Something that we often get asked is ‘can you use a Traeger in the rain?’. This is a great question, and no one wants a few stormclouds to put a dampener on their grilling or smoking plans.
Of course, to smoke anything you need to keep the wood pellets lit and we all know that fire and water famously don’t get along. Wood pellets and water don’t go together all that well either.
And then there is the issue of all the electronics required to power the auger and fan that keep your Traeger smoker at the perfect temperature.
It seems there are plenty of reasons why you might not want to use a Traeger in the rain, so let’s look into using a Traeger in the wet in a bit more detail.
Can I use a Traeger in the rain?
A Traeger grill can be used in the rain. The manufacturer states that a Traeger grill can be used in most weather conditions, including rain and snow. As Traeger Grills are protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical they can be used in the rain but don’t put one next to a sprinkler!
Some people are surprised about this so here is the quote from the Traeger website ‘Your Traeger grill is built to be able to operate in most weather conditions including rain and snow’.
Essentially, rain or water coming from above is fine, the hood protects the grill, and the pellet hopper and electrics are safely protected as well. Even if it is absolutely blowing a gale the rain is unlikely to get to more than 60 degrees from vertical so you can use it in pretty much any weather conditions.
Traeger pellet smokers have the certification to back up the claim that they can be used in the rain. Traeger grills have an IP23 rating which means that the electrics are protected from touch by fingers and objects greater than 12 millimeters and protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
Just be a bit careful if you have a sprinkler in your yard or kids charging around with water guns or water bombs, as water getting into your precious Traeger grill from the side or below could cause issues.
Rain can cause issues with the wood pellets and they can easily expand and block the hopper if they become wet. They should be fine once they are in the pellet hopper but you will need to be careful about how they are stored before use. Take care when putting them into the hopper if conditions are really bad.
The other impact that the rain can have is that ignition times might be slower due to the increased humidity. This might slow down your cooking very slightly but isn’t really a reason not to use a Traeger in the rain.
It is worth noting that if you have an older Traeger (they do last well), it might not be as waterproof as the latest models so you should take extra precautions.
Can Traeger grills rust from rain?
Yes, Traeger grills can rust from the inside as well as the outside if they’re not properly looked after. Traeger grills are designed for use outdoors and should not rust if you keep them clean and covered under a breathable Traeger cover (when not in use!).
Although Traegers are very well made and some of the most rust-resistant pellet smokers on the market, they are not immune to rust and if it gets wet frequently without being cared for it is likely to become damaged.
How do you keep a Traeger from rusting?
The best way to stop your Traeger grill from rusting is to use a properly fitting Traeger cover. This will mean that if it is stored outside during wet weather, the rain will be kept off the grill itself. It is a worthwhile investment. Traegers are well made and rust-resistant but they will eventually rust if they are not cared for.
If kept outside and not covered, a Traeger grill could rust and if it develops holes due to corrosion it could be hard for it to maintain high temperatures inside. We recommend that you always store your pellet smoker either under a cover or inside a garage or shed.
Traegers can actually rust from the inside due to dust food particles that get caught on the surface and stay there. To avoid this you should regularly clean your grill and regularly remove the dust particles and food particles.
Are Traeger grills waterproof?
Modern Traeger grills have been awarded IP23 certification. This means that the electrics are protected against spraying water (aslong as it is less than 60 degrees from vertical). Traeger grills are made from powder-coated steel and will stop any rain from reaching your food.
So, if you are asking can a Traeger get wet? Then the answer is yes if it is one of the newer models. But we still recommend that you dry it and clean it once you have finished cooking and store it properly under a cover.
Is it ok to leave a Traeger outside in the rain?
If you are cooking or planning to cook on your Traeger it is ok to leave it out in the rain. If you are thinking about leaving it outside in the rain whilst it is not in use then you should really be using a cover to ensure that the grill is protected from the elements.
Should you use a Traeger in the rain?
Ok, so we have established that you can use a Traeger in the rain, the electrics should be safe and if you dry and clean it afterward it shouldn’t rust. But should you?
Well, as it is a set-and-forget pellet smoker, you won’t need to be doing too many adjustments to get perfectly smoked meat. Still, cooking in the rain won’t be the most pleasant experience.
A shower or two would be ok but if it looks like being a long afternoon of rain we recommend that you use your Traeger under a permanent or temporary canopy. Just make sure that the space isn’t too enclosed as that will cause all sorts of extra problems.
A big issue with using a Traeger when it’s raining is that the wood pellets could get soggy and expand. Whilst this shouldn’t happen in a modern Traeger we would prefer not to take the risk since it can cause serious damage to an expensive piece of kit.
The other thing to think about is the electrics in your yard. Make sure that any sockets and extension cables you are using are rated for use outside in the rain.
Can you use a Traeger in the rain? – The verdict
Yes, you can use a Traeger in the rain. We suggest that you might want to rig up a canopy to make it a more pleasant experience but using a modern Traeger in the rain is fine. Give it a good dry and clean once you are finished to reduce the chance of rusting.
You may also be interested to find out if you can use an electric smoker in the rain