Traeger Tailgater Review-Everything You Should Know

If you are looking to purchase the best portable smoker for your grilling experience, then you need to ensure that you have enough facts to help you make the right decision. In this Traeger Tailgater Review, I will show you what makes Traeger Tailgater stand out from its competitors.

Traeger Tailgater Overview

The Traeger Tailgater is a compact and portable pellet grill that brings the signature wood-fired flavor of Traeger grills to your tailgating adventures, camping trips, or backyard gatherings.

As part of Traeger’s lineup, the Tailgater combines convenience with the rich taste of wood-smoked food.

Traeger Grills: A Brief History

  • Traeger is credited with inventing the original wood pellet grill. The company was founded by Joe Traeger in the 1980s. Joe’s creation aimed to combine the smoky flavor of wood-fired cooking with the convenience of a grill.
  • The first Traeger grill, known as the Traeger Model 100, was introduced in 1985. It used wood pellets made from compressed sawdust as the fuel source, allowing for precise temperature control and a consistent supply of smoky flavor.
  • Over the years, Traeger continued to refine and expand its product line, introducing new models with various sizes and features to cater to different cooking needs.

Development of the Traeger Tailgater

  • The Traeger Tailgater, specifically designed for portability and outdoor use, was likely introduced in response to the growing demand for grills that could be easily transported to events like tailgates, camping trips, and picnics.
  • The Tailgater model typically features a compact design, folding legs, and lightweight construction, making it convenient for users who prioritize mobility.
  • Technological advancements in Traeger grills, including digital controllers for temperature regulation and improved pellet-feeding mechanisms, are likely integrated into the Tailgater to ensure consistent and user-friendly performance.

Traeger Tailgater Key Features

  1. Portable Design: The Traeger Tailgater is designed for portability, making it suitable for tailgating, camping, picnics, and other on-the-go grilling adventures. It typically features folding legs, allowing for easy setup and transport.
  2. Cooking Area: While compact, the Tailgater provides a sufficient cooking area for small to medium-sized gatherings. It’s designed to balance portability with the capacity to cook a variety of foods.
  3. Wood Pellet Technology: Like other Traeger grills, the Tailgater utilizes wood pellet technology. This allows for the distinctive smoky flavor associated with wood-fired cooking.
  4. Digital Controller: The Tailgater is equipped with a digital controller, providing users with precise temperature control. This feature allows for easy adjustment of cooking temperatures, ensuring consistent results.
  5. Versatility: Traeger grills, including the Tailgater, are known for their versatility. They can grill, smoke, bake, roast, and braise, providing users with a range of cooking options in a single unit.
  6. Durable Construction: The Tailgater typically features a sturdy and durable build to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. Quality materials contribute to its longevity.
  7. Hopper Capacity: The hopper is where wood pellets are stored. The Tailgater’s hopper has a capacity that allows for extended cooking sessions without the need for frequent pellet refills.
  8. Ease of Use: Traeger grills, including the Tailgater, are designed to be user-friendly. They often feature straightforward controls, making them suitable for both experienced grillers and those new to pellet grilling.
  9. Porcelain-Coated Grates: The cooking grates on the Tailgater are typically porcelain-coated. This coating helps with heat retention, even cooking, and makes the grates easy to clean.
  10. Temperature Range: Traeger Tailgater offers a range of cooking temperatures, allowing users to sear at high heat or slow-cook at lower temperatures.

Also read >>Thermapen® ONE Review – Comprehensive Review

What Makes Traeger Tailgater Stand out from its Competitors?

There are certain aspects of the Traeger Tailgater that I often appreciate, and I believe it significantly contribute to its advantages over competitors. The qualities include the following:

  1. Traeger’s Wood Pellet Technology: Traeger is known for pioneering wood pellet grilling technology. This method imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the food, and many users appreciate the authentic taste of wood-fired cooking.
  2. Versatility: Traeger Tailgater, like other Traeger grills, is versatile, allowing users to grill, smoke, bake, roast, and braise. This flexibility appeals to users who want a single grill for various cooking styles.
  3. Digital Controller for Temperature Control: The digital controller on the Traeger Tailgater provides precise temperature control, allowing users to set and monitor cooking temperatures with ease. This level of control contributes to consistent cooking results.
  4. Portability and Compact Design: The Traeger Tailgater is designed with portability in mind, featuring folding legs for easy transport. Its compact design makes it convenient for tailgating, camping, and other on-the-go grilling activities.
  5. Reputation and Brand Trust: Traeger has a long history and is a well-established brand in the pellet grill industry. The brand’s reputation for quality and innovation may influence users to choose Traeger over lesser-known competitors.
  6. Durable Construction: Traeger grills, including the Tailgater, are typically built with durability in mind. Quality materials and construction contribute to the grill’s longevity, even in outdoor conditions.
  7. Ease of Use: Traeger grills are generally user-friendly. The Tailgater typically features easy-to-use controls, making it accessible to both experienced grillers and those new to pellet grilling.

Traeger Tailgater Pros and Cons

Traeger Tailgater

$529.95 at Amazon

$529.95 at Walmart

$529.99 at Traeger


  1. Wood-Fired Flavor: Infuses your food with the authentic and rich flavor of wood smoke.
  2. Portability: Easy to transport, making it ideal for tailgating and camping.
  3. Versatility: Capable of various cooking styles, from grilling to smoking.
  4. Digital Controls: Precise temperature control for consistent cooking results.
  5. Durable Build: Sturdy construction ensures longevity, even in outdoor conditions.


  1. Limited Cooking Space: While portable, the cooking area may be limiting for larger gatherings.
  2. Pellet Dependency: Requires access to wood pellets, which may not be as readily available as other fuel sources.

Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill vs Traeger Tailgater

Feature Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill Traeger Tailgater
Cooking Area 501 square inches (including a second rack) 300 square inches
Hopper Capacity 10 pounds 10 pounds
Temperature Range Up to 500°F 180-450 Fahrenheit
Ignition Type Auto-ignition Auto-start ignition
Pellet Auger System Slide and Grill technology for direct flame grilling Standard pellet auger system
Grate Material Porcelain-coated cast iron Porcelain-coated grates
Weight Approximately 82 pounds 60 Pounds
Dimensions (W x D x H) 40″ x 25″ x 22″ 18″D x 37″W x 36″H
Portability Folding legs, compact design Folding legs, portable design
Versatility Smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise
Price Range $499.99 $529.95

Traeger Tailgater Alternatives

Several other pellet grills on the market offer features and capabilities similar to the Traeger Tailgater. While individual preferences and specific needs may vary, here are some pellet grills that are comparable to the Traeger Tailgater:

  1. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

    • Similarities: Portable design, compact size, and wood pellet technology.
    • Note: Known for its portability and ability to run on both AC power and DC power sources.
  2. Camp Chef Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill

    • Similarities: Portable and compact, wood pellet grilling technology.
    • Note: Features a slide and grill technology for direct flame grilling.
  3. REC TEC RT-340 Portable Wood Pellet Grill

    • Similarities: Portable design, wood pellet technology, and digital temperature control.
    • Note: Known for its sturdy construction and precise temperature control.
  4. Pit Boss Austin XL

    • Similarities: Wood pellet technology, digital temperature control.
    • Note: Larger than some portable grills, but offers versatility and is comparable in terms of features.
  5. Weber SmokeFire EX4 Pellet Grill

    • Similarities: Pellet grilling technology, digital temperature control.
    • Note: Weber’s entry into the pellet grill market, known for its build quality and searing capabilities.
  6. Z Grills 700E Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

    • Similarities: Wood pellet technology, digital temperature control.
    • Note: Offers a large cooking area and versatile cooking options.
  7. Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill

    • Similarities: Wood pellet technology, digital temperature control.
    • Note: Another Traeger model with features similar to the Tailgater, but with a larger cooking area.
  8. Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ Grill & Smoker

    • Similarities: Wood pellet technology, compact design.
    • Note: Known for its affordability and versatile cooking options.


The Traeger Tailgater lives up to the Traeger reputation, offering wood-fired flavor in a portable and convenient package. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a novice griller, this versatile pellet grill brings the joy of outdoor cooking to any adventure.

While it may have some limitations in terms of cooking space, the Tailgater excels in delivering a premium grilling experience on the go. For those who appreciate the taste of real wood smoke and the convenience of a portable grill, the Traeger Tailgater is a top contender.

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