My Traeger Story

Traeger Grills Pro Series 34

Several years (like twelve or more) ago I was running around town with my brother doing errands. We happened to stop at a local propane place that sold barbecues. My brother was getting a propane tank refilled and I was browsing and the showroom, killing time and admiring the grills. I came across this unique looking grill with a little chimney. I knew nothing about the grill, the brand and to be honest knew very little about about barbecue. Though, I knew nothing about this grill, there was one thing I did know. I must have it.

At that time I had just started a family and was a new homeowner. I think I had purchased a cheap gas grill from a big box store with ambitions of one day owning a big shinny grill that looked like the front end of a Cadillac. Though, I was certain I needed this grill, I looked at the price and couldn’t justify the purchase with all my other newly financial responsibilities. I left the store that day and thought to myself “one day I will own that grill.” I was so in awe with the grill I didn’t get the manufactures name, but knew where I could find it when I was ready. Needless to say I never returned to that place and purchased that grill.

Several years later I was at work in a team briefing and when my supervisor started talking about a new Barbecue he just purchased. He was raving about how good the food tasted and how easy it was to use. I thought I was the BBQ king of the cul-de-sac and obviously this caught my attention. He called this grill a Traeger and described it has having a little chimney. I immediately knew this grill he was speaking of was the same grill I was admiring several years earlier. We listened to him rave about that Traeger for several weeks, which caused another one of the team members to purchase a Traeger.

For the next several weeks I listened to these two compare dinners and rant about how amazing their Traeger’s were. These conversations made it sound like the Traeger was the BBQ’s best-kept secret. It sounded like they were part of a barbecue secret society and I was certain I wanted into the club.

My family had grown along with other hobbies and interest. Again, I could not justify the purchase and have been in pursuit of a Traeger ever since.

Fast-forward several years and it’s 2016. I was in a completely different place in life. I had changed employers, my oldest was a teen and the other was not far behind. I had just purchased a new home and was certain about one thing. I was spoiling myself to a Treager.

I still knew very little about the grill, the brand or how it operated. Now, I thought I was king of the hill when it came to BBQ and had perfected grilling over an open flame. I thought to myself how different could it be than what I was used to. I did a little research on the grill and learned there was a hopper that fed the small wooden pellets into a firepot, which fueled the grill. I knew this was my one and only opportunity to by the grill of my dreams and like any badass I wanted the biggest one. My pursuit of the Traeger came to an end I bought a Pro Series 34.

I purchased my Traeger from because there was no sales tax and it shipped for free. My Traeger was delivered by a freight company on a pallet wrapped and cellophane. The grill was packaging nicely and assembly was fairly simple.

I got my Traeger put together and relocated it to my back deck. I filled the hopper up with pellets, plugged it in and fired it up. Within a few minutes blue smoke started to roll and the aroma of wood fire filled the air. I closed the lid and “seasoned” the grill as instructed.

After and grill was seasoned it was time to get cooking. I was ready to grill some nice Ribeye steaks over a wood fire flame. I heated the Traeger up, opened the lid and was excited to sear these slabs of beef over a wood fire flame. I tossed the steaks on, left the lid open and could not wait to dig into dinner. To my surprise the steaks did not grill, sizzle or pop like I was use to on a gas grill.

After several minutes it was evident the steaks were not going to cook with the lid open. I closed and the lid and cooked the steaks at 225 degrees. Needless to say these behemoths didn’t cook like I had imagined. After what felt like an eternity the steaks looked finished. They were a little overcooked for my liking but tasted phenomenal.

The following night I was excited to grill some burgers. Again I started the grill, beautiful blue smoked filled the air and the grill was set to 225 degrees. Again it took forever for the burgers finish cooking and it was another late dinner with cold fries. The burger patty tasted great, however, I was over late night dinners. I was also struggling and with and simple use of the grill. There was no monitoring the food; flare-ups, flipping and it did not feel like the grilling I was use to. This really bothered me and I felt like I was cheating.

I couldn’t help but to ask myself if I had made a financial mistake when I purchased this grill. I hated this Treager I had been pursuing for so many years and want to dropkick it off the back deck.

I refused to let this investment waste away on my back deck and rot away in the elements. This is when I started to study BBQ and the art of wood fire cooking. I quickly learned there was a learning curve to Traeger wood fire cooking and I had previously known nothing about barbecue. I stuck with it and studied barbecue day in and day out. I soon started to produce great looking and tasting barbecue that my family raved about.

I been religiously using my Traeger grill just about everyday for the past sixteen months and wouldn’t have it any other way. I make breakfast, baked deserts, baked bread and cooking just about everything on my Treager grill. I recently acquired and a second Traeger Grill and in the market for a Timberline.

I now share my Traeger made contraptions on Instagram on a daily basis (@freedomsohard). My Traeger has led me down a path that I never imagined. I now know barbecue, understand internal temps, carry over cooking and much more. My Traeger has introduced and to people whom I have formed friendships with and talked to everyday. Needless to say barbecue is a bog part of my everyday life and I would have it any other way.

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Smoking temperatures are between 180 -250 degrees.



Cook to internal temperature and not to times.



Take notes and learn from each cook.