How to Clean a Fire Pit on a Traeger Grill
Traeger grills have become nationally known and incredibly popular for their ease of use. In addition, very little clean up is involved using these barbecue grills. But it’s very important that for your Traeger to keep functioning properly, it’s got to stay clean so you can continue enjoy the rich taste of barbecue for years to come.
Let’s delve deeper into how to effectively clean your Traeger grill.
Why do you need to clean a fire pit on a Traeger?
Because the Traeger grill is a non-charcoal burning grill and so easy to use, cleanup can be easily forgotten. Mainly because most people who have switched to Traegers from charcoal grilling enjoy the ease of use.
Especially no more lugging around of big, hulking bags of charcoal. In fact, the pellets used on a Traeger go much farther and are much lighter than any brick of charcoal.
But…the key here to remember is that the wood pellets still burn, which means there’s going to be a slight bit of ash residue left over after you go through them.
Granted, it’s much smaller than the residue left over from charcoal grilling, but that can easily grow into a mountain of ash if left unchecked.
That can wreak havoc on your grill if not tended to.
So, it’s important to clean and clear the fire pit on your Traeger so the pellets can burn cleanly, and you aren’t clogging the fire pit.
Therefore, you’ll need to really try and take care of your grill in order to enjoy it for the long term.
What does the fire pit on a Traeger do for a Traeger?
The fire pit itself is a small, convection style box that allows the pellets to ignite and burn slowly. As they burn, they release a particular amount of controlled heat that’s carefully directed to evenly distribute heat in the right places so it cooks evenly.
Now, it doesn’t matter how great the induction is in the grill if the heat source isn’t working the way it should.
If that heating element is blocked, then the heat from it won’t transport to the cooking area which will leave you with improperly cooked food and even some raw or uneven spots. No one wants that! That’s why it’s important to clean your heating element often.
How often should you clean the firebox on a Traeger grill?
The manufacturer recommends cleaning the firebox on a Traeger every three to five grill sessions. Now, this could be stretched out every 3-4 weekends. Why? Because most people grill on the weekends when the weather permits.
(Some people can often grill much more so you’ll have to adjust your schedule accordingly based on your use.)
But as a rule of thumb, you’ll want to clean your grill every 3 to 5 sessions. The main reasons why are simple – airflow, airflow, and airflow. If you clean the fire box, you’ll keep the heat element healthy and its ability to produce and circulate heat won’t diminish.
More so, you’ll also want to clean the exhaust pipe of the grill to ensure that as you cook, you can maintain the heat you release as well so you aren’t undercooking your food.
How to Clean the Fire Pit On Your Traeger
First, unplug your grill. I know that’s kind of a given, but it’s very important. Next, pull the grates and remove the heat baffles. You do this so you can get to the very heart of the Traeger, the firepot.
Once you’re able to see straight to the bottom, you’ll want to examine the inside and outside of the fire pit very closely. The reason why is you’ll want to see just how much debris and ash can collect there so you have a good estimation of how often you’ll need to clean your grill.
Once you’re looking at the firepot, you’ll want to get a dry cloth or some sort of fine clean abrasive pad so you can go around the top and the inside of the fire pot. This way you can clean it without scratching the interior of the fire pot and possibly damaging the way heat is dispersed through the grill.
One of the best tools you can use? A shop vacuum.
It allows you to get around the outside of the grill and the interior of the fire pot without causing much damage. It also focuses directly on removing the ash, which is what you want.
Take care not to vacuum the pellets directly out of the auger, however. There’s no need. They’re ready to go for the next cook. Ensure you clean as much of it out as you can, because again…it’s ash.
You’ll want to ensure you’re cooking with clean heat, not dirty ash in your grill.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll reassemble the grill, plug it in, and you’ll be ready to go.
With the inception of pellet grills, grilling has become much more enjoyable and easier to clean. Please remember however…just as you would put some elbow grease on your own charcoal grill, your Traeger needs the same amount, if not more care.
Take care of the grill and it will be around for years to entertain and fill your friends and family.