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Temperature Swings

What do we mean when we say, "temperature swings?" A temperature swing is when your grill's temperature rises above and below your set temperature on an extreme level and returns to your set temperature or reverts in the opposite direction--like a swing.

Normal Functionality

A keynote to understand Traeger grills is that they cook on an average, meaning that there may be some slight fluctuation higher or lower than the set temperature. Your home electric oven does the same thing, producing an average temperature over the course of the cook.

On a typical, good-weather day, your grill should fluctuate no more than ±15°F. If your grill is fluctuating more than that, let's continue to figure out what may be contributing.

Common Contributors to Temperature Fluctuation

Many things can affect the grill's temperature--frequently opening the lid, cold weather, heavy food load, poor airflow circulation, changing set temp often, etc.

Air Circulation

When cooking, avoid using large pans that can block the airflow of the grill. If a pan needs to be used, ensure there is at least an inch of clearance between the grill and the edge of the pan.

Try also to maintain an inch clearance from the edge of the grill when placing food on your grill.

Using Foil

If you choose to use heavy-duty foil in place of a drip tray liner, make sure the foil is wrapped tightly around the edges for the drip tray. If the foil is fanned out, this can cause airflow issues.

Drip Tray and Heat Baffle

If the drip tray or heat baffle is damaged or placed incorrectly in the grill, you may experience temperature issues. Damage that can cause temperature swings would be extremely warped components (note that mild warping is normal) or rusting to the point that there is a hole in the tray or baffle. For damaged parts, please contact Customer Service

Opening the Lid Too Often

Repeated opening and closing of the lid too often can cause temperature issues. Remember, "If you're looking, you ain't cookin'!"

Startup & Shutdown

Make sure to follow the proper startup and shutdown processes. Improper startup and shutdown will often lead to temperature issues during your cook.

Pellet Quality

Low-quality or old pellets can cause temperature fluctuations. Check the pellets at the end of the auger or in the firepot to make sure they have a nice sheen to them and have a nice "snap" to them when breaking. If the pellets crumble or look dull, try a fresh bag of pellets.

Grill Maintenance

Check out our Grill maintenance guide. When experiencing temperature swings, pay particular attention to cleaning out the firepot and excess dust from the hopper.

Sawdust buildup can restrict airflow. Empty all pellets from the Hopper using the trap door on the backside of the Hopper. Using a vacuum, clear out any built-up dust and pellets from the bottom as well as the Auger. This can potentially fix the airflow issue from the hopper side.

Do NOT clean the Thermocouple or RTD unless there is a visual build-up on it that needs to be removed.

Firmware and Configuration

The firmware and configuration version must be updated, as out-of-date versions can contribute to temperature swings. If they are mismatched, this can cause other issues as well. Check here to see the current app and firmware versions.

Changing the Temperature

If you change the temperature too often during a cook, this can cause issues with maintaining temperature. Instead, give time between changing temperatures so the grill can keep up with the changes.

Check the Thermocouple/RTD

WiFIRE-enabled grills come with a plastic, orange protective cover over the thermocouple that must be removed before the initial seasoning process. If you forgot to remove it and now have a melted covering over your thermocouple, please contact Customer Service.

Check for Damage

Verify that your RTD temperature sensor is not damaged.

  • Check to see if it is bent or touching anything inside the grill.
  • If your RTD or thermocouple is bent, chipped, or seemingly broken, test it to see if it accurately reads the ambient grill temperature.
  • If it is reading the ambient grill temperature correctly, there is no problem, and you can continue grilling.

Testing RTD/Thermocouple

The best way to test your thermocouple is by comparing the ambient temperature of the grill to the external temperature. With the grill cooled down, complete the following:

  • Turn on your grill and take note of what temperature shows up on the controller.
  • Compare this to the outside temperature, either using a third-party thermometer or the current daily temperature.
    • Acceptable temperature variation is within 20°F/10°C.
  • The temperature variation may be larger when the grill is sitting in the sun.
  • If the readings are more than 20°F/10°C off, contact Customer Service.