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Traeger Ironwood and Ironwood XL Review

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Traeger Ironwood

We just received this model a few days ago and haven’t finished our comprehensive tests yet so consider this a review in progress and check back as we move forward. 

The new Traeger mid-size Ironwood and large Ironwood XL are upgraded versions of their existing Ironwood 650 and Ironwood 885. Traeger currently doesn’t plan to discontinue the older models. Before 2022, the main Traeger lineup was their introductory Pro line, mid-priced Ironwood and premium Timberline. At the beginning of 2022, Traeger rolled out their top-of-the-line versions of Timberline that are loaded with great features at about twice the price. Now here comes the new Ironwood that includes some of those same new features and a few other upgrades at a more modest price increase. The old Ironwood 650 and 885 are $1,299.99 and $1,499.99 respectively. The new Ironwood and Ironwood XL are $1,799.99 and $1,999.99. Traeger states the new Ironwood price points were “strategically chosen to make the premium product more attainable for general consumers.”

For this review, we tested the new mid-size Ironwood which is 47″H x 46″W x 27″ D, weighing 149 pounds. The body is coated steel.

Ironwood inherited its shape from Timberline. Instead of a barrel-shaped smokebox, Ironwood has stadium or race track-shaped sides with a high-profile hood. The unique design is meant to create a steady, even flow of heat and smoke throughout the smoke box by traveling upward, hitting the curved hood, then being sucked downward out a vent that spans the back from left to right.

Traeger Ironwood exhaust vent

The wide vent prevents heat from being concentrated to one exhaust point as would be the case with a chimney.

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A porcelain coated extender cooking rack can slide into brackets at different height levels or be removed to make way for a big, holiday turkey.

Traeger Ironwood cooking racks

The main cooking grates are split and can sit up high for smoking, or be flipped over and dropped down low for searing.

Traeger Ironwood reversable cooking grates

We’ll see about that! Most pellet “grills” are really smokers – great smokers mind you – but they just don’t get hot enough to properly sear. However, we tested the Timberline and it did OK, so there’s hope for Ironwood. You can bet we’ll put it to the test with these flank steaks!

Flank steaks

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You may have already noticed Ironwood’s unusual, funnel shaped drip tray.

Traeger Ironwood drip tray

The funnel guides grease and gunk down an opening on the left. Underneath is an equally unusual diffuser that spans the entire lower firebox front to back and left to right.

Traeger Ironwood diffuser

It diffuses heat and smoke from the firepot beneath. You can see the foil lined, removable grease/ash bucket on the left and firepot where the wood pellets burn on the right.

Traeger Ironwood smokebox bottom

Traeger states their design effectively blows ash into the grease/ash bucket and keeps the firepot ash free.

Traeger Ironwood firepot

You should still clean out the bottom occasionally, but in our Timberline tests, we were surprised by how well this design kept ash from accumulating in the firepot; a major cause of system malfunction. All of the above elements are taken from the new Timberlines.

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WiFIRE controller

Ironwood also inherits Timberline’s new and improved WiFIRE Control System. Fire it up and your journey begins.

Traeger Ironwood controller

When Timberline first appeared in 2017, the WiFIRE controller and app were among the more sophisticated pellet smoker systems we’d encountered. These days apps are everywhere and are becoming commonplace with backyard smokers and grills. The 2017 WiFIRE was just a starting point. Software never sleeps and neither do Traeger’s programmers. The new version has more of everything.

Traeger WiFIRE App

From the control panel on the pellet hopper, or from Traeger’s smart phone app, WiFIRE reports on the status of the entire smoker including set temp, actual temp, and fuel level.  You can change settings, such as cooking temp or internal meat target temp. An alarm will notify you when your set cooking time or desired meat temperature is achieved. Everything is connected to WiFIRE, including two meat probes that come with Ironwood. Ironwood is also compatible with Traeger’s optional, wireless MEATER meat probes. Click here to read our MEATER Review.

A typical problem with wireless technology is connectivity. We learned long ago that connecting a smartphone app to a wireless device on the deck is often frustrating. One shouldn’t rush to blame the smoker. Connection problems can result from a variety of factors like an out-of-date modem or placement of the device outside a network’s range. The app gives you the same control and monitoring as the control panel, but right in the palm of your hand, from anywhere. Run an errand or head to the office while Timberline smokes low-and-slow back home. The WiFIRE App is your traveling control panel. If your brisket progresses faster than anticipated, just hit the “Keep Warm” button and WiFIRE will drop the cooking temp to 165°F to hold your goodies until you return. You can also access Traeger’s Recipe Library from the app.

Accessory rail

Another Timberline carryover is Traeger’s new PAL (Pop-And-Lock) Accessory Rail which wraps around the front and sides of Ironwood and allows you to position various, optional accessories, like tool hooks and condiment trays, wherever you like.

Traeger Ironwood PAL rail

Other notable features

The hood is double walled with a heavy insulation strip around the lip.

Traeger Ironwood hood

A pellet sensor monitors fuel level in the 20 pound pellet hopper which has a sliding, pellet  clean-out chute at the bottom.

Timberline pellet hopper

As of now, we only had time to smoke salmon. So far so good. This photo shows Ironwood’s grill lights located on the right side at grate level. The lights come on automatically when the lid is raised.

Traeger Ironwood salmon

They’re useful after dark, but only illuminate a smallish area of the cook surface. Overhead lights would be more effective.

Packaging and assembly

Traeger has some of the heaviest and most extensive, custom fit, cardboard packaging we’ve seen. A few assembly steps were surprisingly difficult, particularly the lower shelf where we hit a wall largely due to weak instruction. Take note of the two embossed ridges on the right side which are not shown in the current manual. An optional pellet bucket fits between them to catch pellets when you clean out the hopper.

Traeger Ironwood lower shelf

We’ll do more tests directly and update this review as we go.  Want to be one of the first to read our full review? Pitmaster Club members get a sneak peek at all new content so click here for a 30-day free trial and to learn more about everything the Pitmaster club has to offer!

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The new Ironwoods are covered under Traeger’s 10 Year Limited Warranty.

Timberline warranty

We thank Traeger for providing an Ironwood for this review.

  • Model:
  • Item Price:
    $ 1799.99
  • Made in USA:
  • Review Method:
    Cooked On It
    We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
  • Primary Function:
  • Fuel:
    Wood Pellets
  • Primary Capacity:
    420 square inches
    Mid-Size (about 20 burgers)
  • Secondary Capacity:
    230 square inches

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Published On: 2/14/2023 Last Modified: 2/18/2023

  • Max Good, Full time grill tester - Max Good,'s Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, is the man in charge of finding the best products for the Equipment Reviews section. Max bottles his own barbecue sauce recipes and now sells them around the country.


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