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Review: Traeger Timberline 850 Kicks A$# on Memorial Day

Written by Appliance Dude | May 31st, 2017

Traeger Timberline 850 Review

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.

Traeger TImberline 850

– 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!Traeger Timberline 850 Side Shelf

– 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.

Review: More Traeger Timberline 850 1300 Love – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | May 17th, 2017

I continue to kick out the jams on my Timberline 850 and have more product info to share. I also have some cool fun facts direct from the Traeger main office culled from their experience with the product, so strap yourself in…

– Do I need to keep the lid open at startup?
Unlike the Pro 22 and 34 models, you do NOT need to keep the lid open when igniting.

– Can I line the drip tray with aluminum foil?
I know that lining the drop tray makes clean up SO much easier. However (and this is direct from the mountains in Utah, ie Traeger’s office) – they highly recommend using the Aluminum Drip Tray Liners. Yes, I understand that Traeger is going to push the liners as it’s another add-on to the ticket, but they at least take the time to explain it:
“Airflow in the back of the Timberline is critical to proper smoke and convection as all the smoke rises through the back. If this area is blocked by a piece of foil the smoke will not rise and roll properly and will impede the expulsion of the old smoke.”

Traeger’s final take: If you insist on foiling the drip tray then make sure your folded tightly on sides front and back.

Where is the hottest part of the Timberline?
Very back corners on bottom grill position

Why is the front shelf so small?
The lower rack is so heavy and deep that it can be pulled out like an oven rack
You have 2 huge side shelves which are at higher positions and more accessible than the front folding shelf on the Pro series
The shallower shelf allows the cover to slip on easier

Why is the meat probe giving me a different reading than my Thermapen?
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This is a great question!
I have always received odd readings with grill meat probes (mostly with the Memphis grill) which prodded me to drop the dough on a Thermapen (arguably my most important grilling tool other than the grill!). According to Traeger, the more durable a meat probe is, the less accurate it is. So…

delicacy (a fold-up Thermapen) = accuracy

The Traeger meat probe is designed to get you into the general range of desired temp…and at that point it would be wise to use an instant read to nail that exact temp you need.

MORE TO COME>>>>