Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill Review

If you’re looking for a durable, portable, and efficient wood-fired grill, Traeger’s TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill is one of your best options. Designed to please tailgating fans and home cooks who host backyard parties regularly, this medium-sized Traeger pellet grill features a smaller footprint, but ensures full-flavored smokey meals at every cookout.

Design and Features

The TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill is one of the smallest Traeger pellet grills on the company’s catalog, but don’t be fooled by its size. It is still a heavy-duty, powerful smoker that can work for baking, roasting, braising, grilling, smoking, BBQing, and any other type of cooking magic you wish.

Small footprint – Since it is named as a tailgating model, you’d expect it to meet the demands of tailgating. The TFB30LZB model does just that with its EZ-fold legs for maximum portability. You do need at least two people to carry it down from your vehicle and set it up – it still weighs 62 pounds.

Spacious Grilling Area – For a pellet grill this small, it’s amazing that the TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series griller can hold up to 2 chickens, 3 rib racks, 12 burgers and 18 hotdogs. That’s thanks to its 300 square-inch grilling area; you can host a backyard party without hassle.

Multi-Position Thermostat Control – This Traeger griller features a knob with temperature settings that could go from 180°F to 450°F in 5° increments. It is equipped with a digital LED display, where users could control temperature more effectively (if they wanted to). But since Traeger promotes a “set it and forget it” thinking when it comes to using their grillers like this TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series, even novices could be able to operate this smoker effortlessly.

Professional Grilling from a Trusted Brand – Traeger owns the pellet grill market, so it’s expected that even its cheapest grill operates as efficiently as the higher-priced models. Like its other more expensive brothers, the Tailgater grill’s induction fan works silently inside the griller to circulate rich hardwood smoke throughout the cook chamber. It means you don’t have to do anything special to give your meat evenly-distributed flavor – this smoker does the job for you.

Hours of Smoking – The cool thing about the Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill is that cooks can be very hands-off even when they’re prepping for a feast. The hopper can accommodate plenty of pellets to the brim for hours without the need to reload. While this may seem like a disadvantage to people who really enjoy checking out their meat every now and again, it gives the cook time to chill and mingle during parties while food is being cooked.

Auto Shutdown Setting – Traeger’s convection process has this special auto-shutdown feature that keeps the induction fan running for 10 minutes more in order to remove residual ash from the fire pot before shutting off automatically.

Energy-efficient – Like most Traeger models, the Tailgater griller powers up via a standard household 120-voltage outlet using 300 watts for the first four minutes, then gradually goes down to only 50 watts for the rest of the cooking process.
The Traeger Tailgater grill may be designed to accommodate tailgating fans, but it isn’t actually lightweight. This is an important consideration if you’re trying to find a griller that a single person can carry, assemble and set-up. The entire grill weighs 62 pounds and measures 18 x 37 x 36 inches – not exactly portable-material, but two of its legs do have wheels so you could slide it around. The legs also fold flat, so if the smoker is too heavy for you, you can just place it by the edge of a pickup truck and it’s ready to go.


Energy efficient
Small footprint
Highly portable (perfect for tailgating, backyard parties, camping, and more)
Made with durable, powder-coated, 20-gauge steel exterior and porcelain enamel steel grates
Exceptional convection process from Traeger
Spacious grill area
Digitally controlled temperature (means you can cook low and slow, or fast and hot without compromising on flavor)
Trusted brand with reputable customer service
Add-on side tray is available on the store (for an extra fee), but it’s a must-buy because it avoids sauce drippings when you put in or take out your meat from the smoker.

Requires an electric thermometer – Many users complain that temperature of this griller fluctuates a lot. The upside though is that an electric thermometer could solve this problem quickly for fool-proof results.
Need Taeger pellets for 3-year warranty to be valid – This requirement set by Traeger is one of the biggest reasons why would-be customers get turned off. However, the company does offer many excellent options for hardwood (and with recipes to use for each type) to make up for forcing customers to buy Traeger pellet along with the grill.


Fluctuating temperature is one of the biggest complaints of the TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill, but any digital thermometer could solve this issue. Plus, your warranty gets void if you use other pellets than what Traeger offers on the store.

Because the Tailgater grill is made by the innovators of wood-fired grillers, you can definitely feel the decades of wood-fire cooking experience built into the interior and exterior of this grill. And since the power consumption is low, you can even hook it up to your vehicle with a converter without causing problems.

The Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill is best for cooks wanting to enter the world of wood-fired grilling without spending over $500.

Available in metallic bronze, blue or silver that pops against the all-black tailgater griller perfectly, Traeger’s TFB30LZB series is a great choice for families looking for an affordable, efficient, and easy-to-use griller. It’s not the most portable smoker you could find in the market, considering it dubs itself as a tailgating griller, but it won’t let you down when it comes to how evenly-distributed flavor turns out after smoking the meat, so the extra effort in carrying this griller may actually be worth it.

Author Profile

Steve Page
.....With a love of the great outdoors be it in the backyard, hiking or fishing
Steve loves to share his tips on how to get the best from your patio, yard or
garden, rain or shine. Researching the best products from garden furniture to smokers and Generators. Steve will keep you up to date with the latest gear to make your outdoor space the best it can be.