In addition to its WiFi-connected pellet grills, Traeger offers a range of gear and supplies to help you complete your grilling sessions. From tools to tray liners, plus a range of rubs and sauces, the company will sell you everything you need for its grills to smoke a brisket or cook a few dozen wings. Now the company is expanding further to give you literally everything you might need for a full meal, with all of the dishes cooked directly from on its grills. Trager Provisions is a HelloFresh-like meal kit that includes the meat, sides, rubs, sauces and more needed for a complete backyard feast that will feed crowds small and large.
At launch, the meat options are Wagyu beef brisket, Poulet Rouge chicken and Berkshire St. Louis pork ribs. Traeger says portion sizes for all three will accommodate 4-8 people, depending on the protein. For the brisket, the company also offers an option for 14-16 people (half brisket vs. whole brisket). With the smaller packages, you get the choice of two sides and four come with the big brisket feast. Right now, the options include three-cheese mac and cheese, bourbon baked beans with bacon, collard greens with bacon and cornbread with spiced brown sugar. All of the side dishes come in “Traeger-ready” foil pans, so they’re good to go on the grill quickly. Prices range from $150 to $180 for the smaller packages, while the larger whole brisket box is $250. Shipping is an additional $10.
Traeger is also preparing three holiday options for Thanksgiving. These Provisions boxes are more expensive at $220-$250, but the Heritage black turkey, naked turkey breast and rolled and trussed porchetta options will feed 8-10 people according to Traeger. They come with three side dishes instead of two and there are seasonal options like green bean casserole or apricot and bacon stuffing. The two turkey packages can also be upsized for 18-20 people for another $100.
As you might expect, all of this ships frozen and packed with dry ice. To start, Traeger is shipping the boxes to Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah. Since the meat and sides will be solid when they arrive, you’ll need to add a few days into your meal planning timeline, and the company offers detailed guidance on how to do exactly that as part of its cooking directions.
In addition to advice on the thawing process, Traeger includes all of the steps to prep the meat for the grill. That includes any trimming or seasoning that needs to be completed beforehand. The printed directions also guide you through the entire cook, with details on when to wrap (if necessary) and when to put the sides on the grill. It’s basically a paper-based version of Traeger’s app that offers step-by-step instructions with tons of recipes. If you need additional help, the directions have QR codes for videos and more info on tricky steps like trimming a brisket. There’s also guidance for how to prepare and cook the sides, including cooking bacon to mix in or topping a dish with bread crumbs before putting it on the grill. Lastly, supplies like rubs, sauces, pickled veggies, “pitmaster snacks,” gloves and butcher paper are all included. You literally just have to provide the grill and a bag of pellets.
I tested out Traeger Provisions with a Wagyu beef brisket Smokehouse Box. I selected the smaller size for 7-8 people, which included a six-pound Brisket, three-cheese mac and cheese, bourbon baked beans with bacon and all of the aforementioned accoutrements. Even though I have experience with barbecue and Traeger’s recipes for its grills, I followed the Provisions directions closely, and the guidance was clear and easy for cooking on the Ironwood 650. I only deviated in an attempt to brown the breadcrumbs on the mac in the oven and popped the beans in there to keep them warm. Cooking steps helped with timing too, which can be difficult when you’re trying to have meat and sides all ready at the same time.
Obviously, the brisket was the star of the show. Mine was slightly dry as I have a tendency to over trim the extra fat, but that’s a me problem and not an issue with Traeger’s culinary tips. Still, the Wagyu beef was perfectly marbled so the fatty cuts were more forgiving to my butchering mistakes. Those remained quite moist and very tasty. Consensus among my family was that the mac and cheese was also a winner, with the herby, garlicky thick sauce serving as a great complement to the brisket. The baked beans we didn’t care for, but that’s likely because they were more what I’d call “barbeque beans” with a thinner sauce than the thick, molasses-tinged dish we’re used to in the Carolinas. I also enjoyed the “pitmaster snacks,” which included a smoked nut mix and smoked beef jerky.
The directions helped me time everything perfectly so we weren’t waiting on one thing to finish while the rest got cold. I think the portions are also accurately calculated. Eight servings would’ve been stretching it, but I could have easily gotten six or seven out of the half brisket box. The ribs option also seems okay in terms of portions, but the Poulet Rouge chicken might not. Four half chickens for 6-8 people seems like a stretch unless these are massively huge birds.
So, who are these boxes for? Most backyard cooks with some experience will likely have their go-to butcher or grocery store for proteins. They probably also have tricks for easy sides so they can focus on the meats. At $150, you’re definitely paying for convenience, in addition to high-quality beef, pork or poultry.
The ability to have everything you need in one box with detailed directions on how to prepare it can take some of the stress out of party planning. There is some lead time required though, so you can’t grab one of these on Tuesday for a cookout on Saturday. At the end of the day though, I don’t think that price is astronomical based on what Traeger is offering. Is it something you’ll do a lot? No. Will it come in handy in certain circumstances? Absolutely. I can see plenty of people being interested in having most of their Thanksgiving meal planning done with a few clicks.
I can also see Traeger Provisions serving as a great gift for new grill owners. Sure, it’s a considerable amount to spend on someone, but it would definitely help a novice get their feet wet with some step-by-step oversight. Plus, they might not have all the supplies they need yet — little things like butcher paper and gloves, for example.
Traeger is now taking orders for its Provisions boxes that will be delivered between November 10th and 14th. If you’re considering one of those Thanksgiving packages, you’ll need to order by November 14th to get it in time. Just remember: Traeger Provisions is only delivering to select states at this time.
[original story: Engadget]