Traeger TFB38TOD Review: Versatile Premium-Grade Smoker

Traeger TFB38TOD Review

Photo: Traeger

What We Like

  • Versatile multi-function grill
  • Intelligent temperature control
  • Precision grilling
  • Easy to start and clean
  • Durable steel construction
  • Fairly portable

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy at 109 pounds
  • No grill cover included

Bottom Line

An intelligent temperature control system, the heavy-duty chopper, and a powerful construction enable the Traeger TFB38TOD home smoker to offer commercial-grade performance.


Running on Traeger’s Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic (AGL), the TFB38TOD easily becomes one of the most advanced and reliable smokers the brand has ever produced.

If you’re a grilling enthusiast, this smoker will transform this experience with its intelligent features that optimize temperature distribution to make the multi-function grill the ultimate smoking, braising, BBQ, baking, roasting, and grilling companion.

Traeger TFB38TOD Review

Traeger TFB38TOD

Photo: Traeger

Performance: Versatile Multi-Function Grill

It’s not common to find the cooking versatility offered by the TFB38TOD, in one smoker. With this 6-in-1 smoker, you can accomplish a decent range of cooking styles, including grilling, smoking, BBQ, baking, braising, and roasting. It is the ultimate grilling companion for every family.

And regardless of whatever cooking style you choose, the high-performance pellet grill delivers with the same consistency. Because of the decent 380-square-inch cooking space the smoker offers, you can grill up to 3 whole chicken, or 3 rib racks, or 16 burgers, all at once. This is family-to-party meal capacity right there.

The ignition system on this smoker is electronic and automatic. Starting the smoker is very easy and reliable, not to mention it adds up to the efficiency of fuel consumption.

Even though you are getting a 100-pound unit, it has some design enhancements that make it fairly portable, although not over long distances. The smoker comes fitted with 2 all-terrain wheels, which provide firm rolling support of the unit over dirt, rocks, pavers, and other surfaces.

Design: Sturdy and Premium

The TFB38TOD was designed with stability and durability in mind. Overall, this smoker’s body adopts a professional-style look, which is complemented excellently by Traeger’s choice of sawhorse chassis to provide the entire unit with superior stability. The manufacturer compares the performance of this upgraded chassis to that of a linebacker, and there’s no dispute there.

For the material build, the smoker features strong steel construction, which is meant to provide the ruggedness and durability required for a lifetime of grilling. This is one of those grills you buy with the confidence of never having to replace. And to make the smoker’s body even more durable, a powder coat finish has been applied.

There is a new side-shift bar fitted to the unit and it doesn’t just improve the unit’s handling experience, but it goes a step further to enhance even weight distribution across the entire smoker so that none of its components becomes overwhelmed, and neither does the tool damage any surface it is placed on.

Installation & Assembly: Detailed but Hassle-free

When it comes to assembling the unit, it’s important to follow the installation guide/manual the comes with the smoker so that this process does not present any challenges or damage any vital components.

Now, bear in mind that this smoker is by no means light. It weighs about 109 pounds, making the unit significantly heavy. That said, assembly is a relatively painless exercise. You will receive the smoker with a decent number of hardware components, but they are carefully labeled to guide you well.

The most efficient way to get this process done fast and easy is to assemble the unit upside down. Simply cut away the box assembly that enclosed the unit, and then use the packaging material as an assembly surface to avoid exposing the smoker’s components to any harsh abrasions.

If you follow the instructions right, it only takes attaching the legs and cross panels, then the handle and smokestack, and ensuring you get the wiring right, and that should be it. Your smoker is ready for use.

Smoking Setup

TFB38TOD’s smoking setup is quite elaborate and highly efficient. First, this smoker model uses real wood pellets, and when it comes to the actual smoking process, it implements an air convection system.

Its 4-inch convention fan sends air to the burning pellets, allowing them to burn at superior heat and efficiency. The heat is circulated evenly around the food, combined with smoke-filled air. It has a decent 18-pound hopper capacity, which is more than enough to sustain an intensive grilling day.

The air induction system’s design is such that the grill is constantly “sealed” underneath, a setup that allows usage of the unit even in windy or cold conditions. It will grill, smoke, bake, or roast with the same heating efficiency.

Porcelain grates complete the smoking setup by offering a surface where you can place your food. Then there’s the efficient grease management system that combines a tray, and a bucket. The tray will direct grease out of the grill and into a bucket. This system also helps prevent flare-ups that could ruin your food.

Heating: Superior Temperature Control

Heating and temperature control are the areas where your smoker really shines. For temperature management, the smoker adopts intelligent and advanced technology to make this process efficient, because it directly impacts the outcome of all the foods you cook on this unit.

The grill rocks Traeger’s highly-praised Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic (AGL). The AGL optimizes the heating process by delivering precise and consistent temperature to the cooking process and ingredients.

Whether you’re running a 160℉ s smoking, or 450℉ searing the AGL’s resistance temperature detector (RTD) probe takes 60 temperature readings per minute to support superior heating consistency. The Pro Controller makes using the grill pure bliss because you don’t need to babysit the smoker. Simply set the desired grill temperature and let the controller do all the work.

The controller function is further supplemented by 2 meat probes, which have been included to monitor the internal temperature as the food cooks. Not only do these probes simplify temperature monitoring, but they also ensure the meat is getting heat at a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

Cleaning: Simplified for Effectiveness

Because the TFB38TOD is a fairly sophisticated smoker, it is essential that you clean and maintains it regularly to ensure it continues to offer efficient and reliable grilling performance for a long time. And this model does make a decent attempt at simplifying the process.

It grills grates are made of porcelain, which is both food-safe and easy to clean. But when it comes to the actual cleaning process, it pays to have the right tools for the job. It is recommended that you clean your grill every 3-5 cooks or more often if you cook high-fat foods.

To ensure you don’t scrub the grates and other surfaces too aggressively, it’s best to grill brushes specifically designed for this purpose. Also, a high-quality grill cleaner spray should come in handy when removing those notorious greases and oil common in most smokers.

A bonus cleaning tip; you can use foil drip liners on your drip tray and grease bucket to minimize grease attachment and simplify the cleaning process.

Price: Premium, but Worth It

It’s evident that the TFB38TOD is not a budget smoker, but the value you get from this grade is commercial-grade, which means you get to enjoy a premium experience at the comfort of your home.

Not many consumer smokers offer the grilling precision or advanced temperature control system that this model implements. The build quality of this smoker ensures you never have to replace this smoker and it will continue to make family grills for many years to come.

It’s a little disappointing that the smoker does not come with a cover, but it’s a small inconvenience for the immense value you get.


A commercial-grade smoker with intelligent temperature regulation for precision grilling of family-sized BBQ, roasting, and roasting.

With the TFB38TOD’s Digital Pro Controller and AGL, the cooking performance is significantly optimized and you can depend on the smoker to excel in at a variety of grilling styles.


  • Product Name: Traeger TFB38TOD
  • Product Brand: Traeger
  • Product Dimensions (Lid Closed): 50 x 39 x 27 inches
  • Total Cooking Area: 380 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
  • Fuel Type: Hardwood pellets
  • Maximum Temperature: 450℉
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Product Weight: 109 pounds

Key Features

  • Versatile 6-in-1 grilling, baking, roasting, smoking, and BBQ unit
  • Digital Pro Controller with AGL for superior temperature regulation
  • Dual meat temperature probes for internal temperature monitoring
  • Strong and durable powder-coated steel construction
  • A strong sawhorse chaise for even weight distribution
  • Superior 18-pound hopper capacity
  • 2 all-terrain wheels for simplified multi-surface mobility