Cabelas Pellet Grill vs Traeger Grill: A One On One Comparison

December 6, 2022

By virtue the being an industry pioneer, Traeger grills offer longevity, optimum functionality with their renowned double wall design for proper insulation, a wider range of choices, and affordability compared to Cabela’s grills.

Cabela’s pellet grills are famed for their unique, oblong design with a large transparent window on the side that allows you to monitor your food as it cooks.

I have used my Traeger grill for seven years now but as a party planner, I often work with a Cabela’s pellet grill. I have been asked more than once, which one of the two is the better grill.

Since the answer is not the same for everyone’s needs I thought it would be a great idea to do a thorough review of both pellet grills. This article is an exhaustive review of both Cabela’s and Traeger pellet grills based on their specifications and features. Let’s get into it.

Cabelas pellet grill vs traeger

Cabela’s vs Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Is Superior and Why?

It is important to note that every model is specifically optimized for different grilling needs like portability, better aesthetics, and easy cleaning.

These varying specifications are often met with different degrees of appreciation by different grillers so, in my opinion, it is better to focus on which grill is the best for you.

In this review, I will compare Traeger Pro Series 22'' and the Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″ since they have similar specs and features.

Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″ vs Traeger Pro Series 22″

Product Total Cooking Space Dimensions Temperature Range Weight Hopper Capacity More Information
Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″
Cabela's Smoke Station
668 sq. inches 51.06″ x 52.52″ x 27.65″ 180°F – 500°F 161 lbs 20 lbs CHECK PRICE
Schwinn IC4
Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Electric Wood...
572 sq. inches 49” x 41” x 27” 180°F – 450°F 103 lbs 18 lbs Buy on Amazon

Cabela’s vs Traeger Pro: A Side-By-Side Comparison

A good pellet grill retails for between $300-$3,499 depending on the size and brand. It is therefore important to know the basic features to look out for.

These features are often the difference between effortlessly producing a great barbecue each time and producing frustrating and inconsistent results.

Build and Design

Materials

This is the most important feature to consider. A good pellet grill will feature heavy-duty steel construction, complemented by a high-quality powder-coated finish.

Stainless steel makes the appliance sturdy and rust-resistant and the powder coat enables it to withstand high temperatures with minimal wear and tear while adding to the aesthetics.

Traeger pellet grills rank high on this board due to their powder-coated steel construction which makes them exceptionally sturdy and durable. Its grills are known for just that, longevity.

Cabela’s pellet grills have an unimpressive rickety steel finish that is sure to rack up maintenance costs after a year or two of basic home use.

Buyers have also complained that Cabela’s placement of the auger motor on the grills is not favorable.

Both grills have porcelain-coated grilling racks that are super easy to clean after each use although Traeger’s racks have a more solid build.

Champ: Traeger

Aesthetics

You wouldn’t miss a Cabela’s pellet grill. It has an elegant oblong shape topped with a large transparent window right on top that allows you to monitor your food in the cooking chamber.

The Traeger Pro Series 22″ has its signature barrel-like design outfitted with the company’s logo on the top.

The Cabela’s pellet grill looks a lot better.

Champ: Cabela’s

Shelving

The Cabela’s grill has a lower shelf for storage as well as additional shelving on its right side. It has three accessory hooks on the side table for your grilling tools.

The Traeger grill does not have any shelving but the hopper lid can act as a holding area when required. It also has three hooks to hang your grilling essentials.

Champ: Cabela’s

Stability and Movement

The Cabela’s grill is fitted with wheels on one side, while the ones on the other side come with locking casters to support the grill on uneven ground.

The Traeger has rugged all-terrain wheels for easier movement on uneven ground but lacks the locking mechanism.

Champ: Cabela’s

Cooking Space

The Cabela’s Smoke Station has a total cooking area of 668 square inches with the main cooking area offering 474 square inches and comes with two meat probes.

Person Smoking Meat Using Traeger Wood Pellet Grill

The Traeger has a total cooking space of 572 square inches with its main cooking area offering 418 sq. inches.

They both have additional upper racks that are removable and adjustable.

Although both spaces are more than sufficient for family use, Cabela’s provides the larger cooking space.

Champ: Cabela’s

Versatile Barbecue Cooking Surface

The Traeger grill has a versatile barbecue setting that supports 6-in-1 barbecue cooking. On one grill, you can braise, bake, grill, smoke, barbecue, and roast.

Cabela’s does not provide this feature.

Champ: Traeger

Temperature Control

The main difference between a pellet and a conventional grill is that pellet grills have optimal temperature control. On one grill, you can get the temperature from low enough to slow cook to high enough to get your steak perfectly seared.

Go for one that has a wide range of temperature controls. Different grills come with different types of controls but most modern grills use multi-position and digital controllers and PID controllers.

Heat Retention

Cabela’s grills have an unfavorable chimney design that loses plenty of smoke and heat. This defect is a common characteristic among cheap grills. This inefficient heat usage increases the cooking time and amount of pellets required.

Traeger pellet grills have great insulation due to their double-wall construction which hinders the loss of smoke and heat. This means that they are better at keeping the temperature in the cooking chamber from fluctuating saving you time and pellets.

Champ: Traeger

Temperature Range

The Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″ has a temperature range of 180 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit while the Traeger has a temperature range of 180 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cabela’s maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit makes it possible to have a dedicated sear station. It is one of the few grill brands that have both open-flame roasting and indirect roasting options.

The Traeger has a lower maximum temperature but both grills will sufficiently sear a great steak.

Champ: Tie

Optimum Control

The Cabela’s Smoke Station’s advanced PID controls keep the temperature consistent within 5°F of your chosen cooking temperature.

However, Traeger’s Pro series is compatible with the WiFire technology that allows you to have full control of your food with the Traeger App on your phone.

Traeger also features turbo temp technology that allows the grill to get to the set temperature faster and also allows the temperature to recover quicker after it has been opened.

As much as this model does not have a dedicated sear station for open flame roasting, this grill does give you better control of both the internal temperature in the cooking chamber and the total cooking time.

Champ: Traeger

Maintenance

For most pellet grills on the market, the majority of the problems can be attributed to corrosion and grease.

For these and other maintenance problems related to pellet grills, getting one with supporting features like removable racks, stainless steel finishes, and vacuum clean-out mechanisms will make your work easier and reduce the general wearing of the grill.

Both the Traeger Pro Series 22″ and Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″ have steel cooking grates lined with porcelain that is very easy to clean.

The Traeger is outfitted with a wide run-off spout right below the chimney to get rid of dirt. It also has a drip bucket that is easy to clean.

Cabela’s pellet grill has an impressive vacuum clean-out mechanism to get rid of any debris after use. This way, you can easily switch pellets with different meats. Its grease management is made easier by a runoff spout and a grease bucket that you can easily clean out.

Champ: Cabela’s

Cost

The best pellet grill is pocket friendly without compromising on functionality and quality.

The Cabela’s Smoke Station 24″ pellet grill is currently going for $399.98 while the Traeger Series 22″ is going for $599.99.

Champ: Cabela’s

Hopper Capacity

The Traeger has a pellet hopper capacity of 18 lbs. While Cabela’s Smoke Station 24 pellet grill has a hopper capacity of 20 lbs.

These are both highly sufficient given that you will use around 1 pound of pellets each hour when cooking at high temperatures and 2 pounds each hour when cooking low and slow.

That said, given the inefficient heat utility of Cabela’s design I mentioned earlier, the extra two pounds of pellets do not provide an advantage. The better grill here would be Traeger.

Champ: Traeger

Warranty

I recommend one with a longer warranty period. A generous warranty period projects the confidence a manufacturer has in their product.

Traeger stands by its product with a 3-year warranty. With proper use and regular maintenance, they will offer replacements for defective parts at no extra cost to you.

Warranty information on Cabela’s is largely wanting. Many buyers have complained about getting a raw deal since they only offer a one-year warranty period.

A pellet grill is a large mechanical appliance that is often exposed to high heat as well as tons of moisture and grease. Given these conditions, I expect Cabela’s to be more generous to its clients.

Champ: Traeger

A Brand Overview of Cabela’s

Cabela’s is an American retailer based in Sidney, Nebraska that specializes in outdoor recreation merchandise including shooting, fishing, hunting, boating, camping, and fishing gear.

It was founded by Richard N. Cabela in 1961 and acquired in 2007 by Missouri-based Bass Pro.

Cabela has two pellet grills in the market.

A Brand Overview of Traeger

It is the industry pioneer that made the original wood pellet grill in 1985, revolutionizing indirect heat cooking, This gives it a huge edge in the market.

With decades of experience, it is not surprising that Traeger has successfully met the expectations of most barbecue enthusiasts.

Traeger, named after its founder, Joe Traeger, specializes in all things barbecue including pellets, grill accessories, meat rubs, and barbecue sauces.

Trager has six pellet grills in the market.

Traeger’s Highlights

WiFire Technology

Traeger specializes in all things grilling and over the decades, they have manufactured better models of their product and even managed to blend it into these modern digital times.

Pellet grilling meets technology with WiFire by Traeger. Through the Traeger app on your smartphone, you can command your grill from anywhere with the touch of a button as long as you have a WIFI connection.

Portable Grill Series

WiFire gives you ultimate power over your grill with convenience. It also offers its customers access to hundreds of recipes and customized cook guides.

If you love to travel, you can now enjoy wood-fired flavor anywhere with Traeger’s portable series pellet grills.

The larger model, the Tailgater weighs only a total of 62 pounds with a hopper capacity of 8 pounds, while the smaller one, the Ranger weighs a total of 60 pounds with a similar hopper capacity of 8 pounds.

Traeger Pro Series 22 Wood Pellet Grill

Do Cabela’s Pellets Work In A Traeger?

Yes, you can use Cabela’s pellets in a Traeger grill. Different pellet brands can be used in any wood pellet grill because they serve the same function.

When you turn your grill on, the auger moves the pellet from the hopper into the fire. They are then ignited on the hot rod.

A fan then circulates the heat and smoke evenly throughout the cooking chamber. Any excess liquid is directed into a drip bucket to prevent flare-ups from the grease.

Digital regulators allow for precise temperature control within the grill to ensure your meat is evenly cooked through.

Every pellet type has a distinct flavor based on the wood it comes from.

There are many pellet brands like Camp Chef Premium Hardwood Pellets, Pit Boss Natural Hardwood Pellets, and Traeger Signature Blend, all of which can be used in any pellet grill.

FAQs

Which Grills Are As Good As Traeger?

Pit Boss models are as good as Traeger.

They are the closest brand to Traeger given that as recently as 2018, Joe Traeger, was hired at Pit Boss to improve their design.

Pit Boss grills are often less expensive than most models from other brands while still offering features that rival more expensive options.

Just like most Traeger models, Pit Boss grills offer a large cooking capacity, a large hopper size, and digital controls to maintain the desired temperature. Its grills are some of the top Traeger alternatives.

What’s The Number One Pellet Grill On The Market?

Pit Boss gives Traeger a run for its money as the most popular pellet grill brand.

This is because Pit Boss focuses more on the affordability of their grills making their products more available to a larger group of people with their friendly prices.

Traeger has put more effort into creating premium models with their recent products like the Ironwood and Timberline series.

Does Camp Chef Make Cabelas Grills?

Yes. Camp Chef acquired Bass Pro Shops which is the manufacturer of Cabela’s pellet grills.

The Takeaway

From the comparison, it is clear that Cabela’s has a lot to offer in terms of eye appeal. They have invested substantially in the aesthetics of their pellet grills. 

Traeger on the other hand has demonstrated the ability to deliver quality and maximum functionality for its customers constantly over the decades. Traeger pellet grills showcase growth and adaptability which is exactly why they remain an industry leader.

If aesthetics are a priority to you, you will not go wrong with a Cabela’s pellet grill.

If you are looking for optimum functionality for a long time, a sturdy Traeger pellet grill is the obvious choice.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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