How to Clean a Traeger (9 Super Easy Steps)

Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: June 20, 2024

Cleaning your grill will not only make it look good, but it will also improve the quality of the smoke!

Traeger has been making quality smokers for the last 37 years, and this is their guide and useful tips on how to clean your grill.

Quick Summary

  • With Traeger's advice, cleaning your Traeger won’t be such a daunting task.
  • Give it an in-depth clean every 20 hours or three smoke sessions.
  •  Clean the grease bucket and pan regularly.
  • Polish the grill every six months and use a grill cover.

Read on to find out how stress-free it can be.

When To Clean A Traeger

Scraping Traeger grill crates

Cleaning your Traeger at critical points during the smoking season will ensure that it offers the best quality smoke for your meat.

It is recommended to clean “once over” on the smoker after every use and a more in-depth clean after every three cooks or after 20 hours.

"This one sounds simple but is very important.  No one ever cleans their grill after using it because it’s hot, but waiting too long can create an environment for mold and all kinds of yucky stuff.  If your grill is clean, you're more likely to use it more often”.
- Brad Orrison, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint (Ocean Springs, Mississippi)

Traeger also recommends an in-depth clean and polish every six months to maintain the smoker’s looks and functionality [1].

Essential Cleaning Tools

A spray cleaner for Traeger

Here is a list of essentials you will need to efficiently clean your grill.

  • A Nylon-Bristle Brush
  • Heavy-Duty Paper Towels
  • Soft Rag
  • Traeger All Natural Cleaning Solution
  • Replacement Foil Grease Pans

How To Clean A Traeger

Top view of a Traeger outdoor

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your Traeger.

After Every Use

Using a long-handled nylon-bristle brush, clean the porcelain grill grates or run half a lemon or half an onion over the grill grates.

For burnt-on pieces, dip half a lemon in table salt to assist with the scrubbing.

When you clean the porcelain grill grate, ensure it's warm to achieve the best results.

Every Three Cooks Or 20 Hours

After using your Traeger for three cooks or 20 hours, there will be a little grease from all the delicious delicacies you have smoked.

To ensure that the grill performs to its potential, it will need some cleaning and attention.

Close up shot of a smoking Traeger grill
  1. Let the grill cool down for a while and then remove the cast-iron grill grates and spray them with a natural cleaning solution; let the solution sit for a few minutes to loosen and lift the grim. Scrub the grill grates on both sides with a nylon-bristle brush, and then wipe the grate down with paper towels.
  2. Now is the time to remove and discard the foil drip tray liners.  Lift them out of the smoker and take care not to spill any of the greases.
  3. Remove the drip tray and heat baffle to expose the firebox.  Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the inside of the grill and the ash in the firebox.
  4. Remove the chimney lid and clean the inside of the chimney by using a cloth or paper towel.  The smoke process's soot and moisture will cling to the chimney wall and restrict the airflow if the build-up gets too large.  Do not use a hard bristle brush to clean the chimney, as this could remove the paint.
  5. Visually inspect the RTD and ONLY clean if there is excessive build-up.  An excessive build-up could mean moisture entering the hopper and causing the wood pellets to stick together.
  6. Use the Traeger All Natural Cleaning Solution and spray the inside and outside of the grill.  Let the cleaning solution soak for a few minutes to loosen all the grease and grime.  If you do not have the all-natural cleaner, you can use any non-chemical cleaner.
  7. Wipe down the grill using a paper towel or a soft cloth.  The Traeger All-Natural Cleaning Solution should make this easy to do.
  8. Reinsert the drip tray and liners, the heat baffle, and grill grates, and they should slot right into place in your clean grill.
  9. Step back and admire your work, especially the clean grill grates [2].

Cleaning The Grease Bucket

Grease bucket hanging on the Traeger grill

Cleaning the bucket is the dirty side of grilling!  But, it must be done regularly to prevent grease overflow or, worse, a grease fire.

Remove the grease drip bucket from the grill and discard the grease.  Use a big plastic or wooden ladle to remove the remaining grease into the bucket.

Clean the remaining grease with warm soapy water and dry with paper towels.

To make the cleaning process more straightforward in the future, line the bucket with aluminum foil.

Cleaning The Grease Drain Pan

Replacing the disposable grease pan is necessary after every few smokes, and they are easy and inexpensive to replace.

Once the pan has been removed, clean underneath, as there will be a slight build-up of grease from the splattering.

Scrape all the remaining grease from the grill and drain tube using a spatula.

Cleaning the drain pan will allow cleaner smoke to enter the grill grates.

Polishing The Outside Of The Grill

Shiny Traeger grill on black background

It is easy to learn how to clean a grill.  Disconnect the wood pellet grill from the power outlet and wait until the grill is cold.

Wash the outside of the grill with warm soapy water; ensure that all the dirt and grease have been removed.

Use a high-quality automotive polish, and polish the outside of the grill.

Polishing every six months will maintain the grill’s exterior and prevent grease from sticking to it.

Use A Grill Cover

It is recommended to cover your Traeger with a grill cover to keep it clean and dust-free.

The cover will prevent moisture from entering the hopper and wetting the pellets, clogging up the auger [3].

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About the author

Timothy Woods
CEO / Co-Founder
Timothy Woods holds a Kinesiology and Exercise Science degree from Jacksonville University and is CCC & GMU Certified. He's also the main man behind Carnivore Style. This food aficionado combines science and experience to spread the word about the carnivore lifestyle.
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