Richard Holden explains how to fire up the Traeger Wood Pellet Grill, and how it works

Hello, welcome to The Barbecue Shop here at
Hayes Garden World and today we’re joined by top BBQ chef Richard Holden and we’re going
to talk about our new, one of our new, favourite BBQs that’s come into the country this year. The Traeger wood fired grill; we’ve been playing
with these all summer, we’ve really enjoyed them. Richard’s just been out to the States to work
with the guys out in Traeger so I’m going to habd over to you, you know a lot more about
these BBQs and how they work than me, so over to you. You’ve used them as well, but we’ll have a
quick chat through them. So these are different to your normal BBQs,
they’re not gas, they’re not charcoal, they’re using wood pellets. It looks on the outside like a traditional
off-set but rather than having a wood, firebox down here you’ve actually got a hopper with
these little wood pellets in. So these are virgin wood, they come in different
flavours just like any of your other smoking products. You can get them in apple, cherry, hickory,
mesquite, beech and they just go in the side here and what you’ve got here at the bottom
of this hopper is a corkscrew auger that takes the pellets through to the bottom of the chamber,
which we’ll show in a moment. So that’s your hopper, if you want to change
woods from one cook to the next, some models have a little trapdoor on the back, you just
open that, make sure you’ve got a bucket underneath before you open it, as I found out. But, make sure you’ve got that under there
and then you can empty out 95% of the chips out of the, pellets out sorry, then you just
put your new flavour in, but lots of different flavours. So, really simple to operate, large access
on the front, so we’ve just had it lit that’s why there’s a little bit of smoke coming out. They do plug in, but they’re not electric
heated or powered, the electric just powers, just kindof gives power to the on-board computer
unit. If you look down here at the main control
panel, we’ve got an ON and OFF switch, so we turn that on but nothing happens, we need
to turn the dial from the shutdown cycle into one of the cooking temperature settings, just
like an oven basically you set and control the temperature by the dial on the front. So let’s say we’re going to go for a roast,
I’m going to go round to 190 degrees, we’ve got 190 flashing on the display. What’s going to happen now, we can see that
we’ve got a bit of air movement coming out of the bottom of the chamber there. What’s happening now is the on-board computer,
we’ve got an air fan pushing air through to the bottom of the firepot into the bottom
of the BBQ. And we’ve got this corkscrew auger that’s
taking the pellets along into the bottom of the chamber, so if you want to come and have
a close-up on this. Down the very bottom in the centre of the
BBQ we’ve got this little firepot, there’s a heat element in here just like in the top
of an oven where you’ve got a grill, that’s going to glow red. so you’ve got heat, you’ve got an air fan,
you’ve got a fan blowing air in, just kinda fanning the flames basically. The pellets are dropping into the pot, everything’s
catching so what will happen is the on-board computer, there’s a thermostat built into
the side of the chamber on the lefthand side which talks back to the computer. When the internal temperature gets within
target range it goes slightly above, about 7 degrees above target temperature, the on-board
computer stops calling for pellets and the auger switches off. The chamber sits there kinda moderates, depending
on the temperature of the day; you;ve got the heat built up within the BBQ, it will
sit there ’til it drops about 7 degrees below target temperature then the auger system will
be kicked back in again, because the computer will start calling for more pellets. As far as managing a fire on a gas or a charcoal
BBQ, this is just foolproof ‘cos you control the temperature using the dial on the front. Don’t know if you want to come back in a second,
see how it’s going now, it’s been on for a few more minutes, you can see the difference. So when it’s firing up and when it’s burning
like that you’ll see an initial puff of smoke when the pellets drop in and then, especially
on a high temperature, so you’ve got amount of pellets going in there, you’ve got a fan
as well, so it’s going to burn quite clean, it’s going to burn quite hot. Talking of quite hot, we need to talk about
how we distribute this heat around under the cookbox now. The first thing to go in is this little baffle
here, now this sits frontways and backways, so that the heat has to come out left and
right. So we put this in, this sits directly over
the firepot like so. So now we’ve got heat coming left and right,
but we still need to distribute that heat a little bit better around the chamber so
the next thing we have is this little guy here. Now one of the top tips for this is when it
comes in the box it hasn’t got tinfoil, now what we’ve found as I’ve used them and you’ve
used them is covering it with tinfoil saves you a lot of hassle when it comes to cleaning
as all the fat will drip on there, take it off, change it every 2 or 3 barbecues, really
saves you a lot of hassle. Did you mention this is a kind of fat tray
and a drip tray, it does anothe function as well as we put this into the BBQ just rest
it front and back, sorry left and right, just rest that there. What happens is the initial baffle knocks
the heat left and right, this one knocks the heat front and back, so we have an even airflow
around the chamber. So, next thing we do is put this grill in
and the foil lined tray underneath the grill also slopes down to your end, so as you’re
roasting the bigger pieces of meat. I know I’ve done some pork shoulders on here,
I know you have as well, they come out really well. All that excess fat will drain off, there’s
a little channel down here which just comes out through the pipe at the bottom. And ends up in this little fat collector. And you’ve got your little fat collector down
there. So the only thing left to do now is close
the lid, that will start to build up the temperature inside the BBQ. One thing we haven’t talked about is, obviously
we haven’t mentioned anything about doing Boston Butt shoulders of pork. Obviously one thing you can do with these
BBQs is it’s one of these barbecues, you can put it in, set your temperature and you can
walk away from it for a period of time. You don’t have to stand there all the time
manning it. One thing these barbecues do come with is
2 food probes, which they’re on your side. They are on my side, they are the 2 wires
you may have seen before when we talked about the control panel. Two little probe plug ins on the control panel,
two little probes. These look like other probes you can get on
the market for your after market stuff, but these come as standard and there’s a little
rubberised grommit just on the left hand side of the chamber cookbox. These come through and if we had 2 pieces
of meat on here, you just pop those straight into the meat. Anfd then once you’ve got those in, if we
just take a look back down here at the control panel. Little silver button, probe selector, you
press that, it comes up as P1 for probe 1 and within a couple of seconds it tells us
that probe is currently reading 36C. We press that probe selector twice we get
P2 and there’s a difference, one of these probes is just silver and one of them’s got
little black marks on it; and that tells us that probe 2’s at 43 – 44C. So you don’t have to lift the lid. Exactly, the old adage is if you’re looking
you ‘aint cooking. You don’t need to look in order to know what’s
going on inside your BBQ. You talk about easy these are to use, I did
a conference a few weeks ago, industry conference and I did 2 pork butts. I put them on at midnight, ‘cos I was presenting
at 12 o’clock the next day. I put them on at midnight, put the 2 meat
probes in, went to bed, got up at 4 in the morning, came back, wrapped them in foil,
put the probes back in, went back to bed, came out the next morning 8 o’clock, had a
quick check on what was going on. Everything was fine inside, didn’t even lift
the lid until about 11 o’clock the next day when they were cooked and it was just time
to take them off and let them rest. But, really, really simple bits of kit. There’s 2 models available in the UK, 2 main
models available in 2 different sizes in the UK. There’s a few quirky models above the range,
so this is a Pro 22. This is a Pro 22. And a 34 range which is a bigger BBQ, then
there’s the Centuary range, similar sort of BBQ but it has a warming box underneath. The essential range has the warming box underneath
which is just an enclosed area underneath the actual chamber, has a little temperature
dial on the front so if you want to take your foods off, if you’re cooking food in stages
and you want to take them off and just keep them warm you can pop them down in there. The other thing that the Centuary range has,
it has a larger hopper so I think you can get a full 20lb bag of pellets in there in
one go, whereas on the Pro series it’s about half or three quarters of a bag. It just allows you to do those longer cooks
without having to think about coming back and re-filling. But great bits of kit and we’re going to do
a few more videos today on what you can do on these, what you can cook on them. So, join us on our next video when what we’re
going to do, we’re going to show you just the capacity of one of these barbecues and
what you can cook. We stock the full range here at The Barbecue
Shop at Hayes Garden World. For other tips, hints and things visit our
blog via our website: We’re across all the social media platforms,
instagram, twitter. If you want any more hints and tips visit
our staff in store and they’ll be more than happy to run through these barbecues and show
you how they work.

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