Using innovative technologies and designed to take all of the stresses out of barbecuing, the Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill promises to be a masterpiece in modern outdoor cooking.
Gone are the days of the chef of the event having to stand at the flaming grill, carefully turning meat to make sure it doesn’t burn, but inevitably doing so anyway, this new invention has been crafted to ensure the cook can sit back and relax while the food is cooked to perfection, being alerted to its readiness by a notification on a mobile device. Grills are adorned with an array of features including a super smoke mode, a digital meat probe, the ability to control the grill from anywhere via an app, wood pellets fuel for extra flavour and other settings designed to make grilling an elevated experience.
But is all of this a bit too high-tech or is it a revolution when it comes to the next level of barbecuing? Do we need all of the clever features on our outdoor grills in order to have the best barbecued food or is the U.S company providing us with a superior way of outdoor cooking we didn’t know we needed? We take a deeper look at the Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill and test it out to see if it lives up to its promise of being the Rolls-Royce of the grilling world.
How does it work?
Combining the traditional wood smoke cooking with the latest technologies, the new Traeger wood pellet grills are a result of over 30 years of company knowhow, developments in the industry, and collaborations with world-renowned chefs, champion pitmasters and cookbook authors.
The Salt Lake City based grilling experts use hardwood-fired grilling to provide the utmost versatility to outdoor cooking, from barbecue, grilling and smoking, to baking, roasting and braising – creating barbecue meals to perfection every time. And the clue is here – this isn’t just a barbecue, it’s outdoor cooking; this is an elevated way of preparing all types of food outside, from those typical sausages and burgers to roasting a whole chicken.
The company promises that the precision temperature control makes it simple to use, while new D2 Direct Drive technology means grills get hotter, faster, delivering superior smoke production and best ever wood-fired flavour. Traeger’s patented WiFIRE technology means grills can be controlled via the smart phone app that maintains precise temperatures, so you can focus on friends, family and flavour instead of constantly monitoring the fire.
Double sidewall insulation promises consistent temperatures in any weather, while the super smoke mode is designed to enhance smoke flavour. The digital meat probe provides precise temperature readings, while the Downdraft Exhaust circulates smoke for maximum flavour. This is an electric powered grill, but the pellets provide the smoky element.
What are the positives?
So, once was the grill was installed, it was time to put it to the test, and admittedly, the list of positives outweighs the drawbacks. On initial use it can be something that you need to get your head around – all talk of technologies and apps isn’t there to confuse you, but like most things once you’ve learned it for the first time, its quite simple from then on, and it isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
A big bonus is the ability to walk away and leave the grill while it heats up and also while it’s cooking. When you are needed, you will get a notification on your phone via the app to tell you when the oven is at the right temperature to add food (set by you), if it’s low on pellets, and when food is ready (also set by you). The digital display on the outside tells you the temperature inside if you’re curious.
The app has some great features and acts as an all-in-one guide with cooking times for different meats, there are recipes for marinades, and you can add in your own menus. There is no intense, direct flame heat so you have the ability here to control the heat and therefore the quality of the cooking. The food came out cooked to perfection – no burnt sausages that are raw in the middle, but meat that retained moisture in the middle with a crispy outer. And another big bonus? It was easy to clean.
What are the drawbacks?
So, there are always going to be drawbacks, and I would say the main one would be the newness of this type of grilling, which means it will take a few attempts at timings to get meat just as you like it. Compared to a gas-fired grill, this takes some time to heat up and also to cook the food, so you need a little patience and there are no flames, so it’s not for those who like that fiery experience. You certainly need to consider location as you will need to run an electricity lead to it and the grill isn’t the sexiest looking piece of equipment.
This is not your typical barbecue, it’s more of an all-round outdoor oven, but we’re not saying that’s a bad thing. This is the grill for gourmands, those who don’t need the flair of a flame, but are in fact serious about the quality of the food they present to their families and guests. This grill offers a more refined experience to typical barbecuing and it cooks food so well. Once you have it right, you will not want to go back to any other type of grilling, so grab yourself some top-quality meat from the butchers and set yourself up for a barbecue that you’ll love.
Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill is available from £1,499 from traegergrills.com