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Max Good, here

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  • jwkieta
    commented on 's reply
    Max, my first cook on the Timberline (tri-tip) took significantly longer than a previous similar cook on the Memphis at the same temp. I'm going to check the internal temps to see if the reported temp is inaccurate. I don't have a Fireboard but I'll put a wired probe in there to test. It does seem like the temp is lower than the same temp in the Memphis, but I'm not sure the Memphis is accurate, either.

  • Max Good
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks. Your opinion and expertise are also valuable. I'll hold onto your comments and please continue to share your experience. I agree that the temp swings likely increase smoke. The unit I have gave me some connectivity problems. Both my Fireboard PRO and my cooking experiences indicate my unit 's set temp is substantially higher than actual cooking temp. The new Timberlines are loaded with features and technology. They are complex machines.

  • Panhead John
    commented on 's reply
    I don’t own a pellet grill and probably never will but…..excellent writeup! Very well done showing the positives and negatives, plus the fact you did several cooks on it before giving your thoughts. 👍

  • jwkieta
    replied
    Max Good, here's my take on the Timberline XL. I'm now two weeks in with multiple cooks: tri-tip, baby backs, chicken, sausage and peppers, and mac and cheese are a few.

    Positives
    • It produces more smoke than any pellet grill I've owned before. This is the #1 benefit in my book and makes the very high price tag somewhat justifiable. There's a constant ribbon of thin blue smoke billowing out the back even without "super smoke" and it results in a noticeably more pronounced smoke flavor. Everything I've cooked on it has been delicious. I currently own a Memphis Pro ITC3 and the Timberline kicks its butt in the smoke department. There's visible smoke at 400 degrees and up. The Memphis says sayonara to smoke around 275 degrees, and at lower temps I only see it in cycles. I used to own a Traeger Ironwood and it was difficult to see smoke at around 250 degrees. My hypothesis is that the PID controller is too efficient for its own good and kept such a consistent temp that pellets don't smolder enough. With the Timberline, Traeger fixed that problem.
    • The user interface and app are intuitive and beautifully designed. My grill connected to wifi and immediately downloaded firmware updates that allowed me to avoid some of the giltches early adopters experienced.
    • The Meater integration is awesome. I'd never used Meater thermometers before but the wireless connectivity is nice. I thought one was running a little off so I'll calibrate soon.
    • The ash/grease keg is not a gimmick. Not all of the ash finds its way into the keg, but every time I've taken out the grates, baffles, etc., I've noticed the burn pot had no ash in it. I suspect this constant expulsion of the ash from the burn pot is part of the reason why the Timberline creates so much wonderful smoke. I think you can safely go multiple cooks just unloading the ash from the keg and not having to take the whole thing apart and vacuum it out. I don't get much grease in the keg because I cook on the upper grates and catch most of the grease with foil pans.
    • The new pellet drop configuration should eliminate auger burnback potential.
    • I was able to get a cast iron pan screaming hot on the induction side burner. I've also used it to boil pasta for the mac and cheese. One potential use would be deep frying ... keep the smell out of the house. The burner iself is very high quality.
    • The XL is HUGE, but the temperatures appear pretty even across the chamber. I still need to do a biscuit or bread test. The design has no gap between the drip tray and the sides of the cooker, eliminating that common hot spot.
    • The unit is solidly built. It's powder-coated steel on the outside but I see it holding up well to the elements and the inside of the cook chamber is lined in 304 stainless.
    • It should give the MAK, Lone Star Grillz and Weber SmokeFire a serious battle for most smoke off a pellet cooker.
    Negatives
    • Temps can swing wildly, as much as 50 degrees plus or minus. Maybe this is another reason why there's so much smoke? I understand some swings are beneficial but I've experienced such wild shifts I was thinking about alerting customer service.
    • It's lousy at grilling; like all Traegers the temp tops off at 500. My Memphis gets much hotter and blows it out of the water in this category. There's also no direct flame access. I don't think the induction side burner is a replacement for on-grill searing.
    • It's slow to increase temperature. Traeger says it has "turbo temp" but it's more like turtle temp. Memphis and my previous Ironwood heat up much faster.
    • It's expensive. There are full stainless pellet smokers at this price point.
    • I've had a relatively glitch-free experience, but online reviews reflect some serious issues with the technology. Many grills have been returned and/or replaced. Some feel like they are beta testers for a unit that wasn't ready for prime time.
    • My girlfriend doesn't like the aesthetics; she thinks the cook chamber looks like a coffin.

    The jury's still out for me, but I'm leaning toward keeping the Timberline and selling the Memphis. I've had a few issues with the ITC3 and that's coloring my thinking, but I'm going to take some time to more fully report this story. That's the journalist in me.

    Let me know if you need anything else ... your opinion and expertise is much more valuable!
    Last edited by jwkieta; October 29, 2022, 10:14 AM.

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  • Max Good
    commented on 's reply
    I am working on the new Timberline now. I'd value your opinions!

  • jwkieta
    replied
    Max, are you reviewing the new Traeger Timberline? I just bought one but can't wait to read your take.

    Leave a comment:


  • Max Good
    commented on 's reply
    There’s a lot to like here as the grill currently stands; the forgiving Amplifire system, auto clean, dependable medium temperature cook settings, and impressive high-temperature performance. A few rough edges need to be addressed, but if you’re in the market for a gas grill right now, Cruise merits a look. We award our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Silver Medal.

  • DesertRaider
    commented on 's reply
    Max Good Thanks for all the information, and, the review helped a lot. While I like the idea, it sounds like better models may be in the future.

  • Max Good
    commented on 's reply
    DesertRaider As stated in my review, "A built-in flame sensor turns the grill off if it does not ignite within a certain time or if at any point during cooking the flame goes out. This is a nice safety feature, but our Cruise kept shutting off and displaying an "E01" error which indicates 'flame not detected.' We had fuel and there was no wind, so what caused the flame to keep going out? Char-Broil says some new units get chronic E01 errors until you break them in."

  • DesertRaider
    commented on 's reply
    Max, thanks for the review link. I searched a few weeks ago and didn't see it, hence the question above.
    If I could ask an additional question, something I've seen in the comment section about this grill was how easy the flame went out in a light breeze. Did this happen to you as well?

  • Max Good
    replied
    All my reviews are on the free site. They are searchable too! Here's the Cruise Review: https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...ise-gas-grill/

    Leave a comment:


  • DesertRaider
    replied
    Hi Max,
    You gave a brief mention to the Char Broil Cruise, https://www.charbroil.com/cruise-435...rill-463258622 , when it was publicly announced, and said there could be a follow up more thorough review.
    So, have you had a chance to review it? No, I don't work for them, I'm looking for a new gasser If this works as advertised, I could be parting with some good money for it because it would certainly fill a few needs around my place.
    TIA,
    The DesertRaider

    Leave a comment:


  • Spinaker
    commented on 's reply
    Max Good

  • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
    commented on 's reply
    I dunno about the 1 star, but the 2 star was very easy to assemble. If I would have charged a friend to help assemble it woulda been worth a 6 pack for the time it took Both Yoder and GMG make some really good pellet cookers. Both the MAK and the Yoder are gonna stress your $2K limit once you factor in accessories

  • Draznnl
    replied
    Hi Max,
    I’ve been smoking on a WSM for the last several years and am looking to add a pellet smoker to my arsenal. I am looking at Yoder and Green Mountain Grills primarily while the MAK One Star is also on my list because Meathead loves the MAK so much. I can purchase a Yoder or GMG at a local retailer that will construct and deliver the machine. I’d need to hire someone to build the MAK.

    My budget is $1,500.00. I’m able to blow that by a couple hundred, but need to stay under $2,000.00.

    Do you have any recommendations for me?

    Leave a comment:

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