Traeger pellet grills are some of the most common pellet grills on the market since this was one of the first brands to create pellet grills.
Given that there are so many used ones out there, I began to wonder if I could purchase a used one and leave it outside.
After all, here in rainy Portland, the pellet grill would need to be resilient to rust otherwise my expensive purchase would rot away.
So do Traeger pellet grills rust?
A Traeger pellet grill will rust when the paint chips and the grill is exposed to water. Although the exterior of the drum may rust, the internals of the pellet grill will continue to operate as long as the water does not get inside the grill. So make sure to close the lid and use a grill cover when storing a Traeger pellet grill outdoors.
So let’s cover some signs that the Traeger pellet grill will rust and what things we can do to prevent rust.
Signs of Rust on Traeger Pellet Grills
Traeger pellet grills will rust when the paint chips or starts peeling.
Below is a photo of my Traeger where the paint is peeling away on the bottom side of my drum. Although there aren’t any signs of rust developing, the metal will rust if it is exposed to water.
So I keep my Traeger inside of my garage when it is not being used in order to prevent the drum from rusting.
Preventing Rust From Developing on Traeger Pellet Grills
In order to prevent rust from developing on a Traeger pellet grill, the grill must be kept away from water as much as possible.
Generally, storing a pellet grill indoors when not in use will prevent rust from developing.
However, if the pellet grill must be stored or used outside in the rain then here are a few tips for keeping the grill dry.
Shelter the Pellet Grill from Rain
Although Traeger pellet grills can be used while being rained on – it’s better to insulate or cover the pellet grill from being directly hit by the rain.
Exposed metal and water will eventually lead to rust so by preventing the water from hitting the grill we can prevent rust from developing.
Another benefit to sheltering the pellet grill from rain is that it will help keep the grill warm. Rainwater is cold and when it hits the grill it can cause the temperature of the grill to drop.
So insulating or sheltering the pellet grill not only prevents rust from developing but also helps the grill cook more consistently in rainy weather.
Use a Canopy to Shelter Pellet Grills from Rain
The most versatile and easy solution to using a pellet grill in the rain is to place it underneath a canopy or EZ up. Canopies or EZ ups can be purchased on Amazon and can be used for tailgating, camping, and even backyard BBQing.
I highly recommend getting a canopy that is at least 10×10 feet and has at least 1 wall to block the wind and rain.
The canopy wall can be placed in the direction the wind is blowing to prevent rain from falling underneath the canopy. 10×10 feet may sound like a lot of space but it quickly fills up when a Traeger is blowing smoke everywhere.
So a larger EZ up or canopy is better but a 10 x 10-foot canopy will keep the pellet grill sheltered from the rain.
Use an Insulated Blanket to Block Rain
Traeger sells insulated blankets that are ideal for smoking in the rain, snow, and other cold weather conditions. These blankets are intended to help maintain the temperature of the grill while being fireproof so the blanket doesn’t catch on fire.
These insulated blankets are also really handy when smoking food overnight. Generally, the temperature will drop overnight which causes the pellet grill to work extra hard in order to maintain temperature.
However, an insulated blanket will provide insulation to the drum so that the temperature remains stable.
Keep in mind that these will only help protect your drum from colder temperatures and getting hit directly by the rain.
The pellet hopper and control panel is still exposed to the weather so make sure to take the necessary steps to protect the electronics and pellets from water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a pellet grill be left outdoors or outside?
A: Pellet grills can be left outdoors or outside. However, pellet grills may rust if left uncovered for a long period of time and water can damage any electrical components and wood pellets in the hopper.
It is best to place a grill cover over a pellet grill that is being stored outside.
Although Traeger pellet grills can rust when exposed to water over time, these grills are durable and reliable cooking machines.
Given that most Traeger pellet grills cost a few hundred dollars, it is best to store a Traeger in a dry location when not in use such as a garage.
However, if the pellet grill must be stored outdoors then place the grill underneath an awning or canopy to protect it from the elements. A grill cover is another great solution to protecting the pellet grill and ensuring that it lasts for many years to come.