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A Holiday To Do List For Getting Your Grill Ready

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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 Otherwise, find out a local Traeger dealer and stock up.


Now that your grill is holiday ready, make sure to explore our collections of celebratory recipes:

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

by Mandy Tanner

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time

30 Min




Turkey Blend

Not only do these mashed potatoes offer the convenience of making them ahead, they’re also pre-portioned and look great on the plate. Feel free to experiment with the herbs in the garlic butter: chopped parsley, sage, or chives are also good options.

Mashed Potatoes
3 PoundYukon Gold or baby yellow potatoes
4 Tablespoonunsalted butter
1/4 Cupheavy cream
1/4 Cupwhole milk
2 TeaspoonKosher salt
1/2 TeaspoonFreshly ground black pepper
Cooking oil spray, such as avocado oil, for greasing
Garlic Butter
4 Tablespoonunsalted butter
1 Clovegarlic, grated or minced
1/8 TeaspoonFreshly ground black pepper
1/8 TeaspoonKosher salt
2 Sprigfresh thyme
  • 1

    Prepare the mashed potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water with enough to cover them. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook potatoes until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, then drain well.

  • 2

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, milk, and cream, and stir until the butter has melted.

  • 3

    Rice the potatoes into their empty cooking pot (or return them to the pot them and mash with a masher to the desired consistency). Add the milk and cream mixture and the salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let the potatoes cool.

  • 4

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the inside of a ½ cup measuring cup with cooking spray. Using the cup, scoop even portions of mashed potatoes and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Reapply the cooking spray between portions to keep the potatoes from sticking.

  • 5

    If serving right away, you can cook the potatoes on the Traeger as directed in the next step. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. (Or freeze the portions until rock solid, transfer the frozen portions to a resealable bag or airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to one month.)

  • 6

    When ready to cook, preheat the Traeger to 425°F with the lid closed; this will take at least 15 minutes.

  • 7

    Meanwhile, make the garlic butter: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, pepper, salt, and thyme and stir to combine.

  • 8

    If necessary, remove the portioned mashed potatoes from the refrigerator or from the freezer and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet if necessary. Brush the potatoes with the garlic and herb butter.

  • 9

    Place the baking sheet directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and cook until golden brown and heated through, about 30 minutes.

  • 10

    Remove the baking sheet from the grill and serve warm. Enjoy!

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