The Ultimate Guide For Traeger Smoke Setting [Know A-Z]

You have a Traeger barbeque smoker grill but you don’t have any idea about its smoke setting. So, you are wondering to know what is Traeger smoke setting.

In short, Traeger smoke setting is a function Traeger uses to start the unit and allow the users to cook at low and slow temperatures to gain a smokey flavor. 

But we know only the definition of the smoke setting might not satisfy you. You need to know the detailed answer to the Traeger grill smoke setting and the elaboration of the magical power the smoke set carries. 

Fortunately, we will break down everything about the smoke setting on the Traeger Pellet grill. So, keep reading to explore every in and out about it. 

What Is The Smoke Setting On A Traeger?

Smoke is generally a lower temperature setting to gain or impart smokey flavor on the meat. In other words, it gives a low and slow cooking temperature to cook ribs, briskets, or butts evenly (where maintaining the 225F temperature range is a must).  

On a Traeger Pellet Grill, the Auger will cycle on for 15 seconds and off for 65 seconds when you operate the grill on Smoke mode. You will never get any temperature control with the smoke setting. 

This time cycle setting for Smoke is a factory or default setting recommended by Traeger Grill to develop a smoking temperature of 150F-180F. 

How To Use Traeger Smoke Setting

Using the Traeger Smoke Setting is a piece of cake. Everyone can use this setting as it’s the first method to turn on your pellet grill. Follow the below steps to learn the way of using the Smoke Setting:

  • Ensure the door is open. Then, turn the power switch on to run your Traeger grill. Next, set the Temperature/Dial to Smoke.
  • Wait approximately 2 minutes. After that period, you can see whitish-gray smoke is coming out of your Traeger as the wood pellets ignite. 
  • Once you check the pellets have ignited, shut the door and set the temperature dial to your desired cooking temperature. 

How To Adjust Traeger Smoke Setting/P-Setting

The smoke setting on Traeger is generally used to start the pellet grill, and you get no temperature control on this setting (mentioned earlier).

It’s usually a time cycle setting that runs the pellet auger for 15 seconds and pauses for a predetermined amount of time. 

You can adjust the pause, which is mostly known as P-setting. The P-setting ranges from P-0 to P-5. By default, the P-setting is set to P-2 (a 65-second pause). Here below, we will show you how to adjust the P-setting on Traeger Pellet Grill. 

To adjust your P-setting, you want to come to your controller in the upper right corner. On the right side of your LED light, you can find a sticker there. It’s a black sticker that may say call service on it. 

Just peel the sticker off and it will expose a little hole there. Now, grab a very small screwdriver or a bent paper click. Then, depress the small switch inside the hole.

Once you depress it, it will display the set P-setting. Depress the switch again and you can find the ‘P’ readout will change. 

With every ‘P’ setting, the Auger on time remains constant at 15 seconds and the auger off time will be determined by the ‘P’ setting. For example, the P-3 setting will keep the auger on for 15 seconds and the auger time off for 75 seconds.

Indeed, every time you change the P-setting (up or down) will increase or decrease the time of 10 seconds for the Auger off time. Check out the following Traeger P settings chart to know the details:

P-settingAuger OnAuger Off
P-015 secondsPause 45 seconds
P-115 secondsPause 55 seconds
P-2 (default)15 secondsPause 65 seconds
P-315 secondsPause 75 seconds
P-415 secondsPause 85 seconds
P-515 secondsPause 95 seconds

The higher the P number will be, the cooler your Traeger will run. And the lower the P number will be, the hotter your pellet grill will run. 

The Traeger Service Department suggests you use a setting no higher than P-4. You should monitor the temperature on the Readout if you make a smoke adjustment. 

If the temperature is consistently below 160F while smoking, we recommend you decrease the P-setting. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing the fire in the firepot. 

How Hot Is Traeger Smoke Setting

The traeger smoke setting is usually a preset temperature setting to start the unit. When you switch on your grill and set it to Smoke, it will ignite the pellets and you can see white smoke coming out of the grill. In the smoke setting, you get no control over temperature.

However, the Traeger grill limits the temperature from 150 degrees F to 180 degrees F as a factory preset on Smoke mode. Indeed, your grill will never get hotter than 150F-180F on the Smoke setting. 

Can You Cook On Traeger Smoke Setting

You can cook on Traeger Smoke Setting as the temperature on this cooking mode will be between 150F-180F. However, Traeger pellet grills can produce smoke at any temperature setting, for example, at 225F. 

We mentioned earlier that the smoke setting on Traeger is specially intended to start the unit by igniting the pellets. The auger will feed pellets for 15 seconds and wait 65 seconds before feeding the pellets again when you cook in Smoke mode. 

While smoking your meat in the smoke setting, we recommend you use the P-setting to maintain the cooking temperature. Otherwise, you can’t monitor the cooking temperature, which may give you a bitter smoking experience. 

Traeger Smoke Setting Vs 180

Traeger smoke setting fails to monitor the cooking temperature. On the other hand, your pellet grill can control the temperature when you set it to a specific temperature like 180F.

Indeed, it allows you to plan how long you can cook the food and hold the meat at a safe temp without burning it. But you can’t get any temperature control when you cook with the Traeger on Smoke Setting. 

Generally, Traeger uses the smoke setting to start the unit by igniting the pellets. It can’t control the cooking temperature in this setting.

So, your Traeger on this setting on a hot day will cook food differently on a cold day. But it’s not going to happen if you set your Traeger to 180F. 

Indeed, the internal cooking temperature will be around 180F if you set the Traeger to 180F no matter what the outside temperature is.

On the other hand, the Traeger smoke setting can have a wild cooking temperature based on outdoor weather conditions. 

Traeger Smoke Setting Vs 225

You will never get the same smokey flavor or cooking temperature on a cold day as you get on a hot day if you cook with your Traeger on the smoke setting. This is because the Traeger feeds more pellets to keep the grill warm, which creates more heat & smoke.

But on a hot day, it feeds pellets at a lower rate. So, the cooking taste will be different. On the other hand, if you set your Traeger to 225F, you will get the same cooking temperature both on a cold and hot day. 

That’s why we recommend you set the Traeger to 225F instead of the smoke setting to get a consistent cooking temperature. In return, you will get more tender and mouth-watering cooking results. 

Traeger Smoke Setting Issue

You may encounter the following issues related to the smoke setting. 

1. Traeger Smoke Setting Too Hot

The smoke setting on a Traeger pellet grill offers low and slow cooking temperatures. However, sometimes you may find your Traeger grill running hotter even on the smoke setting. 

For example, your grill runs hotter even on a low setting if the outside temperature is high. We recommend you keep your Traeger under a shed and never operate your grill during the heat of Summer. 

Secondly, severe damage to the internal pieces of the grill may increase the internal heat of your grill. So, inspect every internal piece like the drip tray, the heat baffle, and the grill grates before starting up your grill. 

If your grill has a P-setting (we mentioned it at the beginning), inspect it whether it’s set to lower or not. The lower the number, the hotter your grill runs even on the smoke setting. So, adjust it to P-3. If your barbeque smoker grill gets too hot, set it to P-4. 

2. Traeger Smoke Setting Not Smoking

When it comes to pellet smokers’ grills, many people mistakenly think of smokers that produce thick white smoke. But Traeger is not that type of pellet BBQ smoker.

The smoke it generates is so thin you can’t see- through it will be there. You can see the small rings on the meat which indicates the Traeger produces smoke. 

However, you get no smoke out of your Traeger if you cook at a high temperature. Therefore, a dirty firepot, low-quality pellets, and a clogged vent are the culprits for which your grill won’t produce enough smoke.

Just solve those issues and you will get the smoke you need to gain the smokey flavor. 


Can you leave your Traeger on smoke setting?

If you leave your Traeger on the smoke setting for a few minutes, it will produce more smoke. It will happen when you don’t let your grill cool after using the cooking mode. We don’t recommend you leave your Traeger in the smoke setting. Just turn off the grill when you complete your cooking. 

How do I make my Traeger more Smokey?

Just let your Traeger cook on the smoke setting more times to impart more smoke on the meat. You can also get a smoker tube to gain more smokey flavor from your Traeger

Does a Traeger smoke at 225?

Believe it or not, Traeger smokes at every temperature setting. However, it will produce more smoke between 150F-225F temperature ranges. 


The Traeger smoke setting is a blessing for every enthusiast griller. It helps to cook a tender, juicy, and smokey BBQ recipe. 

We explained everything about the smoke setting on Traeger so that you can be a master of using it. If you want to gain a smokey flavor, we want you to set it to a specific temperature.

The best smoking result will come if you know how to adjust the smoke setting. Fortunately, we broke it down also. 

Therefore, we broke down the issues related to the smoke setting. As a result, you can solve those issues to gain the best smoking outcome. 

Happy Grilling!

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

Leave a Comment