Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill and Smoker Review: A Game Changer for Any Pit Master

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The Lowdown

The Traeger Ironwood is a beautiful pellet smoker. The features list is long and impressive, and it performs flawlessly. Traeger designed the smoker with well-thought-out and useful features that make using it easier and better.

Overall
5

Pros

Excellent construction that’s built to last and easy to clean

Color touch screen display

Connects to the Traeger WiFIRE app via WiFi for easy tracking of each cook

Built-in ash and grease management

Built-in light

P.A.L. System allows you to attach extra shelves and other useful features to the grill

Cons

Traeger has long built a reputable name in the pellet grill industry and continues to innovate and improve. The latest edition of the Traeger Ironwood smoker has proven to be a game-changer for any pit master. Infusing technology with great design and quality, Traeger has built a smoker that will last a lifetime and bring perfect cooks.

The Ironwood line of pellet grills includes the Ironwood and Ironwood XL, providing a 1/3 larger cooking area. The Ironwood is designed with Traeger’s latest and greatest technology to ensure excellent results. The 616 square inch cooking capacity of the Ironwood is enough to do four chickens, eight rib racks, or four pork butts with a max temperature of 500º F.

Traeger Ironwood measurements

I received the Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill and Smoker, along with some pellets, seasoning, premium cover, and an optional P.A.L. System front shelf.

Traeger Ironwood Pellet Grill and Smoker Review: A Game Changer for Any Pit Master

Before unboxing, you’ll need to clear some space and have a partner to assist in the assembly. All the tools and parts required to complete the assembly are included out of the box. The instructions timed the task with the number of beers it took, but since we assembled early in the morning, I skipped that part and had my youngest son help me.

I want to point out that before getting started, you should separate and unwrap all of the parts and note what they look like. When attaching the wheels, you’ll need to ensure that the correct numbers correspond with the numbers on the pit. This smoker is heavy, so having an assistant when moving it is a must.

It took us about an hour and a half to assemble, and the instructions were detailed and easy to follow.

Traeger Ironwood assembly

We had no problems assembling the Traeger Ironwood and learned more about its clever design while putting it together.

This is a heavy-duty smoker and is well-made with rugged parts. While it is easy to assemble, we also found the design to be top-notch — not only in how it fits but also in how it works together.

Cleaning a pellet smoker needs to happen often, but it can often be dirty and annoying. Traeger has designed the Ironwood to open easily for cleaning and then quickly put back together.

Components of the Traeger Ironwood

The Traeger Ironwood smoker’s interior is coated in enamel, making clean-up quicker and easier. The grates are also coated, keeping excess meat drippings from being hard to clean. Once the smoker is assembled and standing, you can really begin to see the size and large cooking space it provides.

Traeger Ironwood assembly almost complete

Once assembled, the Traeger Ironwood is an attractive and hefty smoker; we felt quite accomplished and were ready to smoke some meat!

Fully assembled Traeger Ironwood

The Traeger P.A.L. System allows you to add various pop-and-lock shelves, storage areas, and hooks to the rail that runs along the sides and front of the smoker, so you can personalize it to best fit your needs.

The first layer is the heat dispenser when assembling the cooking area. The hole in the photo below is where the grease will drip into the combination of ash and grease collector.

The heat dispenser in the Traeger Ironwood

Above this is the drip tray, which funnels grease into the trap.

With the grill grates in place, it is ready to cook. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it is to uninstall and reinstall everything for a deep cleaning. Due to this design feature, I have been much better about cleaning the smoker more often.

Racks installed in the Traeger Ironwood

To the right of the cooking surface is the computer and pellet hopper. The 22-pound hopper holds an entire bag of Trager pellets and the pellet sensor, a lifesaver for an overnight cook using the Traeger WiFIRE mobile app.

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The new grease and ash system is a game changer in my eyes. Gone are the days of a swinging bucket of grease waiting to make a mess every time you move the smoker. The bucket is located under the Traeger Ironwood smoker and quickly locks into place.

Not only will the grease flow into the bucket, but so will any excess ash. If I’m not deep cleaning, I like to brush any excess ash left behind into it between cooks. All you have to do is remove the bucket, empty the tin, replace it, and all is cleaned up; this is an excellent feature.

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The Traeger Ironwood computer includes a full-color TFT Display and uses Smart Combustion technology to maintain consistent cooking temperatures.

The knob is used to toggle through maps and temperatures, and pressing the knob registers the selection. Selections can also be made via the touch screen. The combination of the touch screen and color display is a unique experience I have not had before when using a pellet smoker.

The display on the Traeger Ironwood

Using the included wired temp probes, you can set alarms for goal temps and set the smoker to the desired temperature. Tapping the screen to choose and using the knob to toggle through the numbers, it is quick and easy to use.

Traeger Ironwood display

Plenty of information is available under the temperature display. This is an easy way to check the probe temps and pellet level without opening the Traeger Ironwood’s cover; remember, if you are looking, you are not cooking!

One of the positives of using a pellet grill is the ability not to open the lid until you need to remove the meat. This new screen is a great addition to an already great product.

This video walks you through the major features and shows my first cook on the Traeger Ironwood after the initial burn-in. The ribs were like candy!

In the video, I removed all the items to clean and reinstalled them with one hand while holding a camera; in other words, the Ironwood is designed so that it will be super easy to keep clean.

The Traeger Ironwood’s large side shelf is a perfect area to prepare items for the smoker or if you need a space to store supplies. The large area is similar to the Timberline shelf, which includes an induction burner.

This is interesting since a plug is available on the controller, so adding a burner on the Ironwood line might be possible later. Fingers crossed, this is an option that becomes available. So far, the side shelf has been plenty of space for me to utilize on all of my cooks.

Traeger Ironwood

The Traeger Ironwood also includes WiFIRE technology, which connects the smoker to WiFi and makes information about the smoker and your cooks available via the WiFIRE app.

The app allows users to set temperatures and goals for the probes and find amazing tips and recipes. The app will walk you through an entire cook for certain meats if you are a beginner or just trying to learn something new.

The Traeger WiFIRE app includes a great display of what is happening under the hood. As you can see, the temperature setting and current temperature are at the top. If you tap the set temperature, it can be adjusted from your phone.

Trager app

The timer and probe are next. Two probes will appear when being used. Here, you can see the current and goal temperatures, with other options available, such as pellet level.

I have used the Shut Down feature several times. It’s a game changer when you bring meat inside and want to finish the meal instead of shutting down the smoker manually. When I smoked a brisket, I actually started it late at night and slept with no worries. The alarms would wake me up if there were a problem.

Traeger app

A ton of features are included in the Traeger Ironwood that add convenience and improved smoked flavor. The Downdraft Exhaust gets rid of the smoke stack and enhances the smoke flavor.

The brisket I did came out phenomenal! The smoke ring was perfect, and the bark was to die for. I really think this feature improves the amount of smoke the meat receives.

Brisket cooked on the Traeger Ironwood

Smoking meats at night? No problem! The Traeger Ironwood comes with lights that trigger as soon as the double-layered lid opens, which is perfect for a quick peek at the cooking progress in the dark. It means I no longer have to use my phone’s flashlight to see the meat!

Ribs cooking on the Traeger Ironwood

The Traeger Ironwood is a beautiful pellet smoker. The features list is long and impressive, and it performs flawlessly. Traeger designed the smoker with well-thought-out and useful features that make using it easier and better.

I have used many pellet smokers, all with great results, but the Traeger Ironwood is by far the best experience. The smoker is easy to clean, and the new grease and ash management is a game changer. The P.A.L. accessory rail allows you to customize many options and make the Ironwood exactly how you like it.

If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line pellet smoker, I recommend the Traeger Ironwood; if you need even more space, check out the Trager Ironwood XL!

The Traeger Ironwood sells for $1,799.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Excellent construction that’s built to last and easy to clean; Color touch screen display; Connects to the Traeger WiFIRE app via WiFi for easy tracking of each cook; Built-in ash and grease management; Built-in light; P.A.L. System allows you to attach extra shelves and other useful features to the grill

What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Travis Ehrlich
Travis is a high school teacher and coach in a small South Texas town. His love for gadgets began at a very early age, and he has been a cross between a jock and a geek for most of his life. He has two boys and a wonderful wife who lets him be a gadget freak. He is a Mac convert and has drank the whole pitcher of Kool-Aid! He is also an avid guitar player and loves the outdoors, especially hunting with both a bow and rifle.

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