Help! Timberline 1300 Won't Drain Grease, and Traeger Support Won't Return Calls, As Promised - UPDATE - Good News

CTWsr50

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This problem persists for 4 months. The drip tray on my Timberline 1300 continues to pool grease, as opposed to draining into the grease catching system. I was told by a Traeger support person I talked to over a month ago that Traeger would send a new drip tray and drip tray covers. I received the drip tray covers (no drip tray).

Photos attached:
  • The first photo shows grease that has pooled on the drip tray/ Traeger drip tray cover, after 2 cooks.
  • In the second and third photos, I took these photos to show the positioning of the drip tray, -is it correct??
  • The fourth photo shows the drip pan after cooking ribs on Sunday. I used heavy duty foil to see if covers were a problem.
The grease pooling, -for months now, not only effects the taste of food cooked with the pooled grease on the drip tray, it also presents a significant safety issue.
Since purchasing the grill last November, I have needed to the empty the grease pan once, the grease pan worked. Since then, somehow the physical characteristics of the grill itself and/or the drip tray have changed to the point where the drip tray will not drain grease into the grease catching system. I’m forced to continually change the drip tray covers after each cook. If I’m doing something wrong, please tell me.

Traeger no longer provides an email address on the traegergrills.com website to request support. The only means of getting help is calling the number provided. Traeger phone message claims Traeger support wait is 1 to 2 hours and asks to return a phone call in order received.
  • I called at 1:08pm Eastern Daylight, I was warned of the 1 to 2 hour wait, a per Traeger instructions I asked for a call back. Now, at 7:52pm - still waiting.
  • I called at 5:46pm, same message, asked for a call back, over 2 hours later, still waiting.
Traeger has to get these problems solved. Traeger claims to sell a premium product, charges a premium price and Traeger customer support is anything but premium.

1 200419 Pooling Grease.JPG
1 200419 Pooling Grease.JPG2 200419 Left Side Drip Pan Position.JPG3 200419 Right Side Drip Pan Position.JPG4 200421 After 1 Cook.JPG
 

NunyaBzness

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I'm having a hard time seeing what the issue you're having is. In the first photo, I see a very shallow grease spot. Are you using one of the Traeger liners there?

1. I smoke a variety of meats, from beef roasts, to whole chickens, to brisket, to whole pork loins, to pork butt (pulled pork), etc. The only time I typically see "significant" runoff is with a whole brisket. There are times that I have actually needed to empty the pan during a cook to avoid overflow...

2. I suppose you could say that the entire design is flawed (i.e., could use several degrees more slope back to front), if you're looking to see perfect drainage of the tray, it's not going to happen with the design as is, unless we both have flawed units.

3. My normal cook process (yes, every time) involves wrapping the drip tray with foil (the 18" rolls from Costco are perfect) and molding to form, wrapping the front and back edges cleanly. Do the cook. While still warm after shutdown, brush the grates, pull the drip tray and dispose of the old foil, wipe the grease channels front and left, dispose of the contents of the grease pan and rinse it. The cleanup lasts all of 5 minutes. Every 6 hours or so (or every LONG cook), I wet/dry vac the ashes in the bottom of the smoker, after they are long cool...

I understand your frustration with customer support... I got frustrated with them myself when I had very early failure of my temperature probe. However, I'm not understanding your issue with the system as it works - provided you do your part to keep it clean...

Best of luck!
 
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CTWsr50

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I'm having a hard time seeing what the issue you're having is. In the first photo, I see a very shallow grease spot. Are you using one of the Traeger liners there?

1. I smoke a variety of meats, from beef roasts, to whole chickens, to brisket, to whole pork loins, to pork butt (pulled pork), etc. The only time I typically see "significant" runoff is with a whole brisket. There are times that I have actually needed to empty the pan during a cook to avoid overflow...

2. I suppose you could say that the entire design is flawed (i.e., could use several degrees more slope back to front), if you're looking to see perfect drainage of the tray, it's not going to happen with the design as is, unless we both have flawed units.

3. My normal cook process (yes, every time) involves wrapping the drip tray with foil (the 18" rolls from Costco are perfect) and molding to form, wrapping the front and back edges cleanly. Do the cook. While still warm after shutdown, brush the grates, pull the drip tray and dispose of the old foil, wipe the grease channels front and left, dispose of the contents of the grease pan and rinse it. The cleanup lasts all of 5 minutes. Every 6 hours or so (or every LONG cook), I wet/dry vac the ashes in the bottom of the smoker, after they are long cool...

I understand your frustration with customer support... I got frustrated with them myself when I had very early failure of my temperature probe. However, I'm not understanding your issue with the system as it works - provided you do your part to keep it clean...

Best of luck!
I'm having a hard time seeing what the issue you're having is. In the first photo, I see a very shallow grease spot. Are you using one of the Traeger liners there?

1. I smoke a variety of meats, from beef roasts, to whole chickens, to brisket, to whole pork loins, to pork butt (pulled pork), etc. The only time I typically see "significant" runoff is with a whole brisket. There are times that I have actually needed to empty the pan during a cook to avoid overflow...

2. I suppose you could say that the entire design is flawed (i.e., could use several degrees more slope back to front), if you're looking to see perfect drainage of the tray, it's not going to happen with the design as is, unless we both have flawed units.

3. My normal cook process (yes, every time) involves wrapping the drip tray with foil (the 18" rolls from Costco are perfect) and molding to form, wrapping the front and back edges cleanly. Do the cook. While still warm after shutdown, brush the grates, pull the drip tray and dispose of the old foil, wipe the grease channels front and left, dispose of the contents of the grease pan and rinse it. The cleanup lasts all of 5 minutes. Every 6 hours or so (or every LONG cook), I wet/dry vac the ashes in the bottom of the smoker, after they are long cool...

I understand your frustration with customer support... I got frustrated with them myself when I had very early failure of my temperature probe. However, I'm not understanding your issue with the system as it works - provided you do your part to keep it clean...

Best of luck!
For the first 6 weeks that I owned my 1300, it performed flawlessly.

After the first brisket I cooked, the grease draining system worked so well, it overflowed. That was my fault, I forgot to check and I had a mess on my hands. Since then, I've done 3 briskets, several pork shoulders, Not one drop of grease has ended up in the grease catching system,

Since the first of the year, between the firmware upgrade problems in January, Traeger's switch over to Amazon Web Services (cloud computing), and ongoing problems with Traeger providing competent support, my patience is exhausted. They won't take support calls and don't return calls as they promise. Traeger had to replace my D2 controller. They sent me the controller, and instructed me to use their video to replace the controller. The video uses an older controller and the wiring is not the same. The video says nothing about having to remove the screen panel underneath the controller. That is, get down on the ground, on your back, loosen the screws so you can reach all the wires (especially the connection to the wifi antenna) to be connected. When unscrewing the screws, one was so tightly fastened that it stripped. Traeger customer support instructed me to grab a drill, drill out the stripped screw, and find a replacement screw (and drill bit) at my local hardware store. They said, "sometimes they over-torque the screws during assembly". All this, on Traeger's top of the line product. Also, they run such a tight ship that they sent me another D2 controller!

As far as cleaning is concerned, I have a dedicated shop vac that I use every one and a half - two weeks to clean my grill. The owner's manual says "every twenty hours of use". I clean the grill completely, inside and out, much more often than specified.

I am in love with the concept of the Traeger Timberline 1300. But I am not in love with the ongoing problems and the lack of customer support that is part of owning my Traeger Timberline 1300. In the first six months of ownership, I want my 1300 to work as advertised. If these problems aren't solved now, what should I expect in the future? This grease issue is a SAFETY ISSUE. Can you do an overnight brisket cook and with the possibility of a grease fire.

One final hint. Use the search function for this forum and search "warp". The drip tray warps, - a known issue. I want it fixed, for good.
 
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NunyaBzness

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Tracking brother. So far, I haven't had the warping issue. If I had, I'd be pissed off too.
 
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CTWsr50

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With good advice from Traeger Forum member, I made an early morning call, asked for callback, and GOT ONE! Thanks for the tip.

Traeger told me that the drip tray is on back order (pretty understandable during these times). I still have great hopes for Traeger and my 1300. Per my son and his network, he says he sees many getting Traegers. I think Traeger’s business is exploding, and they’re trying to figure it out. If they do, they’ll be golden. If not, -well, not good.
 

ronnasboy

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I had this problem until I realized my drip tray wasn't on enough of a tilt from back to front. Installation instructions were terrible--looked like hooks on the tray should fit into the two little holes when they actually go between the flanges. Mine is a "first generation" 1300 but I assume they are the same. Just make sure you have plenty of tilt. Aso I never use Traeger's liners--just aluminum foil
 

ronnasboy

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Do you have or can you get a small torpedo level? put it on your drip pain from front to back.. If you don't have a significant slope rom back to front, then your tray isn't in correctly. It looks like from the pictures that they changed the tray and the back of the grill since they made my earlier model, but is it possible that the back of the tray sits on top of that "U" shaped piece of metal in the back?
 

drmcstford

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Well after making 1 slab of ribs and some bacon, i had a small grease fire -___- , annoying considering the Timberline 1300 is supposed to be top of the line. I am making ribs and pork belly burnt ends on Monday and now i'm worried about another grease fire ... Going to use heavy duty aluminum foil as the traeger liner had holes at the end of rib cookout.
 
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CTWsr50

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TRAEGER SUPPORT CAME THROUGH. (Duplicate Post)

I am anything but "Anti-Traeger". It's only fair that I report improvements and problems being solved. Traeger has followed up on what they said they would do, -and then some. I received a new drip tray in the middle of last week.

Guess what??!! After a 6-hour baby back rib cook, I HAVE GREASE IN MY GREASE CATCHING SYSTEM. One thing for sure, If you want to fix a Mac and Cheese after an extended, -perhaps overnight cook (say a brisket), you'll need to change your drip tray liner to assure a pellet smoke as opposed a grease taste in your Mac and Cheese. Look, your brisket needs to rest for at least an hour, maybe longer. You've got time to let your Traeger cool, change the drip tray, fire up the Traeger again, and, finally cook your Mac and Cheese. (I suggest you check the "grease collector", while your at it.)

Solving my problems has taken too long. But, with the COVID-19 business restrictions and (I'm guessing) supply chain problems on top of Traeger warehouse shut downs, I've got to give slack.

Having a brisket cook for Father’s Day. Ultimate test??? I'm optimistic.
 

jaredf

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I am having the exact same issue with my TImberline 1300. It refuses to drain the grease properly, has caused multiple fires and burned my arm pretty bad 2 weeks ago. I've leveled it perfectly flat, angled to the front, to the front-left, to the left....NOTHING DRAINS THE GREASE properly. There is always pooling of grease on the Traeger aluminum liners and trough so of course this thing is going to catch fire once you get it to 400 or above and open the lid. Calling Traeger is even worse, they are claiming this is a user maintenance issue (I clean it out at least once a month, 3-4 cooks) and saying that I need to pay for replacement parts. I am just over a year into my 3 year warranty, how would this not be covered? Replacement parts won't fix this bbq, there is a design flaw. This bbq needs to be replaced with this years model in hopes they have resolved the draining issue or replace with a unit that does and credit me the difference. Traeger Canada has apparently taken away the dealer's ability to handle the warranty process so the consumer is forced to call and deal with their terrible customer service. Your service reps email me asking me for more info and they can't even receive the replies (as stated by the rep) nor did your screen share app work until I had to fix the permissions issue to share my camera/mic after I had made the videos and taken pictures to send through email. It's a complete shit-show with this company. Hoping someone from Traeger actually reads this and reaches out. I have loved my other Traeger grills and never had these kind of issues but they have royally screwed up on the TImberline 1300 and need to stand behind their product/brand.
 
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CTWsr50

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If you've had your Timberline 1300 for less than 3 years, I have been assured by Traeger that replacement parts are covered under my warranty, -which would include the drip tray. Could Canadian Traeger Owners have different warranty terms?? I received a new drip tray from Traeger 2 weeks ago. It solved the grease drainage problem. I cooked ribs last week and did a 12 hour cook on a brisket yesterday. GREASE DRAINED!

I think a replacement part COULD solve the problem. The drip trays have a known issue, -they warp, losing their camber. I have been told by Traeger that a food based coating on the drip tray gets removed sometimes during assembly of the 1300, and therefore doesn't get "seasoned-in" during the initial seasoning. That could be true because I didn't assemble mine.

Observation and comparison of my old drip tray and the new one confirms what I suspected. It warped. By design, the drip tray bends upward in the middle, -camber. After 2 months of usage, grease was not draining. The upward bend in the drip tray was gone. Not one drop of grease drained for 4 months. I was told and I believe that Covid-19 caused supply chain issues, both from their suppliers and in their warehouses and they couldn't get or ship drip trays.

Even though Traeger says they don't control this forum, I think they do read it and it perhaps influences their support response. First, if you're having trouble getting through to Traeger, call as early as you can in the morning. When I emphasized that this grease drainage problem is a safety issue., they responded and kept all promises.

I do believe Traeger is struggling with their customer support. Traeger's business appears to be exploding, I've been told by my son, an "in-the-know" millennial (I'm an old guy), he said that "everyone he knows is getting a Traeger. He was almost shocked at my smart purchase. I was at the Traeger dealer that I purchased my 1300 from on Saturday. They had sold 2 Timberline 1300's that day.

Stay after Traeger, explain that you know the issue and describe it (i.e. the warping). Explain the seriousness of the potential grease fire problem. Best of luck, I think you'll get it solved.
 

TraegerTL850

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I am having the exact same issue with my TImberline 1300. It refuses to drain the grease properly, has caused multiple fires and burned my arm pretty bad 2 weeks ago. I've leveled it perfectly flat, angled to the front, to the front-left, to the left....NOTHING DRAINS THE GREASE properly. There is always pooling of grease on the Traeger aluminum liners and trough so of course this thing is going to catch fire once you get it to 400 or above and open the lid. Calling Traeger is even worse, they are claiming this is a user maintenance issue (I clean it out at least once a month, 3-4 cooks) and saying that I need to pay for replacement parts. I am just over a year into my 3 year warranty, how would this not be covered? Replacement parts won't fix this bbq, there is a design flaw. This bbq needs to be replaced with this years model in hopes they have resolved the draining issue or replace with a unit that does and credit me the difference. Traeger Canada has apparently taken away the dealer's ability to handle the warranty process so the consumer is forced to call and deal with their terrible customer service. Your service reps email me asking me for more info and they can't even receive the replies (as stated by the rep) nor did your screen share app work until I had to fix the permissions issue to share my camera/mic after I had made the videos and taken pictures to send through email. It's a complete shit-show with this company. Hoping someone from Traeger actually reads this and reaches out. I have loved my other Traeger grills and never had these kind of issues but they have royally screwed up on the TImberline 1300 and need to stand behind their product/brand.
I can tell you after talking with the local Traeger Rep the drip system leaves a lot to be desired... he told me to just wrap my drip pan with aluminum foil from Costco... said the drip pan liners were not functional... I knew that already... told him how is it I pay $1800 for a smoker that won't pass the grease to the lower aluminum catch pan... really
 

Rif

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My son bought me a Timberline 850 for my retirement (December 2019). I had a 22 series prior to this and never had any issues. The Timberline is a nice looking machine but upon assembly- the grease trap door was a real chore to get open. Although I received the gift in December - I never grilled until March as it was in the 20’s and 30’s with snow in western NY. I started using the grill - following all of the instructions and cleaning more then recommended. As of today - I have yet to have enough grease in the tray (under the unit) to even bother emptying. I have had numerous grease fires after cleaning out the fire pot and grease channel in the front of the unit. Today I grilled steaks and almost set fire to the neighborhood....I haven’t tried customer service yet but based on everything I’ve read - it doesn’t look promising. I am getting ash in the grease channel or sludge that doesn’t flow when smoking at lower temps. I use the traeger 850 drip tray liners and they are garbage in my opinion- it just holds the grease. Good thing I’m retired so I can spend another 2 hours taking everything apart and cleaning it out from the latest fire. I doubt any one from Traeger reads this but I wanted to vent....
 
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CTWsr50

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Rif, I purchased my 1300 in November and had a major grease drainage issue that I consider somewhat solved since receiving a new drip tray about 3 weeks ago. My grease is draining better, but I'm not sure it's as good as it could be.

Please look at some of my earlier posts. The drip tray (and the liners) are a design problem. For the drip tray liners, I have taken to use a rubber mallet to diminish the seam along the front edge of the drip tray liners. It's helped, -some.

From November through January I drained all kinds of grease. even forgetting to check timely enough and having a grease mess! Then it stopped draining grease.

There is a design flaw in the drip trays. The first one I received lost its' camber. That is, it's supposed to arc in the middle pushing the grease toward the edges. So far, the new drip tray seems to have maintained camber. But, as I said, I think it should drain better. As an additional measure I have place a 1" thick scrap of lumber under the two wheels in the back, to encourage better grease drainage from back to front.

Customer support told me that an issue with the drip trays is that it has a food based coating "out of the box" that (sometimes) gets removed during assembly, that needs to be "seasoned in" prior to usage. I didn't assemble my 1300, so my experience is lacking. With the new drip tray, prior to use, I re-seasoned the grill, again.

Comparison of my original drip tray to the newly installed drip tray, prior to seasoning or usage showed a pretty big increase in camber from the old drip tray to new.

My son has a Traeger Pro 575. The 575 drains grease from right to left into a grease bucket, and there's quite a bit more slope, and it drains grease better.

My advice: Call Traeger customer support at (800) 872-3437. Do it as early in the morning as possible. They can be very difficult to reach, and if you get put on a call back, it's hit or miss. Like me, you're in the Eastern time zone, so they may not be there when you call, but keep trying. The grease drainage problem is a significant safety issue. Get Traeger to send you a new drip tray. I have been assured by Traeger that the drip tray issue is covered under the 3 year warranty.

A few last things. Yes the getting to the grease collection is a problem. I just keep yanking until I get it open. Also, I use a plastic putty knife to clean out the grease channel, and one of those multi-purpose paint scrapers if the build up is bad.

Good luck!
 

Rif

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Hey thanks! Good to know - I’ll give them a call and see what happens...just got done cleaning up the fire scene from last night...
 

TraegerTL850

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My son bought me a Timberline 850 for my retirement (December 2019). I had a 22 series prior to this and never had any issues. The Timberline is a nice looking machine but upon assembly- the grease trap door was a real chore to get open. Although I received the gift in December - I never grilled until March as it was in the 20’s and 30’s with snow in western NY. I started using the grill - following all of the instructions and cleaning more then recommended. As of today - I have yet to have enough grease in the tray (under the unit) to even bother emptying. I have had numerous grease fires after cleaning out the fire pot and grease channel in the front of the unit. Today I grilled steaks and almost set fire to the neighborhood....I haven’t tried customer service yet but based on everything I’ve read - it doesn’t look promising. I am getting ash in the grease channel or sludge that doesn’t flow when smoking at lower temps. I use the traeger 850 drip tray liners and they are garbage in my opinion- it just holds the grease. Good thing I’m retired so I can spend another 2 hours taking everything apart and cleaning it out from the latest fire. I doubt any one from Traeger reads this but I wanted to vent....
I am on my 2nd Timberline 850 and had my buddy came over to help me assemble it last evening. The things they are sending to the field are a hot mess. We had issues with attaching the antenna for the WiFire connectivity as the post you attach it to was not tightened down and we were having trouble with the screws that hold the bottom plate cover they were like powder coated in place and so we finally figured out a way by wedging in a small wrench to stop the gold colored post mount from turning then we were able to use needle nosed pliers to tighten the nut then we were able to actually screw ther antenna into place --- also the holes that are bored into the hopper to support the front stainless steel tray are not deep enough to allow tightening of the provided stainless screws - I had to go out to Ace and get shorter screws and a bunch of washers to actually put on-over the threads of the screw itself to back the screw out sufficiently to allow tightening of the screws themselves that is supporting the front stainless shelf this is on the hopper itself - the other side of the front shelf the screws and washer fit fine. I already know the aluminum drip pan liners are trash they do not fit and the other posts have said in particualr - CTWsr50 - has it right the maon drip pan is not designed well at all for proper grease drainage how do you combat the design flaws there seem to be so many - I am not hopeful at this point about this line of Traeger Smokers - so disheartening to see and hear about so many issues with the 'cadillac' that the Traeger Rep told me the Timberline is supposed to be. Wow
$1700 to $1800 just for the Smoker itself not included are the cover and other things that accompany the purchase of such an outdoor appliance - re-designing these things in the field is BS that's just how I feel about it folks
 

Corners

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Traeger no longer provides an email address on the traegergrills.com website to request support.
Well hell. THAT and not returning phone calls tells me it’s time to RAISE HELL with them. I’ve wasted well over $2,000+++ on my TL850 and accessories. Multiple problems with no solutions. I’ve had it.
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TraegerTL850

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