Smoking on your freestanding Traeger is great and all… But what if you want to take the experience to the next level?
Considering how to incorporate your Traeger into an outdoor kitchen is the natural next step.
Then, the questions inevitably begin to pour in.
How should you go about this task?
Do you have to modify your Traeger?
What outdoor kitchen for Traeger should you get?
And so on and so forth.
In this article, we’ll clear the air on what makes a Traeger outdoor kitchen… And the best ways to go about this project.
But first… There’s one key question we must answer!
- Got an Old Traeger You Want to Incorporate? Here’s Why That Might not be the Wisest Idea…
- The 2 Absolute-Best Traeger Grills You Should Put in Your Outdoor Kitchen
- 3 Impressive DIY Options for the Avid Do-it-Yourselfer (with Pros and Cons)
- Is A Traeger Grill Really The Best Fit For Your BBQ Island?
- A Better Pellet Grill Solution For Your Summer Kitchen
Can any Traeger be Put in an Outdoor Kitchen?
While it is possible to build a Traeger into an outdoor kitchen… You can’t just use any Traeger grill! (It also has to be done a certain way, but we’ll get to that later.)
Generally speaking, you’ll have to remove the legs of your Traeger to build it in.
Older Traegers typically aren’t designed for this… Which means you’ll be cutting them off yourself.
If your warranty is still valid, this will likely void it. And further, it’s an unsafe practice that we wouldn’t recommend.
The legs may end up being unlevel, causing serious stability issues… And the act of cutting metal in and of itself can be a dangerous pursuit if you’re not careful.
So that’s out.
Luckily, you have options for a built-in Traeger that don’t involve pulling out your saw and hacking away.
Want to bring your idea to life?
The Best Traegers to Put in Your Island
If you have an older Traeger you were planning to put in your outdoor kitchen… This is the perfect excuse to get an upgrade!
Currently, there are two options for an outdoor kitchen with built-in Traeger.
And just to be clear… There isn’t really such a thing as a true built-in Traeger. Creating a full island enclosure for your Traeger would create a serious safety and ventilation catastrophe!
Point is… Your smoker needs to breathe. So these pseudo-built in options will have to suffice for your island!
Traeger Ironwood & Ironwood XL
The Traeger Ironwood or Ironwood XL could be the perfect solution for your island! (The Ironwood 650 and Ironwood 885 are also options from the previous generation.)
If you want to put your outdoor grill on a recessed stand… The Ironwood Series will make it easy as pie. (Or easy as smoking ribs and brisket in your Traeger?)
The cart and accessory shelf are able to be safely removed from your grill. Simply unscrew them… And put the grill on the recessed stand.
Doesn’t get much easier than that!
And since this doesn’t fully build your Traeger into the island… You can use your existing grill cover to keep it protected! (It might just need a little trim.)
Now… What if you’re after something closer to a true, built-in look? Let’s “continue shopping”, so to speak.
Traeger Timberline & Traeger Timberline XL
The Timberline Series is Traeger’s latest and greatest product… And you can tell immediately that there’s something different here!
Rather than just being a grill on “legs”… The Timberline Series features a full-on grill cart, complete with storage, a cutting board, Bluetooth capabilities, and an induction burner!
It’s certainly a step up from the Traeger’s previous offerings.
In terms of incorporating it into an outdoor kitchen… The process looks a bit different.
You could almost consider this product a modular cabinet unit. You won’t be able to separate the grill from its housing… So you have to work with the entire unit.
For an outdoor kitchen application, this means sliding the grill between two island structures. And since it’s on casters… You literally roll it into place.
Seems simple enough, right?
There are some drawbacks to this method… But we’ll get to that later on.
DIY Traeger Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
Thus far, we’ve discussed the two Traeger grills that are appropriate for use in an outdoor kitchen.
Now… How will you actually design your outdoor Traeger kitchen?
There are three unique outdoor kitchen ideas with Traeger grills to consider. Let’s review, and uncover the pros and cons to each.
Scratch-Built or RTF Traeger Stand
Most likely, you’ll find DIYers using one of these two methods.
In either case… You will construct a recessed stand utilizing a frame system.
Wood or metal frames are commonly used. However, we would never recommend using wood! If you pursue this option, use 304 stainless steel or marine grade aluminum frames.
With the scratch-built method, you’ll be building the frame yourself. RTF (ready-to-finish) systems construct the frame for you, so you save some time there. This is preferred if you are less experienced or don’t have equipment to safely cut metal.
Since your grill height is not adjustable… You’ll want to make sure that your stand will put your Traeger at a comfortable cooking height.
From there, the process is exactly the same between RTF and scratch-built.
You will cut and install cement board to cover the exterior of your island and recessed stand. It’s also on you to make appropriate cutouts for appliances and accessories.
After that, you will install your appliances and countertops. You may prefer to have countertops manufactured for you… However, many avid DIYers take up the task of making their own concrete countertops.
Your Traeger will sit on the recessed stand… And the rest of your island will match the other amenities you desire.
Now, let’s take a peek at the pros and cons of this method.
Pro: Ability to Customize to Your Needs
Especially if you choose to build your own frame… This method allows you to have full control over customization!
You’ll be able to take great care over every facet of the design… And ensure that your vision is executed to your exact standards.
Even with an RTF system, you’ll be afforded a good amount of design flexibility.
Simply choose the modules that most closely resemble the layout you’re after… And finish however you’d like!
Pro: Sense of Accomplishment
As with any DIY project… There’s a deep sense of accomplishment when you finish the task.
You dreamed up a design, put pen to paper… And built an island with your own hands!
Building a Traeger smoker outdoor kitchen from scratch is no small feat… It’s a project you can be proud of, and reminded of every time you fire up your Traeger.
Con: High Skill Cap for Project Completion
On the same token… Building an outdoor kitchen from scratch is not for the faint of heart.
And if you don’t have adequate construction experience… You’ll likely be flailing like a fish out of water!
Building a Traeger outdoor kitchen requires a high skill cap… Which makes this task a tough one, even for avid DIYers.
So if you have any doubt in your mind about being able to complete this project… Leave the task to the experts!
Con: Material Quality Suffers in Most Areas
Unfortunately, Traeger outdoor kitchens built from a frame system generally aren’t built to last.
Even if you’re using a metal frame… Most climates will wreak havoc on these structures in short order.
If you’re in an area with high humidity or freeze/thaw climates… This constant exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations can easily damage the finish on your island.
Tiles or stones could pop off, stucco could crack… Exposing the interior of your island to the elements.
Lo and behold, you’ll find the frame of your island rusting or corroding shortly after this!
Then, you’re left in the never-ending cycle of making repairs… And if left unchecked too long, you’ll have to replace the entire island.
That’s frustrating. Especially when you’ve put so much work into this project.
So if you want your Traeger grill island to last as long as possible… You may want to pursue other options.
Slide-In Traeger Timberline Island
If you’ve got the Traeger Timberline… This solution will be quite simple!
Rather than building a dedicated stand for your Traeger… You’ll simply slide the Timberline between two islands.
However, the rest of the process will remain the same.
You’ll still have to construct a frame (or buy an RTF kit), fit the cement board, make appliance cutouts, install the finish… And place countertops and appliances.
So, what are the benefits and tradeoffs?
Pro: Easy to Plan Your Design Around
It’s easy to incorporate a Traeger Timberline into your design.
Rather than having to plan for a separate stand… You’ll simply leave enough space between two islands to slide it in.
Alternatively, you could have your Timberline on either end of your island. It won’t have that “built-in grill” feel… But it will still be a part of your outdoor kitchen.
Pretty straightforward on this outdoor kitchen with Traeger grill!
Pro: You’ll Use Fewer Materials (And Save Some Money)
Since you’ll be dropping plans for a stand… You’ll end up using fewer materials for this project.
There’s no need to build a separate cabinet. Your Timberline is a module in and of itself!
It won’t be a massive money-saver… But it will save you a bit of time and cash in terms of installation.
And perhaps, the money you save could go to another outdoor cooking appliance! (Maybe a pizza oven, charcoal grill, or a propane/gas grill for searing would be in order?)
Whether you choose to pocket the savings or upgrade your cooking area… Saving money is always a welcome prospect!
Con: Again, This Outdoor Kitchen With Traeger Smoker Is Labor-Intensive
Though it’ll be easier to plan your outdoor kitchen design around a Traeger Timberline… That’s not to say it’s without any challenges.
As previously mentioned, you’ll still need to construct a frame or finish an RTF kit to pull off this Traeger grill outdoor kitchen idea… Which means this project will be just as involved as completing a DIY Traeger stand.
At risk of sounding like a broken record, we won’t rehash all of our previous points. Just know that this type of Traeger built-in outdoor kitchen won’t be a walk in the park!
Con: And Again, Material Quality Is Often A Problem
Well… No surprises here!
Since your island surround will likely be made with a frame system… You’ll have the same quality concerns as the Ironwood Series stand.
We won’t beat this point to death by reiterating… But especially if you live in a harsh climate, a frame system isn’t the best option long-term.
An Outdoor Kitchen solution
Ready to Assemble Traeger Outdoor Kitchen
Your third option is to spring for an RTA outdoor kitchen!
Rather than having to construct your own frame, apply cement board, the cladding material, and a finish… Nearly all of these steps are eliminated.
Concrete panels (with the finish fully incorporated) will be delivered to your doorstep.
All you need to do is align the panels, bolt them together, place the countertops, and slide in the appliances.
All said and done… This will only take a few hours of your time!
Now, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Pro: A True DIY-Friendly Option
If you’re set on building your own outdoor kitchen with a smoker… This would be the easiest way to do it!
As we mentioned previously… The entire process takes only a few hours.
Not to mention, you don’t need any expertise to assemble these islands!
If you know how to use a power drill… You’re more than capable of assembling yourself.
You will need a couple extra sets of hands, though! The concrete panels are heavy, and require at least one other person to assist you.
But even if you don’t want to DIY this project… RTA still has your back.
Pro: Alternatively... You Don’t Have To DIY At All
If you just want the satisfaction of having your outdoor kitchen built for you… RTA can do that, too!
So if you’d rather have an expert handle the job.. We can find someone well-qualified in your area.
Allow us to do all the heavy lifting… That way, you can spend more time smoking ribs on your pellet grill!
Pro: These Islands are Built to Last
We’ve already established that a frame system is rife with issues in most climates.
What if you could have an outdoor kitchen that’s hardy in all environments?
That’s exactly what an RTA island can provide you with.
The concrete we use in our islands is rated for 100 years… And won’t crumble under the pressure of even the harshest climates.
Concrete is not affected by rust, corrosion, swelling, warping, or water damage.
Ice, snow, hail, rain, high humidity… None of the above will cause issues for an RTA island.
In fact, our islands will probably outlast any Traeger grill! (More on this, shortly.)
Pro: Customize to Your Needs, Without the Stress
Ready to assemble BBQ islands are highly customizable.
Not to mention… We haven’t even discussed the bar island.
Add some bar stools… And your guests will enjoy impeccably-smoked favorites mere feet away from your smoker.
Point is, customization is a strong suit here!
Con: You Can’t Design Everything
While RTA islands are highly customizable, we can’t do it all.
What do we mean?
Well, if you want a two-tiered bar or any sort of curved feature… We won’t be able to create this for you.
While we can accommodate a great variety of designs… If you want the aforementioned options, we unfortunately won’t be able to design it for you.
Con: Traeger Isn’t A Standard Option
Although we can make adaptations to suit your Traeger wood pellet grill… It’s not a standard offering of ours.
You can’t just order a Traeger stand from us online, and go from there.
If you’re dead-set on a built in Traeger outdoor kitchen from RTA… You can consult with our Design Experts to see if we can assist you.
But generally speaking, we’ll never advocate for a Traeger built into outdoor kitchens.
Allow us to share why a Traeger grill in outdoor kitchen isn’t always the best solution.
Is A Traeger Grill Really The Best Fit For Your BBQ Island?
It may be tempting to build a Traeger into an outdoor kitchen…
But before you hit “checkout” on a Traeger grill… Let’s run through why this might not actually be the best idea.
Your Traeger Will Stick Out Like A Sore Thumb
Let’s start with an aesthetic concern.
Traeger grills are quite one-of-a-kind in terms of appearance… Typically featuring a solid black finish.
While this is fine for freestanding use… It doesn’t bode as well with a Traeger grill built into outdoor kitchens.
One on hand, this aesthetic may not match well with your desired kitchen island surround, especially if you wanted it to be white or another light color!
But more notably… Most outdoor kitchen appliances come with a polished, stainless steel finish.
Once again, your Traeger grill will be out of place here.
If you’re all about ensuring your outdoor kitchen design matches and flows well… You’d be better off working with a true built-in appliance retailer, who offers a range of other streamlined components in addition to built-in pellet grills. (Coyote Outdoor Living gets our vote!)
But even if you can overlook aesthetic clashing… There are other issues to be aware of with a built-in Traeger grill outdoor kitchen.
Concerns With Longevity
Depending on how you incorporate your Traeger into your kitchen island… You might be kicking yourself down the road.
Well, it comes down to quality.
Traeger has taken positive steps in this regard for their Timberline series, which now feature 304 stainless steel grates…
But across the board, all Traeger grills have powder coated 430 stainless steel exteriors.
We prefer to see outdoor appliances made with full 304 stainless steel construction… Which has superior long-term durability.
430 stainless steel, on the other hand, simply isn’t as high quality… And unfortunately, won’t hold up to rust and corrosion for long.
Because of this, both the Traeger Timberline and Ironwood series are only covered under a 10 year warranty… Which implies that they’re far from a “permanent” solution.
This may be especially frustrating if you’re planning for a Traeger Timberline outdoor kitchen.
In 10 years or more, we can’t guarantee that Traeger will still be producing the same Timberline model. (They’ve already revamped this series once.)
If the new model isn’t a perfect size match… You’ll end up with a gaping hole between your islands!
This will be an unsightly feature that you’ll have to learn to live with… Or require a significant remodel of your outdoor kitchen. How frustrating!
Outdoor Traeger Kitchens Are Not Exactly Financially-Friendly
Because Traeger grills aren’t built to last forever… You’ll inevitably have to spend money to replace them down the road.
And these grills aren’t cheap!
The Ironwood series hovers around two grand… While the Traeger Timberline is priced well above $3,000.00.
This can certainly put a sizable dent in your wallet over time.
So if you want a built-in pellet grill that you won’t have to replace every ten or so years… Opting for a high quality model from the start is the smarter investment.
Why The Coyote Pellet Grill Is Better Suited For Your Summer Kitchen
So, you’ve seen why a Traeger in outdoor kitchen isn’t the best idea… Especially if you’re after a permanent solution.
Luckily, we have a great alternative to Traeger pellet grills… And that’s Coyote!
Coyote Pellet Grills Are A More Permanent Solution
If you want a more permanent pellet grill solution for your outdoor kitchen… It’s clear that a Traeger grill won’t cut it.
Coyote pellet grills, on the other hand, are built to endure.
Coyote constructs all of their heavy-duty outdoor kitchen appliances with durable, rust- and corrosion-resistant 304 stainless steel.
And for even further peace of mind… Their built-in pellet grills come backed by a generous lifetime warranty!
With a built-in Traeger grill… You’ll have to cough up the funds to replace your smoker time and time again.
But a Coyote pellet grill is meant to be a one-time investment that’ll last for decades… How’s that for value? (Did we mention that Coyote’s pricing is on par with that of the Traeger Timberline?)
Coyote Pellet Grills Are Easy To Pair With An Outdoor Kitchen
Remember when we talked about our RTA Outdoor Kitchens?
As a quick refresher… These are vastly easier to pull off than building a Traeger stand or outdoor kitchen island for Traeger from scratch, and the payoff is substantially longer lasting.
However, Traeger smokers don’t come standard with our islands… And now you can see why.
But the good news is… The Coyote pellet grill is easy as pie to include in one of our designs!
And as we mentioned earlier… Coyote also offers a huge variety of other stunning, stainless steel appliances and accessories, allowing you to easily achieve a streamlined look in your outdoor kitchen.
Then, all that’s left for you to do is install… And we’ve already given you the lowdown on that.
So… Let’s recap.
You’ll make a one-time investment for a lifetime of smoking…
Your outdoor kitchen will come together quickly and easily…
And your pellet grill station will look flawless for years to come.
Is a Coyote pellet grill calling your name yet?
Getting Started On Your RTA Island
At this point, you’ve seen how a Traeger outdoor kitchen may fall short… And you’ve gotten a taste for a worthy alternative.
It goes without saying… You have a lot to mull over!
When you’re ready to get a complete outdoor grilling area with a high quality Coyote pellet smoker… We at RTA are ready to help you get started.
Check out our Learning Hub for more details… Test out our design tool… And give us a call. We’ll get the ball rolling from there.