Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill
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- Smoke up a few racks of ribs, grill a couple of dozen burgers, make wood fired pizza, and bake up some cookies-all made better thanks to wood-fired flavor
- Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and bbq
- Ignition Type: Electrical
- Cooking Area: 418 sq. in.
- Assembled Height: 49 in.
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TFB42LZB Features: -Finish: Bronze. -Elite collection. -Series: Lil ' Tex. -418 sq. in. grilling area. -Digital Elite Controller with LED display maintains precise temperature, just like your oven. -Fueled by 100% pure hardwood pellets. Real wood, Real Flavor. Product Type: -Wood/Pellet Grill. Installation Location: -Free standing. Finish: -Bronze. Material: -Steel. Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: -49". Overall Product Weight: -98 lbs. Overall Width - Side to Side: -42". Overall Depth - Front to Back: -22".
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Let me address a few criticisms I feel may be overstated by others who have written reviews about Traeger's other models. I have absolutely no relationship directly or indirectly with Traeger other than as a customer who has purchased their products.
Poor build quality. While I wish my grill was made in the USA, my understanding is that the Lil Tex Elite and other Traeger models are built in China. That said, my Traeger has stood up well to my frequent use and the wet Pacific Northwest environment where I live. I leave my grill outside covered with a Traeger cover under my covered deck. After five years there is no rust on the exterior of my grill. The steel deflector plate and drip pan have developed rust but they were not treated with any paint. All of my parts are original - I have never had to replace anything. I do clean the interior of the grill about every third cook and change the aluminum foil after every cook.
Temperature swings are large. Many users complain of wide temperature swings while cooking, especially while in the smoke setting. I see this temp swing too but typically early in the cook. The temperature swings generally diminish about 20 minutes after closing he door for the last time. Over time I have learned that some days take longer for the grill to stabilize temperatures than others. Wind makes the grill work harder to maintain temperatures so during windy or breezy days I try to position the grill so that it's back is to the wind. Also, blog writers on the Traeger web site report success with minimizing temp swings at all temperature settings by installing a few fire bricks in the bottom of the grill. I have four fire bricks installed in my grill. I still experience 10 degree temp swings but since I cook meats to certain temperatures I don't really feel temp swings make a difference as long as the meat temperature reaches its desired level.
Reliability is poor. I have had no problems with any parts of my grill. Now that I am at the five year mark and with the amount that I use the grill, I expect to replace parts soon. Traeger parts are available at Amazon and if you are a prime member it looks like we'll be able to get them easily and quickly. You Tube videos make the process of fixing our grills easy.
Pellets cost too much. After having "tasted" many flavors over the years I have pretty much settled on hickory, cherry, apple, and mesquite for most of my meats. Costco sells a 20 pound bag much cheaper than is available on Amazon. They also sell a 30 pound Traeger blend for about the price of what you can buy a 20 pound bag through the Traeger web site. With Traeger having expanded their distribution to more popular stores in my area I have no problem finding pellets at a reasonable cost.
Cooking area is small. The Lil Tex Elite cooking area works just find for my modest barbecue needs. The grate has held a 15 pound turkey, 12 pound prime rib, six racks of baby back ribs (in stand up racks), 4 racks of spare ribs laid out flat, two roaster chickens comfortably. So you can see that the grill has plenty of capacity for that family barbecue.
You can't sear steaks or hamburgers. I found that is not true. By cranking up the unit to "high" it reaches a temp of about 450. My steaks and burgers do sear nicely. I found it more economical to sear steaks on my stove first then throw them on the smoker. Searing plates are now available to help sear grill marks on meat too.
I hope this helps you with your purchase decision or comfort level if you have already purchased a grill.