The Louisiana and Traeger pellet grills are up your list of preferences but you don’t know the difference between them? If you want a top-quality and durable grill that lasts years, go for a Traeger pellet grill since they’ve been in the business for a long time. Also, if you’re tight on budget and want a more affordable grill, a Traeger will be your best choice as there are a wide variety of options. However, Louisiana grills are more versatile and have more precise temperature control.
I own a Traeger grill and I recently used it to smoke chicken breasts in a recipe I shared here. So I know its limitations and strengths. However, I recently took delivery of a Louisiana grill to have a first-hand feel of the grill. So, in this article, I’ll compare and contrast the two machines.
One of the key differences between Louisiana and Traeger grills are their cooking racks. The Traeger Grills Pro Series range has wire racks built with porcelain-coated steel. Meanwhile, Louisiana Grills, especially the Louisiana Grills Black Label line, have porcelain-coated cooking grates made of cast iron.
Here is a Louisiana Grills vs Traeger side-by-side comparison:
I’ll continue this Louisiana Grills vs Traeger Grills comparison by comparing the best-selling product of each brand. That is, the Traeger ProSeries (there are four of them) and then the Louisiana LG 1100 smoker.
For the Traeger side of the comparison, I’ll pick the Traeger Grills Pro Series 780 model as the best value pick in terms of popularity with users and cost. Later, we’ll do individual reviews of the best flagship products from these two fantastic brands.
I’m going to start with the price. They’re both under $1000 grills so they’re in the same price range. That’s not really going to be an issue between the two should you be wary of your budget.
Talking about the actual size, the barrel size on the Traeger grill is 36 inches. On the Louisiana 1100 at the same price point, you’re going to have 38 inches. So you get two extra inches on the Louisiana Grills vs Traeger option. On the other hand, Traeger Grills are portable pellet grill models.
They both have hoppers on the side. They both use a very similar digital display so both of their computer programs run pretty similarly.
Still on the hoppers, what I do like about the Traeger grill is you’re going to get a hopper that allows you to take your pellets out from the back. So, that way, if you want to change flavors or if you’re done cooking meat for the day, you can go ahead and clean your hopper. That is not an option on the Louisiana grill.
On the Louisiana grill, you can get higher temperatures up to 600 degrees, hence better grilling performance. So it’s the ideal pellet grill if you want to cook something at a much higher temperature.
The Traeger grill, on the other hand, can only get to 500 degrees. It is designed strictly as a smoker. You have your smoker tray or your smoker shield above and then your smokes are going to bevel around. It has no option to cook at a higher temperature.
So if you’re a purist that wants to strictly smoke, the Traeger might be a good option. But if you want the option to cook at a higher temperature with direct heat, the Louisiana grill definitely gives you that option.
One of the things I also like about the Traeger grill is that your burn pot is in the center of the grill. So, your auger motor is going to feed your pellets down to the middle of the grill. And that’s going to allow for more even heat distribution.
One of the things I wasn’t crazy about on the Louisiana grill is the design of the burn pot. It is right on the edge. So, especially with the bigger barrel, you’re going to have a hotter left side.
Therefore, the temperature distribution throughout the barrel is not going to be quite as even on the Louisiana versus the Traeger.
The nice thing is that, because the burn pot is closer to the auger, the pellets drop with gravity. So you have less chance of the pellets clogging as gravity drops the pellets right down into the burn pot. Whereas, in the Traeger, they have to feed over horizontally. So, over time, you could have more clogging issues.
Both have a meat probe as well, which means you can put your meat probe in your meat and set your desired temperature and the smoker will automatically shut itself down when the meat reaches your desired temperature.
What is unique about the Traeger though, is that you’re going to get two different meat probes. So, you can set it to two different settings.
One of the nice features of the Louisiana grill is that you will get a bottom storage shelf. You will have no storage shelf on the Traeger but you can add a bottom shelf if you want on the Traeger.
When barbecue manufacturers market their products, they only use superlatives in the best PR language.
So, is it just hot air or is there some truth to the full-bodied promises? I subjected the new premium line from Lousiana Grills to an intensive practical test. How is the processing and what can the wood pellet grills really do in everyday grilling? These are exciting questions to which I will try to provide answers.
Everyone spends their free time differently. Some people are involved in a sports club. Others like to go fishing and still others restore vintage cars with painstaking detail work.
When Dan Thiessen wanted a hobby to work on with his sons, he didn’t take them on a leisure trip. He started a company, which he aptly named Dansons. That was in 1999 and a lot has happened since then. The core business is now based on two internationally renowned grill brands: Louisiana Grills and Pit Boss.
For both brands, the company has launched more than 75 different grills, with Dansons reporting annual growth of 100 to 300 percent. Business seems to be booming, but why is that?
Louisiana Grills’ corporate website states that they are a leading manufacturer of value-oriented, technologically innovative grills. They cover the entire spectrum from pellet grills and gas grills to classic charcoal grills and combi grills (which combine gas with charcoal).
Pretty big words, but they’re backed by the fact that Louisiana Grills are available nationwide and in other parts of the world from leading retailers and direct sellers. So the demand is there.
In 2020, Louisiana Grills launched a new premium line of pellet grills. Reason enough to examine the truthfulness of Louisiana Grills’ PR language and to subject the pellet grills of the new premium line to a major review!
I choose the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy grill, the flagship of the new premium line, as a test object. First, you have to note that, like Traeger Grills, Louisiana doesn’t do much of its marketing on Amazon. So, if you’re judging by the number of sales on Amazon, you may be wrong. As you can see, Louisiana Grills focus more on selling through its dealers located across the US.
Fortunately, when I took the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill out of its packaging and then assembled it, it was quick and easy. This was due to the easy-to-understand, multilingual assembly instructions.
The first impression of the components was also convincing because they were stable and attention was paid to the decent thickness of the steel sheet.
The construction of the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy grill was quite manageable because only the substructure (i.e. the base with the four castors) had to be screwed to the actual pellet grill.
When it comes to quality, it quickly becomes clear that the Louisiana Grill does meet the US quality standards from top competitors like Weber, Traeger Grills, and even other top Louisiana grills, for example. After assembly, the Louisiana Grills 1200 was very stable and cut an impressive figure.
The downside is the large advertising stickers that have been placed on the Louisiana grill. When cold, these are difficult to remove. However, as soon as they have been heated with a hair dryer, they can be removed without leaving any residue.
Each grill must be burned in before it’s used for the first time. This is easy with the Louisiana Grills 1200, as it is fired via a lateral pellet burner with a digital control panel. The temperature control panel is clearly laid out and accepts all commands without any problems.
The auto start function makes baking (and later also grilling) very easy. You really only have to worry about the temperature settings. The Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy can also be operated via WiFi and Bluetooth via an app controlled by a smartphone or tablet.
The connection (via iOS) worked without any problem. However, other users reported that setting up the app control on Android was a bit tricky. In most cases, however, it helped to be persistent and simply start it several times until it finally worked.
The Louisiana Grills Legacy can be programmed with up to nine recipe levels via the digital control panel and also via the app, whereby the grilling temperature and duration can be set for each level.
This is particularly suitable for the Low & Slow grilling method, in which the food is stewed for some time. After all the recipe steps have been completed, the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy automatically switches to keep-warm mode at around 180 degrees. It ensures that the food on the grill does not become dry but remains wonderfully juicy.
This Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy has an automatic grill function and can be connected to a total of four meat thermometers, two of which were already included in the product package. This also works wonderfully in practice, so your meat can be grilled to the desired cooking point.
When it was first heated up, the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy was able to reach a cooking temperature of 400 degrees within twenty minutes, which is quite impressive.
This is not only due to the powerful pellet burner, but above all, to the fact that the smoking chamber of the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill is double-walled and therefore optimally insulated. I could only detect very small fluctuations. The temperature distribution in the cooking is really great.
The pellet burner worked without any problems during the test where I used 6mm grill pellets. Other users reported that sometimes with 8mm barbecue pellets, there can be a fuel jam because the geometry of the pellet chute is probably designed more for the smaller manufacturer’s barbecue pellets.
If in doubt, the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill should be operated with Louisiana grill pellets. These come directly from the manufacturer, so there should be no problems with grilling.
The Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill has sufficient grilling space, with a cooking area of 1,205 square inches. Around 30 burgers can be prepared at the same time. It is clearly designed for large barbecues and also for gastronomy.
The cooking space is divided into the main cooking space and a warming rack, with the main grilling surface divided into three. The cooking space can be adjusted as desired. A griddle made of solid cast iron, which can be inserted instead of a grill grate is included.
The grill plate has a decent weight, which helps for an excellent heat retention and gives the grilled food a wonderful roasted flavor. Also, I liked that it was easy to switch from indirect to direct with the lever.
Both the main grill grate and the warming rack are made of stainless steel on the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill. The rods of the warming rack, on the other hand, were a bit thinner. But that’s okay, after all, the food on the warming rack shouldn’t continue to cook, which is why less material can definitely be more at this point.
The Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill is usually grilled with indirect heat like a smoker. However, this also offers the possibility to grill over an open flame, which adds some great roasted flavors to steaks in particular.
In practice, this is also easy to use because all you have to do is operate a small operating lever on the pellet burner. This changes the position of the flame grill in the cooking chamber. In this mode, the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill can also be used for direct grilling without any problems. It couldn’t be easier to switch between direct and indirect heat – I’m thrilled!
Cleaning was easy with the Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill. On the one hand, this is because the entire cooking chamber is lined with stainless steel. This makes it easy to remove residue.
Fat and gravy are also directed into a small fat bucket located on the underside. In this way, the residue from the grill does not accumulate in the cooking chamber and can be disposed of with a flick of the wrist.
The Traeger Grill is the mother of all pellet smoker manufacturers. I often don’t think of any other brand when a pellet grill is mentioned.
The Traeger company invented the first pellet grill, that is, the wood-fired grill, more than 30 years ago. It has been successfully represented in the US market ever since.
The range includes technically sophisticated controllers that can control and simplify your cooking process via WiFire. There are different series in different grill sizes.
To operate the pellet smoker, Traeger offers a wide range of high-quality hardwood pellets too.
Earlier in 2022, Traeger released its flagship pellet grills, the Timberline series. The Timberline series grills are technically identical to the Traeger Ironwood pellet grills with some details.
For example, the Traeger Ironwood has a lower cooking chamber with only 2 cooking grate levels. Instead of stainless steel cooking grates, it has enameled steel cooking grates. But the fat drain is already integrated into the Timberline pellet grill series.
However, all other models (Ironwood and Pro D2) have the traditional fat bucket at the outlet on the side of the pellet grill.
The same applies to the front shelf made of stainless steel: only the Timberline pellet grills are factory-fitted with the shelf; optional enameled front shelves are available for all other pellet grills in the Pro D2 and Ironwood series.
In the Traeger pellet grills, you can smoke and grill in a relaxed and comfortable way. A height-adjustable grill grate (except for the Pro D2) also generates the perfect temperatures for searing steaks, sausages, etc. on the grate.
The pellet hopper capacity differs in size and design in the various series. The largest pellet “hopper” is installed in the Timberline series with a hopper capacity of 24 lbs. Ironwood has a 20lbs hopper capacity and finally, the Pro D2 series has 18 lbs hopper capacity.
Timberline and Ironwood pellet grills also have a pellet sensor that monitors the fill level of the tank. This can also be purchased separately and retrofitted.
The pellet grills of the PRO D2 series from Traeger are ideal for those new to the world of pellet grills. It is a little less well-equipped in terms of burning technology.
The PRO D2 pellet grills offer a slightly smaller temperature range (150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). They do not have the downdraft exhaust system for optimized smoke circulation and no super smoke mode. Nevertheless, these are top entry-level devices for a high-quality start with a pellet grill.
A special highlight of the Traeger pellet grills is the small, compact Traeger Ranger pellet grill. Ideal for the balcony, small garden, or even on the go. The Ranger is equipped with a pellet chamber for 8 lbs of wood pellets and a large cast iron baking plate. With a digital ARC controller, it controls the pellet combustion and achieves a temperature range of approx. 165 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The “better” option depends on the needs of each person. Louisiana Grills are more efficient for grilling than Traeger due to the wider temperature range which can reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Louisiana Grills may be better constructed, but most pellet grills from the brand have great value for money in terms of performance. They have quality pellet grill products with precise temperature control, a higher temperature range, and have large cooking space.
Grilla Grills and Louisiana Grills are some great options for those looking for better options that don’t cost as much as a Traeger.
Louisiana Grills is not owned by Pit Boss. Rather, the owner of Louisiana Grills, the Dansons family, also owns Pit Boss. So it’s right to say Dansons own both the Pit Boss and Louisiana Grills brands.
Unfortunately, I can’t arrive at an overall best option. The Louisiana Grills vs Traeger comparison has shown that they target different customers.
The Louisiana Grills 1200 Legacy pellet grill is, without a doubt, a versatile grill device that ensures comfortable grilling and has many great features. Louisiana Grills have an excellent price-performance ratio because of the wider temperature range. So, if you cook a wide variety of recipes that require low and slow or just high heat cooking, choose a Louisiana. Louisiana Grills are also a bit larger so they can take a lot of burgers for example.
As a leading pellet grill manufacturer, Traeger offers the largest range of grills and the right pellet grill for everyone. The range of innovative and well-thought-out features is the largest in Traeger pellet grills, and is based on years of experience. The Traeger pellet grills heat up to the desired temperature particularly quickly and offer high-quality smoke with special ventilation technology. In other words: no smoke that has already been burned; only fresh flavorsome smoke. You should choose a Traeger if you are a fan of low and slow – that is if you want a pellet smoker grill rather than a pure grill.