An Expert Guide to Traeger Grills: Premium Wood Pellet GrillsPublished on 07/07/2022 · 7 min readTraeger is one of the most well-known grill makers on the market. Learn more about their best wood pellet grills with Grill Expert Luke Henry.
Photo by Brennen Monahan
Traeger Grills introduced the original wood pellet grill over 30 years ago in Oregon. Since then, wood-fired pellet grills have become a staple in both pits and backyards as the “low and slow” smoke method is a favorite of professionals, enthusiasts, and weekend warriors alike! Traeger currently has four separate grill categories: the Traeger Timberline Series, the Traeger Ironwood Series, the Traeger Pro Series, and the Traeger Town & Travel Series. All of these barbeque grills run on wood pellets and offer different levels of versatility and convenience to ensure you get the perfect flavor out of your next cook! This guide will help you dial in the perfect Traeger pellet grill for you and your family, no matter what occasion or cook style you are looking for!
Traeger Timberline Series
We might as well start at the top! The Traeger Timberline series is the Bugatti of Traeger Pellet Grills. Traeger describes this series as a "complete outdoor kitchen." There are two sizes in the Timberline series that give you an unbelievable amount of grilling real estate for your next cook! The standard Timberline comes with 880in2 of grilling space (enough to roast nine chickens, eight full rib racks, or six pork butts), while the Timberline XL comes with a mind-boggling 1329in2 of grilling space (enough room for 12 beer can chickens, six smoked cheesecakes, or four tender briskets)!
Regardless of the size you ultimately choose, the Timberline series both have the same great features. They deliver exceptionally precise temperature control with Traeger’s patented Smart Combustion technology that helps the grill maintain a consistent cooking temperature throughout your smoke. Additionally, my favorite feature of the Timberline series is the Traeger induction cooking surface on the left-hand side of the unit. This induction plate creates scorching-hot searing to put the perfect finish on your steaks. You can even get really crazy and sauté your veggies or even fry some fresh-caught fish! Cleanup is a breeze as the EZ-Clean Grease and Ash Keg collects fat drippings and ash from your pellet burn into one large container that is easily accessible.
If you download the Traeger App and hook your Timberline up to WiFi (WiFIRE Technology), the MEATER meat thermometer lets you monitor the status of your cook from anywhere and remotely control and command the temperature of the grill!
The Downdraft Exhaust+ Super Smoke mode in the hood of the Timberline series acts like a convection oven and keeps smoke circling throughout your unit while cooking, which ensures the smooth and consistent smoke flavor you crave. The Pop-And-Lock (P.A.L.) and ModiFIRE accessory system let you quickly and conveniently disconnect and reconnect accessories to allow full customization of your unit.
Finally, the Timberline comes with the ability to convert the unit into a permanent installation—allowing you to construct an outdoor kitchen that your entire neighborhood will be envious of!
Bottom line? If you are looking for the ultimate in performance, grill real estate, and features, the Timberline should be your next grill!
Traeger Ironwood Series
The Traeger Ironwood Series has a smaller physical footprint than the Timberline series and a more traditional standup BBQ look. As such, it’s perfect for those with space constraints who still want a premium grill loaded with all the bells and whistles! The Ironwood grills come in two sizes—the Ironwood 885 with 885in2 of cooking area and the Ironwood 650 with 649in2—but have all the same features. The same wireless connectivity and WiFIRE technology allow you to easily control your cook from anywhere, just like the Timberline series.
Despite the smaller size when compared to the Timberlines, the Ironwood Series still offers all the flexibility and control you seek from an awesome premium wood pellet grill. The D2 Digital Pro Controller has a crystal clear display and enables you to dial in the perfect grill temperature in 5-degree increments all the way up to 500℉! The 20-pound hopper allows you to rest comfortably without worrying about running out of wood pellets as the sensor will keep you updated on your pellet levels at all times! Speaking of pellets, there are multiple varieties of real wood pellet options to pair with your cook, including pecan, cherry, hickory, and mesquite, to name a few, so you can crank up the pellet flavor and deliver amazing cooks for you and your friends!
Traeger Pro Series
The Traeger Pro Series is by far Traeger's most popular lineup and the series that you’ve probably seen at friends' and family's homes. The Pro Series is nearly identical to the Ironwood series in terms of features and cooking convenience; the largest difference between the two series is the size. The Ironwood series is 49in across and the Pro Series shrinks that down to 41in. The Pro Series also comes in two sizes—the Pro 780 at 780in2 of grilling area and the Pro 575 at 572in2. An added benefit when considering the Pro Series is that they offer two different color combinations. Both Pro models come in a black colorway as well as a bronze colorway, so feel free to dress to impress with the nice bronze finish!
The Pro Series includes the same great convection smoke system so you get a nice even smoke flavor throughout your cook. The other great feature of the Pro Series is the oversize, rugged, all-terrain tires that make these units incredibly easy to move!
If the ability to maneuver and quickly move your grill is important or if you have a space constraint but still want the ultra-high-end features of the Timberline series, then the Pro Series should be at the top of your list!
Looking to grill at your new apartment or have a smaller back patio? The Pro Series could be the perfect setup for you!
Traeger Town & Travel Series
Finally, we arrive at the ultraportable Town & Travel Series. Both models in this series are designed to enable you to take great BBQ and smoke flavors with you on the go. Headed to the big game? Maybe for the beach for a family picnic? Then the Traeger Tailgater and the Traeger Ranger may just be the solution you are looking for!
The Traeger Tailgater has the same traditional look as the Ironwood and Pro Series grills with a traditional round shape that anyone will recognize immediately. However, a 300in2 grilling surface and a more compact and portable design makes the Tailgater the perfect grill to take with you to the big game! Though smaller, the grill space still has plenty of room for two full chickens, three racks of ribs, or 12 burgers—plenty of food for you and the crew!
The latest version of the Tailgater has been upgraded to include Traeger's patented Digital Arc controller to help you achieve the ultimate level of temperature control while you are on the go! After your cook is done, simply click the Digital Arc controller over to “Keep Warm” mode and you'll be able to keep your tailgate party going all game! Porcelain-coated grill grates make post-game cleanup a breeze—just a quick wipe down, and you're on your way!
Traeger designed the compact Ranger grill to let you bring your wood-fired flavor wherever adventure takes you! The Ranger is the smallest grill in Traeger's line at 176in2 of grilling space, but still gives you space to handle one full rack of ribs, six burgers, or ten hot dogs at your campsite.
Similar to the Tailgater, the Ranger includes Traeger's Digital Arc controller so you can conveniently and easily dial-in the perfect temperatures for your cook, whether you are on the boat fishing for the next big bass or taking the camper on the road to a National Park! The best part about the Ranger is that the double latch lid allows you to securely store the grill when not in use.
My favorite accessory to add to the Ranger is the Traeger porcelain-coated, cast-iron griddle. Simply throw the griddle down over the porcelain-coated grill grates and you'll be flipping flapjacks on the road in no time!
Tying the Traeger Experience Together
Aside from great features and tons of different sizes to fit your lifestyle and needs, Traeger also provides wonderful customer service. They have a great guide on how to get started with pellet grilling, along with tons of recipes, rubs, and accessories, as well as a great warranty in the unexpected event of a failure. Of course, if you are looking for advice on grilling techniques or which type of pellets you need for your next cook, feel free to reach out to me or any of Curated’s other great Grill Experts, and we will be here to help make your next cook delicious!