The Bottom Line
- Clean, efficient fuel consumption
- Excellent grease management
- Easy clean up
- Requires specialized fuel
- Thermostatic controller not standard
- Recently suffered a decline in quality
- 418 square inches of total cooking area
- Solid state cooking system with Auger feed pellet burner and Autostart ignition
- 20,000 BTU burner output
- Operates on a standard 100 volt outlet
- Standard three position setting for the heat indicator
- Made in China for Traeger
Guide Review - Traeger Pellet Lil' Tex
Wood pellets, held in a small hopper are moved into the cooking chamber by a mechanical auger. In the center of the cooking chamber is a small fire-pot with a small electric heating element. The heat element ignites the pellets to create the cooking heat and the smoke. During the ignition period (4 minutes) the unit uses 300 watts. After that the unit uses 50 watts. This means that the electric usage is low and won't drive up your power bills.
Years of design improvements and practical testing have improved the Traeger grills and smokers to the point of being some of the best outdoor cooking equipment on the market. Unfortunately Traeger recently shipped its manufacturing out of their Oregon factory to a foreign factory and quality has suffered for it. While still a pretty good product the Traeger grills of today are not what they used to be.
The Lil' Tex smoker is Traeger's smallest unit, but at 418 square inches of cooking space you will have plenty of room for any family cookout. This unit will run you about $700, but I would recommend the thermostatic control unit as a necessarily accessory. This will put the price at closer to $900.
The wood pellets that this unit runs on are specialized fuel and you will need a good source of these to run your smoker. You can purchase them online. There are several companies that supply these pellets, including Traeger.