Can you cold smoke with a Traeger?

Do you crave that smoky, savory flavor in your grilled food? It’s no secret that it can take your dishes to the next level. While there are a variety of ways to infuse smokiness into your food, wood smoking is a fan favorite. But what about cold smoking with a Traeger? This question has left many grill enthusiasts scratching their heads.

Traeger grills are known for their versatility, convenience, and user-friendliness, making them a go-to for outdoor cooking aficionados. However, one of the biggest concerns among users is whether or not Traeger grills can smoke food at low temperatures without cooking it. Enter: cold smoking – a beloved technique among smoked-dish lovers.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of cold smoking with a Traeger. We’ll explore what exactly cold smoking is and whether or not it’s possible with this type of grill. So if you’re looking to add that delicious smoky flavor to your dishes without turning up the heat, keep reading for all the juicy details.


What is Cold Smoking?

Look no further than cold smoking. This centuries-old technique has been used for preserving food and imparting a smoky flavor that is distinct from hot smoking.

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Cold smoking involves smoking food at low temperatures, typically between 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C), for several hours or even days, depending on the type of food and desired level of smokiness. The process differs from hot smoking, which requires higher temperatures and fully cooks the food.

To cold smoke with a Traeger grill, you will need additional equipment like a cold smoke generator or smoker tube since Traeger grills are not designed specifically for this technique. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent temperature and smoke flow, which can be achieved with specialized equipment or by modifying your Traeger grill.

When choosing wood pellets for cold smoking with a Traeger grill, it’s important to opt for milder options like apple or cherry instead of stronger ones like hickory or mesquite. This will prevent overpowering the natural flavor of your food.

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However, it’s essential to follow proper food safety guidelines when cold smoking. Since the food is not cooked during the process, there is a risk of bacterial growth if not handled and stored correctly.

Can You Cold Smoke with a Traeger?

You might be wondering whether you can cold smoke with your Traeger grill. Look no further – the answer is yes, you certainly can. Traeger grills are versatile and can be used for both hot and cold smoking.

However, in order to use your Traeger grill for cold smoking, you’ll need a cold smoker attachment. This accessory can be purchased separately from your Traeger grill and is designed to produce smoke at a temperature range of 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C) for an extended period. With the cold smoker attachment, you can maintain the perfect temperature for cold smoking without affecting the temperature of the main cooking chamber.

Once you have your cold smoker attachment set up, it’s time to choose the right wood pellets. When it comes to cold smoking, mild wood pellets like apple or cherry are great choices because they won’t overpower the flavor of your food. It’s important to note that using the wrong type of pellet could lead to potential health hazards.

To start smoking, fill the cold smoker attachment with your chosen wood pellets and preheat your Traeger grill until the pellets start producing smoke. Once you see smoke coming out of the attachment, you’re ready to start cold smoking.

When cold smoking with your Traeger grill, it’s important to maintain a low temperature range and smoke your food for an extended period of time. Depending on what you’re smoking, this could range anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. Just remember to follow proper food safety guidelines to prevent bacterial growth.

It’s worth noting that while Traeger grills can be used for cold smoking, they’re not specifically designed for this purpose. Therefore, it’s essential that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using your Traeger grill with a cold smoker attachment.

What Equipment Do You Need for Cold Smoking with a Traeger?

If you want to add a new dimension of flavor to your Traeger grilling repertoire, then cold smoking is a great way to do it. However, it’s essential to have the right equipment to ensure that you can cold smoke safely and successfully.

The most crucial piece of equipment for cold smoking with a Traeger is a cold smoke generator. This device produces the smoke you need without overheating your Traeger grill. To fuel your generator and provide the perfect flavor for your food, you’ll also need to use wood pellets or chips. Be sure to choose the right type of wood based on the flavor profile you’re after, such as hickory or mesquite if you want a smoky, bacon-like taste.

You’ll also need some additional tools to keep things safe and efficient during the cold smoking process. A digital thermometer will help you monitor the temperature inside your Traeger grill, while heat-resistant gloves and tongs will allow you to handle hot items safely.

Finally, it’s crucial to know how to set up your Traeger grill properly for cold smoking. This may involve adjusting temperature settings, placing the cold smoke generator in the right location, and ensuring that your food is adequately prepared before smoking.

How to Modify Your Traeger for Cold Smoking

If you’re looking to add a new dimension to your grilling experience and enjoy the delicious flavors of smoked foods without cooking them, then cold smoking is the way to go. While Traeger grills are designed for high-temperature cooking, they can be modified to maintain lower temperatures required for cold smoking.

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Here are five ways to modify your Traeger for cold smoking:

Install a Smoke Generator

A smoke generator is an ideal tool designed specifically for cold smoking and produces smoke without heat. You can purchase a smoke generator online or make one yourself using materials like wood chips and an electric heating element. Once you have the smoke generator, you will need to attach it to your Traeger grill.

Use an External Smoke Box

An external smoke box is another option that attaches to your Traeger grill and allows for cold smoking. Fill the container with wood chips or pellets, and the smoke then travels through a tube into the grill, allowing you to cold smoke your food.

Modify the Temperature Controller

To allow for lower temperature settings, you can modify the Traeger’s temperature controller. It can be done by adjusting the temperature sensor or installing a different controller altogether.

Add a Baffle Plate

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A baffle plate is an essential tool that sits between the firepot and the cooking chamber. It helps create indirect heat and regulate the temperature inside the grill. A baffle plate can be purchased online or made using materials like sheet metal.

Use a Cold Smoker Attachment

A cold smoker attachment is a separate unit that attaches to your Traeger grill, including a smoke generator and a tube or box for the food to sit in while it smokes.

Once you have made these modifications, you can begin cold smoking on your Traeger grill. However, remember that cold smoking requires patience and attention to detail. You will need to monitor the temperature closely and ensure that it stays below 100°F. Additionally, use cured meats or fish that are safe for cold smoking.

Choosing the Right Wood Pellets for Cold Smoking

Well, let me tell you, choosing the right wood pellets is the key to achieving that mouthwatering smoky flavor. As an expert in this area, let me guide you through the ins and outs of selecting the perfect wood pellets for cold smoking.

First and foremost, you need to consider what type of food you want to smoke. Different meats and fish pair better with certain types of wood pellets. If you’re planning on smoking salmon, alder wood pellets are a great choice as they have a mild, sweet flavor that complements the fish. On the other hand, if you want to smoke beef or pork, hickory or mesquite wood pellets are your go-to options as these woods provide a strong, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with red meat.

However, it’s important to note that not all wood pellets are created equal. Some brands may use fillers or additives that can affect the taste of your food. Therefore, it’s essential to look for high-quality, 100% natural hardwood pellets. Traeger offers a range of flavors including apple, cherry, oak, pecan, and more that are made from pure hardwood without any artificial ingredients.

Another factor to consider when choosing wood pellets for cold smoking is their size and shape. Traeger pellets are specially designed to produce consistent heat and smoke output, so it’s crucial to use pellets that are specifically made for Traeger grills. Using non-Traeger brand pellets can lead to uneven heating and smoking which can result in subpar smoked food.

Tips and Tricks for Cold Smoking with a Traeger

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Cold smoking with a Traeger grill may not be the intended use, but with a few modifications and techniques, you can achieve incredible flavors. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your cold smoking experience.

Temperature Control

Traeger grills are not designed for low-temperature smoking, but there are options available to achieve the desired temperature. A cold smoke generator or smoker box can be used to produce smoke at low temperatures. Alternatively, an aftermarket cold smoker attachment can maintain temperatures as low as 50°F.

Wood Selection

The type of wood you use can greatly impact the flavor of your cold-smoked foods. While strong woods like mesquite and hickory are better suited for hot smoking, fruitwoods like apple or cherry are milder and won’t overpower your food’s delicate flavors.

Proper Preparation

Properly preparing your food before smoking is crucial. Curing meats with a salt and sugar mixture or brining seafood for several hours before smoking can enhance flavor and texture.


Cold smoking takes time, so be patient. Depending on the food being smoked and personal preference, it can take anywhere from several hours to several days. Monitoring temperature and smoke levels throughout the process will ensure even smoking.


Cold-smoked foods must be stored properly to prevent bacteria growth. Vacuum sealing or freezing your cold-smoked foods can help prolong their shelf life and keep them safe to eat.

Pros and Cons of Cold Smoking with a Traeger

Cold smoking is an excellent way to achieve mouthwatering, smoky flavor that will leave your guests begging for more. However, before you start, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of cold smoking with a Traeger grill.

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Let’s delve into the advantages of using a Traeger grill for cold smoking. Convenience is one of the most significant benefits. With the ability to set the temperature and smoke level, you can effortlessly control the smoking process without having to monitor the grill constantly. Traeger grills are also incredibly versatile and can be used for both hot and cold smoking, making them a wise investment for all your smoking projects. Furthermore, cold smoking with a Traeger grill results in a delicious, rich, deep smoky flavor that is hard to replicate with other methods.

Now, let’s explore some of the drawbacks. Limited temperature range is one of the main disadvantages of cold smoking with a Traeger grill. The lowest temperature setting on most Traeger grills is 180°F, which may not be low enough for some types of cold smoking. Additionally, some users report that Traeger grills do not produce enough smoke for effective cold smoking. While additional wood chips or pellets can be used to remedy this, it can lead to longer smoking times. Finally, precise temperature control is essential for cold smoking to prevent overcooking or drying out the food. With a Traeger grill, there is a risk of overcooking if you fail to monitor the temperature closely.

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In conclusion, Traeger grills are a favorite among outdoor cooking enthusiasts for their versatility and convenience. Although not specifically designed for cold smoking, with the right modifications and equipment, you can achieve that smoky flavor without fully cooking your food.

To cold smoke with a Traeger grill, you’ll need additional gear like a cold smoke generator or smoker tube. Consistency is key when it comes to temperature and smoke flow, which can be achieved through specialized equipment or by modifying your Traeger grill. When selecting wood pellets for cold smoking with a Traeger grill, milder options like apple or cherry are preferable over stronger ones like hickory or mesquite.

While there are some drawbacks to using a Traeger grill for cold smoking such as limited temperature range and precise temperature control, the benefits outweigh the cons. Convenience and versatility make Traeger grills an excellent investment for all your smoking projects. With patience and attention to detail, you can achieve mouthwatering smoky flavors that will leave your guests begging for more. Just remember to follow proper food safety guidelines to prevent bacterial growth.

Don’t let the limitations of traditional smokers hold you back from experimenting with new flavors. A Traeger grill opens up endless possibilities for outdoor cooking enthusiasts looking to take their skills to the next level.

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