New Traeger Timberline Grill makes cooking and cleaning exciting

The all-new Traeger Timberline Wood Pellet Grill (also available in a larger Timberline XL version) redefines the outdoor cooking experience. To charcoal or gas cooking enthusiasts, that may sound a little hyperbolic, but the new Timberline addresses the pain points of all types of grilling, not just those associated with wood pellets. The temperature gets warmer faster and stays constant all the time. Cleanup has also been revised to be more simplistic and – dare I say? – to be pleasant. The Traeger Timberline might just be the perfect outdoor kitchen. I don’t mean just for people who barbecue either. With an induction hob now connected to the Timberline, the grill is even more versatile.

editors choice

While this Traeger grill is great, it’s an ambitious product and it’s priced that way. The smaller of the two models, the one I reviewed, has a cooking surface of 880 square inches and retails for $3,499. The XL model’s cooking surface is 1,320 square inches and costs $3,799. (The size is the only difference between the two.) The good news is that the features and improvements here will make their way to cheaper Traeger grills at some point in the future.

I made a few meals to experience the new features first hand and to compare the grill to last year’s Ironwood 885. I wanted to get an idea of ​​which improvements were essential and which were more redundant. Is this product worth spending, or should you wait for a more affordable model down the road?

TL;DR

Pros

  • EZ-Clean system is really helpful
  • The Timberline can cook eight racks of ribs at once, and the XL can do even more

cons

  • The price is unaffordable for many people
  • A Wi-Fi glitch when setting up was frustrating

Buy from Traeger.

The best new features of the Timberline

Traeger Timberline
The touchscreen on the Timberline grill is not revolutionary, but it is very useful.
TYLER HAYES

It’s hard to pinpoint an area of ​​the Timberline grill that hasn’t been touched. Even some of the more minor items like how to attach accessories to it or how to change the wood pellets have been revamped.

Without being exhaustive, I think I enjoyed the new little touches the most. There is an automatic light that comes on when the grill lid is opened. There is a pull handle that empties pellets from the hopper directly below, rather than a hatch in the back. And a plastic container can fit under the hopper to store unused pellets for later. The increased speed of changing wood pellets encourages experimentation with the combination of different woods with different meats. In contrast, with last year’s Ironwood 885, it was quite difficult to completely empty the funnel.

The color touchscreen is a new feature that I didn’t know I wanted until I used it. The Ironwood 885 has a monochrome screen with a rotary knob to change settings. It was fine for temperature control. However, this new color touchscreen is a much nicer experience. Settings are easier to access and manipulate. It also makes connecting accessories wirelessly easier.

There are bigger features like the EZ-Clean system and the induction hob that I’ll discuss shortly. However, the minor changes, including the rail around the rim for the Pop-and-Lock accessories, make the grill a joy to use. They are the icing on the cake when you finally tie the knot.

Timberline Configuration

Traeger Timberline
The Timberline grill has 880 square inches of grilling space on three levels.
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The price of the new Timberline may be out of reach, but the grill is very easy to use and accessible to people of all cooking skill levels, even if it’s their first time. Part of this is the experience that the color touchscreen offers. It guided me through connecting it to the Traeger mobile app and an initial herbal burn.

I was having trouble connecting the grill to my WiFi network. This added 20 minutes to the process but eventually I got it plugged in. The grill later performed a software update that will hopefully prevent such issues from appearing in the future.

This new Timberline grill is not only friendlier to install on the tech side, but unpacking was easy too. You need two people to lay the grill on its back to screw in the wheels and then put it back upright, but otherwise it would only take one person about 30 minutes of casual work to attach the rail system and the induction hob.

Cooking on the Timberline

Traeger Timberline
The induction cooktop adds a valuable heating area when trying to cook multiple items at once.
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When you lift the lid of the Timberline, it is immediately clear that there is a lot of space for barbecuing. There are two adjustable racks above the cooking grates – three levels for cooking. This new Timberline I tested actually has 5 inches less grilling area than the Ironwood 885, but with its three available food cooking levels, along with its square (versus rectangular) layout, the new Timberline felt better optimized for the space.

The first meal I made was three New York steaks, along with baby potatoes and baked beans with bacon. It was able to serve six to nine people and the grill only felt half full. Everything cooks evenly and at the expected speed. The steaks spent about an hour at 225 degrees before searing them at 450 degrees for a few minutes on each side.

I enjoyed the new touchscreen. The Traeger mobile app is a masterclass in providing a lot of information in a minimal amount of space. The grill interface has a simple design with squares and rectangles, but I liked how easy it is to look at the information. In addition to the grill temperature and a timer, there is also information about the remaining wood pellets, the temperature of the probe and the induction hob when it is switched on. The mobile app is an important part of cooking on WiFi-enabled Traeger grills, and this new Timberline is no exception.

Cooking burgers on this grill was also simple and easy. I decided to use the induction hob at the same time to make a side dish and was delighted at how beautifully these two appliances complement each other. It’s hard to say how much I’d use the hob in the long run, but it’s definitely a bonus if you need it. A side note is that the hob checks the material of the pot or pan being used and will not start if it is not safe to use.

Improved cleaning

Traeger Timberline
Under the grill, the grease bucket locks into place and even collects ashes.
TYLER HAYES

One of the signature looks of a wood pellet grill is a grease bucket dangling off the side somewhere. That is no longer the case with the new Timberline. The bucket intended for collecting meat fat is now located under the grill in the cabinets. The bucket now also collects ashes.

In any case, there are a few problems that are solved by this new EZ-Clean system. First, by putting the bucket underneath, behind doors and locked, it’s nearly impossible to accidentally spill the bucket. That was possible in the past, and I experienced first-hand how difficult that could be. Second, even if you used a foil liner in your grease bucket so you could throw it away with little mess, it still didn’t collect ashes. Long, slow burns meant a lot of mess to vacuum later. That is no longer the case.

As I was assembling the Timberline grill, I could see the layers involved in this cleaning method. It’s a series of drails and funnels that lead everything to a central location. The beast’s belly is also very easily accessible if the inside ever needs to be cleaned. I don’t know if that will be the case, but it seems to be a smart system that will keep ownership on the road fun, even if minor maintenance is required.

Should you buy the new Traeger Timberline?

If you’re in the market for a new grill of any kind, the new Traeger Timberline should be on your list. A wood pellet grill may be ideal for cooking certain types of meat, but it can also handle any type of food. This Timberline is an investment, but I think it offers enough value to be a worthy purchase for those whose budget allows it.

Even if the Timberline isn’t available right now, the grill is still exciting because it gives a glimpse of where the company is headed. Traeger strives to make outdoor cooking accessible to people of all skill levels and to eliminate the maintenance of a grill. I don’t know what form new products from the company will take, but it’s clear that this Timberline is a beacon for the future, and Traeger is heading in the right direction with wood pellet grills.

Buy from Traeger, starting at $3,499.

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