If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Traeger Renegade Series:
Traeger is a major player in the grilling game, but the brand has plenty of competition. One of their major rivals, Louisiana Grills, has been in business nearly as long and offers quality grills at bargain prices. How do their products compare? To find out, we decided to pit Louisiana Grills vs Traeger in this side-by-side comparison test.
In this article, we’re going to review the following pellet grills:
- Louisiana LG700 + LG900 + LG1100
- Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22
- Traeger Pro Series 22
- Traeger Renegade Pro
- Traeger Renegade Elite
- Traeger Texas Elite 34
- Traeger Pro Series 34
Shopping for a Pellet Grill: What You Need To Know
Before getting wrapped up in the product specifications, it helps if you know what to look for in a pellet grill. The following guidelines should help you understand our criteria for choosing the best product.
A high-quality pellet grill will use heavy-gauge steel in its construction. Sometimes the cooking grates will be made of steel as well, but some companies prefer a cast iron grate. A porcelain finish makes the cooking surface easier to clean.
400 to 600 square inches is sufficient for most standard-sized grills, but tailgating models may be a bit smaller. If you plan on using your grill on a regular basis or if you entertain often, then a larger model might be in order.
For travel-sized grills, a smaller hopper will make the unit more portable. If you’re dealing with more than 400 square inches of grilling space, the hopper should hold at least 18 pounds of pellets.
Unlike most charcoal-burning units, pellet grills can be set to the desired temperature through a digital control system. Built-in temperature probes allow you to keep an eye on the temperature without opening the grill.
Look for dual meat probes, which will monitor the temperature of the meat in addition to the heat of the fire. If you can find a grill with WiFi capability, you’ll be able to administer instructions through a remote app.
One to three years is the industry standard. Some companies will offer a longer warranty on defective parts, but labor is usually not included.
Louisiana Grills vs Traeger: The Basics
Here’s a general overview of the Louisiana and Traeger models that we’ve considered for this roundup. Note that because the grills in the Louisiana LG series are identical except for their size, we’ve consolidated their pros and cons into a single list.
This grill features cast-iron grates with 497 square inches of cooking space. An optional wire grid offers up an additional 210 square inches. The cart-style design features a lower shelf for storage. A digital control station and 14-pound hopper round out the package.
The LG900 is identical to the LG700 in all ways but one: The total cooking surface measures 913 square inches. The upper rack accounts for 280 inches on its own, which is nice for keeping bread products warm.
With 1061 square inches of cooking space, the LG1100 is by far the biggest unit in our roundup. Consider investing in this model only if you host large gatherings on a regular basis.
Pros of the Louisiana LG Series:
- Built-in flame broiler
- Ability to cook at high temperatures
- Good customer service department
Cons of the Louisiana LG Series:
- Confusing instructions
- Poor efficiency on pellet consumption
- Chintzy construction, especially on the hopper
Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22
The Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 is small enough to be used as a tailgating grill, but sturdy enough for everyday use. It features a barrel-style cooking chamber with porcelain-coated grill grates and a digital controller.
- Efficient design
- Built of quality materials
- Grill grates clean up easily
- Some minor leakage issues
- Erratic temperature control
- Smoke flavor is not pronounced with most pellets
Traeger Pro Series 22
With 572 square inches of grilling space, the Pro Series 22 represents a step up from the Lil Tex Elite, size-wise. The hopper is equipped to hold 18 pounds of pellets, and the sawhorse chassis adds stability to the stout frame.
- Versatile across a variety of cooking applications
- Modest yet adequate size
- Easy to maintain
- Erratic temperature control
- Some low-quality hardware included in packaging
- Inefficient auger system
Traeger Renegade Pro
With 380 square inches of grilling space, this unit was built for travel. The wide handle is outfitted with a heatproof coating, and the hopper has an impressive capacity for a tailgating grill. Be forewarned, however, that the oversized hopper might make transportation more of a challenge.
- Precise temperature control
- Durable construction
- Sawhorse chassis design
- Small cooking area
- Some issues with loose temperature probe
- Temperature probe doesn’t always stay in place
- Large hopper makes the grill harder to transport
Traeger Renegade Elite
This nifty grill is similar to the Renegade Pro, but it offers an additional wire rack for prep, as well as a front-facing shelf with built-in tool hooks.
- Convenient design
- High-quality temperature probes
- Plenty of prep and storage space
- Easy to clean
- Small hopper means keeping an eye on pellets during cooking
- Expensive for its size
- Somewhat bulky to transport
Traeger Texas Elite 34
The 646-inch grilling surface of the Texas Elite 34 makes it a good option for groups of six to eight people. The overall construction is solid, particularly the grease management system.
- Sufficient grilling space for larger families
- Quality construction
- Effective when used as a smoker for long periods
- Doesn’t do as well at high temperatures
- Works best when used in conjunction with pricey add-ons
- Not as efficient as some of the other Traeger models
Traeger Pro Series 34
This model boasts 884 square inches of cooking space—more than any other Traeger unit on our list. The heavy-duty construction and porcelain-enameled cooking grates ensure that it will be around for years to come. There’s even a rear door in the hopper that allows you to switch out pellets during cooking.
- Fast, simple assembly
- Hopper cleanout system
- Enough cooking space for large gatherings
- Durable wheels
- Bulky design
- Insufficient hopper size
- Struggles at high temperatures
Louisiana Grills vs Traeger: Features & Benefits
Louisiana LG series
These grills are set at a lower price point than their closest Traeger counterparts. However, since they’ll probably need to be replaced more frequently, they lose significant points in the value department.
While the overall construction of these models is solid, some of the components are on the chintzy side. The cooking chamber is composed of 14-gauge steel, with porcelain-coated steel cooking grates. But the meat probe is outfitted with an awkward, poky wire that gets in the way when you’re trying to set the temperature. The digital display is straightforward and easy to read, but it isn’t as sophisticated as some of the competition. Finally, the hopper is situated too high to be used as a shelf.
The models in the LG series are full-sized grills with enough cooking space to serve the entire neighborhood. If it’s sheer quantity you’re after, you can’t go wrong here.
All of the hoppers on the LG grills offer a 14-pound capacity. That’s on the smaller side, particularly for units of this size. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the pellet level when you’re cooking for long periods of time.
The temperature settings of the LG grills range from 170 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an excellent benefit that gives these models a definite edge over the Traeger grills, which struggle at temperatures over 400 degrees. You can set the thermometer in increments of 5 degrees for maximum accuracy.
Aside from the removable cooking rack, the built-in flame broiler is the most notable feature in the LG series. If the impressive temperature range weren’t enough, you also have the option of finishing your grilled meats with a lovely charred crust.
Louisiana Grills offers consumers a five-year warranty, above and beyond the industry standard. If you’re looking for a large grill and want to make a secure investment, consider investing in one of these models.
Traeger’s 22 Models
Traeger’s grills aren’t cheap, but that’s part and parcel when you’re a leader in the industry. Since they tend to outlast the competition, they can still be considered a good value, and these models are no exception.
Both the Lil Tex Elite 22 and the Pro Series 22 feature a sturdy barrel-shaped fire box made of heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel. Porcelain-coated steel grill grates round out the package. Two of the legs are outfitted with sturdy wheels to make the unit easier to transport. The Pro Series boasts a sawhorse chassis design for added stability.
The grilling grates on the Lil Tex Elite span 418 square inches of cooking space. That’s perfectly adequate for smaller families, particularly if you’re using this as a travel grill. The Pro Series 22 offers 572 square inches of space, so it’s suitable for parties of four to six people. If you don’t mind waiting between courses, you might be able to stretch the space even further.
At 18 pounds, the capacity on the Lil Tex Elite is generous for a smaller grill. Since you won’t have to refill the unit that often, keep an eye on the pellets to make sure they haven’t suffered any damage. The hopper on the Pro Series 22 offers the same capacity. However, the auger isn’t always as effective as it should be, which can lead to jam-ups in the cooking chamber.
The 22 models aren’t known for their accuracy. Both of these units struggle to maintain their temperature, even during low-heat cooking applications.
These are basic units with no notable extras to speak of, although the Pro Series 22 does offer a hopper cleanout system. The grease management systems are impressive, but the same is true of most Traeger grills. On the plus side, that makes them more affordable than some of the other models on our list.
Traeger offers consumers a three-year warranty on all their pellet grills, including the Lil Tex Elite 22 and the Pro Series 22.
Traeger Renegade Series
The Renegade Pro is relatively inexpensive for a Traeger model, but it’s also one of the smaller ones they offer. If you were looking for a travel-sized unit anyway, this is a great bargain. The Renegade Elite, with its extra space and stable design, offers an even better value.
A durable, barrel-style fire box and porcelain-coated steel cooking grates set these models apart. The sawhorse chassis design gives the Pro stability on uneven surfaces, while the Elite boasts additional storage space. Both feature heatproof handles to help prevent burns when you’re busy at the grill.
This unit boasts 380 square inches of grilling space—enough for two to four people. Either one could be just the right fit for a small deck or patio.
The hopper on the Renegade Pro is generously sized, with an 18-pound capacity. The downside? The added bulk makes the grill more cumbersome to transport. The Elite, meanwhile, has a hopper capacity of just eight pounds—perfect for afternoons at the beach.
The Renegade grills are generally better at maintaining their temperature than other Traeger units. These are capable of remaining accurate within 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The range is 180 to 450 degrees, which is suitable for smoking and grilling, but not ideal if you’re looking for a hard sear.
The superb digital control systems are the only “bonus” features in the Renegade lineup. What they lack in sophistication, however, they make up for in longevity and portability.
The Renegade Pro models come equipped with Traeger’s three-year warranty.
Traeger’s 34 Models
The Texas Elite 34 and the Pro Series 34 are more expensive than their smaller counterparts, but that’s to be expected with units of this size. As long as you’re making frequent use of the cooking space, then these grills provide good value for the money.
Like the other Traeger grills, these are constructed of heavy-duty steel with porcelain-coated cooking grates. The Pro Series version is far larger, but both are sturdy and well-built, with four wheels for maneuverability. The other primary difference? While the Elite model features a straight-legged design, the Pro version is outfitted with a sawhorse chassis.
With 646 square inches on the Texas Elite 34 and 884 on the Pro Series 34, these units are geared toward serious grillers who love to entertain. They also take up a lot of space, so be forewarned before you start unpacking.
At just 18 pounds, these hoppers fall in line with the industry standard but are on the smaller side for units this large. Make sure to keep a close eye on the pellet levels during long cooking sessions.
The range on these models is 180 to 450, the same as most other Traeger grills. However, they’re more effective at smoking than at high-heat cooking applications. Keep this in mind as you’re narrowing down your options.
Both of these models feature dual probes that allow you to check the doneness of the food and the interior temperature of the grill at the same time. The hopper cleanout system on the Pro Series 34 is a huge plus.
Traeger’s three-year warranty also applies to the 34 models.
Firing Up The Louisiana Grills
We scanned the Web to see what buyers had to say about the Louisiana LG series. Most reviews were positive, claiming that the grills were easy to use and imparted a great smoke flavor. One consumer reported that their LG900 was exceptionally heavy, but that speaks well of the unit’s overall durability.
Firing Up The Traeger Grills
Customer response to the Traeger units was similarly positive. Though these grills are built to last, they’re easy to assemble. The larger models are roomy enough to cook off large quantities of meat at once, and the results are reportedly delicious.
The Bottom Line
Do any of these grills meet all the specifications for the ideal pellet grill? While none are perfect, the Traeger Renegade Elite comes as close as it can. It’s durable, affordable, and maintains a precise temperature throughout the cooking time. The only caveat is its small size, which could make it less appealing for large groups. For anyone else, it’s probably the best bargain on our list.
Whichever model you choose, we hope it brings you many years of happiness and sustenance. Happy grilling!