Anyone who cooks has a preference for the tools they use for the job. For me, these are the essentials that I use with my Traeger:
My Grill is the Traeger Renegade Pro (2018) (TFB38TOD).
I love this thing. I posted about this enough that I was asked if they pay me, and much to my chagrin, they don’t. This prompted me to write my first review of the grill, and that has led to the entire Traeger Review Series on this site, which is definitely a popular subject. What I like about it is that it does everything. Nearly all of my main cooking is on this grill. We do sides inside on the stove, or wherever, but the core of the meal is made on the Traeger most of the time.
I primarily use two meat thermometers when I am cooking on the grill, the Fireboard FBX11 and the Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4. Both of these I would highly recommend. Both serve an individual purpose and have performed flawlessly for me.
I have already reviewed the Fireboard FBX11, and cannot say enough about it. I love that it is truly wireless via WiFi and that I am able to access it anywhere, not just locally on my home network. One of my favorite features is that it automatically creates a new session when it is turned on and from there you can modify the session, probe naming, and set alerts when a Minimum or Maximum Temperature is reached. Saving previous cooks is nice to be able to look back and see how things progressed, and to see temperature fluctuations within the grill’s barrel.
Thermoworks Thermapen Mk 4
On the opposite end of long term monitoring is the Thermapen Mk 4. This is the best instant-read thermometer I have used. It is super simple and is extremely fast. It can be read at any angle with it’s auto-rotating display readout and is great when you want to probe different areas and ensure they are done.
I live in the mid-atlantic in Maryland and there is a lot of humidity. Pellet storage is important and having them protected from the elements is imperative. My preferred method to store the pellets is in 5 gallon pails from the hardware store. I buy the White Food-Grade only because of the color. I prefer that to Lowe’s blue or Home-Depot Orange, and I cut out the pellet flavor from the bags and use that to be an easy identifier of what pellet bin I am grabbing.
For a lid, I use a sealing lid that screws onto the bucket. The lids contain a gasket at the connecting point with the pail and the screw top to ensure that they are air-tight. This makes the containers easy to open and close, ensures the pellets are protected, and keeps everything neat.
Drip Tray Liner
This is one that I have been asked about. Traeger sells the drip tray liners in 5 packs directly, and they can easily be found on Amazon and delivered immediately. Personally, I use Heavy Duty Aluminum foil for a couple reasons. 1 – Price, 2 – coverage. I do not believe that someone should spend $3.00 for a piece of foil to cover a drip tray. 2, when I am covering the drip tray I cover the vertical “walls” in addition to the bottom of the tray to ensure they are “protected.” This will also prevent any drippings from things like pork and chicken from getting under the liner and defeating the purpose of the liner.
Aesthetics should not trump a moment longer to tear off a sheet of foil and crimping it around the tray.
In contrast to the above, I do buy Traeger’s drip bucket liners. I find they work perfectly, and I do not go through them fast enough to realize an impact on the budget. I replace quicker than needed only because of critters versus actual fill level. Definitely worth the $5.00 on Amazon.
Foil or Butcher’s Paper for wrapping?
Both! I used foil primarily, but recently have been using the Traeger Butcher’s paper from their Customer Service team. I definitely dont have a preference to this point, but use whichever is convenient to me in the moment. I would definitely say the Traeger Butcher paper is not cost-effective, but may be nice as an alternative. I will have to see whether there are any advantages to normal butcher’s paper or if it is only branding!
These are some of the ‘essentials’ for my when I use my Traeger. I love the grill and as with any hobby, the costs can add up on this one. But these have all been worthwhile to the experience for me. I use just about all of these items each time I use my grill. While certain items may be overkill for some, I definitely find the added cost worthwhile to the end result.
Keep on grilling and let me know what items you use when you are grilling that I may not have thought of!