Traeger Bronson 20

Star Rating

★★☆☆ - There are a lot better wood pellet grills than the Traeger Bronson 20 but the incredible £399 price tag make this little grill impossible to ignore.

Traeger Bronson 20

Summary

I found the Traeger Bronson 20 to be a perfectly competent wood fired pellet grill for basic grilling and smoking however I found it's features to be lacking once I asked it to stretch its legs.

Value for money however you'll have to search far and wide to find a better introduction to wood pellet grilling.

Like most Traegers it's effectively an outdoor oven rather than a grill. Results are succulent but lack that overall char-grilled flavour that makes barbecue unique and with the low power output of this unit, don't even think about searing a steak or baking a pizza.

Clearly this product has been targeted to open up the entry level to wood pellet grilling and if it's your first pellet grill then it'll no doubt be on your short list. It'll deliver great results time in, time out but be prepared to grow out of it as your menu repertoire expands and your enthusiasm for BBQ develops.

Assembly

The Traeger Bronson 20 is quite a small wood pellet grill so a single person can put it together.

The trick is to roll the grill onto its side and secure the legs in position. Next you just need to slide the Auger into the food chamber and secure the control box / pellet hopper into position. Finally insert the sloping baffle plate and porcelain enamelled grill grate and you're ready to cook.

It took me 20 minutes to fix the stand so 30 minutes start to finish is about the time you'll need. After that all you need do is run it for 45 minutes to season and you're ready to cook.

What I really found alarming was the first page of the instruction manual...

Traeger instruction manual full of warnings and danger

Every paragraph starts that emboldened "WARNING", "DANGER" or "CAUTION" to the extent that I started to wonder whether it was a good idea to plug this into the outside mains socket.

Build Quality

Well it's OK... but that's it. The wheels are just hard plastic so they don't look great and the wide diameter tubes of the undercarriage legs give structural stability from thin metal. Functionally speaking the food chamber is single skin so heat retention is going to be lacking at lower ambient temperatures.

Features

The Traeger Bronson 20 follows the same mechanical process as pretty much every other pellet grill on the market (the exceptions being the Grillson and Memphis Grills) and this is best described in the image below:

The mechanics of a traditional wood pellet grill

It's tried and tested, so it works but still suffers from 2 main issues:

  1. A hot spot forms directly above the fire pot no matter how much the fan and baffle plate work to disperse the heat
  2. Occasionally pellets can jam the auger

Close inspection under the baffle plate revealed a short arm to the auger meaning that the fire pot is located to the left of centre as you look at the grill.

The shorter the auger arm, the lower the production cost so I can understand why it has been done but I was a little concerned that it could result in a cold area of the oven over on the right side.

For sure there is a hot spot around the fire pot and the peripheral areas were cooler but there didn't appear to be any major difference between the temperature to the extreme left of right.

I've already mentioned that the price of this pellet grill is extremely attractive but the flip side to this is that the control unit and fire pot is underpowered. Couple this with the single skin shell and this is very much a "Summer only" cooker in my view.

The Traeger Bronson 20 has the capability to fit 2 meat probesThe Traeger Bronson 20 has the capability to fit 2 meat probes

You can crank it up to 210°C (410°F) which is fine for "oven cooking" most meat and roasting veggies. Temperature regulation was stable so the set and forget benefit electrical control makes the Traeger Bronson 20 thoroughly capable of low and slow cooking.

Fuel economy for low and slow was seriously impressive with a consumption of just over ½kg (1lb) of pellets per cook but as soon as you crank up the temperature this baby eats pellets.

After the cookout, cool down is regulated by a 10 minute "fan only" program that ensures complete combustion of any already ignited wood pellets.

Specification

The basic features are what you'd expect of a wood pellet grill and are therefore not really remarkable:

  • Dual temperature probes
  • Digital elite controller
  • 4.5kg (10 lb) Pellet hopper capacity
  • Porcelain enamel grill grate 508mm x 381mm (20" x 15")
  • Sloping stainless steel baffle plate
  • Fat catching pot to the side
  • Wheelbarrow style undercarriage
  • Weight: 35kg
  • Metric dimensions: 965mm H x 559mm W x 889mm D
  • Imperial dimensions: 38"H x 22"W x 35"D
The Traeger Bronson 20 features a sloping solid baffle plate with a porcelain enamelled grill grateThe Traeger Bronson 20 features a sloping solid baffle plate with a porcelain enamelled grill grate

Verdict

To the expert eye the Traeger Bronson 20 is an unremarkable wood fired pellet grill. If however it's your first foray into wood pellet grilling and you're looking for a low cost entry then the £399 price tag (down from £549) is going to be really hard to beat.

The price makes it an easy decision to include this Traeger in my top 3 best BBQ grills and smokers 2018... just plan to get hooked on wood pellet fired grills and budget to trade up to a Leif Grillson within a couple of years.

Where To Buy A Traeger Bronson 20

The unit we reviewed was kindly made available to us by BBQ Barn in London.

International visitors please use this button:

Traeger Bronson 20 Cheap Deals

Buy through this Amazon button and you help pay it forward by contributing to the continued development of this website... and it doesn't cost you a cent!

See Also:-

Best BBQ Grills And Smokers 2017
Ceramic Kamado Grills
Wood Pellet Smokers
Grill Reviews
Meat Smokers

Return Home from Traeger Bronson 20 2018 Review

New! 2018 Buyers Guide



Get "Que Tips", our free newsletter.

* indicates required

PayPal Logo

Smokers

Offset American Smoker Manufacturing

Reverse Flow Smokers


Custom Built Trailer Smokers

Commercial Smokers


Charcoal Grills

Build A Brick BBQ Grill

Stainless Steel Inserts For a Brick BBQ Grill


Stainless Steel Charcoal Grills

Adjustable Height Charcoal Grills


Charcoal Barbecue Grills

Cook 'N' Serve Range


Custom Made Charcoal Grills

Custom Built To Your Specification


Replacement Stainless Steel Cooking Grates

Replacement Stainless Steel Cooking Grates


BBQ Hire

Hire A Smoker For The Weekend

Daily, Weekend Or
Long Term Hire


BBQ Catering

Outdoor BBQ Catering UK

Outdoor BBQ Catering UK Wide


Please Help
Keep This Site Free!

Many Amazon merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click this link and purchase from them...

bit.ly/BBQSmokerRecipes

It makes no difference to the price you pay but it really helps me continue improving this website. If you like what I'm doing then save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon. For whatever you purchase through this link (it doesn't have to be barbecue) I heartily thank you in advance.