Do Pellet Grills Need Electricity? (Answered & Explained)

Do Pellet Grills Need Electricity

Pellet grills, such as Traegers, are a low maintenance way to cook and smoke food.

The simplicity of pellet grills makes smoking easy for everyone since you just need to fill the hopper with pellets, set the temperature, and wait until the food is done. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

But for those of us who like to take our grilling outdoors or to a tailgate party – can we still use pellet grills at these events further away from an electrical socket?

So do pellet grills require electricity?

Pellet grills need electricity in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod. Portable power sources such as a generator or electrical outlet in a car can power a pellet grill in remote locations.

Let’s cover how a pellet grill works so we can understand why they need electricity and why you cannot use propane or gas to power these grills. However, you can use a gas or propane generator to power these grills since they need electricity in order to work.

How Pellet Grills Work

As the name implies, pellet grills use wood pellets instead of propane or gas to create heat and smoke.

These wood pellets are used as the fuel that gets slowly fed into the fire pot. In the firepot, the pellets get burned which creates both heat and smoke.

The low maintenance, consistent heat and smoke is what makes pellet grills so special since you can set a temperature, such as 225°F, without having to maintain the fire. Here is an image of how a Traeger pellet grill works:

Do Traeger Pellet Grills Have To Be Plugged In?

Traegers, and all pellet grills, need to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to cook and smoke food.

However, pellet grills do not need to be plugged in when not in use. After a pellet grill has been used and allowed to cool off using the shut down cycle – a pellet grill can be safely unplugged and moved into a storage location.

Personally I plug in my traeger into an electrical outlet on my front porch and store it in my covered garage after it cools off. This way my pellet grill is kept safe from the immense rain up here in the pacific northwest.

A pellet grill can be left plugged in when not in use.

How Long Is The Cord On A Traeger Pellet Grill?

The electrical cord on a Traeger pellet grill is 79 inches long when laying flat on the ground. An electrical outlet can be up to 79 inches away and no one will trip on the electrical cord.

Below I have taken a photo where you can see the traeger’s cord just reaches 79 inches at the base of the electrical connection.

Traeger electrical cord length

An extension cord is needed to connect a Traeger pellet grill that is more than 79 inches away from an electrical outlet.

Using An Extension Cord With A Pellet Grill

Extension cords can be used to power a pellet grill that is far away from an electrical socket.

The best and safest extension cord to power any outdoor appliance or tool, such as a pellet grill, is a 14 gauge cord rated for 15 amps and 125 volts.

Here is a 50 foot, all weather 14 gauge extension cord that is rated for 15 amps and 125 volts available on Amazon.

I highly recommend using a reliable and safe outdoor extension cord since this will handle anything plugged into a residential outlet in the US.

Do Pellet Grills Use Propane Or Gas?

All pellet grills need electricity in order to run.

Pellet grills do not use propane or gas. Instead, pellet grills use hardwood pellets to create heat and smoke which cooks the food. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the firepot which is started by an electric hot rod.

However, a propane or gas generator can be used to power a pellet grill so any electrical outlet or power source that is strong and consistent enough will power a pellet grill.

Learn more about if Traegers use propane or gas in this article.

Can A Pellet Grill Get Wet?

Pellet grills can get wet as long as the electrical connections and pellets remain dry.

So if you plan on using a pellet grill in the rain remember the following:

Most pellet grills, including Traegers, can be used in the rain. However, the pellets, electrical connection, and any electrical controllers should be covered as much as possible. Rain can cause damage to exposed electrical connections or circuits so it is not recommended to use a pellet grill in heavy rain. Keep in mind any rain or water will cause rust to accelerate so any exposed, unpainted metal will be at risk for rust.

Learn more about using Traeger pellet grills in the rain in this article.

How Do I Charge My Traeger?

Traeger pellet grills are not battery powered so these grills do not need to be charged.

However, Traeger pellet grills do need electricity in order to cook and smoke food. The grill will work as long as there is an electrical outlet nearby.

In order to use the traeger while camping or tailgating, be sure to bring a generator or a vehicle that has an electrical outlet that the Traeger can connect to. The Traeger will work as long as it can draw 300W of power while firing up. Afterwards the Traeger needs a minimal 50W to sustain the cooking and smoking.

Final Thoughts

All pellet grills, including Traegers, require electricity in order to work. This means the pellet grill needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet or electrical source in order to smoke food.

Thankfully with the help of extension cords, pellet grills can be placed and powered almost anywhere around the home. For those tailgaters, use electrical outlets connected to vehicles or bring a portable generator in order to smoke food.

Just make sure there’s an electrical connection and cable wherever you decide to fire up the pellet grill and smoke food next!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Cook On Smoke Setting On Traeger Pellet Grills?

A: Food can be cooked on the smoke setting, however, a temperature setting is usually a better option to select. The smoke setting on Traeger pellet grills is intended to start the grill by igniting the pellets. When in “smoke” mode, the pellet grill will feed in pellets for 15 seconds and wait 65 seconds before repeating the cycle.

The temperature in smoke setting will be around 150°F to 180°F so food can be cooked at this temperature. Traeger pellet grills will create smoke at any settings so the smoked setting does not have to be selected to smoke food.

Learn more about cooking food on the smoke setting of a Traeger in this article.

Q: How Do I Restart A Traeger That Ran Out Of Pellets?

A: To restart the traeger, turn off the grill and make sure the grill is cool. Next vacuum out the firepot before filling up the hopper with pellets. Turn the traeger back on and wait until the auger fills with pellets and a few pellets fall into the firepot. Put the grill back together and use the normal starting sequence to fire up the traeger.

Read this article for a step by step photo guide on how to correctly restart a Traeger that runs out of pellets.

Q: Are pellet grills considered electric?

A: Pellet grills need electricity in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod.

So pellet grills are considered electric.

Q: Do pellet grills plug in?

A: Pellet grills need electricity in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod. Pellet grills need to be plugged into an electrical power source whether it’s a wall outlet, generator, or inverter.

Q: Are Traeger pellet grills electric?

A: Traeger pellet grills need electricity in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod.

So Traegers need electricity in order to cook and smoke food.

Q: Is a pellet grill considered an electric grill?

A: Pellet grills require electricity and wood pellets in order to work so pellet grills can be considered electric grills. However, pellet grills burn wood pellets in order to create heat and smoke so there is still a fire that is created inside a pellet grill unlike most plug-in electric grills that use an electrical heating element similar to an oven.

Q: Do pellet grills need to be plugged in?

A: Pellet grills need to be plugged into an electrical source in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod. Pellet grills cannot be powered with propane or charcoal so electricity will always be needed for the pellet grill to work.

Q: Do all pellet grills reqire electricity?

A: All pellet grills need electricity in order to work. Pellet grills are powered with electricity so that the auger can feed pellets into the fire which is started by an electric hot rod. There are not any pellet grills that operate off charcoal or propane which means pellet grills require electricity in order to operate.

Q: What is the power source for a Traeger grill?

A: Traegers need electricity in order to work and require 110-volt AC power. Traegers have a peak energy consumption of 250 watts during ignition, which reduces to 25 to 45 watts while cooking. 

See this article for test results on how much electricity pellet grills use.

Sources:

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Steven

I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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