A pellet grill doesn’t have to have a huge footprint in order to turn out quality grilled meats and side dishes.
When I first got serious about pellet grilling, I didn’t have a lot of space to devote to a new unit.
This prompted my search for a smaller model that would deliver on every level.
As a result, I compiled this list of Traeger Renegade Pro Reviews.
- Never use gas or charcoal again: cooking with wood just tastes better....
- Versatile barbecue cooking: hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger...
- Precision temperature control: The Digital Pro Controller rocks...
- Sturdy and Durable: Powerful steel construction and durable powder...
- Perfect size for the at-home cook: 380 sq. in. cooking capacity that...
Note: If this product is not currently available, feel free to substitute the Z Grills ZPG 450A instead. As the Renegade Pro’s highest-rated direct competitor, it should provide you with similarly effective results.
- ULTIMATE 8-IN-1 (Cover included): Barbecue wood fire pellet grill:...
- Pellet Grill Technology: There isn't an easier way to get wood-smoked...
- Set the Temperature, Relax, and Enjoy: Z Grills pellet grills will do...
- Consistent Results Every Time: The PID technology holds the tightest...
- Smoke, Grill, and Everything in Between: With its 180° to 450° F...
Traeger’s Pro Series: What You Need To Know
If you’re in the market for a Traeger Renegade Pro, you might be familiar with pellet grilling already, and are simply hoping to upgrade to a more durable unit. Or maybe you’re a beginner who just wants to start out with a high-quality model that will help to smooth out your learning curve. Either way, there are certain qualifications for pellet grills that every luxury model should possess. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for as you familiarize yourself with Traeger’s Pro Series.
Depending on your grilling needs, the cooking surface of a quality pellet grill can range from 200 to 1100 square inches. Smaller groups can usually get by with 300 to 450 square inches, while large families and frequent entertainers should invest in a grill that offers twice as much cooking space.
This number, too, can fluctuate depending on the size and quality of the grill. Determine your budget based on how much you can afford to spend, how much cooking space you need, and whether you’re planning to use the grill on a regular basis.
Read my review of the best budget pellet grills.
Setup and Ease of Use
A pellet grill will typically take an hour or so to set up, assuming that the instructions are clear and accurate. Once the unit is ready to go, it should be relatively simple to begin the grilling process. Maintenance features, such as drip buckets for grease and ash collection systems, will help make cleanup easier. Also, try to find porcelain-coated grill grates, which are less prone to buildup than their steel-only counterparts.
Look for a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give the grill versatility over a myriad of cooking applications, from low-and-slow southern barbecue to high-heat baking and roasting. The temperature should remain consistent and accurate throughout the cooking process, staying within at least 20 degrees of your pre-selected setting.
Material and Construction
The best pellet grills are constructed of durable stainless steel, with a rating of either 304 or 420 gauge. In addition to the aforementioned cast iron grill grates, look for a sturdy unit with legs that remain in place during use, with no shaking or wobbling. If there are wheels included for transportation, make sure they feature a locking mechanism.
Look for a pellet grill with the largest possible hopper capacity, relative to its size. A travel-sized unit, for example, will seldom feature a hopper capacity of more than eight pounds, while some of the larger models should be able to hold up to 20 pounds of pellets. The larger the hopper, the less often you’ll have to refill it, which will cut down on your overall maintenance time.
Also, bear in mind that pellets burn more slowly at lower temperatures. While high-heat methods such as grilling can burn through as many as two and a half pounds of pellets per hour, you might only go through half a pound in the same amount of time when smoking meats at lower temperatures. If the grill is regularly burning through pellets at a much greater rate, then it’s probably not the most efficient one you could find.
Many modern pellet grills feature digital readouts, dual meat temperature probes for accuracy, built-in interior lights, or Wi-Fi capability. If you feel you would take advantage of any of these add-ons, then you should plan on purchasing a high-end, late-model grill.
Most reputable pellet grill companies are willing to stand behind their products by offering a warranty on defective parts. A one- to three-year warranty period is typical, but it’s possible to find longer coverage if you shop around.
Traeger Renegade Pro Reviews: Product Specifications
Here’s what you get when you buy a Traeger Renegade Pro:
- Cooking chamber with built-in grease bucket for catching drips
- Digital Pro Controller
- Dual Meat Probes
- 18-pound hopper with cleanout function
Finally, be aware that Traeger grills work best with the company’s own manufactured hardwood pellets.
- Provides consistently even temperatures
- Excellent customer service history
- Additional cooking space available if you invest in a second grill grate
- Especially effective at smoking large cuts of meat
- Meat probe feature is on the chintzy side
- Some issues reported with loose control knob
- Puts out a lot of smoke during use
Read our review of the best Traeger products here.
Features & Benefits of the Traeger Renegade Pro
The Traeger Renegade Pro offers 380 square inches of cooking space, making it a small to mid-sized pellet grills. While you might want to look for a larger grill if you often entertain large parties, a unit of this size should be sufficient for families of up to five people. Be forewarned that if you’re cooking in multiple batches, it’s imperative to keep a close eye on the temperature to ensure that the grill is holding its heat.
Considering its moderate size, the Renegade Pro is a costly model. Its durable construction helps take the sting out of the high price tag; however, budget shoppers would probably do better to keep their options open.
Setup and Ease of Use
This unit can take as long as two hours to set up, which is relatively high for this type of product. Some comparable models can be put together in half the time. However, when you consider the fact that you probably won’t have to invest in another pellet grill for many years, the time could be a worthwhile investment.
Once the grill is ready to use, its operation is fairly simple. I especially appreciated the fact that the dual meat probes were included in the original purchase, which eliminated the need to buy them separately. The grill grates are porcelain-coated, making them easier to clean. Also, the hopper has a self-cleanout function that should cut down on the amount of time you spend on ash removal.
Traeger advertises “6-in-1” versatility for this unit. In layman’s terms, this means that you should be able to use the Renegade Pro for grilling, smoking, braising, roasting, and baking as well as traditional BBQ. The grill is capable of heating to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and is typically accurate within 15 degrees.
Material and Construction
The barrel and other main components are constructed of durable, heavy-gauge steel. The grilling grates have a similar composition, but include a porcelain outer layer to make cleanup easier. All four legs have sturdy wheels with locking casters, giving this unit an unmatched degree of maneuverability. A side-lift bar aids in the overall weight distribution. On the whole, this is an impressively well-constructed model that’s built to withstand many seasons of use.
The hopper on the Renegade Pro can hold up to 18 pounds of pellets, which is fairly standard for a grill of this size. When it’s set to low temperatures (say, under 250 degrees), it typically burns through a half-pound of pellets per hour. At higher temperatures, it can consume up to two pounds per hour. Again, these numbers can be considered representative of pellet grills across the board, as long as the unit remains in prime working condition.
The Renegade Pro features “set it and forget it” technology, meaning that you can select a desired temperature, add your ingredients, and walk away until the food is cooked. The dual meat probes will provide you with information on both the interior temperature of the grill and the meat itself. While this unit is not Wi-Fi compatible, its digital readouts are generally accurate.
A three-year warranty is included on all Traeger grills and grilling racks. Be aware that the company won’t cover damage that’s occurred due to mistreatment of the grill and its components. If you’ve purchased the Traeger Renegade Pro within the last 90 days and have changed your mind, you can return it unused for a full refund.
Putting It To The Test: Social Proof
In the course of my research, I scoured the Web for consumer reviews, encountering a few that seemed to corroborate my findings. Customers had good things to say about how easy the grill was to use, as well as the mouthwatering nature of the results. A word of caution: I wasn’t the only one who experienced issues with a loose control knob. Fortunately, the customer service department was quick to provide replacements in most cases.
While the Traeger Renegade Pro has many qualities to recommend it, there are plenty of alternatives that you might consider as well. Here’s the rundown on a few of its closest competitors.
#1 Z Grills ZPG 450A
Z Grills makes a pellet-burning unit that offers the same 6-in-1 versatility, but with 450 square inches of cooking space. Another plus? It’s available at less than half of what you’d pay for the Traeger model.
Traeger vs. Z Grills
- Cooking Space—Z Grills
- Cost—Z Grills
- Setup and Ease of Use—Z Grills
- Temperature Control—Z Grills
- Material and Construction—Traeger
If you like everything you’ve heard about the Renegade Pro but need a bit more space, give the Z Grills ZPG 450A a try.
#2 Camp Chef SmokePro DLX
This Camp Chef unit has plenty to recommend it: An impressive temperature range of 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, two cooking shelves with a total of 573 square inches of cooking space, and a reasonable price tag.
Traeger vs. Camp Chef
- Cooking Space—Camp Chef
- Cost—Camp Chef
- Setup and Ease of Use—Camp Chef
- Temperature Control—Camp Chef
- Material and Construction—Traeger
Take a look at the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX if you’re looking for a pellet grill that can heat to 500 degrees, thereby providing you with a good sear on your steaks and chops.
Check out of review of the best Camp Chef pellet smokers.
#3 Pit Boss 340
At first glance, this offering from Pit Boss would seem to be a direct competitor to the Renegade Pro. It provides roughly the same amount of cooking space and versatility, but at a far lower price. The hopper capacity on the Pit Boss 340 is only five pounds, but this could be considered a perk if you’re in the market for a portable model. Note that Pit Boss offers a five-year warranty on any pellet grill purchased after September 3, 2018.
Traeger vs. Pit Boss
- Cooking Space—Traeger
- Cost—Pit Boss
- Setup and Ease of Use—Pit Boss
- Temperature Control—Traeger
- Material and Construction—Traeger
- Efficiency—Pit Boss
- Warranty—Pit Boss
Do you plan on taking your pellet grill along on tailgating or camping expeditions? If so, give the Pit Boss 340 a try.
Other Pit Boss related articles:
Putting It Together
Whether you’re a first-timer looking for a long-lasting model, or a seasoned pellet griller hoping to upgrade to a better unit, the Traeger Renegade Pro could be the answer. Despite a few secondary design flaws, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more durable grill on the current market. If smoked brisket and pulled pork rank high on your hit parade, click here to take a closer look at the Traeger Renegade Pro.