Paint Issues on Traeger Grills

What's in This Article?

Type of Paint Used on Traeger Grills

Traeger grills are powder-coated, both inside and out. The paint used in this process is rated to withstand up to 500°F (260°C), which is why most paint issues seen are a result of a grease or pellet fire.

  • The grill barrel and lid are powder coated.
    • Some barrels and lids have stainless-steel insulation that is not coated but will develop a patina over time. This is often mistaken as a paint defect. This is a natural occurrence when exposed to heat and can be cleaned easily if desired.
  • Internal components that cannot be removed are not always powder coated, but the barrel and lid are.

Grease Being Confused for Enamel Chipping on Touchscreen Grills

Owners of Touchscreen grills occasionally are concerned that the enamel coating on the interior belly of their grill appears to be chipping after use. This is NOT paint; it is NOT the enamel coating chipping away.

While it does appear to look like peeling paint, it is actually carbonized grease that occurs after cooking particularly greasy foods like bacon or pork belly.

Timberline_Grease_Chips.png

Types of Paint Damage: Comparing Paint Damage & Paint Burn

Paint Burn and paint failure/damage are often confused because they both involve damage the grill's paint, but the difference is the root cause:

  • Paint Burn is caused by a manufacturer defect.
  • Paint failure is caused by user neglect or error.

Use the table below as an aid to give you a high-level comparison of how the two differ. 

  PAINT DAMAGE/FAILURE PAINT BURN
Root Cause

Normal wear and tear or a high-heat event like a pellet, or grease fire.

Manufacturer defect
Key Indicators
  • Scorch marks (internal and external)
  • Bubbling paint
  • Poor grill maintenance 
  • Grease or ash buildup
  • Pellet overflow
  • Warped internal components
  • Cook Data indicates a fire (Connected grills only)
  • White-ish circular ring around affected paint
    • Over time will lead to rust
  • Scorch marks at point of paint damage
  • Signs of a recently purchased grill
    • Little ash or grease buildup

    • Internal components look new or lightly used

When does this happen?

Any point during the grill's lifespan, but most often after a high-temp event.

Occurs within the first few cooks.
Affected Grills

Any grill

ONLY D2 grills with downdraft (backpack) exhaust:

  • Ironwood 650 & 885
  • Redland
  • Silverton 620, 810, & XL
  • Timberline 850 & 1300

Location on the Grill

Almost anywhere on the grill.

Because paint failure typically occurs after a fire, it is often found where the fire gravitates: chimney, seams, exhaust, lid, grease chute, etc.

Exterior only

Primarily focused on the bottom of the barrel and on the skirt of the grill on the front and back only (not the sides)

Is the grill still usable? Yes Yes
Covered by Warranty

No

This is normal wear and tear and/or caused by user error, grill fire, lack of maintenance, etc.

Yes

 

Paint Damage/Failure: Bubbling, Flaking, Scorching

Paint damage/paint failure is the most common issue you will encounter when seeing paint issues on your Traeger grill.

What does paint damage look like?

Paint damage can appear in many forms and in many places on the grill. Most often it is observed as bubbling, flaking, and/or scorched paint on both the exterior and interior of the grill.

paint_damage_due_to_high_temp.jpegpaint damage - exterior - fire.jpeg

When will paint damage occur?

You can find paint damage at any point during the grill's lifespan. 

Most paint damage will occur after a high-heat event like a grease fire.

 

Which grills experience paint damage?

Any Traeger grill (both pellet grills and flat top grills) can experience paint damage.

Where on the grill does paint damage appear?

Paint damage can occur anywhere on the grill, interior or exterior. Some of the most noticeable areas of paint damage occur at points where air can escape the grill: chimney, seams, lid, grease chute, etc. In this picture, we see signs of grease-fire-induced paint damage in all these locations.

paint burn - bad example - chimney side.png

Interior paint damage is normal and is expected to happen, especially on components like the auger tube (see image below). This part is painted and is consistently exposed to direct heat as it holds the firepot and is contained in the same area as the fire underneath the heat baffle and drip tray. Paint damage in this area is not a concern and will not impact the food during the cook because of how it's contained. 

paint burn - bad example - auger tube.png

Paint Burn

"Paint Burn" is a type of paint damage that is a RARE manufacturer paint defect.

To be considered Paint Burn, the following must be true. Each qualification is explained in further detail below.

  • What: Bubbling/flaking paint, often with a white, circular ring around it. 
  • Grill Type: Only on D2 Pellet Grills with downdraft exhaust systems (i.e. no chimney).
  • When: Within the first few cooks of a new grill when operating under normal temps (i.e. not caused by a high-heat event like a grill fire).
  • Where: Exterior paint on the front or back of the bottom half of the barrel and/or grill skirt.

What does paint burn look like?

Paint Burn initially appears in a circular pattern, usually starting as a white burn into the paint. Over time the paint can begin to bubble and flake, exposing the raw metal underneath, which can lead to rust.

paint burn - good example.jpeg

What causes Paint Burn?

True Paint Burn is caused by a manufacturer paint defect where the paint fails under normal operating conditions because too much heat is directed at one part of the grill.

  • Normal Operating Conditions: The grill's internal temperature is set to and is maintained within the temperature range the grill is designed to accommodate — up to 500°F (260°C).

The paint used on Traeger D2 grills is designed to function within this temperature range as it is also the maximum temperature the controller allows you to select. If a grill had a high-heat event like a grease or pellet fire, paint issues are most likely a result of that event; not Paint Burn.

When will Paint Burn occur?

  • Because Paint Burn is a manufacturer defect, grills that experience it will begin to show signs early in the grill's lifecycle.

Where on the grill does Paint Burn appear?

  • Most Paint Burn is isolated to the grill's backpack (aka downdraft exhaust), but it can also appear on the front and back of the lower half of the barrel and on the grill skirt. Paint Burn happens only at these locations because of their proximity to the grill's heat source, meaning they have more direct exposure to the hottest temperatures in the grill.

 

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