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Cleaning Guide: How To Clean A Traeger Grease Trap & More


Discover the secret to keeping your pellet grill in top-notch condition with our definitive guide on how to clean grease buildup in your pellet grill. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover all the grease buildup areas like the Traeger grease trap, chimney, keg, etc. Dive into step-by-step instructions, savvy grease prevention strategies, and uncover the must-have tools for effortless maintenance. Kick off your spring cleaning by tackling the grime on your Traeger.

Where Does Grease Build Up?

When it comes to your Traeger grill, grease can accumulate in various areas, both inside and outside of the grill. Across all of our pellet grills, the inside and outside of the grill and the grill grates are prime spots for grease buildup due to cooking residue and drippings.

Make sure to frequently wipe down the inside and outside of the lid, shelves, and even the wheels with a paper towel or disposable cloth to prevent grease buildup.

However, depending on your Traeger model, there may be specific areas unique to its design that require attention during cleaning. Taking a comprehensive approach ensures you address all potential grease buildup areas, keeping your grill in top condition for some epic cooking results.

How To Clean A Traeger Grease Trap

A good rule of thumb to have when it comes to spring cleaning your Traeger Grill is to always check the grill grates (unless you have a Flatrock Grill of course, but more on that later), the outside, and the inner walls of the grill. Each model of a Traeger though is different – read on for how to clean the different Traeger grease traps and other areas.

Traeger Grease Trap/Chute

Maintaining your Traeger grill is essential for great grilling experiences. One key component to look after is the grease chute, which channels grease from your cooking area to the grease bucket. Keeping it clean ensures your grill runs efficiently and safely. To clean the Traeger grease trap, follow these steps:

  • Turn Off and Cool Down:

    • Ensure the grill is off and completely cool.
  • Remove Components:

    • Take out the grill grates and drip tray. It's a great time to clean these too!
  • Locate the Grease Chute:

    • Find the metal channel under the drip tray.
  • Clean the Chute:

    • Use a nylon grill brush to scrape off grease and debris. Wipe away any residue with paper towels or disposable rags.


The chimney is another essential area of the grill to clean (if you have a pro series wood pellet grill, this section is for you). This crucial grill component ensures your grill maintains the perfect temperature by regulating airflow. It also allows smoke to escape, infusing your food with delicious flavor, and evenly distributes heat throughout your cook. As vital as it is to grill performance, keeping it clean is equally essential.

Follow these steps:

  • Cool Down and Power Off:

    • Before diving in, make sure your grill is completely cooled down and turned off.
  • Remove the Cap:

    • Loosen the cap atop the chimney.
  • Inspect and Discover:

    • Peer into the chimney. Any grease or soot buildup needs your attention.
  • Clean:

    • Equip yourself with Traeger Grill Cleaner and something to wipe the chimney down with. We recommend a nylon brush and tongs with a paper towel for those harder-to-reach areas. As you clean out the chimney make sure that there isn't any stubborn grime leftover.
  • Cap TLC:

    • Don't forget the cap. Give it a thorough scrub too, ensuring every part of the chimney is clean of grease and buildup.
  • Dry and Reassemble:

    • Once sparkling clean, let everything dry completely. Then, reassemble with the confidence of a pitmaster ready to conquer the next cookout.

By taking care of your grill, you'll continue to have reliable airflow and delicious BBQ to boot.

Grease & Ash Keg

Another grease channel on the Traeger is the grease and ash keg. This key area (located on the Timberline & Ironwood Series) is located beneath the firepot where the wood pellets burn during cooking. This disposable keg makes for a quick and easy cleanup. Simply change the liner when it fills up and replace it with a new one.

Drip Tray

The drip tray on your Traeger is an essential component for managing grease and ensuring grilling success. Located beneath the grill grates, it channels food debris and grease to prevent flare-ups. Follow these steps to clean it

  1. Cool Down the Grill:

    • Before starting, ensure your Traeger grill is turned off and completely cooled down to a safe temperature.
  2. Remove the Drip Tray:

    • Locate the drip tray beneath the cooking grates. Depending on your model, it may slide out or require lifting.
  3. Dispose of Grease and Drippings:

    • Carefully pour any accumulated grease and drippings from the drip tray into a suitable container. You can use a spatula or rubber scraper to help collect stubborn residue. Just make sure whatever tool you use won't damage your grill.
  4. Clean the Drip Tray:

    • Wash the drip tray with warm, soapy water and a sponge or cloth to remove the remaining grease and food particles. For tougher stains or buildup, you may use the Traeger cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water.
  5. Rinse and Dry:

    • Thoroughly rinse the drip tray with clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure it is completely dry before placing it back into the grill to prevent rust.
  6. Replace the Drip Tray:

    • Once clean and dry, slide or place the drip tray back into its position under the cooking grates.

Depending on your model, you can purchase a Traeger Drip Tray Liner or cover it in aluminum foil to make cleanup even easier.

How To Clean Grease Off A Flatrock Grill

Unlike our smokers, there aren’t any grill grates or chimneys that you’ll need to clean up. Instead, you’ll focus most of your attention on the cooktop.

Start by purchasing our Traeger Flat Top Grill Essentials Kit to make clean up that much easier. Once you’re done with your cook, keep the grill on, scrape any bits of food and grease into the grease chute, followed by spraying the surface with water. Once you’ve done that, repeat step one. When you feel like you’re close to the end, feel free to use a towel or heavy-duty paper towels to wipe the surface clean.

Once the griddle is cleaned off, you’ll need to re-oil it. This might feel like you’ve just wasted all the time you spent cleaning it, but it’s important for preventing rust, and maintaining the seasoning on your flat top.

The final grease-cleaning step is to empty the EZ-Clean Grease Keg.

Read our Flatrock Grill cleaning guide for more step-by-step instructions, and if you haven’t gotten one yet, see why it’s an essential grill for every Traeger owner.

Tools For How to Clean a Traeger Grease Trap, etc.


Whether you’re cleaning a Pro 780, Ironwood XL, Timberline XL, or Flatrock Grill, you’ll want to invest in the following tools:

  1. Traeger BBQ Cleaning Brush
  2. Traeger Wooden Grill Grate Scraper
  3. All-Natural Grill Cleaner
  4. Disposable Cloths or Heavy-Duty Towels.

If you want to go the DIY route, we recommend getting distilled white vinegar, onion, lemon, baking soda and vinegar, and dish soap. You can learn how to use these tools more in our Traeger cleaning article.

How To Prevent Grease Build-Up

Grease is inevitable when you’re cooking up delicious foods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to prevent a lot of grease buildup.

  • Clean Frequently: Make sure to scrap grease and food buildup off the grates, flat top, and drip tray after each use.
  • Use Drip Tray Liners: If applicable to your grill model, use drip tray liners to catch extra grease and food particles. Just make sure to throw them away when necessary.
  • Monitor Cooking Temperatures: At Traeger, we love cooking low and slow to get that extra wood-fired flavor. However, lower temperatures can also result in more grease buildup compared to higher-temperature cooks. Make sure to keep an eye on the grease buildup after these slower cooks.
  • Use A Grill Cover: By using a grill cover, you’ll protect your pellet grill from rain and humidity which can accelerate the accumulation of grease. It’ll also block debris and sunlight which can make grease even harder to clean up.
  • Follow Cleaning Timelines: How often you clean your grill is ultimately up to you, but we highly recommend following this timeline:

After Every Use: Wipe down spills and scrape off grill grates (if food touched grates).

Every 2-3 Cooks (Every 20-24 Hours of Cook Time): Deep clean the inside of the grill.

Every 3 Months: Clean the outside of the grill (more often if you don’t have a grill cover)

Every 6 Months: Clean the grease chute (or the downdraft if the grill doesn’t have a chimney)

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Products to Clean Your Grill

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Smoked Recipes

Stuck on what to smoke on a Traeger? Discover some of our favorite smoked recipes from ribs to salmon.

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