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Traeger Eastwood 22 Review: What’s Good and What’s Not

Traeger Eastwood 22 Review: What’s Good and What’s Not

If it’s authentic wood-fired flavor you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a pellet grill. These ingenious inventions use real wood pellets for fuel, imbuing the ingredients with flavor combinations that range from subtle to intense.

Traeger grills are an excellent place to begin your search, as the company is credited with inventing the pellet grill over 30 years ago. The brand is well-known within the grilling industry and continues to turn out quality products year after year.

With the Eastwood, Traeger has attempted to stay ahead of the competition, creating a grill that’s as versatile as it is durable. This Traeger Eastwood 22 review should tell you everything you need to know about this latest offering.

Pros:

  • Superb construction
  • Reliable customer service
  • Easy to assemble
  • User-friendly control panel

Cons:

  • Narrow temperature range
  • Some shipping issues reported

Traeger Eastwood 22 Review: Features & Benefits

Buyers should note that there are two Eastwood models: the 22 and the 34. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be sticking with the 22.

Design

This is a freestanding cart-style pellet grill with a sawhorse chassis design. Two durable all-season wheels are affixed to the legs on the right-hand side, so the unit can be moved around the yard with ease. Because it weighs just 103 pounds, it’s not difficult to maneuver.

There’s no shelving available on this grill, which may be a turnoff to some buyers. Fortunately, the hopper is large and sturdy enough to be used as a storage area if necessary.

We find the sawhorse chassis to be a useful feature. While straight-legged models have an attractive streamlined appearance, the splayed legs give the grill additional stability, especially on uneven terrain. They also come in handy when the grill needs to be moved to another location.

Construction

Traeger’s Eastwood grills offer a durable steel construction with a powder-coated finish. The barrel-shaped firebox is able to withstand the highest temperatures without suffering any ill effects. For more information about the unit’s ability to hold its heat, see Heat Retention, below.

Porcelain-coated steel grilling grates come standard with this model. They’re as sturdily built as the rest of the unit, and the porcelain enameling makes the cleanup go much more smoothly.

Over the past three decades, Traeger has built up a stellar reputation for quality and longevity. The Eastwood line only serves to uphold this tradition with a solidly constructed model that’s built to last.

Size

The Traeger Eastwood 22 offers 418 square inches of cooking space. That should be enough to hold about 20 hamburger patties, depending on their size. The grill is also roomy enough to accommodate four whole chickens, four rib racks, or a whole packer brisket at once.

While this unit isn’t quite compact enough to be classified as a travel-sized grill, it’s a good size for couples or small families. If you plan to entertain often and use your pellet smoker as the centerpiece, you might want to check out a larger model.

Hopper Capacity

This unit comes equipped with a hopper that boasts a pellet capacity of 18 pounds. Given the grill’s relatively low capacity, this is a particularly generous feature.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to go through two pounds of pellets per hour at high temperatures and one pound per hour at low temps. Therefore, with an 18-pound hopper, you can grill at high temperatures for up to nine hours, or perform low-and-slow cooking applications for as long as 18 hours.

18 pounds is considered fairly standard for a pellet hopper. Some plus-sized units might offer more space, but that’s because they need the extra fuel to accommodate the larger cooking surface. For a grill with just 418 square inches of grilling space, an 18-pound hopper is an excellent perk.

wood pellets in a smoker pellet box for barbecue

Heat Retention

Now comes the million-dollar question: Is the Traeger Eastwood 22 capable of holding its heat long enough to cook the food properly?

Thanks to the powerful steel walls on the firebox, the answer is yes. As long as the unit has been assembled correctly, with the lid closing tightly enough to seal in the smoke, the grill does a fine job of retaining its heat. If you’re planning on using the unit for smoked meats like pulled pork, you should be especially satisfied with this purchase.

Temperature Control

For the Eastwood models, Traeger advertises 6-in-1 versatility. These numbers refer to the fact that you can use this single unit for grilling, baking, roasting, smoking, braising, and barbecuing.

The Eastwood comes with a digital LED controller that allows you to fire up the unit in five minutes flat. The controller is easy to use, even if you’ve never cooked with a pellet grill before, and the readout is generally accurate. If you have trouble getting the grill to come up to the set temperature, it’s probably because one of the parts is defective.

On the whole, we’re pleased with the Eastwood’s performance in this category. However, we do have one bone to pick. While it’s possible to set the temperature low enough to make beef jerky or smoked pork belly, the maximum temperature is just 450 degrees.

450 degrees isn’t hot enough for grilled pizza or flatbread, nor is it the ideal temperature for searing. In our opinion, the limited temperature range is the Eastwood’s greatest shortcoming.

Cleanup and Maintenance

As we mentioned, the cooking grates on the Eastwood clean up easily enough. But what about the rest of the grill?

Any grease runoff is directed into a bucket that’s affixed to the side of the unit. The system is as well-designed as any, and the bucket is generously sized and simple to remove. When the cooking grates are taken out, it’s easy to scrub out the firebox with a stiff wire brush–something we would recommend doing on a monthly basis.

Finally, the bad news: the hopper doesn’t have a side door, which makes it difficult to switch out the pellets. You might want to invest in a sturdy scoop or other tool to aid with this task.

Warranty

The main body of the grill and the porcelain-enameled steel cooking grates are all under warranty for three years following the date of purchase. Because some competitors only offer a one-year warranty for their pellet smokers, this is a generous guarantee.

Remember that the warranty covers only parts that are damaged or defective. If the auger isn’t functioning correctly when you set up the grill, then it should be covered. On the other hand, if the firebox rusts through because you didn’t care for the grill properly, the company won’t provide you with a replacement.

Social Proof

Although we were initially impressed with the Traeger Eastwood 22, we were interested in what other buyers might have had to say about it. Here’s a sampling of our findings.

The Eastwood 22 was said to be reliable overall, turning out succulent smoked meats and juicy grilled steaks. The advertising was said to be misleading–for example, the “silver” paint color was closer to gray–but because of the grill’s strong performance, most people weren’t bothered by that. Above all, the grill earned high marks from consumers.

Possible Alternatives

The Traeger Eastwood 22 is only available for purchase through Home Depot. If you can’t find it, or if you just want to keep your options open, try one of these alternatives instead.

#1 Z Grills ZPG-450A

With 450 square inches of grilling space, the ZPG-450A is roughly the same size as the Eastwood. It also has a similar temperature range. The hopper can hold 20 pounds of pellets, so you can plan on longer cooking sessions. Z Grills offers a free customized grill cover with the purchase of this unit.

How they compare:

  • Design-Traeger
  • Construction-Traeger
  • Size-Z Grills
  • Hopper Capacity-Z Grills
  • Heat Retention-Traeger
  • Temperature Control-Traeger
  • Cleanup and Maintenance-Traeger
  • Warranty-Tie

If you’re looking for a grill that performs many of the same functions as the Eastwood at a more affordable price, the ZPG-450A could be just the ticket. 

#2 Pit Boss PB440D2

The PB440D2 features a slide-out storage tray and an impressively designed grease management system. It’s set at an affordable price, and it comes with a generous 5-year warranty. However, be aware that the hopper holds just 5 pounds of pellets.

How they compare:

  • Design-Traeger
  • Construction-Traeger
  • Size-Pit Boss
  • Hopper Capacity-Traeger
  • Heat Retention-Traeger
  • Temperature Control-Pit Boss
  • Cleanup and Maintenance-Traeger
  • Warranty-Pit Boss

The Pit Boss PB440D2 is an impressive pellet grill with plenty of nifty features, including a built-in bottle opener. Give it a try if you’re looking for a unit with a decent amount of storage space. 

#3 Big Horn Outdoors Pellet Grill and Smoker

If the Traeger Eastwood doesn’t sound quite large enough to suit your needs, the Big Horn could be the answer. Offering 700 square inches of cooking space, the unit comes equipped with a lower storage shelf and several tool hooks. One word of caution: the grease bucket is a bit too small for a unit this size.

How they compare:

  • Design-Big Horn
  • Construction-Traeger
  • Size-Big Horn
  • Hopper Capacity-Traeger
  • Heat Retention-Traeger
  • Temperature Control-Traeger
  • Cleanup and Maintenance-Traeger
  • Warranty-Traeger

Check out the Big Horn Outdoors Pellet Grill and Smoker if you have a big family or enjoy hosting large gatherings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the Traeger Eastwood 22 and the 34?

The Eastwood 34 is larger, with 884 square inches of cooking space and a total weight of 136 pounds. Otherwise, the units offer similar benefits.

Can I use the Eastwood 22 to make jerky products?

Yes, you can set the grill to temperatures low enough to make homemade beef jerky. Just remember to keep an eye on the pellet level, as the process takes many hours.

Is it safe to use wood pellets for cooking?

As long as you use food-grade pellets and not the kind that are designed for home heating use, it’s perfectly safe to cook with wood pellets. Be sure to experiment with different flavors to make the most of your grilling experience.

The Bottom Line

After compiling the information for this Traeger Eastwood 22 review, we can’t deny that it’s a great pellet grill from a reputable company. However, since it can only be purchased through Home Depot, it can be difficult to find. For that reason, we would recommend taking a look at the Traeger Pro Series 22 instead.

The Pro 22 is similarly constructed, and it offers 418 square inches of grilling space in addition to a 154-square inch warming rack. It’s just as lightweight and easy to clean as the Eastwood, and it features Traeger’s Advanced Grilling Logic for precise temperature control.

To check out the Traeger Pro Series 22, click here.