Buying a new Traeger wood pellet grill can be an exciting time. As soon as you get your grill home, you can start planning family cookouts that include perfectly smoked barbecue cooked on one of the most famous grill brands on the market.
But, what happens when you are planning a cookout and the weather forecast predicts rain?
Traeger grills are not waterproof. If a Traeger product is in the rain or outside during wet weather, you must take precautions to ensure the Traeger grill remains dry. Allowing moisture into the pellet hopper may cause damage or jam the auger. Traeger grills should be covered when not in use.
Keep in mind, though, that a little rain does not mean you have to cancel your cookout. While you do not want your Traeger grill to get completely soaked in a downpour, you can still have wonderful grilling experiences, no matter the weather.
Read on to learn all about the correct precautions you should take to ensure you are providing a safe and waterproof environment for your Traeger grill.
How to Protect Your Traeger Grill from Water
Since Traegers are not technically waterproof, you should work to make the environment around your grilling area water-resistant and use tools that will allow you and your grill to stay dry.
Below you will find a few different ways to adjust your surroundings that will allow you to protect your Traeger.
- Buy a weather-resistant cover
- Consider your power cord
- Utilize overhead coverings
- Store your grill indoors
None of these options will turn your Traeger grill waterproof, but you can protect your grill from the elements by utilizing these simple tips.
Buy a Weather-Resistant Cover
Many people buy Traeger grills with the hope of using them during all weather conditions. With the right equipment, Traeger grills can be versatile and offer the ability to cook in almost any weather while still cooking food at a balanced temperature.
To ensure your investment in a Traeger product stays protected, you should also acquire a quality cover that you can count on through rain, wind, or snow. A trustworthy cover for your Traeger will put you at ease during a heavy rainstorm.
If you are someone who enjoys cold-weather grilling, you should consider buying an insulated blanket. You can use the insulated blanket during your cook and it is recommended for use in weather under 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius).
An insulated blanket will keep your grill covered from any snow or moisture during the winter while keeping the temperatures inside your Traeger consistent.
Consider Your Power Cord
Unlike traditional grills, Traeger grills need to be plugged into an outlet. Using an extension cord is not recommended with Traeger grills. Still, some people use them since the default cord is so short.
This could make the difference between grilling in the rain and having enough length to keep your grill in a covered area.
When deciding to use an extension cord, make sure yours is safe for outside use. To ensure safety, purchase a 14 gauge grounded extension cord for your Traeger.
Using an unsafe extension cord that is not rated for outside use could lead to hazardous results when in rainy weather meets your electrical current.
Utilize Overhead Coverings
If you plan on grilling out when there is a chance of rain, it is a good idea to bring temporary shelter or find an area with a large overhead covering for your grill whenever you are planning a cookout.
Even though a Traeger can be safely used in light rain, preparing with your personal covering ensures safe grilling.
A few of these temporary overhead shetlers include:
If you get caught in the rain while grilling, you do not want to turn your grill off or move it while it is hot. Having an overhead covering will come in handy in case you need to get out of the rain and allow you to finish cooking. Avoid overhead covering that surrounds you completely as you will still need to have proper ventilation while using your Traeger grill.
Store Your Grill Indoors
If your living situation allows it, store your Traeger indoors. This will be the best option to ensure that your grill is safe from wet weather conditions when you are not using it. Keeping your Traeger out of adverse weather will minimize the risk of your Traeger getting water in potentially damaging areas.
The largest Traeger grill that you can purchase is the Traeger XL. This grill is 48 inches wide and 43 inches tall. Storing this grill can be difficult as it is large and weighs over 230 pounds. Before buying a Traeger grill that you plan to store inside, be sure to check dimensions so you purchase one that will fit in your storage area.
Buy a Waterproof Cover for Your Traeger Grill
Because Traeger grills are not naturally waterproof, there are many covers available on the market that will protect your grill from rain and wet conditions. To properly waterproof your grill using a cover, follow the following steps.
- Buy a cover that fits your model
- Always cover after each use
- Keep pellet hopper covered and dry
You do not want your wood pellets to get too wet and swell, so having a protective, waterproof cover will do wonders.
Buy a Cover That Fits Your Model
Your choice of cover is an important step in waterproofing your grill. Try to pair the purchase of your Traeger with a cover, and many types are available. You must choose a cover that fits your model.
If a cover is too small, it will expose your grill to outside elements. On the other hand, oversized covers make the grill vulnerable to high winds and heavy rain.
You will want a cover that fits snugly to your Traeger while still covering the entirety of the model. Having a taut cover will also reduce moisture buildup that could potentially cause your pellets to expand in the hopper.
Always Cover Your Grill after Each Use
Once you are finished using your grill, cover it up. This is especially important if you plan on storing your grill outside. You do not want to take the risk of leaving it exposed to wet weather.
Not only could rain damage your grill, but having your grill sit in the sun uncovered for extended periods could cause trouble.
Long time exposure to UV rays can damage the control panel on your Traeger. You should even cover it when your grill is stored inside. Your best bet is to keep your grill covered at all times when it is not in use.
Keep the Pellet Hopper Covered and Dry
When using your grill, keep the pellet hopper closed tightly. Even a little rain can cause the pellets to expand and cause significant damage. The only reason to ever open your pellet hopper during a cook is if you want to check the level of the pellets to determine if more are needed.
To avoid having to open your hopper at all, install a pellet sensor. The pellet sensor will let you know when you need to add more pellets so you can keep the hopper shut at all other times.
If you end up deciding against a cover for your grill, you will want to make sure that you always empty the hopper and keep the cover shut.
What Happens to a Traeger Grill if it Gets Wet?
Light rain or a little water in your Traeger does not necessarily mean that it will be ruined. On the other hand, a heavy and windy rainstorm could spell disaster for your grill.
Without proper coverage, your grill could be exposed to water in areas that could potentially cause it not to work properly.
- Pellet auger could get jammed
- Control panel loses connectivity
All of the above issues can render your grill unusable. A Traeger grill is a big investment that you want to keep functional and maintained for as long as possible. Avoid these potential catastrophic damages by keeping your Traeger out of the rain and wet elements.
Pellet Auger Could Get Jammed
Allowing the wood pellets to get wet in the hopper could lead to damage. If the pellets get wet, the wood will expand and start to disintegrate. Wet pellets can jam up and lead to blockage in the auger.
A blocked auger can cause a safety risk and lead to your temperatures fluctuating. It could even cause your Taeger to not heat up at all! Along with temperature issues, repairing a blocked auger can be a time-consuming and expensive project.
Furthermore, always store your unused pellets in a dry area to avoid them getting wet due to rain or moisture. Just as liquid water can damage your pellets, so can storing them in a high moisture area. Avoid storing your pellets in a basement, shed, or anywhere else that you know is not climate-controlled or has a lot of moisture.
Control Panel Loses Connectivity
Getting water into the control panel of your Traeger grill can be another cause for concern. If water does end up getting into the control panel, you might see connection problems.
\The control panel sets the temperatures and keeps the heat steady during your cook.
Getting water into the control panel can disrupt this connection and you could start seeing your temperatures fluctuate.
If left outside in the rain for long periods, you run the risk of developing rust on your grill. If possible, keep your grill stored inside or utilize your grill cover when the grill is not in use.
To avoid your grill developing rust, you should cover your grill after each use. Make sure that the grill is out of the elements and ensure that is completely dry before placing your cover on the grill.
Clean your grill thoroughly after every three to five cooks and brush off all residue on the grill.
Can You Dry a Traeger Grill Once It Gets Wet?
If your Traeger grill gets slightly wet, there are ways you can dry it so that it does not remain wet and damaged. This requires the correct tools and expertise to do so.
- Clean out the auger
- Wipe down the control panel
If your pallets get wet, your auger can get jammed which can cause many problems. You will need to clear this jam as quickly as possible. If the control panel gets wet, it will need to be dried as well, so it does not fry.
Clean Out the Auger
You will be able to find out if your auger is jammed by turning on your Traeger temperature controls and you cannot see the pellets entering the auger. If this is the case, you will want to clean out your jammed auger.
To clean out the blockage, you will need to detach your hopper and remove the auger. Once the auger is separated, you can then begin to clear out the tube to purge the pellet jam.
Wipe Down the Control Panel
If you end up in a situation where the control panel gets wet to the point it causes noticeable connection issues, you can dry it out a few different ways.
First, try to use a paper towel and wipe off your control panel. If you continue to see connectivity problems, there may be more cause for concern.
Before completely replacing your control panel, run a test on the grill to ensure that the control panel is the issue.
Can you Use a Traeger Outside in the Winter?
If you buy a Traeger, you might be fully expecting to fire it up as often as you can, even during winter months. You do not want to be stuck in the snow and cold without proper protection for your Traeger grill.
The good news is that you have options allowing you to keep cooking even in the winter.
Clear the Snow
Before you decide to start up your Traeger in the winter or after a huge snow storm, make sure that the grill is cleared of snow.
- Snow in the pellet hopper will cause similar damage as mentioned earlier.
- Snow in your grill can cause the temperatures inside to fluctuate.
If your grill is stored in cold weather, you may experience some ice forming on the outside of your grill. If storing indoors is not an option for you, then you can deice your traeger by turning it on and warming it up.
Check Pellets before Each Use
Depending on where you live, you should consider removing pellets when you are done using your Traeger. If you live in a dry area with low humidity, you could get away with leaving the pellets inside the hopper.
The same cannot be said when you live in a high humidity or wet climate. If this is the case, you will need to remove your pellets after each use to ensure the safety of your grill.
Keeping your grill closed during a cook is always important, but especially in the winter months. Heat escapes faster in cold weather, so, if you want your cook to turn out and your temperatures to stay steady, keep the cover closed!
Using a Traeger Grill in the Garage
You are probably considering different ways to use your grill that allows you to stay out of the rain. A garage offers coverage that can keep you and your Traeger dry during a rainstorm. If you decide that you want to use your Traeger in the garage, there are some important things that you need to consider before doing so.
- Check wind direction
- Do not shut garage
- Use near garage door opening
If planning on using your Traeger grill in a garage, check the direction of the wind and make sure that there is minimal smoke going directly into the garage.
You definitely want to make sure that you never use your Traeger grill inside your garage with the door shut. As mentioned, your Traeger grill needs ventilation for the smoke. Grilling with your garage door shut does not allow for any ventilation and there will be a lot of smoke!
The best way to get proper ventilation is to keep the garage door open with the Traeger stationed near the entrance. Keeping your grill near the garage entrance will still provide the covering needed to stay dry, while allowing the smoke to exit.
A covered or enclosed patio might also seem a convenient spot to use your Traeger and stay out of the rain. This is true, but you should treat a patio the same as you would a garage. Ensure as much ventilation as possible and always be aware of where winds (or no wind at all) takes your Traeger’s smoke. Keep smoke from collecting in one spot.
Can You Keep a Traeger Grill Plugged in?
It is not uncommon for new Traeger owners to wonder if they need to unplug their grill after each use. Although it is not necessary to unplug your grill, you will want to make sure you are taking the right steps to ensure the safety of your grill and home.
- After each use of your Traeger, you will need to shut off the power switch. The power switch will be located on the control panel of your grill.
- Once you are done cooking, let your Traeger complete its shutdown cycle before turning off the power.
If you are keeping your grill outside and covered, but plan on keeping it plugged in, you still need to pay attention to the weather. If your power cord is exposed to the elements, you will want to unplug it during a heavy rain storm.
This ensures that your power cord will not get exposed to the rain and avoid any risk of electrical problems.
When not planning on using your grill for a long period of time or wanting to store it during the winter months, you should always unplug your grill.
When prepping for storage, ensure that your electrical cord is tucked inside of your cover. If you utilize an extension cord, disconnect the cord from the grill and store in a dry location.