One of the biggest advantages of both Traeger and the Big Green Egg is that these are grills that have been designed for grilling enthusiasts. Both of these grills take advantage of the core principles of grilling and take advantage of the science of grilling to help improve performance. 

However, they are designed for different uses, which makes them suitable for different kinds of grillers. 

Here’s what you need to know about both of these grills to decide which one is right for you. Just so you know, this isn’t an affiliate post. We just know that getting the right grill matters, and wanted to make it a little easier with this review. 

Traeger grill sitting on patio
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All About The Traeger Grill

Traeger grills are available in a few more different models and are also slightly more expensive for each range. However, Traeger grills also tend to come with accessories for at least basic use of the grill, while the Big Green Egg’s prices, while slightly lower, are just for the grill itself without any of the additional accessories you need for grilling. 

Traeger grills are designed to work with hardwood pellets. They heat the pellets in a centra burn chamber with a hot metal rod. Only pellets work with this kind of grill, which is critical since other fuel sources can change the flavor of your meat and other grillables, and can even change the texture in some cases. 

One of the nice things about Traeger is that it provides incredibly predictable heat. You be incredibly specific about the temperature you want from this grill, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. 

However, there is one big limitation there. Traeger grills don’t tend to get as hot as some of their competitors. 

You can still get a great sear at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s going to be a finnickier process. You also aren’t going to get hotter than that in a Traeger grill, which means that incredibly high-heat cooking processes just aren’t possible with this grill. 

For example, even with a grill pizza stone, your Traeger grill isn’t going to give you the high heat high-speed cooking of a traditional pizza oven, or even get as close as some competitor grills can. 

The good side of this, however, is that you also don’t have to worry about accidentally souring the smoke from the wood pellets. Since you’re only ever going to be using unburnt wood pellets that burn for the first time in this grill, you’re also going to get some of the purest and sweetest smoke flavors from them. 

And yes, Traeger grills can maintain the low 120-degree cooking temp you want to properly smoke meat. The grill isn’t as air-tight as a typical smoker, so the flavor and smoking effect won’t be as intense, but, if you’re looking for a grill that can do double-duty, Traeger models are a good place to start. 

Not sure what to make on your Traeger Grill? Well, this Traeger Grill Recipe Round-Up should give you some inspiration. 

big green egg with table on deck

All About The Big Green Egg Grill

The Big Green Egg is probably a little different for most people. Unlike a lot of other grill brands, The Big Green Egg is based on Japanese grill shapes, which allows it to function a little differently from more typical rectangular grills like Traeger models. 

The egg shape is actually critical for reaching and maintaining the high heat the Big Green Egg is known for. However, it also means that you’re working with a very different system for temperature control, and also means that you need different fuel for the Big Green Egg. 

The Egg wants lump charcoal, ideally made from the same kinds of hardwood that you would use in hardwood pellets or in a smoker. Avoid briquettes or other forms of charcoal since the chemicals and additives that improve the burn in those products can also massively change the taste and texture of whatever you’re grilling. 

Because charcoal can maintain high heat than raw wood, and because of the unique shape and insulation of the Big Green Egg, it can reach internal temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees and can maintain that heat far longer than you actually need for any cooking. 

However, keeping control over the heat in the Big Green Egg is a little more challenging since you’re going to have to manually light the charcoal, and the air vents and controlling airflow inside the grill are your main temperature controls. 

You’ll want to play with the temperature in your Big Green Egg a bit with lower-stakes or more forgiving cuts of meat until you’re sure you know how to bring the temperature as high, and as low, as you need it. 

The Big Green Egg can also be harder to use if you want to maintain a very low and slow cooking temperature. And, because the charcoal produces significantly less smoke than wood pellets, it’s also going to provide less of a smoked flavor and isn’t suitable as a smoker alternative. 

Want some incredible Big Green Egg recipes? We’ve got you covered. 

Head To Head: Traeger Vs. Big Green Egg Strengths and Weaknesses

Now that we know a bit more about both of these grills, let’s talk about strengths and weaknesses head to head. 

The first thing that really comes to mind when you’re comparing these grills is ease of use. Traeger grills are going to be more familiar to most Western consumers, especially if you’ve owned a grill before. The size, shape, and setup are much closer to other common grills, including wood, gas, and charcoal-fired grills. 

The use of electric temperature and ignition control is also going to feel more familiar to most grillers. 

That said, those features are also significant contributors to the limitations of the Traeger grill line. 

For one thing, because Traeger grills have a harder time reaching high temps, it can be harder to get a good sear, and they aren’t suitable for cooking anything that needs a higher sustained cooking temperature to come out. 

At the same time, the fact that you can double a Traeger as a low-intensity smoker is a big plus for a lot of grillers. 

The Big Green Egg, on the other hand, takes a little more skill and expertise to work properly. Getting the charcoal fully lit can be a process, and it is important to take some time to learn how to control the temperature inside the grill. 

Otherwise, you risk turning an expensive cut of meat into BBQ-scented charcoal. 

However, those higher heats are perfect for getting an ideal sear and can make managing larger cuts of meat slightly easier. 

At the same time, the Big Green Egg, on average, has less cooking space. That’s part of how this grill can reach higher temperatures, it’s concentrating the heat into a smaller space. 

That can mean that you need to batch cook more often than in the Traeger. 

Both of these grills offer good temperature control and fast transitions between temperatures, but it can be harder to learn how to control the temp in the Big Green Egg overall. 

Who Is It For? 

A lot of the differences between these grills come down to the details. Both of them are good grills and good options, but they are designed for different ideal uses. 

The Traeger line of grills seems more suited to people who are learning to use a grill, or who are looking for a grilling upgrade, but without needing the very high heat of some grills. 

Because of the wood pellet fuel, this line may also be better for people who are looking to get the most possible flavor out of the smoke and what they are grilling but are less concerned with texture, or the outer appearance of the meal. 

We’d also say that Traeger grills are good for people who want a smoker, but don’t necessarily want to use it often enough to justify getting a separate appliance. Or, for people who want a smoker, but don’t physically have the space for two appliances. 

The Big Green Egg, on the other hand, is designed for people who are already more advanced as grillers, and who want the ultimate level of versatility and flexibility, even if it means having to work a little harder in the process. 

At the same time though, for cooking large volumes of food at once, a different grill might be better. But, the Big Green Egg does have the advantage when it comes to cooking speed. Higher temperatures can be used to increase cooking speed, which in turn makes it easier to cook larger meals in several batches. 

The Big Green Egg, in addition to needing a higher skill level, is also more of a purpose-built machine and less versatile. Of course, if you want the best from your equipment, purpose-built is usually the way to go! 

Final Thoughts: Traeger Vs. Big Green Egg

Overall, both of these grills have some serious advantages, but, despite their similar price ranges, they are built for very different uses. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us to find out that some people own grills from both lines! 

That said, if you’re looking for a multipurpose general-use grill, the Traeger is probably going to give you exactly the performance you want and need. If you want to push your grilling skill and options to the next level, The Big Green Egg’s Japanese design can do a lot more once you have the skill to use it.

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About Drizzle Me Skinny

Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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  1. I have the BBQ Guru for the Green Egg which controls the temperature for you and holds it where you set it. Why don’t you mention that? Makes smoking meat easier. As well here in Ottawa, Canada I can use the egg all winter and maintain the temperature.

  2. I’ve owned three different Tragers over the years and they just keep getting bigger and better. I love how I can setup the smoker and go do other things without worrying about the temperature. I can control the whole thing from my phone if I want.