I had a Traeger as well and moved up to the PG 500. Best move ever. Did some chicken legs tonight. Smoked them first on the indirect side then added some BBQ sauce and moved them to the direct side after a temp increase. They were perfect. I have given away my gasser and use this for everything, smoking and grilling. I love it! The Mak is a fine product and you will probably be happy with one. I have a PG500 and I can assure you I am happy. It works year-round, flawlessly, and without hesitation and does it all. By the way, I had a Pit Barrel Cooker too and do not miss having to mess with charcoal both before and after the cook. I flip the switch on the PG500 for every single thing I cook outside. The only device I would trade it for is the PG1000.