Smoking is perhaps one of the best ways to cook your meat. It creates a unique flavor that seeps into the meat, keeps it tender, and combines with an amazing aroma. After a long time of non-use however, I sometimes find my Traeger smoker fan not working.
The fan is an integral part of the smoker – it helps distribute the heat evenly so that every part of the meat is cooked properly. Fortunately, a problem with the fan is mostly an easy fix with the simple replacement of the fan.
However, not all Traeger fan problems can be traced to the fuse. The issue may be something else that requires a more intensive fix.
Why is the Fan on My Traeger Not Working?
First, you have to be sure that the induction fan is the source of your problem. Start by turning the grill on and checking the fan located right under the hopper. It should be spinning and if not, you can replace it yourself.
Just to be comprehensive however, you should also check the pellets in the fire pot. If they aren’t moving to the fire pot, you have an auger issue.
Now keep the grill turned on and watch out for the hot rod igniter. There should be some smoke coming out of it even if the fan is not working.
Note that the fan might not actually need replacing. There’s a chance that it’s only stuck in place. This will create an annoying sound – like an electric fan trying to move but couldn’t. If this happens, you may only need to remove the fan, clean it, and then put it back in its slot.
An error message which states: fan disconnected, is also possible. If this happens, you don’t have to replace the fan completely. It’s possible that the wires are simply broken or it has been disconnected from the controller.
Fix this by unplugging the grill and checking under the hopper. Look for the orange wire and make sure it is connected to the controller. You can also trace the orange wire to guarantee that it is still intact.
Replacing the Induction Fan
The induction fan is standard across all Traeger grill products. This means that you can go to any store carrying Traeger replacement parts without worrying about models.
Simply put: the fan used for one model is the same for all other Traeger models in the market. If you want to be on the safe side, take a picture of your Traeger grill model and bring it with you to the store.
Once you have your induction fan, replacing it takes just a few minutes and do not require special tools on your part. Make sure to unplug the grill from the power source first and then locate the fan’s wire. This is the orange-colored wire; remove it from the controller before continuing.
If you attempted to start a fire and the rod is still hot, leave it alone for a few hours first or until it cools down. Take a one-quarter inch wrench and start loosening the four screws around the fan. You don’t need to remove the hopper for this step so there’s less clean-up afterwards!
Now grab your new fan and screw it onto its new place – using the four screws to hold it in place. Re-attach the orange wires of your new fan to the controller. You’re done replacing the Traeger fan! Turn on the grill and see if your setup is working perfectly together.
How the Traeger Grill Works
A Traeger grill is classified as a pellet grill. It works by introducing wooden pellets into the fire pot. The pellets are loaded into an auger so there’s no need to remove the top portion of the grill to keep it fired up.
The pellets are pushed into the fire pot by a fan. This fan also serves to keep the pellets burning during the cooking stage. To initially ignite the pellets, the grill comes with a hot rod that jumpstarts the fire.
The hot rod should burn red for the first few minutes as it starts the ignition. After this, it will slow down and the fan will take care to keep the heat going.
The beauty of this grill is that it also comes with a drip tray. This makes sure that the flames do not overtake the grill and ruin the cooking process. With zero flare-ups, these Traeger grills can actually be left alone for a few hours with little risk of accidents.
Advantages of a Pellet Grill
Grill-enthusiasts actually have the choice between pellet, gas, or charcoal grills. The choice between these three depends on the cooking quality you want to get.
1. Pellet grills have more even cooking results.
In comparison, gas and charcoal types are prone to flare ups which can unevenly cook the surface of the meat. Sometimes, it can even burn the surface.
2. Pellet grills are also easier to control when it comes to temperature.
This becomes handy when it comes to heat-sensitive food items like corn.
3. Pellet grills typically have a more tech-advanced system.
This means that users can actually set the temperature they want and leave it there without issue.
4. Pellet grills are the best option when it comes to safety.
There’s no open flame on this grill and the pellet remain in their own containers.
5. Pellet grills work with any form of combustion.
Some HOAs actually prohibit the use of gas or charcoal grills but will be fine with pellet grills.
Common Traeger Grill Problems and Solutions
If your Traeger grill still isn’t functioning, other issues might be present. As mentioned, it could be the auger or the hot rod igniter. A problematic auger will start a clicking sound that will get intense at time passes.
A problematic hot rod igniter won’t produce any smoke as you start the fan. Just like the fan, you can replace these parts if they prove to be defective.
Since some Traeger models come with error messages, this should also help you properly pinpoint the cause of the problem. For example, an error message that says “auger overcurrent” means that there’s a jammed or damaged auger in your grill.
Pay close attention to how your Traeger grill sounds during operation. Generally, the grill is quiet if it is in good working condition.
As the dust and pellets build up however, the fan could be working double time, causing it to malfunction. Regular cleaning can help solve this issue and guarantee continuous efficiency.
The fan will run continuously for as long as the Traeger grill is on. This is an important part of the cooking process because the fun feeds the pellets and keeps that heat going.
If the fan continues to run after shutoff, that’s also fine. Once you’re done cooking, you need to turn the dial to “off” and close the lid of the grill.
The fan will continue to run for the next 10 minutes or so. This is perfectly natural and will shut off on its own.
The “Clean Grill” message is automatic and happens even if the grill has been properly cleaned. It’s just a simple reminder so you never forget to keep your equipment in good running condition.
The “Clean Grill” message won’t stop you from using the grill as usual. However, if you want to remove the message, you can do so by going to settings and clearing the notifications.
The grill needs to be cleaned once every 3 cooking times or every 20 hours’ worth of cooking time – depending on which one comes first. Start by removing the drip tray liners.
To clean the grill, you need to spray the chimney interior and the grill grate with a natural de-greaser. Use a cloth to scrub the surface because brushes can actually damage the grill.
As for the pellet dust, vacuum all of these out for a thorough clean. You can also scrub the interior of the chimney using a cleaning cloth. Once done, put back the components into their proper place.