Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to barbecues. There’s definitely something to be said for just the right size. And, if you’re attracted to the lower price and quality look of Traeger’s smaller grill, the Renegade Pro, there’s good money to be saved both in the purchase price and the running costs. After all, smaller does equal less space to heat.
But, if you’re still on the fence about if this is the right barbecue for you, our Traeger Renegade Pro review takes a real look at it’s performance. Here we’ve taken the specs, our experience, and real user feedback to roll it into a comprehensive assessment of this smaller-sized, lower-priced smoker.
Here we go…
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Features of the Traeger Grills Renegade Pro Pellet Smoker
- Traeger’s high-quality powder-coated steel body
- Super sturdy pro-style cart
- Modest cooking capacity to suit cooking for smaller families
- 18 pound pellet hopper gives a long unaided cook time
Ease of use:
- Digital Pro Controller maintains temperature within 15°F of your target
- Easy clean porcelain-coated cooking grates
- 6-in-1 versatility lets you smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise and bbq
- Hopper cleanout door
- Side lift bar and all-terrain wheels make moving it easy
- Dual meat temperature probes for accurate feedback without opening the lid
In-Depth Review of the Traeger Renegade Pro
If you’re someone who appreciates the quality but doesn’t quite have the budget for the majority of Traeger’s grills, the Renegade Pro is a great option.
In this case, the lower price doesn’t come from inferior construction or performance, it’s simply because the Renegade Pro is smaller than the majority of their range. Giving 380 square inches of cooking space, the Renegade Pro can handle 18 burgers, 2 chickens or 3 racks of ribs laid flat at a time. So, yes, smaller. But, even if you’re entertaining, there’s a decent amount of space to cook for your guests, or, have leftovers if it’s just your family.
But, how does it perform? Can I grill on the Renegade Pro? And, how tight will it hold my temperature? We dive into these questions plus more to help you make the best decision.
As you’d expect from the industry-leader, Traeger, the Renegade Pro is well-built. For the price, you don’t get stainless steel. But, you do get really sturdy powder-coated steel construction that’s got a solid feel to it.
The Pro part in the name means that this pellet smoker is built with the new, more robust body style. The thick, angled legs and all-terrain wheels really do give more stability and less wobble, especially in such a budget-friendly model. Add in the new side lift bar and the Renegade is one of the easiest pellet grills on the market to get in and out of the garage.
For cooking grates, you’ve got porcelain-coated steel. Simple but rust-resistant, fairly non-stick and easy to clean give it a big tick in the box for usability and durability.
The Traeger Renegade Pro is one of the smallest pellet smokers on the market. With 380 square inches of cooking space on one grate, it either suits your smaller crowd, or, it’s a bit of a sacrifice to get a high-quality smoker at a cheaper price.
Regardless, you can actually still fit a reasonable amount of food on this thing. Three smoked chickens sit easily side by side, feeding at least 6 adults, or you can lay down 3 racks of ribs, or fill it up with 16 burger patties. Either way, there’s more than enough space for a family of 4. And, it’s still doable to entertain with it as well. The only difference is you might want to cook the sides inside instead of on the ‘cue.
In making a smaller smoker, Traeger haven’t really sacrificed the hopper. The Renegade Pro still has a sizeable 18 pound pellet capacity which should give you around 18 hours of unassisted smoke time in decent weather. Of course, you’ll use pellets faster when you’re grilling at higher heat. But, it shouldn’t need to be on for as long so you probably won’t need a refill.
Traeger is well-known for their superior performance. And, cooking on the Renegade Pro is no exception. Straight-forward and easy to use, it’s great for ribs, wings, brisket, burgers, pork, whole chicken, salmon, anything really! Plus, the extra internal height means you could actually fit a small turkey on here come Thanksgiving.
The temperature is controlled by Traeger’s Digital Pro Controller with AGL. It doesn’t hold the temperature quite as tightly as their new D2® drivetrain. You can expect around about +/-20°F fluctuations during a long cook. And, while there’s kinda a lot of pressure on pellet smokers to have practically no variation at all, we really don’t find the Renegade Pro’s temperature fluctuations major enough to noticeably affect the results, especially for the backyard chef.
The Renegade Pro maxes out at 450°F. It’s advertised as being good for grilling. But, with no direct flame option, we find it’s more like cooking in a really hot oven than using a traditional grill. But, it will get the job done hot and it does an incredible job of anything low and slow, baking, roasting and braising.
Although Traeger’s got a good line of optional extras, they usually don’t do a lot in the way of included extras. But, the Renegade Pro actually comes with dual meat probes that plug straight into the temperature controller for accurate feedback on how done your meat is. They work well and will save you a bit on buying a separate unit.
The Renegade Pro comes with a 3 year warranty. It used to be the longest warranty for a pellet smoker. But, with Pit Boss offering 5 years and recteq offering 6 years, if warranty is something that’s important to you, click on either link for a comparison against Traeger.
Also, be aware that there are some reports of Traeger not honoring their warranty if you purchase through Amazon. Here’s the link to purchase through Traeger Grills direct (yes, we do earn a small commission, but, no, it won’t cost you any extra).
Because the Renegade Pro isn’t one of Traeger’s main grills, there’s not quite the range of optional extras as is available for others. There is, however, a Renegade Pro grill cover to keep it protected from the elements.
Cleaning the Traeger Renegade Pro
The Traeger Renegade Pro has a hopper clean out door so you can easily empty any unused pellets from the hopper and change flavors quickly.
As for regular cleaning, you will need to give the grates a scrape down, clean the grease tray (or throw out the liner), and scoop/shop vac the ash out of the firepot.
It’s pretty standard for a pellet smoker and shouldn’t take too long to clean. But, do remember that cleaning pellet smokers regularly is so important to keep them running well.
Pros of the Traeger Renegade Pro
- Traeger quality
- Lower price than other Traeger grills
- Sawhorse design creates strong and sturdy base for cooking
- Great size for smaller families that still leaves enough space for entertaining
- Reliable performance gives consistently great results
- Comes with 2 meat probes so you’ll know exactly when your meat is done without opening the lid
- 3 year warranty
- Pellet hopper clean out makes it easy to empty and change pellet flavors
Cons of the Traeger Renegade Pro
- No WiFi for remote control
- They state it can be used for grilling but it’s more like a hot oven that gives off indirect heat
- Currently no insulating blanket available for this model
Specs for the Traeger Renegade Pro Grill and Smoker
Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker
Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel
Grate material: Porcelain-coated steel
Cooking capacity: 380 sq. in.
Pellet hopper capacity: 18 lbs
Heat Range: 180-450°F
Fuel type: Wood pellets
Price guide: $$$
Assembled size (in): 50”H x 41”W x 27”D
Weight: 109 lbs
Warranty: 3 years
FAQs About the Traeger Renegade Pro
Q. Does the Traeger Renegade Pro have WiFi?
There’s no WiFi on the Renegade Pro.
Q. How do you clean the pellet hopper out?
There’s a pellet hopper clean out door so you can easily open it up and remove any unused pellets.
Q. Can I cook for 4 people on the Renegade Pro?
Yes. You should easily be able to cook for 5-6 people at a time depending on what type of meat you cook. A whole brisket should feed even more.
Q. How hot does the Renegade Pro get? Is it good for grilling?
The Renegade Pro maxes out at 450°F. Grilling is doable. But, because it’s indirect heat, it’s more like using a really hot oven.
Q. Where are Traeger Grills made?
In 2008, Traeger moved most of their production over to China. This was to keep up with the higher demand for smokers. Keep in mind that most pellet smokers are manufactured in China and they still follow strict quality control requirements.
Q. Does the Traeger Renegade Pro work in colder weather?
Yes. Because it’s not insulated and there’s currently no cold weather cover available, it will use pellets faster than in warmer weather. But, that’s one of the great things about pellet smokers in general, they’ll sort the temperature out themselves, no matter what the weather is doing.
Q. Do I need to use Traeger pellets in a Traeger smoker?
You can use any brand of pellets in any smoker. But, keep in mind that high quality pellets will create better heat, more optimal smoke, less ash and prevent related problems. Check out our review of the top pellets for smoking.
Our Verdict on the Traeger Renegade Pro Review
For the average family of 4, you really don’t need a heap of space for smoking, even if you do entertain a bit. In that way, the Traeger Renegade Pro is a great mix of good quality at a more affordable price than the more mainstream Traegers.
With a solid and sturdy design plus all the basics you need to get the job done easily and well, the Renegade Pro is a good choice for budget-conscious buyers who want the quality and reputation of the brand that put pellet smokers on the market.