I have to admit I was really skeptical when I got a call out of the blue a couple of months back from Bruce Bjorkman, the Marketing Director at Traeger Grills and all around BBQ god.Â He’d checked out the UltimateFoodie Podcast and asked if I would be into reviewing a Traeger Grill – he asked for my address and a few days later one was on my doorstep.Â After my wife and I put it together (not too tough of an assembly job) I was anxious to get cooking.Â It’s been a love affair ever since.Â Bruce has become a friend and a favorite UltimateFoodie.com guest as well/
The Traeger Grill is a different kind of animal from my gas grill or from my charcoal grill in that it runs on compressed “pellets” made of different hardwoods.Â Instead of adding chips to get flavor, the pellets function as fuel and flavoring all at once and the smokey flavor you get from the Traeger is outstanding.Â Coolest of all is that you have your choice of a ton of different “flavors” of pellets including Hickory, Alder, Apple, Cherry, Maple, Onion, Garlic, Mesquite, Grape Vine and more.Â I have found myself mixing and matching chips like I would spices in a rub to get subtle flavoring combinations in my grilled food.
The Traeger is really set up for “Barbecuing” as opposed to “Grilling”Â it is all about indirect heat provided by a small auger-fed firebox with a blower – so no direct flames are ever all that close to your food.Â The Traeger Grill is essentially a convection over powered by natural wood and with the associated wood smoke flavors. This convection action also makes it possible to do some nice baking on the Traeger – I have used mine to make some dynamite hot sandwiches, baked potatoes and best of all PIZZA.Â Traeger actually partners with Papa Murphy’s Pizza and it is a winning combination for sure.
Traeger Pellet Grills are not something you can pick up at Walmart – they are not cheap – but are worth every penny.Â They are hand made in the USA by folks in Oregon here in the great North West with pride.Â If you areÂ a serious outdoor cook, I highly recommend that you pick one up either directly from Traeger at http://www.traegergrills.com or through one of their local dealers.Â Tell them Wade from UltimateFoodie sent you and before long you will have a man-crush on your Traeger Grill too.
I’ll do some follow up posts with recipes and reviews of the food I have made on my Traeger in coming weeks.