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.
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Table of Contents
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
Digital Arc Controller
1st generation Digital Pro Controller
180-450°F (in 5°F increments)
180-450°F (in 25°F increments)
An In-Depth Look at the Traeger Ranger vs Scout
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Specs for the Traeger Ranger and Scout
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...
Z Grills 200A Cruiser
- Slightly larger cooking capacity
- Open flame grilling
- Lower price
Kate Brown, the founder and voice behind Burning Brisket, is not your typical pitmaster or restaurateur. Her expertise in barbecue grew from a humble desire to cook exceptional meals for her family. From overcoming burnt brisket mishaps to establishing her boutique cattle ranch, Kate shares her passion to help 'ordinary' individuals cook extraordinary barbecue, believing that simplicity often yields the best flavors. Kate is commited to making great barbecue accessible to all with the right resources and some tasty practice.