Can You Cook on a Traeger without Smoke? – Know Which Foods You can Grill without Smoke

cook on traeger without smoke
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I use my Trager grill on a regular basis and sometimes I wonder if I can use the grill without its smoke feature.

So, I searched online and found out that you can certainly cook on a Traeger grill without using its smoke feature.

Well, to simply say, you can cook on a Traeger without smoke by setting a high cooking temperature.

When you want to cook pizza, hot dog, burgers, etc. then you certainly don’t need to use smoke feature on your grill.

At this time, you can use your Traeger grill without its smoke facility.

However, there will always be a little smoke when you use a wood fire grill.

But then, there are ways to cook on the grill with minimal smoky flavour too.  

Talking about summertime and outdoor cooking; what’s more delicious than grilled foods!

And if you own one of those versatile Traeger pellet grills, then it makes all the difference while grilling your food.

But not all foods can be grilled or tastes good with a smoky flavour.

With that thought in mind, you might want to know whether you can cook on your Traeger without all the smoke or not.

Of course, there will be a little smoke as we all know.

But here, we will tell you ways in which you can keep the smoky flavour to a minimum while cooking in your Traeger grill.

Table of Contents

Can You Just Grill on a Traeger?

The straight answer to this would be “Yes”.

Traeger as mentioned earlier is one of the most versatile pellet grills out there.

In addition to grilling and smoking, it allows you to use it for other ways of cooking food too.

You can use them like you would use an oven for baking, roasting, braising and BBQ.

Traeger pellet grills are known for clean burning and less smoke.

They run on standard household electricity and the pellets burn completely with little to negligible ash left behind.  

Set up your Traeger at a high temperature and enjoy perfectly grilled meat with such little effort we say!

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Does Every Food Taste of Smoke While Cooking on a Traeger Grill?

No, not every food would taste smoky while cooking on a Traeger pellet grill as long as you are not smoking it actually!

The pellet grills usually do not produce smoke as such when used at high temperature levels.

Therefore, if you want something to be grilled or cooked without the taste of smoke; then cook it at a high temperature in the Traeger. 

Remember to use high quality Traeger pellets that will produce cleaner, lesser and better-quality smoke.

Using the Traeger Signature Blend Pellets is the most recommended method as it can be used for all your cooking purposes from grilling, smoking, baking to roasting or BBQ.

If you are a newbie to Traeger grills, then you can probably use an internal temperature guide as a reference point to set your cooking temperature.

Can You Use Traeger Pellet Smoker without Smoke?

The simple answer is “No”.

You cannot use your Traeger pellet smoker without smoke.

Traeger will produce tons of smoke while using on the smoker set.

This happens because the temperature is usually low inside the smoker and thus the flame produces more smoke.

While using your Traeger pellet smoker, you will be able to make perfectly smoked and flavoured meat.

It is a low and slow cooking method in which smoke plays an important role in imparting the desired taste to the meats being cooked.

Therefore, smoke is an integral part of a Traeger pellet smoker.

Can You Use Traeger Grill without Pellets?

The direct answer is “No”.

As the name suggests, wood pellets are the main source of fuel which are used to cook on the Traeger pellet grills.

The wooden pellets are a crucial part of the grill’s functioning.

We cannot use a Traeger grill without the pellets, of course.

In simple words, Traeger grill cannot work without using wood pellets.

If you run out of pellets in the middle of cooking, then we need to refill the hopper with fresh wood pellets.

The wood pellets are pushed to the fire pot by a Traeger auger.

Inside the fire pot, these pellets are ignited and flamed by a little hot rod.

The fan within the grill, aids the even distribution of heat and smoke inside the grill.

This ensures even and consistent cooking every time you cook on a Traeger grill.

Thus, your Traeger will not work on any natural gas or charcoal as fuel but only on natural wood pellets.

Without the pellets, the temperature of the grill starts to drop slowly.

Then it eventually cools down and powers off automatically.

Unfortunately, you will no longer be able to continue cooking or smoking in a Traeger grill if you run out of pellets.

In that case, you have restart the whole grilling process.

Can You Grill on a Traeger with the Lid Open?

Yes, you can surely grill your food on a Traeger grill and can keep its lid open at the same time.

Its not compulsory to keep the lid closed while cooking on a pellet grill.

That is when you are searing the food of course. 

A Traeger can be used with the lid open or closed as per your cooking style and preference.

When you cook with a closed lid, the inside of the meat is cooked evenly and completely.

Whereas, you keep the lip open typically while searing meat which is all about building flavour.

While doing so, you can cook the meat on high heat on each side until a brown crust forms on it.

For example, if you are trying to make a flavorful steak, then you may need to keep the lid open to get the right flavor.

You need to preheat your food for at least a solid 15 minutes before you start cooking with the lid open.

Then set your Traeger temperature at 175 degrees C, place your steaks on the grill, while ensuring the lid is open.

Cook each side of the steak for about 5 to 7 minutes, flipping until the internal temperature of the meat reaches the desired level.

And there you go.

Now, you can enjoy a perfectly seared flavorful steak by keeping the lid open of your Traeger grill.

What Food Can You Cook on a Traeger without Smoke?

You can pretty much cook your sandwiches, standard burgers, pizzas, desserts, steaks, vegetables and fish, etc. on a Traeger grill without Smoke.

To cook without smoke, your Traeger needs to be set to a higher temperature setting.

At a higher temperature, a Traeger works like a wood fire oven because the pellets are made of compressed dust of wood.

That means at a higher temperature level, your food cooks faster and the grill does not produce much smoke.

You just need to do a little planning before you start.

First, check the hopper to ensure that you have enough pellets to finish the cooking process.

You will need to consume at least 2.5 pounds of pellets per hour.

That is when you are cooking at a high temperature to cut off the smoke.

Know the right temperatures to be set for each food you are planning to cook and simply enjoy cooking your Traeger.

I recommend getting an internal temperature guide suitable for most wood pellet grills to know the correct temperature for all types of foods.

3 Easy Methods to Avoid Too Much Smoke Flavor from a Pellet Grill

Now, let us give you a checklist to look for; in times when you want to avoid too much smoke flavour from the pellet grill.

1. Ensure Your Pellet Grill is Cleaned Regularly

This is the most important step that should never be skipped if you want to reduce the smoky flavour of the foods being cooked on a grill.

Too much greasy build up inside your grill that results from smoking and grilling of foods needs to be routinely cleaned.

These build-ups can cause a fierce stale smoky flavour to your foods.

It is recommended to clean your grill after each use for the best results.

You can use the Traeger Grill Natural Cleaner for quickly cleaning all the parts of your grill effortlessly.

There are also various other grill cleaners, degreasers as well as cleaning gears available online that you can buy.

These products just make cleaning your Traeger grill, a mess-free experience.

2. Always Use Premium Quality Wood Pellets

Using good and high-quality wooden pellets is again a very important aspect while using any pellet grill.

Better quality pellets will produce cleaner smoke and give your food a good flavour too.

You can buy Traeger all-natural hardwood pellets online and they are available in various flavours also.

3. Set High Temperature While Cooking on a Grill

Cooking with a temperature set at 180 degrees C or above, will produce less and cleaner smoke.

Low heat will produce more smoke in a Traeger compared to its high temperature settings.

Also, low heat means your meat cooks slowly, stays in the smoker for longer and absorbs more smoke.

Whereas, high heat on the other hand cooks food quicker, which means less time in there and absorbs much lesser smoke.

Final Thoughts

With a multi-purpose and a versatile Traeger pellet grill at home, you can cook multiple food items in it.

Some foods require more smoke while some food items do not require any smoke as already mentioned above.

All you would need is a little bit of planning, preparation and regular maintenance of your Traeger grill.

Also, you can even grill, bake, roast, braise and barbecue on your Traeger with much ease.

With a little patience to master the skills of using your Traeger, you can be the master chef at the grill night in your backyard.


Janice Williams

Mother of 2 Sweet kids, A Writer, A Full Time Stay at Home Mom and Loves Preparing Delicious Barbecue Recipes to Serve My Family a Belly Full of Joy.

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