Home / Internet News / Traeger's wooden pellet grill is so excellent it hurts – CNET

Traeger's wooden pellet grill is so excellent it hurts – CNET

I nonetheless can not forestall serious about the Traeger Timberline 850’s scrumptious meals, however I want to.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Meat, fireplace and smoke, are all very important to excellent fish fry. In combination they may be able to mix to conjure meals that is outrageously scrumptious and addictive. Doing that constantly takes a large number of wisdom and follow. That stated, I do know of 1 product that makes the method a lot more straightforward, and that is the reason a yard cooker referred to as the Traeger Timberline 850.

An electrical grill that burns wooden for warmth, the Timberline provides extra special taste to the whole lot it chefs, whether or not it is hen, burgers, fish, ribs or massive slabs of red meat and pork. We have now had one on the CNET Smart Home since we reviewed it final 12 months, and I prepare dinner on right through the workday each time I am getting an opportunity. The whole thing I have requested this grill to care for it delivered to new heights. Severely, phrases can not do that grill justice in terms of the effects.

You may suppose that reality would make me satisfied. Alas, it indisputably does no longer. Here is why.

Learn extra:  The best gas grills of 2019 | The best way to clean gas grills and grates

It is not reasonable

Pellet cookers most often price greater than gasoline grills, however Traeger takes issues to every other stage. Priced at a steep $1,700, it is nearly comically dear. You’ll purchase similar wooden pellet people who smoke for a fragment of the fee. The $499 Camp Chef SmokePro DLX and $599 Z Grills ZPG-700D are only a few compelling choices.

On best of that, Traeger grills, like different wood-fired cookers, are designed to burn proprietary wooden pellets, so you can want to issue within the more money that you can spend on the ones, too. You’ll select up 20 pound baggage for roughly $19 at big box retailers like Home Depot.

Otherwise to move is to supply pellets from a third-party provider. CookingPellets is a popular choice on Amazon. They promote 40-pound baggage of its “best possible combine” wooden pellet mix for $37.

As a wood-fired people who smoke, Traeger grills use wooden pellets for gas.

Chris Monroe/CNET

In each circumstances that works out to reasonably greater than $1 according to pound. The smoker burns 1 to a few kilos of pellets according to hour. Traeger says that suggests every 20 pound bag supplies between 6 to 20 hours of prepare dinner time (at excessive or low warmth).

Let’s evaluate that to a 20-pound tank of liquid propane. The place I reside, one 20-pound (four.7 gallon) tank prices about $24. That are supposed to give a elementary two-burner grill (30,00zero BTU) about 7.2 hours of continuous grill time (excessive warmth). Maximum grilling jobs, on the other hand, are fast and grimy and are finished in 30 mins or so. It is not unusual for me to move months between tank refills.

A smoker’s energy, then again, is sluggish cooking at low temperatures. Elapsed occasions for one cooking consultation continuously span a couple of hours a pop, a minimum of. Assume eight hours for St. Louis lower red meat ribs, and 12 to 15 hours for pork brisket. That is a large number of gas — and cash.   

It is a critical ache to scrub

Cleaning a propane grill is not what I might name amusing, however I might a lot relatively blank a type of than a wooden smoker just like the Timberline. With pellet grills, coping with meals grease is just the beginning. All that wooden smoke circulating inside of its major hollow space creates a sticky residue. Known as creosote, it is a aggregate of wooden tars and different natural compounds that lend smoked meals its unique taste. Ridding people who smoke of creosote makes for an excessively messy task.

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It is cantankerous as hell   

One explanation why for the Timberline 850’s exorbitant value is its built-in smarts. The device can hook up with your own home’s Wi-Fi community. It additionally comes with its personal temperature probe. That, blended with the Traeger app, lets you observe meals right through a cookout. The app has a big library of recipes. Greater than mere reference subject matter, those recipes can act as cooking methods the grill will mechanically run.

The Traeger app can ship recipes to the grill for computerized cooking.

Screenshot by means of Brian Bennett/CNET

In spite of the Timberline’s sophistication, it nonetheless wishes a human hand now and again. All through lengthy smoking periods, pellets can get caught to the perimeters of the pellet hopper. That may motive the grill’s fireplace to sputter. This, in flip, could cause the Timberline to feed an way over unburned pellets into its firebox.

That may end up in a perilous state of affairs that Traeger calls “over-firing.” Over-firing, or combustion of too many wooden pellets immediately, is a space fireplace possibility. There may be even been one document of a Traeger pellet grill exploding because of this.   

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Red meat ribs smoked within the Traeger — now that is fish fry.

Brian Bennett/CNET

However dammit, the meals is so excellent

Even after list the entire Traeger Timberline 850’s problems, I nonetheless battle with something. The fish fry I cooked in it used to be completely fabulous. I am no pitmaster (a ways from it), however I felt like one once I used the Traeger. The individuals who got here again for seconds helped me imagine it, too. And likely, a large number of that used to be because of a couple of killer brisket and pork rib recipes. To the parents at amazingribs.com, I’m on your debt.

I nonetheless dream of this Traeger-smoked Juicy Lucy burger.

Chris Monroe/CNET

So the place do I’m going from right here? I am on no account about to shell out $1,700 for this high-end Traeger pellet grill, regardless of how elegant my revel in. Nor do I to find the considered spending giant dollars on a $700 Vision Kamado or Big Green Egg (which prices $1,00zero and up relying at the type you select) interesting.

Settling for close-ish cooking efficiency for a complete lot much less with the $379 Charbroil Kamander or the $329 Weber Smokey Mountain sounds extra cheap to me. And good day, possibly with follow, I will recover at grilling up scrumptious feasts with out hundreds of bucks of at my disposal. That is most certainly a charcoal pipe dream, however I admit, a nice one.     

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