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Traeger Pro Series 22 Review – Is This the Pellet Grill for You?

If you ask most people in the know, how many kinds of backyard cooking methods there are, you’ll probably get a mess of different answers.

Press the issue, and you’ll likely whittle it down to just two basic categories: grilling and smoking.

There are a select few individuals, however, who’ll give you a third option – Traegering.

That’s the kind of hold Traeger pellet grills have on the hearts of the men and women who use them. To them, it’s an entirely separate experience from any other kind of outdoor cooking.

2 images of Traeger pro series 22 in backyards, one lid closed, one lid open full of food being smoked
Images courtesy of TraegerGrills.com

In this article, we’ll review the Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill, and find out what makes cooking on a Traeger unlike anything else.

Are Traeger grills everything their fans say it is? What are the advantages and disadvantages of pellet grills? And, is the Pro 22 series the right barbecue for you?

By the end of this read, you’ll have all the answers.

The Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill in a Nutshell

All flame-based grills cook food over a fire. The only thing that changes is what’s on fire.

Instead of burning gas or charcoal, Traeger grills use an electric heating element to burn manufactured smoking wood pellets.

A digital thermostat ensures pellets are added automatically as needed to maintain your set temperature. Thanks to a wide temperature range, you can grill, smoke, roast, and bake with this one barbecue.

A Few Words About Traeger

Traeger came into being more than 3 decades ago in Oregon, USA. They say surprisingly little about themselves on their website. But, a little digging reveals Joe Traeger patented his first grill in 1986, and for 20 years his was the only wood pellet grill on the market.

In 2014, the former CEO of Skullcandy, a headphone manufacturer, led a takeover of Traeger and began an aggressive new marketing campaign.

With a huge presence on social media and appearances at fairs and trade shows around North America, Traeger put itself back at the forefront of pellet grill makers and established itself as a major player in grilling, period.

We like them so much that they have two entries in our best pellet smoker roundup, as well as two entries in our guide to the best portable pellet grills.

Today, the company is headquartered in Utah, leading to weird and ultimately incorrect rumors that Traeger is owned by Mormons, (I’ve seen this mentioned a couple of times around the web.)

What’s in the Box?

Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker, 572 Sq. In. Cooking Capacity, Bronze
  • Owner’s manual/assembly guide
  • Cookbox including heat baffle and grease drain pan
  • Cooking grate and warming rack
  • Two meat probes
  • Chimney
  • Stand with preinstalled wheels
  • Hopper and auger system
  • Drip bucket

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

First Impressions

The Traeger Pro Series 22 pellet grill is a straight-up great looking bit of kit.

Sure, it’s basic black, and yeah, the right-angle chimney with the witch’s hat cap looks a little retro. But, it’s got that perfect barrel-shaped profile. And, then there’s that brass-finish lid! It just screams out “premium,” and we are listening. (If the bronze isn’t your thing, the gun-metal blue model is equally fine to look at.)

The sawhorse-style undercarriage gives it a sturdy appearance and should remove any doubts you might have about its stability. Between that and the sturdy “all-terrain” wheels, we’re positive you’ll be able to roll it around your backyard without any trouble.

Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker, 572 Sq. In. Cooking Capacity, Bronze

The whole unit is made out of steel, which means it will hold in the heat, and it’s durable. Speaking of durable, Traeger grills are powder-coated rather than painted, so they stay looking good for a long time.

Under the lid, you’ll find porcelain-coated steel grates. Not only are they good for even heat distribution, but they clean up easily, too.

Why do Customers Choose the Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill?

The possibilities are seemingly endless with such a versatile grill, and many consumers choose a Traeger to indulge their chef-ly fantasies.

The Traeger Pro Series 22 gives you a lot of high-end features and functionality, but at an “entry-level” price compared to other Traeger products or many Kamado-style grills.

Specs

  • Dimensions (H, W, D): 49” x 41” x 27” (height includes chimney, width includes chimney and hopper)
  • Weight: 103 pounds
  • Portability: Semi-permanent location
  • Fuel type: wood pellets, electric feeder
  • Cooking area: 572 sq. in. – 418 sq. in. primary; 154 sq. in. upper rack
  • Hopper capacity: 18 pounds
  • Preheat required: 10 minutes after smoke first appears

Key Features

  • Sawhorse-style stand
  • +/- 15F temperature variation over 60 minutes
  • Digital controller, automatic auger
  • Dual temperature probes
  • Hopper cleanout

A grill that weighs over 100 pounds is pretty significant, and not easy to move around. Thanks to the innovative design of the stand, the Traeger Pro Series 22 is incredibly sturdy. You’ll never have that moment of panic that it’s going to fall apart you may have had with other grills when you’re rolling it from spot to spot.

The heart of the Traeger cooking system is the digital control and automatic auger. This combo is what allows mere mortals to assume the role of pitmaster, and hit and hold a constant temperature for smoking, baking, or roasting. No more baffle or vent adjustments, just modern technology making you look like a pro by automatically adding pellets as needed to maintain your target temp and keeping it within acceptable parameters.

We always say that every griller needs a digital probe thermometer. This is especially true if you like to smoke or slow roast; temperature is the only way to know how done your meat is.

Kindly, Traeger has included two meat probes with the Pro Series 22. Connect them to the digital controller and insert the probes into your meat. Just press a button to get instant read-outs of the internal temperatures and get perfect results every time.

Half the fun of wood smoking is experimenting with different flavors. (The other half is eating amazing food!) With the hopper cleanout, you can quickly and easily unload a partially full hopper back into the bag and then refill with new pellets.

You won’t believe the difference your wood choice can make, with many different flavors of wood on offer from Traeger themselves, as well as many more wood pellet options on the market.

Ease of Use

The Traeger Pro Series 22 pellet grill takes so much of the guesswork out of low and slow grilling, it makes this style of barbecue accessible to anyone.

If you can load the pellets and set the dial, you can smoke on this unit.

The same goes for grilling, roasting, and everything else it does. The digital controller makes it all a piece of cake.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Wood smoke plus moisture equals creosote, a tar-like substance that collects over time inside smokers, especially in the chimney flue. Traeger recommends inspecting the flue for creosote at least twice a year (depending on how much you use it) and removing any build-up to prevent a fire.

Grease is another potential fire-starter, so be sure to clean out the drip pan, funnel, and bucket regularly.

Scrape clean your cooking grates after each use, just as you would with any barbecue.

Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker, 572 Sq. In. Cooking Capacity, Bronze

And, where there’s wood burning, there’s ash. Use a shop vacuum to clear out ash after each use, but only when the ash and interior parts have completely cooled.

For the exterior surfaces, go with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth, or a specially formulated grill cleaner and degreaser.

Available Support

Need some help? Well, Traeger is nothing if not available. They offer live support 365 days a year. So, if you like using the phone, why not start with a call? They claim to provide help with everything from set-up to tips on cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.

On their website, you can poke through a substantial collection of FAQs on every topic imaginable, watch helpful videos, read their blog, and download an e-copy of your owner’s manual.

To connect with Traeger, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Additionally, you can sign up to receive emails, including grilling and smoking recipes.

Traeger uses the word “legendary” to describe its customer support. But is it? Well, they enjoy an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, and even those who have had issues with their grill, generally speak highly of the quality of customer service.

Grillers all over the world love their Traegers, so it’s no surprise there is a healthy fan-supported online presence. Here are some of the top digital destinations you can visit for pellet grill fellowship and support:

Traeger Owners Forum – Thousands of messages and an eerie membership roster of 666 souls as of the time of writing:

Traeger Grill Owners – A Facebook group boasting over 100,000 members with hundreds of daily posts:

Traeger BBQ Grills and Recipes – Another huge Facebook community, this one with over 60,000 active members:

Daily Traeger Recipes – Follow @traegerrecipes on Instagram for, you guessed it, a new recipe to make on your Traeger pellet grill every day. They have 162K followers and more than 1200 delicious-looking posts:

Available Upgrades, Accessories and Attachments

Though not an upgrade, exactly, the first thing you’ll want to get for your new Traeger Pro Series 22 pellet grill is more pellets! They come in a variety of flavors, and you’ll have fun experimenting and combining different foods with different woods.

Out of the box, there’s no work surface available for getting prepped. Fortunately, Traeger sells a folding front shelf that runs the full width of the cookbox. This is ideal for sliding large cuts in and out, and for last-minute mopping, rubbing, and seasoning.

For some storage space, check out the bottom shelf accessory. It attaches near the bottom of the frame, just about the wheels.

Holding a consistent temperature is the key to smoking and slow roasting. Unfortunately, that’s not easy to do in cold weather! If you love to cook all year, consider the insulated blanket to help hold in the heat.

You can also grab a variety of extra shelving and specialty racks for ribs, poppers, or extra smoking space. From a practical standpoint, some foil liners for your drip bucket will make and easy clean-up even easier!

As always, though, the most important accessory for your Traeger (or any grill) is a fitted cover. This low-cost investment will extend the life and protect the appearance of your beloved barbecue by keeping out moisture between uses.

Warranty Details

Should you find your new Traeger isn’t performing like it ought to and you think it’s a warranty issue, give them a call, or send them an email. You’ve got 3-years coverage against workmanship and material defects, and they’ll ship you replacement parts if they determine they’re needed.

Be sure to register your new grill on their website for the most efficient service.

Quick Tips to Get the Best Out of the Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill

  • Follow the beer-by-beer assembly and initial burn-off instructions (according to Traeger, it should take one 6-pack of bottles to complete the 10 steps)
  • Run the grill with the lid open until you see smoke, then shut the lid and set your temperature
  • Take advantage of the versatility and try cooking food you never have before

What We Like

  • “Set it and forget it” (they actually registered the term as a trademark!) thermostat simplifies roasting, baking, and smoking
  • So many ways to cook outdoors!
  • That sturdy frame – why aren’t all barbecue supports built this way?
  • Easy to switch between different flavor woods

What We Don’t Like

  • No electricity = no grilling, so you have to be near an outlet – but, where did you think you were going with a 100+ pound grill, anyway?
  • Maximum temperature is about 450F, lower than many other grills, although this is still hot enough to sear
  • If you can give us 2 wheels, why can’t you give us 4?
  • Would be nice to get some sample pellets in the box for that first cook

Should You Buy the Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill?

Having the option to cook in so many different styles makes this the perfect barbecue for people who love to cook and experiment with different cuisines.

Honestly, you might never want to use your oven or any other grill or smoker ever again. If you want just one cooker that does everything instead of a line-up of specialty gear, this is money well spent.

Other Models Might Suit You if

  • You aren’t one for trying new things
  • You want to grill, but have no interest in smoking
  • You don’t have convenient access to electricity where you want to cook

Final Thoughts

Traeger Grills TFB57PZBO Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill and Smoker, 572 Sq. In. Cooking Capacity, Bronze

That about wraps up our Traeger Pro Series 22 Review.

This grill puts you into an elite club of adventurous grillers. The ability to go so far beyond your typical barbecue basics of burgers, steaks, and chicken will provide years, if not a lifetime of culinary discovery.

If you love to eat delicious food of all kinds, we highly recommend this grill.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Thanks so much for sticking with us to the end, and for choosing our humble site to help you be a better barbecuer. If you have any friends or family on a similar journey, please share this article and any others you like with them.

If you have any questions for us, drop us a line, and we’ll answer it to the best of our abilities! We also welcome your comments and stories, and yes, even your corrections and complaints. And don’t forget to follow us on social!

Thanks again – now go and get your grill on.

 
Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

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