It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, you’ve just put on your favorite meat on the Traeger, and everything is going accordingly to plan.
Wait a second… Now that you look closer it appears smoke is leaking out from underneath the lid of the Traeger and it’s not sitting tightly shut!
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s quite a common complaint and luckily a relatively easy fix.
Here’s whether it’s normal for a Traeger’s lid not to close all the way, the easiest way to fix it, and why it’s so important for the sake of your barbecue!
It’s a pitmaster’s dream to see clean white smoke coming from the chimney of their smoker. But, it’s a pitmaster’s nightmare to see smoke coming out from anywhere else on the smoker!
When it comes to every model of Traeger grills, it is NOT normal for smoke to come out of under the lid or anywhere else except for the chimney for that matter.
In saying that, one of the most common places of smoke leakage is caused by a lid that doesn’t shut properly, leaving a gap between the lid and the barrel of the smoker.
How To Fix Traeger Lid Not Closing All the Way
If you’ve just discovered your Traeger lid isn’t closing all the way, it’s pretty important to fix it as soon as practical (once it’s turned off and cooled down!).
After all, you don’t want any smoke leakage or loss of heat over the cook.
Luckily, in most instances, it’s an easy fix.
Here’s how to fix a Traeger lid that doesn’t close all the way!
Hands down the most common reason that causes a Traeger’s lid to not close is due to the screws on the hinges being fastened too tightly. Yes, you heard me, too tightly!
This fastened tension prevents the lid from reaching its full range of motion, leaving a little gap between the lid and the barrel.
All you need to do is get a regular-sized screwdriver and loosen both screws attached to each hinge on either side of the top of the lid.
Don’t completely unscrew it, but one or two turns on every screw can lower the lid far enough to close the gap.
Funnily enough, this doesn’t just happen for those newly unboxed Traegers. The hinges can loosen or tighten over time from contracting and expanding during slight temperature and climate changes.
Use Gasket Tape
If it’s not your screws that’s causing the problem, it may be a misalignment or a bending of the actual lid.
Assuming your Traeger didn’t come like this (otherwise, I would be speaking to them to get a replacement first!) another easy fix is to simple apply gasket tape to the inside of the lid, enough to close any gap when the lid is closed.
This doesn’t impact the cook and will completely prevent and smoke or heat leakage.
Get Replacement Lid
The only real reason your Traeger’s lid would be so out of whack that it can’t be fixed by loosening the screws or with gasket tape is if it’s well and truly damaged or worn.
In this case, you shouldn’t really be opposed to getting a replacement lid. As to be fair, it probably needs it!
Luckily Traeger does stock replacement parts for most of their current and historic models, so you needn’t look far.
Why It’s Important For The Lid To Close Properly
You may be thinking “So what? The gap is so small, it should be fine, right?”
If you’ve got a lid that won’t fully close, you’ll be losing a lot of heat during the cook. This will inevitably make your Traeger burn more pellets to maintain the target temperature.
Along with the loss of heat, you’ll inevitably lose out on some smokiness too! Instead of having the smoke circulate around the barrel’s cylindrical shape and out through the chimney, it will circulate around and right out of the gap!
Alright, so it might not be THIS dramatic, but if the lid doesn’t close properly it’s a certainty that you’ll lose at least some smoke.
Quick Wrap Up
To be quite frank, I couldn’t be happier with Traeger grills.
In my case, I was able to easily fix the lid by loosening the screws atop my Traeger.
In saying that, I’ve had hands-on experience using gasket tape to help seal my electric smoker, and it works the same way filling the gap for your Traeger lid too!
Don’t ignore the problem, even if it seems like your Traeger is still working fine, it’s undoubtedly working harder to maintain your target temperature, and you’ll be sure to lose out on some smoke.
Given most of the time it’s such a simple fix, it’s always better to address it!