FOR  years and years I have been a staunch defender of the ageing hero of the garden that is the charcoal barbecue, convinced that a gas-powered one was ‘not a real barbecue’.

So it was with some misgivings that I turned my hand to a wood-fired smoke grill, powered by electricity. So how has it fared?

The first thing to get across with the Traeger Pro D2 575 Wood Pellet Grill is how it looks which, simply put, is really quite cool.

Jet black, slick and with the old-school smoking chimney and barrel grill, it’s an impressive looking bit of kit, marrying the coveted rustic look with a modern aesthetic and convenience.

It’s quite large and quite heavy but easy to put together, with no wiring or anything like that to worry about, and easy to wheel around when said wheels are attached.

The drum is attached on its side by the woodchip dispenser which uses a screwdriving auger to slowly push through the wood pellets you have chosen to use into the burner underneath your grill.




It also has two wheels for easy manoeuvring and a two-tier grill for your food. It also has a nifty drip tray at the bottom of the grill collecting all the grease in an external bucket to keep cleaning and smoking to a minimum.

It might look quite intense on first glance but actually firing, heating and cooking your food couldn’t be easier, with it all being operated by a simple dial and screen.

Traeger boasts 16 different flavoured wood pellets to choose from, all bringing their own distinctive tastes.

They also help guide you on what flavours work best for what foods on everything from pork to game to vegetables and even turkey.


I loaded my grill up with hickory-flavoured woodchips and set to work preparing a large barbecue for some friends with the usual fare of burgers, sausages, some vegetables and kebabs.

It’s a learning curve after so many years with a charcoal barbecue to this more oven-like equipment but the results are hard to argue with.

The food is moist, and flavoursome and some items really do get a kick in flavour from the smoking.


As well as the classic barbecue setup we tried out Trager’s suggestion of beer can chicken, or beer butt chicken (roasting a chicken with a can of beer inside it).

Again it was really tasty, moist and flavoursome and giving a real boost to the classic roast chicken.

But this is only one side of the grill’s capabilities as it has some far more modern tricks up its sleeve.

Traeger has its own app with which to operate the grill remotely. In fact it has a wireless thermometer to update you when your latest food project has reached just the right temperature, pinging you via the app.

Simply stick in the probe into your meat and hey presto, no more anxiously opening the grill every five minutes, allowing you to relax with your friends rather than slaving away for an hour.


And with a fault-free heating system Brits no longer have to rely on Britain’s unreliable weather to enjoy smoked and grilled food as you can leave the food to cook be rest assured it is not burning, or the fire faltering and step inside on those cooler days. Smoked Christmas Turkey anyone?

The app is easy to operate, with a smooth design and plenty of suggestions on what to cook and with what wood pellets.

All in all there’s little you can fault with this grill. It is very easy to use, it looks great in the garden and it opens up a lot of opportunities through its convenience, allowing to cook a lot more than you would have considered before (apparently you can even cook pizzas on it).

If you want the wow factor and to put yourself a head above your friends and family when it comes to the barbecue, but keeping maintenance at a minimum, this is certainly one to consider.

They are on sale at Webbs for £799 currently