New Traeger Ironwood and Ironwood XL Quick-Take Review
In early 2022, Traeger dropped a massive update to their top-of-the-line Timberline series. The update was so big that the only things that were the same between the original Timberlines and the new ones were the name and that they burned pellets. Fast forward to early 2023, and Traeger shook up another stalwart model line,…
In early 2022, Traeger dropped a massive update to their top-of-the-line Timberline series. The update was so big that the only things that were the same between the original Timberlines and the new ones were the name and that they burned pellets.
Fast forward to early 2023, and Traeger shook up another stalwart model line, the Ironwood. Looks like Mikes old Ironwood model is obsolete. The new model looks like the love child of the original Ironwoods, the 885 and the 650, and the Timberlines released in 2022. Traeger carried over the updated full-color touchscreen controller, the EZ-Clean Grease and Ash Keg, the Pop-And-Lock rail system, the Precision Temperature Control system upgrades, and insulation upgrades to the cooking chamber.
So let’s take a look at all the new features on the updated Ironwood series!
|Traeger Ironwood XL
New Traeger Ironwood Models
Like the Timberline updates, Traeger launched this new Ironwood series with two models, the Ironwood and the Ironwood XL. The only difference between the two models is the amount of cooking space. The Ironwood has 616 square inches of cooking space while the Ironwood XL boasts 924 square inches. Both grills have the cooking chamber split between two racks. We here at Angry BBQ believe that you should go with the larger grill as long as it fits your budget, because you want to have room for as many pork butts or briskets as possible. Traeger says that the Ironwood is capable of smoking four pork butts at the same time while the Ironwood XL can handle eight. Each model rides on two locking casters and two larger wheels for ease of movement.
New Ironwood Features And Enhancements
As I noted above, the new Ironwoods pull heavily from the updated Timberlines from 2022. Here are the biggest innovations and how it compares to the old models as well as the Timberlines.
Easier Cleanup Than Ever
One of the drawbacks to pellet grills is the need to clean up the ash from burning wood pellets. For the longest time, that meant removing the internal components from the grill and using a vacuum for best results. Camp Chef has had a cup underneath their pellet grills that you can release the ash into for easy disposal, but Traeger had the standard grease cup off the side and the need for vacuuming ash.
Now Traeger utilizes an integrated grease and ash cleanout system. The grease and ash are funneled into one “keg” or bucket underneath the grill that can be slid out easily and dumped like an ash pan on a charcoal grill. For anyone who has spent time pulling a pellet grill apart, vacuuming, and then reassembling, this is a major upgrade for maintenance and cleaning.
Grill Area Lighting
Traeger included grill top lighting on the Ironwood series. A nice simple touch that higher end grills are offering now.
|Traeger Ironwood XL
Pop-And-Lock Rail System And Accessories
If you’ve ever looked at a pellet grill and thought that you didn’t have enough room for prep or tool storage, you’re not alone. So Traeger added the Pop-And-Lock rail system to the new Ironwood grills to give you plenty of accessory options. Here’s a current list of available accessories.
While some grills come with a set number of tool hooks, the P.A.L. system allows you to put as many as you want where you want them. That truly means having your tools within reach at all times, whatever that looks like for you.
Folding Front Shelf
The Ironwood series grills come with a built-in side shelf, but sometimes that’s not enough prep space. So you can add a folding front shelf for on-demand space.
Sure, you could put your sauces, condiments, and spices on the side shelf. However, we all have knocked stuff off a shelf before. How about a bin that can keep those plastic jars and glass bottles in place without fear of knocking them all over the patio?
An important part of smoking large cuts of meat like briskets or pork butts is wrapping. It can be done with either butcher paper or aluminum foil. However, struggling with a box in the middle of the process can be annoying. The roll rack attaches to the side of the shelf, making it easy to roll out what you need and rip without struggling with the box.
Now you don’t have to worry about putting your preferred beverage on a shelf anywhere. Simply put it in the cup holder than snaps into place on the P.A.L. rail and you’re good to go.
Improved Smoking Ability
You can do a lot on a pellet grill, but their bread and butter is smoking. Traeger beefed up the Ironwood series with a set of improvements to make smoking even better. Let’s break them down.
Improved Digital Controller
This may be more of a cosmetic upgrade, but it’s a really nice touch. The new controller is a full-color touchscreen, mimicking your smartphone for both easy adjustments and easy reading. It also has two wired probe ports for plugging in the two included wired meat probes.
The controller is also WiFIRE compatible so you can connect the Ironwood grills to a WiFi network for even easier control and information monitoring. The controller is compatible with Bluetooth meat probes as well, so you can add on MEATER probes from Traeger for even less wiring.
The cooking chamber is built with dual walls that are fully insulated which helps improve heat and smoke retention even in cold weather.
What’s the difference between the Ironwoods and Timberlines?
So with all the similarities between the brand-new Ironwoods and the 2022 Timberlines, what sets them apart?
For one, the Timberlines have the outdoor-rated induction cooktops. This allows you to sear steaks or warm sauces or cook side dishes while using the pellet grill for the main course. The Ironwoods have nothing like that.
The Timberlines are also designed to have the ability to be built into an outdoor kitchen. There is a full kit for modifying the Timberlines so it can be built into a counter area. The Ironwoods are strictly a standalone grill.
Those are the big differences with some other minor differences such as storage options and hopper size (30lbs for Timberlines, 22lbs for Ironwoods) in there as well.
Something to point out is the better warranty Traeger is offering on their new grill launches. The new Timberline and Ironwood series now come with a 10-year limited warranty. The previous generations offered a 3-year warranty. This is a big improvement. As the industry get’s more competitive, the consumer is getting better options. Nice.
The new Ironwood series from Traeger is a great marriage between a mid-to-high end pellet grill and the Timberline series that came out in 2022. This makes some of the great improvements put forth by Traeger more widely available for those not looking for a luxury centerpiece to their outdoor cooking area.
Throw in a 10-year limited warranty and the new Ironwoods are shaping up to be a long-term option for people looking for great features at a more reasonable price compared to the Timberlines.
These thoughts are simply my quick reaction to the new Ironwoods. Stay tuned for more thoughts as we get more information and hopefully some hands-on time!
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