Can't set temp & maintain 200˚ on a Timberline 850

captgadget

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I have made 2 phone calls to Traeger support this morning and what idiots! Sorry! 2 cooks ago I wanted to run the grill low on pellets and add another variety. I got the warning on my phone app but by the time I got the smoker, it was out. I added more pellets but it wouldn't reheat it just kept dropping the temp. So I turned it off with the main switch. And without letting it cool down I restarted the smoker. But after that, the temperature would not hold steady. It moved up and down from my set temp. Now, I'll go on Saturday night and I wanted to do a brisket. So I started the grill at 8:40P and set at 200˚. It would not go to 200˚. It would go like 191, 195, 185, 177 and just jump around but would not settle at 200˚. About 10:15 I set it to 225˚ and by gosh it stayed there till I moved it to 275˚ at 5A Sunday. Ran there fine until I shut it down at 9A. Ok, so today I take it apart clean it all up by removing all the interior removable parts. Vacuum out all the ash including the firepot. Reassemble, prime the firepot with the smoker menu. Fire it up. Crap it goes to 300 and finally backs to 198˚ but never sets at 200˚. I noticed that during ignition I had smoke coming out the bottom of the pellet hopper. During this experimental phase here it seems like once it gets above 200˚ it works fine but I sure can't set it and maintain 200˚.
 
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captgadget

captgadget

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They bounce around the set temperature sometimes +/- 20F
While you might be satisfied with that I'm not. No matter what temp I set other than this 200˚ my temp always will be within 5˚ and no one should be satisfied with a 20˚ swing. I'll bet my wife's oven doesn't swing 20˚. This Timberline is a better grill than that.
 

Slimpicker

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While you might be satisfied with that I'm not. No matter what temp I set other than this 200˚ my temp always will be within 5˚ and no one should be satisfied with a 20˚ swing. I'll bet my wife's oven doesn't swing 20˚. This Timberline is a better grill than that.

Well you can 'expect' anything you want but your Traeger will never be "your wife's oven" and it is not "better than that".
It's a mechanically fed wood pellet grill and takes TIME to adjust to temps it is sensing. Opening your lid, wind, fan speed, all these things make temps fluctuate and since it is a GRILL and not a Whirlpool, temp swings are completely normal.

BESIDES, since when does a temp swing of 20° ruin your meat in the long run????
 
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captgadget

captgadget

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Well you can 'expect' anything you want but your Traeger will never be "your wife's oven" and it is not "better than that".
It's a mechanically fed wood pellet grill and takes TIME to adjust to temps it is sensing. Opening your lid, wind, fan speed, all these things make temps fluctuate and since it is a GRILL and not a Whirlpool, temp swings are completely normal.

BESIDES, since when does a temp swing of 20° ruin your meat in the long run????
I will guarantee you that my wife's oven didn't cost $2000 and once the temp levels out on the smoker it stays within five dgrees until you open the lid and then it comes right on back to where it was. If you are satisfied with the big temperature swing then so be it. But when I spend that kind of money and set that to 350˚ I don't expect to be cooking at 320˚. Especially when I'm baking bread in there. Traeger will tell you it will maintain that temp. Do you ever watch the Traeger channel and listen to the hosts on that show? They will even disagree with you. And you're a Moderator?
 

RemE

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Call Traeger support and ask them the specified temp precision, you might be surprised. Pellet fed grills are only as good as their controller. Maintaining a set temp by changing feed rate on wood fuel that itself has varied calories vs something homogenous like gas, electric etc. is good but not perfect.

Most of the Traeger folks are cooks, not engineers. I've spent a year re-engineering, fine tuning my Timberline to make it better, more consistent, more efficient, more useful. It's a well made piece of steel, could have a better controller.

Here's a Fireboard log of my temps on an overnight cook, it had about a 10 degree swing most of the time.

For some reason, this controller can hold some temps well, but set 5 degrees higher and it is worse. I wish someone like Fireboard would make a controller for the Traegers.

Lastly, I was like you, but I've learned from the great cooks here that these temp swings are nothing compared to stoking a "gold standard" smoker. What matters is look, feel, and internal meat temp, regardless of the precise pit temperature. Get a Fireboard unit, monitor the grill and your meat, tweek temps from your watch or phone as needed, and you won't be disappointed with the results.

9CF7ADD7-8221-4DA6-BB22-171CBD4E8B80.jpeg
 
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Slimpicker

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And you still had a GREAT BRISKET in the end with or without those swings 👊

and what's a MOD of a discussion forum got to do with temp swings?
 

ChefTony

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I've been using my Pro Series 22 since 2017, until recently the temp has always maintained within 20 degrees. As mentioned above, fluctuation for any smoker is normal. Especially when you consider the outdoor temps, opening/closing, and other elements play a role. The fluctuation has never, ever, ever impacted how any of my cooks finished. when an internal temp reaches it's g-spot, it's done. Comparing it to any gas oven is not accurate. Pricing makes no difference and is comparing apples to oranges. You can try a heat blanket, maybe that will help depending on your location and the temps you're cooking in. I have one and it works well, but I take mine off when outdoor temp is over 60 degrees. I mainly have it for the winter months seeing I live in Illinois. Good luck and I hope you find a resolution.
 

Slimpicker

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The fluctuation has never, ever, ever impacted how any of my cooks finished. when an internal temp reaches it's g-spot, it's done.

My point exactly
 

Stew55024

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I will guarantee you that my wife's oven didn't cost $2000 and once the temp levels out on the smoker it stays within five dgrees until you open the lid and then it comes right on back to where it was. If you are satisfied with the big temperature swing then so be it. But when I spend that kind of money and set that to 350˚ I don't expect to be cooking at 320˚. Especially when I'm baking bread in there. Traeger will tell you it will maintain that temp. Do you ever watch the Traeger channel and listen to the hosts on that show? They will even disagree with you. And you're a Moderator?
I will guarantee you that my wife's oven didn't cost $2000 and once the temp levels out on the smoker it stays within five dgrees until you open the lid and then it comes right on back to where it was. If you are satisfied with the big temperature swing then so be it. But when I spend that kind of money and set that to 350˚ I don't expect to be cooking at 320˚. Especially when I'm baking bread in there. Traeger will tell you it will maintain that temp. Do you ever watch the Traeger channel and listen to the hosts on that show? They will even disagree with you. And you're a Moderator?
If you don’t like it take it back. It’s normal to bounce around
 

smokeonthewater

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I have a Timberline 1300 used, AC version, bought on Craiglist. Well used.
But it holds the temps like a champ. Within +/- 5F 99% of the time. Then other times, it seems to fall 5-10 degrees over/under, but recovers after a while and tightly tracks around the target. Maybe the Gen 1 stuff was better than the successor DC drive Gen 2's.
 

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