Traeger Paint Is Flaking? (& Other Pellet Grills)

Ahh, the trusty and reliable Traeger. 

Truly a joy to… wait a minute… don’t tell me. Is that bubbly, flaking stuff actually the paint flaking off my Traeger?!

Yep. You hate to see it.

Here’s the main reasons your paint can flake or peel on your Traeger or other pellet grill and what you can do to fix it!

Traeger sit’s on the top of the tier list for a pellet grill for so many reasons. But, even if you think you’re using it properly it’s entirely possible for the paint to begin to flake, bubble, or peel.

In fact, this is much more common than you think and it’s certainly not the end of the world. It’s normal for Traeger grills or other pellet grills paint to flake over time.

This can be due to overheating, expose to moisture over time, rust and oxidation, physical damage, or even persistent cold weather.

If you’ve just noticed your Traeger paint has started to flake, bubble, or wear, don’t stress. It’s completely fine and you’ve even got a few options to fix it too.

However, if you’ve only owned your Traeger for a number of weeks and you’ve noticed some flaking paint, then it’s worth contacting Traeger directly in case your grill is actually faulty.

Paint Peeling Inside Pellet Grill - Is It OK?

Paint flaking or peeling on the outside of the grill is more of a cosmetic annoyance, but what about if paint is peeling from inside the grill itself? 

Surely you don’t want the paint to flake off and land on your meat during a smoking session right?

If you’ve noticed paint is peeling from inside your Traeger or other pellet grill it’s best to rid of the flaking paint, or sandpaper it down.

It’s not very likely that it will flake off and land on your food, but it’s best to take these precautionary measures just in case. 

Why Does Paint Flake In Pellet Grills?

Although it’s rather harmless in most cases, flaking paint on the outside or inside of pellet grills is still extremely annoying.

It’s not caused by one single thing either. There are actually plenty of reasons which cause flaking or bubbling paint, including:

Rust And Oxidation

Traeger grills and pellet grills aren’t indestructible. Since their quality made they will certainly resist rust, but they aren’t rust-proof.

Even if you store your grill and operate it careful it can still succumb to rust and oxidation through the moisture in the air. 

Unfortunately, over years of use, your Traeger can show signs of flaking, peeling, or bubbling paint.

You’ve Overheated Your Grill

Sure, if your Traeger says it can reach 500°F on the dial then it should be able to handle that temperature. 

But, if your Traeger’s running too hot for too long, it can cause damage to the paint.

This happens more commonly on older Traeger Grill models when the paint isn’t as fresh and has aged and worn down.

Moisture Underneath The Paint

Moisture doesn’t just mean rain. Humidity and generally wet conditions can also harm pellet grills in all sorts of ways.

Therefore it’s highly recommended to store your pellet grill properly.

It’s also critical to use your Traeger/pellet grill in a sheltered spot, so that if it rains the performance of the cook and the durability of the grill isn’t compromised. 

After all, rain can cause more issues than just flaking paint. It can seep into the hopper and absorb into the wood pellets too!

Cold Weather

As we know, metal expands in heat, and contracts when cold. Traeger and most other quality-made pellet grills are made with cast-iron which can normally. handle these heat fluctuations.

But, if your grill constantly goes from one extreme to the other, it’s possible that the rapid expansion and contraction of the metal can cause paint to loosen and begin to bubble or flake over time.

Faulty Grill

If you’ve only used your Traeger a handful of times and have already noticed clear flaking and peeling of the paint, then it’s entirely possible the grill you’ve got it actually faulty.

If you’re sure you’ve used the grill correctly and haven’t caused any damage to it yourself, give Traeger a call, explain the situation, and send some pictures of the flaking paint. 

Many people have reported getting replacement grills and admissions that they may have received a grill that’s not up to the standard.

How To Fix Flaking Paint On Traeger Grills

Alright so you’ve noticed your Traeger’s paint has started flaking, now what?

Well, you’ve got a few options, and really, it’s completely up to you and how much effort you want to put into fixing the flaking paint.

Let’s take a look at how to fix the problem.

Do Nothing

To start with it’s important to know that you don’t necessarily need to do anything. Especially if the paint is only flaking on the outside of the grill, it’s more a cosmetic issue rather than anything that will impact the performance of the grill.

If it’s not too severe and not impacting the performance, you don’t NEED to try fix it.

Repainting The Grill

If the flaking or peeling paint if really bothering you then you can choose to repaint the flaked-off areas.

You should start by doing a deep clean of the flaking area, scrubbing it with nylon scrubs or a sponge to gently remove any remaining paint.

Then, gently sandpaper down the edges of any remaining paint residue to give yourself a clear surface.

Now that’s the surface is paint-less and no longer flaking, you can carefully spray thin layers of heat-resistant paint over the unpainted area. Read the instructions on the paint as different brands can differ, but you’ll want to do at least a few layers.

Note: some paints are toxic, so it’s not recommended to re-paint the inside of the grill to avoid any potential contamination.

Seasoning Your Pellet Grill Protects The Paint

If you’ve been around the block you will have heard just how important it is to season your pellet grill or Traeger before you use it.

You see, when these grills come off the production line they don’t get tested first.

This means, before you use it, you should give it a “test-run”, which helps to set the paint and prime the auger and fans.

Seasoning your pellet grill definitely helps  prevent the paint from bubbling and flaking off, and keeps the overall durability of the unit.

Final Thoughts

Although Traeger grills are exceptionally reliable, they are not indestructible. 

Over time, their paint can get flaky or peel due to humidity, rust, oxidation, physical damage, or from consistent use.

The good news is, if the paint is flaking on the outside then it’s really just a cosmetic issue rather than a performance issue.

If your paint is flaking on the inside then it’s best to sandpaper it down to avoid any paint from landing on your food!

If your grill is still pretty new, then your grill paint shouldn’t flake easily. If it has, then you should contact Traeger to raise the issue in case your grill is faulty!

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