In 2022, Traeger embarked on a significant overhaul of its Wi-Fi-connected smart grill range, concentrating on efficient cooking, effortless cleaning, customization, and advanced smart capabilities. This year, the company has released upgrades for its mid-tier Ironwood model, though the most significant improvements remain exclusive to the premium Timberline model. The updated Ironwood model incorporates convenient features and enhanced smart capabilities, making it a perfect choice for tech-savvy grilling enthusiasts seeking an elevated outdoor cooking experience. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line Timberline model continues to set the standard for luxury grilling, boasting its advanced features and cutting-edge technology, catering to those with a discerning taste for exceptional performance and quality.
Redesigned Touchscreen Display
The Ironwood grill has undergone an extensive redesign, now featuring a new touchscreen display, which replaces the single-dial navigation with a larger one. Distinct buttons for the whole menu, timers, Keep Warm, and Super Smoke are located to the left of the touchscreen, along with two wired food probe ports. While the bigger, full-color panel is easier to see, the touchscreen might not have been necessary, as a more affordable, larger color display without touch capabilities might have been sufficient. Additionally, including the touchscreen could lead to concerns over durability and long-term sealing against moisture. Regardless, the redesign offers an improved overall user experience and provides a more modern feel, potentially attracting tech-savvy consumers to the Ironwood grill.
Accessory Rail and Customization
The Ironwood has incorporated some elements from the Timberline model, such as the accessory rail, allowing for customization based on users’ needs. Add-ons from the PAL series, including a foldable front shelf, storage bin, butcher paper/paper towel roll, tool hooks, and a cup holder, can be attached to a rail surrounding the grill and can be effortlessly removed or repositioned according to user preferences. This modularity ensures that the Ironwood can be tailored to fit the unique requirements of every grilling enthusiast, making it a versatile solution for various outdoor cooking needs. Additionally, the robust construction and high-quality materials ensure the durability of both the grill and its accessories, allowing users to enjoy an optimal cooking experience for years to come.
Improved Drip Plate and Fire Pot Shield
Traeger has substituted the grill’s solid steel drip plate and smaller fire pot shield with two broader metallic components that span the width of the grill. The first piece, a diffuser, distributes heat across the cooking surface while redirecting ash into the catch keg. This improved design not only enhances temperature regulation for consistent cooking results, but also simplifies the ash removal process for easier maintenance. With these upgraded components, users can enjoy a streamlined grilling experience and better control over their culinary creations.
Efficient Heat and Smoke Management
The second component, situated above the diffuser, directs grease to the same container as the ash debris and has exterior holes that guide smoke and heat around the cooking area. The double-wall chamber construction provides improved insulation, ensuring consistent temperatures during colder months. Additionally, the elevated auger above the fire pot reduces jamming and decreases the likelihood of auger and hopper fires. This innovative design enhances the grill’s overall safety and contributes to a more efficient cooking process. By minimizing heat loss and keeping temperatures stable, the grill allows for even cooking and a seamless grilling experience, regardless of weather conditions.
Differences between Ironwood and Timberline
Key differences between the Ironwood and the pricier Timberline model include the grill’s internal vertical space, cart/leg design, and the lack of an induction burner on the left side of the Ironwood. The limited vertical space in the Ironwood model may restrict the ability to cook larger items, but its compact size allows for easier storage and portability. On the other hand, the Timberline’s cart and leg design provide enhanced stability, while the induction burner adds an extra element of versatility to the grilling experience.
Grate Materials and Cooking Experience
The Ironwood boasts one adjustable rack above the main cooking area, while the Timberline features two. The Ironwood’s cooking grates are made of porcelain, while the Timberline uses stainless steel. This difference in materials contributes to the varying cooking experiences between the two models, with stainless steel offering better heat retention and easier cleanup. Despite these distinctions, both models provide exceptional grilling capabilities and can cater to a variety of food preferences and cooking styles.
Expanded Side Shelf
Although the Ironwood model does not include the induction burner available on the Timberline, it does now have an expanded side shelf compared to its predecessor. This additional space on the side shelf not only provides more room for food preparation and storage, but also enhances the overall functionality of the grill. The thoughtful upgrade makes the Ironwood an ideal choice for those who value convenience and versatility while cooking outdoors.
Conclusion and Price Considerations
In conclusion, while the Ironwood smart grill comes with notable improvements, the increased price moves it from a mid-tier option to a more costly alternative. However, for avid grill enthusiasts who prioritize advanced features, convenience, and precise temperature control, the Ironwood smart grill may be worth the investment. Ultimately, the decision lies in the consumer’s preferences and how much they value the added benefits when compared to the price difference.
Ironwood Model Upgrades FAQ
What are the main upgrades for the Ironwood model in 2022?
The updated Ironwood model features a redesigned touchscreen display, improved accessory rail and customization options, new drip plate and fire pot shield, efficient heat and smoke management, and an expanded side shelf.
How does the touchscreen display add value to the Ironwood grill?
The touchscreen display offers an improved user experience and a more modern feel, potentially attracting tech-savvy consumers. However, there are concerns about its durability and long-term sealing against moisture.
What are the customization options available with the Ironwood grill?
The Ironwood grill features an accessory rail compatible with the PAL series add-ons, allowing users to attach foldable front shelves, storage bins, butcher paper rolls, tool hooks, and cup holders for a tailored grilling experience.
What improvements have been made to the drip plate and fire pot shield?
Traeger replaced the previous solid steel drip plate and smaller fire pot shield with broader metallic components, enhancing temperature regulation, simplifying ash removal, and ensuring easier maintenance.
How does the new Ironwood design improve heat and smoke management?
The double-wall chamber construction provides better insulation, while the elevated auger decreases the likelihood of auger and hopper fires. This innovative design contributes to a more efficient cooking process and a seamless grilling experience regardless of weather conditions.
What are the main differences between the Ironwood and Timberline models?
Key differences include the grill’s internal vertical space, cart/leg design, and the presence of an induction burner on the Timberline model. Additionally, the Ironwood has porcelain cooking grates, while the Timberline uses stainless steel grates.
How does the expanded side shelf enhance the Ironwood model?
The expanded side shelf provides more room for food preparation and storage, improving the overall functionality and convenience of the grill for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.
Are the Ironwood upgrades worth the increased price?
The decision depends on the consumer’s preferences and valuation of the added benefits compared to the price difference. Those who prioritize advanced features, convenience, and precise temperature control may find the Ironwood smart grill worth the investment.