Can A Traeger Get Wet?
If you’re into barbecuing, then you’re probably familiar with Traeger’s line of pellet grills. Traeger grills are popular for a variety of reasons, and one of the main reasons is that foods get a smokey taste and smell when they’re grilled on a Traeger.
A Traeger grill performs best when it’s slow-cooking chicken, brisket, or ribs, and while some allow for open-flame cooking, others are electric and therefore possess no flame at all. Most grillers in the U.S. use electric pellet grills, but there are some notable benefits associated with cooking over an open flame.
Since Traeger open-flame pellet grills are popular, owners and potential owners have a lot of questions about these grills. One of the most common questions is: “Can a Traeger get wet?” It makes sense that this is a common question, as there may be times when a griller wants to cook out in the rain. This article explains the answer!
You should avoid using a Traeger pellet grill in the rain, and generally speaking, you should avoid getting this grill wet. Getting a Traeger pellet grill wet can result in a lot of undesirable consequences. If you want to use a Traeger in the rain, it’s best to grill under some kind of covered structure so there’s some protection.
Is a Traeger Water-Resistant?
Grilling is not always done in the sunshine. And these days, because of how grills are constructed, you don’t have to worry about rain preventing a good grilling experience from happening.
However, this doesn’t mean a grill that gets totally drenched will still work fine. Every grill has its limits, and if these devices were totally water-resistant, then you’d be able to grill underwater.
And with Traeger grills, there’s usually more concern about water exposure, as these grills make use of wood pellet burning. But Traeger pellet grills are constructed with rain in mind, and the following feature is particularly attractive:
The grill is constructed so there’s 60-degree vertical protection. This means that a grill will be able to hold up in a light drizzle, but if it’s sitting next to a sprinkler—that’s a different story.
One must consider, however, that 60-degree vertical protection is not complete protection, and therefore if it’s starting to downpour, the 60-degree protection will be futile. For this reason, when it comes to grilling in the rain, you need to use your judgment.
Can You Use a Traeger in the Rain?
Throughout a Traeger’s lifespan, several things may cause it to get wet. A Traeger can get wet if it’s near a sprinkler system or a pool, and it can also get wet if somebody spills a drink on it. And there’s always the chance that it could get hit by a stream from the water hose.
But what gets Traeger pellet grills wet most often is—you guessed it—rain. The majority of Traeger grillers have a lot of questions about grilling in the rain, as it’s not totally clear whether or not this is good practice. Back in the day, when Weber gas and charcoal grills were standard, bad weather was inconvenient, but a griller didn’t have to worry about bad weather damaging their grill.
But since pellet grills utilize advanced components and special fuel, there’s more concern about what rain does to these grills. Thankfully, Traeger has come out with a somewhat conclusive answer for its loyal customers.
What Traeger Says About Using Their Grills in the Rain
When browsing through a Traeger owner’s manual online, I found many safety warnings relating to carbon monoxide, grease fires, and burns, but there wasn’t any mention of rain. I thought this was strange, but I kept reading. Eventually, when I got to the maintenance section of the owner’s manual, I found this point about outside storage:
“OUTSIDE STORAGE: CAUTION! If the grill is stored outside during the rainy season, care should be taken to ensure that water does not get into the pellet hopper. Wood pellets expand greatly when wet and will jam your auger. Always cover your grill when not in use with the Traeger grill cover. This custom-fit cover can be purchased at traegergrills.com.”
There’s also an FAQ article on Traeger’s Canadian website, wherein it says a Traeger pellet grill can be used in light rain. But light rain is a pretty subjective term. Moreover, it’s not made clear why the grill can be used in light rain but not in heavy rain.
Advice From Traeger Customer Support
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s OK to use a Traeger in a drizzle, as here there’s no heavy volume of rain coming down—it’s more like a mist. But when there are actual droplets coming down—and they’re pooling fast—such can create problems for the Traeger.
One article online discusses an individual who called Traeger’s customer service department to see if they could provide a definitive answer on the rain question. All they could say is that electricity and water should not be mixed, and that it’s best to use a Traeger grill under some kind of covered structure. In regard to the grills that utilize an open flame, they had nothing to say.
Can a Traeger Be Left Outside?
While it’s definitely possible to store a Traeger pellet grill outside, there are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t do this. First, if you want to ensure the grill lasts for a long time, you shouldn’t leave it out where it will be exposed to the elements. If a Traeger grill is subjected to rain and snow routinely, and it doesn’t have any sort of protection, it won’t work for as long as it should, and it may stop working immediately.
Also, if you leave it outside in the sun for a prolonged period, doing so might degrade its finish. Moreover, the components can rust if they’re constantly subjected to rain, and if rusting compromises the grill’s structure, then the electrical components could be exposed. If these components get bombarded with rain, then the system will definitely be inoperable.
If you’re going to leave your Traeger pellet grill outside, you need to have some kind of cover on it, otherwise it won’t stand a chance against the elements. This is true no matter what season it is.
How Can Moisture Exposure Damage a Traeger?
If a Traeger gets overexposed to moisture, a variety of negative consequences can happen. Too much moisture can affect the electrical connection, and if this happens, the Traeger can not only get damaged but become very dangerous as well. This scenario speaks to why all outdoor outlets should have a GFIC protector.
Rain can also destroy the grill’s control panel. While these are supposed to be waterproof, constant sunlight exposure and other factors can cause the plastic to crack. And if water gets through the cracks, the control panel will short circuit and the grill will no longer work.
Another negative consequence of moisture overexposure is pealing paint. However, this issue can also be related to the high temperatures these grills are capable of generating.
What Happens When Traeger Pellets Get Wet?
The number one reason why a Traeger pellet grill should be kept out of the rain is that its fuel source is wood pellets—not electricity or a gas-powered flame. Not only will these pellets refuse to light when they’re damp, if they get swollen with water, they can also jam the grill’s auger, so much so that you may need to get this component replaced.
Once a pellet has swelled, it’ll no longer be good—it’ll just turn to wet sawdust. And even if the hopper is closed, rain can still get in, especially if winds are blowing in all directions.
Can a Traeger Be Used in the Snow?
There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use a Traeger in the snow. It’ll take longer to ignite, the control panel will be harder to read, and reaching a high temperature may be a struggle as well. Plus, since snow is just frozen water, all the problems associated with rain apply to snow as well.
Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.
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