When wood pellet grills were first starting to grow in popularity, Traeger was right there alongside the best of them. That set a precedent, so the Traeger Renegade Pro has a lot to live up to.
Traeger has always been versatile. The whole original concept of wood pellet grills was versatility, so it’s only natural that the brand offers wood pellet grills in all shapes and sizes. The Renegade Pro is arguably the most versatile of the bunch, which is a surprise considering the relatively compact size.
One of the key features that allow the Renegade to beat out so much of the competition is the digital pro controller. This is a feature that Traeger innovated to bring a modern twist on an otherwise rather traditional and manual method of cooking.
The digital pro controller uses the information that the thermometer outputs to alter and determine the rate at which wood pellets get sent from the hopper to the firepit. In other words, it can automatically hold a cooking temperature within 15 degrees of what you set it as without any input from you.
This takes a lot of the time-consuming labor that is associated with pellet grills out of the equation and can help speed up your cooking process.
The dimensions of the grill clock in at 27 x 39 x 50 inches, which is remarkably compact for this kind of grill. You don’t have much to worry about in terms of size if you’re working with a small patio or back garden.
In a bizarre twist, the compact dimensions of the grill isn’t actually a testament to the size. The front grate has a square inches number of 380. This is more than enough to feed a family of four or five, so you’ve got plenty of cooking surface area.
The hopper itself can hold up to 18 pounds of pellets. This is enough to last even the most intense smoking sessions with room to spare. What’s more, the hopper features an easy cleanout system so that you can clear the leftover pellets at the end of each cook.
As with any grill, the construction quality of the Renegade Pro is incredibly important. It needs to be able to withstand the elements, given that it’s going to be outside, and it also needs to be able to hold any heat you feed into it.
Traeger has a history of high-quality, heavy-duty grills, and the Renegade is no exception. The quality of the build here is absolutely sublime. You’re getting a thick steel gauge, a double powder coat layer that’s heat resistant, durable all-terrain wheels, and more.
The quality of the grill is great, but it does mean that the Renegade weighs upwards of 100 pounds, so unless you’ve been pumping the iron like crazy this last year, you might want to get a buddy to help put the grill together. There are also mechanical parts that need to be installed, as with any pellet grill, so the extra pair of eyes and hands is always a benefit.
Smoking is the name of the game when it comes to pellet grills. The indirect heating method uses by these types of grills, including the Renegade, allows you to get a master level finish on your meat without the expertise required to pull it off manually.
As we’ve said before, the Renegade is all about versatility, and the performance of the grill really does reflect that. As well as smoking and grilling your meat, you can dial that temperature right up to bake or braise your meats.
If you’ve never used a pellet grill before, you should be aware that you’re not going to be getting the same flavor profile on your meats as you would with a more traditional charcoal grill.
Charcoal grills give you a direct flame to cook off of, allowing you to get a much clearer sear on your steaks. Pellet grills forgo this fire kissed effect for the sake of smokiness.
The quality of a grill is only as high as the quality of the grilling area itself. There’s no doubt that you’ve cooked off of a low-quality grill at some point in your life. We all have, so you don’t need us to tell you how frustrating that can be.
There’s nothing worse than running out of space, having your meats fall through the grill, or even having the food you’re cooking stick to the grilling area itself.
Thankfully, Traeger tends to do very well in this regard. The main grill grate on the Renegade is protected by a layer of nonstick black porcelain that holds up very well even after a few cookouts.
It measures 380 square inches, as we’ve already stated, so you’ve got lots of cooking room, too.
Cleaning is everyone’s least favorite part of a cookout. It’s always looming in the background, reminding us that we don’t just get to enjoy our delicious food. Therefore, the best grills out there need to make cleaning more of an inconvenience than a painful chore.
This is particularly important because you need to stay on top of your cleaning to maintain the condition of your grill. If you start slacking off on cleaning duty, your grill is going to deteriorate at a rapid pace.
The Renegade, while not the best when it comes to cleanliness, is well above the average performance of most grills on the market.
The nonstick porcelain is good enough that there is minimal scrapping after each session, but it’s always a good idea to give it a once over, anyway.
Like most other grills of any kind, the Renegade utilizes a standard grease cup system. It’s simple and effective.
Lastly, the quick release cleanout feature for the hopper is an absolute lifesaver. You can get rid of your access wood chippings in a matter of seconds, which is going to save you a lot of time compared to doing it manually.
The Digital Pro Controller
It would be remiss of us to talk about the Renegade Pro without a mention of the digital pro controller that Traeger has concocted.
Being able to control the temperature of your grill this way is a massive step up from the laborious task of manually keeping an eye on the thermometer that you might be used to.
It’s a simple feature that you should absolutely be making use of every time you fire up the Renegade. Just remember that you have an error margin of 15 degrees either way. This shouldn’t make much of a difference but keep it in the back of your mind.
The entire Renegade Pro package comes with a neat little bow of a three-year warranty. This is the market average for pellet grills, but you never know what might go wrong shortly after purchase.
Thus, what do we think of the Traeger Renegade Pro? We absolutely love it. It’s by far one of the best pellet grills, if not the best that we’ve ever laid our eyes upon.
The compact size yet remarkably large grilling grate means that you can cook for the whole family without needing a massive Soprano’s style back garden to operate out of.
The entire build is durable and clearly put together using some serious hardware. We’re more than willing to deal with the excessive weight of the grill if it means it’s less likely to break or falter.
The performance of the grill is stunning, as well. Not only does the pro controller work fantastically, but every single piece of smoked meat cooked on the grill has been phenomenal. The nonstick porcelain is some of the best we’ve ever cooked off and has done little to no sticking.
We’ve also found that we’re always cooking with a little bit of excess space, which is always a boon as far as we’re concerned.
Cleaning the grill isn’t too much of a hassle, either. We normally hate cleaning grills, but the Renegade doesn’t put up too much of a fight. On a good day, you can get the grill clean and wiped down within 20 or 30 minutes after everything has cooled off.
Do We Recommend the Renegade Pro?
Our opinion is pretty clear cut and dry here. Absolutely we do. The Traeger Renegade Pro is one of the best pellet grills we’ve ever cooked off.
Its versatility is unrivaled in the current market, meaning you can make use of this grill regardless of what area size you’re working with.
It’s very much a one size fits all kind of grill, which is a rare find with pellet grills. If you’ve been in the market for a new one, the Renegade Pro really should be at the very top of your shopping list.
Just be aware of the price tag that the grill has. It’s a quality piece of hardware, but you do have to pay a premium for that. If you can look past that fact, though, then you’re going to have a blast with this grill.
Check out our Traeger Renegade Elite Review as well.