A few takeaways from my Memorial Day cook on the Traeger Timberline 850:
– I was finally able to do a LONG cook on it (a few racks of short ribs). Prior to this I had been doing shorter cooks – hamburgers, chicken, pizza and a variety of steaks.
The longer cook allowed me to gauge how it burns through pellets, how it maintained temperature and how it retained food moisture over a longer period of time.
– the Grill is huge. Kudos to Traeger for this ingenious design. Not only is there a tremendous amount of headroom due to fact the pill-shape which added another 5″ of vertical grilling space.
– the SuperSmoke feature is completely badass. I’ve used this quite often when making steaks…what I do is smoke my skirt steak, NY Strip, or ribeye in the Timberline 850 for about 15 mins at around 225. I then take the steaks and sear them at a very high temp on either my Alfresco sear burner or DCS sear burner. The steals come out nearly edge to edge medium rare with a very nice smoke hint. The SuperSmoke feature is great b/c I can concentrate the smoke on the food in short, focused bursts.
– Temperatures will vary inside the grill – they have made a big deal about their TRU convection system which is going to allow you to cook 20% quicker and more evenly. I did not see this in the Memorial Day cook – the ribs towards the back of the grill seemed to cook faster than the ones placed in the front. This is probably due to a big gap between the rack edge and the grill back wall which allows heat to come up the back of the grill (and I would assume eventually start to convect in a circular motion).
– the best part of using the Timberline – the initial smoke that is generated at startup. The smell is…heaven sent.
– I love the bamboo side shelf. Much more practical than the front shelf available on the Pro series grills. I’ve used it rest tools, sauces…and booze!
– the grill is very quiet. There was some concern that it would be loud considering it was now able to climb up to 500 degrees. Not an issue. It’s actually quite relaxing to listen to. When I’m in the back with the Timberline humming, a libation in hand, and something tasty on the grill…it is a moment of mindful bliss!
– I’m sorry but I have not tried the WiFire at home yet. Haven’t done any longer cooks save for the Memorial Day ribs. When I try my first brisket, WiFire will be engaged.
– I don’t see much Smoke Leak (when a smoker that isn’t well-sealed will allow smoke to creep and leak from all sides of its closed door) so that tells us the gasket and thicker door is doing its job.
– Yes the Timberline can sear but I still prefer taking my burners/steaks off at the last minute and giving them a white hot sear on my DCS or Alfresco.
– With all the talk of Smoke Science, SuperSmoke, wiFire and TRU convect, the real show-stopper are…the racks! You get three heavy, stainless grated that are more akin to what you have in your indoor wall oven rather than a bbq. They are multi-positional, slide out effortlessly and are a significant upgrade over what other grills are offering. The rack depth has rendered obsolete the front folding shelf popular with the Pro series…that would take up too much real estate).
– Startup time – I’m at 250 for smoking in less than 10 mins. I can get to 375 or 400 for grilling in a few mins more. Getting to 500 is more a lengthy climb.
My Traeger Timberline 850 has quickly eclipsed my other 6 grills, becoming my go-to piece for both grilling and smoking.
Yes, you read that correctly, I AM grilling on this new Traeger. The days of using the Traeger solely for smoke cooks is over, as the Timberline has manned
up with more muscle under the hood to provide consistent, hot temps that will provide a nice char.
I decided to use the reverse sear method to cook the tri tip. This technique usually guarantees me edge to edge pink which is what I am aiming for. I prepped the steak with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of Jake’s Grillin beef rub.
With the hopper full of cherry pellets, I set the Timberline at 250F and kicked back with a Heady Topper. Within minutes, the Timberline was hovering around my temp and releasing a light smoke perfume from the back of the grill…intoxicating!
I waited about 12 mins all told ( I wanted the grate to warm up as much as possible) and then I laid the tri tip on the lower grate. I smoked it for about about 45 mins and when the temp reached around 110F, I pulled it. I already had a bed made for it where it rested for about 10 mins while I cranked up the heat on the Timberline. As it started to climb, I happily noted that the Timberline did not make a tremendous amount of noise while it fed the hopper (some of these pellet gills sound they are playing Flight of the Valkyrie when attempting to climb in temp.
After we had pulled north of 450 on the digital temp gauge and the Thermoworks pen (crucial piece of equipment!) I placed the tri tip back inside the Timberline, stuck in the meat probe, and loaded it back on for 10 mins. I was very sensitive to over-cooking and that made it all the better when the tri tip was sliced by my Victorinox knife. The sanguine, lush interior was juxtaposed by a charred, almost-crunchy exterior. The sear was legit, and made all the better by a nice dash of cherry smoke which took the flavor to another level.
Here are pics of the cook. Much more to come with the Timberline 850!
Visit Curto’s on Sunday April 2 from 12-4 as Senor Smoke and Traeger’s “Big Wave” Berg will be hosting a Timberline launch event from the Curto’s lot. 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!