Best Pellet Smoker for Cold Weather

Avatar photo



Updated on

Grilling all year round on your pellet grill is the goal. Despite the cold of winter, you want it to cook at 225 degrees, so we researched the smokers industry to find the best cold weather pellet smoker and discovered a Traeger was the right choice. Below you will find which model we picked.

They come with a wide variety of designs, easy usage, and don’t bother you with the need for charcoal, gas, or electricity.

But there’s one more thing they’re great for – smoking in cold weather. 

Do Pellet smokers work in cold weather?

The short answer: Yes, they do. 

Most smokers should somewhat work in colder weather too. But their performance will not be as good as in regular weather. This can happen because of several reasons. Factors that affect it can include temperature control, built and mechanism, fuel type, etc. Pellet smokers give you a convenient work-around for most of these problems. So, they remain a popular choice for cold-weather smoking.

Here are a few features that make pellet smoker a wider choice for cold weather:

  • They’re great at maintaining even heat across the chamber.
  • Wood pellets are more comfortable to mix and assort regardless of the weather.
  • Pellet smokers are known to create fewer flare-ups.
  • They usually offer both low-and-slow smoking as well as high-heat grilling. 
  • It delivers faster heating and better temperature regulation.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every pellet smoker out there delivers all these features. But these are some common traits across most pellet smoker designs. They combine to make pellet smokers a popular alternative if you’re ever in colder weather but still want to fire up a smoker. 

Best Pellet Smoker for Cold Weather

As I already mentioned, no single smoker can have everything you’d want in a cooking device. But specific models come with a variety of features that make them better in particular situations. For cold-weather smoking, our pick is the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker.

This grill has a solid-build and an investment that’s worth its salt. It unites some of the best time-tested elements along with the right modern features. Indeed, it doesn’t sport as many fancy features as you’d expect from a smoker in this category. But what it claims on paper, it delivers as a smoker! 

General features

First, let’s look at some of the overall features that make the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO a standout smoker. These features aren’t directly connected to its performance in cold weather, but they certainly help the cause. In any case, they make it a great smoker for any other situation too. 

  • You get a sizeable 884 Square Inches of cooking space for large portions of assortments.
  • The steel construction has a sturdy structure and is built for durability.
  • The controls are super easy to learn and operate.
  • The porcelain grates prevent food from sticking to it and are easy to clean.
  • Overall, the Pro series from Traeger is incredibly reliable and rarely disappoint. 

Cold-weather Features

Just to be clear, these features aren’t specifically made only for cold-weather usage. But they work together to make the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO an excellent option for any cold-weather use. 

  • The 100% natural hardwood pellets efficiently provide both smoke and heat.
  • The 6-in-1 capability means you can switch from smoking to roasting, baking, grilling, braising, or BBQ in any situation (Cold weather can drum up a variety of appetites).
  • Traeger’s Pro series grillers and smokers are well-known for delivering consistent temperatures regardless of surroundings. 
  • Colder weather usually requires more fuel. The 18lb hopper on this unit gives you ample stock of energy to continue smoking and cooking. 
  • The Digital Pro Controller is the icing on the cake here. The Advanced Grilling Logic gives you precise temperatures (give or take 15°) for any food item. It’s the ultimate set-and-forget convenience for virtually any weather. 

The Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO is already a contender for being a great smoker in its category. But the real beauty of this device shines through when you use it in cold weather where other smokers just refuse to perform. But it wouldn’t be fair to make it a top pick without mentioning the downsides too. 

The drawbacks

  • One of the first things you notice about the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO is the price tag. It isn’t the most budget-friendly unit out there. 
  • There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity on this unit. Given the price range, I expected a handy wireless connectivity feature. It would’ve been great during cold-weather outings. Sadly, it’s a thumbs down here. 
  • The high-heat grilling isn’t as efficient as other models at this range. 

Handy tips for cold-weather smoking

Here are some free tips to make your Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO work even better in cold weather.

  • Be cautious with airflow. As far as possible, keep the outflow of air to a minimum. This prevents the generated heat from escaping.
  • Use an insulation blanket for better heat retention in the cold. 
  • Be patient. Smoking meat is a time-consuming activity, even in normal conditions. Rushing the process in the cold can ruin your dish.
  • Stock up on fuel. Cold conditions require more energy for heating, but wood pellets are easy to purchase online or in stores. Check out some of the best pellets and wood.

The Verdict

The Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO comes with a few downsides, like a higher price tag and lack of Wi-Fi capabilities. But these, in my opinion, aren’t deal breakers for cold weather. However, if you’re a beginner, I’d suggest a more starter-friendly you for a broader search check out our best pellet smokers.

More importantly, the advantages that Traeger offers on this unit far outweigh any cons. It’s a cold-weather smoker built for consistency, performance, and that elusive smoky flavor in your favorite meat. So, if you’re out in the cold and still in the mood to smoke, few other products can match the Traeger 34 Pro Series Griller and Smoker. 

About The Author

Avatar photo

Reviewed by


James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.