Traeger Renegade Elite Review
Purchasing a grill is not something you do on a regular basis. It is a product that should serve you for years to come, and that is why you want to make sure to invest in the right model. However, there is not one grill that fits everyone. It all depends on your requirements and what you are expecting from a BBQ system.
Allow us to present you Renegade Elite, a grill designed by Traeger, company that has been on the market for decades. They have over 30 years of experience in creating hardwood pellet grilling products, as well as thousands of satisfied customers around the world. The beauty of the Elite series is that it consists of several models of the same high quality, but just different enough to satisfy everyone’s needs.
We will start with a quick overview of the grill we focused on and then we will move on with an in-depth look at all the features. We will mention the reasons why we believe you should choose Elite grills, as well as the pros and cons of the product. That should be enough to answer all your questions and get you to decide which BBQ system is your perfect fit!
Here is a quick look at the overall specifications of your Traeger Renegade Elite grill:
- Dimensions: 50 x 40 x 22 inches
- Weight: 100 pounds
- Cooking surface: 380 square inches (20 x 19 inches)
- Power: 20,000 BTUs
- Fuel: Hardwood pellet
And here is a glance at the features of this grilling system:
- LED digital temperature controller
- Special door for emptying the pellets
- Wire front rack
- Tool caddy rack
- Grease management system
- Four wheels with locking casters
Of course, the list can vary depending on the model from the Elite series you choose. That especially applies to dimensions and the available grilling area. For example, Texas Elite 34 has an ample cooking surface of 646 square inches, while you can also go with Junior Elite 20 that is the lightest product with only 60 pounds of weight.
It’s time to take an in-depth look and scan each of the elements of the Renegade Elite. Traeger has been designing grills for ages, and they know a thing or two when it comes to needs of their customers. Each feature they implemented is there to make the cooking process more straightforward and suit the needs of both newbies and veterans.
Those who have used an outdoor grilling system before know that it takes the effort to prepare a perfectly-seared steak or ideally cooked a burger. But the primary objective of the grills from the Elite series is to make the experience enjoyable and as simple as possible.
LED Temperature Controller
The heat management system is probably the crucial feature of this grill. The LED temperature controller that is built-in to the product works just like the ones in an oven. The only thing you need to do is to set the desired temp, and you can step away while the grilling system does the job of maintaining the heat for you. The system is incredibly precise, and it keeps the heat within 20 degrees up or down from the preset temperature.
As soon as the product notices that it is losing heat, it will automatically add some more pellets from the fuel box and return the temperature to the desired point swiftly. There is no need to stay near your grill and babysit it. You can head inside and watch the game while the chicken is roasting. And there is no chance that you will mess it up! Isn’t that beautiful?
While we are on the topic of the heat, let’s discuss the convection fan, another component of the Elite grills. They are located beneath the cooking surface, and their job is to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed across the entire area. Thanks to the circulation of the hot air, there are no cold and hot spots on the grill. It doesn’t make any difference whether you place your steak at the center of the grilling surface or in the corner. It will be evenly cooked either way!
You can take a look at this YouTube video that explains how the convection fan works, as well as some other features of the grill.
Grease Management System
Food that contains too much fat cannot be considered healthy for the human organism, and it might affect your cholesterol levels. However, the fact that the hot air circulates in the fire box to ensure constant temperature, your meat will get rid of all the excess fat while cooking. These meat drippings won’t make a mess thanks to the EZ-Drain grease system that collects and stores them in a bucket. That means you don’t have to spend hours rubbing the grates or the patio after you finish cooking. Cleaning up is incredibly easy (EZ, get it?) and the grease management system is an incredible time saver.
Emptying Door in the Hopper
Sometimes there is a reason why you want to change the pellets fueling your grill before you use them all. Perhaps you are experienced enough and know which flavor best suits you with different food. Maybe you just want to experiment with various woods before you decide on your preferred choice. Either way, there is no need to get your hands dirty while throwing out the pellets from the hopper manually.
Turn your attention to the back of the container where you added the fuel. You will notice a small door that you can open. When you do that, the pellets will start falling out until the hopper is empty. Once it finishes, the only thing remaining to do is to add the desired load of hardwood into the container. Mixing various tastes is an incredible benefit of grills that use hardwood pellets as fuel and this flexibility when it comes to cleaning out the hopper is commendable.
Wire Front and Tool Caddy Rack
Renegade Elite also boasts two racks – wire front one that is incredibly handy for prepping and the tool caddy rack for all your utensils and tools. You know how annoying it is to hold a plate and balance it in front of your grill while arranging the meat on the grilling surface or removing it after you finish cooking? That won’t be a problem any more thanks to the wire prep area on the front. Setting the plate on it ensures that there is no balancing and that you won’t look like you are in a circus.
As for the tool caddy rack, it does what it suggests – holds your tools. You might think that’s not particularly useful, but the first time you find yourself looking for the tongs that you misplaced somewhere, you will be thankful that this feature exists. The rack is big enough also to fit some sauces that you plan to use during the grilling session. Make sure to note the hooks on the front side. You can use them to keep utensils or even hang some towels.
Wheels with Locking Casters
Do you need to move the grill from your patio to the backyard because of the beautiful scenery there during the summer? Or maybe your neighbor asked you to borrow it for its weekend barbecue party? Renegade Elite is equipped with four wheels that are adept for all terrains. Despite the weight of the grills from this series (ranges from 60 to 100 pounds), you can quickly move them around thanks to this feature.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to worry about the stability of your grill while you are cooking. In fact, that is why the manufacturer also implemented locking casters. They will make sure that your grilling system doesn’t go anywhere while you are loading it with food and cooking perfect burgers. You can even consider purchasing the Tailgater 20 model for all your camping and tailgating needs.
If you decide to buy the Renegade Elite grilling system via the official website of the manufacturer, you will get some sweet extras for free. Traeger added an Everyday Cookbook that explains how to grill the perfect steak or roast the perfect chicken using their product. While we are on the topic of chicken, you will also receive exclusive chicken rub created by experienced grillers.
Last, but not least, you will also receive two bags of Traeger’s hardwood pellet made of hickory and mesquite. That addition is particularly valuable because the manufacturer insists on using only their fuel for the grill. Otherwise, they void their warranty (we will talk more about that in the Cons section). If you decide to pay the entire sum at once, you will also get a free cover for your grilling system. That is always a useful thing to have because it protects the product from severe weather conditions and extends its lifespan.
The worth of all these features rounds up to about $100 (including the cover), which sounds to us as a good deal. Still, if you decide for one of the other Traeger grills that you can purchase from Amazon, you can buy the official accessories for those models there, too. For example, you can choose from nine types of premium hardwood pellets, including alder, apple, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, pecan, and turkey. We recommend that you try oak or hickory, but the truth is that you cannot go wrong. Feel free to experiment with different wood to find your favorite taste. The difference in price is negligent, and you can buy a 20-pound bag for around $20.
As for other accessories, make sure to check out the winter insulation blanket if you are using Lil Tex Elite 22. That will secure you to ensure consistent performance regardless of the outdoor temperature and grill all year-round. We also loved the extra folding shelf for Texas Elite 34, which provides additional prepping space.
Why Choose Renegade Elite Series Grills?
We know what you are thinking: all those features look great, but what sets apart the Renegade Elite series from other similar grills?
There is no need to mention that they belong to the premium grilling system because of the high-quality components and top-notch performance. However, here are some of the traits that we think should convince you to choose Traeger grills:
No Babysitting Required
While it might not be smart to let a kid near the product, it’s true that operating this grill is child’s play. The built-in heat controller works correctly and makes sure that the temperature in the fire box is continuously around the same level. The grill also automatically adds the extra pellets whenever it is needed. Of course, you still have to insert the fuel into the hopper, but that’s where your job finishes. There is no need to watch over and look for the right moment to react by adding or arranging coals. In fact, all that is required of you is to organize the food on the grates and set the desired temperature. While you are waiting for your food to cook, you can dedicate your time to your family, friends, and other guests at your barbecue party.
Grilling is the essential need you want your desired system to fulfill. However, additional options always come in handy, and there is not much you can’t do with Renegade Elite. Aside from making a perfectly-grilled burger, you can also barbecue a steak or roast an entire chicken (or more than one). Smoking a ham also delivers brilliant results, which opens options such as preparing a Thanksgiving turkey using this product.
Remember when we mentioned that handling Traeger Elite grills is just like managing an oven? But did you know that you can also use it as an oven? Thanks to the broad range of temperature you can choose and the consistent heat, you can even bake stuff in this product. In short, if you feel like eating a pizza, why not prepare it in here? It will also have that delicious flavor secured by wood pellets. And like that’s not enough of available options, you can also braise in these grills.
A Wide Range of Flavors
We already covered cherry, mesquite, and seven other types of hardwood pellets available for this grill. That enables a bunch of different flavors that you can experiment with until you find the perfect one for you. But how about mixing different woods to come up with a unique taste of your own?
Choose the Model for You
Renegade Elite is only one model available in the series of Traeger Elite grills. That means you have several products to choose the perfect one for you:
- Junior Elite 20 – weighing only 60 pounds, it’s the lightest model in the entire series
- Tailgater 20 – thanks to the EZ-fold legs that increases its portability, this grill can serve your tailgating or camping needs
- Lil Tex Elite 22 – similar to the Renegade Elite, it’s a bit more affordable option with a slightly bigger grilling area
- Texas Elite 34 – with 646 square inches of the cooking surface, you can host a large crowd comfortably with this model
- Select Elite – if you are looking for a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen, you will find it in this premium grilling system
They are saying that you should listen to the customer feedback if you want to get an impression of the quality of the grill. When it comes to Traeger grills, the consumers left dozens of positive reviews on Amazon for each of the models. That means you can’t go wrong regardless of the version you select. One of the things that the users commend is the fact that Renegade Elite series is built to last. The construction is incredibly sturdy thanks to the high-quality, sturdy steel. The powder coat finish increases the durability of the product and its resistance to rust. Although the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty, it’s safe to say that your BBQ system will last at least twice or three times as much.
Not only it’s easy to use these grills, but it’s also a piece of cake to start them. If you think that’s not important, you apparently haven’t spent hours trying to ignite the fire in a charcoal grill. However, Elite products have an electronic ignition that enables auto start with a simple switch. As soon as you insert the pellets into the copper and arrange the meat in the fire box, just hit the button and put the machine in motion.
If there is a thing that grillers don’t appreciate, it’s when they have to spend a lot of time in cleaning and maintaining their system. That’s why most of them are delighted with the grease management system, as well as with the steel grates with a porcelain finish. The material used secures that your food won’t stick to the surface. That way you not only ensure the most tender steaks you have seen in your life, but you also don’t have to put a lot of effort into cleaning the grates after cooking.
The users loved that Traeger Elite grills yell convenience every step of the way. Easy loading and unloading of hardwood pellets, no need to sit by your BBQ system, and the prep and tool racks are just some of the convenient features. If you add the fantastic versatility and stable performance regardless of the food you prepare and the way you want to cook it, you get a winning formula of an appropriate grill for everyone.
We are not going to lie here because the only truth is that each grilling system has a downside or two. However, the disadvantages of the Traeger grills are not deal breakers. Perhaps the most annoying thing about it is that the company requires you to use only their hardwood pellets. Otherwise, they void their 3-year warranty instantly. Don’t get us wrong; there is nothing wrong with the bags provided by the manufacturer, but we would like to have the freedom of buying the wood we want.
Renegade Elite and other models in the series belong to premium grilling systems. As such, it’s only natural that they are a bit pricey. You can get a Junior Elite for about $400 on Amazon, while the Select Elite costs more than $1,150. However, when you take into account that you get a product that will last for years to come, you realize that the investment is more than worth it.
Our serious complaint goes to the manufacturer that didn’t make the Renegade Elite available on Amazon. You can purchase it on Traeger website, but we know that buying on Amazon is something people around the world love. Not to mention the fact that they might be quicker in delivering the product than the manufacturer, especially if you are ordering from abroad. Fortunately, there are alternatives available in the Elite series, so you might want to check them out if you planned to order via Amazon.
Renegade Elite series offers an incredible combination of handy features and brilliant performance. It is easy to use, which is something newbies will appreciate. On the other hand, experienced grillers will look forward to the smoky flavor and experience with tastes delivered by various types of hardwood.
There are multiple grills available in this series, which means everyone can choose their favorite model. And there is something for all tastes, starting from the compact design up to an entire outdoor kitchen with only one product. If you read our review carefully, we believe that you already got a good idea about the model that suits you. Whichever you choose, we are confident that you will be delighted with a Traeger Elite Grill.