Is a Traeger a Grill or a Smoker?

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If you’re considering buying a Traeger pellet grill, you might wonder if it’s a grill or a smoker. 

Most Americans use gas or charcoal grills for outdoor cooking, so they have questions about using a pellet grill. “Is a Traeger a Grill or a Smoker?” is a popular question about these grills.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to help you out with that.

Is a Traeger a Grill or a Smoker?

A Traeger is a fantastic smoker that can also do some grilling, but only to a limited degree. Compared to a traditional grill, a Traeger is akin to a high-performance oven that adds a smoky flavor to everything it cooks.

What’s the Difference Between a Smoker and a Grill?

A smoker uses wood to cook food at low temperatures, producing delicious wood-fired meat. A grill cooks food over direct heat at high temperatures.

What Is a Grill?

It would be best if you had a grill to cook food at a high temperature over an open flame or hot coals. 

If you don’t want to cook your meal over open flames or coals, you can utilize a grill in various ways. If you want the best results while cooking on a grill, it is best to divide the grill into two sections: one for the heat and fire and the other for cooking the meats.

However, I believe that to be referred to as a grill, and anything must be capable of cooking at high temperatures over open flames.

If the dripping fat from your burger hits the flames and you can see or smell it, you are cooking on a grill.

What Is a Smoker?

A smoker is an appliance that keeps the cooking temperature between 185 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit and adds smoke flavor by burning wood.

Pork ribs, pork butts, briskets, and smoked chicken are excellent choices for this low and slow cooking.

It is not necessary to cook over open flames to use a smoker, but it is possible. One of the most popular types of smokers in the United States is the electronic smoker, which does not use a flame.

Can You Use a Traeger as a Grill?

A Traeger’s maximum cooking temperature varies from model to model, but it’s often between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. These are temperatures that I would expect from a budget gas grill. 

The maximum temperature will be higher for some higher-end gas grills, such as Weber or Napoleon.

All Weber gas grills are designed to reach 500° – 550° F, and Napoleon grills can reach a max temp of 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Traeger is just a grill from a temperature standpoint. There is a second requirement for a grill that Traeger does not meet: cooking directly over an open flame or coals.

Traeger indeed uses a live fire from burning wood pellets in their cookers, but their food is protected from the fire by a huge grease tray and a heavy metal heat deflector that sits over the fire pot.

The fact that I don’t call a Traeger a grill has nothing to do with the Traeger brand. Instead, it concerns pellet cookers’ general limitations and difficulties.

Some manufacturers of pellet grills have attempted direct-flame grilling. Pit Boss and Camp Chef both have direct flame grilling, but I don’t think either one works well.

Almost all pellet grills are great for smoking, but they don’t do as well when grilling.

A Traeger grill is more like an oven than a traditional charcoal or gas grill. If you’ve ever used an oven, you know how easy it is to get perfect temperature control with a Traeger. 

A Traeger offers a more authentic cooking experience than an oven, thanks to the smoke and flavor from burning wood pellets. You can cook a delicious steak in the oven or on a Traeger, but I wouldn’t describe it as grilled.

What Can You Cook on a Traeger Grill?

A Traeger grill is capable of cooking just about anything. Barbecuing, baking, roasting, smoking, and grilling are just some methods you can use to prepare your food. It might include everything from the chicken and veggies to the roast potatoes and burgers. The Traeger can cook just about anything that you can cook in your oven.


If you’ve never used a Traeger grill before, you first need to know that it’s not a grill cooking on an open flame.

A Traeger is a great smoker but can’t do much grilling. It is your best bet if you’re looking for a wood pellet smoker with a smoky flavor.