Traeger Junior Elite Review

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The Traeger Junior Elite is no longer available. Consider the Traeger Tailgater for a similar-sized barbecue, or the Traeger Pro 575 for something bigger.

Traeger used to be the industry leader in pellet grills. It’s hard to imagine today, but Traeger was one of just two firms offering pellet-style smokers in 2008.

We were spoilt for choice nine years later. With so many good choices available, it’s interesting examining how the original fare.

The Traeger Junior Elite, the younger brother of the Traeger LilTex Elite, is a wood pellet grill that is not only less expensive than comparable wood pellet grills, but also much more portable.

Tough, simple to light, and lightweight, it excels as a home and tailgating barbecue that can be simply transported from location to location.

Traeger Junior Elite Overview

Traeger Junior Elite Review

The Traeger Junior Elite is priced at the low end of our recommended price range of $400-$1200. While a pellet grill is less expensive, we would not suggest it for this sort of barbecue.

Because of its mobility, this barbecue stands out above other pellet grills. This grill is ideal not only for cooking smokey and savory cuisine, but also for tailgating.

Unlike many other pellet grills that weigh approximately 100 pounds, the Junior Elite weighs around 60 pounds. This small weight, along with its dimensions of 37 inches x 18 inches x 36 inches, makes it extremely simple to store and carry from one location to another.

Of course, since it is smaller, some grilling space is lost. However, its 300 sq in cooking surface (20-inch x 15-inch) provides more than enough space to prepare a substantial amount of meat. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to fit a medium-sized grill.

This grill has a built-in digital thermostat that can assess cooking temperatures in real time, giving you total control over your cooking experience at all times. It should be noted, however, that it is susceptible to temperature variations, particularly in cold weather.

What We Like

  • Temperature regulation These sorts of pellet smokers are often more precise, allowing you to keep it cooking all night. This grill’s built-in digital thermostat provides easy-to-read and precise temperature readings in real time.
  • Design that is very portable With a weight of about 60 pounds and dimensions of 36 inches x 18 inches x 37 inches, this grill is very portable and simple to store.
  • A 3-year warranty is included. Traeger demonstrates their commitment to their product by giving a 3-year warranty. This guarantee covers the whole grill as well as all of its components.

What We Don’t Like

  • It has a low seat. Unfortunately, the cooking surface of this grill is just around 3 feet from the ground, requiring tall users to lean down in order to grill properly.
  • Temperature changes are possible. This is mostly a warning to those of you who will be cooking under harsh circumstances. Because the three-position controller does not truly monitor inside temperature, pellets operate the same whether it’s a bitterly cold winter day or a scorching hot summer day.

If you want to examine how the Junior Elite compares, we have a more in-depth overview to the whole Traeger grill lineup.

Construction and Design Quality

Overall, the Traeger Junior Elite has a decent build and design quality. It’s not ideal, but given that it’s not an outrageously expensive, high-end grill, this is to be anticipated.

This grill is made of heavy-duty steel and is meant to endure not only the heat from inside, but also the dangerous elements from outside. This is not the sort of barbecue that will deteriorate if left out in the rain for a few days.

A 20-inch by 15-inch ceramic stove grate provides enough cooking space. That’s enough to fry up to 12 hamburger patties at once.

This grill’s igniting process is aided by an auger located at the bottom of the grill’s interior bowl. This auger connects to a hot rod, which ignites every wood pellet that comes into touch with it. All you have to do is plug it in and wait for it to burn.

It is very portable for a wood pellet barbecue, weighing just 60 pounds. It has two locking wheels and may be conveniently transported to and from areas.

Overall, this is a really strong grill in terms of build and design quality. It is not only robust and resilient, but also very portable. When you consider that it also has a reasonably big grilling grate, you won’t find much better for the price.

Ease of Use

The Traeger Junior Elite is rather simple to use. It may take some time to put together, but it is really rather simple. It shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half to put together.

The instruction booklet is pretty thorough and simple to understand.

Once assembled, it is really easy to operate. It works by plugging it onto a standard 110v electrical socket. It gets electricity from the electrical socket to heat up its hot rod. Simply flip the built-in thermostat on the grill to heat up the hot rod. This thermostat may be adjusted to a variety of presets, including Smoke High and temperatures ranging from 180 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

You start a fire after turning up the thermostat by throwing wood pellets into the grill’s auger. The auger will direct the pellets to the hot rod, which will ignite them, resulting in smoke and flames.

The only significant issue with cooking with the Junior Elite is maintaining it at a constant temperature. Despite having a thermostat, the grill cannot always maintain an exact temperature. Temperatures tend to fall as pellets burn away. Most people will not notice this, however if you need to dial in and regulate your temperatures, this may be a little worry.

Traeger Junior Elite vs Traeger Lil’Tex Elite

Now that we’ve gone over the Traeger Junior Elite in depth, let’s compare it to its bigger sibling, the Traeger LilTex Elite. These two grills are fairly similar in general. However, there are some minor differences that distinguish them.

The size difference between the Junior Elite and the LilTex Elite is the most noticeable. The LilTex is much larger than the Junior Elite. In actuality, it is nearly 50% larger, measuring 42 inches × 22 inches x 49 inches and weighs about 100 pounds.

Of course, since it is larger in size, the LilTex Elite offers greater cooking area. The Junior Elite has a 15-inch x 20-inch frying grate, whilst the LilTex Elite has a 22-inch x 19-inch cooking grate.

That equates to 418 square inches of cooking area against 300 on the Junior Elite.

If you know you’ll be cooking for a bigger group often, it’s definitely worth the additional money. It is much more costly to update later than it is to get a little additional room today.

However, both pellet smokers have a lot of cooking area and can easily serve a medium-sized outdoor BBQ. Unless you need to cook really large quantities of food, the Junior Elite will suffice.

Should You Buy the Traeger Junior Elite?

The Traeger Junior Elite, which is very affordable, would be ideal for people seeking for a wood pellet barbecue on a budget. Furthermore, due to its modest size, it would be an excellent grill for tailgaters who need to transport it on the move.

It’s not the greatest wood pellet grill on the market, but for the price, it’s hard to match in terms of accuracy, size, and build quality.

Tips for your first time cooking with the Junior Elite

So you’ve pulled the Traeger on the junior elite (pardon the pun) and are ready to light it up. Before you do, here are some tried-and-true recommendations to make your first cigarette a success.

  • Before each cook, be sure to clear out your firepot.
  • While you may purchase a variety of pellet brands, we recommend starting with Traeger wood pellets. Other brands have had problems with low temperatures. To begin, apple is an excellent soft wood to use.
  • If you’re cooking at 225F, a smart technique to get to a consistent temperature is to keep the lid open for the first 10 minutes before closing it.
  • If you haven’t already, invest in an excellent digital thermometer, such as the Maverick ET-733.


Is the Traeger Junior discontinued?

The Traeger Junior Elite is no longer available. Consider the Traeger Tailgater for a similar-sized barbecue, or the Traeger Pro 575 for something bigger. Traeger used to be the industry leader in pellet grills.

Can you convert a Traeger Junior to a Traeger tailgater?

Prepare for a Traeger Tailgate

The Junior Elite 20 grill features handles on both sides and is tiny enough to fit into the back of your vehicle. The Junior Tailgater Kit transforms it into a tailgater grill, making it even more portable. It can serve around 20 people and prepare 12 burgers at the same time.

How long does a 20lb bag of pellets last in a Traeger?

The smoker consumes one to three pounds of pellets every hour. According to Traeger, each 20-pound bag delivers 6 to 20 hours of cook time (on high or low heat). Let’s compare it to a 20-pound liquid propane tank.

What is the life expectancy of a Traeger grill?

“With proper care, cleaning, and maintenance, you can expect a Traeger grill to last at least five years,” says the response. When broken components are replaced with readily accessible replacement parts, a Traeger will easily last 10-15 years.” Let’s take a deeper look at the aspects that influence Traeger lifespan.

What model Traeger did Costco sell?

Traeger Century 885 Grill | Costco.

What is the Traeger controversy?

The lawsuit claims that Traeger deceived the public and its customers by falsely representing that its wood pellets are made of one type of wood when, in fact, the pellets are made of a different type of less expensive wood containing flavored oils to masquerade as more expensive, sought-after wood.

Can I trade in my Traeger for a new one?

Within 45 days, you may exchange your order or any unopened grill for a new grill or a full refund of the original purchase price. The return policy of an authorized Traeger dealer applies to items bought directly from them.

What’s the lowest temp a Traeger can go?

This pellet grill’s adaptability enables you to smoke at temperatures as low as 180 degrees and then sear to perfection at 500 degrees.

Is it OK to leave pellets in Traeger?

It’s even more important to keep your pellets dry once you’ve opened the bag. While you may keep pellets in your grill’s hopper for the short term if the weather is dry, you should remove them and store them airtight if there is a chance of rain or excessive humidity.

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