If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
At a massive launch event in Salt Lake City earlier this year, Traeger unveiled its latest flagship grill: the all-new Timberline. Traeger President and CEO Jeremy Andrus rhapsodized about the Timberline’s advanced new features, like a large touchscreen control panel, ultra-efficient cleanup system, and onboard induction burner, before getting to the price tag: The new Timberline would cost $3,500 or $3,800 for the XL model — a hefty sum by any standards.
Even with all the new features and a sleek re-design, I was skeptical as to whether the Timberline could actually live up to its cost. After testing out the grill for myself, those concerns were put to rest: The new Timberline is the most luxurious grill I’ve ever used — pellet or otherwise. Read on for our complete review of the new Traeger Timberline grill.
Traeger Timberline Grill Review: Assembly, Space Needed
The Timberline’s ease-of-use was apparent right upon delivery. Yes, it comes in a massive, heavy package, but unboxing and assembly were surprisingly easy.
Out of the box, the Timberline is almost fully assembled. The few components that require assembly (the cooktop, rails, and wheels) are straightforward, and all the required tools are included in the package. Working at a leisurely Sunday pace, I put together the grill in about 40 minutes. The only step that required an extra hand was lifting the grill to install the wheels.
Once all the hardware is put together, there’s the extra step of connecting the grill to your WiFi network. This takes another few minutes — more if you’re not the most tech-savvy.
In terms of size, the Timberline is a fairly bulky grill (59 by 25 by 51 inches). My patio space is pretty small (and already crowded with a propane grill), but I was still able to squeeze in the Traeger. Plus, the wheels are easy to maneuver, so I tucked the grill away when not in use. Traeger also offers a finishing kit for built-in setups (which costs $160) that integrates the induction burner with a countertop.
How Does the Traeger Timberline Pellet Grill Work? Specs, Technology
Although it advances the pellet smoker category, the new Timberline has the bones of a classic smoker grill. The wood pellet hopper holds up to 22 pounds of pellets — enough to cook for about seven to 22 hours without a pellet refill — and sits discreetly under a magnetic bamboo cutting board. At the heart of the grill is a large 880-square-inch cook space (or a massive 1320-square-inch space on the XL model), which provides enough room for about eight racks of ribs or nine whole chickens.
Once the pellets reach the firebox, Traeger’s “Smart Combustion” technology and the grill’s dual-walled stainless steel build help to keep the temperature consistent. A “Downdraft Exhaust System” and “Super Smoke Mode,” meantime, help circulate smoke for a rich flavor. Of course, you can also use the Timberline like a traditional wood-burning grill or an oven, as well as a smoker, thanks to a max temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
But what’s really special about the Timberline is how you control the cooking process and supplement it with all the other features and accessories. One of the most obvious upgrades on the new Timberline is a built-in induction burner on the left-hand shelf. This is great for searing meats right off the grill, keeping food warm, or making sides while you’re busy tending to the grill. There’s also a new rail on the outside of the grill for Pop-and-Lock accessories like tool hooks, a storage bin, and a butcher paper roll. Another convenience feature I loved was the bright, automatic light to the side of the grilling space.
The grill and sear station are both controlled using either an onboard touchscreen, the Traeger app, or (and this is cool) voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home. The touchscreen and app are both fantastic — and that’s no easy feat. Both deliver a ton of information and control options in an intuitive interface. On the app, you can adjust the temperature (on both the grill and sear station), check pellet level and probe temperatures (wireless probes are included), set timers, and find recipes from the very active Traeger community.
Timberline Grill Review: The Cooking Experience
Before firing up the Timberline, I was admittedly a bit intimidated by the thing’s size, power, and extensive features. I’ve used several pellet grills and many gas and charcoal grills, but never anything of this caliber.
But all my fears were gone when I actually got cooking on the Timberline. I found a tasty-sounding recipe on the Traeger app — Danielle “Diva Q” Bennett’s 3-2-1 BBQ baby back ribs — bought the ingredients, and followed the detailed steps given on the app (there are video and written versions of the instructions). The directions include exact temperatures and times, so there was really no guesswork involved. The ribs came out shockingly good (considering my beginner-to-intermediate expertise), and the whole process was stress-free: I hung around the house with family all day, intermittently checking the app to make sure the temperature was correct. And that was it.
Another night I decided to use the grill more like I’d use my regular propane Weber, and make grilled salmon and veggies. This time I used the Timberline’s “WiFire” control panel which features a touchscreen and control knob. In this case, the control panel offered a little more information than I needed for the simple task, but it was just as easy as setting the temperature on my propane rig. I also wanted to use the induction burner, so I grabbed some sashimi tuna and seared that while the salmon finished cooking. Usually, I need a few cooks on a new grill to achieve my standard results, but all three of the dishes turned out noticeably better than normal.
Overall, the breadth of features that initially spooked me turned out to be a natural, easy addition to my grilling process. Everything from the automatic side light to the rail system to the touchscreen was helpful when I needed it and non-intrusive when I didn’t.
Is the Traeger Timberline Easy to Clean?
Like most people, the cleaning stage of any cooking experience is the part I dread most. That’s why, for once in my life, I was looking forward to cleaning the Timberline: Traeger introduced a new EZ-Clean Grease and Ash Keg that sits directly under the grill, discreetly tucked behind doors instead of off to the side and exposed.
Both grease and ash are continuously funneled into the keg as you burn, so all you need to do after a long cook is pull out the keg and dump it in the trash — no vacuuming necessary. Using this new EZ-Clean keg was the cherry on top of my Timberline experience, bumping my rating from an 8/10 to a 10/10.
Another noteworthy cleanup feature is a pellet release at the bottom of the hopper. This lets you empty the hopper completely after each cook, and refill it next time with different pellets.
Verdict: Is the New Traeger Timberline Grill Worth it?
At $3,500 for the 880 model and $3,800 for the 1320 model, Traeger’s new Timberline is expensive. There’s no getting around that. But it’s also loaded with smart features and new tech that are all impactful upgrades to the grilling and smoking experience. In other words, it’s luxurious but not excessive.
On top of these new features, the Timberline boasts the power, build quality, and massive cooking space you’d expect from a premium grill. It also ups the ante in terms of versatility (something Traeger has always done well) with the addition of the sear station. Essentially, the Timberline has become a full outdoor kitchen in one sleek, approachable package.
In our opinion, if you can afford the new Timberline, it’s absolutely worth the price. No matter your skill level, you’ll be producing bigger, better meals with less effort. If the deluxe grill is out of your price range, don’t fret: the Timberline’s exciting new features are sure to make their way down to Traeger’s more affordable grills in coming years.
To order the new Timberline and see more details, head to Traeger.com.