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Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill Review

Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill Review

Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill


Traeger has several interesting wood pellet grills ranging from small portable ones to larger commercial models. Traeger Pro is one of their most popular models and comes in two sizes, Pro 575 and Pro 780. We tried out the Pro 575 and we’ll be looking at it in this review as we share how it managed to perform in our tests. 

The Pro 575 is the immediate successor/updated version to the Traeger Pro Series (34 and 22). The biggest change from its predecessors is the addition of WiFIRE which is a WiFi functionality that lets you connect the grill to the company’s companion app and control it remotely from a smartphone.

Another big change is the updated D2 Direct Drive controller which Teager claims it’s more reliable and durable than their previous control systems. Other notable upgrades include an auto-ignition function and an automatic auger system which feeds pellets to the firepot automatically.

The unit managed to perform well in our tests. It managed to hold its set temperatures very well. There were fewer spikes in heat and the grilling results were great, plus it offers a decent cooking space (575 square inches). It’s also fuel-efficient and moderately easy to use while the overall construction is solid.

The major notable problem is the WiFi connectivity as the signal tends to drop in and out constantly. The temperature probe also sometimes shuts off the grill if not plugged in before starting the grill. The other notable downside is that maintenance is more intensive if you use the grill often. Below is our comprehensive review, so keep reading to learn more.

Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill

Design

The design of the Pro 575 is simple but pleasant. The drum-shaped cooking chamber, box-shaped hopper on the left-hand side, and the sawhorse chassis coupled with the rustic bronze lid finishing (decorated with the Traeger logo) gives it a classic grill look that’s fairly attractive.

The design and layout are basically a little better than the previous Traeger models and it’s also available in classic black lid color. When you open the lid, you find two different grill grates – a smaller one at the top and a larger one located at the bottom. It’s the same design used in Pro Series 34 and Pro Series 22, so there’s no big change.

The grill itself is a bit wider and taller than its predecessors. It measures 55 x 49 x 27 inches – you’ll need ample space in the backyard/garden to accommodate it.  The unit is also on the heavy side, weighing 128 pounds (58 kgs) – it’s not an ideal choice for camping or road trips.

It rests on four legs with only two wheels on the rear legs. This is a compromise made by Traeger considering that the Pro Series 34 as well as the later models like the Timberline and Ironwood series have wheels (casters) on the front legs too. You can’t drag the grill around – you need to lift the entire front and then roll it on the two rear wheels to move it around which we found not quite easy given that the unit is rather heavy and bulky.

Two Caster Wheels on Traeger Pro 575

There’s a stainless steel handle on the side to help lift it up but even so, it’s still a hassle without the set of casters that the other models have. It’s even harder when wheeling the grill across uneven surfaces.

Our Score: 8 out of 10

Build Quality

The build quality of the Pro 575 was impressive, no doubt. It’s a robust grill structurally made using quality materials. The cooking chamber (main body) and the pellet hopper are thick-gauge stainless steel. The sawhorse chassis that the grill body sits on is equally thick-gauge stainless steel. They’re all quite burly including the side panels on the chassis.

The legs are also heavy-duty and are even reinforced with stiffening plates (decorated with the Traeger logo) on the front and rear sides. Generally, the entire body and legs are super sturdy as we would have expected.

All the fasteners and welds are heavy-duty too – the lid features very solid hinges that seem durable and easily support its weight while it’s opened. Both grates, on the other hand, are strong porcelain enameled steel. They can support any amount of food placed on them.

We examined the inner components of the unit and we were very pleased with their quality too. It comes with a rugged brushless DC motor and a thick stainless steel auger. The remaining parts, the handle (made of thick brushed stainless steel), and the chimney are also of great quality.

Pro 575 Great Build Quality

The whole thing is basically a solid construction that’s sufficiently strong for heavy usage/grilling and also very durable – we can see it last far longer than the three years that the warranty covers.

However, the finishing itself is not that durable as users reported on several forums that the paint starts to peel and crack after a few months of using the unit. Some mentioned too that it starts to rust on the inside after a year or two when the powder coating begins to chip.

The hot rod seems to also have some quality control issues because we found a few complaints that it was defective on arrival and it fails to work after several uses. It isn’t a widespread problem and we also didn’t have such an experience during our testing, but nonetheless, it’s something worth noting.

Our Score: 9 out of 10

Assembly

The Pro 575 comes smartly packaged in a large box with a heavy cardboard exterior. Inside the box are custom-fit foam inserts that protect the various parts of the grill from damage. The parts are grouped in a logical manner to mirror the provided assembly instructions.

The assembly process itself was pretty straightforward since the unit comes partly assembled – the grill chamber, pellet auger, and the pellet hopper are assembled in advance. You only need to mount the legs, the chimney, the grates, and the handle (on the lid).

The chimney goes on the front side/part with a gasket positioned between it and the cooking chamber to ensure that the smoke and heat only escape through the intended channels.

The provided instructions were clear and easy to read, plus everything is numbered clearly and all the necessary tools needed to complete the setup including Allan key, screwdriver, and wrench are provided.

All the pieces fit together nicely, but attaching the legs was a bit tricky since you have to flip the main body of the unit over of which it’s quite heavy to carry alone.

Generally, putting the whole unit together is a task that requires at least two people and even Traeger has clearly marked on the box that it requires two people to set up. We were two of us and we were able to do it within 30 minutes.

The unit has to be set in a spot where there’s access to an outlet as it’s powered by electricity hence needs to be plugged in. You’ll need to invest in a couple of accessories too including a shelf, drip trays, pellets, scraper, and a shop vacuum. You’ll also need a waterproof cover that can protect it from the element if you are going to leave it outdoors throughout.

Our Score: 8 out of 10

Controls / Using the Unit

The Pro 575 was moderately easy to use which is majorly due to its modern features. You can control it in two ways – manually, through the control panel (digital display and a dial/button) located on the right-hand side of the pellet hopper (on its front part), or using the (free) Traeger app.

Two Options for Control. Digital Display (left) or via the Traeger App (right).

The streamlined control panel is pretty simple and intuitive to use because it only features two buttons for the menu and ignite function and a dial that allows you to set the temperature in a 5-degree increment. You also use the dial to scroll through the menu options shown on the digital display/screen.

The panel is a significant improvement over the controls of previous models that featured an analog temperature dial that offered much less precision. It also offers other helpful information like reminders when the grease trap requires cleaning. The inclusion of a fairly large LCD digital display is also yet another upgrade over the smaller LED displays which only showed the temperature.

A built-in probe thermometer is also included to help monitor the temperature inside the cooking chamber without opening the lid. It plugs right into the control panel and then threads through a small hole right in the inside of the cook box.

We thought this would be a throwaway feature considering that most built-in temperature probes are not always accurate like a good instant-read thermometer. However, the Traeger’s built-in probe managed to consistently register the exact same temperature as the ThermoWorks Thermapen that we had which is pretty impressive. The readout is displayed on the LCD screen and you can also access it on the phone via the Traeger app.

The WiFIRE Controller

The highlight of the Pro 575 is that it comes equipped with Traeger’s WiFIRE functionality which is a feature that lacks in older models like the Pro Series 34 and 22. It’s Wi-Fi enabled, meaning you can link it with your home Wi-Fi signal and remotely control it from your smartphone using the Traeger’s app which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Even so, many users in different forums complained about having trouble connecting the grill and the app to their home network, and we also ran into the same issues during our tests. It took six tries and several resets to finally get the grill connected with our home Wi-Fi despite it being only about 20 feet from the router.

The Wi-Fi connection of the Traeger is limited to only the 2.4 GHz channel which means if you have a 5 GHz router then it needs to also broadcast at 2.4 GHz for the grill to configure.

Your phone also needs to be on the 2.4 GHz band to establish a connection with the grill. Although the 5GHz channel is usually faster, Traeger basically uses the 2.4 GHz signal because it travels better through walls and that’s essential since the grill will be outside.

The app itself tends to break down from time to time once the Wi-Fi is configured.  On 4 different occasions, it lost connection to the grill during cooking.

Moreover, we noted that the iPhone app doesn’t seem to allow you to reconnect unless you delete the grill and then start over again when you lose the connection. Despite this, once it’s up and running, and functions properly, you can do almost anything with it.

From the app, you can monitor and adjust the grill’s temperature, set timers, create alerts, and even turn off the grill. You can’t, however, turn on the grill directly from the app. You have to do it manually by pushing the ignite button on the control panel. It’s a nice safety feature that helps ensure you can’t accidentally turn on the grill.

We were particularly raved up about the “set and forget” control that the app offers as it makes grilling simpler. You just set your desired temperature and the timer, pop the probe in the food, and then the grill does the rest.

The built-in timer functions as a regular stopwatch – it automatically shuts down the grill once the cooking is done so that there’s no overheating/overcooking. You can also get a notification/alert on the app when the set cooking time is up or when the food/meat has reached the desired temperature.

The app can also alert you when the grill is done preheating and once the cooldown cycle finishes. We found these notifications especially handy to have since you get informed throughout the cooking process as you attend to other tasks such as tending to your guests.

A sample alert from Traeger App.

Another useful feature on the app is the “Keep Warm” option that you just press in case the food gets done faster than you anticipated or if you just want to pause the grill. It drops the cooking temp and holds it until you return.

The app also includes a wide array of different guided recipes and cooking suggestions which we liked because they’re precisely tailored to Traeger grills and are perfect if you’re feeling a bit uninspired.

You simply select the recipe you want, prepare the food based on the instructions and select “Cook Now” on the app once the grill is ready. From there, the recipe is sent to the grill which then handles everything on its own – you don’t need to do any temperature adjustments, plus the grill notifies you in case something is required of you.

The other impressive thing about this Pro 575 model is that it’s integrated with Amazon Alexa, so it also supports voice controls which you can use to adjust the temperature, set timers and alerts, check the status, and as well shut down the grill.

Generally, the Traeger WiFIRE controller and app are quite handy and make using the grill easy. The biggest issues are getting the Wi-Fi set up initially and the app breaking down now and then.

We did have issues with the temperature probe too as we mentioned earlier – if it’s not plugged in properly before starting the grill, it tends to short out the grill causing it to shut down everything. It’s an issue that several users also reported having experienced with this Traeger Pro 575 model. You may have to get a separate probe with Bluetooth to avoid it.

Our Score: 7 out of 10

Performance

The Traeger Pro 575 preheats relatively fast in comparison to other grills. It was hot and ready to cook in less than 15 minutes during the few times we used it which was impressive. It ignites first a few pellets within the firepot before it heats the cook chamber. It’s not instant, but even gas grills are not instant (you have to preheat them as well).

The grill heats up to a maximum temperature of 450°F and the heat distribution inside the cook chamber was fairly consistent from top to bottom and left to right. It uses indirect heat or rather convection style heat – the wood pellets are heated in the firepot below a metal tray and then the fan blows the heat around throughout the cook chamber.

The flames from burning pellets are completely blocked from climbing up to the cook chamber/grates, so they never come directly into contact with food. Some of the propane grills we tested had lots of flare-ups (especially when you put fatty meat) since the flame was in contact with the grate – we didn’t experience such incidence with this Traeger Pro 575 grill.

We did notice a slight temperature variance though in different parts of the grilling chamber after doing a couple of test cooks. For instance, the back of the chamber (the left side where the smoke escapes out the chimney) tends to get hotter, especially when not under the drip tray.

We tested and found the temperature variance from the hot left end to the moderate right end side to be about 10°F. That’s not unusual though with regards to most wood pellet grills. The pattern continued as we increased the temperature up to 180°, 235°, 335°, 400° and 450°. 

The variance seemed to increase slightly as the temps climbed such that at the maximum temperature set at 450°F, there was a difference of about 30°F between the left and right ends of the grilling chamber.

Overall though, the Pro 575 was mostly able to maintain its temperature when compared to several wood pellet grills we’ve tested and many more on the market. Nearly throughout our tests, it managed to stay within a few degrees of the set temperature.

We noted just a slight variance while cooking – it bounced plus and minus about 5 to 10°F around our set point. Again, that’s not unusual. Some fluctuation around a target temperature is expected, especially when cooking with burning wood which tends to deliver inconsistent heat over time.

The Traeger Pro 575 registered no more than 10°F above or below the set temperature, which we couldn’t accomplish with the other wood pellet grills we tested – the temperature fluctuates much more. A good example is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX grill in which the heat regularly spiked up to 75°F over the set temperature. 

However, the Traeger maintained a steady heat (especially at low temperatures) with very few spikes. Even so, numerous users reported having experienced dramatic temperature swings going up and down way off their set temperature.

The second upgrade that Traeger added to the Pro 575 is the D2 controller which is a PID controller with a brushless DC motor. It’s relatively fast in adjusting itself when you turn up or lower the heat suddenly which gives you more control over the temperature of the grill.

You can adjust the temperature in 5°C increments/intervals, so you have more efficient control over the entire temperature range which is 165 to 450°F (75 to 230°C) – you can easily maintain the desired temperature for hours if you monitor the cooking chamber’s temperature via the app. The only downside is that we found the range a bit limited as it can’t go past 500°F.

Our Score: 8 out of 10

The Results

The primary functions of Pro 575 are grilling and smoking which it excels in very well. It delivered great results in our tests especially when doing low and slow grilling and smoking. This was mainly due to its indirect heat and the capability to maintain a relatively stable and even heat distribution in the cooking chamber resulting in most of the foods getting cooked evenly.

Grilling and Smoking

In our first test we grilled a free-range duck of about 3400 grams at 160°C for around 2 hours and 45 minutes, and then further roasted it at 190°C for 15 minutes. We got an almost perfectly cooked duck. The meat was tender and succulent, and it had a nice smoke color.

We had spiced the skin with Traeger’s Big Game Rub and salt, which gave out an intense flavor and resulted in caramelized texture on the skin because of the sugar contained in the rub.

Next up we tried some 3-2-1 spareribs. We used different Traeger rubs (Find and Feather, and Big Games Blend) and based them on Traeger Apricot BBQ sauce. Our spareribs came out cooked perfectly. They had a nice although mild smoke flavor and the meat was juicy. We did thoroughly enjoy them.

Generally, the Pro 575 seems to get the fundamentals right with regards to grilling and smoking. It produced tender and moist meat in nearly all our tests and they came out with a beautiful smoke ring (about 5 to 8 mm on the outer of the meat).

Slow Cooking

The Traeger equally delivers brilliant results if you do slow cooking for over 8 hours and more, and you occasionally popup pellets to ensure the temperature remains steady throughout the duration.

Where charcoal and even sometimes, gas grills tend to burn food very quickly in case you take your eye off the food, with the Pro 575 there was little to no scorching of anything.

The D2 controller does well to keep the heat at an almost constant level with hardly any fluctuations just like an electric oven. We didn’t burn anything in our tests despite cooking foods for long hours, returning twice or thrice to turn them over. If you set a temperature of, say, 200°C, it stays that way or within that range (10°C above or below) as long as required, or up to when the meat probe signals the end of the grilling/cooking process.

We smoked briskets for 12 hours and they were near perfect on both our first and second attempts. They were as succulent and tender as we had wished for.

Roasting

We did try to cook roasted pork on Pro 575 and again we got good results. The pork was juicy with crispy crackling skin which it did with top marks. We also did a slow roast leg of lamb which we slit all over and then filled it with halved garlic cloves and rubbed it with the Traeger Fin and Feather rub.

We roasted it for around 7½ hours at 105°C. The end result was an extremely tender leg of lamb with a nice smoke ring (about 1cm into the meat) and it tasted incredible.

Searing

The Pro 575 doesn’t really give a better sear compared to ultra-hot gas or charcoal grills or some other pellet grills that can reach high temperatures of around 550°F or above – you can only crank up the Traeger’s temperature to a maximum of 450°F.

We tried searing a set of chicken wings at around 350°F for about 30 minutes and the meat was fine and succulent but unfortunately, the skin turned out pale and rubbery – it wasn’t as crisp as we would normally like. At that temperature using a different pellet smoker would result in crispy brown skin without drying out or overcooking the meat.

The results are even worse when you crank up the heat to the highest setting of 450°F which we did and placed a steak in the lower grate of the cooking chamber (on the hot, left side). 

The steak wasn’t seared to perfection as we expected and this is because the pellet fire couldn’t generate much intense radiant heat required for searing. So, if you plan to do lots of searing, this wouldn’t be the ideal option.

Overall though, we were able to cook many different kinds of meat than we imagined on the Pro 575 and it all tasted fantastic. It bakes food with smoky fire and indirect heat which mostly delivers consistent results for many sorts of meats and vegetables.

There are no hot spots or flare-ups since the unit utilizes indirect heat – all the flames are totally blocked from getting into contact with the food. The propane grills that we’ve tested had lots of flare-ups, especially when you place any type of fatty meat.

The slight drawback is that cooking with it takes a while which can be a bit irritating if you’re after quick grilling or roasting. For instance, it took about 12 hours to cook the pork shoulders and the brisket – around 2 hours longer than other pellet grills.

We also noted that it leaves a relatively mild smoke flavor to food compared to a true smoker like classic wood-chip style smokers – the smoke flavor didn’t really strike us as remarkably intense.

The pellets only smoke for several minutes but afterward, they burn clean. We were a little disappointed by this since we were expecting to get a very powerful smoky taste. It basically doesn’t have an actual smoke function like we saw on the Pro 34 and 22 models.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a decent smoky flavor with the Pro 575 –  it does actually generate more smoke compared to other pellet smokers but only if you keep the heat at the lowest setting (165°F). It’s not the best option if you prefer super-smoky meat, but it does leave a fine smoke ring on the meat.

Our Score: 8 out of 10

Cooking Area

As we mentioned earlier, the Pro 575 features two grates in the cooking chamber, a large one (measuring 425 square inches) and a smaller one (measuring 150 square inches). The total cooking space you have is 575 square inches as the name suggests. It’s not the most spacious grill but the size is enough to suit a family of four.

Without strategic placement, you can fit up to 4 chickens or 5 rib racks, or even 24 burgers at a time. The main cooking grate on its own can hold up to 3 bone-in pork shoulders. In case you want a larger cooking space, you can consider the Pro 780 model. It offers a total cooking space of 780 square inches, sufficient for bigger groups or large families. Other than space though, everything else is much similar to the Pro 575 model.

Our Score: 8 out of 10

Cleaning

Cleaning the Pro 575 is a little difficult. It’s actually a bit more intensive than propane grills. It doesn’t have direct heat or get super-hot, so the grease doesn’t burn off – it ends up sticking to the grates which require a thorough wipe-off to remove them.

Moreover, the grease tends to get under the tray liner easily and also touches a large area of the grill before finally draining into the grease bucket which makes it quite difficult to clean.

You also need to vacuum the firepot occasionally to get rid of any buildup of ash. If you don’t do so then the ashes from the burned pellets float around and can eventually land on the food. You can as well run into issues when it comes to starting the grill, especially if there’s a lot of ash in the firepot.

The two grill plates are removable – you can detach and wash them in a sink using warm soapy water. The drip tray, on the other hand, needs replacement frequently.

A single-use foil drip liner is provided with the unit and it covers the metal tray completely. You can buy it separately and Traeger even sells several thick aluminum foil sheets which fit below the grill just on top of the foil. Alternatively, you can use standard aluminum foil and overlap it much like roof shingles such that the grease can flow downhill right on top of the foil.

In general, unlike the propane gas grills, this Pro 575 pellet grill requires proper maintenance which you may find a bit difficult if you cook regularly.

Our Score: 6 out of 10

Other Highlights

The D2 drive train is one of the improvements that the Pro 575 comes with in comparison to the Pro Series 34 and 22. It’s an upgraded automatic auger system that does a great job in feeding the wood pellets from the hopper to the grill’s internal firepot when it needs more heat.

It operates very smoothly without any jams in the auger which was the case with prior models and a few other wood pellet grills from other brands that we tested. The new drive train has a brushless DC motor that features a more powerful drill and fewer moving parts – the auger is more flexible and less likely to clog. It can work longer without jamming.

The pellet holder has a capacity of 18 pounds which is the same as the previous models and it features a pellet clean-out chute that lets you easily empty the hopper.

Traeger has equally included a little thumbscrew that locks the pellet chute door shut in order to prevent accidentally letting it open and spilling the pellets all over your deck. The magnetic screw also holds the door up when you open it to clear the hopper out which is another nice touch.

The unit features an auto-ignition system too which fires up the pellets once you press the ignite button. It’s a simple process much like a gas grill. 

We liked the various kinds of wood pellets that Traeger offers for this Pro 575 model which includes cherry, hickory, oak, apple, maple and pecan. Each one infuses a subtlety different flavor to the food. In addition to that, Traeger offers a range of rubs and spices of which we utilized during our tests.

With regards to efficiency, we found the unit slightly more efficient than other grills we’ve tested. The pellet consumption is pretty decent as it goes through around 2 pounds of pellets per hour when running on high heat and only about half a pound per hour on low heat.

The unit also needs electricity to function (to power up) but the power consumption is not that high either – it’s about 300W in the first 4 minutes and then drops to around 50W an hour.

The one feature it lacks is a pellet sensor to let you know when the pellets are running low. You only get a low-temperature alert.  The other issue is that it takes time to come to temperature once you’ve refilled the hopper. The auger moves the pellets slowly to the firepot since the entire auger path has no pellets. It can take 15 to 20 minutes to get it running again depending on the temperatures.

The final downside is that you can’t use the Traeger Pro 575 for cookouts because you have to open the cover frequently. You can’t cook with the Pro 575’s cover off as it quickly loses about 100°F in just a minute when you open the cover.

Final Thoughts

The Traeger Pro 575 did perform remarkably well in our tests. It managed to sufficiently cook most of the meats as we expected. It’s fairly easy to use, offers a decent cooking space, it’s durable and it comes with a long warranty (a 3-year warranty). Assembling it is equally not that hard. Overall, this is a great option if you want a wood pellet grill that can reliably cook different kinds of meat. It’s ideal too if you want a smart grill that you can remotely control via the phone.

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