New Trager Pellet Smokers :)

LoaBanz

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Howdy !,

Just put together my Trager Pro 575 this last weekend, My first cook was spatchcock chicken (Temp= 275 / till internal temp of 165), roasted root veggies and steamed corn on the cob (husks on) Turned out great. Now, I did notice that there was not much of a smoke flavor.. or at least as much as I would get on my Kamado. I realize there is a learning curve, but hoping to get some pointers for seasoned Trager pros. Thanks in advance for any sage advice,

704
 

primeone

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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the first cook! Photo look amazing. How did the corn turn out? I've been trying to nail down a good method to cook it (time/temp?)
 
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LoaBanz

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Thank you, the corn turned out well! I cut the tips (silk) off and soaked them in a bucket of water for about 30 minutes. I placed them on the grill with the husks on and they were in there about 50 minutes at 275. In the last few minutes, I peeled back the husks and put them back in. they were not overcooked, I saw this method done in New Mexico and decided to try it at home.
 

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On the question of smoke flavor, I am still searching too, I was thinking perhaps my pallet is not sensitive enough, but I think biggest factor are the pellets. I've been using Hickory as they apparently impart the most flavor. I have had best results yet with Lumberjack Pellets and also using a smoke tube. Verdict out on if one or the other was driving factor but will be cooking again this week to see.

I do get a very good smoke ring but until above scenario was not satisfied with the smoke flavor and interested also to know other's points of views.
 
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LoaBanz

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On the question of smoke flavor, I am still searching too, I was thinking perhaps my pallet is not sensitive enough, but I think biggest factor are the pellets. I've been using Hickory as they apparently impart the most flavor. I have had best results yet with Lumberjack Pellets and also using a smoke tube. Verdict out on if one or the other was driving factor but will be cooking again this week to see.

I do get a very good smoke ring but until above scenario was not satisfied with the smoke flavor and interested also to know other's points of views.
I think you are right about the type of pellets. Full disclosure, on the spatchcock chicken cook, I used apple pellets. So I suspect they just dont impart a lot of that smokey flavor. For tonight's cook, I am going to use the Trager Signature blend. Hoping this will give me the flavor I can achieve on my kamado.
 

pkitch

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I think you are right about the type of pellets. Full disclosure, on the spatchcock chicken cook, I used apple pellets. So I suspect they just dont impart a lot of that smokey flavor. For tonight's cook, I am going to use the Trager Signature blend. Hoping this will give me the flavor I can achieve on my kamado.
Some of my first cooks (before I 'upgraded' to my Ironwood) were using the Traeger competition blend and my S.O. still refers to those cooks, now wondering if these pellets contributed, though a lot of folks seem to look down on them as they are not 100% pure wood and may use additives. Let us know how you get on and any conclusions you can come to.
 

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I'm also trying to adapt to pellet fuel; I'm approaching 4 years of smoking with WSM's and a PBC and I'm wondering if the real issue is that I need to learn the distinction between charcoal taste vs. wood taste.
 
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LoaBanz

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Might be, I am new to pellet smokers/grills. I have been using a Kamado ceramic grill for the last 5 years and I like it. But thought I would give the Trager a shot. (BTW, I have no intention of ever getting rid of my Kamado...) I know to a good smoke flavor the temp on the kamado I just throw on a couple of oak wood chunks on the coals and that will give me about 20 minutes of a good smoke. BTW, most of the smoking (no harsh tasting happens in the first hour, after that it is pretty much overkill).

Now in terms of the Trager, I read on their website where they recommend/suggest that smoking takes place between the temps of 160 to 200. Ergo, I think just doing the smoking (or getting the smoke flavor on your meat) should be done at the temp that seems to produce the most smoke,, once you have achieved that,,, then you can go on to do your grilling. I am going to try doing it like that tonight with a steak which I plan to get some smoke flavor on it first then do a reverse sear. I am also trying out a different pellet (was using Trager apple-wood pellets and will use the Trager signature blend). We'll see how this turns out.....
 

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I have a Pro 575. The grill tends to smoke quite a bit at 180F-200F. In the 200F - 275F (or higher) range there is still smoke, its just lighter in color and not as dense. Just an FYI that when you are in the smoke range of 180F - 200F, what you will notice is that the heavy smoke goes on and off.

Jordan
 
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LoaBanz

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I have a Pro 575. The grill tends to smoke quite a bit at 180F-200F. In the 200F - 275F (or higher) range there is still smoke, its just lighter in color and not as dense. Just an FYI that when you are in the smoke range of 180F - 200F, what you will notice is that the heavy smoke goes on and off.

Jordan
Got it! thanks for the info on the smoke going on and off.. sounds like some kind of cycling
 

pkitch

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Got it! thanks for the info on the smoke going on and off.. sounds like some kind of cycling
If you use the 'Super Smoke' function (only works up to 220f) then you will hear the fan cycling on and off to promote more smoke and in accordance with that you'll probably see the same with the smoke output.
 
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LoaBanz

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If you use the 'Super Smoke' function (only works up to 220f) then you will hear the fan cycling on and off to promote more smoke and in accordance with that you'll probably see the same with the smoke output.
okay, I have heard of this super smoke business, but I don't see a setting for that on the D2 controller (I have the 575 Pro). I don't see that option
 

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okay, I have heard of this super smoke business, but I don't see a setting for that on the D2 controller (I have the 575 Pro). I don't see that option
The Pro 575 doesn’t have the Supersmoke feature on the D2 controller. Just the higher end models have it. Just set it on 180F for lots of smoke. I’m actually finding that the more I cook on my Pro 575 the more I don’t like a really heavy and overpowering smoke taste. I suppose that’s why many of the recipes in the Traeger app specify to use the smoke setting only for the first hour.
 
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LoaBanz

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The Pro 575 doesn’t have the Supersmoke feature on the D2 controller. Just the higher end models have it. Just set it on 180F for lots of smoke. I’m actually finding that the more I cook on my Pro 575 the more I don’t like a really heavy and overpowering smoke taste. I suppose that’s why many of the recipes in the Traeger app specify to use the smoke setting only for the first hour.
Thank you! I thought I was going nuts not finding this supersmoke option. I do agree with you, I like a light smoke as opposed to a heavy sooty taste. I guess I just want the smoke to compliment the food and allow the actual taste of the food to come out.
 

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I have a 575, it smokes "OK" at 175, 180 degrees. Above that it reduces the amount of smoke the higher you go. I highly recommend buying a smoke tube and use it in addition to the smoke from the Traeger. A few people here recommended it to me from the get-go and it makes a huge difference. Also, after a lot of research most meats tend to stop absorbing smoke when they hit an internal temperature around 140 degrees.
715
 

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The other thing to consider when looking for more smoke is the type of pellets. Mesquite definitely gives the highest amount of smokey taste. I actually found Mesquite a bit overpowering. My favourites right now are Hickory and Pecan. When I want minimal smoke taste I usually go with Adler or some of the other fruit woods like Apple, etc. The grill is always smoking at any temperature. The wood just burns much more efficiently at high temperatures and the smoke is quite a bit less visible. At the lower temperatures like 175F-200F, the smoke tends to be much denser and much more visible. This is one of the things I really like about my Pro 575. I can smoke at lower temperatures or bake with minimal smoke at higher temperatures. There are lots of things that you don't want to taste smokey. Baking bread, a pie or a bake is a good example.
 

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The other thing to consider when looking for more smoke is the type of pellets. Mesquite definitely gives the highest amount of smokey taste. I actually found Mesquite a bit overpowering. My favourites right now are Hickory and Pecan. When I want minimal smoke taste I usually go with Adler or some of the other fruit woods like Apple, etc. The grill is always smoking at any temperature. The wood just burns much more efficiently at high temperatures and the smoke is quite a bit less visible. At the lower temperatures like 175F-200F, the smoke tends to be much denser and much more visible. This is one of the things I really like about my Pro 575. I can smoke at lower temperatures or bake with minimal smoke at higher temperatures. There are lots of things that you don't want to taste smokey. Baking bread, a pie or a bake is a good example.
One other important factor is the pellet manufacturer. I find that bbq delight pellets have way more flavour (and burn hotter) than Traeger pellets.
 
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LoaBanz

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I have a 575, it smokes "OK" at 175, 180 degrees. Above that it reduces the amount of smoke the higher you go. I highly recommend buying a smoke tube and use it in addition to the smoke from the Traeger. A few people here recommended it to me from the get-go and it makes a huge difference. Also, after a lot of research most meats tend to stop absorbing smoke when they hit an internal temperature around 140 degrees. View attachment 715
Man that brisket looks freaking delicious! going to try as you recommend.
 

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Good looking brisket!
 
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