Review: Traeger Makes It Easy With Their All-New Ironwood Smoker
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Traeger has long been one of the most well-known (and most-respected) brands in the smoking and grilling space, and for good reason: their line of pellet grills consistently delivers an even smoke and perfectly-cooked results for everything from ribs and brisket, to whole chickens and roasts.
But part of what makes Traeger so popular is also how easy it is to get started with their grills; you don’t have to be a professional chef or expert to make your first batch of pulled pork, grilled veggies or wings. Now, after the release of its Timberline Grill last year, the company is back with an all-new Ironwood Grill, with a sleek new look, even easier-to-use features and a ton of grilling space for your next big meal.
Buy Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill $1799
We’ve been testing out the Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill over the last few months and we’ve got it say: we’re impressed. It’s a powerful, professional cooking machine disguised as a family-friendly smoker.
The first thing you’ll notice about the new Traeger is the massive amount of space you have to cook on. The main rack gets you 396 sq. in. of space while the upper rack gets you 220 sq. in. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of four whole chickens or eight racks of ribs cooking at once.
We started a little less ambitiously, choosing to smoke a rack of ribs. The ribs took about three hours to cook and came out perfectly tender, fall off the bone, with a sweet glaze on the outside. We seasoned the ribs with a dry rub, a bit of BBQ sauce, and sprayed liberally with apple juice a few times during the cooking process.
On another day, we were able to smoke a whole chicken with artisanal maple cherry wood chips in about an hour. Our chicken was still juicy with a nice pink smoke ring around the outside. All we had to do was apply a dry rub beforehand.
For the meat-lover in your life, the Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill is perfect for your next family cookout. The larger surface area means more space for smoking a variety of meats and fish, though we’ve used it for vegetables as well (think peppers and squash). Want more smokey flavor? We turned on “super smoke mode” to give our salmon that extra wood-fired kick. The Traeger Ironwood can also grill, bake, braise, roast and barbecue.
Buy Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill $1799
New features in the Traeger Ironwood include the brand’s so-called “Smart Combustion Technology,” which help maintain incredibly precise temperatures inside your smoker to ensure even, consistent results. The “EvenFlow Heat Shield,” meantime, ensures even heat distribution to your meats, no matter where they’re sitting on the grill rack. You no longer have to check on your meats and shuffle them around the rack to make sure they’re fully cooked.
What we liked: the touchscreen interface was incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate, and the Traeger app is one of the best in the industry, letting you set timers, adjust grill temperatures, monitor cooking times and more. We also used the app to find recipes to follow, along with tips and tricks to perfect our cookout. Technology is always top of mind for Traeger, and the new pellet grill can be paired to an Alexa or Google-enabled device so you can control it using just your voice.
The best part of the Traeger experience is coming up with different ways to customize your meats, and part of that starts with the pellets you use. Traeger offers a number of different pellets to create different flavors, which you can shop here. Aside from the maple cherry wood chips, we also liked the mesquite pellets, which were especially great for ribs.
Traeger’s built-in pellet sensor lets you know when pellets are low, though with a 22-pound hopper capacity, you won’t need to refill your pellets that often.
While many smokers require an endless amount of patience and monitoring, Traeger’s Ironwood Pellet Grill truly lets you “set it and forget it.” Prep your meats, place it on the rack and adjust your desired settings (the Traeger app provides exact cooking times for hundreds of recipes). Then sit back and relax while the Traeger does the work for you.
A great Father’s Day gift or a summer pickup for yourself (especially if you’re trying to get into cooking and smoking meats), the Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill is available online starting at $1799 here. Your price includes the grill, cooking racks, accessory shelves, accessory rail, porcelain grates, grilling light and bottom stand. Traeger also offers a 10-year limited warranty in case you run into any problems.