Traeger 575 Pro WiFi Pellet Grill and Smoker Review

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by purr1n, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Got one of those fancy Traeger pellet grill / smoker with WiFi. As I mentioned in the profile posts, this is cheating. It's impossible for fuck up, at least for this type of grilling / smoking. Some say this is sacrilegious. I would have said so myself if I were younger. However, I'm too old now to learn the intricacies of a new grill and just don't have the energy to use my Force BBQ skills. There are still certain aspects of the Egg which I miss, such as being able to smoke the shit outta the entire neighborhood, but the Traeger is a million times easier. I don't have to replenish fuel, I don't have to deal with a water pan, I don't have to use the Force to control the temps, I don't have to check with a thermometer several times during a long cook. The pellet grill does it all.

    The most difficult things (still easy) with the Traeger 575 Pro: calibrating the temperature probe and getting a nice low temp for a "super" smoke - which just involves the need to wait until the evening when ambient temps lower (otherwise hard to get below 200F). I calibrated the probe using the Force using chicken and beef, knowing how the meat is supposed to be like at 165F and 135F respectively when I take the temps manually. In the end, I opted for -4F calibration. For those who prefer science, there is also a procedure involving ice and water and an automatic calibration.

    This below was a screw up. I intended to up the temps to 500 degrees and then drop it down to 225. Well, I got stuck in two meetings for work and kinda forgot about it. I thought I had burnt it, but nope - quite juicy and perfect for the meat. A little burnt on the skin near the wings, but the rest is quite good.

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    I dislike chickens which are too juicy. In a prior attempt, I used an open beer can to prop up the chicken and it came out way too moist. This time I actually split the chicken in two halves. This tells me that the Traeger has powahs that can seal in the moisture. I'm sure the more humid weather in Corpus helps too.

    Here is the secret behind the Traeger - no direct heat. This saved my ass in this situation.

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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    As I said cheating. The grill drops pellets, of which there are many wood flavors (blends, apples, mesquite, hickory, etc.), to maintain the desired temperature. An alarm can be set when the meat probe hits a certain temperature. The grill communicates to Traeger's servers in the cloud, and then beams the information to my phone.

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    I can adjust temperatures and alarms remotely, away from home. I can shut down or put the grill into warm mode. The only thing I cannot do is start the grill remotely. Starting the grill requires me to be at home.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    This is so incredibly easy and brain dead that after only three items: 2 chickens and 1 tri-tip, I've decided to go for the mother of all smoked meat. I have absolutely confidence that I cannot fuck up a 10lbs brisket. I am unsure if I will even need the butcher paper considering how well the grill seals in moisture. We'll see how much a bark I will get as I progress. I'm not a big bark person with brisket anyway so I may end up wrapping it when the meat hits 165F.

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    To be continued.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    LOL, the stall is real. Been seeing the temps flipping between 155-157 for the last several hours.
     
  5. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    Please and thank you for Pics and an update. I use an SnS kamado most of the time (a different flavor of the BGE). I seem to add a grill every 2 or 3 years, and a decent pellet grill is on the short list, for all the reasons you list. I love playing with fire, but sometimes it’s just a pia. Set and forget has strong appeal.
     
  6. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Started with a classic Weber, and then bought a cheap Kamado, and then I was gifted a lightly used pellet grill (Pit Boss Austin XL). And after two years of using mostly pellets, I strongly suggest anyone shopping for a gas grill to give pellet grilling a try. It's much more versatile, and dead EASY. And if you're still scurred, buy from a place like Costco with a generous return policy... (Traeger has sales people basically living at Costco...).

    Pellet grilling definitely does feel like cheating, I imagine in the same way that digital streaming does compared to vinyl. I've since given the Weber and Kamado away to friends, and I bought a barrel cooker for the occasional cook where I want a bit more control over the smoke... but 90% of the time, it is just set, forget, and feast with the pellet grill.

    EDIT: Probably my technique - but I've never been quite satisfied with my Briskets off the pellet. Good texture, just never enough smoke for me. Curious how @purr1n and other Pellet users have fared there....
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    The brisket took about 17 hours to get to 202. At about 14-15 hours I felt it was going a bit slow, so I bumped up the heat to 275 to finish it off. I wasn't worried about it being too dry because it was wrapped in butcher paper.

    The stall started to happen around 155, so that's when I wrapped it. I also poured a bit of beer from the can that I used for the beer-can chicken on the brisket before I wrapped it.

    It didn't quite turn out with the heavy bark, but that's OK. I'll know how to do it next time and maybe finish it off the last hour with the brisket taken out of the butcher paper.

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    If I did make a mistake, it was only waiting 1 hour until I sliced it. I should have waited 2 hours, or maybe 4. The ends of the flat were a bit dry initially - but turned out to be great later until after I stuffed the entire thing into a tupperware container where the juices were able to continue redistributing. The main issue was really that that I couldn't slice the meat cleanly without it cooling more.

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    Note the point (the fattier and better portion IMO) is sliced the other way - the gain of the meat changes at the point. I started slicing at the flat until I noticed that I went just a bit too far into the point (the knife will tell you).

    We gave 4 slices away to neighbors. I am betting we won't finish it all. The rest will be made into brisket chili. To be continued.

    P.S.

    I forgot to mention: Yeah, this is by far the most brain-dead lazy advanced BBQ I've ever had the pleasure of making. I did get worried because this was taking longer than usual. I've read that this is how brisket is. Sometimes it's 12 hours, sometimes 18. The key is to be patient and trust the Traeger. Neighbors were impressed. No - not all Texans smoke their own brisket - but all Texans sure enjoy it, whether it be the flat or the point.

    Some future ideas:
    • Inject the meat with beer, broth, whatever, and smoke the darn thing uncovered
    • Don't inject anything, don't pour beer on it, but wrap in aluminum foil (for that super wet juicy brisket)
    • Smoke longer at 180 initially. I started off the bat at 225, so the smoke ring I got was faint. The is mostly a cosmetic thing. Really, the first few hours until the stall at 155 is the smoking stage.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021

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