The Traeger Pro Series 575 and 780 pellet grills are serious upgrades to previous generations of Traeger grills.
If you are thinking about buying one then let me walk you through the features on the grill, what is different compared to previous generations and what is missing that you would get on an upgraded model such as the Ironside. We can also look at the real world user reviews for these grills.
What Is New About the 575 and 780 Grills?
The Pro Series 575 and 780 function like a standard Traeger pellet grill but come equipped with a seriously upgraded D2 drivetrain and WiFire controller. The new controller/motor combination are the same ones that are included in the premium Ironwood and Timberline grills.
Please pardon my reflected fingers 🙂
The new controller brings a pile of upgrades to the party. Here is a snapshot of what you get:
Okay, so if you strip out the marketing hype and jargon what does all of this mean? The Big Deal is that the motor for the auger is a powered by Direct Current (DC) electricity instead of Alternating Current (AC) which powered previous models.
Because the current in AC, by definition, alternates back and forth it is hard to precisely control. AC current gets your controls into the right ballpark. DC power has a constant current which makes it easy to fine tune equipment. Put another way, your dishwasher runs on AC power but your computer runs on DC power.
By combining a DC powered motor with an advanced electronic controller you are able to precisely control the temperature in these grills to within 5 degrees F. This is a significant improvement over the +/- 15 degrees offered by the standard controller. This combination is also what enables the TurboTemp function which allows the grill to get hotter faster and recover quicker from heat loss after the lid is opened.
Another benefit of the new controller and motor is that the control closely monitors the amp usage. If the controller measures an unusual spike in amperage it assumes that the auger is jammed and will run it in reverse for a minute to fix the issue and then start feeding the pellets forward again.
The controller is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled by your smartphone after the Traeger app is installed. The integrated meat probe can be utilized as part of the “Wi-Fire” app. You can set a target internal meat temperature and, once that temperature is reached, the grill will cool down to a warming mode so your food stays hot but will not overcook. That is a nice feature!
Another nice upgrade is that the 575 and 780 come with a magnetic pellet hopper clean out door.
These grills come with Traeger’s standard three year warranty.
Differences Between the 575 and 780
Here are the specifications for the two grills that we can use to discuss some key differences.
|Pro 575||Pro 780|
|Primary Grate||418 sq in||570 sq in|
|Secondary Grate||154 sq in||210 sq in|
|Rib Capacity||5 slabs||6 slabs|
|Dimensions (in)||41 W x 53 H x 27 D||49 W x 55 H x 27 D|
|Hopper Size||18 lbs||18 lbs|
The primary difference between these two grills is size with the 780 having 36% more cooking area than the 580. While 36% more cooking area sounds like a significant difference it doesn’t actually get you very much as, according to Traeger, you can fit 5 slabs of ribs on the 575 and 6 slabs on the 780. One extra slab of ribs is not much to get excited about.
Another subtle difference between these grills is that you should expect the 780 to have a slightly greater pellet usage rate than the 575. The 780 has more metal to heat and the larger volume means more air escapes and has to be reheated every time the grill is opened.
One place where these grills are frustratingly similar is the pellet hopper. Traeger sells wood pellets in 20 pound bags but the hopper on both of these grills only holds 18 pounds of pellets. Why in the world do they make a hopper that will not hold a full bag of pellets?
If I were choosing between the 575 and the 780 then I would buy the 575. I am not going to spend an extra $200 for the ability to smoke one extra slab of ribs.
I pulled all of the reviews for the Pro 585 and 780 from Traeger’s website as well as those posted for Home Depot and Ace Hardware. I ended up with 1178 reviews for the 585 model and 1077 reviews for the 780 model. Here is what the data looks like.
The data for the two grills is nearly identical with both receiving 81% 5 Star reviews. In general people who bought these grills were extremely happy with the purchase.
|Pro 575||Pro 780|
Where is the Smoke Setting on the 780 and 575?
As incredible as it might seem, neither the 575 or 780 have a Smoke setting.
If you want a Smoke setting then you either need to downgrade to a Generation 1 Pro Series (Pro 22 or Pro 34), upgrade to the Ironwood series or buy a different brand.
From what I have been reading on the forums (Reddit, BBQ Brethren) he best way to get smoke with the 780 is to run it between 165-180F for a few hours as smoke production above 180 is very limited. You can also fill a smoke tube up with some pellets and let them smolder while you cook.
Generation 1 Pro Series
The Generation 1 Pro Series are the older style grill with a dial in temperature control gauge. These grills (Traeger Pro 22 and Traeger Pro 34) typically cost $150-$200 less that the newer style grill.
The body of the Pro 575 has the same construction as the traditional Traegers with single wall body, chimney vent and enameled rod cooking grates. The extra cooking capacity of the 575 and 780 over their traditional counterparts is due to the addition of a secondary elevated cooking grate.
You can have a healthy debate about which one of these grills has the better controller/motor combo. The motor on the Generation 1 grill is AC powered and the temperature control is less precise than the new grills. The lower precision of the older grills gives them the potential to produce more smoke flavor than the grill with the upgraded controller. Additionally, the older grills have a Smoke setting on the standard control panel.
Traeger realized that the new motor and controller would potentially produce less smoke flavor so they added two features to the premium Ironwood and Timberline grills.
- Super Smoke Mode
- Rear Mounted Smoke Vents
The Super Smoke Mode is a setting that can be activated when the grill is between 165-225F and increases the amount of smoke flavor coming from the pellets.
The rear mounted smoke vents on the Ironwood force the smoke to come down and around the meat before leaving the grill. This is in contrast the the top mounted smoke stack on the Pro Series that lets the smoke go up and out.
You can see the full slate of differences in the post: Traeger Pro vs Ironwood vs Timberline.
If you are a Costco member then you have access to a third series of Traeger grills, the Silverton. The Silverton has all of the features you get with the Pro 575 and costs a lot less. Here is my overview of the Traeger Silverton 620 at Costco.
Other Grills to Consider
The Ironwood grills cost over $1,000 and I don’t think these Traegers are worth the money but there are plenty of dedicated fans who would disagree with me.
If you are interested in checking out some other brands of pellet grills then this article has a nice discussion of Traeger alternatives.
I have been cooking on Z grills for a while and really enjoy them. They do not have high tech controllers and WiFi but that is fine with me.
I also have a Rec Tec grill that is not as fancy as a Traeger but still has plenty of upgrades and looks amazing.