Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill – [Reviewed & Rated]


Tailgate grilles should be portable and easy to use without being flimsy or flimsy. How does Traeger compare? Is this entry into the hatchback scene enough for the fans to switch to wood? Let’s dive deeper into our Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill review.

Testing the Traeger tailgate pellet grill


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This new addition to the liftgate scene is sure to draw the attention of fans across North America.

While tailgate grills are nothing new, one built around a wood pellet grill is definitely a bold new addition to the scene.

Wood pellet smoker grills offer incredibly high temperatures, enhanced flavors and a cleaner burning fuel source that doesn’t accumulate the same amount of carcinogens as charcoal.

  • NEVER USE GAS OR CHARCOAL AGAIN: Traeger has developed the original wood pellet grill as the ultimate…
  • PRECISION TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The digital arc controller maintains a temperature of plus/minus 15 degrees F…
  • Take your grill and your wood grill with you wherever you go. Whether it’s the tailgate of your truck,…

Until recently, anyone who wanted to use a wood pellet grill had to lug around a full-blown model. If someone tries to die, they will tell you not to do it again.

Likewise, many hatchback grills are rickety, flimsy, and don’t offer the performance or space that their domestic counterparts offer.

What else makes Bring Tailgater different?

True to its name, its main objective is to provide you with a portable and easy-to-use grill.

While its cooking surface isn’t much larger than other grills, it has enough cooking power under its cooking grates for everyone to notice. Not some flimsy gas or electric model, but a wood fired beast that gives you all the pleasures of grilling or smoking over a real wood fire, but at a fraction of the cost and in a simple grill.

Not only does it give you a true wood pellet grill in a compact grill size, it has all the features we’ve come to expect from a Traegar grill. It has fantastic durability despite its distinctive size and is designed to get maximum thermal efficiency from your fuel source.

While its cooking surface is smaller than other Traegar grills, at 300 square inches it compares well with many other hatchback grills. There’s nothing wrong with it, and for that reason alone it should be on your shortlist for your next portable grill.

In reality, 300 square inches equates to roughly 18 hot dogs in one sitting, or 12 hamburgers. Certainly nothing valuable to smell.

Many grills offer you good portability or solid construction. However, Bring offers you both. At 62 pounds, it’s easy enough to pack and unload. It’s also big enough to fit in the trunk of your car.

Its weight and size also make it ideal for grilling on patios or apartment balconies, or even for camping.

User Friendliness

Relatively speaking, Traegar is still a relative newcomer to the scene compared to other brands. It was at the forefront of the wood pellet revolution at the turn of the century.

While that may mean that some purists look down on them, it means Traegar has always put ease of use first in its grills and smokers.

I’m happy to say that the Tailgater is no different. It features an easy-to-use digital auto-starter that will get your grill up and running in seconds. Simply fill the grill hopper (a mechanism that holds pellets before they are fed into the grill’s auger) and press next.

The grill’s hopper can hold 8 pounds of pellets, which is an impressive amount for a grill of this size.

Also compatible with the Savannah Stoker Controller .

Power and Performance

Did I mention that performance is a hallmark not only of Traeger, but of wood pellet grills in general. This grill gets to the point in a brilliantly practical way.

Despite its small size, it can generate around 19,000 BTUs of power, which is more than enough to grill for a period of time.

Want even more power? Learn how to get more smoke out of your Traeger

It has a built-in temperature probe that allows you to monitor and regulate the heat as you cook to ensure you don’t drift more than 20 degrees above your desired temperature.

However, I wouldn’t trust that blindly. As it is primarily a mode of cooking, temperature fluctuations are inevitable and no automated system can completely prevent them. Keep an eye on the heat readings and be prepared to manually adjust the heat if you find a large temperature swing starting.

For this reason I would not use this grill for grilling. Despite what Traeger may say, the Tailgater is too prone to wild temperature swings to be reliable enough to smoke well on a grill.

However, it’s great for grilling, where those fluctuations aren’t as detrimental. You can find excellent temperature levels and not experience the same level of cold spots or flare-ups on your surface that you sometimes die with charcoal or gas grills.

For me, that’s a big win as I don’t care as much about grilling on the tailgate as grilling.

It is also indicated that although there were temperature fluctuations, the grill also keeps the temperatures very well. As a result, the need to flip or redistribute food on the shelves was maximized, allowing the Traeger Tailgater to do its thing and hold our target heat relatively well.

Note that the grill requires a power source, typically from a standard 120 volt outlet. If power consumption is an issue, the grill will require approximately 300 watts for the first few minutes of heat up, before dropping to 50 watts once switched on and reaching ideal cooking temperatures where the pellet fire is allowed.

So it’s important to consider a power source, whether it’s direct input from your home or from your car. You can even get a propane generator.

  • NEVER USE GAS OR CHARCOAL AGAIN: Traeger has developed the original wood pellet grill as the ultimate…
  • PRECISION TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The digital arc controller maintains a temperature of plus/minus 15 degrees F…
  • Take your grill and your wood grill with you wherever you go. Whether it’s the tailgate of your truck,…

What Wood Pellets do I Need for The Traeger Tailgater?

While technically any wood pellet can work, Bring states that using a brand other than their own will void your warranty if the grill has any problems. While I personally don’t agree that other brands are less reliable, I would play it safe and go with their own brand.

Fortunately, these are readily available and inexpensive. Check out these Traeger wood pellets on Amazon.

After something else? Check out our Traeger Silverton Special Edition review.

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