If you are trying to decide between a Traeger Ironwood and Timberline then all you really need to know is that the Timberline is not worth the extra money.
In my opinion, Traeger offers the Timberline grills because there is always a segment of the market that says, “I just want the best that there is.” These folks really don’t care about a price tag and end up massively overpaying.
But that isn’t you! You are actually doing research and trying to decide if the Timberline is worth the extra money.
Stick with me and we will cover:
- Key Upgrades on the Timberline Grills
- Customer Reviews of the Timberline
- Should You Buy the Ironwood or Timberline
Key Upgrades for the Traeger Timberline
When the Timberline grills were first introduced they were only a modest upgrade from the Ironwood grills. There were two models of Timberline (850 and 1300) and all they really offered was more insulation, a pellet sensor, stainless steel grates and an extra cooking grate.
While the original Timberlines were nice there simply wasn’t enough of a difference between them and the Ironwood grills to justify the extra cost.
In 2022 Traeger redesigned the Timberline series and gave them serious differences from the Ironwood. The new grills, simply called the Timberline and Timberline XL, are loaded with new features and are a serious upgrade over the Ironwood 650 and 885.
By the way, other than size, there is absolutely no difference between the new Timberline and the Timberline XL.
The video below is from BBQGuys and is absolutely worth watching. The video is really just an extended commercial for the grill but it does an excellent job of showing all of the new features.
2022 Timberline Upgrades Over the Ironwood
Just in case you didn’t catch all of the upgrades in the video I will list them below.
Minor Timberline Upgrades
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
- Magnetic Cutting Board
- Improved Cabinetry
- Larger Pellet Hopper
- Pop and Lock Rail System
By and large all of these upgrades are cosmetic and have no effect on the performance of the grill. I am also debating whether the Pop and Lock Rail system is an upgrade or not as in order to actually take advantage of the system then you have to buy extra accessories. Normally I wouldn’t complain about the accessories being sold separately but the grill already costs $3,500.
Serious Timberline Upgrades
- Side Mounted Induction Cooktop
- EZ Clean Ash and Grease Keg
The side mounted induction cooktop is a great upgrade because it makes searing steaks a breeze. Pellet grill simply do not get hot enough to do a great job with searing so steaks are always a bit of a disappointment. However, now you can smoke your steak at 225F to get a perfect Medium Rare and then move it over to a pan on the induction cooktop to get a world class sear.
What is really exciting is the new EZ Clean ash and grease management system.
This system uses the combustion air fan to blow ashes from the fire pot over to an ash collection port. The same port is used to collect the grease from the heat deflecting grease tray. All of the grease and ash are designed to be collected in an easily removable jug underneath the grill.
Cleaning out a pellet grill is usually a giant pain in the neck but this new system has the potential to change the game.
So now that we have an idea about the upgrades the Timberline offers over the Ironwood we need to take a look at what real world customers think of the grill.
Timberline User Reviews
The Timberline is the most expensive grill Traeger offers and is relatively new. As a result there are not a lot of customer reviews but the ones I found do not paint a good picture.
I checked the reviews on the following websites and they were all pretty similar:
Below is a snapshot of the Traeger customer reviews as of July, 2022 and the grill only has a 3.7 Star rating.
Looking through the negative comments, both on the Traeger website and others, and the user reviews are pretty polar. When people get one that works like advertised they absolutely love it. On the flip side, there are a lot of people who are receiving grills that either do not work or only partially work due to issues with busted control panels, bad WiFi connections, etc.
The real issue is that when folks are paying around $4,000 for a grill (including accessories) they want the grill to be perfect. That does not seem to be an unreasonable expectation.
Should You Buy a Timberline or Ironwood?
Make no mistake, the Timberline grills, when you get one that works, are awesome.
But, after you buy the grill cover and PAL accessories these things are going to set you back around $4,000 and that is just not worth it.
You can buy an Ironwood 650 for $1,400 and have yourself one heck of a grill. I love the idea of the new Timberline but cannot justify it costing almost three times as much as an Ironwood.