Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger Pellet Grill

These recipes are our favourite top 10 things to smoke on a Traeger pellet grill.

If you have another brand of wood pellet grill such as Pit Boss, Z Grills, Masterbuilt etc you can obviously smoke any of these great recipes on your grill of choice too.

Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger Pellet Grill
Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger Pellet Grill

Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger Pellet Grill

1 Smoked Beef Brisket Matt Horn Style

There’s just no getting around it, smoked brisket is always going to be in the top 10 things to smoke on a Traeger or anything else.

Award winning Michelin BBQ Chef Matt Horn has an interesting approach to smoking brisket after experimenting and refining the process. Rather than smoking at the usual temperature of 225-250F range he smokes the brisket at a slightly higher temperature of 265F or 129C.

He uses this straightforward but tasty rub to season a 12-14 pound (5-6kg) whole packer brisket:

  • 5 tablespoons (30 g) coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (36 g) coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) onion powder (optional)

This simple but highly effective approach to smoking brisket involves smoking at 265F over oak wood for 6-8 hours untouched with the lid down until the internal temperature is 165F or 74C.

Then the brisket is tightly wrapped in foil and returned to the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 203F or 95C. Times for the smoke will obviously vary but overall you’re looking at 10 hours to produce this smoky delicious piece of beef.

2 Traeger Pulled Pork in an Overnight Cider Brine

You just can’t avoid smoking pork butt for pulled pork at some point – it’s so popular and delicious and probably just one of the best meats for smoking at a BBQ.

The delicious cider brine adds sweetness and acidity. Marinate your pork butt in the following ingredients and leave it in the fridge overnight.

  • 6 Cups Good Quality Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3-4 Whole Peeled Cloves of Garlic
  • Optional – bunches of fresh rosemary, sage or thyme

You’ll need to dissolve the sugar and salt in the solution over a medium hot pan first and then allow it cool before adding your pork butt. You can use a large container or a cooler for this.

Smoke the pork the next day at 250F or 121C unwrapped over apple wood until it reaches 165F or 74C internal and then wrap it tightly in foil. Return it to the smoker and cook until the temperature reaches around 203-205F or 95-96C when it is ready to pull.

3 Smoked Whole Turkey

It doesn’t have to be Christmas or Thanksgiving to smoke a whole turkey, it’s a great thing to smoke for any occasion.

Brine the turkey overnight for best results in this wet brine:

  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Cold Water to Cover the Turkey
  • 1 Whole Stick of Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Whole Cloves
  • 4 Peeled Whole Garlic Cloves
  • A Tablespoon of Black Peppercorns
  • A Handful of Rosemary Leaves & Thyme sprigs
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • A Whole Lemon Cut in Two
  • A Whole Orange Cut in Two

Remove the turkey from the brine and wash it under cold water the next day before applying the homemade rub below:

  • 1 tablespoon of coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

Smoke the turkey for around 3 hours at 275F until the internal temperature registers 165F or 74C in the the thickest part of the breast. Spritz with apple cider vinegar or chicken broth (stock) every hour or so to keep it moist.

4 Any Type of Sausage You Like!

Sausage is a great thing to smoke on a Traeger or equivalent pellet grill. Smoke your favourite type of smoke or a mixture of different sausages to serve as hot dogs, on the side of your BBQ platter or as the main event with other BBQ sides.

It will only take around an hour at 225F or 107C to smoke the sausage and since your sausages are already seasoned with herbs and spices you may not even need to add any extra BBQ rub.

Here are some of our favourite sausages for smoking:

  • Andouille Sausage
  • Boerewors
  • Italian Sausage
  • Cumberland
  • Bratwurst
  • Frankfurters
  • Venison Sausages
  • Chorizo
  • Kielbasa

5 Smoked Chicken Wings with 3 Different Sauces

Chicken wings are among the most popular pellet grill appetizers, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re versatile, delicious and don’t take long to smoke – 1-2 hours at 225F or 107C. Serve your wings with these different sauces.

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 350ml of water
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 70ml soy sauce
  • 1 finely sliced garlic clove
  • 1 peeled and finely sliced 4 cm piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar (or sake)

Place all the ingredients in a medium hot pan (except the vinegar or sake and cornflour) and cook for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Turn down to a simmer and add the cornflour (cornstarch) to thicken. Lastly add the rice wine vinegar or sake and remove from the heat.

Classic Buffalo Sauce

Buffalo sauce at its most basic only contains 2 ingredients; Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and butter. Adding a few extra ingredients can really take it up a notch though.

  • 8 tablespoons of Butter
  • ½ cup or 8 tablespoons of Frank’s Hot Sauce (you can also substitute Tabasco Sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce) or to taste if you like it milder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder (we like Extra Hot Chilli Powder but to taste) 
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter first in a medium hot pan and then add the other ingredients and stir until dissolved for aorund 10 minutes or so.

Korean BBQ Sauce

Serve this delicious sweet and fiery Korean BBQ sauce with your smoked chicken wings for a delicious starter.

  • ¼ cup of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Asian pear (use ordinary pear if you can’t get it)
  • ¼ cup of good quality honey
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut oil (groundnut)
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of gochujang paste (Korean chilli paste)
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon of peeled and finely chopped ginger 
  • optional – 1-2 finely chopped Bird’s Eye chillies

Fry the garlic in the peanut oil over a medium heat for around a minute to soften it. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and allow to combine for a minute or 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to heat until combined.

6 BBQ Smoked Meatloaf

This is an absolutely delicious thing to smoke on your pellet grill – stuffed with cheese and brushed with BBQ sauce.

Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl, shaping them into a loafwith your hands:

  • 1 pound of ground beef (minced beef)
  • 1 pound of ground pork (minced pork)
  • 8 strips cooked and chopped bacon
  • 2 beaten eggs 
  • ½ cup  Panko breadcrumbs (or other breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese 

Preheat your pellet grills to 325F or 163C and then place the meatloaf into your smoker and pull the lid down. Cook the meatloaf for around 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 165F or 74C. Brush with your favourite BBQ sauce and cook for another 30 minutes.

7 Smoked Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Galbi)

For something a little different try smoked beef short rib Korean style. Beef short ribs are always going to be among the top 10 things to smoke on a Traeger, but when you marinade them in a delicious Korean BBQ sauce you take them to a new level.

This recipe requires you cook the ribs at high heat (450F or 232C) in your Traeger or other wood pellet grill, and brush the ribs with your remaining marinade frequently during the process.

Korean BBQ Marinade

  • 1 finely chopped medium onion 
  • 1 Asian pear peeled and cut into 1” pieces (substitute ordinary pear or apple if unavailable)
  • 5 peeled and halved garlic cloves 
  • 1 tablespoon Korean Chilli Paste (Gochujang Paste)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled & cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons or mirim (Korean sweet rice wine – Japanese mirin or Chinese Rice Wine if unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons lightly crushed toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 pounds of flanken-style beef short ribs, (get your butcher to cut across the bones lengthwise for this Korean style cut) roughly 1/2″ thick

Place the beef ribs into a ziplock bag or other covered large container and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Smoke the ribs at a high heat of 450F or 232C turning frequently and basting with the marinade. Aim for a final internal temperature of 203-205F or 95-95C.

Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger Grill – Korean BBQ Short Ribs

8 Pellet Grill Smoked Goat Recipe

Goat is such a great meat to smoke on your pellet grills – goat shoulder works really well in particular. The gamey flavour is very similar to lamb but also distinct in its own way.

Traeger Smoked Goat BBQ Rub

  • 3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder (or more if you like heat)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fine Sea Salt

Combine all the ingredients ina bowl and whisk to combine,

This low and slow cooking method allows the goat meat to slowly break down and become tender while infusing it with great smoky flavors. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and cut of the goat, but as a general rule of thumb, you can estimate around 60-90 minutes per pound of meat.

A 3 pound goat shoulder will take around 3-5 hours, and a 2 pound goat leg will take 2-3 hours give or take.

If you want to ‘pull,’ the goat meat so that it resembles pulled pork (or chicken) it will take longer again to break down to an internal temperature of around 165-170F (74-77C).

It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the goat meat using a meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63C) for medium-rare or 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for medium. Smoking times can vary but internal temperature is always the same, and will always be the best point of reference.

9 Traeger Candied Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is an obvious thing to cook on your Traeger pellet grill but you may not have considered the sweet sensation that is candied smoked salmon.


  • 3 pounds of salmon cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 cup of maple syrup


  1. Preheat your pellet grill to 225F or 107C
  2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper
  3. Add the salmon cubes to the bowl and mix to combine
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight
  5. When you are ready to smoke the salmon, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 mins
  6. Brush the salmon cubes with maple syrup
  7. Place the salmon in an aluminium tray, place on the smoker grate and smoke for 3-4 hours until the internal temperature of the salmon is 145F or 63C
  8. Remove the salmon from the smoker and rest for 5-10 mins before serving.

10 Traeger Braised Beef Pappardelle

You may not have thought of smoking a pasta dish like pappardelle in your pellet grill but it works really really well.

This great recipe from the Traeger website involves making the braised beef first in a Dutch oven or cast iron pot on the hob, and then smoking it for around 3 hours at 275F or 135C.


  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast cubed
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 1 finely diced medium onion
  • 1 peeled and diced large carrot
  • 1 diced celery stalk
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 2 cups of dry red wine
  • 1 Can (28 oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 pound of dried pappardelle pasta
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves to garnish


Start by browing the beef on all sides in the pan with olive oil for 6-8 minutes, Remove the beef from the pan and cook the rosemary, sage, onion, carrot and celery in the remaining juices for 7-8 minutes until the veg are just beginning to soften.

Add the garlic, chilli, and lemon zest and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Preheat your pellet grill to 275F or 135C with the lid closed.

Pour the wine into your pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half (around 15 minutes). Add some salt and pepper and the tomatoes. Place the pan in your pellet grill and close the lid. Smoke for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the beef is fall apart tender.

Put the pappardelle pasta in a pan filled with boiling water and a little salt. Meanwhile shred the beef with a fork and add in grated Parmesan cheese and the butter.

When the pasta is cooked drain it while reserving a little of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the beef along with the pasta water.

Put a few nice dollops of Ricotta cheese over the top, along with the basil leaves and add some more grated Parmesan if you like.

Top 10 Things to Smoke on a Traeger FAQ’s

What’s the Best Thing to Smoke in a Traeger?

The best thing to smoke in a Traeger will depend on your context, personal taste and how many mouths you to feed. However beef brisket, porn butt for pulled pork and BBQ ribs are some of the best and most popular things that BBQ enthusiasts keep coming back to time and again.

What is the Easiest thing to Smoke on a Traeger?

The easiest thing to smoke on a Traeger is probably pork butt which despite its long smoke time if difficult to get wrong even for beginner smokers. Along with that, if you are looking for quick and easy things to smoke you could try chicken wings, thighs or breasts, any type of sausages, smoking hamburgers, small steaks e.g. sirloin or ribeye or even vegetable ‘steaks’ such as cabbage, cauliflower, butternut squash and the likes.

What is Good to Cook on the Traeger?

Your Traeger pellet grill can cook pretty much anything so there are a lot of options for what is good to cook on the Traeger. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Pork Butt For Pulled Pork
  • Smoked Beef Brisket
  • BBQ Smoked Pork Ribs
  • Whole Chickens
  • Whole Turkey
  • Turkey Legs
  • Smoked Turkey Breast
  • Various Types of Sausage e.g. Cumberland, Bratwurst, Boerewors, Italian Sausage
  • Beef Short Ribs
  • Tomahawk Steak (then reverse seared at high heat)
  • Tri Tip Steak
  • Chicken wings, breasts or thighs
  • Various casserole dishes e.g. chilli con carne, mac and cheese or stews, gumbos & cassoulets

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy our post on the top 10 best pellet grill recipes too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *