Traeger Ironwood vs Pro Series – We Compare Both Pellet Grills


The Pro Series is Traeger’s entry-level pellet grill. It’s the perfect grill if you’re on a budget, and it has everything you need to get started on your meat smoking journey. 

The Traeger Ironwood is the mid-range Traeger. It’s a big upgrade from the Pro Series models, but has some features from the Timberline, the-top-of the line Traeger. In this post, I’ll do a side-by-side comparison of the Pro Series and the Ironwood.

Traeger Ironwood Demo

When comparing the Traeger Pro Series with the Ironwood series, there are six grills to compare. The Pro Series has four grills, and the Ironwood has two. 

Pro Series:

Ironwood Series:

The Pro Series has two generations. Traeger’s 1st Gen models in the Pro Series includes the Pro 34, and the Pro 22. The 2nd Gen models include the Pro 575 and the Pro 780. The Ironwood has two models, the 650 and the 885. 

Where To Buy A Traeger?

You can buy a Traeger from the official Traeger website on the links below. Traeger has buy-now-pay-later with affirm. Payments start at $55 per month with a Pro 22 and $77 per month for a Ironwood 780. Click the buttons below for the latest prices.

Ironwood Series 1st Gen Pro Series 2nd Gen Pro Series

Traeger GrillPrice
Traeger Ironwood 650$1,199.99 (discounted price from official Traeger website)$1,399.99 (original price from official Traeger website)
Traeger Ironwood 885$$1,399.99 (discounted price from official Traeger website)$1,599.99 (original price from official Traeger website)
Traeger Pro Series 22$599.99 (price from official Traeger website)
Traeger Pro Series 34$699.99 (price from official Traeger website)
Traeger Pro Series 575$699.99 (discounted price from official Traeger website)$899.99 (original price from official Traeger website)
Traeger Pro Series 780$849.99 (discounted price from official Traeger website)$999.99 (original price from official Traeger website)

Ironwood Differences

As you would expect, when compared to the Pro Series, the Ironwood is a better construction, and has more features. 

  • The Ironwood has double walled insulation.
  • It has 100 square inches more cooking space
  • Nearly 5 inches wider and higher
  • Weighs about 30 pounds more
  • Holds two pounds more pellets in the pellet hopper. 
  • Downward Exhaust System
  • Bottom sear grate
  • Side shelf
  • Probe storage box
  • Pellet sensor  

  

Grill Size Difference

Traeger GrillWidthHeightDepthWeight
Traeger Ironwood 65046 in.47 in.27 in.149 lbs.
Traeger Ironwood 88554 in.47 in.27 in.170 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 2241 in.49 in.27 in.103 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 3453 in.49 in.27 in.136 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 57541 in.53 in.27 in.124 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 78049 in.55 in.27 in.155 lbs.

   

Cooking Space And Hopper Capacity

                                                                    

Traeger GrillTotal Cooking SpaceMain Rack SpaceExtra Rack SpacePellet Hopper Capacity
Traeger Ironwood 650649 sq. in.418 sq. in.231 sq. in.20 lbs.
Traeger Ironwood 885885 sq. in.570 sq. in.315 sq. in.20 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 22572 sq. in.418 sq. in.154 sq. in.18 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 34884 sq. in.646 sq. in.238 sq. in.18 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 575572 sq. in.418 sq. in.154 sq. in.18 lbs.
Traeger Pro Series 780780 sq. in.570 sq. in.210 sq. in.18 lbs.

Check Out The Gen 1 Pro Series Here

Pro Series Cooking Area

Check Out The 2nd Gen Pro Series Here

Grilling Area – Ironwood vs Pro Series

When comparing grills, one of the most important things in is consider is grilling area. So how much meat can you cook on these grills?

The original Pro Series model the Pro 34 has a large grilling area similar to the Ironwood 885. The Ironwood has 885 square inches, which is the same as the Pro 34. All the other Pro Series models have less grilling area. 

  • The Ironwood 650 has 650 square inches of cooking area. 
  • The Pro 22 has 572 square inches of cooking area. So there’s about an 80 square inch difference between the Pro 22 and the Pro 572. 
  • Both these grills will hold five racks of ribs. However, the Ironwood can hold eight whole chickens whereas the Pro 22 can only hold 4 birds. 
  • The Pro 575 has 575 square inches of cooking area, which is 75 square inches less cooking area than the Ironwood 650 which has 650 square inches of cooking space.
  • When comparing the Ironwood to the Pro 575, both grills can cook five racks of ribs, but the Ironwood 650 can cook eight whole chickens whereas the Pro 575 can only cook four whole chickens. 

Ironwood vs Pro Series Comparison

Ironwood 885 vs Pro 780

The Ironwood has 885 square inches of grilling area and the Pro 780 square inches of cooking area. So the Ironwood has nearly 100 square inches of extra grilling area which equates to 4 extra whole chickens or 3 extra pork butts.

Ironwood 885 vs Pro 34

The larger Pro Series holds 884 square inches of cooking area, which is a similar size to the cooking area on the Ironwood. Both grills can cook seven racks of ribs, but the Ironwood 85 can cook 10 whole chickens whereas the Pro 34 can only cook a whole chicken. 

Ironwood Series

Insulation

A major difference between the Pro Series and the Ironwood series is the level of insulation. The Ironwood has a double side wall insulation compared to the Pro Series, which only has a single wall. 

Insulation is especially important if you live in a cold climate, or if you plan to cook in winter. Because the Pro Series grills have no extra insulation, they won’t retain as much heat as the Ironwood grills. 

Why Is Double Insulation Important?

Smoking meat in winter can be a challenge if you don’t have a well-insulated smoker or grill. When you go to fire up your Traeger in winter, the metal will freeze cold, so it will take a long time to bring the grill up to temperature. And this means you’ll burn through a lot more wood pellets. A thick double-walled insulated smoker like the Ironwood will retain the heat, which will make your grill more economical. 

Pro Series Insulation Blanket

A lack of insulation isn’t a problem if you buy an insulation blanket for the Pro Series. These blankets are specially designed for the Pro Series, and allow you to cook year-round. 

Grill Construction Design And Product Features

 Traeger Ironwood 650Traeger Ironwood 885Traeger Pro Series 22Traeger Pro Series 34Traeger Pro Series 575Traeger Pro Series 780
Primary Construction MaterialSteelSteelSteelSteelSteelSteel
Grill GratesPorcelain-coatedPorcelain-coatedPorcelain-coatedPorcelain-coatedPorcelain-coatedPorcelain-coated
Double-Side Wall InteriorYesYesNoNoNoNo
Built-in Meat Probe112211
Digital Grill ControllerYesYesYesYesYesYes
Versatile Grill GrateYesYesNoNoYesYes
Rack StopsYesYesNoNoNoNo
Down Draft ExhaustYesYesNoNoNoNo
Pellet SensorYesYesNoNoNoNo
All-Terrain WheelsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Locking Caster WheelsYesYesNoNoYesYes
Grill Tool HooksYesYesNoNoNoNo

The Ironwood Produces More Smoke

Another significant difference between the Pro Series and the Ironwood is the level of smoke. Not only does the Ironwood have Super Smoke Mode, it also uses a different exhaust system. 

The Pro Series has a smokestack, or chimney to remove unwanted smoke. The Ironwood uses a different technology called the Downdraft Exhaust System that pushes the smoke downwards. Apparently, this system produces more smoke, and more flavor. It’s also supposed to cook your food 20% faster. I’m yet to test the difference with a taste test, so I’m not sure if the Downward Draft is for real, or a marketing gimmick. 

Super Smoke Mode

The Ironwood has Super Smoke mode which blasts your food with extra smoke. I use this feature quite a lot, especially early in the cook, while the meat can take on more smoke. This can only be used at temperatures between 165° F and 225° F. You also get a much deeper smoke ring. 

Special Grill Tech Product Features

Traeger GrillController with Digital DisplayTraeger WiFire Technology Controller and App Integration (WiFi Connectivity) Turbo Temp Technology (Grill Warm-Up System)Grill TimerFunctionSuper Smoke Mode Option Keep Warm Mode Function Hopper Clean-Out System
Traeger Ironwood 650YesYesNoYesYesYesYes
Traeger Ironwood 885YesYesNoYesYesYesYes
Traeger Pro Series 22NoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Traeger Pro Series 34NoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Traeger Pro Series 575YesYesYesYesNoYesYes
Traeger Pro Series 780YesYesYesYesNoYesYes

Is Ironwood Worth The Extra Money?

So the question is the Ironwood worth an extra $400 or $500? Is it worth paying that much money for the extra insulation? Is it worth it for the extra smoke flavor? But the Pro 575 and the Pro 680 are such good value for money, because you get the Wi-Fi technology. 

Are Traeger Thermometers Accurate?

I find the thermometer in the Pro 34 is 50°F out, so I prefer to use my thermometer. More often than not, built-in thermometers are inaccurate. However, they can be recalibrated. 

Traeger GrillNumber of Built-in Meat Probes
Traeger Ironwood 6501 meat probe
Traeger Ironwood 8851 meat probe
Traeger Pro Series 222 meat probes (dual meat probes)
Traeger Pro Series 342 meat probes (dual meat probes)
Traeger Pro Series 5751 meat probe
Traeger Pro Series 7801 meat probe

Traeger Marketing Gimmicks?

As you move up the different Traeger levels, you will notice there are all kinds of extra features. What I wanted to find out was how many of these are just marketing gimmicks, and how many are actually beneficial. 

The Official Traeger Pro Video

Is Double Walled Insulation Worth It?

The problem I have with the double-walled insulation is the barrel isn’t double walled. The barrel takes up a huge part of the grill, on the Ironwood and the Pro 780, you looking at a 30 square inch barrel. So doesn’t that mean he could escape and the cold could get in? I know some people believe that the double-walled insulation on the Ironwood is just a marketing tool. 

Is Super Smoke Worth It?

I use the Super Smoke regularly, and I believe it produces more flavor. I’m a fan of charcoal smokers, because I enjoy having smoke from charcoal and wood. I love pellet grills, but they don’t have the same level of flavor as an offset smoker or a good charcoal smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain.

Is Rear Exhaust Better?

Is the rear exhaust on the Ironwood a worthwhile feature? The idea behind the rear exhaust is so your meat doesn’t get any stale smoke. This has some advantages. Plus, it’s easier to put the cover without a smokestack.  

The D2 Heat Control

The D2 heat control is impressive, especially when you compare it to other pellet grills. When you set the temperature on the Ironwood — it stays there.

The Pellet Sensor

The Ironwood alerts you when the pellet hopper is getting low. The last thing you want when smoking a brisket is to run out of wood halfway through the cook. Once the pellets get down to a certain level, you’ll get a notification on the App. 

Extra Shelf Space

I love lots of shelves and tables around me when I’m smoking meat because it can get pretty chaotic juggling tongs, thermometers, trays, foil, heat gloves, spritz bottles, ect. The Ironwood also has the option to add a front shelf. 

Large Or Small?

The only regret most people make when buying a Traeger is not getting a bigger one. If you read through reviews on Reddit, this complaint comes up repeatedly. And often the price difference between the large and smaller model isn’t that much. 

Ironwood 650 or 885?

If you’re trying to choose between Ironwood grills, I would definitely recommend the larger model. Keep in mind you lose an inch or two in a cooking area around the edges. 

When considering what size grill to buy, consider that you may lose in an inch or two from the total cooking area. I don’t like to put meat right to the edge, because fat will drip down into the fire pot. I want all those fat drippings to go into my drip pan, so if the meat’s hanging over, it’s more likely to miss the drip pan. So consider that, because if you’re buying the smaller model, most people don’t take that into consideration. 

Go Large

I always recommend people get bigger models because you were nearly always regret it. Often the price difference is only small, and it just gives you that option to cook for crowds when needed. 

Smaller models might save you a few hundred dollars, and it might be fine to cook for you and your family. But, if you want to entertain once or twice a year, it’s so great to have the option to cook for a crowd and blow them away. 

Pro Series Max Temp

The good thing about the new Pro Series is they can reach 500° F. This used to be one of the major differences between the Ironwood and the Pro Series. The 1st generation Pro Series could only get two 450° F, which is a significant difference. 

1st Gen Pro Series


Traeger Grill
Maximum Grill TemperatureSuper Smoke Option Temperature RangesKeep Warm Mode Function Temperature
Traeger Ironwood 650500 °F  165 °F to 225 °F165 °F  
Traeger Ironwood 885500 °F  165 °F to 225 °F165 °F  
Traeger Pro Series 22450 °F  Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Traeger Pro Series 34450 °F  Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Traeger Pro Series 575500 °F  Not Applicable165 °F
Traeger Pro Series 780500 °F  Not Applicable165 °F  

Cooking Area Difference – Ironwood vs Pro

On paper, the Ironwood has more cooking area than the Pro, however, the barrel on the Ironwood is smaller. To maximize the cooking area on the Ironwood, you need to use the top rack. I know many people prefer the longer cook barrel of the Pro Series even though it technically has less cooking area. 

2nd Gen Pro Series

Which Model Is More Economical?

If you’re trying to decide between the 650 and the 885, you will burn through more pellets, meaning it is a little more expensive to run. Larger models like the 885 or the Timberline will burn about 10 to 15% more pellets. However, this also depends on how many times you open a lid. The more you open the lid, the more he will escape. The harder your grill has to work to maintain the temperature, which means it’s going to burn through more wood pellets. 

Pellet Sensor

The Ironwood and the Timberline have a pellet sensor in the hopper so it will alert you when the pellets are getting low. The Pro Series 575 and 780 do not come with this function. However, I set the grill up in the pellet hopper for a sensor. You can buy the sensor as an upgrade, and so, although it doesn’t come with the standard model, you do still have the option of adding on the pellet sensor. 

Pro Series Pellet Hopper

Barrel Size

  • Pro 780 has 30 inch barrel
  • 575 – 22 inch barrel width
  • 885 30-inch barrel width
  • 780 30-inch barrel width

Ironwood 885 Specs

  • Grill space 885 square inches
  • 53 in wide
  • 47 in high
  • 27 in depth
  • Barrel width 30 inches
  • Wait 170 lb
  • Maximum temperature 500° F
  • Minimum temperature 180° F
  • Pellet upper capacity 20 lb
  • Grill grates 2
  • Wi-Fi controller
  • Double wall insulation
  • Downdraft exhaust
  • Bottom sear grate
  • Side shelf
  • Porcelain coated steel grill grates
  • Meat probe storage box
  • Super smoke mode
  • Turbo Temp
  • Tru convection system
  • Pellet sensor
  • Hopper clean out trap door
  • All terrain wheels with locking casters
  • Keep Warm Mode

Pro 780 Specs

  • Cooking area 780 square inches
  • Width 49 inches
  • Height 55 inches
  • Depth 27 inches
  • Weight 145 lb
  • Maximum temperature 500° F
  • Pellet hopper capacity 18 lb
  • 2 grill grates
  • Wi-Fi controller
  • Porcelain steel grill grates
  • Keep warm mode
  • Turbo temp
  • Hopper clean out trap door

Pro 575 Specs

  • Wi-Fi temperature controller
  • One meat probe
  • Porcelain coated grill grates
  • All terrain wheels
  • Start up temperature booster
  • Pellet hopper trapdoor
  • 575 square inches of cooking area ( 480 square inches on main rack, and 154 square inches on the top rack)
  • Total weight equals 124 pounds
  • Pellet hopper capacity 18 lb
  • Maximum temperature 500° F
  • Minimum temperature 180° F
  • Height 53 in
  • Width 41 in
  • Depth 27 inches
  • Color, black or black and bronze
  • Price, around $900

Ironwood 650 Specs

  • Weight 149 lbs
  • Pellet hopper 20lbs
  • Maximum temperature 500° F
  • Minimum temperature 180° F
  • Price $1,400
  • 650 in of cooking area
  • Double side wall insulated
  • Downward draught exhaust system
  • Wi-Fi digital controller
  • Traeger App
  • Built-in meat probe
  • Remote pellet level monitoring
  • 20 lbs pellet hopper
  • Pellet disposal trap door
  • Porcelain coated grill grates
  • Super smoke
  • All terrain wheels
  • High temperature 500° F
  • Low temperature of 180° F

Traeger Warranty

Traeger GrillProduct Warranty Period
Traeger Ironwood 6503 Years
Traeger Ironwood 8853 Years
Traeger Pro Series 223 Years
Traeger Pro Series 343 Years
Traeger Pro Series 5753 Years
Traeger Pro Series 7803 Years

Other Traeger Reviews:

Traeger Tailgater vs The Pro 22 – What’s The Best Small Traeger?

Ranger vs Tailgater – We Compare The Portable Traeger Grills

Pro 575 vs Pro 22 – A Side-By-Side Comparison

Pro 575 vs Pro 780 – What’s The Difference?

Timberline 1300 vs 850 – A Detailed Comparison

Ironwood vs Pro Series – We Review Both Series

Pro 34 vs 780 – A Side-By-Side Comparison

Ironwood vs Timberline – We Compare Traeger’s High-End Grills

Traeger Pro 34 vs Pro 22 – A Side-By-Side Comparison

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