How Much Smoke Does A Traeger Produce?
The amount of smoke a Traeger makes is often in direct proportion to the target temperature. You will generally get more smoke production at lower temperatures of around 225 degrees, and less smoke production at hotter temperatures above 350.
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The amount of smoke a Traeger makes matters most when you are smoking meat slow and low for things like classic barbecue. When you turn the temperature up to 350 degrees or more the decreased smoke production doesn’t matter as much as things like steaks and chops cook relatively quickly.
If you need to increase the amount of smoke your Traeger makes, you might want to try using the Super Smoke feature or preheating it at 180 to 225 degrees. This creates more of a smoldering effect that boosts smoke density.
You can then maintain and control the smoke level better by covering the Traeger with an insulated grill blanket. If it’s a windy day, moving your Traeger to a more sheltered location will also help you better control the smoke density inside the chamber.
If you need to quickly reduce the amount of smoke the Traeger produces, you can simply open the lid or leave it slightly cracked. Though this might affect heat control. Also, note that the higher you set a Traeger’s target temperature the less smoke the firepot produces.
The amount of smoke you want to see coming out of your Traeger can vary depending on the applications.
If you are slow smoking a classic piece of barbecue meat like a Boston butt pork shoulder, you want robust smoke density. This manifests as wisps of smoke that escape even from the tightly closed edges of the lid.
If you are grilling meat over high heat, like steak and chops, the volume of smoke doesn’t matter enough. Though even with the short cook time, steaks and chops will still benefit from gentle wisps of smoke escaping the lid when you open it.
Does the Amount of Smoke Matter in a Traeger?
When you’re slow smoking something like a Boston butt pork shoulder or a brisket the thick smoke density created by a Traeger at low temperatures matters a lot.
Not only does it impart flavor to the meat, but it also helps render fat and collagen to create succulent classical barbecue.
When you start grilling things like steaks, chops, and burgers at higher temperatures of 350 to 400 degrees, the modest smoke production of a Traeger matters less. Most of the time these cuts cook in mere minutes, so they have little time to pick up a ton of smoky flavor.
Can You Control the Amount of Smoke?
Using an insulated grill blanket and positioning your Traeger out of the wind will give you greater control over the amount of smoke inside the chamber.
Setting the target temperature, a little lower and grilling for a slightly longer time will also boost smoke density.
How to Increase Smoke in a Traeger
Taking extra time to preheat your Traeger at a low temperature around 180 degrees or using the Super Smoke feature before turning it up will give you greater smoke density.
You can also optimize the smoke density inside the Traeger’s chamber by covering the grill in an insulated grill blanket. This helps trap heat as well as reduce smoke leaks.
How to Decrease Smoke in a Traeger?
The easiest way to decrease smoke in a Traeger is simply to open the lid or crack the lid to let smoke escape.
Setting a slightly higher target temperature will also reduce the amount of smoke a Traeger creates. Though it might not be ideal for some tough or bone-in cuts of meat that need a longer cooking time to become tender.
How Much Smoke Should Be Coming Out of My Pellet Smoker?
The volume of smoke that should be coming out of your Traeger grill will vary depending on the target temp and cook time.
When you’re using slow-and-low classic barbecue temperatures around 225 degrees, smoke density is very important. Ideally, the inside of the chamber should be nearly opaque with smoke and wisps still manage to escape from the edges of the closed lid.
When you are grilling with higher temps over 350 degrees for doing things like searing steaks, chops, or burgers a high volume of smoke isn’t as important. A modest waft of smoke inside the Traeger’s chamber is usually sufficient to add a smoky flavor, even with a shorter cook time.
The target temperature and the exterior conditions are two of the biggest factors affecting the amount of smoke a Traeger grill produces.
Lower temperatures around 225 degrees to 250 degrees tend to give you the most smoke density. This matters a lot for long smoking sessions where you want the smoke to saturate into a piece of meat like a pork shoulder or brisket.
As you start to turn the temperature of the Traeger up to 350 to 400 degrees, you’ll notice less smoke production. Though these higher temperatures are generally used to sear off steaks and chops, which have a relatively short cooking time and less smoking flavor.
You can get a greater volume of smoke and more smoke control by using a Traeger with the special Super Smoke feature or by preheating your pellet grill at 180 to 225 degrees for 20 minutes. This generates a smoldering effect that boosts smoke density.
Covering your Traeger with an insulated grill blanket and positioning it out of the wind, will also give you better control over the smoke density.
If for some reason your Traeger is producing too much smoke, you can quickly let some out by simply opening and then leaving it slightly cracked. Turning up the temperature will also reduce the smoke production, as hotter fires tend to smolder less as they burn vigorously.
The amount of smoke you should see coming out of your Traeger will depend on the target temperature and the application.
For slow-and-low smoking something like Boston butt pork shoulder, you want to see as much smoke as possible. This includes deep smoke inside the chamber as well as wisps of smoke escaping from the lid when closed.
In a scenario where you are grilling over high heat, with relatively short cook times, smoke density doesn’t matter as much. Though you still want to see a modest cloud of smoke inside the chamber when you open it to check the meat.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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