google.com, pub-3283090343984743, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Traeger Pro Pellet Grill Review: Still Worth it in 2024?
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Traeger Pro Pellet Grill Review: Still Worth it in 2024?

Since picking it up in 2020, there haven’t been many weeks when I haven’t fired up my Traeger Pro 575.

In the five years since this smoker was released, Traeger has revamped their higher-end models, while brands like Camp Chef and Weber have been busy creating new designs.

So, for this review, I thought it would be interesting to share my experience cooking on the Pro 575 over the last few years and see if it’s still a good buy.

Traeger sent me this grill for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Introducing the Traeger Pro

Despite the “Pro” in the name, this is the entry-level model in Traeger’s grill lineup. The Pro is available in two sizes: the Pro 575, which has 572 square inches of cooking area, and the Pro 780, which has 780. I have no idea why the 575 misses out on 3 inches.


smoker

Everything else about the two models is identical, although expect to burn more pellets per hour on the larger model. The larger model will cost you $200 more, and in my opinion, is not great value when you look at the competition, but more on that later.

You can also choose between black or bronze.

What you need to know:

Cooking capacity572 Sq In
Pellet hopper capacity18 Pounds
Main grilling area418 Sq In
Secondary grilling area154 Sq In
Temperature Range165 – 500°F
Exterior materialPainted steel
Weight124 Lbs
Probes1 port and 1 probe included
Warranty1-7 years (depending on component)
PriceCheck Amazon Price
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When the Pro 575 and 780 were released back, in 2019, replacing the Pro 22 and 34 Gen 1 models. These older models are still sold at some dealers and don’t include the digital controller or Wifi.

This was a pivotal release for Traeger after going through years of turmoil during the 2010s, which hurt the quality and perception of their grills.

Four years with the Traeger Pro

The Pro 575 was the second pellet grill I ever owned. I got it during one of the neverending lockdowns of 2020. Needless to say, it got A LOT of use.

Over the years, I’ve smoked briskets, countless racks of ribs, pork butts, and wings, and I’ve even made pizza and baked cupcakes.

My experience cooking on this pit has been mostly positive. When I run it at low and slow temperatures between 225 – 250°F, I find that meat develops a subtle smokey flavor. While I sometimes miss the depth of flavor I got on my Weber Smokey Mountain, I don’t miss waking up during the night to babysit it. I’ve also found that most people actually prefer the subtle flavor.


smoker

The 18-pound hopper is large enough for overnight cooks, and while it does make a consistent noise, it’s not enough for the neighbors to complain.

I’ve found the smaller size perfect for my family of five. I usually run it without the warming rack, as it can get in the way when flipping or rotating food. It’s easy to add back if you really need the space, though.

The porcelain-coated grates are light and easy to clean and have no signs of rust after all this time.

What I like:

  • Great beginner smoker – The digital controller and app make firing this grill up and adjusting temperatures super easy.
  • Subtle smoke flavor – You crank out super tender barbecue with great bark and a rich smoke ring, although the smoke flavor is not as strong as other smokers.
  • App and WiFi Connectivity – Traeger’s app experience (known as WiFIRE) still leads the pack with an app that’s easy to use and doesn’t suffer from annoying connection drops.

What I don’t like:

  • Expensive accessories – Adding the folding front and side shelves gives you great prep space, but bumps the cost way up.
  • Cleaning – You miss out on some features other smokers have that make managing grease and cleaning a lot easier.
  • No direct grilling option – Even when cranked to the max temperature the Pro struggles to get a good sear on steak.

In the rest of this review, I’ll discuss cooking on the Traeger Pro in more detail and explain a couple of reasons why it might not be the best buy for you anymore.

Cooking on the Pro 575

I would say 90% of my cooks on the Pro have been right around 225-250°F. I’ve found that once I push past 250°F, the amount of smoke flavor really starts to diminish.

Even at the typical smoking sweet spot of 225-250°F, I find the smoke flavor very subtle, even on long cooks. I’ve actually found success running this smoker overnight at around 180°F to get even more smoke and then cranking the temp up to 250 when I wake up to finish.

The D2 Controller does a good job of maintaining stable temperatures, and I haven’t noticed much variation across the grates.


Traeger Pro 575

Once you crank the temperature up to 500°F, you get more swings, but this is normal for a pellet grill.

I’ve found that maxing out the temperature makes this grill great for churning out batches of wings, and it’s perfectly capable of nice crispy skin on whole chickens.

Searing steak or pork chops is where you really miss having a direct flame searing option. The porcelain-coated grates also don’t help when it comes to searing.

If you’re looking for a single grill and smoker to replace your propane grill, this ain’t it.

The only prep area you get is a small space on the lid of the hopper, so depending on your outdoor setup, you’ll want to add the folding front shelf or the side shelf (or both).

Traeger App and Wifire

I really like the Traeger app and find it easier to use than any of the competitor brands I’ve tried. It lets you know when the smoker comes up to temperature so you can put your meat on, and if you’re using the probe, you can also monitor the internal temperature of your meat.

I’ll often put a brisket on around 8:00 PM at 180°F for a few hours to get a little extra smoke, so I like being able to bump the temperature up to 250°F from the comfort of my bed before falling asleep.


smoker

You can also turn the smoker off or set it to Keep Warm mode from the app.

You can even get an Apple Watch app so you can check your temperatures with a quick glance.

Cleaning the Pro

This is one area where the Pro lags behind the competition. I’ll explain how it works, and then you can make up your own mind.

The Pro uses a basic design in which grease drains out of the smoker chamber along a drip tray and then into a tin can on the side. Traeger sells liners for both the tray and the tin, which save a bit of time but aren’t worth the money. You can just wrap a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and swap it out every few cooks for a fraction of the cost.

I don’t love the tin can on the side design. I’ve forgotten to remove it after a cook and had my young kids take it off and pour grease all over my patio. It’s also possible for a dog to knock it off, and trust me, you do not want to be cleaning smoker grease out of your dog’s hair.

I prefer the discreet grease catchment on smokers like the Camp Chef Woodwind, where the grease pours into a pot under the grill.

Is the Traeger Pro 575 worth buying?

While I’ve been cooking great food on the Traeger Pro regularly for the last few years, there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, especially in 2024.

Once you get passed the excellent controller and app, the Pro is a very barebones smoker. It makes sense that Traeger wants to keep some of the nicer features for the Ironwood and Timberline models, but the mid-range Ironwood costs two times the price, which I think is too big of a jump.

Today, you can find many smokers at the same or lower price point that include features the Pro doesn’t have, including:

  • Better ash catchment and grease management systems
  • Direct flame access for high heat searing
  • Variable smoke control
  • Side and front folding shelves included

If you take the new Weber Searwood, for example, you get a larger cooking surface, variable smoke settings, the ability to grill over the entire surface, and the option to add a rotisserie or swap the grill grates out for a flattop griddle surface. And that’s only going to cost you $100 more than the Pro 575.


smoker
The Pro can’t match the Weber Searwood when it comes to grilling.

If you want to spend less money, you could go with the Sportsman 820 from Pit Boss. That grill is $150 less than the Pro 575 and includes front and side tables, a larger cooking surface, a pellet hopper, two meat probes, and a direct flame-searing option.

We have a Traeger VS Pit Boss article that goes into more detail, but the point is the Pro 575 will cost you more for fewer features.

Final verdict

This review got quite negative at the end, so I do need to point out that the Traeger Pro isn’t a bad smoker. In fact, when it was released, it was a fantastic smoker.

But in the years since, the competition has gotten tougher, and the price of the Pro has actually increased. Traeger has since refreshed the Timberline and Ironwood, so I have to assume the Pro will be getting an update in the near future, which hopefully makes it more competitive.

If you want to get into smoking and want something super easy to use and don’t need to do a lot of high-temperature searing, I would still recommend it. Especially if you can get it discounted.


Did you miss our previous article...
https://manstuffnews.com/backyard-grilling/blowtorch-baby-back-ribs-recipe