Traeger’s latest pellet grill features improved hood (yay) and a touchscreen (nay) • TechCrunch

Traeger’s newest pellet smoker brings welcomed improvements to a brand new worth level. The corporate simply unveiled its newest Ironwood design, which contains a handful of options that debuted on the costlier Timberline product line a number of months in the past. As a long-time Traeger smoker proprietor, I’m enthusiastic about these updates as they make utilizing the grill extra manageable and cleaner.

I’ve been utilizing the $1,999 Ironwood XL grill for the final week. To this point, I’ve cooked a big batch of competitors rooster thighs, a few entire chickens, and a tray of brussels sprouts. I count on to publish a full assessment on the smoker within the coming weeks; I must cook dinner a number of extra issues first. To this point, the smoker has made an excellent impression although I’ve some reservations about construct high quality.

The key innovation entails the grease lure. It’s a lot simpler within the new Ironwood and Timberline grilss. In earlier Traeger fashions (and practically the entire competitors), the drippings movement down a big metallic pan and right into a slim channel that results in a bucket. This channel is usually the issue, requiring fixed consideration and frequent cleanout. Now, the whole underbelly of the smoker is the channel. All of the drippings fall onto a sloped piece of metallic that results in a big bucket in the midst of the smoker. Traeger launched this redesign on the revised high-end Trimberline fashions a number of months again, and I adore it.

This design gives a big benefit. Each little bit of meals scrap and drippings goes in the identical spot, leading to a cleaner burn. After which, when the smoker has cooled off, the proprietor can push the remaining scrum into the bucket with out eradicating any a part of the grill. It’s really easy. I hate cleansing my different Traeger grills. The brand new design adjustments the sport.

The opposite vital change entails the smoker’s hood. As an alternative of getting a door on the entrance of the hood, the whole hood folds again. Consequently, the hood is one piece save a tiny gap for thermometer wires. The upside is much-less air leakage with out a door. The draw back is once you open the hood, the inside temperature drops very quick — in chilly winter Michigan, I misplaced 100 levels of inside temp inside two minutes, and it took about 25 minutes to get better.

General, the redesigned smoker is spectacular, however I’ve issues concerning the sturdiness of the LCD management display and temperature knob. The management knob is important within the operation of the grill, and it’s constructed out of low-cost plastic. The gearing contained in the knob is made from even worse plastic. I worry it can climate poorly and rapidly degrade when uncovered to the weather. This key touchpoint feels chintzy, and the remainder of the grill feels bombproof. As for the touchscreen, it really works poorly in excessive climate. Because of an in a single day ice storm, my Ironwood XL tester was lined in ice this morning, so I attempted the touchscreen after rapidly brushing it off among the snow and ice. It didn’t work. The touchscreen needed to be utterly clear of ice earlier than it responded precisely to the touch. Will it work within the rain? I’m unsure, and that’s a serious concern of mine. Who runs a smoker within the rain and snow, you ask? Me; I do.

I must stay with the smoker to provide ultimate impressions. So search for a assessment within the coming weeks. However from my first cooks, I’m impressed with the evolution of Traeger’s design. Key areas have been up to date to resolve basic shortcomings, and that’s an incredible begin.

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