Traeger Pro Series 34 Review: Should You Buy It in 2020?

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out if we still recommend the Traeger Pro Series 34 in 2020, then the short answer is YES. For more details, jump directly to our verdict section by clicking here.

In 1986, Joe Traeger became a pioneer in the outdoor cooking industry when he patented the world’s first pellet grill. In the three-plus decades since, the Traeger name has become synonymous with effectiveness, quality, and durability. To find out if this particular model lives up to the company’s sterling reputation, I composed this Traeger Pro Series 34 review.

Shopping for a Traeger Pellet Grill: What You Need To Know

Before you decide whether the Traeger Pro Series 34 could be the right unit for you, take a moment to narrow down your criteria. Are you looking for an inexpensive model that will get you started in the pellet grilling game? Or would you prefer a state-of-the-art grill with all the modern conveniences, regardless of the price tag?

The following list should help you narrow down your search. Remember that some answers will be largely dependent upon your own experience, while others (such as durability, reliability, and warranty information) are more straightforward.

Cost

Decide how much you can afford to spend on a pellet grill, and look for options that fall within that price range.

Size

Pellet grills come in a broad range of sizes. Some offer as little as 200 square inches of cooking space, while larger units can easily boast more than five times as much. The amount of space you need is reliant on the size of your party, as well as how much and how often you grill.

Reliability

You’ll want a unit with an automatic start function, which is standard for most modern pellet grills. Consumer responses should tell you a great deal about whether or not the unit starts up reliably every time.

Heat Retention

The cooking surface should heat evenly, with the current temperature accurately displayed on the unit’s interface. The best pellet grills are accurate to within five degrees Fahrenheit in either direction. Temperatures should also remain steady throughout the cooking process.

Construction

Look for durable materials, preferably heavy-gauge stainless steel. 304-grade is used for most high-end models, while more inexpensive brands might use 420-grade. The latter is still acceptable, but it probably won’t last as long.

Ease of Use

The best pellet grills are user-friendly, with easy-to-read digital interfaces and control panels. The instructions should be clearly stated as well Setup should take no longer than an hour, even for first-timers.

Pellet Capacity and Consumption

The larger the pellet chamber, the less often you’ll have to add fuel. Typically, the hopper on an average-sized pellet grill will hold around 15 to 20 pounds of pellets. If the unit is working efficiently, it should burn one pound of pellets per hour on average. Note that this number increases at higher temperatures, and decreases slightly for low-and-slow cooking applications such as smoking and barbecuing.

Additional Features

Some modern pellet grills feature Wi-Fi capability, so the temperature can be controlled remotely via your tablet or smartphone. Other practical add-ons include interior lights for nighttime grilling, tool hooks for storage, and built-in shelving for prep space.

Warranty

Reputable companies will back up their products with warranties, usually for two or three years. Bear in mind that these warranties tend to cover only defective parts, and don’t extend to normal wear and tear.

Traeger Pro Series 34 Review: The Basics

The Traeger Pro Series 34 comes equipped with a pellet hopper with an 18-pound capacity and hopper cleanout feature. The digital controller features Traeger’s Advanced Grill Logic (AGL) technology, which helps to keep the temperatures more accurate. Also in the box are a set of dual meat temperature probes, an extra grill rack, all-terrain wheels with locking casters, a cookbook, and an assembly tool kit.

Pros:

  • Large cooking surface
  • Excellent at grilling large cuts of meat
  • Durable quality
  • Versatile across six different cooking applications

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Takes a while to heat to desired temperatures
  • Shipping department sometimes leaves out a secondary part or two

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Traeger Pro Series 34: Features & Benefits

In this section, we’ll answer the questions that you should be asking yourself regarding the criteria we introduced earlier. When you’ve finished reading, you should be able to determine whether the Traeger Pro Series 34 would be the right fit for your household.

Cost

Traeger grills are usually priced on the higher end of the spectrum, and the Pro Series 34 is no exception. While it isn’t as cost-prohibitive as some of the more technologically advanced competition, it isn’t a budget option by any means. Still, when you take the quality and the company’s solid reputation into account, it could be considered a bargain if it fits within your budget.

Size

This unit weighs in at 136 pounds, and measures 49 inches high by 53 inches wide. The grill depth, which refers to the dimensions of the cooking area from front to back, measures 27 inches deep. This results in 884 square inches of grilling space.

What do these numbers mean on a practical level? Traeger claims that the grilling surface is capable of accommodating eight whole chickens of average size, seven full rib racks, or 40 hamburger patties. By anyone’s standards, this should be considered sufficient. If you entertain often and require a lot of cooking space, then this could be the right model for you.

Reliability

In my experience, the automatic start function gets the unit rolling every time. The early temperature readings were a little bit finicky, but to be fair, I was using the unit during the winter months. Once I remembered to set the unit to 10 or 15 degrees higher than my desired temperature in cold weather, it worked fine. Be forewarned, though, that it does take about 20 minutes to reach a temperature that’s hot enough for grilling burgers or chops.

Heat Retention

The Traeger Pro Series 34 advertises temperature readouts that are accurate within 15 degrees Fahrenheit in either direction, as per its AGL-equipped digital controller. However, I’ve found that they’re usually accurate within a smaller margin of five degrees. The dual meat temperature probes come in especially handy, especially when cooking larger cuts of meat. Just be sure to adjust accordingly when grilling in colder weather, as mentioned above.

Construction

Traeger wins high marks in this category. The heavy-gauge steel is built to last, and the all-terrain wheels are durable and easy to maneuver. All the cooking grates are made of cast iron with a porcelain finish. The parts all fit together easily, which translates into better heat retention. The finish is both attractive and solid, making this model a good conversation piece as well as an efficient cooking device.

Ease of Use

The assembly process might take slightly longer than an hour for this unit, but that’s largely due to its sturdy construct and wealth of added features (see below for more details on these). Once it’s all put together, the digital interface is simple to use. Some users have reported difficulty with the instructions, but if you’re familiar with pellet grills at all, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Pellet Capacity and Consumption—The hopper on this unit holds up to 18 pounds of pellets, which puts it on the higher end of the spectrum. Since the cooking surface is so large, however, it might be a good idea to perform regular checks on the pellet chamber during cooking. Remember that if you use the unit primarily for grilling and baking at high temperatures, it will go through pellets more quickly. For smoking and other low-heat applications, it should burn through less than a pound of pellets per hour.

Additional Features

The Pro Series 34 also offers a hopper clean-out feature. This makes cleanup easier and allows you to swap out the pellets midway through the cooking process—both definite perks for busy hosts.

Warranty

Traeger offers a three-year warranty on defective parts. This warranty does not extend to labor costs, so be prepared to perform any necessary repairs yourself.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Social Proof: Firing Up the Traeger Pro Series 34

In an effort to corroborate my own testimony, I took to the internet in search of positive consumer reviews. The following information was representative of my overall findings.

The Pro Series version of the 34 model works exceptionally well when it comes to grilling large cuts of meat, like rib-eye steaks. One user claimed that the unit can easily fit three beef briskets side by side. According to another satisfied customer, Traeger was quick to resolve the issue upon learning of a defective grill component. More than one consumer also praised the easy setup and overall user-friendly nature of the unit.

Comparable Models

If you’ve taken a look at the product specifications and decided that the Traeger Pro Elite 34 just isn’t the unit for you, we’ve still got you covered. Here’s the rundown on three possible alternatives. All of the devices listed share some common ground with the Traeger model, but each one also differs slightly in its way.

#1 Z Grills ZPG-700E

This model from Z Grills features 700 square inches of cooking space, an impressive temperature range, and versatility across eight different cooking styles. While it’s slightly smaller than the Pro Series 34, it’s also set at a significantly lower price point.

Traeger vs. Z Grills

  • Cost—Z Grills
  • Size—Traeger
  • Reliability—Traeger
  • Heat Retention—Tie
  • Construction—Traeger
  • Ease of Use—Tie
  • Pellet Capacity and Consumption—Z Grills
  • Additional Features—Traeger
  • Warranty—Traeger

The ZPG-700E could be a good option if you want to save a little bit of money and don’t mind sacrificing some of your cooking space.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

#2 Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

This portable pellet grill is set at a bargain price, and offers Wi-Fi capability in addition to a temperature range of 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Be forewarned, however, that it only features 219 square inches of cooking space.

Traeger vs. Green Mountain

  • Cost—Green Mountain
  • Size—Traeger
  • Reliability—Tie
  • Heat Retention—Traeger
  • Construction—Traeger
  • Ease of Use—Green Mountain
  • Pellet Capacity and Consumption—Traeger
  • Additional Features—Traeger
  • Warranty—Traeger

Check out the Davy Crockett Pellet Grill if you’re in the market for an affordable model that can be taken along on camping or hiking expeditions.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

#3 Pit Boss 820FB

As far as the competition goes, Pit Boss has come out swinging with this model, which offers 820 square inches of cooking space and a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s less expensive than the Pro Series 34, its construction is nearly as solid. The only difference you’re likely to notice is the wheel design, which are is large and brittle to be practical.

Traeger vs. Pit Boss

  • Cost—Pit Boss
  • Size—Traeger
  • Reliability—Tie
  • Heat Retention—Traeger
  • Construction—Traeger
  • Ease of Use—Pit Boss
  • Pellet Capacity and Consumption—Traeger
  • Additional Features—Traeger
  • Warranty—Traeger

For a similar model at a more affordable price, give the Pit Boss 820FB a try.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Other Pit Boss related articles:

The Bottom Line

For my money, the Traeger Pro Series 34 is definitely worth a look. While it isn’t a budget option, its construct is durable enough to ensure that you’ll get your money’s worth. If you routinely grill or smoke large quantities of meat at one time, then this model could be a worth addition to your cooking arsenal.

Click here to find out more about the Traeger Pro Series 34. I hope this review managed to answer any lingering questions you might have had about this particular model. Best of luck with your purchase, and happy grilling!

You might also be interested in checking our comparison of the Traeger Pro and Elite series.

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