Skip to Content

Traeger Getting Hotter Than Its’ Setting? Here’s What To Do

Sharing is caring!

Many scenarios can cause Traeger grills to get hotter than the setting. These are the primary causes: the hot rod is going bad, filthy grill and corroded components, or the controller may go out. We will look into reasons and solutions for why the grill is getting overheated and what to do about it. 

Before continuing this article, I wanted to let you know that I have a YouTube channel where I showcase all sorts of video content related to BBQ. Subscribing would mean a lot to me, and I very much appreicate all the support!

Why is My Traeger Getting Too Hot?

The primary reasons why your Traeger grill is too hot are poor cooking habits or dirty/corroded components. Other possible causes include water in the drip pan (i.e., boiling over), too much lump coal (increases temp of firepot but decreases overall heat output of grill), or dirty grates (reduce airflow to firepot).

You can determine if the controller is going bad by testing it with an inexpensive temperature probe available at most home improvement stores; they usually run less than $10. 

What Should I Do If My Traeger Is Getting Too Hot?

Check these things before increasing the cook-temp if your Traeger grill has gotten hotter than expected. Make sure the wiring to the hot rod is not out of place or corroded.

Clean the grates and firepot, so it does not have too much lump coal, check for water in the drip pan, and use a temperature probe on the grill to ensure controller accuracy.

Check for air leaks by placing a metal bowl on the grill to measure the temperature or placing a small piece of cardboard between the lid and firepot. Also, make sure your Traeger grill has the latest firmware update installed.

The best thing you can do to save money is to use less coal. If you are experiencing problems with hot spots, try spreading out your coal bed, so it isn’t all in one clump.

This will increase airflow, allowing the coal to combust more evenly. If your Traeger or pellet smoker seems too hot at high temperatures, close down the intake vent partially to use less coal.

The trick is finding how much ventilation works best in each temperature range.

To prevent overshooting the target temp when opening/closing vents, wrap 2 fingers around the top vent damper. This causes the same amount of airflow but is much less noticeable to guests inside or outside.

Lastly, if your Traeger or pellet smoker seems too hot at high temperatures, close down the intake vent partially to use less coal and decrease the amount required by 25%.

The trick is finding how much ventilation works best at each temperature range. For more information on troubleshooting your Traeger or pellet grill, the Traeger website has more advice, or you can contact the Customer Service Hotline.

How Do You Adjust The Temperature On A Traeger Grill?

First, let’s talk about adjusting the temperature on a Traeger grill. If you are new to pellet grills, this is essential information…

The first thing to understand about your Traeger grill is that it has one or more venturi tubes connecting the firepot and the hopper/chamber.

The purpose of these tubes is twofold: to supply fresh oxygen directly into the firepot while also restricting airflow to control temperature.

Not only do these vents control the airflow, but they also provide an additional safety feature by relieving pressure should anything block them or clog them so that the hopper does not explode. 

To adjust your Traeger grill, first, remove the ash dump pan and then open both ends of the firepot to increase airflow (decrease setting).

To decrease airflow (increase setting), reverse this procedure by closing one end of each tube at a time, allowing you to fine-tune temperature control with greater precision than other pellet grills on the market.

The sear station function can often give users false-positive indicators that the Traeger grill is getting hotter than expected because of wind (i.e., howling sound), but this will simply affect cooking time rather than performance.

If you are experiencing this symptom, re-check all components listed above before increasing the cook-temp to compensate for perceived temperature inadequacies.

Traeger Temperature Range

The Traeger temperature range is 160-500 degrees, depending on the model. The controller controls temperature by controlling airflow through each tube independently, allowing you to precisely control your cooking temperature down to a degree.

The venturi tubes provide additional safety by relieving pressure should anything block them or clog them so that the hopper does not explode, just like the vents.

Final Thoughts

These are the primary reasons your Traeger grill is too hot and what you should do about it. Always make sure to check for a dirty or corroded firepot before increasing the cook-temp.

This will significantly reduce the overall airflow of your grill, which could hurt performance. If you follow these basic guidelines when cooking with your Traeger, there shouldn’t be any issues with temperature fluctuations that exceed desired ranges.

This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of 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.

He primarily hand writes the bulk of the content but occasionally will leverage AI assisted tools, such as chatGPT, to properly edit and format each blog post on this website. This ensures a pleasurable reading experience for visitors. Read more about our editorial policies here. If there are any improvements that can be made to this article, reach out to us directly at