Grill Startup Guide

Why is Proper Startup and Shutdown Important?

Following the correct startup process is very important as it can have many different effects on your cook, even hours in. Grills started incorrectly may experience temperature swings, flame-outs, and many other issues.


In 2016 Traeger began introducing a new, simplified, closed-lid startup process instead of an open-lid startup.

Unsure if your grill requires a closed-lid startup? Let us help you with that.

To determine if your grill is a closed-lid startup grill (All WiFIRE-enabled grills require a closed-lid start-up), you will need to find your model number.

  1. Open the hopper lid.
  2. Look for the bar code sticker underneath the words "Attention Serial #."
  3. The first alpha-numeric combination is the model number, then separated by the year it was produced and the month.

Now that you have your model number, see if it is in the chart below. Any model number not on this list will require an open-lid startup procedure.

Closed-Lid Startup

Closed-lid startups are effortless. When ready to cook, ensure all your internal grill components (heat baffle, drip tray, grill grates) are inside the grill. Next, set your Traeger grill directly to the desired temperature and preheat with the lid closed for approximately 15 minutes.

Open-Lid Startup Process

If your grill requires an open-lid start-up, follow these steps below (note, this will depend on the controller):

  1. When ready to cook, ensure all your internal grill components (heat baffle, drip tray, grill grates) are inside the grill.
  2. Set your Traeger grill to the SMOKE setting with the lid open. You will hear the fan running.
  3. Wait for the fire to ignite and establish, roughly 5 minutes, give or take. You should hear a difference in sound from just the fan to hearing a flame going.
    • If you want to cook at high temperatures (325ºF +), skip to step.
  4. Once the flame is going and the fire has been established, wait for an additional 5-10 with the lid remaining open.
  5. Close the lid.
  6. Increase to the desired temperature and preheat for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  7. Begin cooking!

Common Startup Questions

Should the fan cycle off and on during startup?

  • This depends on the grill. The fan on non WiFIRE grills should run continuously. The fan on grills that have WiFIRE does cycle on and off during startup.

I set my grill for 450º, but it says, "Preheat Complete" at 375º. Is this normal or require some action?

  • At 375º, the consumer is okay to put food on the grill.
  • The "Pre-heating" screen goes away once one of two events occurs: either 10 minutes after the ignition sequence ends and pre-heating has begun or within 5 degrees of the set temperature.
  • Typically if it is cold, it will hit the 10-minute mark first and alert.

What if it takes longer than 5-10 minutes for my grill to get to the desired temperature?

  • This is normal, and the wait time may be closer to 15 minutes on some AC grills and will vary from grill model to model.
  • Once you find the "sweet spot" for your grill, you should be able to follow that time as a rule of thumb moving forward.