Traeger Renegade Elite Reviews: Should You Buy It in 2020?

Any grill that carries the Traeger name has a lot to live up to. Throughout its 30-plus year history, the brand has cultivated a reputation for consistency and versatility that makes them one of the biggest names in the industry. The question is, how well do their individual products compare? These Traeger Renegade Elite Reviews will help you learn the answer for yourself.

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

If you’re familiar with pellet grilling, then you’ll already know that the cooking technique can transform even the most ordinary meat product into a succulent masterpiece. If you’re a novice, then you’re in for a treat. Cooking with a pellet grill gives you all the flavor benefits of charcoal grilling, but with far more control over the temperature. Enthusiasts claim that the flavor is even better than charcoal, because you can experiment with different types of wood in the pellet chamber. Some units are even equipped with Wi-Fi technology for hands-free cooking.

Whether this is your first time scouring the market for a pellet grill, or you’re a seasoned grill master looking to upgrade with a new unit, here are some of the key questions you should be asking yourself beforehand.

Size: Does the unit contain enough cooking space to suit your needs?

Value: Does the cost fit your budget? Is the unit large and sophisticated enough to justify its price tag? If it’s less expensive, are you likely to get your money’s worth?

Technology: What special features does it have? Does the temperature control feature a digital interface? What about Wi-Fi capability?

Temperature Control: What’s the temperature range on the unit, minimum to maximum? How accurate are the temperature readings?

Construction: Is the unit made of durable materials? Is it user-friendly? Does it feature additional space for storage and prep?

Ease of Setup: How long does the unit take to set up? Are the instructions clear and easy to follow?

Pellet Consumption: How many pounds of pellets does it burn through in an hour of cooking? (Note that this figure may vary, depending on the type of cooking you’re doing. See the Features & Benefits section below for more details.)

Warranty: Does the company back up its products with a warranty? What does the warranty cover—parts and labor, or parts only?

Once you have some idea of what to look for in a pellet grill, you’re ready to begin your search in earnest.

Traeger Renegade Elite Reviews: The Basics

When you buy the Renegade Elite, you receive more than just the standard pellet grill and hopper combination. Included in your purchase are a set of porcelain-coated nonstick cooking grates, a digital control system, a tool rack, two sturdy all-terrain wheels, and a built-in “EZ Drain” cleaning system with a steel bucket to catch the drips. This model requires an electrical outlet with 110-volt capacity. A remote temperature probe can be purchased separately.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Good value
  • Versatile across six different cooking applications
  • Eye-catching design

Cons:

  • Relatively small cooking area
  • Heat shield prevents meat from gaining a good char
  • Parts of manual are tricky to understand

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Features & Benefits of the Traeger Renegade Elite

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, it’s time to take a closer look at all the Traeger Renegade Elite has to offer. In this section, we’ll review whether or not this model lives up to the criteria we introduced earlier. In some cases, the answer depends entirely on your personal preference; only you can decide if this particular product is likely to meet your grilling needs.

Size

This model weighs in at just over 100 pounds, with a cooking depth of 22 inches cooking depth, a total width of 40 inches, and a height of 50 inches. It includes 380 square inches of total cooking space. While this number may be perfectly adequate for couples and smaller families (say, up to four people), you should probably keep your options open if you routinely cook for larger groups.

As a side note, this unit also has a larger footprint than you might be expecting for a grill with such a moderate amount of cooking space. Make sure you have enough room on your lawn or patio to accommodate it before making a final decision.

Value

While the Traeger Renegade Elite isn’t one of the costliest models on the current market, it’s still relatively pricey considering its size. That said, it does offer a multitude of perks that some comparable models lack. It’s also capable of performing up to six different cooking techniques: baking, roasting, and braising, in addition to the expected grilling, smoking, and barbecue capabilities.

Technology

The Renegade Elite is equipped with an LED digital controller that enables you to set the grill to your desired temperature before cooking. The digital readout also allows you to keep a close eye on its progress, thereby ensuring that the temperature doesn’t rise too high or sink too low. If you choose to invest in the remote temperature probe, you’ll be able to view the temperature from a distance, which will increase the convenience and versatility of the unit as a whole.

Temperature Control

This model is capable of maintaining accurate readouts within a range of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. While that may not be a major issue when you’re grilling or roasting meats, it could spell doom for your braising or barbecuing projects. If nothing else, this quirk means that you may have to spend a lot of time keeping your eye on the digital control panel to make sure that the temperature is remaining within your desired range. If you’re the type of cook who keeps many projects rolling at once, you might find this issue to be a deal-breaker.

Construction

The Traeger Renegade Elite is constructed of 20-gauge steel, with porcelain-coated nonstick cooking grates. The total heat output is 19,500 BTUs, an impressive number for a grill of this size. Included in the construction are a hopper door to make cleanup easier, a built-in tool rack, and two all-terrain wheels that allow you to easily transport the grill from one side of the yard to the other. You could even wheel it over to the neighbor’s house for game day. The wheels feature steel casters that lock them in place when the grill is stationary. The legs are durable and sturdy, with no vibration or tendency to wobble.

The Renegade Elite features the company’s “EZ Drain” cleaning system, designed to take some of the hassle out of your post-grilling experience. During cooking, the rendered fat will drip out of the grill’s bottom section and collect in the steel bucket that’s included for this purpose. You can then remove the bucket and dispose of the drippings as you see fit.

Ease of Setup

Setting up a pellet grill should only take about an hour of your time. Even if you’re a beginner, the instructions ought to be clear and easy to follow. If it takes any longer than that, then the issue is likely the fault of the manufacturer. This grill delivers in this category—it didn’t take me any longer than 45 minutes to get the unit up and running. However, once it was set up, the instructions regarding safe operation and maintenance became slightly difficult to follow.

Pellet Consumption

This model will burn about 2 pounds of wood pellets per hour, on average. That’s more or less par for the course—most units will consume as little as 1/2 pound per hour at lower temperatures, and as much as three pounds per hour when cooking over high heat. Depending on the type of cooking you’ll be doing, this unit can be considered efficient in this regard. Note that the hopper has an 18-pound capacity, meaning you’re likely to get in about nine solid hours of grilling before refueling becomes necessary.

Note that you’ll have to invest in Traeger wood pellets if you purchase one of their grills. Other brands won’t be compatible with the system, and may cause damage to the auger and heat propulsion system.

Warranty

Traeger offers a three-year warranty on parts, covering only those components that have been proven defective. Labor is not included in the warranty, even if the part was deficient right out of the box. Be aware that the customer service department can be somewhat difficult to deal with, especially if you’ve had an issue with one of their products.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Social Proof: Firing Up the Traeger Renegade Elite

To help corroborate my findings, I performed an internet search for reviews that seemed mainly positive. Overall, I was successful in this regard. While there were a few minor issues reported, the Traeger Renegade Elite seemed to deliver in all of the categories I’ve reported.

The versatility was praised above all, with some customers claiming that they were able to use the Renegade Elite to prepare everything from filet mignon to frozen pizza to lobster tails. Many reported particular success with smoked meats. More than one consumer recommended investing in the remote temperature probe for added convenience.

Possible Alternatives

In case you’re still not convinced, there are a number of alternatives to the Renegade Elite that you might want to consider instead. Here are three of the closest competitors I could find.

#1 Louisiana LG800 Elite

Louisiana’s LG series offers some of the most sought-after pellet grills on the market, and this Elite model is a cut above the rest. Like its Traeger Renegade counterpart, it features a digital control panel and an ample amount of storage space, but it offers a great deal more cooking space at 838 square inches. Moreover, it has a flame broiler to get that all-important sear on grilled meats, and the programmable meat probe is included in the original price.

Louisiana vs. Traeger

  • Size—Louisiana
  • Value—Traeger
  • Technology—Louisiana
  • Temperature Control—Louisiana
  • Construction—Louisiana
  • Ease of Setup—Traeger
  • Pellet Consumption—Louisiana
  • Warranty—Louisiana

If you have deep pockets and are looking for a deluxe unit that can accommodate large groups, take a closer look at the Louisiana LG800 Elite.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

#2 Z Grills 8-in-1 Pellet Grill

The automatic temperature control and built-in oil collector make this unit worth a second look. Considering its versatility—it has an impressive temperature range of 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit—its moderate price tag can be considered a real bargain.

Z Grills vs. Traeger

  • Size—Z Grills
  • Value—Z Grills
  • Technology—Z Grills
  • Temperature Control—Z Grills
  • Construction—Traeger
  • Ease of Setup—Traeger
  • Pellet Consumption—Traeger
  • Warranty—Tie

This grill from Z Grills offers many of the same features as the Renegade Elite, but it’s slightly larger and costs a bit less. If this sounds appealing, check out the Z Grills 8-in-1 unit today.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

#3 Rec Tec Bull RT-700

This grill is a beast by anyone’s standards, with its state-of-the-art technology, long-lasting ignition system, and dehydrating capabilities. The company even offers a six-year warranty with every purchase. The catch? You’ll end up paying a great deal for the extras, and the overall cooking space is only 700 inches—not a huge improvement over what the Traeger model has to offer.

REC TEC vs. Traeger

  • Size—Rec Tec
  • Value—Traeger
  • Technology—Rec Tec
  • Temperature Control—Rec Tec
  • Construction—Rec Tec
  • Ease of Setup—Traeger
  • Pellet Consumption—Traeger
  • Warranty—Rec Tec

Look into buying a Rec Tec Bull RT-700 if you’re interested in one of the company’s premium packages. These include customized pellets, seasoning products, cart accessories—just about everything that an experienced griller could want.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

The Bottom Line

Is the Renegade Elite a worthy addition to the Traeger lineup? My answer would be YES. It’s reasonably priced, easy to assemble (even if it’s your first time putting together a pellet grill), and it produces tantalizing results on a consistent basis. The EZ Drain system takes a lot of the sting out of cleanup and maintenance as well, and the layout is convenient and user-friendly.

Click here to take a closer look at the Traeger Renegade Elite, and start turning out the kind of four-star barbecue that will be the envy of your neighborhood. Best of luck, and happy grilling!

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