Traeger Pellet Grill Junior (model no. BBQ055)

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I was waiting for the Traeger Road Show to make its way to Costco again. Just in time for the summer grilling season! I’ve been experimenting with smoking meats and bbq using a Char-Broil The Big Easy Electric 2-in-1 Smoker for a few summers now. But now I’m ready to move up to something that can handle more ribs and larger cuts of meat. Sure, I thought of going the old school way and getting a barrel smoker using charcoal but with time being a hard commodity nowadays, I just couldn’t see myself tending to the fire and trying to maintain a low, constant temperature for 12 hours as I smoke a brisket. So I’ve opted for the Traeger Junior Pellet Grill. It’s easy to maintain a low temperature, the indirect heat is ideal for smoking brisket, tri-tip, whole chicken and turkey, ribs, etc. And you can’t beat the price. The only junior-sized grill available on the Traeger website is the Junior Elite which costs $100 (maybe more) more than the Traeger Junior Pellet Grill (model no. BBQ055) available at Costco. You'll find maintaining the temperature on a Traeger is way easier than, say, doing it on your run of the mill Weber Charcoal Kettle Grill. Costco also sells the pellets in various flavors: apple wood, hickory, mesquite, etc. If you're looking for a portable grill that you can take to tailgating parties, picnics, or camping trips, then you may even want to check out the Duro NXR Table Top Propane Gas Grill. So spend your summers at the grill and impress your friends with some real home cooked slow-smoked St. Louis ribs. Mmmmm. Just remember to pick up a bag of of Traeger wood pellets for your Traeger grill.

Traeger Pellet Grill Junior (model no. BBQ055) at Costco
Traeger Junior Pellet Grill (model no. BBQ055) Special Event.

Here are the specs:

Traeger Junior Pellet Grill Model Number BBQ055

Costco Item#: 420284
Costco Price: $299.99
Found at: Costco in Foster City, CA (1001 Metro Center Boulevard)
(price and availability may vary per Costco location)

Traeger Junior BBQ Grill and Smoker
Traeger Junior Pellet Grill Special Road Show Event At Costco.

Perfectly sized for small households or tailgating! The Junior features 292 square inches of cooking surface, along with our digital thermostat control and a durable powder coat finish. The perfect introduction to wood pellet cooking, creating great tasting food every time. Traeger wood-pellet grills allow you to conveniently smoke, grill, or bake using pure hardwood pellets that impart a rich wood-smoked flavor to food.

    Key Features:
  • Model #BBQ055
  • Hopper Capacity of 10lbs
  • 292 Square Inches of Grill Space
  • 19,500 BTUs


Anonymous said...

Just a note. The Traeger Junior Elite is $100 more, but it includes a digital thermostat. The Costco Junior only has the basic temp positions which will not adjust if it is a hot or cold day. A digital thermostat will cost $80 an you have to install. I'm not sure why Costco is selling an outdated model.

ExecMemberMike said...

Hi @Anonymous, thanks for giving us additional information on the Traeger Junior versus the Traegor Junior Elite. Those people looking to buy either one may want to know which one has the digital thermometer since temperature control is so crucial especially when it comes to smoking meat. I'm not sure why Costco is selling an outdated model, but maybe they now have newer models in their inventory with summer grilling season coming up soon.

Joe McGuire said...

I bought one 9 months ago and I plan to return it. First problem: The electronic control does not have any specific temperatures. And since there is no temperature sensor, the controller has no clue what's actually going on inside the grill. So I invested in an Ortech controller for Traeger grills. That made a big difference. But the grill works erratically. I was doing some short ribs a few days ago. An hour and a half into the smoking and roasting at 300 degrees I went down for a routine check--mainly to be sure the hopper had enough pellets. It did but the temperature--still set for 300--was now down to 100, just slightly above the outside air on that hot summer day. I pulled out the uncooked meat, took everything out and found the firebox was overflowing with pellets. I cleaned out all the pellets and started over. No problem this time--except dinner was 1.5 hours late. This was a typical problem. Bottom line is that you can't really count on the darned thing doing its job. Sometimes it works fine. But often it's a disaster. Set it and forget it? No way! Others have commented that it gives only a very light smoke flavor. It's true. I found that to get an actual smoke flavor forget Traeger recipes; leave the thing at the low smoke temperature setting for at least an hour or so at some point.

ExecMemberMike said...

Hi @Joe, thanks for sharing your experience with the Traeger Pellet Grill Junior. Your feedback is quite helpful. That's unfortunate that the Traeger Junior just didn't work out for you. It's a good thing Costco has a good return policy for cases like this where you're not fully satisfied with your purchase.

Unknown said...

I bought the Jr a couple years ago at costco..I had issues with heat and the 3 position switch... I called Traeger service and they shipped me the upgraded control unit free of charge.. asked me when and where i bought it and boom was done in 10 minutes and got the new controller 6 days later no muss, fuss or hassles

ExecMemberMike said...

Hello @Unknown, I'm glad to hear that Traeger was able to make things right for you and your Traeger Junior Pellet Grill. I don't mind when sometimes a certain product doesn't quite work the way it's supposed to, but it always sucks when customer service is uncaring and useless. It's a good thing Traeger's customer service was able to help you out. I hope your Traeger Junior Pellet Grill is now able to make some awesome fall-off the bone ribs or a good seared steak.

Unknown said...

this model traeger came with the 3 way selector switch but a quick call to traeger fixed that... they sent me the digital controller free of charge since the traeger has a 3 year warranty... so a free upgrade to the jr elite

ExecMemberMike said...

Nice @carter! I just love it when companies like Traeger go the extra mile to help their customers. I checked out the Traeger road show a couple of years ago because my brother is in the market for one. He plans to buy one once he moves into his new home next month. He decided to go with the Traeger Junior Elite because of the digital thermostat. He liked the Junior Elite because its grilling surface was big enough for him and his family, and he's really into smoking meats (spareribs are his specialty). We all know how important temperature control is when smoking, so that's why he opted for the Traeger Junior Elite since it had the digital thermostat, but that's even better that you were able to get it for free!

Unknown said...

Want to find a Treager that breaks down to haul in the toyhauler . Any suggestions ? Thanks ...

ExecMemberMike said...

Hello @Unknown, if you want a more portable Traeger grill, then you should check out the Traeger Junior Elite grill. It's still a full-sized grill, but not as bulky as the larger ones. I'm not too sure how easy it would be to remove the legs once it's assembled though. If the Junior Elite is still too big, I know that Traeger has more portable ones that you would place on a tabletop when grilling. Looking at the Traeger website, they include the PTG+, Ranger, and Scout grills. I hope this helps.

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