Am I still in love with my grill?
A couple months ago I wrote a post about my Traeger Renegade Pro that has definitely been the most viewed post on the site to this point. The post is completely true. I do love my grill. While I really do enjoy cooking, this grill has definitely inspired me. I am watching hours upon hours of All Things Barbecue on YouTube to learn new things, and am making tons of food on it. Here is how I feel after 3 months more with the grill.
The only regret I have at this point is the size I chose and not choosing the Pro 34 instead. I made a choice opting to get the accessories in place of the size. Don’t get me wrong, the grill is a great size, and is definitely more than adequate for the majority of what I do, but I do think an additional width and height of the larger Renegade Pro 34 would definitely be welcome, see picture above. Nearly everything I have done so far has had plenty of space, and the limitation on size likely is keeping me from making too much food, but I do think I will have a time where I need more room.
Accessories three months later:
Overall I definitely stand by my choice of ordering the accessories package instead of going for the larger model. The shelf, rack, and the other items that I received in the bundle have definitely been worth while. In terms of the items on an individual level, you can see my thoughts below.
Buy it. I always need space to set the trays, cutting boards, tongs, thermometers, a drink, you will too.
The upper rack within the grill is about the depth of a rack of ribs, and is nice when you have parted out chicken, jalapeño poppers, etc. and need additional space. Being that there is no direct grilling and it is more of an oven I don’t use it quite the same as I do on my propane grill, but I definitely feel it is worth buying.
The Pizza kit is nice, but I would have been fine getting a pizza stone anywhere and not worrying about the included pizza-cutter and server. The design on the cutter and server are nice, but I prefer to use others due to them feeling cheap.
Simple to say, 100% necessary due to the electronics, and so far, excellent. Decent weight, and a fantastic material.
Rubs and Sauces:
The rubs and sauces have been decent, and they have allowed for some experimenting with flavors beyond the usual seasonings that I do. As with the pellets I do feel that the flavor is not as robust as you would find elsewhere, but I can definitely see myself buying more of certain ones in the future.
I received the following Rubs and Spices with the kit that I bought through the promo on the site:
- Traeger Chicken Rub
- Traeger Pork Rub
- Traeger Poultry Rub
- Traeger ‘Que Sauce
- Traeger Apricot BBQ Sauce
Overall, they are decent, but I do think the Traeger Chicken Rub, was the best of the rubs that were sent. I love the citrus flavors, and they are there in that one. I am not sure if the other two are not as fresh, but the flavor was not as robust. The Apricot Sauce, and Traeger ‘Que Sauces are decent, but I am only using them as wet binders when putting the rubs on the meats.
I have bought the Coffee Rub since purchasing the grill and it was alright. Overall, since I bought the grill I have primarily stuck to my favorites, but also use a lot of others that I have been given or bought on Amazon and would definitely not want anyone to stay brand loyal with what they buy. Get what you like, it is not a requirement to use any of their seasonings.
Since getting the grill I have made so much amazing food and have definitely fully jumped on the Pellet Grill bandwagon. Using it essentially as an oven and being able to set a temperature and let the food get the smoke flavor, and I love having control over temperature beyond a variable Low to High arbitrary setting. I am definitely glad that I bought the grill and would advise anyone to get one. There are less expensive options out there, but I still think that I would push people try to get in on the level I did for a few reasons.
One, the controller. The Pro controller allows a much lower variance in temperature swings. The Elite models are likely good, but the Pro models have an upgraded controller that I would definitely think is ideal.
Two, the legs. While one of the legs on mine came in with a broken wheel, I definitely feel this was due to poor shipping. Traeger Support immediately put ordered me a replacement with little effort. I have no hesitation with the sturdiness of the grill with the tube legs, sawhorse design, and the way everything was bolted together. There is definitely an anxiety I feel when I see pictures of the Elite series grills and their supports, however, I cannot speak to the quality as I have not used one or seen one in person.
Three, the Hopper. Having a Hopper clean out is definitely a showstopper for any other pellet grill I would look at going forward. After having this grill for 3 months now, I stand by that. I cannot imagine having to get a shovel or scoop and having to manually clean out the hopper any time I want to change fuel.
I do not know what the future holds for this grill and me, I definitely love it and am glad I made the purchase… It was no small effort for me… I am very interested in the Timberline series and others that I have seen in the time I have been researching.
If you are interested in getting this grill and have not used one before, do it. It is a fantastic machine.
Now that we are getting into the cooler weather months I am looking forward to future updates and seeing how this handles in the cooler time. Look out for more updates soon!