pork belly on the Traeger pellet smoker
Food,  Wood Pellet Smoking

My Introduction to the Pellet Smoker

Several years ago, a friend of mine cooked some of the BEST ribs I had ever tasted! I knew he had a Traeger pellet smoker, but that was the limit of my knowledge about how they were cooked. After tasting those ribs,

I KNEW I had to get me one of those new fangled machines!

Junior Elite Traeger pellet smoker


Since then, I have learned so much about cooking on the pellet grill. During the summer months, I pretty much avoid turning on the oven at all. If you are a true, die-hard smoker (like me), you can position your Traeger right outside the door and use it all year long.


pork belly on the Traeger pellet smoker


If you want to add a bit more smoke than what the grill naturally produces, you can add a smoke tube like the one found here on Amazon.


ribs on the Traeger pellet smoker


Some of my more successful cooks have included ribs, briskets, pork belly, the best peach pie you’ve ever tasted. Some of the best salsa can be created by smoking the vegetables first and using the blender to combine all those smokey flavors. Don’t forget to throw your limes on the smoker as well – you won’t be sorry!


sliced brisket from a cook on the Traeger


If you want to grill up those burgers, feel free to throw those on the smoker instead of your gas grill. Just takes cranking up the heat a bit more. We have a local butcher shop where we purchase quality brisket. Now that we’ve joined Butcher Box, I can have even more fun experimenting with different cuts of meat.

Using the pellet smoker is not as difficult as you might think. For the most part, you can just put on whatever cut of meat you are in the mood for, close the lid, and let it go. I invested in a multi-probe thermometer to use for those long cooks where it’s more important to monitor the internal temperature. For things such as burgers, or general baking, this isn’t really a necessity.

The smoker works as well as the oven for making some great desserts. Last night, I even made brownies on my Traeger!

Brownie batter ready for the smokerBrownies while they are on in the smokerBaked brownies made on the Traeger

Find out more about Traeger pellet smokers and see all the models to choose from on Amazon.


  • Michael

    This all looks amazing!
    I love the many different things I see people smoke in their Treager’s, one of my absolute favorites was making a smoked tomato vinaigrette. I mean, smoked tomatoes, super delicious on their own.
    I never thought about brownies though.

    • The Piddler

      Thank you! I have never tried duck, but definitely chicken and turkey. I’ve smoked a couple of turkey breasts for Thanksgiving meals, and they are juicy and tender. You can even buy pellets specifically for turkey that come with the brine mixture in the bag.

    • The Piddler

      They are pretty fantastic! I have my sister and my best friend both using them now. I was going to get rid of my little one when I upgraded to the Pro 575, but my spouse talked me into keeping it. So glad I did, because now I can cook on both for larger groups if needed. The new ones have Wifire technology, and you can pair them with your phone to control time and temp via Bluetooth. More posts to come on this topic later.

    • The Piddler

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t think you will be sorry if you make the purchase! We have even added a second, larger Traeger that has Wifi capability. You can control everything from an app on your phone.

    • The Piddler

      Thanks for stopping by! We now have two and replaced our gas grill entirely. It’s nice to not have to heat up the oven during summer months.

    • The Piddler

      Thanks for stopping by! There are several brands of smokers out there, but we have not had any issues with our Traegers. It is definitely fun to try new recipes.

    • The Piddler

      Thanks for stopping by! Too funny! I have never tasted ribs so good or peach pie with a little bourbon added. 😉

    • The Piddler

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve cooked so many different things, but the first photo is pork belly burnt ends. You have never tasted anything SO GOOD! 🙂

    • The Piddler

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, a good smoker will get up to about 450°, so it works just like an oven. The hotter the temp, the less smoke it produces, but you still get a distinctive flavor from baking on the smoker. Most just think of smoking as “low and slow” for cuts of meat, but it is very versatile. If you use a smoke tube, you can also “cold smoke” things like cheese without the heat. 😎

    • The Piddler

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoed the post. Don’t know about all brands, but Traegers are very user friendly!

  • Cindy Moore

    The Traeger Pellet Smoker is so versatile! Peach pie? Brownies? I wouldn’t have guessed you could do desserts and salsa with it.

    • The Piddler

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, essentially it can do anything a grill or oven can, with an extra added feature of smoke. 🙂

  • Lisa, Casey, Barrett Dog

    We love our pellet smoker! Ribs and a good pork belly are amazing! We will be trying our hand at some desserts in the near future!

    • The Piddler

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! The smoker definitely takes desserts up a notch! FYI, you can also smoke limes and simple syrup to make margaritas. 😉

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