Traeger Grills is a well-known brand name in the world of grilling. This company is known for making a high-quality line of pellet grills that revolutionized how people approached backyard grilling and smoking at the time of their invention.
Once, this little family-run business was the epitome of the American dream. Their products, too, were examples of a quality American-made product. But where are these grills made now? Is it possible to get your hands on one made in America? We’ll cover all of this and more.
The History of Traeger Grills
In 1985, Joe Traeger, a heating specialist, was grilling chicken in his backyard during a Fourth of July party when the grill caught fire. Frustrated by the lack of quality grills available, Traeger set to work building a grill that utilized smoking wood pellets as the primary source of fuel.
The company was founded in 1987, and the first Traeger Grill was sold commercially in 1988. The grills rapidly became a must-have item for grilling enthusiasts. People loved the hopper that fed hardwood pellets to the fire pot, the substantial grilling space, and its superior temperature controls. Customers also loved the grills’ ease of use and the incredible flavor they produced.
Traeger Grills held the patent for their signature pellet grills until 2006, when it expired. Until that point, they were the only manufacturer of pellet grills on the market. The company’s assets, intellectual property rights, and name were sold that same year for over $12 million.
In 2014, Traeger Grills was sold again, this time to Jeremy Andrus, the company’s current CEO, and the private equity group Trilantic Capital Partners. The company has seen major success under Andrus, earning roughly $400 million in revenue and selling over 2.2 million grills in the last five years.
Where Are Traeger Grills Manufactured?
Traeger Grills are currently headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, which leads many to believe that their grills are also manufactured there, or at least within the United States. But such is not the case.
After their patent expired in 2006, Traeger Grills, which was a small yet wildly popular, family-owned business at the time, saw an increase in competition from companies making similar pellet grills. When they sold the company in 2006, the new owners took manufacturing to China.
The owners decided this move would help the company meet consumer demands while keeping prices affordable and competitive. Unfortunately, this isn’t something the company advertises on their website, so it leads many to incorrectly assume the grills are still made in America.
Prior to the move to China, the grills were manufactured in Oregon.
Can You Purchase a US-Made Traeger Grill?
It is not possible to purchase new Traeger Grills that were made in the United States. If it is important to you that the grill be made in the U.S., you will need to find a used or vintage one online or at a garage sale. The downside to this, of course, is that the condition of a grill that old might be questionable.
Keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for an older model that it needs to have been manufactured prior to 2006 to be American-made.
If you really want to buy an American made pellet grill then you should be checking out the Yoder grills that are made in Oklahoma.
Do Traeger Grills Still Produce High-Quality Grills?
Despite the move to China, it is a general consensus that Traeger Grills still makes a great, high-quality product. They use cold-rolled steel and cast iron to create their grills, which results in a durable and reliable product. They have also embraced the use of Bluetooth Technology and smartphones for easy temperature control and surveillance.
Of course, there are many die-hard fans who have been using the grill for decades that have noted a drop in quality since the move. In spite of this, Traeger Grills are continuously the #1 selling wood-fired pellet grills. The reason for this success is not only that their grills create delicious, flavorful food, but that with a Traeger Grill, you are guaranteed consistent results every time.
Made in China
Although Traeger grills are still considered an All-American brand, the grills are no longer manufactured within the United States. This is an unfortunate realization for many who actively seek out American-made products.
That being said, Traeger Grills are still a top-quality brand that produces long lasting, functional grills.