Traeger Timberline XL Review: New Features, Pricing, and Our Thoughts
Traeger has just released their latest pellet grill, the Timberline XL. This model is an upgrade to the popular Timberline 850 and 1300 models. It features several new improvements, including a Wi-Fi-enabled controller, an upgraded auger system, and a redesigned hopper lid. The Timberline XL is also more expensive than its predecessors, so potential buyers will want to weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase decision. In this article, we will take a closer look at the new Timberline XL and discuss what’s under the hood, its features, pricing, and our thoughts on it.
Traeger Grills unveils its Fully Reimagined Timberline Grill – High Tech Advanced Outdoor Cooking
The Timberline XL has finally been released, and man, is it a beauty! This new smoker and grill takes wood-fired cooking to a new level and has some amazing features that have never been featured before on a Traeger grill.
We’ll go over all of the new features in this article, as well as what the pricing looks like and our thoughts after using it. Stay tuned, because this grill is definitely going to shake up the pellet grill industry!
An instant classic
Traeger is a pioneer in pellet grilling technology, having introduced Timberline in 2017. This version introduced WIFI technology that allows for controlling cooking with the Traeger app on your mobile device.
A D2 drive system was also introduced, which features a variable speed auger and a fan motor for precise temperature control. The D2 system lets you set the temperature and walk away, letting the grill decide how many pellets your fire needs to reach optimum temperatures with precise control and deliver a consistent temperature.
A look at the Old Timberline Line
The old Timberline models offered a few different options, but the most popular was the Timberline 1300. This model had a Wi-Fi-enabled controller, an automatic auger system, and a hopper that could hold up to 22 pounds of pellets. It also had a built-in meat probe thermometer and an easy-to-use ash cleanout system.
The Old Timberline was an amazing grill and offered the best features and technology among pellet grills at this price range.
Trager used their D2 digital temperature controller with WIFI, a fully insulated cooking chamber, and many comfort features like side and front shelves. The old Timberline series was already a good and impressive grill, but Traeger managed to improve an already amazing grill.
A Look at the NEW Timberline Line: What’s New
The Timberline XL – What’s New? Well, a lot has changed. It is impressive to see the level of innovation this company has delivered to enhance your cooking experience. The Timberline models were already the pinnacle of pellet grills and offered a lot at their price range.
The first and most noticeable change is the grill’s look. Out are the less expensive-looking grill legs and wheels, and in with a new cabinet frame. A full-frame cabinet with storage is always welcome, particularly when you are talking about grills in this price range.
The new cabinet frame design offers plenty of storage and builds a solid foundation for such a large grill. Sure, this means you will have to find space for “more grill,” but you get plenty of storage and a large grilling area.
The second thing you’ll notice is the more “integrated” and built-in design of this grill. Whereas in the old Timberline series, the grill looked as if it was standing on four legs, the new Timberline looks as if it is part of a full outdoor kitchen cabinet, or as Traeger calls it, dream deck ready.
The frame is a full cabinet with side shelves that look more like built-in kitchen countertops, and besides the commonly found double storage doors, you also get a side storage area with shelves and magnetic bamboo boards, perfect for storing things you use often and need to grab quickly, like tools and even seasonings.
The looks of the new Timberline models are the most stand-out difference. The grills have a longer lid handle and the lid has been redesigned and now has better lines and looks shorter and more pleasing.
Another noticeable change is the addition of the new hanging rail system called the P.A.L system, or Pop A Lock. Previews of Timberline models feature front shelves, whereas the new Timberline series features a “number” like rail system for hanging hooks and other accessories that latch on to the rail system.
The rail system wraps around the entire grill, allowing you to place hooks, accessories, and tools anywhere you want around the grill.
Finally, finishing with the exterior changes, common in Trager grills and many pellet grills, is a grease catch bucket. Grease catch buckets are not all that nice to look at, but that is another feature that was not left untouched in the new Timberline series. Trager uses a new clamp on grease and ash catch system called the EZ Clean grease and ash keg system.
This is an amazing design that Traeger has come up with. The XL can now be the centerpiece of your backyard kitchen. With all of its new features, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to cook like a pro and is looking to build an amazing outdoor cooking area.
What’s New in The Inside
A lot has changed inside the New Timberline. Open the lid and the first thing you’ll notice is the weight of the heavy-duty steel lid. Compared to the older Timberline series, this new lid design exposes more of the cooking chamber and completely moves out of the way giving you better access to the cooking surface but especially the two top cooking and warming racks.
In the old Timberline series, the lid was only part of the front of the main cooking compartment, meaning the sidewall of the grill was static and did not move. In the new Timberline models, the lid is practically the top half of the grill, including the side walls.
When you open this lid, the entire top half of the grill is exposed, making it easier to work around the cooking grates and giving you full access to the cooking space. The lid is also completed with a heat gasket to create a good seal when cooking and smoking foods.
The second thing you’ll notice is a fully redesigned and rearranged cooking chamber. The main cooking grate is made up of three different grates, adding flexibility and versatility. You can use two grates in conjunction with a griddle grate or other types of cooking surfaces. The raised side walls hold two warming and cooking racks, which can be stacked at different levels.
The cooking chamber offers full stainless steel insulation for maximum heat retention, which helps cook more efficiently and use less fuel.
The New Timberline Controller
One of the biggest changes, and certainly the most impressive, is the new redesigned digital controller. The new controller takes precision temperature control to a whole new level. The all-new Timberline inherits some of the same D2 controller features found in older Traeger models but improves on auger control, variable fan speeds, and temp monitoring of the grilling area to even control flare-ups. In short, this grill is very smart.
The controller supports Traeger’s proven WiFire technology and, new to the Traeger XL, WIFI thermometers. You also get dual meat probes with this new grill.
The new touch-display
The all-new Timberline grill is controlled by a touchscreen display much like your iPad, which helps users navigate menus and set cooking temperatures with ease. The touch screen controls the grill’s smart combustion system using several sensors throughout the grill.
On the display, a user has access to lots of information, including cooking temperatures and foods’ internal meat temp. The touchscreen also offers a guided onboarding program to help users set up and understand their new grill, plus maintenance and troubleshooting tips.
It is my opinion that the digital pro controller is the most impressive and innovative controller in any grill. This touchscreen controller is something that rivals the controls on top-notch appliances from brands like Wolf and Sub-Zero. Simply impressive.
The touchscreen grill means you can navigate the menus and settings just like you do on your iPhone, and unlike older Timberline models, the new LCD screen on this controller is full color. This is a big improvement over last year’s model.
New for this year is the integration of Meater Wireless thermometers, which work with Traeger’s new “Smart Combustion System” for more precise temperature control. The grill is smart enough to sense temperature spikes and spring into action, adjusting pellet feeding and fan speed to maintain a consistent temperature, which is key if you are smoking meats.
All this technology can be managed right from your phone using the Traeger grills WiFIRE app, which now offers an Apple Watch app as well. The grill cooks almost as if in cruise control. All this space and technology allows you to cook a whole meal by simply pressing a few buttons.
Something that many don’t know is that the Traeger app has various recipes from many of your favorite pitmasters. You can actually load the recipes and send them to your Traeger grill, and the grill will automatically set the temperatures and times as called for by the recipe.
You might be worried that all this high-tech might get you in trouble, but Trager integrated a “self-” maintenance program into the controller so the grill can auto diagnose itself and provide you with information on how to correct any issues. The grill also has built-in grill maintenance checks to keep this machine running.
New MEATER Meat Thermometers Integration
If you are not familiar with MEATER, they are a company that makes some of the best wireless meat thermometers on the market. The new Timberline comes with two MEATER probes that can talk to the controller for easy monitoring of your food’s temperature.
The smart wireless technology allows you to set alerts so you will know when your food has reached the perfect doneness temperature.
You can still use regular wire probes if you choose, but I really like the idea of using the MEATER probes.
New and Unique Features of the Timberline XL
Besides all the technology included in this grill, you also get the innovative P.A.L system. The system is sure to enhance your outdoor cooking experience. The P.A.L system reminds me of when I first got my new Harley Davidson. I bought the bike and liked it the way it was, but one trip to the parts department made me realize there were hundreds of bolt-on parts to make the bike my own and unique.
Well, the same can be done with the XL. The Traeger Timberline P.A.L. ( Pop A Lock ) system consists of an accessories rail system that wraps around the grill and can securely hold different accessories, including a roll rack for paper towels or butcher paper, storage bins, BBQ tool hooks, and even a front folding shelf. You can get a lot of “clamp-on” accessories for one grill, a lot; it is a big boy.
other new features available in the Traeger timberline XL:
An Induction Cooktop: This is my favorite feature of the XL and is truly something new on a wood pellet grill. Most grills will include a propane side burner, but definitely not an induction side cook top. Induction cooking appliances are something you find in high-end kitchens and even restaurants.
Induction stoves have numerous benefits, including the ability to cook food faster, safely, and efficiently. Heat is created by an interaction between an electric magnetic coil and metal cookware. The Traeger induction system is great for searing or even making pancakes; it adds a whole new level of versatility.
Wi-Fi Enabled Controller: The XL features a brand new Wi-Fi enabled controller. This controller lets you manage your grill from anywhere in the world using the Traeger app on your iPhone or Android device.
Upgraded Auger System: The auger system on the XL has been upgraded and is now made out of stainless steel. This auger system is much more durable than the auger system on the previous Timberline models and is less likely to jam.
Redesigned Hopper Lid: The hopper lid on the XL timberline grills has been redesigned to support a magnetic bamboo cutting board. This hopper can hold up to 22 pounds of pellets, which means you won’t have to refill your hopper as often.
A Pellet Storage Bin: Traeger was nice enough to include a pellet storage container with the XL, but at this price range, I would expect that.
Compatible with both Alexa and Google Home: This is a clever gimmick, but it will not improve the flavor of your cuisine or your grilling abilities; nonetheless, it will enhance your grilling experience. And for those of you who adore smart technology, feast!
Pellet Level Sensor: A pellet sensor alerts you of the level of pellets remaining in the hopper, as opposed to just alerting you when you have run out or are running low. Think of it like the gasoline gauge in your car. That’s a major advantage.
Interior Cooking Lights: This is a nice feature. A pair of LED lights illuminate the grill grates so that you can see what you are doing while cooking at night.
Magnetic Bamboo Cutting Boards: This is an excellent and clever feature. I have previously used grills with non-magnetic cutting boards, which is a pain. The board will move as much as the knife moves. However, these magnetic boards securely adhere to the grill, making cutting and chopping simpler.
EZ Clean Grease Ash Keg: This is a detachable, snap-on keg with foil liners inside. To clean, simply snap off and replace the liner.
Specifications for New Timberline Grill
One of the coolest things about this Traeger grill is that it is highly customizable and even modular. You can have many options built to your needs, like the Pop and Lock rails and accessories, but also the induction cooktop side burner. The induction cooktop burner can be attached to the main cabinet or installed separately if you are installing this grill in your outdoor kitchen.
Size and Dimensions
- Weight: 289 pounds
- Stainless Steel grill grates
- Cooking Space: per rack, main rack = 594 square inches, top two racks = 363 square inches. The total Cooking space is 1320 square inches.
- Temperature range from 160 up to 500 degrees.
This is about 12 regular-sized size chickens, 16 rib racks, or 12 pork butts.
- Hopper capacity: 22 pounds.
Wood pellet grills normally carry a 1 to 3-year warranty with the expectations of a few Pit Boss grill models which offer up to 5 years and rec teq which offers 6 years. The XL comes with a 10-year warranty.
Pricing and Availability
The XL is more expensive than the previous Timberline models. The 850 model retails for $2099.99, the 1300 model retails for $2299.99, and the XL model retails for $3799.99. The new Timberline ( not the XL ) is 3499.99.
Our Thoughts on the New Timberline XL
Traeger grills have been one of my favorite grills for years. I have owned several different models and they have all been great. I was really excited when Traeger announced the new Timberline XL because it is their most advanced grill yet and I love technology.
However, this grill is not for everybody and some might not get it. Here are my thoughts, if you are building a dream outdoor kitchen and have the means to spend good money on a state-of-the-art, good quality pellet smoker, man is this a good option for you.
Sure, there are other great pellet grills out there. There are many brands making everything from handmade fully stainless steel grills to competition BBQ guys making and selling their own slice of fame on a new shiny grill, and some of those grills are great. However, NONE has the technology or offers the cooking experience offered by this Traeger line.
All grills can cook, but not all of them offer a good cooking experience, and I am convinced that that’s exactly what Traeger wanted to do here, offer you the ultimate outdoor cooking experience.