Traeger vs. Weber Grills: Which Is Better?

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Traeger and Weber have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential that you know which one is best for you.

For many years, Traeger has been the industry leader in pellet grills. 

Weber is a household name in the industry as a leading manufacturer of high-quality charcoal and gas outdoor grills. On the other hand, Weber has also opted to enter the pellet grill industry. 

So, how do Traeger and Weber Grills compare in the Traeger vs. Weber Grills debate? 

This post will be a little different from my previous ones, such as Traeger vs. Pit Boss and Traeger vs. Camp Chef, where I compared several similar products. 

Because Weber has recently joined the pellet grill industry, the SmokeFire line from Weber currently only offers two models. Because of this, I’ve selected the two most equivalent Traeger grills in terms of pricing and features to compare to the Weber Grills.

Traeger vs. Weber Grills: Grills Reviewed

Traeger Pro Series 22 vs. Weber Spirit II E-310

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

Construction and Cooking Space

The Traeger Pro Series 22 is steel and has a powder-coated finish to keep it rust-free and look its best. If you’re looking for a way to cook any food, this pellet grill is the one for you. 

The Traeger still has a lot of cooking space for 24 burgers, five racks of ribs, or four chickens.

The Weber Spirit II E-310 gas grill contains three primary burners rated 30,000 BTU. 

Four hundred twenty-four square inches of cooking space is available for preparing burgers, steaks, and other tasty cuisines. The tuck-away warming rack adds 105 square inches of cooking space.

It is one of our top picks of 3-burner gas grills.

Control System

The Pro Series 22 has a Digital Pro Controller with advanced grilling logic that keeps the temperature within 15 degrees of your set temperature. There is a simple dial and a digital display for the controls. 

The Infinity Ignition technology on the Weber Spirit II E-310 makes it simple to light your grill. There are simple burner controls and a thermometer incorporated into the lid. 

The Spirit II E-310 is compatible with the iGrill 3 app-connected thermometer, which keeps track of your food from start to finish and notifies you via the Weber iGrill App when it’s ready to serve.

Cooking Grates

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and a porcelain-enameled cover are used on Weber’s grill. This coating makes cleaning these parts a breeze. For the same reason, Traeger’s grill grates are also porcelain-coated, so you won’t have to spend much time cleaning them when the dinner is finished.


Traeger Ironwood 650 vs. Weber SmokeFire EX4

Last update on 2024-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We compared the Traeger Ironwood 650 to the Weber SmokeFire EX4. In terms of grilling surface area and Wi-Fi connectivity, the two grills are almost an exact match.

Design

Both grills’ designs are a draw in our perspective since each has its advantages and disadvantages.

There’s a long, barrel-shaped body to the Weber SmokeFire grill and a pellet hopper running along its backside. The grill has a sleek shape since it doesn’t have a traditional smokestack, venting the smoke out of the grill’s back. 

The control panel may be on the right side of the side table, above the side table. You can use the dial or the Weber Connect app to control the grill’s temperature or any of the four meat probes.

There are stainless steel cooking grates and a heat deflector plate inside the grill. As a result, the deflector plate only covers an 8-inch area above the fire pot, allowing for both smoking and searing in the same grill. 

We liked that the SmokeFire could sear, but the open design is prone to grease fires after smoking fatty meats like brisket or pork ribs one day and searing the next. 

Because of this, you need to clean it after each use.

The Traeger Ironwood 650 has a typical pellet grill design, with the hopper on the right and the side table on the left. The Ironwood doesn’t have a smokestack like older Traegers, so the smoke is vented out the back of the grill, giving it a neater appearance. 

The pellet hopper’s control panel is attached to the side. You may use the dial or the Traeger WiFIRE app to change the grill’s temperature and the single probe thermometer, but it appears archaic compared to some of the LED control panels we’ve seen on other pellet grills.

Traeger’s interior features a classic design with a heat deflector plate covering the stainless steel grates completely. 

Therefore, the grill cannot sear meats, providing an even heating surface for preparing food. 

You can use a Traeger grill liner or aluminum foil to cover the heat deflector plate, making cleanup a breeze.

Last update on 2024-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grilling Performance

As a result of SmokeFire’s open design, low-temperature cooking was a lot easier. 

There is just a tiny portion of the fire pit that is covered by the heat deflector plate. Thus, more smoke circulated through the meal while it was cooking. 

However, it would be best if you made a lot of extra effort to keep the temperature low, as the control panel didn’t always provide a correct ambient temperature reading.

When it came to cooking at high temperatures, the Weber couldn’t keep up. Because of the grill’s open design, which we found appealing for smoking, some areas got hotter than others.

The Traeger can produce a lot of smoke at low temperatures, and the grill’s internal fan helps distribute the smoke over the food. No matter how large the heat deflector plate was, there was no way to prevent the dish from getting an intense smoke flavor.

The grill maintained impressively even temperatures throughout the grill at higher settings. The Ironwood’s Downdraft Exhaust system is designed to distribute smoke around your food as it cooks, and it works like a convection oven’s fan at high temperatures. 

Cooking Space

The Weber SmokeFire appears to have the most grilling space at first appearance. It has a total grilling area of 672 square inches (432 on the bottom grate and 240 on the adjustable top rack). 

The cooking area of the Traeger is only 572 square inches (418 on the bottom grate and 154 on the top rack).

The Traeger’s heat deflector plate ensured virtually no temperature variation between the two cooking surfaces. So you can switch the two racks around, giving you more grilling space than it looked at first. 

Because Weber’s heat deflector plate only covers a small section of the fire pot, the temperatures on the two grills were very different. It would help if you were a little more careful about what you put on each rack to ensure that everything cooked evenly.

Temperature Control

Adjusting the temperature was a breeze on both grills. On the Weber, you could set a timer, activate a smoke setting (SmokeBoost on the Weber), or switch off the grill remotely using an app that was Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled accordingly.

The Traeger is the clear winner regarding temperature consistency and heat retention. 

For both heating up and cooling down, the Ironwood performed better than the SmokeFire. 

The Traeger’s temperature maintained closer to the set point, whereas the SmokeFire’s fluctuated by 50°F.

Finally, the temperature display on the Ironwood’s control panel was more accurate. We discovered that the SmokeFire grill temperature indicator was inaccurate. It showed the same number as the grill’s set temperature, but an ambient probe showed it was significantly higher.

Fuel Efficiency

The hoppers on both grills were large enough to hold a 20-pound bag of pellets, and they both had an unloading gate for changing the flavor of the wood pellets. 

The Traeger’s square container is shorter and broader than Weber’s long and narrow pellet hopper. Filling the Weber was a little more challenging because the target was thinner than a square pellet hopper.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, they were nearly identical. The Weber may have been slightly faster than the Traeger in pellet consumption.

Wi-Fi

Both grills were equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled apps, enhancing their “set it and forget it” appeal. 

You could adjust the grill’s temperature remotely, and you received notifications and warnings when it reached your desired temperature or when the pellets in the grill were running low. 

Each software was unique in design, yet both worked effectively. New grillers will significantly benefit from the included recipes and detailed directions, which we found to be an outstanding feature. 

Warranty

Weber appears to be the clear winner at first glance. There is a five-year warranty on the SmokeFire, but only three years on the Traeger. 

But when we looked into it, we found that the SmokeFire’s electrical parts, cooking grates, pellet slide, burn pot, the heat baffle, pellet grate, and controller bezel are only covered for three years. 

As a result, this one is a toss-up. Both warranties are non-transferable, meaning they are only valid for the first owner.

Normal wear and tear are not covered by Weber’s warranty, which only applies to manufacturing flaws (cosmetic damages, discoloration not related to material defects, scratches and dents, surface rust, etc.). 

It is against Traeger’s warranty policy to use the unit for food service or other uses that aren’t specified in the operating instructions or use non-Traeger fuels.


The Differences Between Traeger and Weber Pellet Grills

Traeger and Weber are two of the most popular grilling brands on the market. Here we explain the differences between them and help you decide which one is right for your needs.

Controller

There is a PID controller in the Weber grill and a D2 controller in the Traeger Ironwood. I’m unsure if Weber’s PID significantly improved over the Traeger D2 controller. However, many people consider the PID the gold standard, so I’d include it here.

Pellet Hopper

The Smokefire hopper can store 22 pounds of pellets, while the Ironwood hopper stores 20. Weber’s attention to the minor details is evident even in this non-essential component.

Smokefire’s hopper contains a sensor that tells you when the grill has only two pounds of pellets left. While wood pellets come in various quantities, the 20-pound bag is the most common. 

A whole bag of pellets will fit in the hopper if the low pellet alert goes off. The pellets can be emptied into the hopper and the bag discarded.

When the Ironwood hopper runs low, you’ll need to find a place to stash the last few pounds of pellets because the hopper can only hold so much of the bag.

Wi-Fi

Both grills feature Wi-Fi connectivity and associated apps. One of the most common complaints about both brands is that connecting them to Wi-Fi is complex and that the apps aren’t handy. 

However, Weber’s app is newer and looks to have more issues.

Temperature Range

Many people find getting enough heat out of a pellet grill challenging to make a good steak. Pellet grills excel at “Low and Slow” cooking, but they’re only suitable for high-heat grilling at the most basic level.

For many years, Traeger claimed that its grills could reach a maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature soared to 500F with the Timberline and Ironwood series. 

With a maximum temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit, the Weber Smokefire is ideal for cooking steaks. The Smokefire appears to be one of the few pellet grills capable of high-heat grilling, thanks to its increased maximum temperature.

Auger System

The auger is a screw mechanism that transports wood pellets from the hopper to the fire pot. I’ve seen a direct connection between the auger and the fire pot on every pellet grill. The pellets come from the auger and drop a few inches into the fire pot on a Weber.

Pellet grills are known to suffer from a critical yet uncommon problem, which is why Weber created a solution to solve it. 

Pellets still in the auger can be ignited by the smoldering ones in the firepot. It’s possible for a fire to develop in the auger and spread rearward until it consumes the entire hopper full of pellets. 

This burnback is quite rare, but when it does occur, it is terrifying. Burnbacks should be avoided thanks to the increased distance between the auger and the fire pot on the Weber SmokeFire.

In addition, the Weber auger is engineered to detect any pellet jams and will work backward and forwards to resolve the issue. 

Sawdust Management

Pellet grills have a unique problem when it comes to dealing with sawdust. A fan circulates air through the grill as the wood pellets burn in the fire pot, aiding the fire’s progress and dispersing heat throughout the appliance. 

The fan blows the wood dust that comes out of the auger around the base of the grill. Remove any sawdust built up in the grill’s base over time to avoid a potential fire hazard. 

By creating a new fire pot, Weber solved this issue. The fire pots on the Smokefire have holes in their bottoms that allow any dust from the auger to fall into the grease tray. Because of this, the Weber Smokefire should work more safely because of the reduced dust blown through the grill.

Traeger’s grease and sawdust management systems perform well when the grill is cleaned regularly. 

Weber knew that most people don’t clean their grills often enough because they don’t like doing it. As a result, Weber designed a system that requires less cleaning.

Grease Management

Most pellet grills have a vast heat deflector/grease tray where grease is collected between the grate and the fire pot. It’s a good idea to use this type of grease management technique. 

In contrast, Weber’s approach to controlling grease is based on the way Weber gas grills deal with the same component. There is a stainless steel Flavorizer bar that partially vaporizes the grease that drips into the firebox of the Smokefire grill.

A Traeger collects grease above the flames, whereas a Weber collects grease below the flames. Traeger made this modification to avoid a grease fire.

Grease fires are rare in pellet grills, although they can occur if the grills aren’t cleaned frequently enough.

On the Smokefire, using Flavorizer bars doesn’t seem like a good idea. 

Grease fires and uneven temperature distribution on the cooking surface are two significant issues some users have encountered with the Smokefire. In particular, the right side of the grill gets much hotter than the left side.

What Are the Benefits of a Pellet Grill?

For one thing, pellet grills utilize a combination of electricity and wood pellets for heat. 

Powered by an electric auger, the fire pot in the grill is filled with wood pellets, which are then burned. Pellet grills can achieve a set-it-and-forget-it feature missing from other grills. 

You must ensure the pellet hopper is filled, set the temperature on the control panel, and then sit back and relax.

When employed at low and slow cooking temperatures, the pellets smoke and smolder, emulating grilling flavors over wood or charcoal. 

You can use them even at greater temperatures; however, most manufacturers only go as high as 400°F or 500°F. 

However, using heat deflector plates on pellet grills avoids direct searing and grill marks, unlike gas grills, which often have a maximum temperature of 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

About Traeger

Traeger Pellet Grills

Traeger is a well-known manufacturer of wood pellet-powered smokers and barbecues. The company produces no gas or electric grills.

Pellet grills were popular during the 1973 oil crisis. Keeping a house warm without breaking the bank was a top issue. 

Jerry Whitefield and Joe Traeger used to work on stoves that ran on pellets at this point in their careers. Despite their classic appearance, the stoves were powered by electricity. Joe Traeger invented the pellet grill in 1985. In 1986, he patented it. Convection cooking became popular after the advent of these stoves.

Traeger is the way to go if you’re looking for versatility and ease of use. Gas grills, charcoal smokers, and kitchen ovens come together in their products. Various items can be baked or grilled using the control panels on each device.

The products can automatically manage the airflow throughout feeding a fire with wood pellets. For a variety of cooking purposes, this is an essential feature.

Wood pellets are capsules formed from compressed sawdust that are the size of a small eraser. They are a renewable source of energy. The side of the grill has a hopper. Additionally, it’s used as a fire pit.

Pellets are simple to add to the grill, making it simple to control the temperature. Deflector plates keep grease from getting on your meals. A flare-up is also prevented.

About Weber

weber grill logo

The Weber is a well-known outdoor cooking and grilling brand because it has been around for so long.

It was one of the first brands to make high-quality grills.

George Stephen, the man who founded the company, invented Weber grills. He created the first BBQ kettle in 1893. Stephen adapted the design of the BBQ kettle’s buoys thanks to his previous work in the restaurant industry.

The kettle was an instant success when it first came out. Other brands recognized the influence of the BBQ kettle at the time as well as the demand for it. 

Weber is the way to go if you’re looking for a long-lasting and easy grill. 

You can cook various foods on Weber grills. These grills distribute heat evenly, ensuring that food is cooked to perfection. 

Conclusion

My thoughts on the Traeger vs. Weber Grills discussion are as follows: There’s no denying that Weber has studied Traeger grills’ feature set and capabilities, and they wanted to provide more. 

As a result, Weber grills have a larger cooking surface, a larger pellet hopper, and a greater maximum cooking temperature. But I think the way the Weber SmokeFire grills are made shows that Weber wasn’t fully ready for how different burning wood pellets is from burning gas.

I believe Traeger continues to provide better wood pellet grills in the Traeger vs. Weber debate.