Are Traeger Grills Electric?

Pellet grills, such as the barbecues from Traeger, are an easy way to smoke your food and cook it to perfection.

What makes these grills so easy is that you only need to fill the hopper with pellets, set your temperature and then wait for your food to be cooked.

Gas grills and charcoal grills are much messier to operate but don’t require electricity, unlike Traeger pellet grills.

In this article, we look at whether all Traeger grills need electricity and how you can run outside without an electrical socket nearby.

Are Traeger Grills Electric?

Yes, all Traeger pellet grills are electric. While they use wood pellets as a fuel, Traeger grills need electricity to work the different components of the pellet smoker, such as the thermometer, fans and control panels.

Do all Traeger grills have to be plugged in?

Yes. Traeger grills need to be plugged in for them to work as they are electric grills with several electrical components. Without electricity, there is no way to feed wood pellets into the auger and ignite them.

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However, Traeger grills aren’t electric grills because they don’t operate in the same way as electric grills.

A Traeger grill uses wood pellets instead of electricity to grill and cook your food. This means you must plug your Traeger grill into a mains power socket.

Disadvantages Of Electric Pellet Grills

While electric Traeger grills are super easy to use and produce some super tasty food, the fact that these barbecue smokers require electricity comes with a few disadvantages.

Requires A Socket Nearby

One of the biggest disadvantages of an electric pellet grill and any grills that require a power outlet is that you need to have a nearby socket.

Traeger grills come with a reasonably long cable; it doesn’t extend too far. This means you will need to have a mains socket close to your grill.

Saying this, there are also a few alternatives to run your electric pellet grill outside, such as using an extension lead or a battery with an inverter.

Temperature Fluctuations

Another disadvantage of electricity-powered pellet grills is that they don’t produce a consistent cooking temperature.

Compared to electric and gas grills, Traeger pellet grills use a drip-fed system that puts pellets into the smoker’s firebox with an electronically controlled auger.

The pellets fall into the firebox bit by bit, which doesn’t produce a consistent stream, leading to slightly inconsistent temperature and temperature fluctuations.

This does cooking on an electric pellet smoker (see also ‘Best Vertical Pellet Smoker‘), such as a Traeger grill, a bit like cooking on a campfire.

Does A Traeger Grill Use A Lot Of Electricity?

No, Traeger grills don’t require a lot of electricity to run. As the electricity is used only to operate some basic functionality, like thermometer and auger, it doesn’t need a lot of electricity.

The real cooking in a Traeger pellet grill is done with wood pellets, so you only need a small amount of electricity to run your Traeger smoker.

The electricity required to operate a Traeger grill is much lower than running a fully electric grill.

How Many Amps Does A Traeger Grill Use?

To use your Traeger for a great barbecue, you must understand how much power your smoker uses.

The power required for your Traeger pellet grill is very little, and it usually requires a little more power to get fired up.

Traeger grills need 4 Amps in the first ten minutes, requiring only 1.5 Amps to operate the system components.

Is A Traeger Pellet Grill More Expensive To Operate?

Traeger grills are more expensive than electric grills, but the operating costs are relatively low.

When you look at the cost per hour of cooking, you can expect to pay a similar amount as with electric grills.

However, you will also need to factor in the costs of your pellets. 

Can You Use A Traeger Grill In The Rain?

Yes, you can easily run your Traeger grill in the rain. However, it’s important that you keep the Traeger pellets away from any water and don’t let them get wet.

It’s a good idea to put your Traeger grill in a sheltered spot, such as under a rooftop. 

While a few raindrops aren’t too bad for your grill, too much water can damage the electrics of your grill, and it can even cause your smoker to rust.

Traeger advises covering your pellet grill when you don’t use it. Although the exterior of your grill is waterproof, moisture can be corrosive, causing rust spots to appear.

Can You Use A Traeger Pellet Smoker Without Electricity?

Your Traeger pellet grill needs electricity, so you cannot use your smoker without electricity.

There is a range of features in your Traeger grill that require electricity to function properly, including the pellet grill auger, the digital controls and the hot rod igniter.

How To Run A Traeger Grill Without Mains

If you want to take your Traeger pellet grill outdoors or for camping trips, then you will need to consider how you run your electric pellet smoker.

Here are a few different options.


It’s possible to use a Traeger grill with an inverter. Just plug the inverter into a portable battery, and then plug in your electric smoker.

An inverter is often a more practical option than a generator, as inverters don’t run with a lot of noise.

Experts recommend that you use a 400W inverter for your Traeger grill, as the maximum wattage of a Traeger smoker is 300 Watts.


If you don’t have an inverter, you can plug your Traeger grill directly into your generator.

However, generators aren’t very quiet, so make sure you use them only for a short time.

Extension Cord

If you are near a socket, but your cable doesn’t go all the way, you can also use an extension cord to plug your Traeger grill socket in.

Final Thoughts

While Traeger grills use wood pellets as fuel, they need electricity to run some of the essential electric components of the grill.

Amanda Covington

Amanda, a culinary beacon for busy mothers, boasts over 20 years of creating quick, nutritious recipes. This celebrated food columnist, contributing to various magazines, has penned three best-selling cookbooks. A frequent podcast and cooking show guest, Amanda educates many on speedy meal preparation. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she manages her food blog and hosts workshops. Connect with Amanda Covington via Journo Portfolio or LinkedIn.

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