Seasoning Your Non-WiFi Pellet Grill

What's in This Article?

We're excited to welcome you to the Traeger Nation. Before cooking on your non-WiFi (AC) pellet grill for the first time, you need to season it. Sometimes this is referred to as the initial burn-in: a simple, one-time process that will burn off any residual, food-grade, non-toxic mineral oil used to prevent rusting from the manufacturing process.

Need seasoning instructions for other types of Traeger grills?

Understanding Seasoning

Seasoning, sometimes called "initial burn-in," is a simple, one-time process that primes the auger with pellets and utilizes high heat to burn off residual, food-grade, non-toxic mineral oil that is used during the manufacturing process to prevent rust. 

  • NOTE: It is normal for the grill to produce an odd smell during the burn-in process due to burning off the residual manufacturing oils.

How Often Do I Need to Season My Grill?

You should only have to season your grill one time (before grilling for the first time); however, you should re-season your grill after replacing the following parts to burn off any anti-rust and manufacturing oils:

  • Barrel
  • Drip Tray
  • Firepot
  • Grates
  • Heat Baffle

How Long Does Seasoning Take?

Non-WiFi pellet grills typically take 60-90 minutes to season from start to the end of the shutdown cycle.

How to Season Your Traeger Pellet Grill

Traeger pellet grills without WiFi have one of two styles of controllers: an ARC controller or a Pro controller. While the general concept of seasoning is the same between the two (get the grill hot and let run to burn off residual oils), the steps to season your grill will differ slightly depending on which controller your grill has. 

ARC Controller Pro-style Controller
traeger-arc-controller-studio.png digital-thermostat-kit-meat-probe.png
*Controller appearance may vary, such as screen color, number of probe jacks, etc.

Seasoning a Grill with an ARC Controller

Use these instructions if your grill's controller looks similar to this:

traeger-arc-controller-studio.png

  1. Remove the grill grates, drip tray, and heat baffle from inside the grill.
    ac - remove internals.jpg
  2. Plug in the grill to an electrical outlet and turn on the grill using the power switch to put the controller in Standby mode (LEDs will flash).
    ARC Controller-plug in turn on.png
    1. Depending on your grill, the power switch may be on the back of the grill or on the front, just under the controller.
    2. Standby mode is indicated by flashing lights on the screen and means the grill is awaiting a command. The grill MUST be in Standby mode to prime the auger (See Step 4).
  3. Open the hopper lid and make sure there are no foreign objects in the auger before adding pellets to the hopper. Fill the hopper with hardwood pellets.
    AC - Add Pellets.jpg
    • We recommend you fill the hopper at least to the safety grate.
  4. Prime the auger with pellets.
    ARC Controller-prime auger.png
    1. With the grill in standby mode, press and hold the UP and IGNITE buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.
    2. The display will flash, Pri, and the auger will begin turning, bringing pellets from the hopper to the firepot.
    3. Once a small amount of pellets are in direct contact with the igniter, press and hold the UP and IGNITE buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds to stop priming.
      ARC Controller-stop priming.jpg
  5. Install all components in the grill and close the grill lid.
  6. Press the UP button until the display reads 450°F (250°C).
    ARC Controller-set temp-450.png
  7. Press the IGNITE button.
    The grill will begin its ignition process. You should hear pellets falling into the firepot and the induction fan running intermittently.
  8. Once the grill reaches 400-450°F (250°C), allow it to run for an additional 30 minutes with the lid closed to complete the seasoning process.
    • Odd smell? During the burn-in process, it is normal to experience an odd smell due to burning off the residual manufacturing oils.
  9. After 30 minutes, you are good to start grilling! If you aren’t ready to cook, shut down the grill, allowing it to run through the entire Shutdown cycle before powering off the grill. 
    1. Shut down the grill by pressing and holding the CENTER/SELECT button until the word, OFF, begins flashing. 
    2. OFF will flash 9 times and the controller will scroll the words, COOL DN XXX, followed by a 10-minute countdown.

Seasoning a Grill with a Pro Controller

Use these instructions if your grill's controller looks similar to this:

Pro controller-SMOKE setting.png

  1. Remove the grill grates, drip tray, and heat baffle from inside the grill.
    ac - remove internals.jpg
  2. Open the hopper lid and make sure there are no foreign objects in the auger before adding pellets to the hopper. Fill the hopper with hardwood pellets.
    AC - Add Pellets.jpg
    • We recommend you fill the hopper at least to the safety grate.
  3. Plug in the grill and turn it on using the switch on the front of the controller.
    AC Pro Controller-plug in power on.jpg
  4. Set the temperature dial to SMOKE.
    Pro controller-SMOKE setting.png
    • Look into the end of the auger tube by the firepot to confirm the auger is turning.
    • Confirm there is air flow from the induction fan and heat starting to come from the hot rod by hovering your hand over the firepot without touching the hot rod. 
  5. Once you confirm the induction fan is blowing air and the hot rod is heating, finish priming the auger by setting the control dial to HIGH.
    • You should see pellets start to fall into the firepot in approximately 2 to 5 minutes.
  6. Once pellets begin to fall into the firepot, the auger is primed. Turn the temperature dial to Shut Down Cycle to reset the ignition sequence.
  7. Place the heat baffle, drip tray, and grill grates back into the grill and shut the lid.
  8. With the grill still powered on, turn the dial to HIGH (or the highest temperature the controller allows). 
    Pro Controller-season-HIGH setting-smoke.jpg
    • Whitish-gray smoke will start to appear within a couple minutes as the fire establishes.
  9. Allow the grill to run for 45 minutes on HIGH with the lid shut.
    • Odd smell? During the burn-in process, it is normal to experience an odd smell due to burning off the residual manufacturing oils.
  10. After 45 minutes, your grill has finished seasoning are you are ready to start grilling!
  11. If you aren’t ready to cook, shut down the grill by turning the temperature dial to Shut Down Cycle, allowing it to run through the entire Shutdown cycle (between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on the model) before powering off the grill. 
    • Depending on the controller, the display may show, Sdn, indicating "shutdown."
    • This process allows remaining pellets to burn off, an important step for successful future cooks. 
    • Once the shut down cycle completes, the induction fan will stop and the controller will power off.

Seasoning FAQs

Will I need to re-season my grill again in the future?

Any time you install new internal parts for your grill (heat baffle, drip tray, firepot, or an entirely new barrel), we advise you to burn in/season your grill again in order to remove any anti-rust oils that ship with the parts. 

White Ash/Residue after Seasoning

If the customer is seeing a white ash-like residue/film appear after seasoning the grill, let them know that it can be wiped off. Suggest cleaning it with non-corrosive degreaser.

What's That Smell?

Because the seasoning process is burning of manufacturing oils (food-grade, non-toxic mineral oil), some customers may detect an odor in addition to the smell of smoke. This is normal.

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