Traeger Smoke Setting

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Cooking on a Traeger grill is an excellent experience. They use wood pellets as fuel, which gives the meat a great taste of smoke. 

Traeger grills have a low-temperature smoking mode called smoke. Do you need a smoke setting to smoke the food? Can you cook on the Traeger grill using the smoke setting? 

This article discusses how to cook with the Traeger smoke setting.

What Is Smoke Setting?

In most Traeger pellet grills, the smoke setting is used to ignite the grill by igniting the pellets. For “smoke setting,” the pellet grill feeds in a handful of pellets for 15 seconds, then waits 65 seconds before repeating the process, which is the factory default.

The smoke setting slowly feeds pellets into the firepot, allowing the wood pellets to smolder and burn. As a result, the smoke setting produces a little heat while also producing the most significant smoke.

When to Use Smoke Setting

The smoke setting sets the temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it does not have temperature control, so that the temperature may vary from 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Traeger Pellet Grills recommends using this timed cycle option for “Smoke” to achieve a smoking temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke Setting vs 180 Degree Setting

The smoke setting is typically used to ignite the pellets and start the Traeger grill.

Because it does not keep track of the temperature, the Traeger repeats the process after waiting 65 seconds and feeding pellets for 15 seconds(default setting).

The 180-degree setting monitors the internal cooking temperature and adjusts how frequently pellets are put into the firepot to keep it at that temperature. The cooking temperature should be around 180°F +/- 25°F in general.

You can use a smoke setting for initial turning on and then use the 180-degree setting for better temperature control.

If you use a smoke setting instead of 180 degrees, you’ll get more smoke. Use high-quality wood pellets and smoke settings for an hour, then raise the temperature to your desired cooking temp for the rest of your cook. 

You can always add a smoke tube if the smoke flavor profile isn’t strong enough.

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Traeger Temperature Settings

The Traeger pellet grill can make smoke at any temperature setting. Whether you set the temperature to 180°F, 225°F, or 350°F or choose the smoke setting, the Traeger will produce both heat and smoke.

A pellet grill raises the grill’s temperature by putting pellets into the firepot faster, making more heat. The Traeger pellet grill produces smoke by burning pellets, so the grill will always have smoke regardless of the temperature.

The meal will cook more quickly and with less smoke if you cook it at a higher temperature. So, when you cook food at 350°F rather than 225°F, the smokey flavor may be more subtle.

The Startup Process of Smoke Setting

Follow these steps if your grill requires an open-lid start-up with smoke settings.

  1. When you’re ready to cook, make sure the heat baffle, drip tray, and grill grates are all inside the grill.
  2. With the lid open, set your Traeger grill to the smoke setting. You can hear the fan running.
  3. Wait about 5 minutes for the fire to start and get going. You should listen to a different sound when the flame is going instead of just the fan.
  4. After the fire has been created, leave the lid open for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Close the lid.
  6. Set to the desired temperature and preheat for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Start cooking.


The Traeger pellet grills have a smoke setting to get the grills up and running. Regardless of ambient and cooking temperature, when in the “smoke” setting, the grill will feed in pellets for 15 seconds and pause 65 seconds before repeating the cycle.

You’ll need to know how to adjust the smoke setting on your Traeger grill if you want to cook perfect meat and other foods on it.

Set the Traeger to a low temperature of 180°F or 225°F after the smoke setting to achieve a smokey flavor.