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Traeger grill slow to heat up? Try these tips

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If you own a Traeger grill, you might have experienced issues with it taking longer than expected to heat up. While this can be frustrating, especially when you’re eager to start grilling, it’s essential to understand what might be causing the problem and how to fix it.

In this blog post, we will discuss various reasons why your Traeger might be slow to heat up and provide solutions to help you get back to grilling in no time.

Factors Affecting Traeger Heating Time

Before diving into the solutions, it’s important to note that several factors can affect the heating time of your Traeger grill. These include:

  1. Type of cooking: Smoking typically takes 10-15 minutes to heat up, while direct grilling takes about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Ambient temperature: The heating time can be affected by the surrounding temperature, with colder temperatures leading to longer heating times.
  3. Grill model and age: Older or larger models may take longer to heat up.

Common Reasons for Slow Heating and Their Solutions

Damaged or Malfunctioning Hot Rod

The hot rod is responsible for igniting the wood pellets in your Traeger grill. If it’s damaged or malfunctioning, your grill will have trouble heating up.

To fix this, you can replace the hot rod by following these steps:

  1. Turn off the electricity going to the grill.
  2. Unscrew and remove the connected hopper.
  3. Pull out the grate, drip pan, tray, and firepot.
  4. Unscrew the hot rod screw and remove the hot rod.

Once you’ve replaced the hot rod, your Traeger should return to its original heating performance.

Temperature Probe Issues

A bent or improperly installed temperature probe can cause heating inconsistencies in your Traeger grill.

One user reported that their temperature probe was bent back and touching the sidewall of the grill, leading to slow heating.

To fix this, straighten the probe and ensure it’s properly installed. If the probe is damaged, you may need to replace it.

Incorrect P-Setting

The P-setting on your Traeger grill determines the pellet feed rate, which affects the temperature inside the grill.

If your grill is having trouble reaching high temperatures, changing the P-setting to 1 can help it heat up faster and maintain higher temperatures.

Keep in mind that adjusting the P-setting might not be necessary for all models, and it’s essential to consult your grill’s user manual before making changes.

Auger Not Turning

The auger in your Traeger grill is responsible for feeding pellets to the firepot. If it’s not turning, your grill won’t heat up properly.

To check if the auger is functioning, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the grill grates, drip pan, and heat baffle.
  2. Turn on the grill and set it to SMOKE.
  3. Look in the firepot and verify that the auger is turning. The auger motor should be turning on a cycle, roughly 15 seconds on, 1 minute off (this can vary).

If the auger is not turning, inspect the area underneath the hopper and look for any obstructions or issues with the small fan attached to the auger. If you still cannot identify the problem, consider contacting Traeger customer support for assistance.

Dirty RTD Probe

The RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) probe measures the temperature inside your Traeger grill.

If there is carbon buildup or debris on the probe, it may not accurately read the temperature, causing your grill to heat up slowly.

To resolve this issue, clean the RTD probe with a soft cloth or brush, ensuring that it’s free of debris and in good condition.

Preheating and Lid Position

Most Traeger grills take 20 to 30 minutes to reach 350°F when heated up.

It’s crucial to preheat your grill before changing the cooking temperature. For Wi-Fi-enabled grills, it’s especially important to preheat the grill with the lid closed to ensure proper heat distribution and faster heating times.

External Factors

External factors such as cold weather, wind, or improper grill placement can also contribute to your Traeger grill heating up slowly.

Make sure your grill is placed in a location that is shielded from the wind and, if possible, consider using a thermal blanket designed for Traeger grills to insulate your grill during colder months.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re still experiencing slow heating times with your Traeger grill, here are a few additional troubleshooting tips:

  1. Check the quality of your wood pellets: Low-quality pellets can cause temperature inconsistencies and slow heating times. Ensure you are using high-quality pellets designed for Traeger grills.
  2. Inspect the firepot: A dirty firepot can negatively impact the heating performance of your grill. Clean the firepot regularly to ensure optimal performance.
  3. Consult your user manual: Refer to your Traeger grill’s user manual for specific troubleshooting steps and solutions tailored to your grill model.

Final Thoughts

Although it can be frustrating when your Traeger grill takes longer than expected to heat up, understanding the potential causes and knowing how to fix them can help you get back to grilling in no time.

By addressing issues such as damaged or malfunctioning hot rods, temperature probe problems, incorrect P-settings, or dirty RTD probes, you can improve the heating performance of your Traeger and enjoy perfectly grilled food all season long.