Traeger Ranger vs Scout: What’s Different? Which Is Better?

Traeger Ranger vs Scout

They look pretty similar, and, they’re made by the same company. So, what’s different about the Traeger Ranger vs Scout? In this comparison, we highlight the differences and point out what’s the same about these two portable micro pellet smokers so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Before we get started, we just want to say that both of these smokers are SMALL! Forget cooking whole briskets or doing super long smokes on them. A larger portable pellet smoker is better for that (check out our favorites here). But, if you’re looking for something compact that’ll fit in your car, pickup or RV easily, and, can cook up some darn good steak, sausages or chicken for about 1-4 people, then you’re on the right track.

Traeger are a leader in pellet grills and both the Ranger and Scout are well-built, strong and durable pellet smokers that make the perfect companion for car camping or RV life.

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A Quick Comparison of the Traeger Ranger vs Scout

184 square inches of cooking space

184 square inches of cooking space

8 pound hopper

4 pound hopper

21"W x 13"H x 20"D

21"W x 13"H x 20"D

60 pounds

45 pounds

Digital Arc Controller

1st generation Digital Pro Controller

180-450°F (in 5°F increments)

180-450°F (in 25°F increments)

5°F

25°F

  • Meat probe

  • Keep warm mode

  • Cast iron griddle included

  • Meat probe

An In-Depth Look at the Traeger Ranger vs Scout

Build Quality

Just as you’d expect from industry-leader Traeger, both the Ranger and Scout are very well-built units.

As you can see, they both look very similar. Because the Ranger is newer than the Scout, it’s got a straighter look while the Scout has the slightly rounded top and handle.

Both models are a brief-case-style tabletop design with built-in legs. They’re very quick and easy to set up while being very stable on any table or flat surface.

Outside, you’re looking at a powder-coated steel design to minimize the likelihood of getting scratched or dented while on the go. And, there’s steel latches hold tight for safe and secure transportation.

Inside, both the Ranger and Scout have pretty standard porcelain-coated grates. They’re easy to clean and rust-resistant, both must-have’s for easy cooking away from home.

Capacity

Whether you go for the Scout or Ranger, both of these portable smokers are going to give you the same 184 square inches of cooking space.

So, what does 184 square inches actually fit?

Well, you’re looking at being able to cook about 6 burgers, 4-6 steaks, 10 sausages, or 1 rack of ribs (cut in half to fit) at any one time. Yep, you can fit a whole chicken on there or maybe a pork butt depending on it’s size. Both options let you cook for around about 1-4 people at a time depending on appetite.

But, the pellet hopper IS different between these two models.

The cheaper Scout has a smaller, 4 pound hopper while the Ranger has an extra box that sits on top of the hopper, doubling it’s capacity to 8 pounds.

In general, you get about 1 hour of low and slow smoke time per pound of pellets. So, you’re looking at having to open the lid and refill the Scout’s hopper if you want to smoke for longer than about 4 hours. The Ranger should give you 7-8 hours which is probably more than enough for smoking on the road without having to refill.

Size and Weight

In terms of how much physical space the Ranger and Scout will take up, the external dimensions of both units are the same, despite the fact that the Ranger has a larger hopper.

Packed up, both units are 21″ wide x 13″ high and 20″ deep. Pretty much the most compact pellet smoker option you’re going to get.

Weight-wise though, the newer Ranger comes in heavier at 60 pounds versus 45 pounds for the Scout.

Not a big deal if you’re using it in an RV. But, an extra 15 pounds is quite a reasonable difference and takes the whole unit from being pretty light to quite heavy to lug if you’re taking it further from the car.

Temperature Controller

The temperature controller is the area that has the biggest difference when you’re comparing the Traeger Ranger to the Scout.

Being the more basic unit, the Scout has Traeger’s first generation Pro Digital Controller. And, while it definitely does still do a good job of stabilizing the temperature for consistent results, the biggest downfall is that you can only set the temperature in 25°F increments.

If you like to smoke at 225°F and keep it there, not a problem! But, for anyone who likes to have more control over their cook, the Pro Digital Controller on the Scout doesn’t give you that.

With the Ranger, you’re looking at the upgraded Digital Arc Controller.

The Digital Arc Controller lets you choose what temperature you’d like in 5°F increments anywhere from 180°F to it’s max of 450°F. There’s also a handy ‘keep warm’ mode to let you delay dinner if you haven’t quite timed it right.

Keep in mind that the temperature range of both the Ranger and the Scout are exactly the same. You can smoke low and slow or grill over the maximum heat. So, both give you a lot of versatility and are awesome for roasting, baking, braising, or even wood-firing a pizza.

Power Requirements

Both the Traeger Ranger and Traeger Scout come with a standard 110 AC power cable.

So, if you’ve got a regular plug nearby, you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll need to grab yourself an inverter like this Traeger one so you can hook it up to your car or another battery.

Included Extras

A stainless steel meat probe comes with every Ranger and Scout so you can monitor the internal temperature of your meat directly on the control panel.

But, the Ranger also comes with a handy cast iron griddle. Use it to take your grilling to the next level, or, fry up some eggs for breakfast. It’s also porcelain-coated so it’s not going to rust if you don’t get around to cleaning it straight away.

You can buy the griddle plate separately if you’re getting the Scout. Once you’ve added the price on though, it’s not that much cheaper than just getting the Ranger anyway.

Price

At the time of writing this, the Ranger sells for about $100USD more than the Traeger Scout.

To check the latest prices, click on the links below.

Specs for the Traeger Ranger and Scout

Traeger Ranger

Model: TFT18KLD

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Cooking capacity: 184 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 8 lbs

Heat Range: 180°F – 450°F

WiFi: No

Dimensions: 21″W x 13″H x 20″D

Weight: 60 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Traeger Scout

Model: TFT18PLDO

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Cooking capacity: 184 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 4 lbs

Heat Range: 180°F – 450°F

WiFi: No

Dimensions: 21″W x 13″H x 20″D

Weight: 45 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Our Verdict On The Traeger Ranger vs Scout

For what’s about $100 extra, in our opinion, the Ranger is definitely worth it. You’re looking at the upgraded temperature controller with more precise temperature settings, double the hopper capacity, and, the cast iron griddle included so the grilling’s even better.

But, if price is an issue, there’s nothing wrong with the Scout. It’s got all the basic features you need to cook great food, has the same high Traeger quality, and, has the added bonus of being that much lighter in weight.

Either way, they’re both great solutions for anyone who’s looking for a really small pellet grill that’s still got the quality, strength and function behind it for great performance on the go.

Not Quite What You Were Looking For? Other Options...

ASMOKE AS300

ASMOKE AS300
  • Slightly larger cooking capacity
  • Open flame grilling
  • Lower price