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Talk me out of it - Traeger Ironwood 650

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    Talk me out of it - Traeger Ironwood 650

    I'm going to return the SmokeFire as it's just too risky and I'm not going to modify a $1000 grill to make it work right and wait around so long I cannot return it (to see if Weber fixes it). I've really been debating what to do next. There are two things I won't tolerate on a Pellet grill, grease fires and designs that spread soot and ash over food. I've been a pellet grill user for quite a while and have had more different models than I care to admit. However, I do probably 75% of my outdoor cooking over pellets, so I need a replacement for the Weber.

    I keep coming back to the Traeger Ironwood. I know it won't grill like a Memphis or Weber, but that's OK. It has no smoke stack, a downdraft exhaust system, double sidewalls, WiFi, 500 degree max temp, a pellet alarm, a quite handy little set of hooks on the back for the upper grate when not in use, and very minimized risk of grease fires. I'm not seeing much for cons other than the price...yes it's probably a 2-3 bills more than it should be. I was very upset with Traeger after trying a D2 Pro 575 when they came out because of their support of the temperature issues the Pros were having. After seeing Weber's total lack of response to the SmokeFire issues, I'm realizing companies are just very hesitant to admit problems...in the end Traeger solved the issues with a firmware update the day after I returned mine -- 90 days after the grills came out. I can pick up an Ironwood at any of a dozen different stores around me and get accessories and parts numerous places locally and online as well.

    I sort of like the Rec Tecs, but I'm very skeptical of a company that heavily moderates reviews and only has direct sales for a single point of anything you need for their products. I also keep seeing reports of their stainless actually rusting and paint flaking. I have no where to see one before I buy it unless I travel to Georgia or creepily stalk people that own them to find someone with near me and convince them to let me see their horns.

    Similar situation for Grilla with the direct only route and plus no Wifi on their grills.

    I really looked hard at the Pitts and Spitts Maverick 850, but I would cuss every time I cooked trying to clean those stupid chicken wire grates and you have to pay another $225 for WiFi. I'm sure the grill would last forever though. Normal rod grates and I'd probably be struggling to find anything to cross of spending that much. I'd probably be $2500 in buy time I got grill, WiFi, and had custom replacement grates made.

    #2
    A little birdie told me Grilla will not remain a no Wi-fi company forever, and that's all I can say, I have to be bland about it.

    As for the rest of your concerns, my only suggestion is don't overthink it. I know I know, I do the same thing. I find five different ones I read reviews to death before I make a decision. But honestly I think you'll be happy with any of the reputable ones out there that folks are talking about.

    Comment


      #3
      I have a Traeger Scout - the little portable grill - and I had problems with temp controls, but I think it is because it is so small. I use it for sausages and stuff like stuffed jalapenos (ABTs). Does decent wings. When I was having the temp control issues, I had the opportunity to talk with Traeger customer support, and I was impressed. They were very responsive. I have also talked with the Grilla people, and they spent a lot of time with me talking about their products even though I didn't buy one (yet). Based on those conversations, and the reviews on the Grilla products I have seen here, I think if I decide to get another pellet grill, it will probably be the Grilla. I don't really need the wi fi, so it would work for me.

      Whatever you get, good luck with it. Like Huskee says, try not to overthink, but I know that will be tough after the SmokeFire experience.

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        That scout is such a different little beast, I try not to judge too much relative to it. Hats off to them for trying it, but a pretty brave creation.

      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        glitchy, I bought the scout on a whim at a local music festival to take on our first extended RV trip. So no research, just a Traeger guy telling me how wonderful it was. Plus a pretty good discount to take his demo unit. I just mentioned it to say that the Traeger customer service rep I talked to was very helpful.

      #4
      Don't forget the Yoder YS640S. I have the pre WiFi model. Cooks great, sears good with the GrillGrates. Easy cleanup. Built like a tank
      The only time I had any kind of a flair up is when I smoked 70# of butts (lots of dripping fat!) and I turned the temp up to hurry things up at the end and I hit the prime button more than once. Opened the lid spritzed the butts a few times and the small fire was out in about 2 minutes and didn't effect the meat at all.

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        Does Yoder ever run any specials?

      • BBQPhil
        BBQPhil commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a Yoder 480 and love it. The company is great to deal with, my grill has worked perfectly and it’s solidly built. They even offer upgrade kits when they made improvements to the igniter and other parts.It’s a good example of a product that might be more extensive, but is a better buy for the long term.

      • ofelles
        ofelles commented
        Editing a comment
        glitchy I don't know if they have specials, I have not seen any. I'm in California and had to pay about $400 in freight.
        You can get covers elseware CoversandAll has good prices. I bought one of their covers for my David Klose grill.
        I've heard of people using welders blankets to help with heat. Not a pretty but less $$
        Mine sit outside in the open year round and after 2 years I have a couple of very minor spots on the pellet lid.

      #5
      I would add a controller to the WSCG that you have. Just as "set and forget" as any pellet rig and it is probably more reliable in the long run. And it is a much cheaper option than adding another rig. Just my 2 cents.

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        My WSCG and Fireboard aren't going anywhere. I just still do a lot of cooks where I need or really want to be able to walk out, pull the cover off the grill flip a switch and throw food on 10 minutes later. I love the Summit, but don't always feel like the hassle of rearranging everything from the last cook, building the fire, finding the Fireboard, Viper, etc. Nothing against the WSCG, I knew what I was getting when I bought it and never planned on it being my primary smoker.

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        All the better, then he should be ready to go. jfmorris

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        In that case, I would take Skip 's advice, I would look at a MAK or the YS 640. glitchy

      #6
      If it were me I'd look hard a a Blaz'n Grill or a MAK. Both USA made!

      Comment


      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        Both of these are direct options only and super expensive to go into blind. I think I'd love a MAK, but not sure it's really in the budget. Blaz'n would be over $2k with the options I would want and think I would choose MAK over Blaz'n. Even without the Pro shelves, to get WiFi, cover, pellet dump, lid insulator and a meat probe is over $1800. Seems strange to charge for a probe and pellet dump when just about everyone else includes those.

      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
        Editing a comment
        If you don't care about grilling temps out of the box, the MAK 1 star is a great smoker and in your price range. You can upgrade it down the road to 2 star internals to enhance the grilling capability. WiFi is very expensive to add on though. That's one of the reasons I was rooting for Weber is I thought maybe MAK and Yoder would have to change their pricing slightly at least for accessories

      #7
      I LOVE all of the feedback guys and it's what I was hoping for when I posted. I've looked at several of these premium grills about 2-3 years ago when I ended up choosing a Memphis and being pretty disappointed (grease fires there too), so your suggestions have encouraged me to go look at all of these premium manufacturers' sites again.

      Let me throw a little more context into the equation: Knowing that I already have a Summit Charcoal and I've been through 7 pellet grills in the past 8-10 years counting the Weber, help me understand what these $2000+ grills will get me cooking performance wise that an Ironwood or Woodwind would not? I'll probably grow bored in 2-3 years when Lang enters the pellet market and not be able to survive without being personally underwhelmed by theirs and just have to buy it.

      If I had a super compelling reason I could probably stretch the budget up to maybe $2500, but think I would prefer to stay in the $1000ish range. I definitely have to justify to the boss functionality wise I'm getting for the $1000-$1500 more than a Traeger, Camp Chef, Rec Tec? I know they are built like tanks and will last a decade plus, but weight and metal thickness are not important to me. It will be under a covered patio under a grill cover when not in use, about as far from any ocean as a person can be. The wife knows there's a great chance I'll want to swap for a different grill in not too many years, so I have to convince her of the value too.

      Comment


      • Old Glory
        Old Glory commented
        Editing a comment
        What turned you off from Memphis?

      • glitchy
        glitchy commented
        Editing a comment
        Grease fires.

      #8
      I'm a big fan of the Grilla. I understand your point about not being able to touch it first. Fortunately for me, I neighbor Grilla Grills in SW MI. FWIW, the customer service can't be beat! I personally own one and would be willing to chat about whatever questions you may have. Being that you've had several already, I can also understand why you want to be so selective on your next.

      Comment


        #9
        For what it's worth, which may not be much given my limited experience, my plan is to get a WSM with a fan, etc and a good old kettle grill (for about 1/2 what I spent on the SmokeFire I'm returning) and then save up for a Yoder. I've just heard a lot of really great things about them.

        Comment


          #10
          Given your last post stick with your original thoughts. The Rec Tec, Trager, and Camp units are good.
          I did not know Lang is looking at a pellet model. Lone Star Grillz will have one later this spring they say.
          Decisions, Decisions; don't you just hate it?!

          Comment


          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            I don’t know that Lang is...but there will be new shiny things all the time and someone will have a big innovation before too long in the pellet game. Exciting new features come all the time. Lang specifically was a joke or exaggeration of that.

          #11
          I’m finding this discussion quite helpful as I may be in a similar boat with my Smokefire. I am new to smokers/pellet grills and have always used a gas grill with a couple of smoke boxes. My issue is that I don’t have space on my patio for multiple grills and I think my wife would kill me if I tried. I was hoping Weber could pull off as a grill and smoker combo. I have not had the extensive issues that others have had with the Smokefire. I had some inconsistent temperatures, which were partly due to the lid not closing correctly. I just put the new lid Weber sent me on and it looks like it will work much better. I mostly will smoke ribs and chicken with the occasional pork butt and brisket.

          am I crazy for considering sticking with the Smokefire? I have had flare ups on my gasser. Is this problem much more serious? If I return my Smokefire to Lowe’s I would like to get another pellet grill. I would need to stay in the same range as the Smokefire so the Rec Tec or Ironwood would be options.
          thanks in advance for your help!

          Comment


          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            Honestly the best feedback for the current model MAKs would come from the MAK owners facebook group. There were some design changes in 2019 that are pretty significant quality of life wise, but since the AR review the most significant was the upgraded flamezone which does make good grilling possible. Still benefits from using their searing grate add on or grill grates IMO, but it can grill good on stock grates. The 2019+ models have a lot more sq in for smoking now with multiple upper racks.

          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            Interesting...I just don't think I can pry the wallet open that far again on a grill. Makes me wish I was making the premium pellet grill gamble for the first time right now, I'd definitely be inclined to give it a shot.

          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            glitchy to be honest, if you are only gonna have a pellet grill 3ish years before you get bored and move onto something else then I'd definitely look at the cheaper options. Who cares about the quality as long as it functions at that point Every one of these grills has a quirk or two minimum, and the more popular ones have aftermarket modifications to correct what the manufacturers don't feel is a problem worth correcting immediately.

          #12
          I think you should wait until spring if you can and see what new stuff comes out this season.

          Comment


          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            Polarbear777, you have any good info to share on upcoming products?

          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment
            But wouldn't taking a chance on something new put you in the same boat as with the SmokeFire? Maybe it is better to stick with something tried and true.

          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            That’s kinda what I’m after with the Ironwood, It’s been out a year and I haven’t found or heard many negatives about it other than the usual anti-Traeger camp. I like to think I’m decent about knowing how to put a pit through a decent set of tests before the return window expires, so I’m not afraid of something new. However, it does factor into where I buy from. The place I will most likely buy an Ironwood has the ole Sears like satisfaction guarantee and offers 6 months same as cash.
            Last edited by glitchy; February 20, 2020, 12:39 AM.

          #13
          In my opinion, Traeger makes a good Pellet grill that works and produces great tasting food. I own a Pro 22 and it does a great job every time I use it, which is about 20% of my cooks. The rest of my cooking is on my BGE, PK, multiple Webers, and an occasional offset cook.

          Comment


            #14
            Hmmm...

            https://www.costco.com/traeger-silve...00506764.html#

            Looks like a cross between the Pro 575 and the Ironwood 650 with a cabinet. Definitely the 575 controller, but no smoke stack, bucket inside the cabinet, and a 500 degree max temp, all to go with Costco's return policy and $400 less. I guess I need to decide if I need Super Smoke mode and downdraft style exhaust or not.

            Comment


            • tbob4
              tbob4 commented
              Editing a comment
              If you get one from Costco, see if they will be having a road show locally. When they do, the price comes down and the reps are always trying to throw things in. I don't own a pellet grill but always have fun talking with the Traeger folks when they show up at Costco.

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              They are actually here on 3/5. That's a long time to to go without a pellet grill ;-) Even if I ordered from Costco, it says 2-3 weeks anyway. They are usually an interesting conversation when they are in the warehouse.

            #15
            I'd just do it if I were you. If you came here saying "I'm tired of swapping grills out, I want one that is awesome and will last at least a decade with decent care", then I can see spending up. But if you're going to probably ditch it in 3-4 years and not abuse it in the meantime, the Traeger is fine. Personally, I'd get the Costco version because it's $400 cheaper and again, you're not looking for 10+ years out of it.

            Comment

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