Taken delivery of our Traeger Ranger - Pellet BBQ
We recently took delivery of the Traeger Ranger pellet BBQ.
Classed as a portable BBQ, it is compact at 54cm wide x 51cm deep x 33cm high and weighs 27kg. First thing you notice is the quality of the product - really sturdy and well finished.
I already have a few charcoal & gas BBQ's, along with a plancha, so wanted a fairly small unit just to see what pellet cooking is all about. The Ranger is perfect for the space I have available.
As with all Traeger Pellet Grills, you need an electric supply - low electric loading at less than 5amps on start up dropping to less than 2 amps when running - I have a supply with the BBQ's, so simply plugged it in. If you are thinking of using the Ranger as a portable BBQ on a day out, you can, but you will need an inverter attached to your vehicle battery to provide the electric supply.
There is a set procedure to follow for the initial firing - easy to follow, but I want to discuss the ongoing use of the unit.
First thing to do is select which flavour pellets you wish to use and fill the hopper. Then turn on the switch on the rear of the unit - this lights up the front control panel. Using he up/down keys, just set the required temperature. Then press the ignite button on the control panel. Within a few seconds you will hear the unit fire up. What is happening is an auger under the hopper takes the pellets to be igniter box under the grill tray. Traeger's are very clever in that the auger will take the right quantity of pellets into the igniter box to achieve and ten maintain, your desired cooking temperature. Place your food on the grill or cast iron plate and let the Traeger work it's magic. The Ranger comes with a really useful temperature probe that connects to the control panel. You know the unit will maintain the temperature you require, so simply press the centre control panel a few times until the probe temperature is indicated. Change the temperature if required by the recipe you are following, otherwise leave it alone.
When cooking is complete there is a closing down process to follow. Just press and hold down the centre button on the control panel for a few seconds and 'OFF' will appear in the screen - after a few more seconds a timer will appear running down from 5mins. After the 5mins, just turn off the power and clean the grills.
Regarding maintenance, the only thing I do is keep a cover over the unit to keep it protected from weather & after every 6 hours or so, I take off the grease tray that sits over the burner and sweep out the fine ash that settles from the burnt wood pellets.
So what do I think of the Traeger Ranger having used it a few times - well it is much better than I thought. The food quality I had tried before at one of The BBQ Store UK's Demonstration Day's - lovely & moist with various levels of smokey flavour. What I really appreciate is that when used in conjunction with the Ceramic Egg, I can concentrate on maintaining the cooking temperature of the Egg & know I can leave the Traeger Ranger to maintain itself - so larger BBQ evenings now run like clockwork - be that in Summer or Winter.
One final point I have learnt about Traeger Pellet Grills - at lower temperatures there appears to be more smoke flavouring than at high temperatures - so select the wood pellet flavour that best suits your cook & easily manage the different levels of smoke.
Trust you find this useful & if you have any questions about anything to do with BBQ'ing - do not hesitate to get in touch with the very knowlegable people at BBQStoreUK.
RB - very happy customer
- Paul Henley