Grease Port

dblcrona

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Has anyone partially plugged the grease port on your Traeger to reduce the heat loss? Tonight I was grilling in 37 degrees F with no wind and struggling to reach 450F. I noticed how much smoke was pouring out of the grease port and thought it seemed oversized and a waste of heat.
 

CampWhatnot

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I'm not sure which model you have however I would be hesitant to plug the grease port leading to the bucket. I would be concerned about build up and catching fire, especially if your trying to cook at that high of temperature and if you don't clean your smoker after each cook. I would put a blanket on it to assist with the heat loss issue in place of plugging the grease port. With my ironwood I can maintain temps down to -6C so far without using a blanket. I figure once we hit -10c I will then use my blanket. Traeger says you don't need a blanket with the Ironwood series however I don't agree with them. Even at -6C the pellet consumption has almost doubled. Cheers!
 
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dblcrona

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To answer your question I have a new Pro 575 (and I love it). I’m not suggesting plugging the port, merely making the opening smaller. Granted I am new to this but I cannot imagine a flow of grease that requires a 2” x 2” opening. This just seems like a huge gap for heat.
 

bfletcher

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I agree with Whatnot but I suppose there's no harm in experimenting to satisfy your curiosity, and I can certainly understand why you would ask the question. If I attempted that I'd probably utilize a tightly compacted chunk of aluminum foil so that it would stay in position when wedged inside the upper portion of the chute.

My opinion is these smoker manufacturers either a) account for the small amount of exhaust from the lid and grease chutes and tune their main exhaust sizes accordingly (and/or adjust the fan speed) or b) the additional exhaust is so insignificant that it need not be accounted for. It also seems to me that some leaks like this in a forced air smoker are of little consequence compared to the adverse effect in--say--an offset stick burner smoker that relies solely on intake and exhaust. But I'm not a smoker designer nor am I an Engineer, so my opinion means little. But I would ask myself how I would truly measure the results of tweaks like this.

Merry Christmas! :)
 

CampWhatnot

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To answer your question I have a new Pro 575 (and I love it). I’m not suggesting plugging the port, merely making the opening smaller. Granted I am new to this but I cannot imagine a flow of grease that requires a 2” x 2” opening. This just seems like a huge gap for heat.
Experiment with it and let us know how you make out. Cheers!
 
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dblcrona

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I agree with Whatnot but I suppose there's no harm in experimenting to satisfy your curiosity, and I can certainly understand why you would ask the question. If I attempted that I'd probably utilize a tightly compacted chunk of aluminum foil so that it would stay in position when wedged inside the upper portion of the chute.

My opinion is these smoker manufacturers either a) account for the small amount of exhaust from the lid and grease chutes and tune their main exhaust sizes accordingly (and/or adjust the fan speed) or b) the additional exhaust is so insignificant that it need not be accounted for. It also seems to me that some leaks like this in a forced air smoker are of little consequence compared to the adverse effect in--say--an offset stick burner smoker that relies solely on intake and exhaust. But I'm not a smoker designer nor am I an Engineer, so my opinion means little. But I would ask myself how I would truly measure the results of tweaks like this.

Merry Christmas! :)

I agree that this would be somewhat difficult to measure. My plan would be to make a piece out of sheet metal that is held in place with magnets. The way you could “measure” the improvement is to install it when you are grilling in the cold and the grill is struggling to get up to temperature. Put the baffle in place and see if internal temperatures rise any faster. It is merely a relative measurement but enough to know if it is working. Just a thought.
 

CampWhatnot

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I agree that this would be somewhat difficult to measure. My plan would be to make a piece out of sheet metal that is held in place with magnets. The way you could “measure” the improvement is to install it when you are grilling in the cold and the grill is struggling to get up to temperature. Put the baffle in place and see if internal temperatures rise any faster. It is merely a relative measurement but enough to know if it is working. Just a thought.
If your in a colder climate you WILL need a blanket to insulate the barrel in order to make and maintain your temps and to reduce your pellet consumption. I have a buddy with a pro 22 and he needs to cover it at +10c and below in order to maintain smoking temps. If your succesful with restricting the grease port you will still need to cover it with a blanket regardless in my opinion. Trial it and see what result you achieve. Never hurts to try new ideas. Cheers
 
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dblcrona

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If your in a colder climate you WILL need a blanket to insulate the barrel in order to make and maintain your temps and to reduce your pellet consumption. I have a buddy with a pro 22 and he needs to cover it at +10c and below in order to maintain smoking temps. If your succesful with restricting the grease port you will still need to cover it with a blanket regardless in my opinion. Trial it and see what result you achieve. Never hurts to try new ideas. Cheers

Actually I do have a 4’ x 6’ welding blanket that I fold twice and drape over the top. I have also added a high temperature felt gasket to the lid so last night the only way for heat to escape was through the chimney and the grease port. That is why I was focusing on the grease port.
 
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