The Traeger Pro 575 is the smaller of the two Pro series, which is the least expensive of the main Traeger model lines. The main differences in Traeger’s three model lines:
Traeger Pro series – The baseline model Traeger grills come in two sizes and include WiFi connectivity
Traeger Ironwood Series – The Ironwood is an upgrade over the Pro series and gets you larger sizes plus new features: DownDraft Exhaust, TRU Convection, and Super Smoke mode
Traeger Timberline series – The top of the line series comes with all the features of the Ironwood plus a monitor for sensing pellet levels in the hopper
The Traeger line can be confusing when shopping around, especially among retailers. Many stores still offer the Pro 22 and Pro 34 line, which was replaced by the Pro 575 and Pro 780, and you’ll also see some older models such as the Texas Elite in various sizes for sale. As of 2020, however, the Pro, Ironwood and Timberline are the newest models, as well as the Renegade and portable models, the Tailgater and Scout.
Overview of the Traeger Pro 575
The Pro 575 at $799 MSRP is the most affordable of the “main line” of Traeger pellet grills, mainly due to its size and because it doesn’t have a few features present on the Ironwood and Timberline. By downgrading from the Ironwood 650 ($1199 MSRP), you get the same grill for $400 less, but you give up the following features:
80 sq inches of grill space on the upper rack (main grate is the same)
2 lbs of pellet hopper capacity
double side-wall insulation
the Traeger DownDraft Exhaust system (the Pro 575 has a chimney)
Super Smoke mode
Traeger’s Tru Convection system
pellet sensor in the hopper (warns of low levels, app compatible)
dual-position smoke/sear bottom grill grate
a stainless steel side shelf
locking casters (the 575 has two wheels)
Traeger’s own YouTube video covers many of the Pro series notable features, along with a really great shot that I’ll call the “steak slam.” We break down the features below.
The main grate on the Pro 575 is 22″w x 19″d. They claim to be able to fit 24 burgers on the grill. This is not the case, though to be fair no grill company uses very accurate guidelines here. We measure ACTUAL cooking space that won’t burn your food.
How we determine actual cooking space: We give a max amount, based on packing items edge to edge on the grate. A pellet grill, however, has hot spots at the front and rear edges of the grate that aren’t over the drip pan. Any food that is directly above this gap will burn. The effective capacity, then, is the number of items that fit on the grate area above the drip pan. In other words, it’s the capacity without being affected by the hotter edge zones of the grilling chamber.
Actual cooking space on the Pro 575 is 12 standard 4.5″ burgers on the main grate. The upper grate measures the same 22″ width, but is only 7″ deep. Technically, you can fit an additional 5 4.5″ burgers on this upper grate, but they’ll never sear. That upper grate is fine for an extra rack or two of ribs, so Traeger’s claim of 5 racks of ribs is pretty accurate. Call it four or five, depending upon the size of the rib rack and if you can get two on the top rack or just one.
The Traeger controller is definitely a big plus compared to similar grills on the market. It is a full digital PID controller, and has a robust wifi capability.
D2 Direct Drive
The D2 Direct Drive is the name for the main cooking system in Traeger pellet grills and includes their variable speed fans, variable speed auger, and new brushless auger motor. Consider this their upgrade, intended to provide:
a broader range of temperatures vs earlier models
more finely controlled and maintained temperatures (due to the variable speed fan and auger)
faster startup times (they call it Turbotemp)
a longer lasting auger motor
There is a bit of confusion about the controller. The Pro 575 controller says D2 on it, and it has WiFIRE Technology. Technically, “Pro D2 Direct Drive” refers to the system of a PID controller controlling a system of variable speed fans + the variable speed auger with the brushless motor. They provide more intricate and reactive control of the temperature. It also gets to temperature faster, due to a stronger auger and increased pellet output. The digital PID controller controls the D2 Drive. And the controller has WiFIRE Technology. Hopefully that clears up the word salad that Traeger has created around its products.
Control the Grill with Alexa
WiFire is a way for you to interact with the controller outside of the button and knob and allows you to:
start, stop and set the temperature via smartphone
enter “keep warm” mode via smartphone
utilize the GrillGuide auto-temperature recipes via the smartphone app
control your grill with Amazon Alexa or Google Voice devices:
“Alexa, turn <grill name> off.” “Alexa, is <grill name> on?” “Alexa, is <grill name> off?”
“Alexa, set the temperature in <grill name> to 175.” “Alexa, set <grill name> to 175 degrees.” “Alexa, what temperature is <grill name> set to?” “Alexa, what is the temperature in <grill name>?”
“Alexa, set the probe temperature in <grill name> to 200 degrees.” “Alexa, what is the target probe temperature in <grill name>?”
“Alexa, how hot is the food in <grill name>?”
“Alexa, 20 minutes on <grill name>.” “Alexa, when is the food done in <grill name>?”
Pellet Level (with optional pellet sensor/standard in Ironwood and Timberline)
“Alexa, what is the pellet level in <grill name>?”
The ability to control the grill via smartphone app is nice to have. The voice control is a nice bonus and quite an impressive party trick for company.
As for the conventional controls, they are straightforward and simple. A single knob acts as a selection dial. Rotate the knob to select the temperature in 5-degree increments. Push the knob in to make a selection. There is an “Ignite” button to begin startup. The LCD display is black on green, which isn’t quite as legible as black on white screens, but works well in direct sunlight. The display shows grill temperature, grill set temperature as well as probe temperature and probe goal temperature with an audible probe alert.
A settings menu is accessed by pushing in the control knob. The shutdown cycle is begun by simply pushing the knob in for 3 seconds.
Other Notable Features and Conveniences
There is a lot to cover with a Traeger grill. They have introduced several new upgrades and features in 2020, and we’ll cover them here.
Keep Warm Function
Keep warm is a mode which can pause the cook cycle or be used to keep food warm at the end of a cook. It basically reduces the temperature to 165 degrees. It can be selected via the app, but not directly on the grill in the Pro series (it can be selected on the grill controller on the Ironwood and Timberline series.)
The smoker has a built-in timer on the controller. There is a timer in the Traeger app, as well.
Pellet Hopper Clean Out
There is a chute on the side of the pellet hopper which allows you to empty it of pellets. This is handy if you want to change pellet flavors or if you accidentlally get moisture in your pellets and need to trash them. A nice touch here is that the knob is magnetic and sticks to the grill body, holding it open hands-free.
Grill Grate Hooks
On the back of the smoker, Traeger added a handy place to hang the upper rack when not in use.
Traeger Pro 575 Manufacturer Specs
Main Grate Area: 22″ x 19″ : 418 sq. in.
Secondary Grate Area: 22″ x 7″ : 154 sq. in.
Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs
Overall Dimensions: 41″w x 27″d x 53″h
Overall Height: 53″
Overall Weight: 124 lbs
Warranty: 3 years
Traeger Pro 575 Hands-On Review
Overall Appearance & Impressions
At about 40″ wide, the Pro 575 has the stature of a medium-sized grill. It sits more upright, with a tall and narrow grill barrel–Traeger calls it “pill shaped,” and it does offer a bit more vertical clearance than a typical cylinder. Width-wise, it’s slightly narrower across the front than the Camp Chef Woodwind, the Z Grills 700 series, and the Rec Tec RT-590. It has beefy round legs and an overall stocky look. We like how solid it looks, and its sleek lines. Overall, it appears as a nondescript black pellet smoker. Note that you can also get the Pro 575 with a bronze-colored lid, as well as black. We like the look, even if it has no real distinctive aesthetic features. We rank it a 8.0/10 overall.
One downside to the Pro 575 is that is has no stainless steel. Anywhere. The body, legs, lid are all powder-coated steel. The grates are porcelain-coated steel, which makes clean up easy, but they can chip (and then rust) over time. Some of the materials feel cheap when you look closer: the shrouds on the lower front and rear of the grill between the legs, the lower bridge panels between the legs. The lid and cook chamber of of average thickness at 18 gauge steel. For the price, we would like to see slightly beefier construction materials used and some stainless steel for durability. We would also like to see rotating caster wheels on the legs opposite the hopper, for maneuverability. Overall, we rate the materials quality as above average.
As mentioned before, the Pro 575 has single-wall construction in the grill barrel. This is pretty standard for pellet grills, but the Ironwood and Timberline series add double-wall inserts in the grill. This can improve heat retention, especially if you grill in cold environments. The Grilla Grills Silverbac uses the same sort of insert to create a double wall inside the cook chamber.
One note is their single-piece brushless motor auger, which is part of their D2 Drive system. This is an upgrade over not just their previous grills, but over most grills in the space.
Grill Operations & Controls
We went through the details of the controller already, but suffice it to say that Traeger has added a lot of functionality to their controller and cooking system. It’s built for user convenience, but most importantly, Traeger made improvements that affect the quality and consistency of the cooking performance.
..most importantly, Traeger made improvements that affect the quality and consistency of the cooking performance.
Though Traeger didn’t splurge on materials in building the grill, they seem to have focused heavily on their controller, their smartphone app, and the variable fan and auger motors. Compared to a non-PID controller, or an analog controller with rotary selections, this is miles above many grills.
The Traeger WiFIRE App
The Traeger WiFIRE app is too feature-rich to cover fully here, but suffice it to say that it is robust. It offers over 1,500 recipes, video walk-throughs, full grill control, automatic recipe programs that control the grill, and a very user-friendly interface. It’s the industry leader in apps, for sure. BUT, as we’ll cover later, a large portion of customer complaints we found are about their app. People struggle with getting it to connect to their grill and stay connected. If you are comfortable with changing settings on your router, you’ll likely have no issues or will be able to get it working. If you’re not, there’s a chance you might be on the phone with support to get it operating properly.
By choosing the Pro 575 instead of the upgraded Ironwood or Timberline series, you are giving up the TRU Convection feature, as well as Super Smoke mode, downdraft exhaust, and the ability to slide the grates into two positions for searing or smoking. You are getting the same PID controller (minus the Warming Mode selection–but it’s available via the app), and the same variable fan and auger speeds. This also supposedly improves the warm up times (what they call Turbotemp), which we’ll report on in our temperature testing.
One thing we didn’t like: there is only one food probe. We would expect two at this price-point.
Our temperature tests are important because the two critical components in smoking delicious food are time and temperature. The ability to accurately control temperature and cook time, combined with wood smoke, is what makes your food taste amazing and also makes the pellet smoker such a revolutionary backyard grill. Accuracy in temperatures, then, is vital for a successful cook and in a quality pellet smoker.
You can read more about our testing procedures, but to summarize, we use industrial laboratory grade temperature probes and data logging on multiple surface points in the smoker to record several categories of data:
Time to reach a set temperature
Accuracy of temperature readings (for both probe and grill controller)
Consistency of temperature readings (swings in temps)
We tested the temperatures outside, in the shade, on an 81 degree day, with little to no breeze. We always use CookinPellets, for consistency across tests and because we find their BTU content to be very reliable.
Hotter zone on left of grate. This is often the case with smokers that have a chimney, as the hot air and smoke are pulled that direction. You’ll see this in the temperature charts below, and that the difference was more prevalent with higher temperatures.
Note the times to reach the lowest temp, with Traeger’s Turbotemp claims of quicker warm-up times. This seems to be true, as the time to 200 degrees was less than 6 minutes, compared to 8-12 minutes for other similar grills we’ve tested.
Time to Reach
Our Measured Temp
Grill Control Says
Left Grate Probe Reading
Middle Grate Probe Reading
Right Grate Probe Reading
Overall, we saw actual temperatures within 10 degrees of our setpoint, which is good. We’ve seen enough complaining about the grill’s temperature control to report it here. Many people in forums have experienced large variations in temperature and large inaccuracies. Some had the problem resolved after speaking with Traeger’s support, some didn’t. And that support seems to be a bit of a pain to deal with, but more on that in the Customer Service section of our review.
The data logger we use for temperature testing. Three of the probes are on the grill grate, the fourth measures ambient air, handle temperatures, etc.
Another bonus: when we lifted the lid, which of course caused temps to go down, the recovery times seem to be quicker than in other grills. When you lift the lid to turn some chicken wings or mop your ribs, the grill is going to drop 30-50 degrees very quickly. A quick recovery time is nice, especially because the grill hit the recovery accurately, without overshooting the set temp by simply feeding a ton of pellets into the pot. Bonus points for the Traeger D2/Turbotemp system for this.
Tip: You’ll want to upgrade via the WiFire app as it “unlocks” a max temp of 500 degrees
An important note about the temperatures and the wifi app: The grill’s top temperature is 450 degrees out of the box. In order to “unlock” a wider range of temperatures, including a 500 degree max, you must upgrade the grill software, which is only possible via the app. We’re fairly certain that what you’re doing is downloading new fuel/air mixture programs that open up higher and lower temperatures.
Overall, despite our seeing some owners’ reports of spotty temperature performance, we found the Pro 575 to be fairly accurate. It was a bit hotter on the left of the grate, but not wildly so. And we found it to heat up and recover from lid openings faster than other grills. We rate the Traeger Pro 575 very good on temperature performance with a 8.0 score. We dinged it for the hotter left side, for not having a high smoke mode, and we can’t ignore the volume of customer complaints, though we didn’t experience problems.
Traeger Ownership Experience
Traeger has done a good job in creating an online community. Their website, their app, their social media is very slick and professionally designed. And they have a large community of owners. You definitely will feel a part of a group as a grill owner. Their customer relationship is a bit sterile, however, as they feel like a large company. Your relationship with other owners will be personal, but Traeger itself seems large and unreachable, sometimes literally.
Reports of poor customer service by owners played out for us. When we called for a simple service issue, we were greeted with a phone tree (press 1 for x, 2 for y) and about a 15 minute hold time. The person we spoke with seemed to be working in a phone bank and we didn’t get the impression that they knew anything about Traegers or pellet grills at all.
We decided to give it another shot, this time to ask about shipping details for a new order. Our results were even worse: we were given a recording that no one was available to help and that they would call us back. We did get a return call…3 hours later. Worse, the person on the call wasn’t able to answer our simple question of how the grill would arrive via freight right away. We got our answer after about 15 minutes of several instances of being put on hold. We got the feeling the person we were speaking to was simply looking up answers on a computer.
We’re willing to accept that we had an outlier of a customer service experience, but service is service. And our experience seems to extend to others: we saw many online reports of long delays on replacement parts, unresolved issues, long hold times.
Ease of Ownership
Ease of ownership comes from a combination of warranty support, customer service support, and online community support. Traeger covers its grills with a 3-year warranty, with no exclusion for finishes or corrosion like we often see with other warranties. That’s good. And their online community via Facebook groups, Reddit forums and Traeger social media is definitely robust. You will find answers from owners. Combine this with the built-in support via how-to’s on their WiFIRE app and website, and you should feel pretty good about being a Traeger owner, with hopes that you don’t need in-person help from the company.
With definite deductions for Traeger’s customer service, we gave the Pro 575 a 8.0/10 rating for Ease of Ownership.
Material quality is pretty good, though we’d like to see more stainless steel. And the use of a one-piece auger with a brushless motor should improve the life of that vital component. Add to this the wide availability of replacement parts and how-to videos, plus a 3-year warranty, and you should feel fairly good about the dependability of your grill. There are many people out there who have bought used grills and been happy with them. Some refurbish older “trashed” grills with good results. The Traeger’s seem to last fairly well, and we’ve scored it accordingly.
Summary & Overall Rating of the Traeger Pro 575
We wouldn’t call the Pro 575 the best grill for the money. But we wouldn’t think poorly of someone who owns one, either. It’s a solid grill, with some really useful features. Though some consider it the “stripped-down” grill in the newer Traeger line, compared to similar grills it has many additional features.
There are larger grills available for the money. But they often come with more rudimentary temperature controls. And there are grills that use more stainless steel, but not everyone wants a grill that will last them a decade or more. In the end, the Pro 575 will undoubtedly cook good food for you and do it with above average consistency. While reliability seems suspect, we feel certain Traeger will correct any issues, though it may be frustrating getting to a solution.
Traeger is the biggest and best-selling grill manufacturer. Some of that is due to availability–they’re in lots of stores. And people know the name and consider it a safe bet. It’s not the best, it’s not the worst. It’s a solid purchase. Yes, with some research, you can find a better grill for the money. But not everyone wants to put in research time. And some folks just want to control their grill with Alexa. Whatever your reasons for considering a Traeger, you’ll feel pretty good about owning one.
Review of the Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill
A solid offering, if a bit pricey. On the small side for the price, and we'd like more stainless steel for $800, as well.