Kirk and I love to camp, be it “actual” camping or cabin camping. It’s been a great way to stay in the outdoors with our kids as they have gone from babies, to toddlers, to school age. And if there is a part of camping I love, it is grilling food. It’s not something I can justify when backpacking (as I have mentioned before, I rarely have fires in the backcountry). So when we car camp, out comes the gear – and coolers of food. I’m all for living it up!
However, I am not going to lie: for all my talents, grilling is pretty low on my talent scale. I suck at lighting charcoal grills. It nearly always falls onto Kirk to do the work. And then, if we are traveling and do want to do it, there is the (high) chance the grill on location is a mess. Be it sooty, burnt on food or rusty, you have to clean it up first. Or you can’t use the grill due to open flames. Or if you stay at close in cabins/condos, often grills are not even allowed.
So, recently I had the chance to try the delicious Kool-Aid that is Traeger Grills. I had passed the grill-smokers often at Costco and the local hardware store. I didn’t look too deeply (though I had enjoyed food grilled on them), and I didn’t understand what the selling point was – in “why is this any different from a charcoal or gas grill?”. When Traeger reached out to us, about their newer (and portable) grills I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a spin. Or well, I’d let Kirk give it a spin, amiright?
However, when the grill showed up Kirk was buried under work so I set out to put the Tailgater together. And an hour later it was built. Quite nicely I’d like to think. And so I thought a bit….maybe I could follow the directions on how to season it and use it.
Let it be known: I who cannot grill anything correctly not only built the grill, I seasoned it and then I cooked a gourmet meal on it. With no ones help.
That is exactly what the Traeger offers: Sheer simplicity.
Can you hear it?
It’s so easy to use I find us grilling/smoking sometimes twice a week.
From steaks and vegetables, to hot dogs, to chicken, to hard boiling eggs and smoking potatoes, I keep trying out new ideas.
If you see Traeger’s line of rubs and sauces, try them. The Apricot sauce is beyond amazing. I am going to cry a bit when we run out of it. The rubs really add a great hit of flavor. I add just a pinch, and pat it in. The veggie rub is great on nearly all veggies.
As for the woods? One has a lot of choices. I really like hickory, it gives a woodsy scent that is delicious.
And while I don’t normally go out of my way to use covers (Kirk sighs loudly as I say that), it is worth picking up the cover for the grill. It slips on and keeps everything tidy – and the PNW rain out. And I have kept the Tailgater covered from day one, ensuring I will be cooking for a long time.
So my thoughts? If a grill/smoker can be this easy, that it makes me want to go grill, you know it is good. Honestly? The only negative I might have is now I want the big grill to go with it! And if you have doubts, peruse the nearly endless collection of recipes on their website. And trust me, go smoke some eggs. It will be the most amazing hard “boiled” egg you ever eat. You’ll never do it in water again!
FTC Disclaimer: We received product for use in review. All thoughts and opinions are ours.