If you are reading this then there is a pretty good chance that you are standing in the aisle at Home Depot trying to decide between the Traeger Pro 575 and Pro 780. It can be a tough choice as the Pro 575 is more affordable but the size of the Pro 780 is attractive.
This article will walk you through:
- Key features these two grills have in common.
- A discussion about capacity.
- An interesting alternative.
Hopefully by the end of the article you will realize that you do not want to spend your money on the Pro 780.
Let’s get started!
Key Features of the Pro 575 and 780
The Pro 575 and 780 share the same features of:
- 18 pound pellet hopper
- Hopper clean out chute
- Meat probe
- Large wheels
- 500F Maximum temperature
- Mediocre Customer Reviews
- WiFire Connectivity
- D2 Control System
The last three features are the most important and deserve to be explored in greater detail.
The WiFire system allows you to connect your grill to your home WiFi system and both monitor and control your grill remotely. Additionally, the app that you use to control you grill comes loaded with over 1,000 recipes to help get you started making great barbecue.
I have mixed feelings on the WiFire technology.
The technology itself works great and I can understand the appeal of being able to check on your grill from anywhere. On the flip side, firing up a smoker is my go to excuse whenever I want to stick around the house all day instead of going shopping with my wife since I have to be at the house to keep an eye on things.
Do we really need to have everything hooked up to our phones? Does the experience of smoking a couple racks of ribs get better by staring at a screen?
D2 Control System
The D2 drivetrain is a proprietary system developed by Traeger that obtains temperature precision similar to what you get from a PID controller (+/- 5F).
The design also enables the grill to have a TurboTemp mode that gets your grill hot FAST and helps with temperature recovery after you open the lid.
Overall the D2 system is pretty solid.
Mediocre Customer Reviews
Here is where things get messy.
When you go to the Home Depot website and look at the customer reviews for these grills you will see that a lot of people are unhappy with these grills. The reviews for the Pro 780 are given below and the ones for the Pro 575 basically look the same.
When you combine the 1 and 2 Star Reviews you find that 11% of customers hate their grill. This level of dissatisfaction is complimented by the fact that only 67% of customers would recommend the grill to a friend.
So what gives? Why are the reviews for these grills so mediocre?
The types of complaints people have with these grills are varied. They run the gamut from being unable to connect the WiFi, paint burning off the smoker, no smoke flavor, poor temperature control, etc. There is not a single smoking gun in the quality control department, it is more like death by 1,000 paper cuts.
The true problem with these grills is that they are an “okay” product being sold at premium prices. When people pay nearly $1,000 for a grill they get angry when the paint peels and bubbles after three uses.
Size Differences Between the Grills
Let’s take a look at the size difference between these grills as that is the primary difference between the 575 and 780.
The raw numbers tell you that the 780 has a heck of a lot more capacity than the 575 but in reality the difference is not that significant because the 575 is big enough and the 780 isn’t that much bigger. Let me walk you through this.
According to Traeger the grills have the following differences in capacity:
- Chickens: 575 = 4 birds, 780 = 6 birds
- Ribs: 575 =5 racks of ribs, 780 = 6 racks of ribs
Be honest with yourself. How many times in your life have you ever been in a situation when five racks of ribs were not enough and you really wished you had room for rack number six?
About the only real reason to consider getting the 780 is id you want to try to smoke two briskets at once. I did a little searching through YouTube though and I am not sure hat two full packer briskets would fit on the 780. Check out the video below and judge for yourself.
Another consideration about the increased size of the 780 is that it will require more pellets to establish and maintain a given temperature. The 780 weighs 26 pounds more than the 575 and needs to maintain temperature across a much larger volume and that simply requires more fuel.
An Interesting Alternative to the Pro 575 and 780
Let me throw you a curve ball here.
You are reading this article because you are trying to decide between the price tag of the 575 and the size of the 780. It turns out that there is another grill in the Traeger lineup that gives you both; the Traeger Gen 1 Pro 34.
The Traeger Pro 34 is CHEAPER than the Pro 575 and LARGER than the Pro 780.
The reason the Pro 34 is less expensive than the Pro 575 is that the Pro 34 has the older model temperature controller. The Pro 34 is not WiFi enabled and will maintain temperatures at +/- 15F instead of +/- 5F.
Personally, I have absolutely no need for WiFi on my grills and +/- 15 degrees is perfectly fine.
Take a look at the customer reviews for the Pro 34 and you will see that 79% of customers recommend this grill as compared to 67% for the Pro 780.
The Pro 34 has a better price, larger capacity and better reviews than either the Pro 575 or Pro 780. The only real downside of buying the Pro 34 is you don’t get to use an app to smoke your pork butts.
To learn more about how the Pro 34 stacks up against the Pro 780 you can check out this comparison video from Traeger.
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