Made exclusively for QVC, the Traeger Lone Star Elite has a different look and alternate features than Traeger's primary grills, giving the impression that it’s unlike any other model in their lineup. However, despite its QVC showcase and bundled packaging, the Lone Star is very much like other Traeger models, each of which have benefits that may make it a better grill choice for you. (Read our Pellet Grill FAQ)
What’s in a Name?
Over its thirty-year history, Traeger has made a lot of pellet grills that have gone by a multitude of names. At times that has created confusion about how one Traeger differs from another and why they sell for different prices. Usually, those differences are easily explained by size and type of controller.
However, there are other times when it’s not so clear, like with the Lone Star Elite, which, on the surface, appears to be unique. Yet a closer look reveals that, in terms of size and type of digital controller, the Lone Star Elite is a close cousin to the Traeger Junior Elite, Tailgater Elite and Bronson Elite.
The Lone Star Elite is Similar to Other Traeger Grills
When it comes to pellet grills, the most important features, and the ones that largely determine price, are grill construction, the size of the primary grill grate, and the digital controller. (Read 6 Tips for Buying a Pellet Grill). All Traeger Grills feature the same powder-coated steel construction. In terms of size, their grills typically fall into three families: the 20 Series, the 22 Series, and the 34 Series. The number indicates the width of the primary grate in inches. As for controllers, Traeger currently has two types, their Digital Elite Controller and the more advanced Pro Series Controller.
The Lone Star Elite is part of Traeger’s 20 Series and features a Digital Elite Controller, just like the Traeger Junior Elite, Tailgater, and Bronson. Its primary grate is longer (20x19" vs 20x15") than the other 20 Series models, but that little bit of extra space comes at a higher price. As with the Renegade Elite, Traeger's other infomercial grill, the Lone Star is bundled with accessories to create a more appealing package for the viewer. Here’s a breakdown of how the Lone Star compares to the other Traeger 20 Series grills and suggestions for creating your own customized bundle:
Traeger Lone Star Elite: $659 - As sold on QVC, the Lone Star package includes the grill, a 20x7” upper rack, a wire front shelf, a cover, and two bags of pellets. It's a very comprehensive package that offers a lot of what you'll need to get you started. The wire front shelf is the only qustionable inclusion, given that Traeger makes a solid metal folding front shelf that's sturdier.
Traeger Junior Elite - $429: With a primary grate of 20x15" the Junior has a little less cooking area than the Lone Star. It's also shorter (36” vs 49”) and doesn’t have an upper rack. However, it costs $230 less. With that money, you can buy 2 bags of pellets, a full-length grill cover, a solid metal folding front shelf, a Maverick ET 735 Bluetooth Thermometer for monitoring food temps from your phone or tablet, plus some premium BBQ rubs and sauces.
Traeger Tailgater - $449: Shorter than the Lone Star Elite, the Tailgater features a 20x15" grate. It also doesn’t come with an upper rack or hooks. However, its legs fold up for easy transport, making it perfect for cooking in the backyard or packing it up for camping and tailgating. You also save $210, enough to buy the Traeger power inverter, which allows you to connect your Tailgater to any car or standard 12v battery for on-the-go cooking, as well as a full-length grill cover, a solid metal folding front shelf, and 2 bags of pellets.
Traeger Bronson - $499: The Bronson is shorter than the Lone Star and has a 20x15" grate. It also lacks hooks and an upper rack. However, it does feature Traeger’s new sawhorse chassis for more support and better mobility. It also costs $160 less, money that can be used to buy 2 bags of pellets, a full-length grill cover, a folding front shelf and a Traeger Chrome Bottle Opener that can be mounted on the side of your Traeger. Or, you can just get the grill and put away that savings for a rainy day.
FireCraft Traeger Outlaw Package - $699: The same price as the Lone Star Elite, this bundle package is built around the Junior Elite and includes 2 bags of pellets, a grill scraper, Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth thermometer, full-length grill cover, and a folding front shelf.
As you can see, if you're looking at the Lone Star Elite, you have a few other options worth considering, some of which might be a better fit for your budget and grilling needs.
Upgrade to the Traeger Pro Series 22
If you’re considering the Lone Star Elite, you should check out the Traeger Pro Series 22, the brand's flagship model. Recently added to the Traeger lineup in 2016, the Pro Series features Traeger's most advanced controller, beefier construction, and upgraded features not found on any other Traeger. At $799, it costs a little more than the Lone Star, but it's also a bigger grill. Part of Traeger's 22 Series, it has a larger primary cooking grate and offers more total cooking space than the 20 Series Lone Star.
- 22x19” primary cooking grate, 418 square inches.
- Pro Series Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic that maintains +/-15F, the best temperature control of any Traeger.
- 2 integrated meat probes for monitoring food temperatures on the LCD display.
- Included upper rack expands your total cooking area to 572 square inches.
- Traeger's new sawhorse chassis for better stability.
- All terrain wheels and easy lift side bar for better mobility.
Exclusive Grills Help Grow Traeger Brand
Because there are similar Traeger Grills already available, people often ask why the Lone Star Elite even exists. In recent years, Traeger has created a few exclusive grills that are only sold through specific channels, including the Renegade Elite, the Century 22, and the Eastwood. While these grills often include a few extra features, they aren't all that different from other grills in Traeger's lineup. These exclusive versions have value to both Traeger and the outlets selling them—they provide the retailer with a Traeger Grill that’s not available anywhere else and provide Traeger, which is still introducing pellet grills to the masses, an influential platform like QVC, which has access to millions of potential customers.