Cleaning Your Traeger Grill: A Comprehensive Guide

Cleaning your Traeger Grill regularly is essential for maintaining performance and ensuring delicious, flavourful meals every time you fire it up. Not only will regular cleanings extend the lifespan of your grill, but it will also enhance the efficiency of your grill when it comes to preheating and maintaining desired temperatures.

In this article, I’ll break down the process of cleaning a Traeger into easy-to-follow steps, providing you with step-by-step instructions and handy tips along the way.

If you’re new to Traeger and wondering about their different models, you can read this helpful article.

Cleaning Your Traeger Grill: A Comprehensive Guide

Prepare for Cleaning Your Traeger Grill

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s important to take a few preparatory steps to ensure safety and efficiency.

  1. Gather the necessary supplies:
  2. Ensure safety:
    • Power the grill off or disconnect it from the power source.
    • Allow the grill to cool down completely if it was previously in use

Cleaning the Grill

The interior of your Traeger grill requires regular maintenance to remove grease, ash, and other residues that can affect the flavour of your food and performance of your grill.

I recommend degreasing and deep cleaning your Traeger grill once a year. Not only will it help it perform better, but it will also make it easier for you to clean since there will be less grease build up.

You should perform lighter cleanings and ash removal every few uses, depending on what you cook. This can be as simple as vacuuming out the fire pot, changing the grease pan liner and wiping down the exterior with a gentle cleaner. The main thing is to keep the fire pot clean so that your Traeger fires up quickly and adjusts to temperature settings more efficiently.

If you have the new Timberline or Ironwood series, you’ll immediately notice that the need to clean and vacuum the fire pot has been significantly reduced thanks to the new design. I have gone months before needing to vacuum the fire pot on my new Timberline XL.

Start with the Interior

  1. Soak the Grates:
    • Fill a large bucket or storage bin with water. Add 1/4 cup Branch Basics concentrate plus two scoops of the Branch Basics Oxygen Boost. If you don’t have Branch Basics, you can use a combination of Dawn dish soap, baking soda and vinegar. Stir to incorporate. Avoid harsh chemicals you wouldn’t want coming into contact with your food.
    • Add the grill grates to the bin and let soak 30 minutes to 1 hour. Note: If you have previous generation Traegers, it isn’t as necessary to soak the grates because they’re porcelain coated. They also likely won’t fit into any buckets large enough so just scrub them with warm soapy water as best you can.
    • IMPORTANT: If you have one of the Timberline models, which have steel grill grates, you can use a steel wool to scrub away the built on grease. If you have any of the other Traeger models, which have porcelain-coated grates, use a non-scratch scouring pad or sponge to clean away any grease.
    • Rinse and let the grates dry fully before reinstalling.
  2. Vacuum and Degrease the Interior:
    • Remove the drip tray and heat baffle.
    • Use a shop vac to vacuum any pellet dust and ash from the bottom of the grill and in the fire pot.
    • Spray the inner grill door and side walls with a non-toxic degreaser, such as Branch Basics. If you have stainless-steel liners, you can use steel-wool to wipe them down. For anything else, use a non-scratch scouring pad to avoid damage.
    • Spray the surfaces with clean water and wipe away any grease with a shop towel, microfibre cloth or paper towel.
    • Repeat this process until the grill is as clean as possible.
  3. Clean the Drip Tray and Grease Bucket:
    • Wash the drip tray and grease bucket with warm soapy water.
    • Rinse and dry thoroughly before reinstalling.
    • Line the drip tray with heavy-duty aluminum foil to make clean up easier next time.
    • Replace the grease bucket foil liner with a fresh one.
  4. Clean the Pellet Hopper: Keeping the pellet hopper clean helps ensure a smooth flow of pellets and prevents clogs or jams during cooks.
    • Remove any remaining pellets and vacuum the hopper.
    • Pay attention to the auger area and any corners or crevices where dust may accumulate.
    • Pour fresh pellets into the hopper, ensuring they are dry and of good quality.
how to clean your traeger grill

Finish with the Exterior

Maintaining a clean exterior keeps your Traeger looking great and helps prevent dirt, grease and rust from accumulating.

  1. Wipe down the exterior:
    • Use a sponge, microfibre cloth or shop towels along with some warm, soapy water or the Branch Basics All-Purpose cleaner to gently gently clean all of the exterior surfaces.
    • Pay special attention to areas with grease buildup, such as the perimeters of the grill door.
    • Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  2. Clean the control panel:
    • Repeat the above on the control panel.
    • Be cautious not to get water inside the control panel.
    • Dry the control panel thoroughly.
deep cleaning your traeger grill this summer, top tips
deep cleaning your traeger grill this summer, top tips

Additional Tips and Maintenance:

To keep your Traeger grill in top shape, here are a few additional tips and maintenance practices:

  1. Regular Vacuuming:
    • If you can do only one thing to clean your Traeger, it should be vacuuming the fire pot. A build up of ash will slow down preheating cycles and greatly effect your Traeger’s ability to regulate heat and temperatures.
  2. Line the drip tray:
    • Always line the drip tray with heavy-duty foil or use one of the Traeger liners. Once you notice a build up of grease, replace the foil or liner. This will make your life much easier and will also help prevent unwanted grease fires.

      Disclaimer: Traeger does not recommend lining the drip trays on the new Timberline and Ironwood series. I personally still do, but I make sure NOT to obstruct any of the perimeter air vents. I have had my grill for over a year, use it almost daily and have never had an issue.
  3. Yearly deep cleaning:
    • Schedule a deep cleaning once a year, preferably when it’s warm outside, so that you can take the necessary time to degrease the inner components and grates.
    • After cleaning your Traeger grill, refer to the user manual for detailed instructions on reassembling specific components.
  4. Cover your grill:
    • Invest in a high-quality grill cover to protect your Traeger from the elements when not in use.
    • A cover also helps prevent dust, dirt, and pests from entering the grill.
  5. Maintain the temperature probes:
    • Wipe the temperature probes and internal thermometer with a damp cloth after each use to remove any residue.
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals or submerging the probes in water.
how to clean your traeger grill

In conclusion, as unenjoyable as the task may be, it’s important to clean your grill regularly. It will improve your Traeger’s performance, safety, the flavour of your food, and is better for your health. A clean Traeger is a happy Traeger!

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