Whether for Thanksgiving, a New Year’s party, or a another holiday celebration, when you’re planning a big food event starring your Traeger—and our pellet grills make cooking for a large group easy—there are a few things to check on before the big day. If you want your cooking to go smoothly, follow our holiday to do list with tips to follow a few days before the big cook.
A good way to begin your grilling holiday to do list is by double checking that everything will run smoothly day of. A day or two before you plan to cook an important meal on your Traeger, plug in your grill and switch it on. (You do not have to heat it.) Why? Similar to when your smart phone gets updated, Traeger occasionally sends updates to your grill’s firmware in order to optimize your grill’s performance. (NOTE: To receive firmware update, you have to have connected to the Traeger App; scroll down to learn more about the app.)
These firmware updates usually just take just a few minutes, but depending on your internet connection, they can take as long as a half hour. To get cooking on time, set a reminder in your calendar, then plug that grill in and switch it on. Few party preparations are as easy as this.
If there’s an update, the screen on the grill will let you know. You do not have to do anything; the update will start automatically. (Just don’t turn off your grill or unplug it.) The grill will automatically restart when the updating is complete.
If you regularly leave your grilled plugged in and on, there’s a good chance you may miss seeing the update when it happens. You can check which firmware version you have via your grill’s SETTINGS on the Traeger App or on your grill’s on-unit display. Compare the number you find there to this status page. If it’s not a match, don’t worry; you can still cook with your grill. However, you may want to check the grill for any notifications or reach out to Traeger customer support to help get it updated for optimum performance.
As you (hopefully) already know, the Traeger App, which connects to most of our grills, is an amazing tool that lets you monitor and adjust your grill remotely. If you have not already tried it, download it for free from the Apple Store or Google Play for Android users. Connecting the app to your grill should also be high on your holiday to do list because using it allows you to spend more time with your party guests and less time at the grill checking on the food.
To connect the app to your grill, tap the grill icon on the center of the footer and simply follow the onscreen instructions. Once connected, you can check on your grill’s temperature (and adjust it), check the pellet level, monitor food temps if using a connected thermometer, and even shut the grill down from your couch. Plus, you have access to more than 1,500 connected recipes at your fingertips.
If you're already enjoying the app, do check that you have the most recent version. If your smart device does not update automatically, go to the app in the app store and hit UPDATE.
The best way to check on the doneness of what's cooking on the grill is with a meat thermometer. This is especially true for the large roasts we often cook for special occasions.
Sure, you can use an instant-read thermometer, but to get a reading you have to go out and open the grill (losing valuable heat) and insert the thermometer (causing more juice to run out with each poke). Much better is to use a leave-in meat thermometer.
Most Traeger grills come with wire-connected thermometers that send real-time temperature information to the Traeger app. Some (namely the Timberline series of grills) come with a special Traeger x MEATER thermometer, which does the same but is wireless. Then there is our standard wireless MEATER® thermometers that you can buy separately and use with the MEATER App. With all of these, you can set an alarm for your desired internal temperature and track the cooking while sitting comfy in your house or hanging out with friends and family. If you don’t have one of these, make sure to add it to your gift list.
Pro Tip: Be sure to charge your wireless thermometers so they are ready to go. In fact, be sure to add this to your grill holiday to do list, too.
Don’t get caught with your pellets down. Make sure you have the pellet you want to cook with in abundance, especially if you plan to celebrate with something like a long cooking brisket. Check that you have all the rubs and sauces your recipes need, and that you have all the right accessories to make cooking up your special feast a breeze. If you have a week or more before the big day, it’s easy to order all of this at Traeger.com/ca/en. Otherwise, find out a local Traeger dealer and stock up.
Say hello to bold hickory hardwood flavor. This brisket is given a Traeger Beef Rub coating then smoked low n’ slow to tender perfection.
Give your pork a sweet and smoky kick. These tenderloins are marinated in a sweet honey and thyme mixture and smoked to perfection over aromatic applewood pellets.
Prepare your smoked turkey outside on the Traeger to free up oven space. Let that bird smoke its way to deliciousness while catching up with relatives on Thanksgiving. The smoked flavor will be worth getting scrappy over.
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Take command of your grill from the couch, or on-the-go with the Traeger App. And with thousands of recipes available, inspiration is just a tap away.Get the app