During the last years, the technological developments have made possible for us to try and explore new products. Pellet grills are one of these products.
Their popularity is highly rising year after year, thanks to their useful features and good marketing from their manufacturers.
Today, there are a lot of models on the market and Traeger is one of the most popular manufacturers with several best-selling products.
Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill is one of them.
If you have had grilling-related issues before that came about because of faulty equipment, then this Traeger grill aims to eliminate all those issues people may encounter, and we’ll dive deeper into how it manages to do that in this article.
We will take a overview on advantages and disadvantages of this model and what you need to have in mind before you invest your money in such model.
Let's dive in!
Table of Contents
- 1 Should you Buy a Pellet Grill?
- 2 Is Traeger a Trustworthy Company?
- 3 An Overview of the Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill
- 4 Key Features of the Traeger Renegade Elite Grill
- 5 Additional Features Worth Knowing About
- 6 Areas of Weakness for the Traeger Renegade Elite Grill
- 7 Traeger Renegade Elite Video Review
- 8 Is the Traeger Renegade Elite the Right Grill for You?
- 9 Other Cheaper Renegade Elite Alternatives:
- 10 Other High-End Traeger Grills:
- 11 Other Traeger Alternative Options
In a Rush? Our Editor's Conclusion:
Should you Buy a Pellet Grill?
There are several type of grills and smokers on the market today, like gas grills, charcoal, hybrid etc. Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Pellet grills have become very popular in the recent year and that's thanks to their useful features, efficiency and production quality.
Here are a few benefits of owning a pellet grill:
Ease of Use
Pellet grills are built in such way that will allow you to easily control and program any function you want.
They have multiple abilities, automatic pellet controlling unit, push of a button start-up without any fluid, very quick pre-heating and tons of several features, which make these grills very ease to use.
Precise Temperature Control
Pellet grills, especially the Traeger grills, are packed with several technological developments that make your grilling experience very easy.
One of them is the precise temperature control which allow you to control the heat levels with just a push of a button. The incorporated technology allow the pellets to be automated and only be released to the fire based on your programming, so you can easily maintain the cooking temperature.
The controlled temperature will also ensure an even cooking experience, which is recommended to cook big chunk of meats like roast or turkey.
Even though a gas grill can cook your steak faster, still it lacks the wonderful wood/pellet flavor.
Pellet grills use wood pellets to create heat and they give an unique flavor to your cooked food through the type of pellets you choose. You can even mix different pellet types to create a unique and perfect flavor to match your taste.
Traeger offer all their pellet grills with 6-in-1 versatility. With just one product, you can grill, smoke, barbecue, bake, roast & braise, allowing you to cook almost all sorts of foods like steaks, chicken wings, rack of ribs, grilled vegetables, seafood etc.
Is Traeger a Trustworthy Company?
Traeger Grills is a premium outdoor cooking product manufacturer which was founded in 1990s in Oregon, United States.
They are originally known for premium and high-quality pellet grills and actually the holders of the original patent for pellet cooking technology, which later on helped them become a huge authority in the market.
They have continuously produced high quality pellet grills, gradually improving their features and upgrading them with recent technological developments.
They have a very loyal fan base due to good reputation and their products are known for long-lasting materials, multi-function features and unique cooking flavor.
Overall, they have very good customer reviews, good customer service/support and all their products come with 3 year warranty.
So, Traeger is a trustworthy company with more than 28 years on the market and high-quality pellet cooking products.
An Overview of the Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill
Traeger’s Renegade Elite is primarily a wood pellet grill that can also be used for other cooking applications. A variety of technological features and smart design choices serve to make this Traeger grill easier to use.
It has a decent cooking space, digital controlled temperature and comes with 3 year warranty from Traeger.
Also built into the Traeger Renegade Elite are several additional features that make it more convenient to use.
The Traeger Renegade Elite works by utilizing an auger that pulls in the wood pellets stored in the hopper. The pellets are then moved to a fire pot where they are then ignited by a hot rod. An induction fan built into the grill helps to keep the fire going and growing.
Smoke and heat are allowed to circulate within the grill when the lid is closed, and the drip tray gets rid of excess grease. Grillmasters can make use of the included Elite Controller to keep the temperature of the grill where they want it to be.
Key Features of the Traeger Renegade Elite Grill
The best way to start evaluating this Traeger Grill is by first focusing on its cooking capabilities. As noted above, the versatility of this grill is something worthy of praise.
The folks from Traeger point out that the Renegade Elite can be used for grilling, smoking, braising, roasting, barbecuing, and baking food. At first glance, that may not seem remarkable. Many grills that come with enclosures can also be used for smoking, braising, roasting, and barbecuing, but if you plan to use them for baking, you are likely going to run into some problems.
When using Traeger’s Renegade Elite grill, proper baking is easier to pull off because the temperature level doesn’t fluctuate wildly. As long as you make good use of the Digital Elite Controller, you can keep the temperature level within the range you need.
Truthfully, you can still get better baking results if you use an oven, but if yours is broken or if it’s already in use, the Traeger Renegade Elite can fill in as a substitute and work just fine.
Temperature Control & Quick Startup
The Digital Elite Controller is designed just like a knob for an oven. Temperatures are clearly displayed for your convenience, and turning the heat up or down can be done quickly thanks to the user-friendly interface.
You are able to save so much time when using this grill because of the easy ignition. It makes a world of difference especially if you’re still new to this grilling thing. Instead of having to set aside time to start a fire inside your grill, the handy switch will do that for you.
With other grills, you are the one who has to wait for it to get ready. This Traeger creation does well to get rid of that issue. It will be ready to go as soon as you are.
Cooking Surface & Performance
In terms of size, this Traeger grill is pretty decent. Having 380 square inches of cooking area is more than acceptable if you want to grill up some steaks, while also boiling some corn on the side. If you’re craving burgers, then you can also grill the patties and toast the buns simultaneously.
Now, if you’re the type of grillmaster that loves hosting parties on the weekends and inviting the neighbors over, then you may find the surface area of this grill to be a bit small. Stick to grilling dishes that can be served in a hurry if you are planning to host a party. If a sizable portion of this grill is dedicated to something that will take a long time to cook, you will have trouble getting food out in a hurry.
Construction Quality and Design
On the outside, this product has a high-quality and well-build construction. Traeger uses steel for most parts of the grill, making it very durable and long lasting.
They also have used a powder-coated finish on the surface and painted several parts with a bright red, giving this grill a nice and sleek look.
If you are curious to know how this grill works, here it's a short summary of the process:
It starts with a three position switch which is controlled electronically. When it is turned on, the system releases a significant amount of pellets from the hopper and the rotating auger eventually push them into the fire pot. In the bottom of the fire pot, a small fan stokes the fire, releasing the heat into the belly of the grill.
Here it is a summary picture from Traeger showing step-by-step how this pellet grill works:
As for the grill cleanup process, it is typically not an enjoyable process, but at the very least, it’s easier to do with this Traeger grill. The grates don’t get clogged with leftover chunks of meat and vegetables. You should be able to properly clean the grates within a few minutes at most.
Additional Features Worth Knowing About
While the grill area included in this Traeger grill could benefit from being just a bit larger, the wire front prep rack included does help to offset that minor design flaw quite well.
You can do a lot with this additional surface. If you’re cooking up multiple steaks in succession, then you can take them off the grill after they’re done and just let them chill out on this additional rack. The rack also helps if you’re not ready to serve the food yet, but you want to keep it warm somehow.
As for the tool caddy, it can be used for tongs, and spatulas, and it just keeps you more organized. When the dish you’re cooking can get overdone in a hurry, you don’t want to waste time looking for your tongs. This tool caddy will help prevent that problem.
Areas of Weakness for the Traeger Renegade Elite Grill
As long as you’re sticking to just cooking for a few friends and family members, this Traeger grill should suit you just fine. If you’re thinking about using it as the only grill for a large party though, you may want to reconsider a larger grill.
You should also know that the wood pellets needed for this grill don’t come at dirt-cheap prices. Other types of fuel are cheaper, but on the bright side, the wood does indeed add a distinct and delicious dimension to whatever you’re cooking, so you can argue that the extra cost is worth it.
Traeger Renegade Elite Video Review
Here it’s a quick video from Traeger, showing how Renegade Elite Grill works and its key features:
Is the Traeger Renegade Elite the Right Grill for You?
So, should you fork over the money for Traeger’s Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill?
After taking a closer look at it and getting a chance to use it more than a few times, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
What truly sets this grill apart from many of the other options available on the market is how easy it is to use. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to grilling or already comfortable calling yourself a grillmaster, you will be able to appreciate the convenience provided by this Traeger creation.
To be clear, it’s not just an easy-to-use grill. Its performance is top-notch as well and it will help you whip up numerous grilled delights.
Also, it comes with about 40 pounds of wood cooking pellets which are worth about $40-$60 and an extra cover worth another $45-$50.
I know that the Renegade is a high-end series and it costs more than an average grill but if you strip out the price of these additional extras, then it comes down to a relatively acceptable price point for a grill of this built quality.
Also, considering the multi-functional abilities of these grills, their long-lasting reputation and a 3 year included warranty, then it can give you another perspective to this product. I recommend you to use this reference as a comparison point when deciding.
Your money will be well spent on this grill, and it will be a great addition to your backyard.
If you still don’t feel confident enough to go for such high-end grill, then there might be other options to consider.
Traeger offers a huge variety of products and all of them have very good reviews, so no worries of losing quality by switching to another model.
Other Cheaper Renegade Elite Alternatives:
If you are looking for a cheaper version, so you can save some money, then take a look at the Traeger Tailgater Grill.
It is slightly smaller with 300 square inches of cooking space and comes with foldable legs for easily moving it around.
Traeger Tailgater vs Renegade Elite
If you don’t feel like the Renegade Elite is the perfect option for you, then you can choose to go for an additional model, very similar to Renegade Elite, called Traeger Tailgater.
This model is the perfect option for those who like tailgating and are always on the go. As you may expect, it is slightly smaller than Renegade Elite, and you have to keep In mind that you may need to refill it more frequently than a full size model.
Except for the smaller 10 pound hopper, it features almost every other feature and function the Renegade Elite has.
It features 292 square inches of cooking space, which is more than enough for most people and also has an electronic auto start ignition, just like the Renegade model.
Since this is a tailgating focused product, it features foldable legs, making the storage of this model easier than Renegade.
Overall, the Tailgater is designed to be more portable than the Renegade Elite, with foldable legs, digital temperature control, grease drain but less cooking space and smaller pellet hopper, making it ideal for cooking on the go, on the beach or while camping. Worth mentioning is that this model is slightly cheaper than the Renegade Elite, making a great pick if you are in a tight budget.
Other High-End Traeger Grills:
If you really like the Traeger brand and are looking for a high-end version of their Elite series, then take a peek at their Lil Tex Elite 22 product.
It is slightly bigger than their average grill with about 418 square inches of cooking space and costs a few more dollars.
Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Renegade Elite
Another competitor of the Renegade Elite is the Lil Tex Elite.
The first thing that you will notice on this model is the stylish bronze finishing color on the construction. The Renegade Elite features an all black design, making it look more bold and chunky while the Lil Tex gives you a more elegant and stylish feel.
Like the Renegade Elite, it makes smoking your meat and checking the temperature very easy, thanks to its advanced digital control and LED display on the side.
The main difference between these two models is the cooking space, with the Renegade Elite offering you around 380 square inches of cooking space while the Lil Tex has a massive 418 square inches cooking area.
As a result, the cooking grates are larger too but the construction material and the non-sticking finish is the same on both models.
The pellet hopper capacity is the same on both models too and the caddy rack and the grease drain tray comes included with the package.
If you want to add a few functionalities, you can purchase a few external attachments, like folding shelf for more preparation room or purchase an insulation cover for long term storage and maintenance.
Overall, the Lil Tex is almost the same grill as Renegade Elite, but features more room for cooking activities. It comes with digital temperature control, grease drain, caddy rack and side wire.
If you want to add a few functionalities, you can always purchase extra accessories but the price can add up pretty quickly, making this model not so suitable for those who are on a budget.
Other Traeger Alternative Options
Don’t you feel like the Traeger products are your thing? There are a lot of other manufacturers on the market proving high-quality pellet grills worth considering: