Pros & Cons – Traeger Pro 22 Pellet Grill

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The Traeger Pro 22 pellet grills is a first-generation Traeger Pro Series model, and its been on the market for many years at this point, as its been on the market since 2016. However, as its still available for purchase today, you may be wondering what are the Pros & Cons for this particular pellet grill? Well, let’s review them, shall we…

Tap/click above for our video on the Pros & Cons of the Traeger Pro 22 pellet grill

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As Traeger is the brand that invented the whole idea of a pellet grill/smoker in the 1980s and they are still the leading pellet grill/smoker brand to this day, its understandable that for many people, Traeger is where their journey starts.

As such, the Pro 22 is currently the cheapest and most affordable full-sized Traeger you can buy. As you can see from our database, the price is typically $499.

The Traeger Pro 22 is currently the cheapest full-sized Traeger pellet grill/smoker
The Pro 22 is currently the cheapest full-sized Traeger pellet grill/smoker you can buy

What I mean by ‘full-sized’ is that there are cheaper Traeger models, but they are a tabletop model, (the Ranger) and the Tailgater (designed as a portable pellet grill).

Therefore, if you are determined to own a Traeger over any other brand of pellet grill/smoker, and you want a full-sized pellet grill for your backyard, the Pro 22 is your cheapest option.

While the Pro 22 is indeed the cheapest full-sized Traeger you can buy for around $500, that doesn’t mean its necessarily the best option you have at that price point.

The pellet grill/smoker market has moved on a lot since the Traeger Pro 22 was initially launched in 2016, and there are now many other options on the market at the same price point.

There Are Better Options Than The Traeger Pro 22 For The Money
At the $500 price point, there are now better options available, with more advanced technology/features

If you browse our database, and you set the custom search builder to a budget of $500, you will see there are, as of writing this article, 65 other options to consider.

Within those 65 other options, there are models that offer a more advanced control panel with PID technology; some offer WiFi/app functionality, and some offer direct-flame access.

These are all features that are missing from the Traeger Pro 22.

One advantage of the Traeger Pro 22 being on the market for so long is that getting parts to repair it once its out of warranty will be very easy indeed and generally pretty cheap.

Is easy and relatively cheap to find parts for the Traeger Pro 22
Finding parts to repair a broken Traeger Pro 22 out of warranty is easy, as parts are widely available and relatively cheap

There are so many after-market/off-brand parts available its easy to find new components, such as the control panel, burn pot, auger assembly etc.

Due to the age of the Traeger Pro 22, its fitted with a pretty dated and simple controller that does have temperature settings. However, its not capable of holding a very accurate temperature, unlike many of its modern competitors.

The Traeger Pro 22 will have temperature swings roughly 25 degrees from the set temperature.
The actual temperature on the Traeger Pro 22 will typically swing 25 degrees on either side of the set temperature

The reason for the temperature swings is the Traeger Pro 22 controller is a simple time-based controller. In other words, the pellet feed auger turns on and off for different durations of time for the different temperature settings.

More modern pellet grills/smokers are often fitted with PID controllers that use a mathematical algorithm to constantly monitor the actual temperature against the set temperature to adjust the feed rate of pellets to suit.

Now, I appreciate that this Pro may seem a little odd. I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘its a pellet smoker; aren’t they all supposed to be good at producing smoke!?’

Well, this is a carryover from the Con above of temperature swings. You see, while more modern pellet grills/smokers with PID controllers can hold a more accurate temperature, in some cases, they will actually produce less smoke than the Traeger Pro 22.

The Traeger Pro 22 has relatively good smoke production capabilties
While the Traeger Pro 22 is not capable of accurate temperature management, the result is good smoke production

The reason is that if a pellet grill/smoker is holding a very accurate temperature, it means the pellet fire is burning very efficiently. Hence, very little smoke is being produced.

Therefore, while the Traeger Pro 22 doesn’t have the ability to manage its temperature very accurately, it will produce more smoke as a result.

This doesn’t mean PID pellet grills/smokers cannot produce smoke, but they need a separate Smoke Setting to add in some temperature swing to generate more smoke, and not all PID pellet grills/smokers have this feature.

An area where the Traeger Pro 22 is lacking is its grilling capabilities out of the box, for a couple of reasons.

First, it has a maximum temperature setting of only 450 degrees. Furthermore, it lacks direct-flame access to provide higher temperatures at the grate for grilling/searing.

The grilling performance of the Traeger Pro 22 is subpar compared to the competition
Out of the box, the grilling/searing performance of the Traeger Pro 22 is subpar

Now, the grilling performance of the Traeger Pro 22 can be improved. Slap on a set of GrillGrates and use some 100% charcoal pellets, and the grilling performance will be vastly improved.

However, as you can see from our database, at the same price point, there are other pellet grills available with a higher maximum temperature setting and direct-flame access for the same money.

My Final Thoughts On The Traeger Pro 22

The Traeger Pro 22 has been one of, if not the best-selling pellet grills/smokers ever. The advantage of that fact is there are lots of suppliers of spare parts, so it means repairing an out-of-warranty grill is easy and relatively cheap.

However, as the market has moved on a lot since the Traeger Pro 22 was first released, at the $500 price point today, there are a lot of other options to consider with better features.

For those who really do want to own a Traeger, the Pro 22 is one of the cheapest options available. However, before you make that choice, I would encourage you to browse our database thoroughly to review all your options to help you decide if it really is your best option.

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