Temp up and down

nottyou

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I LOVE my Traeger smoker. My only frustration is temperature fluctuations. Right now I'm smoking ribs and the instructions said to set it @ 180° for 3 hours. To get the temperature to stay close to 180° I had to set it on SMOKE. Setting it on 180° makes the temp fluctuate at 210-220°. Any sage advice out there, other than buying a new unit.
 

eric_w

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I LOVE my Traeger smoker. My only frustration is temperature fluctuations. Right now I'm smoking ribs and the instructions said to set it @ 180° for 3 hours. To get the temperature to stay close to 180° I had to set it on SMOKE. Setting it on 180° makes the temp fluctuate at 210-220°. Any sage advice out there, other than buying a new unit.

Not a sage, but just a piece of advice from a fellow user. I have the "smallest one" too.
First of all, outside temperature will play a big part of your maximum temperature, they are made out of relatively thin metal, and it is being force fed cold air from outside by the fan, a lot of people forget this important fact.
Second, it depends on pellets. Which brand do you use? (I use BBQ'ers Delight)
Third, I just put an oretech controller on my lil' Tex about 2-months ago and my temps are pretty solid now. Maybe a 10-20 total variance at higher levels and less at lower temps, but zero wild swings incidents now.
 

MGW

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This is my first post.
I have the same problem as the OP but I also have additional problems.
I have the Tailgater Pellet Grill and the temperature fluctuations are pretty severe.
Trying to smoke ribs at 180, it will drop to 155 and then surge to over 300.
Doesn't matter if summer or winter, same issue.
I have had the smoker for a little over 8 months and it has given me problems from day 1.
I am to the point now that I don't even use it anymore as it feels like just a waste of money buying it, a waste of money on meat and a waste of my time trying to cook with it.

Using Traeger pellets.

The other issue is that the smoker sometimes just dies.
The fire goes out and when it cools off enough the blower shuts off.
When that happens I cannot fire it up again because the pot is full of unburned and partially burned pellets.
Additionally there is a LOT of ash.
So much ash the igniter cannot come into contact with the pellets.
I have to vacuum it out before firing it up again and by that time the meal is ruined as there is no way to salvage the situation due to all the time lost.
Even if the fire doesn't die there is still so much ash that the interior of the smoker is thoroughly dusted with it and so is the food.
I have to vacuum it out after each and every use.
I have been down to the retailer to speak to them about it.
They showed me what it looks like when properly set up and it was the same as mine.
I asked for that because I wondered if I had set it up incorrectly.

Any insight into this issue will be appreciated.
 

bfletcher

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I have the same problem as the OP but I also have additional problems.

Well, heck; you need this more than I need it...



But if I knew of some advice I'd certainly offer it.
 

smithes

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I LOVE my Traeger smoker because of it a top-class smoker grill which cool when cooking. My only frustration is temperature fluctuations which control processes are good. My Smoker Model Traeger Grills Pro Series 22
 

Yachar

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I've hade problems since day 1 with my Tailgater, second one. Big fluctuations of temp, fire goes out, fire box fill to top with pellets, won't relight. Did a 10lb brisket yesterday. Started at 10pm the night before. Set @ 180, went out to check on it, the fire was gone. Kept waking up all night to relight. A POS!, have only used a dozen times since new. The next day, I thought I hade it going, then it died again. I'd some read something about the igniter position needing to be about 1/3 to 3/4" exposed in the fire box. I vacuumed the pellets out and noticed by igniter was fully retracted and slightly inward. Obviously the igniter was making a positive contact with the pellets so they were randomly igniting. I unscrewed the firebox and adjusted the igniter to about 3/4". It stay lit for a few hours but the temp was swinging +/- 30 or 40. Then I learned about the "p" settings. There's a round tab of tape to the right of the knob that says do not remove. You remove it and you can take a toothpick and push a little button inside the hole that changes the "p" settings or pause settings. Target doesn't do a very good job explaining the cooking modes where it apply's. I was lead to believe only on smoke mode. They explain the auger runs for 14 seconds and pauses for different increments of time. The longer the pause (the higher number) the longer the pellets burn before and smolder producing smoke. Mine was at p2, so I moved it to p0 the get the minimum pause time for the cooler weather this time of the year. The temp seemed to stay within spec +/- 25 running at 225 and 250 for the duration of my brisket smoke. Kind of felt the pause setting also effects the various cook modes as well as the smoke mode. I think target intends for temp variations to be able to get a smoky flavor. However imo, it would be nice to have more control in case you don't want a lot of smoke for some food. Then it would run a real consultant temp like a gas grill.
 

MGW

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I've hade problems since day 1 with my Tailgater, second one. Big fluctuations of temp, fire goes out, fire box fill to top with pellets, won't relight. Did a 10lb brisket yesterday. Started at 10pm the night before. Set @ 180, went out to check on it, the fire was gone. Kept waking up all night to relight. A POS!, have only used a dozen times since new. The next day, I thought I hade it going, then it died again. I'd some read something about the igniter position needing to be about 1/3 to 3/4" exposed in the fire box. I vacuumed the pellets out and noticed by igniter was fully retracted and slightly inward. Obviously the igniter was making a positive contact with the pellets so they were randomly igniting. I unscrewed the firebox and adjusted the igniter to about 3/4". It stay lit for a few hours but the temp was swinging +/- 30 or 40. Then I learned about the "p" settings. There's a round tab of tape to the right of the knob that says do not remove. You remove it and you can take a toothpick and push a little button inside the hole that changes the "p" settings or pause settings. Target doesn't do a very good job explaining the cooking modes where it apply's. I was lead to believe only on smoke mode. They explain the auger runs for 14 seconds and pauses for different increments of time. The longer the pause (the higher number) the longer the pellets burn before and smolder producing smoke. Mine was at p2, so I moved it to p0 the get the minimum pause time for the cooler weather this time of the year. The temp seemed to stay within spec +/- 25 running at 225 and 250 for the duration of my brisket smoke. Kind of felt the pause setting also effects the various cook modes as well as the smoke mode. I think target intends for temp variations to be able to get a smoky flavor. However imo, it would be nice to have more control in case you don't want a lot of smoke for some food. Then it would run a real consultant temp like a gas grill.
Traeger recommends the hot rod only extend 1/8" to 1/4" into the fire pot.
 

RemE

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Once the grill is fired up and running, the ignitor is off and no longer relevant to this issue. The more modern grills, with WiFire controllers, do a better job at monitoring the fire and keeping themselves from flaming out. That said, it happens. I actually like the ability to slightly adjust these pause intervals, so you can fix this flame out situation. WiFire has no user adjustments.
 

davwhite

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I LOVE my Traeger smoker because of it a top-class smoker grill which cool when cooking. My only frustration is temperature fluctuations which control processes are good. My Smoker Model Traeger Grills Pro Series 22
I had the Pro22 and unfortunately it is not a good model, caters for the entry level. I couldn't stand the swing in temps, the occasionally shutdowns so I got rid of it. My 575 is fantastic compared to the 22 so you will have to live with this until you upgrade, sorry I have no other solutions.
 

Lbeberdick

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I LOVE my Traeger smoker. My only frustration is temperature fluctuations. Right now I'm smoking ribs and the instructions said to set it @ 180° for 3 hours. To get the temperature to stay close to 180° I had to set it on SMOKE. Setting it on 180° makes the temp fluctuate at 210-220°. Any sage advice out there, other than buying a new unit.
Always pre heat the grill for at least 30 minutes before adding food. The PID controller on the Traeger cannot maintain a rock solid temp. Flucations of +/- 30 degrees is normal, if you use SUPER Smoke, there will be larger Flucations. My Traeger runs about 20 degrees cooler than what the controller registers. According to Traeger 20 degrees up or down is within design tolerance.
 

Hermanator

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I live in Florida where the sun is brutal. Since the Tailgater is uninsulated, it’s temperature is affected by outside weather, I put a garage fan on a table 3’ away from grill and run it on high while smoking.
 

Ironyoder

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This is one of the reasons I decided to go with a Recteq. Stainless steel construction, ceramic ignitor and very accurate temps. If you open the lid it may go up but only for a brief time and then it settles down to the target temp.
 

Murphy's Law

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This is one of the reasons I decided to go with a Recteq. Stainless steel construction, ceramic ignitor and very accurate temps. If you open the lid it may go up but only for a brief time and then it settles down to the target temp.
So you have a recteq, screen name is “Yoder” and posting on a Traeger site…!

You’re circling the wagons, that’s for sure! :)
 

Berthas.boss

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I was so surprised to read this. I have a tailgater, the ironwood 885 and now the timberline xl. The tailgater is my favorite! It holds to 1 degree without fail. She has to be clean every cook or she will swing but keeping her clean has made it the most reliable smoker I have.
 

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