Traeger has three models; The Pro Series, which is the entry-level model, the Ironwood, and the Timberline. The Ironwood is Traeger’s middle range pellet grill, and the Timberline is the top-of the-line model. In this article, I’m going to analyze the differences between the Ironwood and Timberline.
|Specifications||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Manufacturer||Traeger Pellet Grills||Traeger Pellet Grills|
|Price (US)||* Ironwood 650 $1,199.99 * Ironwood 885 $1,399.99 Add Essentials:* Ironwood 885 Grill Cover Full-Length $99.99 * Shelf-Pro 885 Folding Front $79.99 * Ironwood 885 Tray Liner Drip 5 packs $14.99 * Hardwood Signature Blend Pellets $19.99|
(Check Updated Price Here)
|* Timberline $3,499.99 * Timberline XL $3,799.99 Add Essentials: * Front Shelf $119.99 * Storage Bin $59.99 * Accessory Hook $14.99 * Roll Rack $39.99 * Stainless Steel Veggie & Fish Grill Tray $119.99|
(Check Updated Price Here)
|Total Weight||* Ironwood 650149 lbs. * Ironwood 885175 lbs.||* Timberline238 lbs. * Timberline XL289 lbs.|
|Dimension (D x H x W)||* Ironwood 65046″ x 27″ x 47″ * Ironwood 88553″ x 27″ x 47″||* Timberline59″ x 51″ x 25″ * Timberline XL71″ x 51″ x 25″|
|Grill Capacity||* Ironwood 6508 Whole Chickens, or 6 Pork Butts, or 5 Rib Racks * Ironwood 88510 Whole Chickens, or 9 Pork Butts, or 7 Rib Racks||* Timberline9 Whole Chickens, or 6 Pork Butts, or 8 Rib Racks * Timberline XL12 Whole Chickens, or 12 Pork Butts, or 16 Rib Racks|
|Total Grill Area||* Ironwood 650650 sq. In * Ironwood 885885 sq. In.||* Timberline880 sq. In. * Timberline XL1,320 sq. In.|
|Hopper Capacity||20 lbs.||22 lbs.|
|Control Style||WiFIRE Technology||WiFIRE Technology|
|Special Features||* Start quicker * Put up best quality smoke * Heat up faster * Make outdoor grilling easier * Keeps smoke flowing over the food you cook.* Direct Drivetrain for more flavor and more power * Beginner Friendly * Set Timer * Easy Monitoring food anytime and anywhere * Easy to Use||* Simple Wood-Fired Grilling and Cooking * Receiving Alerts when low pellets * Make outdoor grilling easier * Keeps smoke flowing over the food you cook. * Direct Drivetrain for more flavor and more power * Adaptable for built-in use. * Easy Monitoring food anytime and anywhere * Easy to move * Heat up Faster * Easy to Use|
|Power Source||100% All-natural Wood pellet||100% All-natural Wood pellet|
|Fuel Type||Wood pellet, charcoal||Wood pellet, charcoal|
|Inner Material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel|
|Wheels||Rugged all-terrain wheels||Rugged all-terrain wheels|
|Food Production||20-25 people||25-30 people|
|Standard Size||Medium, Large Sized||Large, Extra Large Sized|
One of the main things you need to look at when comparing grills is the amount of meat that you can cook. They measured the grill area in square inches. Traeger name their grills according to the cooking area. So the Ironwood 850 has 850 square inches of cooking area or the Timberline 1300 has 1300 square inches of cooking area. The original Gen 1 Traeger grills didn’t follow this naming system.
|Features||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Temperature Control||Precise control of temperature||Precise control of temperature|
|Max Temperature||500 °F||500 °F|
|Cooking||6-in-1 versatility to smoke, grill, bake, braise, BBQ, and roast food to juicy perfection||6-in-1 versatility to smoke, grill, bake, braise, BBQ, and roast food to juicy perfection|
|Super Smoke Mode||Yes||Yes|
|Included Meat Probe||Lets you check the temperature of food without taking the lid off.||Lets you check the temperature of food without having to open the lid.|
|Dual Position Smoke||Yes||Yes|
|Sear Bottom Grate||Yes||Yes|
|D2 Drive Grill Controller||Yes||Yes|
|Grill Tool Hooks||Yes||Yes|
|Interior Double-Side Wall||Yes||Yes|
|Grill Gates Porcelain-Coated||Yes. It Makes clean-up a breeze|
|Versatile Cooking||Hot and Fast, orLow and Slow||Adjustable Position of cooking, smoke with grate sear bottom|
|Smart Combustion Technology||Yes||Yes|
Timberline 1300 has 1,300 square inches of grill space. It has a three-tier rack system, and they spread out this 1300 square inches over the three racks. The top rack is 306 square inches, the middle rack is 476 square inches, and the bottom rack is 561 square inches. The 1300 can cook either 12 whole pork butts, 15 rib racks, or 12 whole chickens.
The Timberline 850 can cook 9 whole chickens, or 6 pork butts, or 8 whole racks of ribs. The Timberland 850 also has the three tier cooking grates. The lower rack holds 363 square inches of meat, the second rack holds 308 square inches of cooking area, and a top rack holds 198 square inches of cooking area.
|Resistance||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Wear and Tear Resistant||Yes||Yes|
The Ironwood 650 has 650 square inches of cooking area. This is enough to cook five racks of ribs, or eight whole chickens.
The Ironwood 850 has 885 sq in of grill area. This is enough to cook seven racks of ribs, or 10 whole chickens.
Timberline 850 vs the Ironwood 850
The Ironwood 850 can cook 10 whole chickens, or 7 racks of ribs on its 850 square inches of grill area. The Timberline 850 can cook nine whole chickens and eight racks of ribs.
Although the cooking area is roughly the same in square inches, the design of the barrel and the rack is different. The Timberline has a three tier rack system. Whereas the Ironwood only has a two-tier rack system.
|Durability||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Powder Coat Finish||Yes||Yes|
Size Comparisons – Width
The Timberline 1300 is 58 inches wide—which is the widest of all the Traeger grills. To put this into perspective, the Timberline 1300 is about the size of a 60 inch flat screen TV.
Size Comparisons- Height And Depth
Both Timberline models are slightly taller and deeper than the Ironwood. This is because the Timberline has a three-tier cooking grate system, so it needs the vertical cooking area.
The Timberline 1300 and Timberline 850 both are 51 inches higher and 28 inches deep. The Ironwood 885 is 47-in high and 27-in deep, which is slightly smaller than the Timberline series.
Size Comparisons- Weight
The Timberline 1300 weighs 255 lbs, which is 42 lb heavier than the Timberline 850, which is 213 lb.
The Ironwood 885 weighs 170 lb and the 650 weighs 149 pounds, which is 21lbs lighter.
|Safety Data Sheet||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Verified for Occupational Safety and Health Administration.||Yes||Yes|
|Confirmed Non-hazardous Grilling Equipment||Yes||Yes|
|Manufactured from a Known and Licensed Company||Yesy||Yes|
|Proven and tested before distribution||Yes||Yes|
Traeger Ironwood only has a double-walled interior, whereas the Timberline has a fully insulated construction. The difference is noticeable when you look at the grills side by side. Traeger built the Timberline like a tank. It’s an all round solid construction, and it’s noticeable when you cook—especially in the colder months.
The Timberline’s insulation means it’s extremely economical, and will burn through fewer pellets than the Ironwood.
All Traeger grills are designed to maintain a certain temperature. So if cold air gets in, the grill will feed more pellets into the hopper. The Timberline has good insulation, so the weather can’t get inside. So because the cold can’t get in, the grill can maintain the set temperature — meaning it will burn through fewer pellets.
Many users find they burn through less pellets since upgrading to a Timberline. The Ironwood is also fairly well insulated, but not quite the same level as the Timberline.
The Grease Trap. One of the great things about the Timberline is the concealed grease trap. Other models don’t have this feature. The hidden grease bucket stops your dog from sticking its nose in the grease trap.
Searing. Another cool features of the Timberline is the ability to drop the bottom rack to sear steaks. When the bottom grate is lowered closer to the fire, you can sear steaks at 500° F. You don’t have nice grill marks on the steaks, but it has its own uniqueness to the texture.
Reverse searing steaks on the Timberline is one of my favorite features. For this method, start out cooking the steaks low-and-slow, and let the meat absorb the smoke flavor. Then, lower that bottom rack on the Timberline and increase the temperature to 500° F. Then finish the steak by searing.
Timberline 850 or 1300?
The Timberline 850 can cook a lot of meat, but if you’ve got the space and the money, go for the Timberline 1300. Especially if you like to cook large amounts of meat.
The Timberline comes equipped with a front shelf that is suitable for storing spices etc and two sides shelves. One side shelf contains hooks where you can hang barbecue utensils, and the other shelf has a bamboo cutting board where you can do food preparation.
The Ironwood has one side table, but the front shelf is an add-on where you have to pay another $70.
Concealed Grease Trap
One of the extra features of the Timberline is the concealed grease trap. This is a handy feature and is especially good if you have a dog or small children that may be tempted to touch hot grease from the back of your grill. The Timberline has a small draw that slides out, and Traeger sells aluminium foiled lined trays that insert into this concealed grill trap.
Traeger grills are full of technology, but you can bypass all the tech if you prefer to grill old school. The Timberline and Ironwood have regular control panels, so you can bypass the Wi-Fi and control the grill manually. So you get the best of both worlds.
Wi-Fi technology and barbecue is a wonderful combination. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is extremely frustrating.
The Traeger App
The first version of the Traeger App had some issues, but has since improved. The best App feature is the ability to control your grill remotely. You can adjust the temperature of your grill from your phone. Or, if your meat is nearly done but you’re out, you can use the App to place your meat into “keep-warm mode”.
Fortunately, Traeger has a safety feature that prevents you from starting the grill from your phone. Pocket calling is mostly harmless. Accidentally starting your grill? That would be bad.
The Traeger App has some useful information, but there’s also shopping, and other stuff that’s just unnecessary or gimmicky. Personally, I only want App to see or adjust the temperature of my grill. The App sends you notifications when your grill needs cleaning, or if the pellet hopper is running low. Some people might like this, but I don’t really want another device telling me what to do!
Pre-Loaded Recipe Guides
The Traeger App is pre-loaded with hundreds of recipes that give you step-by-step instructions on how to cook all different meats. All you need to do is select the category of meat, and there you’ll find heaps of recipes. I don’t use the Traeger recipes, but some people will find them useful. The recipes have improved ever since Traeger now listens to actual pitmasters.
Graphing And Cook Data
The App lets you to graph, monitor and store all of your cook data from previous cooks. It’s always good to look back on historical data because there are so many variables when smoking meat, so it’s useful to have some data to help plan future cooks.
Traeger’s pellet sensor alerts you when you need to top up your wood pellets. The sensor sits just above the wood pellets and signals the App once the wood drops below the line. I find this extremely useful when cooking a brisket — which can take 18 plus hours. That’s a lot of wood.
All the newer Traeger models have a hopper cleanout function. There’s a trapdoor on the back that allows you to dump all your wood pellets and swap them out for another flavor. This is a useful function, and I’m glad Traeger thought of this. In the past, I found it frustrating when I wanted to swap flavors but still had a few pounds of pellets in the hopper.
Super Smoke Mode
The Super Smoke mode allows you to blast your meat with extra smoke early in the cook. Smoke is attracted to cold wet surfaces, so early in the cook, by putting your Traeger into Super Smoke mode will get some extra flavor on the meat.
One of the major criticisms I have of the newer Traeger models is they only have one meat probe. The older models had two. This is unusual since the Timberline and Ironwood can cook an awful lot of meat at one time. So more thermometers make sense. However, I recommend using your own thermometers, anyway. The thermometers found in pellet grills aren’t always accurate. I always test the accuracy of my thermometers with an ice bath test.
The Ironwood and Timberline use a brushless motor—which is longer lasting and higher quality than a brushed motor. The motor powers the fan and the auger, so if you have a poor quality motor, it won’t last as long. A brushless motor is also more powerful. This extra power enables the Timberline and Ironwood to have the powerful TurboTemp feature.
Turbo Temp is one of the best features of the new Traeger grills—especially in winter when it takes 30 minutes for your grill to come up to temperature.
Most grills and smokers aren’t worth using in winter unless you’ve got a tonne of charcoal and wood. TurboTemp works great in winter. It helps your grill come up to temperature fast, so you can get to cooking.
Most pellet grills have a smokestack (chimney) to eliminate excess smoke. For their newer models, Traeger has designed a new system where, rather than having a smokestack, there’s a rear vent instead. It’s called the Downdraft exhaust System. Smoke is pushed out from below the grill rather than through a chimney. Apparently, this technology prevents the smoke from becoming stale. Supposedly, this system makes your meat taste smokier and more delicious. To believe this, I’d have to do a side-by-side taste test of meat smoked with or without the Downdraft system. To be honest, I think some of these features are marketing tools.
Porcelain Coated Grill Grates
Both these Traeger models have porcelain coated grill grates. Some people prefer aluminium, porcelain is good quality.
Temperature range for these two grills is between 160° F and 500° F. This gives you room to cold smoke at the bottom end and see at the high end.
Cold smoking is possible on a Traeger, even though the lowest temperature is around about 160°F. If you want to go lower, place ice trays in the grill. This will keep the temperature in cold smoking range. Another idea is to save your cold to make it for the winter months when your smoker will already run much cooler.
|Final Comparison||Ironwood Grill Series||Timberline Series|
|Easy to Assemble||⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Easy to Use||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Easy to Clean||⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Advancement of Technology||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Save your money||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Built to Last||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|All Weather Consistent Cooking||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
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