WHAT IS A TEMPERATURE SWING?
What do we mean when we say "temperature swings?" A temperature swing is when your grill's temperature rises above and below your set temperature on an extreme level and returns to your set temperature or reverts in the opposite direction--like a swing.
ARE TEMPERATURE SWINGS NORMAL?
Yes! It is completely normal for your Traeger's temperature to rise and fall throughout your cook.
Traeger grills cook on an average. This means the temperature will rise above and fall below the set temperature throughout your cook, but the average temperature will still be your set temperature. Your home oven does the same thing, but while your oven displays the average temperature, your Traeger displays real-time temperature.
On a typical, good-weather day, your grill should fluctuate no more than ±25°F/14°C. If your grill is fluctuating more than that, let's continue to figure out what may be contributing.
COMMON CONTRIBUTORS TO TEMPERATURE SWINGS
Many things can affect the grill's temperature--frequently opening the lid, cold weather, heavy food load, poor airflow circulation, changing set temp often, etc. See below for info on each scenario.
Low-quality or old pellets are the #1 cause of temperature management issues. Check the pellets at the end of the auger or in the firepot to make sure they have a nice sheen and a nice "snap" to them when breaking. If the pellets crumble or look dull, try a new bag of pellets.
When cooking, avoid using large pans that can block the grill's airflow. If a pan needs to be used, ensure at least an inch of clearance between the grill and the edge of the pan. Also, try to maintain an inch clearance from the edge of the grill when placing food on your grill.
OPENING THE LID TOO OFTEN
Repeated opening and closing of the lid too often can cause temperature issues. Remember, "If you're looking, you ain't cookin'!"
IMPROPER STARTUP AND SHUTDOWN
Make sure to follow the proper startup and shutdown processes. Improper startup and shutdown will often lead to temperature issues during your cook.
CHANGING THE TEMPERATURE
If you change the temperature too often during a cook, this can cause issues with maintaining temperature. Instead, give time between changing temperatures so the grill can keep up with the changes.
IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF A TIMBERLINE FIREPOT
Firepots on new Timberlines sometimes get caught on the auger tube. Make sure your firepot is installed flush with the grill barrel and that the cardboard from packaging is removed.
USING A DRIP TRAY LINER OR FOIL ON A TIMBERLINE GRILL
If you have a new Timberline or Timberline XL, you should never use foil or a drip tray liner.
New Timberline grills conduct heat more effectively than other models, so using foil or drip tray liners can significantly affect your grill's ability to maintain consistent temperatures.
USING FOIL AS A DRIP TRAY LINER
If you choose to use heavy-duty foil in place of a drip tray liner, make sure the foil is wrapped tightly around the edges of the drip tray. If the foil is fanned out, this can cause airflow issues.
DRIP TRAY AND HEAT BAFFLE/HEAT SHIELD
If the drip tray or heat baffle is damaged or placed incorrectly in the grill, you may experience temperature issues. Damage that can cause temperature swings would be extremely warped components (note that mild warping is normal) or rusting to the point that there is a hole in the tray or baffle. For damaged parts, please get in touch with Customer Service.