Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro look quite similar, but they do come with different features. Traeger Lil Tex is the smallest and the most basic model in the series, whereas Traeger Lil Pro is the mid-level model with a few additional features. Find out whether you should choose the Elite or the Pro below!
Continue reading the discussion below to learn further about:
- How Traeger wood pellet grills work
- Which model that has a better build quality
- The available cooking space on each model
- The features of Traeger Lil Tex Elite and Traeger Lil Tex Pro
- The temperature accuracy of Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro
- Which Traeger grill that is generally more recommended
About Wood Pellet Grills
The Traeger company was the one who popularized wood pellet grills and smokers. They have produced at least 20 different models that take high-quality hardwood pellets to produce tasty barbecue. Although their products are mainly marketed as grills, these units are actually very versatile and able to roast, bake, and braise as well. The superior sturdy construction and the precise temperature controller on each unit ensure reliable, consistent cooking performance. See also: Cuisinart CGG 200 Vs Weber Q2200.
In a glance, wood pellets look like animal feed. They come in small forms, and are actually a by-product of the wood industry. Their small and dry bodies enable them to burn very efficiently, and they create both heat and smoke. Thus, you get a practical cooking method that is similar to smoking with hardwood, but without the log splitting.
On a Traeger grill, the wood pellets are kept in a small hopper. Then, a mechanical auger moves them little by little to the cooking chamber. Inside the cooking chamber, the wood pellets are ignited by a firepot with an electric heater to produce heat and smoke.
Typically, a Traeger grill like Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro requires a short period of time for the initial ignition – only about four minutes. During this initial ignition, the unit may consume up to 300 Watts of power. However, after that phase, the unit only consumes 50 Watts of power. So, the power consumption actually isn’t that much and probably won’t spike up your electricity bills dramatically.
Traeger Lil Tex Elite: Design and Features
Traeger Lil Tex Elite has a total cooking space of 418 square inches. It is the smallest model in the company’s line-up. Even so, it certainly already has enough space for a family cookout. It can easily accommodate 4 whole chickens, 16 hamburgers, or 24 hotdogs. It is an excellent choice for someone who wants more than a regular gas grill but without involving any extra work.
Just like most other models from the company, Traeger Lil Tex Elite comes with a rustic bronze lid and a metallic blue frame. It looks beautiful. The straight feet are equipped with wheels for easy portability. Unfortunately, these aren’t the all-terrain wheels like the ones on Traeger Lil Tex Pro, so they don’t move really well on soil and dirt.
Despite being the smallest model, Traeger Lil Tex Elite already has several cool features that will make a cook’s life easier. First, it has an automatic-start ignition system whose operation is as simple as pushing a button to turn the unit on or off. Second, it has a controlled feeding mechanism that will keep the wood pellets moving into the cooking chamber, so you won’t need to monitor the fuel level manually from time to time. Third, the digital temperature controller will allow you to keep the heat low for smoking, or high for searing.
Other features include the “shutdown cycle” which will activate the fan for 10 minutes before shutting the unit down to clean the firepot from ash and the porcelain-enameled steel cooking grates which are very robust. Traeger Lil Tex Elite is rated at 20,000 BTU, and runs on a standard 100V outlet.
Traeger Lil Tex Elite: In Use
Traeger has been in the industry for so many years, and it is clear at this point that their grills and smokers are some of the best choices in the market. Traeger Lil Tex Elite, in particular, will attract home cooks who want a simple, easy-to-operate unit with easy cleanup.
Traeger Lil Tex Elite has a “set it and forget it” approach to cooking. Once it is set, it will be ready for cooking for as long as you want. It cooks cleanly, thanks to the well-designed grease management system, and the fuel consumption is very efficient. The results are consistently good with tasty smoked flavors.
However, if we compare the performance of Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro, it should be noted that this less expensive model is inferior in terms of temperature accuracy. This model has a temperature range of 155 – 425 degrees Fahrenheit. When adjusting the temperature, you can expect the actual level in the cookbox to be higher or lower by 20 degrees. That’s not too bad. Traeger Lil Tex Pro offers increased accuracy, among other things.
Some people also say that, since the company is now manufacturing the low-end models in China, the build quality is not as good as before. Some users who purchased their units recently have complained about loose screws and wobbly lids.
Traeger Lil Tex Pro: Design and Features
Traeger Lil Tex Pro has been introduced as the upgraded version of Traeger Lil Tex Elite. With this new model, you no longer will find the company’s logo stamped on the lid. However, it still comes with the same bronze color on the lid and the metallic blue color on the frame.
In terms of size, Traeger Lil Tex Pro is the mid-level model in the company’s line of residential wood pellet grills. It has a total cooking space of 572 square inches that can easily accommodate 4 whole chickens, 5 racks of ribs, or 24 hamburgers. It is armed with an upgraded digital controller, but this is still an old-style notched dial control rather than something with buttons.
While Traeger Lil Tex Elite has straight feet, Traeger Lil Tex Pro comes with legs that are angled outwards in a saw-horse stance. According to the company, this design will allow Traeger Lil Tex Pro to be more stable. But, in real-life use, both the Elite and the Pro are perfectly stable. There is no noticeable difference in terms of stability.
Traeger Lil Tex Pro has retained many features of its sibling, such as the automatic-start ignition system, controlled feeding mechanism, shutdown cycle, and porcelain-enameled steel cooking grates. However, there are other additional features.
First of all, it has an additional upper cooking shelf which will allow you to heat or smoke more foods at once. This is extremely useful if you often cook for a lot of people. Secondly, it comes with dual meat probes that are connected to the digital temperature controller. They will allow you to monitor the cooking temperature more accurately.
Third, the unit is now equipped with a hopper cleanout door, which is handy when you want to change the type of wood pellet to use, or when you have finished cooking and want to make sure that the inside is clean. And fourth, the wheels on Traeger Lil Tex Pro are slightly different. They are described as “all-terrain wheels” that can move over unpaved terrain with ease.
Traeger Lil Tex Pro: In Use
As far as preparation and operation are concerned, Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro are similar. Traeger Lil Tex Pro is very easy to set-up, and you just need to press a button in order to turn it on. Then, the unit can keep the wood pellets flowing into the firepot by itself.
However, Traeger Lil Tex Pro is superior in terms of control and accuracy. You can see the current temperature from the digital display. Then, the company claims that the Advanced Grilling Logic (AGL) technology in the unit has enhanced the temperature accuracy of Traeger Lil Tex Pro to be within a 15-degree range. If you tend to be very careful with the doneness level of your meat, the enhanced temperature accuracy will be very beneficial.
Traeger Lil Tex Pro is perhaps too big if you are only cooking for two or three people most of the time. However, the extra cooking space has been proven to be handy when we need to cook for more people, such as when hosting a barbecue party with friends or relatives. You can save a lot of time by cooking a bunch of food at once.
Traeger Lil Tex Elite vs Lil Tex Pro
Between these two models, Traeger Lil Tex Pro is generally more recommended. It has more cooking space, so it can cook for multiple people easily. It is also superior in terms of temperature control and accuracy, thanks to the dual meat probes and the AGL technology. There are other additional features, such as the hopper cleanout door and the all-terrain wheels. Additionally, it has a better overall build quality.