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Traeger Timberline Pellet Grill Review

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The Timberline Pellet Grill from Traeger is the pinnacle of their products. These pellet grills start at $2,100USD. That puts them in direct competition with some of the best pellet smokers on the market. So the big question is, do you spend this much for a Traeger? Settle for the Traeger Ironwood (the better value)? Or do you consider something completely different? Let’s dig deep into what the Traeger Timberline has to offer before you make your choice.

Traeger Timberline Review

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Introduction

In 2019, Traeger introduced both the Ironwood and Timberline Pellet Grills. These were something new for the company that invented the pellet grill. The Timberline, in particular, was a radical departure. This grill borders on the high-end pellet grill range and was engineered to be superior in many ways. The most noticeable difference is the dual-walled, insulated body. Up until this model, Traeger was not known for making efficient pellet grills.

There are three models of the Traeger Timberline. The Timberline 850 and Timberline1300 are the standard models, while the Timberline XL (new in 2022) has a number of added features and a nearly $4,000USD price tag. There is more of the XL version below. Aside from these differences, all Timberline Grills use the same controller, D2 drive system, and general electronics.

With prices ranging from two to four thousand dollars, the Traeger Timberline runs against some serious competition. These include the monster pellet grill/smokers from Yoder, the all stainless steel grills from Memphis Wood Fired Grills, and BBQ competitor favorites from Cookshack and Fast Eddy Cookers.

See all my recommendations for The Best Pellet Grills

Features

The primary features that Traeger advertises are its D2 Direct Drive System and the WiFIRE connected controller. The D2 system is a direct current, brushless motor that drives the pellet auger. This promises better torque and a longer lifespan for the motor. Simply put, the motor has more power, speed versatility, and should last longer. The WiFIRE controller is the WiFi-enabled system that communicates with your smart device. This software also integrates with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. You can ask your home smart device how the brisket is doing and it will give you a temperature without lifting your phone. These features are standard on both the Timberline and Ironwood models.

Basics

  • Dual-layer, insulated cooking chamber
  • Fire Proof Gasket seals the lid closed
  • Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
  • Three level cooking area
  • Operating Temperature Range: 165° to 500°
  • Pellet Hopper Dump
  • Single Temperature Probe Port
  • Pellet Level Sensor
  • Interior mounted grease drip tray
  • All models have a stainless steel side shelf
  • 24-pound Hopper Capacity

Note: Features on the Traeger Timberline XL (discussed below) vary from the standard configuration.

The Traeger Timberline, being their top-of-the-line pellet grill, is bigger and better built than any other Traeger grill. Compared to the Traeger Ironwood, the Timberline has the same footprint but is taller. This means that its width and depth are largely unchanged, but being taller, it can accommodate three cooking racks.

Timberline also has a completely insulated cooking chamber. The interior walls are stainless steel and a layer of insulation holds in heat. This pellet grill is more efficient than any other Traeger grill. Air vents out the back of the pellet grill in what Traeger refers to as their downdraft exhaust system. This is designed to create a convection airflow inside the cooking chamber. Traeger says that this decreases cook times by as much as 20%, though few users seem to agree with this statement.

Traeger Timberline WiFire Controller

The Controller

The WiFIRE Controller is a next-generation digital pellet controller. Aside from the connectivity, the controller features that stand out are the Quick Start, Super Smoke mode, and Keep Warm functions. These are self-explanatory and while available on other pellet grills, I like that this controller has buttons and you don’t have to resort to using the app to activate them (though you can).

There is only one temperature probe port, so you can’t monitor more than one food item at a time. The single meat probe comes standard. The display is comparatively simple, but you can easily control the grill without WiFi.

This controller regulates the Traeger D2 drive system, which controls the auger and induction fans. This sets the flow of wood pellets and adjusts the combustion fan speed to hold the pellet grill at the specified temperature.

Note: The Traeger Timberline XL is compatible with Traeger’s MEATER wireless temperature probes.

Traeger App

The Traeger App

Traeger has made some serious investments in its pellet grill controller app. It is more than just a method for adjusting cooking temperatures or monitoring food temps, you get a full cooking app.

The app also monitors wood pellet fuel levels and will send alerts for high and low temperatures, preset doneness levels, and low pellet warnings. You can change the cooking temperature and activate the super smoke or keep warm functions.

The WiFIRE App also contains a series of step-by-step instructions for preparing and smoking the most popular food items. Right now, the app contains over 1,500 recipes with more added all the time.

The Traeger WiFIRE app is one of the most sophisticated and detailed in the industry. Only the Weber Connect App comes close.

Of course, most people will never scratch the surface of all those recipes or step by steps. And while it is a nice feature allowing you to monitor and control your grill frame from anywhere, it relies on being able to access your home network.

There is a range limitation with wireless connectivity. It is recommended that the controller on the grill face the location of your wireless router. Heavy concrete or steel structures between the router and the grill can greatly limit connection. The suggested maximum range is 30 feet.

Size

The only difference between the Timberline 850 and the Timberline 1300 is size. Those numbers, 850 and 1300, tell us the total square inches of each cooking rack. The Timberline 1300 and the Timberline XL are roughly the same size. Because of a slight difference in the grates on the XL, it has 1,320 square inches of total cooking area. For each of these pellet grills, the total cooking area is divided between three cooking grates. Depending on the height of what you are grilling or smoking, you may need to remove a grate to accommodate the food.

Traeger Timberline Size Chart
Traeger Timberline Size Chart
Timberline 850Timberline 1300Timberline XL 880Timberline XL 1320
Primary Cooking Area366 square inches544 square inches
Secondary Cooking Area308 square inches748 square inches
Total Cooking Area850 square inches1300 square inches880 square inches1320 square inches
Weight213 lbs238 lbs235 lbs291 lbs

Capacity

In the marketing literature of most grills and smokers told today, there is a section for the capacity of the cooker. This is so the buyer can determine how much food they will be able to cook at a time (sometimes called the Burger Count). Personally, I find the numbers provided by many companies to be suspicious, particularly because most people will cook a variety of foods and not just one thing. However, for your information, the following table contains the capacity counts for the Traeger Timberline pellet grills provided by Traeger.

Timberline 850Timberline 1300 and XL
Chickens912
Rib Racks815
Pork Butts612

As I said above, the only difference between the 850 and the 1300 is cooking capacity. The Timberline 1300 (and XL) have a large capacity that probably exceeds the needs of most people. I recommend that if you don’t need that much space to stick to the smaller, Timberline 850.

See all my recommendations for The Best Pellet Grills

Traeger Timberline Pellet Grill Review

Traeger Timberline Pellet Grills

Derrick Riches

Construction Quality
Smoke Production
Features
Durability
Capacity

Summary

Traeger is the leading brand in pellet grills. In fact, they have become a huge company and one of the few in the outdoor cooking industry to become a publically traded company on the stock market. Traeger produces a wide range of pellet grills from the very affordable to the luxury grill market. The Traeger Timberline Pellet Grill is their high-end, luxury product.

The Timberline was designed and marketed to be the ultimate pellet grill for the backyard barbecue enthusiast. As a smoker, it is about as good as a pellet grill can get. But at this price, there are many pellet grills that are either better smokers or have much higher maximum temperatures. The Timberline can hit 500°F, but no more.

The big issue here is that while The Timberline has stainless steel components and an insulated cooking chamber, most everything else is the same as the features available on the Ironwood (read my Review of the Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill). I recommend you take a long look at the Ironwood grill if you are sure you want a Traeger. It is a better value.

On the other hand, the Timberline is impressive looking, has a large capacity and a nice, shiny interior. If you are really serious about having it all, you should also take a look at the new Traeger Timberline XL (more on that pellet grill below).

One last note, all Timberline grills have a limited 3-year warranty. Many competitors offer much more robust warranties for less money. Traeger pellet grills are made in China.

4.2

PROS

  • WiFi-enabled with a very powerful App
  • Large capacity
  • Large Hopper
  • Double-wall, insulated cooking chamber

CONS

  • The grill losses a lot of heat when the lid is lifted and recovery time can be long.
  • The construction quality and attention to detail are not as good as many other pellet grills
  • Limited temperature range
  • Limited Warranty
  • Very reliant on technology (updates and malfunctions can interfere with your cooking)

The Traeger Timberline XL Pellet Grills

For 2022, Traeger has introduced its latest line of pellet grills. The Timberline XL models are built off of the basic Timberline grills with a number of extra features and enhancements. The first thing to notice is the electric induction side burner. Yes, this is an industry first. Traeger is a wood pellet grill company and has attacked propane grills as being inherently inferior, so they couldn’t add in a gas side burner. Plus the gas plumbing would be complicated and expensive. This induction burner is powered by the same power source as the main grill and it connects to the grill’s electronics.

Traeger Timberline XL 880 Pellet Grill
Traeger Timberline XL 880 Pellet Grill
Traeger Timberline XL 1320 Pellet Grill
Traeger Timberline XL 1320 Pellet Grill

What Makes the Timberline XL Different?

The XL versions of the Traeger Timberline are considerably more expensive than the standard models. While the Timberline 1300 costs $2,300USD, the Timberline XL 1320 costs $3,800. That’s a $1,500 price jump between the versions. So what do you get with the XL that merits this price?

Electric Induction Side Burner

Side burners are the most popular and widely available feature on outdoor grills, but this has been exclusive to gas grills. The Traeger electric side burner is the first of its kind and greatly enhances the cooking capabilities of the Timberline XL. However, survey after survey, performed over the past few decades has shown that most outdoor cooks have little use for their side burners. My recommendation is to not waste the money on a side burner if you never plan on using it. I do recommend side burners on gas grills since they can be a backup way of cooking if your power goes out. Of course, the Traeger side burner needs electricity so it won’t work in an emergency situation. Comparable induction burners can cost as little as $100.

Traeger Timberline XL Electric Induction Side Burner

Electric Induction Side Burner

ide burners are the most popular and widely available feature on outdoor grills, but this has been exclusive to gas grills. The Traeger electric side burner is the first of its kind and greatly enhances the cooking capabilities of the Timberline XL. However, survey after survey, performed over the past few decades has shown that most outdoor cooks have little use for their side burners. My recommendation is to not waste the money on a side burner if you never plan on using it. I do recommend side burners on gas grills since they can be a backup way of cooking if your power goes out. Of course, the Traeger side burner needs electricity so it won’t work in an emergency situation. Comparable induction burners can cost as little as $100.

MEATER Integration

Several years ago, Traeger bought the wireless temperature probe company MEATER. These are nail-sized probes that you insert into foods and monitor wirelessly. The Timberline XL comes standard with a two-probe system, but it isn’t exactly integrated into the grill. The block that holds and charges the probes is still a separate unit. It has magnets so you can set it on any metal part of the grill. These probes connect to the WiFIRE app and can be monitored alongside the grill’s temperature management system. The Timberline XL has ports for two wired probes. A two probe MEATER system costs under $200.

The Details

Small things added to this version include internal lights, a combined ash and grease collection system, and a three-part main cooking grate. The cart has been redesigned for added storage that included a sealable tub for pellet storage. This model does have an improved way of dumping pellets out of the hopper. It also has a fan that blows ash out of the firepot and into the grease management system.

The Real Upgrade

What is really going on here is a dramatic increase in versatility. The side burner means you can heat a pot or saute. And of course, there are Traeger brand pots, pans, griddles, and more for that burner. Upsale accessories. The three-part cooking grate allows for accessories that can swap out these sections for veggie baskets, sear plates, and griddles. Upsale accessories. The Pop and Lock (P.A.L.) rail that runs around the front and side of the grill holds shelves, storage bins, and even a butcher paper roll dispenser. Upsale accessories. There is also a trim kit so you can build your Traeger Timberline XL into an outdoor kitchen island. Skeptically we can say that Traeger added a few features to the previous version of the Timberline, jumped the price up by $1,500, and then added more than $1,000 in available accessories.

About Me

I have been writing about Barbecue & Grilling for 25 years. I have cooked on almost every grill or smoker ever built. In that time, I have endeavored to match people with the grill or smoker that is right for them. I believe that the right product is the one that you find easy to use, capable of doing everything you want, and is reliable. If you have a good first experience, you will be back for more. In this way, we grow barbecue for the next generation. I want you to make the memories that your children will cherish.

Affiliate Disclosure

This article and the website it appears on uses sales affiliates to cover the cost of operation. If you choose to purchase a product through the links provided, a portion of that sale will go to me. It helps me create content, so I can help you and others have the best barbecue experience. I am grateful to all my readers over the years that have been so kind as to assist me in my exploration of outdoor cooking. Thank you.

Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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