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Traeger Lid Open Or Closed? (Explained)

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Traeger lid open or closed?

The Traeger grill is a very precisely designed piece of machinery, capable of delivering an average temperature over a long period of time for grilling or smoking meat and other food.

In order to function properly, it must be started and shut down according to the procedures outlined in the owner’s manual.

One key aspect of start up and shut down is the lid.

The lid is designed to allow heat to build up in the grill over time, and should be kept closed as much as possible during the grill operation.

Should you start Traeger with the lid open or closed?

Newer Traegers are designed to be started with the lid closed.

To start a newer model Traeger, turn the grill on with the lid closed, and set the temperature to smoke, or about 220.

After a couple of minutes, the pellets should ignite, and you can then adjust the temperature to whatever setting you desire.

If you run the grill at too high a temperature, it may not ignite properly, and may instead shut down.

On a newer model, if you start the grill with the lid open, you may get an error message, and the grill controller will be unable to set the temperature properly for the duration of your cooking time.

Older models were simpler, and should usually be started with the lid open.

The older models were designed simply to feed pellets into the fire pot at start up, and the user was supposed to watch the grill closely to make sure that it started properly.

What does leaving the lid open do on Traegers?

As a general rule, you should leave the lid closed on a Traeger grill when grilling or smoking food.

The temptation is to open the lid to watch food cooking, but this is a temptation that should be resisted. 

The Traeger is designed to operate with a closed lid.

Every time the lid is opened, heat is lost, and the time needed to cook food increases.

Sometimes, opening the lid is unavoidable, in order to check the temperature of the grill, or the food, either for cooking or for food safety reasons.

Such checks should be done as quickly as possible, and the lid closed again.

It is not necessary to leave the lid open to allow for air circulation.

The vents and fan are designed to provide as much air as needed to the fire box.

What does leaving the lid closed do on Traegers?

The Traeger should almost always be operated with the lid closed.

Closing the lid allows heat to build up inside the grill so that it can reach and maintain the set cooking temperature.

Obviously, if you are smoking meat rather than cooking it, leaving the lid closed allows the smoke to be retained in the grill for a longer period of time, rather than simply escaping out through the grill. 

When the lid is opened, the grill bleeds off heat, and cooking time increases.

As noted elsewhere in the article, newer Traeger grills are designed to be started with the lid closed.

They should be shut down with the lid closed as well.

Be sure that the lid fits tightly against the grill body.

A small gap of under a quarter-inch is fine, but as a rule the lid should fit snugly.

If it has become dented or damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Traeger shut down cycle lid open or closed?

After cooking your food, it is very important to shut down the grill correctly.

Turn the dial to “shut down cycle” and close the lid.

This will begin the shut down procedure on the grill.

The fan will run for approximately ten minutes to cool the grill and then shut off.

The grill will then cool off without any fuss and without further intervention on your part.

If you fail to shut the grill down properly, it will continue to work, and to burn any fuel left in the fuel box.

Not only is this wasteful, when the grill runs out of fuel, it will still try to run with an empty fuel box, which may damage the grill mechanisms.

Final Thoughts 

Careful attention to starting and shutting down your Traeger grill will not only help ensure a good grilling session with wonderful food at the end, it could help lengthen the life of components of your grill.