Traeger Timberline XL Is The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen
I’ve spent the previous few months getting conversant in the Traeger Timberline XL. Is it for everybody? Do you want it? All of it relies on how devoted you might be to out of doors cooking.
Not like my Traeger-worshiping supply particular person of some years in the past, the gentleman shoving the 300 lb. pallet up my driveway was unimpressed by the truth that I used to be getting a brand new Traeger (offered by the corporate for my trustworthy opinion).
“Y’know, I used to grill. Grilled a bunch. Had an enormous smoker.” He shook his head. “Now I’ve simply received a bit of charcoal grill. Does me simply nice.” At this level he broke off and stared pointedly at me.
Was he issuing a silent warning to not tie my price and masculinity to a chunk of grilling gear? Was he leveraging disapproval for what he thought-about blatant extra? Was he possibly, once more, simply letting me know he was aggravated that this complete sweaty endeavor may have been prevented if I would just, y’know, caught with a small charcoal grill.
Unboxing the Timberline XL for the primary time, I sort of noticed his level.
It is a huge piece of kit. Meant for devouring whole sides of pork, with loads of room for a couple of chickens and briskets. I labored my approach across the pallet, peeling off layers of cardboard round a field that was virtually as massive as my Chevy Bolt. I considered my typical grilling night, which consists of a handful of burgers and buns. The phrase “overkill” instantly sprung to thoughts.
However then I began eager about the probabilities. I may bake sides as I roasted the primary dish, plus have one other aspect or sauce simmering on the induction burner. I may roast an entire aspect of pork. Or a number of racks of ribs, once more with loads of actual property to repair further dishes.
Sure, the Traeger Timberline XL is overkill in case you have a look at it as only a grill as a substitute of what it truly is.
An immediate out of doors kitchen in a field.
Do not child your self, you are going to wish to put aside a night and make use of the assistance of a good friend or two as you step by the meeting course of. Particularly in case you’ve gotten a couple of equipment, simply unpacking the packing containers in an effort to type out all of the items takes a considerable period of time.
Whereas I used to be capable of assemble and rise up my outdated Ironwood 650 by myself, with the Timberline XL my first actual hurdle got here after I would screwed within the wheels on the underside. At 238 lbs., with no locking mechanism for the lid, it is almost unattainable for one particular person to get the proper leverage to carry and place the grill on its wheels. I used to be lastly capable of get it there, however solely by present process a maneuver the place I risked snapping off the wheels I would just put in (fortunately they held).
After that nervous starting, I used to be capable of wheel the Timberline XL inside to get began on the remainder of the meeting, together with the induction burner and different equipment. As with different Traeger merchandise, the meeting directions are clear, concise, and simple to comply with. I want everybody who made gear would verify them out and be taught some classes.
I additionally actually respect that Traeger’s conscious of the ponderous quantity of cardboard required to ship the Timberline XL. To that finish, they’ve printed a complete saloon playset on the within, full with a wished poster, swinging doorways, and a desk for checkers. Why simply recycle when you’ll be able to have some enjoyable? In spite of everything, it isn’t typically you get a large field to play with.
When you assemble your grill, it is time to wheel it outdoors, replenish the hopper (which may devour a complete 20 lb. bag of pellets), and begin the setup course of.
Plug within the Timberline XL and the very first thing you may discover is the brand new and improved management middle. The Timberline sequence ditches the monotone show of earlier grills for a full-color touchscreen. You too can scroll by menu decisions (and dial in your temperature) with a big, easy-to-use dial.
The grill walks you thru all the pieces that you must do, together with getting on-line. Sure, the Timberline XL is unapologetically an internet system. It is wanted for connecting to the app (for issues like importing recipes and remotely controlling settings) and OTA software program updates. The latter is essential. I discovered that I wanted a few updates to shake out a couple of operational errors I encountered in my early testing.
As soon as all the pieces’s up to date, the grill walks you thru the curing course of. You may load up some pellets and it will prime the grill and burn off any leftover manufacturing facility gunk.
Whereas it is doing that, it is the proper time to poke round and get conversant in what makes the Timberline sequence such an essential evolution within the Traeger line.
Enhancements and Equipment
Whereas the brand new management middle is the obvious enchancment within the Timberline line, there are many different options that really feel like essential evolutionary upgrades.
First off, the pellet hopper (with its handy picket slicing board lid) has a chute on the underside in an effort to simply clear all of the pellets out with the pull of a deal with. The house beneath which you could fill with picket cabinets may accommodate one in all Traeger’s pellet storage containers. So now it is significantly simpler (and fewer messy) to change out pellets whenever you desire a sure taste wooden for the dish you are cooking.
As soon as the pellets are sorted, you’ll be able to head over to the under-grill cupboard. Behind the doorways right here, there’s loads of room for storage, in addition to the EZ-Clear Grease and Ash keg. This is likely one of the issues I used to be most excited for. Beforehand, to wash your Traeger, you needed to vacuum out ashes from the hearth pot and keep watch over a grease bucket precariously hanging off the aspect. All of that is modified with the brand new system that channels grease and ash right into a central properly and collects all of it in a bucket that snaps in beneath. You do nonetheless must do some scraping down of the pan beneath the grill grates, but it surely’s a significantly higher system general.
One other big improve is the combination of wi-fi MEATER thermometers. The Traeger Timberline XL comes with two and you may independently set the temperatures for every utilizing the grill itself or the app. Helpful when that you must prepare dinner totally different proteins (or simply need totally different temps in your burgers). The probes include a charging station that is magnetic, so you’ll be able to pop it anyplace that is handy.
Talking of pop—the brand new P.A.L. Pop-And-Lock system offers you main choices with regards to accessorizing your grill. There are some apparent must-haves, like a storage cubby for sauces and seasonings and hooks in your grill instruments. There’s additionally a nice-to-have roll rack for a roll of butcher paper (or paper towels in case you’re like me). There’s additionally a pop-and-lock folding shelf out there and it is so good, I believe it ought to really be customary gear. Not having to stability a pan on the lip of the grill or drip marinade throughout my deck as I switch protein to the grill grates is extremely useful. To not point out, generally you simply want a bit of house in entrance of the grill to work. It folds out of the best way when it isn’t in use.
One different notable enchancment is the LED mild that illuminates whenever you carry the heavy, dual-insulated lid.
First Prepare dinner
So what’s it like whenever you carry that lid and begin really utilizing the Timberline XL? Should you’ve cooked on any Traeger grill previously few years, you may know the expertise properly. Dial in your temp, then let the Traeger determine the way to get there. Or, in case you’re cooking from a recipe, pull it up within the Traeger app and ship it on to the grill after it has been began and the grill units the temperatures for you (plus any temp modifications alongside the best way).
None of that has actually modified with the Timberline XL besides the quantity of house it’s important to play with. I made a decision to do a full BBQ Hen dinner with cornbread muffins and mac & cheese, all on the grill.
I received the Timberline to 400, then inserted a MEATER probe into the thickest rooster breast and set the specified temp. Whereas these had been working, I boiled some water for macaroni on the induction burner. Then I popped a pan of corn muffins subsequent to my rooster.
My further components for the mac and cheese had been simply accessible and, actually, the one time I needed to go away the Timberline was once I needed to pressure the pasta. That is once I realized that the Timberline XL just isn’t merely a grill/smoker with a burner, it is a complete out of doors kitchen in a single (comparatively) compact package deal.
That is why, if in case you have the room, I would advocate incorporating the Timberline XL as a built-in into your out of doors patio house. Traeger sells a trim package that takes away the rolling casters (which could not be a foul thought anyway, extra on that in a sec) and provides a kickplate to cowl the hole between the underside of the grill and the ground. Then it is only a matter of creating an area for the induction burner in your countertop (it connects to the Traeger with a plug for energy and makes use of Bluetooth connectivity to speak, it isn’t really hardwired into the grill).
So far as my “whole meal on the grill” experiment? It labored out completely and with far much less problem than I’ve ever skilled cooking open air. The Timberline XL involves temperature should sooner than my outdated Ironwood 650 and is best at holding a secure temp. It is excellent for baking and makes for dependable grilling. Even in case you’re not making an entire further aspect, the induction burner is ideal for decreasing sauces and having them on the prepared.
And with the app integration, you do not even have to face there, continually poking on the grill. The Timberline XL is wise sufficient to regulate gas movement to keep up your chosen temperature. Which might be good since, if in case you have Tremendous Smoke on, you may find yourself smelling like a campfire in case you stand outdoors subsequent to it.
Once I began my first recipe on the Timberline XL, I used to be met with rows of “Placeholder” textual content. And whereas that challenge’s been cleared up with subsequent over the air software program updates, I’ve since been chasing down an intermittent drawback with the lid sensor sensor (essential for letting the Traeger resolve if it’s cooling off as a result of the lid is up or if it must be dumping further gas within the fireplace pot). Lengthy story quick, extra know-how means extra factors of failure. If one thing does go flawed, I do know that Traeger’s wonderful customer support will clear it up straight away. However in case you’re in search of a easy “scorching canines on the grill” sort of expertise (like my beleaguered supply particular person), then you could discover it sometimes irritating.
Additionally, as I discussed within the meeting part, the Timberline XL is heavy. Ridiculously heavy. Whereas it does have caster wheels, that you must guarantee that none of them are locked earlier than you begin transferring it. The Timberline XL’s weight is principally within the entrance of the unit and it’ll undoubtedly tip that approach if given the possibility. Then you definitely’ve received an roughly 250 lb. hunk of metallic that wants not less than two to 3 individuals to get it again on its wheels. When transferring it to prepare for Hurricane Ian, I managed to tip it on its entrance and there it stayed until after the storm handed. Once more, a built-in set up might be the easiest way to go.
So, primarily, know what you are moving into whenever you purchase the Timberline XL. Whereas it might do all the pieces that your customary non-connected, grill/smoker can, there’s rather more to it than meets the attention.
The place Can I Get It?
You may seize the Timberline XL for $3,799 and the, barely smaller, 880 sq. ft Timberline for $3,499 on the Traeger web site. As we head into the autumn and soccer grilling is at its peak, there’s actually no higher time.
Plus, you then have an excuse to splurge on issues like Traeger’s unimaginable new Whistlepig whiskey sauces and whiskey barrel pellets (I nonetheless cannot recover from the precise whiskey they collaborated on).
Traeger’s persevering with to innovate and is not carried out with the Timberline sequence but. There is a pizza oven that was teased throughout the unique announcement that we’ll hopefully see someday this yr. Relaxation assured, when it comes out, I will be giving it a whirl.