Design problem 850 fire hazard

VancouverSmoker

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I replaced our original Traeger smoker last aug with an 850. It has been nothing but problems since day 1. It has started on fire more times than I can remember. Traeger knows about the design flaws and changed the system on its second generation models. But they can’t or won’t do anything to fix the lemon machines they sold in 2018. I have called, emailed and complained to Traeger, their reps and the people who sold me the pricy machine but they won’t take back the clearly problematic smoker and replace it with one which works
 

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pkitch

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Sorry to hear of your issues. Do you know what the differences are/were between 2018 and 2019 machines?
 
OP
OP
V

VancouverSmoker

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In the 2018 model there is a problem with the grease trap. The grease builds up in the grease trap and then catches on fire, once it is on fire the unit shuts down and the meat no longer cooks. The grease trap system was changed on the later model
 

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Pinhead

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Yep, this is the worst part of Gen 1. I'm thinking of removing the elevated chute to prevent pooling and let it drain straight to the trap.
 

baggage_x

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I have also exprienced a few grease fires in the two years of ownership as a result of the Gen 1 drainage system. Removing the elevated chute is certainly an option but I'm assuming that is all solid metal that would have to be cut?. Would placing a piece of metal flashing over the chute be issue? It should have the heat and provide some protection. It pains me when I see what they did on the Gen 2 with the drainage.
 

Pinhead

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I tried using the Griddle Hack in my T850 and it was an interesting experience. Firstly, I don't recommend it because you cannot control heat at all with the lid open. I got a Blackstone instead and am in griddle heaven.
It did however open the idea to fixing the chute because the hack had a grease redirector that more or less deposited it directly down the hole, dodging the tray all together. I suspect cutting this will need a grinder. Alternative approach is to have some kind of trough extension that goes from the "slide" to the chute without ever landing in the little tray area.
 

baggage_x

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Thanks. You have given me some ideas.
 

Okskipper

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We purchased the Timberline 850 late last summer. I don’t know if it is 1st or 2nd generation. Not sure how to tell. Sometimes it ignites fairly quickly and comes to temperature in the 10-15 minutes as it is supposed to. But sometimes I get a huge amount of the gray smoke like is shown in the posted pictures by the OP. It has been bad enough that neighbors came over and were ready to call the fire department. It has done this since new. We have had the controller changed, the igniter changed, etc., by the Traeger dealer. It does eventually come to temp and the smoke stops. The food is wonderful but I fear my neighbors may object to all the smoke at some point.
 

baggage_x

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When I first start the grill and it begins to heat up there is a huge amount of white smoke that is quite overwhelming and lasts for 5 mins or so. It eventually stops. My first traeger did the same thing when the fire box needed vacuuming out. It was concerning at first but I have just come to except that its going to do that. I have a Gen 1. Gen 2 can be identified a few ways. On the controller you should have the letters D2. You can also look inside and if the grease rail on the left side, the one that runs down into the drain, is covered then its a Gen 2.
 

Okskipper

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When I first start the grill and it begins to heat up there is a huge amount of white smoke that is quite overwhelming and lasts for 5 mins or so. It eventually stops. My first traeger did the same thing when the fire box needed vacuuming out. It was concerning at first but I have just come to except that its going to do that. I have a Gen 1. Gen 2 can be identified a few ways. On the controller you should have the letters D2. You can also look inside and if the grease rail on the left side, the one that runs down into the drain, is covered then its a Gen 2.
Thanks for the info.....I can live with the smoke.....hope my neighbors get used to it.
 

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We purchased the Timberline 850 late last summer. I don’t know if it is 1st or 2nd generation. Not sure how to tell. Sometimes it ignites fairly quickly and comes to temperature in the 10-15 minutes as it is supposed to. But sometimes I get a huge amount of the gray smoke like is shown in the posted pictures by the OP. It has been bad enough that neighbors came over and were ready to call the fire department. It has done this since new. We have had the controller changed, the igniter changed, etc., by the Traeger dealer. It does eventually come to temp and the smoke stops. The food is wonderful but I fear my neighbors may object to all the smoke at some point.

I start my G2 850 with temp set to 190F, let it stabilize before setting a higher temp. Mine seemed to mess up and smoke or over-temp and shut down if I ignite with grill set to higher temps like 400F. I now include 20-30 minutes of start time into my cooking plans to be sure the grill is ready. I am good about vacuuming out the grill regularly, so it's not ash build-up, maybe a weak glow plug igniter setup.
 

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