’ll need to put the temperature dial on the ‘shut down cycle’ option when you’re turning the grill off. Allow it to sit and cool down for around 10 minutes before turning the grill off from the power switch.


And there you have it – that’s how you start a Traeger. It’s a simple process and you will have delicious BBQ food before you know it if you follow the guidance listed above! 

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