In our Traeger Junior Elite pellet grill review, we’ll break down why Traeger is one of the most trusted brands in the pellet smoking industry.
Traeger Pellet Grills and Wood Pellet Grilling, overall, have quickly become one of the fastest growing trends in the outdoor cooking industry.
If you haven’t been introduced to Traeger Pellet Grills yet or are unfamiliar with Pellet Grilling in general, you can check out this article on An Introduction to Pellet Grilling to get you caught up. Go ahead, we will wait for you…
Back? Great, then allow me to introduce you to the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill. But be prepared, you are going to fall in love with their convenience.
By the end of this review, you’ll be armed with the pros, the cons, and the facts about the Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Pellet Grill to help in your decision-making.
Spoiler Alert: The Traeger Grills Junior Elite will make you fall in love with pellet grilling and smoking.
In This Article, We’ll Explore:
Click a topic below to be taken directly to that section.
A Little History on Traeger Pellet Grills
Traeger brand pellet grills have been a leader in the pellet grilling game since the beginning and claim to be the first to launch the pellet grill revolution. While doing research, I found this on the Traeger website:
“In 1985, Traeger implemented wood pellet technology for barbecue fuel, creating wood pellets from local, aged orchard trees, chipping them up, grinding them into sawdust, and compressing them into pellets.”
“Wood pellets are 100% natural and clean fuel that produces primal flavor thru the wood smoke. Shortly thereafter, Traeger invented an auger (think large screw) to feed the pellets from a hopper (where the pellets are stored) into a firepot where convection air is infused, and food is cooked via convection heat. All powered by an electrical plug, it’s as simple as turning a gas grill on.”
“They innovated pellet grilling, and soon Traeger Wood Pellet Grills began producing pellet-fueled grills. Wood-fired food is subtly infused with hardwood smoke, creating a delicious and natural addition.”
You can read the whole article here, as well as browse through a ton of great recipes to use with a Traeger Pellet Smoker.
Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill Description & Features
This is what Traeger’s website says about the Traeger Junior Elite Grill:
“Perfectly sized for small households, traveling, and tailgating, The Junior Elite features 300 square inches of cooking surface. With all the power and usability of its big brothers, Texas and Lil’ Tex, the Junior infuses big flavor into your food while taking up less space. It’s the portable grill with big, wood-fired personality.”
The claim is that these grills are as close to “set it and forget it” as you can get when it comes to outdoor cooking. Hands off grilling and smoking at the push of a button with the same great results. This won’t appeal to everyone as I know many a griller that welcomes the challenge that comes with smoking meat with wood or charcoal. But for many others, the idea of being free to do other tasks and not having to fuss with the grill is a win, win.
Sounds great right? Just reading their description, I am suddenly craving the wood-fired, “big flavor” of smoked meat. But is it too good to be true? Does the Traeger Junior Elite really live up to its billing?
My Thoughts on the Traeger Junior Elite Grill
The Traeger Junior Elite was my first venture into the wood pellet grilling world. Many years ago after hearing a lot of chatter about them, I decided I needed to see what the hype was about.
After doing a lot of research, I decided on a Traeger, mainly because of the brand’s history. It features an extremely user-friendly interface, it s affordable, and was the exact size that I wanted for testing pellet grills out. I figured it would be perfect for my first wood pellet grilling experience.
I noticed immediately after unboxing it that it was reasonably well built and was a good-looking piece of equipment. It was also easy to put together, but as with any larger items, having a second pair of hands was useful.
The grill featured a traditional offset smoker design that looks great and offers more cooking space than other similar pellet grills. It is made from cold-rolled steel and features a bronze-colored lid. Under the lid, you will find porcelain-coated cooking grates, which are easy to clean and provide a generous amount of cooking space.
I highly recommend reading the directions closely before you fire it up for the first time. These grills are not like regular gas or charcoal grills that are basically self-explanatory. On your first cook, you need to make sure the wood pellets are being fed correctly into the firepot to avoid a nasty flare-up.
I found the directions in this section easy to follow. This was two years ago so maybe they’ve been updated by now. Either way, there are a ton of videos on youtube showing the step-by-step process. It wouldn’t hurt to have a look and will probably help a great deal.
The First Cook
Now, I have been smoking meat for many years, but since the birth of my daughter four years ago, I don’t have as much free time as I used to. I was excited for my first cook on the Traeger to see if I could really “set it and forget it.”
I decided to go big for my first cook and went with the ever-challenging brisket. It was only an eight-pound flat cut, but for anyone who has smoked a brisket before, still challenging. In retrospect, I maybe could have gone with something simpler for my first Traeger cook, but hey, go big or go home, right?
I won’t bore you with the details of the cook. I will save that for a future article on smoking a brisket. However, I will tell you that I was incredibly happy with the end results. The best part of it all, I was able to enjoy the day with my daughter and only spent minimal time hovering over the grill.
What Others Are Saying About the Traeger Junior Elite Grill
The Traeger Junior Elite Grill currently, has a 4.2-star rating out of 5 on Amazon.
I have read many reviews and see a lot of positive comments on the Traeger Junior Elite Grill like:
- Pitmaster results! Best little smoker made. The meat that it produces will blow your socks off!
- This is our second Traeger Grill, and we absolutely love it. Best grill we have ever owned. I would strongly recommend anyone looking at a grill/smoker combo to give this one a try.
- So Beyond Satisfied! Love my new Traeger! so easy to put together and cooks some amazing foods!
- Excellent results every time. We’ve used this grill for salmon, chicken, burgers, and a pork roast. Excellent results every time.
Some of the complaints I have read are:
- The grilling surface was a little lower than they thought it would be.
- Some users experienced flare-ups in the firebox.
Flare-ups are usually the result of not following directions properly, so I take this last criticism with a grain of salt.
Traeger Junior Elite PROs & CONs
The Junior Elite’s controller features a built-in thermostat and auto-start that lets you simply power up the grill, set the dial to your desired temperature, and walk away. The LED display lets you easily read and monitor the grill’s temperature during cooking.
For the money, the Junior Elite offers a ton of value in my opinion.
Final Thoughts on Our Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Grill Review
Imagine an oven that adds wood smoke and grilled flavor to your food. Now imagine all this coming from an affordably priced, wood-fired pellet grill from Traeger, the biggest name in the pellet grilling industry.
Can you tell that I love my Traeger? Today, some 80 to 85% of pellet grills in the USA are Traeger Pellet Grills. That says a lot about their reputation in my book.
I smoke a brisket at least once a month for family and friends. I smoked our Thanksgiving Turkey this year in my Traeger Pellet Grill, and everyone loved it. I’ve cooked ribs, salmon, pork loins, pork shoulders, and whole chickens all with great results.
Shrimp, corn on the cob, vegetables, and roasted garlic are excellent. Anything you would cook in an oven can also be done on a Traeger. All with less fuss, easier cleanup, and convenience.
I don’t have anything negative to say about this grill, to be honest. While you might read some complaints, you will read much more praise. Considering eight out of ten pellet grill owners use a Traeger, you are bound to see some complaints. You can’t make everyone happy.
Bottom line, this is a great entry-level, affordably priced, pellet grill that gets the job done and then some.
Where Can You Find The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill?
I can help with that!
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