When it comes to trusted brands for pellet grills, Trager is one of the best options that you can have. You can have plenty of options that are suitable and cater to different needs. Here, for the best portable pellet grill, I am reviewing Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill Review. So, let’s get started from scratch.

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Pellet Grill

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable

Trager Grills Tailgater Portable Pellet Grill Smoker Specification

  • Dimensions: 37 x 18 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 60 lbs.
  • Power source: Wood pellets and electricity
  • Material: Alloy steel (outer) and Stainless Steel (inner)
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 450 degrees
  • Cooking surface: 300 sq. in.
  • Hopper Capacity: 8 lbs.
  • Warmer settings: 165 degrees F

What did we like about Trager Tailgater?

  • Impressive cooking surface of 300 sq. in.
  • Rust-resistant due to porcelain-coating
  • Serves a large tailgate easily
  • Multi-functioning, offers searing, grilling, etc.
  • It is portable, being bulkier in design
  • Folds easily to become compact for easy storing
  • Has a great hopper capacity of 8 lbs.
  • Comes with a built-in timer and a meat probe
  • Cleaning is easy and simple. The drip tray carries the grease and fat

What did we dislike about Trager Tailgater?

  • A little expensive, but worth the money
  • Lacks smart features like Wireless connectivity
  • Legs folding for this grill is tricky
  • Initial ignition is a little challenging

About Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill 

Tailgater is a popular series of Traeger pellet grills that is convenient, portable, and, most significantly, ensures safety.

Let’s dig in deep for the product review. Remember that whenever you start grilling with this for the first time, go through the manuals thoroughly. 

1.    Assembling and Design

Traeger always gives priority to convenience in style. Hence, their aim is to create a portable and ease of use. This grill comes unassembled, and you can set it up alone easily with minimal effort.

However, you have to ensure that the legs and the hood are appropriately attached. It will probably take 30 to 40 minutes to install with the help of the user’s manual that comes along.

Speaking of its design, it possesses foldable legs that make it compact. The construction involves sturdy materials, including stainless steel and alloy steel, for durability inside out.

traeger tailgater 20 pellet grill

2.    Grilling Space and Cooking Features

This portable pellet grill and smoker has an excellent cooking space with 300 sq. in. that can cook three racks of ribs, 12 burgers, and two whole chickens quickly.

Traeger tailgater 20 is a multifunctional pellet grill and smoker. It is versatile and allows you to roast, braise, bake, smoke, grill, BBQ, etc. You can also smoke your brisket at low and slow temperatures for perfect savory, juicy inside and crispy outside.

However, to add more flavor, you can use flavored wood pellets to make the food mouth-watering. 

3.    Temperature

The Traeger tailgater allows precision in temperature control with the digital arc controllers with plus and minus signs. It offers a wide temperature range from 180 degrees F to 450 degrees F.

It reaches the desired temperature quickly. However, it may take a little while to heat up properly in winter, so I suggest preheating the grill before you begin grilling.

4.    Controllers

It is an easy to use grill with simple controllers. However, the thing that I find annoying is that it does not have any writing on the panel, which is confusing, so you have to learn the functions through the manual.

5.    Performance

Performance-wise, this grill will never fail you; however, it would be challenging for the grill to maintain a low temperature below 250 degrees F.

This one is good at retaining temperature with consistency and uniformity in every corner of the grill. To reach a high temperature in a maximum of 3 to 4 minutes and even faster if the grill is pre-heated.

However, when it was tested, I observed that the right side was even hotter than the rest of the area, so it is better to place the food in the center for indirect heat, which is recommended for indirect grilling.

6.    Cleaning Process

To clean this grill, you have the option to remove the grill grate, grease drip tray, and heat baffle. Here is a tip that is lifesaving: place an aluminum foil on the drip tray that you can throw away later. Furthermore, you can use the regular cleaning method; however, in case you are washing it in the dishwasher, be sure that the grill offers this feature.

Since it is a pellet grill, when done cooking, for safety, it is recommended to remove the heat baffle so that the used pellets and the ash are vacuumed out from the grill.

Usually, the maximum cleaning time for this grill is not more than 30 minutes, including vacuuming the firepit.

7.    Portability

Portability is the key feature that Trager never overlooked. They always ensure their grills are easy to move, even if they are designed heavily. This tailgater 20 has foldable legs that allow you to store them in tight places. The two wheels make it maneuverable and compact enough so you can put it in the truck.

However, I fold it a little tricking when folding the grill.

8.    Versatility and Special Features

Traeger pellet grill is versatile, with many additional features for making the grilling more convenient even when traveling. However, it lacks WIFI technology compared to some other modern grills. The easy to read LCD is a plus point. The smart temperature sensor and a keep warm mode will retain the warmth, and food will stay hot for as long as you want.  

How to clean Traeger Tailgater 20?

Traeger Tailgater 20 is easy to clean because of the porcelain coating and the drip tray. In order to make it even easier, it is recommended to place aluminum foil on the drip tray, which you can remove later and throw away.

To clean the grates, heat the grill at its highest temperature and scrape the remaining off with the help of foil or the grill brush. For the ash collector, you need to check and empty it when it is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions | Trager Tailgater

1.    Can I use Traeger tailgater in cold weather?

Yes, a Traeger tailgater is an excellent option to be used in cold weather. However, whenever you are using it in winter, ensure to pre-heat the smoker for at least 20 minutes before you begin with your grilling recipe.

2.    How hot does the Trager tailgater get?

The maximum temperature that this grill can reach is around 450 degrees F, 232.22 degrees Celsius. 

Bottom Line

Traeger tailgate is suitable for people who are going camping or want a portable and small grill. It is an ideal alternative for a gas grill that can fit in tight spaces. However, when I tested it, I found a little fluctuation and inconsistency at a low temperature below 250 degrees F.

For more informative content related to your favorite grills, continue reading 4seasonsgrill.com


Hi, this is Ammy, the Happy Griller. I am a self-taught grilling enthusiast who now wants to share her experiences with the readers for better results.

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