Food cooks on a Traeger TIMBERLINE 1300 wood pellet grill.

Traeger Brings the Heat to Pellet Grills

Corn is pulled off a Traeger PRO series grill.

Traeger has dominated the pellet grill market for decades and has soared to the top of every Fathers Day list year after year. They’ve become known for quality wood pellet grills with the most unmatched advanced technology on the market. But they didn’t pop up overnight. So, how did they become an industry leader? A couple of factors went into them dominating the smoker market. 

Trager Pellet Grills has been around since the mid-80s, but it wasn’t until the early 2010s they experienced a boom. During that time, home smoking meats became all the rage, and everybody was looking to jump in. At the same time, Traeger was going through a regime change and re-branding from a new CEO and ownership group. After the re-branding in 2014, Traeger went from a niche following amongst a rabid fanbase to being one of the most recognizable grill brands in the industry.

Traeger Grills

Lineup of Traeger wood pellet grills.

Traeger offers four different classes of wood pellet grills that can cover any wallet and desires of any Traeger offers four different classes of wood pellet grills that can cover any wallet and desires of any barbecue enthusiast. First is the TAILGATER series, which is built to be more portable for when you want to haul your grill to the campsite or a friend’s house. Next level up from the TAILGATER is the PRO series which is more of an entry-level stationary option with a larger size. 

A step above the PRO series is the newest Traeger grill, the IRONWOOD series, with even larger sizes and additional technology such as DownDraft Exhaust and TRU Convection. The top-of-the-line series is the TIMBERLINE which is like the Rolls Royce of wood pellet grills. It features the best tech and the largest sizes for maximum cooking capacity.

Traeger Features

Several types of food cooking on a Traeger IRONWOOD 885 wood pellet grill.

All of Traeger’s grills live by their patented Set-It & Forget-It mantra that allows for simple, oven-like controls that make smoking a stress-free, fun experience. Their grills are capable of so much more than just smoking; they can grill, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue, so you can slow-cook a brisket and finish off your meal with an apple pie all on one grill.

Each series has its own personal features that set them apart from the others. The TAILGATER features a Digital Arc Controller that allows for 5-degree increments when setting temperature. The series also includes Keep Warm Mode, which holds the internal temperature at 165 degrees for when you don’t plan on eating right away.

The PRO series builds on the TAILGATER with a Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic that keeps temperatures within 15 degrees for more precise grilling. It also adds a meat probe and an extra grill rack for increased versatility. Some models of the PRO series feature Traeger’s cutting-edge WiFIRE technology.

The IRONWOOD series features double-side wall insulation for greater heat retention, D2 Direct drive train with TurboTemp technology, and an adjustable two-tier grate system. Finally, the TIMBERLINE series brings all the bells and whistles. The series features a magnetic bamboo cutting board, a fully stainless-steel interior, a stainless steel front shelf, and a concealed grease pan.

Traeger Advanced Technology

A man checks the temperature of his Traeger grill on their app using WiFIRE technology.

Technology is where Traeger sets itself apart from all the other pellet grills on the market and puts them at the head of the class. Their revolutionary features seem simple enough but create a level of convenience you can’t find anywhere else. 

The crowning achievement of Traeger is the WiFIRE technology that’s found in every series except the TAILGATER. The WiFIRE controller uses the TRAEGER app to connect directly to your smartphone so you can monitor food temps, change the temperature of your grill, and add smoke without getting up from your couch. WiFIRE technology also features connectivity with your Apple Watch for added convenience.

Traeger DownDraft Exhaust system on an IRONWOOD grill.

Other advancements over the years have included Super Smoke Mode, TRU Convection System, Traeger Pellet Sensor, and DownDraft Exhaust. The Super Smoke Mode increases the amount of smoke being produced with the push of a button, so you get the maximum smoke flavor. The TRU Convection System creates a vortex of heat and smoke that allows for a faster cook. For a complete flavor, the DownDraft Exhaust System keeps fresh smoke flowing over the food. Lastly, the Traeger Pellet Sensor allows you to monitor pellet levels in the Traeger app so you can check when you’re running low.

Shop all of Traeger’s grills and accessories, including covers, shelves, pellets, BBQ rubs, and more at Acme Tools.

Smoked Shotgun Shells

Recipe by Acme ToolsDifficulty: Low


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A hearty, smoky main course that goes great at any family barbecue along with all your favorite sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans.



  • Take 1 lb of ground pork, mix in ¼ cup cheddar cheese, ¼ chopped white onion, and ¼ cup diced jalapenos. Repeat for each pound of ground pork. (1 lb of mix will yield approximately 10 stuffed shells if you’re cooking for a smaller group)
  • Once mixed, stuff manicotti shells full by hand.
  • Wrap the entire stuffed manicotti shell with 1 strip of bacon. Thin-cut bacon will work best.
  • Set on a tray, once all shells have been prepped. Season stuffed shells with Traeger seasoning mix and then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While your shotgun shells are cooling, start your Traeger & set the temperature to 250 degrees. Once shells are chilled and Traeger has reached desired temp, load up your grill with all the shotgun shells.
  • The shotgun shells are fully cooked when the bacon is crispy – you will also want to check the temperature of the ground pork mix inside of the shells – 160 degrees is a safe temperature. The fat from the bacon cooks the outside of the noodle, while the pork stuffed inside will cook the interior, creating a perfect al dente noodle.
  • Once your pork has reached 160-170 degrees, apply BBQ sauce heavily across all shells allowing the sauce to drip down the sides. Cook for another 15 minutes. Apply a second, final coat of BBQ sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from Traeger & enjoy with your favorite BBQ sides!

Recipe Video

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