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How To Shut Down Traeger Smoker? (Explained)

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Traeger grills don’t shut off like a regular BBQ by simply cutting off the gas supply and then turning the dial to the OFF position. Instead, they have a specific shutdown procedure that should be followed every time.

Not only does this follow the manufacturer’s advised approach to a safe shutdown of the grill, it also insures the maximum safety approach as well. 

How to Shut Down Traeger Smoker

The procedure varies a bit depending on whether one has a WiFIRE Traeger or a non-WiFIRE unit. For the WiFIRE model, the Traeger can be shutdown either through its own controller or by using the App control.

For the first option, the grill will have a built-in standby button. Press this and hold it for at least three seconds and then the Traeger will go into its own mode to shut off and cool down.

On the other hand, if the model doesn’t have a button at all, then the shutdown is initiated with the selection knob being pressed, hold that for three seconds and the same cycle will start and go into cool off mode. 

The app approach assumes you have downloaded the Traeger app to your mobile device and have it ready.

Open up the app on your device and select the grill banner. It shows at the bottom of the app.

The shutdown button will appear, and you then need to tap it.

A confirm option will occur, and you need to select and hold the fire button while dragging it into the confirm field. This will initiate the shutdown cycle from the app to the Traeger. 

How Long Does a Traeger Take to Shut Down?

For a typical WiFIRE Traeger model, one can expect the shutdown cycle to run anywhere from a short span of 15 minutes to a bit longer end of the spectrum near a half hour.

The variation is due to whatever temperature the Traeger was cooking at before the shutdown was initiated.

When everything is done and finished and the cool down is complete, the Traeger will prime the firepot with pellets, so that they are in place for the next grilling ignition. 

Can You Just Turn a Traeger Off?

In a word, no. Following the right way of shutting down a Traeger grill is essential both for a safe operation as well as maintaining the grill for a long life.

Incorrectly shutting it down can create a high risk for both grill fires, which then means a rapid cooling with water and damage, as well as backburns.

The improper burning can then create hot spots and problems in the Traeger which will create headaches after the fact.

No matter how much has been changed and entirely new pellets used, the damage caused will create temperature fluctuations that throw off the mechanism repeatedly after the fact. 

What is a Backburn Specifically?

Essentially, a backburn is when the pellets start burning in the wrong part of the grill. Pellets are loaded and ready to feed via the auger.

When they ignite inside this mechanism, which is not where that should occur, it starts to create heat damage to the auger.

Based on the flame damage, the auger itself can end up warping, jamming up with more pellets on fire, and eventually it can all contribute to a big giant grill fire that’s out of control. 

Final Thoughts With a Traeger Shutdown

Until the Traeger is completely cooled off to the touch and not operating with any kind of heat or ignition, the model should be monitored and not left alone.

Because of the fact that it has wood pellets in it, the Traeger can still light up again if something malfunctions.

That could turn into a grill fire if not noticed in time to deal with the matter. BBQ and grill fires are notorious for causing home damage and similar problems when left alone and unmonitored, especially if the unit is parked next to a house wall or under an awning or similar.

Always practice safe grill cooking with both a fire extinguisher nearby or a primed hose, as well as making sure the grill is completely off and cold before leaving it alone.