Please join “Big Wave” Berg from Traeger and Senor Smoke from Curtos this Saturday, April 1, in the Curto’s smoke lot as we take the Timberline 850 out for its launch party. We’ll be beating on it from 11-3 EST. Please call in advance to RSVP. 1-800-966-2878
1966 Central Park Ave
Yonkers NY 10710
The Traeger Timberline grill is now available for pre-order and considering the volume of calls coming in re: this mind-bending product, I thought it made sense to cobble together a review based on my experience with it.
The Timberline came across my radar screen about 9 mos ago. My Traeger rep (“Big Wave”), knew that I was preaching the gospel of the Memphis wood-fire grill (what a piece!) and would tell me, “John, I know you love that Memphis, but I may have something for you in a few months.”
What he was alluding to was the Timberline, and if I remember correctly, it was supposed to be released last Fall. Big Wave actually had a prototype he was cooking on and the initial reviews, apart from some balky wifi, were stellar. Fast forward to late 2016, and Big Wave informed me that the Timberline was definitely going to hit its new release date of March ’17, and he now had a demo model which had improved from the prototype. He was cooking consistently with his Timberline and raving about the results.
Out of this world ribs
Best ever Thanksgiving Turkey
Flawless Leg of Lamb
I kept hearing the same message – temperatures held great, plenty of room for the food with the increased headroom on the pit, nice tasteful smoke flavor which didn’t overpower food, and an appreciable uptick in construction / design integrity compared to the Pro series. Results be damned, I needed to get in front of this grill myself and take this for a spin.
To Sear or Not to Sear
I did not doubt the Timberline’s ability to deliver the goods when it came to smoking. There are competitive BBQ teams that use Traeger pits plus we’ve seen firsthand what the results are when you smoke on a Pro series model. However I did have my doubts on whether it was going to be able to sear appropriately, particularly b/c it did not have a direct flame area like the Memphis and the Yoder pellet grills. So I issued Big Wave a challenge – bring the pit up to Yonkers and let’s give it a go, focusing on the sear.
He brought the grill up on cold day in February (ah. another nice challenge. could it maintain temp in the cold?) and to say I was impressed by the fit and finish would be an understatement. The grill hood and some heft without being a kettlebell, and as I opened and closed it I did not detect any wobble (which I still see in some of the better gas grill hoods). The casters were an improvement over the ones on the Pro series and I liked the increased headroom in the pill-shaped body which is lending an additional 5″ of grill space. Then there was the lid gasket and the double-walled stainless. As I’ve waxed poetic about the Memphis grill for several years, I’m always asked how a stainless grill can provide the moisture retention akin to a ceramic. Answer is simple – the gasket (similar to a kitchen oven) provides a tight seal, and the double walled stainless makes a strong barrier so smoke and heat have to stay where they belong…around your food.
We immediately prepped it to go up to 400 degrees while I worked on some semi-thick ribeyes. Big Wave set the grate at its lowest level (for searing) and after about 10-15 mins, the Timberline was hovering around 400, give or take a few degrees. The steaks were rubbed up wit Jacobsens salt, olive oil and pepper and on to the Timberline they went. I kept them on for a total of about 8 mins as they were not monster size in thickness, probably about 1″ (too thin, but what can I say, I didn’t buy them). We did 4 mins per side with a 45 deg turn every two mins for our cross hatch marks. Steak registered 130 on the probe so we had nailed our medium rare. Taste was lovely, with a nice hint of the Mesquite (our pellet choice). Did not have very large or pronounced sear marks, but the steak was caramelized with a slight bark on it…and juicy as can be.
Wood vs Gas…Let the Revolution Begin
We’ll be doing more testing on Saturday at our launch event but between Big Wave’s plethora of cooks dating back to last summer and our cook in February, I can tell this grill is going to be a home run. Considering that you now have the ability to properly sear (which you will def get if you use a cast iron skillet in the Timberline) I will really try to steer grill shoppers to this category now and away from many of the gas grills that inhabit its price point. The argument that a gas grill works bc of the convenience is well taken, but what can be easier than a pellet grill? It maintains nearly exact temps and can now be monitored remotely via the WiFire app. And oh, it actually imparts flavor to your food and takes you back to the start of our species when cooking with fire was the norm.
So come visit us this Saturday to see it in person, or call us with a pre-order…the demand is overwhelming and they simply don’t have enough grills made to meet that demand right now!
This Saturday, April 1, come visit Curto’s as Senor Smoke and Traeger’s “Big Wave” Berg will be hosting a Timberline launch event from the Curto’s lot. Event is from 11-3. We will have a Timberline 850 live and smoking for your viewing and testing pleasure. Please call us at 1-800-966-2878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. Bring your questions and PLEASE get ready to place pre-orders as the Timberline is in limited quantity and distribution. Once we sell out of our allotment, that’s all folks!
Traeger Timberline Release April 1
After a long, LONG wait of one year+, the Traeger Timberline is (almost) here.
Within the next week Traeger will release their best grill ever, a Wifi-enabled, robustly-constructed beast that will smoke, grill and legitimately sear.
Curto’s will be one of the few retailers authorized to carry the Timberline series for Traeger. I am anticipating our first batch will be rolling in around March 30-April 1.
Never one to succumb to the hype, I did cook on one about one month ago. This was not a prototype model. No, no, no..it was actually a production model, one of the first to roll off the line after extensive multi-year testing. My early verdict was the grill is absolutely legit. While we did not do a long smoke due to time constraints, we did sear a steak. This was actually a more important test for me b/c the Traeger Pro series that costs $799 and $999 can smoke. So I never doubted that the Timberline could handle that. My question was whether it would be able to grill and sear at higher temperatures, and with better results than the Pro series which maxes out at around 400 degrees. We tested a ribeye (about 1.5″ thick) and some broccoli di rabe sausage and it handled both with smoke, grace and aplomb. Construction definitely shamed the Pro series. The wifi was…mixed. My rep had some difficulty running it off of his phone but eventually got it to work. Wifi capability really isn’t a pressing issue for me. I’ve seen the Memphis grill’s wifi ability hiccup for the better part of a year but that doesn’t detract from the complete studliness of the grill.
So, if you want to see the Timberline and want to take advantage of early season deals, please call or visit Curto’s this week!
Outdoor icemakers are gaining in popularity and Perlick is perched at the top
Whenever I have a question on outdoor product, I call this guy who I call “the Encyclopedia”. I would be hard-pressed to think there is another human being who has more knowledge on outdoor product than him.
SO when I asked him who makes the best outdoor icemaker, the answer was immediate and decisive.
“Perlick. And I don’t even sell them”.
For a sales rep to say that a direct competitor was not only a better product, but the BEST product, that speaks volumes.
By nature, icemakers are troublesome creatures. They have a lot of moving parts. They are noisy. They are doing something that is incredibly taxing on a machine made by man. So with all of these things working against icemakers, my advice would be as follows:
Buy a Perlick. Because they are the best.
Perlick has one icemaker (make that two if you want to add the ADA compliant model) – the H50IMS
In 24 hours it creates up to 55 lbs.
It has storage capacity of 22 lbs.
The ice is clear, top hat. This is important because people take the shape of their ice seriously!
Perlick likes to call their top hat shaped ice the “perfect ice”. It prevents clumping, is tasteless and odorless and will maintain its shape longer than crescent ice, so your expensive ice won’t water dowm
The shape of your ice has something to say about its ability to hold form and not melt in your Hendricks and tonic. If it melts quickly, your cocktail takes on more water and then said drink is ruined.
So happy to announce that we are now carrying Yoder smokers.
We will be focusing on the YS480 and YS640 pellet smokers, but you can also order any Yoder “stick burner” pit through us as well.
I am absolutely stoked about this addition to our portfolio. The inclusion of Yoder alongside our current pellet grill offerings from Memphis and Traeger gives us a broad selection of price points for customers interested in grilling with wood…which I have learned through experience is the BEST way to cook food!
Why go with a Yoder? Easy enough…you can spend over $6000 on a gas premium grill on a cart that will provide hot burners but nothing in the way of flavor enhancement nor the ability to smoke with any semblance of legitimacy. Or you can spend a tick below/above $2000 and get product that is built like an M1A1 tank, will allow you to smoke your best Louie Mueller impersonation in your backyard, or will also give you the option to grill over open fire with the purchase of the direct grill grate accessory. The versatility is simply unmatched.
Using two cooking zones on Alfresco’s SFI-POD Steak, Senor Smoke attains near steak perfection
March 1 2017
Two years ago I sold an Alfresco grill to a cat we will call “Steve from Scarsdale”. This was a special sale. Why?
The sales cycle took over one year. Talk about a considered purchase.
Steve took his dear, sweet time to order b/c he had a ton of research to do. He has an engineering background so he was paying close attention to the grill’s design integrity and details such as thickness, soldering, and overall product construct.
His final decision – an Alfresco.
Steve also purchased a few accessories including the solid fuel insert. Am few months after delivery I dropped him a note to see how he was enjoying the grill.
We got to talking about the solid fuel insert and he mentioned that he was doing dual zone cooking on it. I didn’t understand how he was able to pull that off considering the insert is not immense. He told me that the key was to bank your lump charcoal in the back of the insert and then leave the entire front of the insert empty. He said that there would be ample space with a “split” grate so that the dual zone method would not inhibit you with limited real estate.
So I tested Steve’s idea with a very thick strip steak that I knew could use some indirect heat as well as an intense sear.
I banked my Kamado Joe lump charcoal in the back of the solid fuel insert and lit it with the Alfresco burner. After 7 minutes the charcoal was fully ignited and ready to go. The steak, which had been massaged with olive oil, Jacobsens sea salt and cracked pepper was placed at the front of the insert as I wanted to reverse-sear this – cooking at a lower temperature and then searing at the end of the cook.
As you can see by the below photos, I had a significant spread in temperature at the grill grate – I was seeing a 500 degree difference which I could not believe.
I let the thick steak sit on the front of the solid fuel insert for about 7 – 8 minutes total, turning every 3 mins to get the cross hatch marks.
After the 8 minutes were up I move the steak the back portion of the solid fuel insert and immediately noticed that the steak was undergoing a sear – audibly the sizzle started to pick up and the smoke and flame started to kick in as well. Things were hot back there!
After about 2-3 minutes per side I pulled the steak and let it temp under loosely tented foil for about 10 minutes. The result – incredibly delicious medium rare and quite a tasty bark on it from the sear.