Leaving a Traeger Unattended – What You Need to Know

Sometimes when cooking it can be a pain to stand around and wait for the food to cook, especially if you don’t have to manually do something. This applies to Traegers, so there is a common question can you leave a Traeger unattended?

It is safe to leave your Traeger unattended as long as you do not plan on being gone for a very long time. Do not leave your grill cooking by itself unsupervised for more than two or three hours at the longest. Also, do not ever leave your grill unattended if it is cooking at high temperatures. 

In this article, I am going to talk about the safety precautions behind leaving a traeger unattended and whether it is something that can be done.

Can You Leave a Traeger Unattended?

When cooking with a pellet grill like a Traeger, some recipes can require your food to slow cook on the grill for up to 20 hours.

When this is the case, it is difficult to put the rest of your life on hold to complete your grilling. You can leave your Traeger unattended for short amounts of time, but never for long durations. 

It is okay to leave your Traeger unattended under the following circumstances:

  • You are only away from your Traeger for a short period of time: a few hours at most. 
  • Your Traeger grill is on a low heat setting. 
  • Your Traeger grill is moved several feet from the house and is not right up against the wall.

In order to ensure your Traeger grill is safe while you leave it unattended, be sure it has been properly cleaned and has plenty of high-quality pellets inside. You do not want your grill to run out of pellets while you are away from it.

You should also monitor the weather forecast. Do not leave your Traeger unattended if bad weather is approaching because you will not be nearby to save your grill and the meat inside from rain or harsh weather. 

Is It Safe to Leave a Traeger Unattended?

As long as you do not leave your Traeger unattended for long periods of time, it can be perfectly safe to leave it unattended for a while. In fact, pellet grills are one of the safest types of grills on the market. 

It is only safe to leave your Traeger unattended when you are cooking at low temperatures, though. If you are cooking at temperatures over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to be near your grill to keep an eye on it.

The hotter your grill is, the more supervision it needs. Also, when you do leave your grill unattended, be sure it is not too close to your house. While Traegers are safe and the interior is secure, there is always a possibility that the heat can produce fire.

Your grill should be far enough away from your home that a potential fire does not catch onto your house or other important structures. 

Traeger Grill Safety Features

Traeger grills come with safety features that will inhibit the grill from becoming too hot. This is helpful if you are away from your grill when an emergency happens.

  • If your Traeger grill reaches an internal temperature of 550 degrees Fahrenheit, it will enter an alarm state. 
  • During this alarm state, all the internal components of the Traeger grill will power off. 
  • The grill’s display will read “HEr,” the high-temperature alarm indication. 

While this feature should keep your Traeger grill from overheating to catastrophic levels in the event that you are away, it is important to note that this alarm state can only be reached if the RTD sensor is able to sense the internal temperature of 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

If this sensor is somehow unable to accurately read the temperature, the grill could theoretically continue to heat up. 

If you do encounter this alarm state, investigate your grill to see what might have caused the temperature spike. Remember, you should only ever leave your grill unattended at low temperatures.

Traeger also offers the Traeger WiFIRE app which allows owners of compatible grills to control their grills wirelessly from their phones or tablets.

If you are away from your grill on an errand, you can check your phone for your grill’s status, current temperature, and even pellet capacity. 

What Happens If a Traeger Is Left Unattended?

Ideally, nothing of note should happen if a Traeger is left unattended. Your Traeger should continue cooking as normal whether you are at home or away.

With the WiFIRE app mentioned above, you can monitor your Traeger’s cooking temperature and pellet capacity so you can stay in the loop even while you are not right next to your grill. 

Always be mindful of potential emergencies that can occur. Fortunately, with Traeger grills, there is no concern about gas explosions because gas is not used to power pellet grills. However, pellet grills can still explode if they are not shut down properly.

If a power outage occurs, for instance, and the Traeger grill shuts down without running through the proper steps, it can be dangerous the next time you use it.

Avoid potential explosions by following these tips:

  • Always ensure there are plenty of pellets in your grill.
  • Remove unburned pellets from your grill before starting it up for a new cooking session. These unburned pellets are a sign that the grill was not shut down properly.
  • Open your Traeger’s lid before starting the grill to increase airflow and decrease the chance of a pressurized explosion. 
  • Keep a backup generator handy so you do not have to rely on your power grid in case of an outage.

This is why you should not leave the grill unattended if stormy weather is approaching. You cannot anticipate every power outage, though. This is why you need to return to your grill within a few hours to check on it.

The grill does not explode during the improper shutdown stage, but on the next usage, so be mindful of previous power outages.

When you are using an item that requires a great deal of heat, it is best to stay on top of it as much as possible.

However, if you are smoking meats that require 16 hours on the grill, it is impossible to stand next to your grill all day. Because of this, leaving the grill alone for some time is inevitable. As long as you follow the proper steps, it is safe.

Can I Leave My Traeger on While I Go Out?

As mentioned above, you can leave your Traeger on while you leave, as long as it is for short periods of time. Do not plan to stay out overnight while you are smoking or roasting food on your Trager grill.

However, everyday errands like buying groceries, going shopping, picking up the kids from school, or hitting the gym can all be done safely while your Traeger works at home. 

When leaving your Traeger cooking while you go out, make sure it has enough pellets in it. You can calculate the pellets you will need to cook by estimating that a low-temperature cook will burn about one pound of pellets per hour.

As long as you know you have plenty of pellets in your grill, you can leave it cooking on low for a few hours.

Will My Traeger Turn Off Automatically?

Pellet grills need to go through their entire shut down cycle properly in order to function correctly. As mentioned above, there is a risk of explosion if an improperly shut down grill is started up without taking the proper precautions.

Because of this, you need to begin your grill’s shut down cycle yourself. It will not automatically shut down for you.

So, while you can leave your Traeger unattended for two to three hours during a long cook, you should be at home when your food is ready to come off the grill. 

The Traeger Grill Shutdown Cycle

While it is okay to leave your Traeger unattended for short periods of time, you should definitely be home for the end of the cooking cycle. When your Traeger is done grilling, you want to be home so you can get it hot off the grill. After you have taken the food off the grill, you will want to initiate the Traeger’s shut down cycle. 

  • Press the shutdown cycle button.
  • Wait until the shutdown cycle completes. The grill will handle this part and you will know it is complete once the fans stop blowing.
  • Once that is complete, turn the power switch to “off.” You can then unplug the grill if you want to store it. 

Never turn your Traeger grill off until the shutdown cycle is complete. You do not have to unplug your Traeger when it is off, but you can if you prefer. You should never unplug your Traeger before the shutdown cycle is complete.