Traeger Pellet Grills and Wood Pellet Grilling, overall, has 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.
A Little History on Traeger Pellet Grills
Traeger brand Pellet Grills have been a leader in the Pellet Grilling game since the beginning and claims 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 compressed it into pellets. Wood pellets are 100% natural and clean fuel that produces primal flavor thru the wood smoke. Shortly thereafter, Traeger invented an auger to turn the pellets from a hopper 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 in 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 Overview
This is what their 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 TFB29LZA Junior Elite really live up to its billing?
My Thoughts On The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill
The Traeger Junior Elite was my first venture into the wood pellet grilling world. Two 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 the Traeger, mainly because of the brand history, it’s extremely user-friendly, affordable and it was the exact size that I wanted. 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 a good looking piece of equipment. It was also fairly 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 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 a regular gas or charcoal grill that are basically self-explanatory. 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 on this section a little hard 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 too. 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 TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill
The Traeger TFB29LZA 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 TFB29LZA 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.
Pros and Cons
The Junior Elite ‘s controller features a built-in thermostat and auto-start that lets you to 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.
- Cooking Capacity
- Ease of Use
- On the shorter side
- The grills maximum temperature is 450 degrees. Some higher end models can reach up to 700 degrees.
My Closing Thoughts
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 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, 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!
If you have any questions about The Traeger TFB29LZA Junior Elite Grill or Traeger Pellet Grills in general or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below. I hoped you found this review helpful and you are one step closer to joining me in “The Grilling Life”!