Traeger Ironwood 650: Is the Wi-Fi Enabled BBQ and Smoker Worth the Hype?

W

he summer sun makes you want something grilled… everything?

We didn’t commission an official study, but based on our findings (surveyed our buddies), we’re confident that golden rays and higher temperatures are directly related to our need to obscure ourselves every weekend from now until the end of the BST.

BBQs have come in leaps and bounds as companies find ways to pack bigger and better features into backyard grills.

American BBQ experts, Traegar are one of the leading providers of machines that can not only grill and smoke your prime meats and vegetables to perfection, but also let you know via WiFi when it’s perfectly cooked, relieving you of the heat and letting you get on with it with the important business of kicking back with a cold.

We tried Traegar’s Ironwood 650 (£1,499), a compact machine that promises to take humble grilling to the next, delicious level.

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Traegar Ironwood 650 – features at a glance

  • Downdraft exhaust and Super Smoke mode
  • pellet sensor
  • Two-position smoke/burn-off grate
  • WiFi technology
  • D2 grill control
  • Double side wall inside
  • Includes meat probe
  • Porcelain coated grill grates
  • All-terrain lockable castors
  • Hook for grill utensils
  • 4194 cm² cooking area (650 square inches)
  • Dimensions: H118.1 x W116.6 x D65.5 cm

Building the Traeger Ironwood 650

The grill comes packed in several boxes, so self-assembly is required. Grab a buddy and pin; The instructions are easy enough to follow and you’ll be in front of the finished result soon (about an hour). It’s a good idea to build it in your best position because once it’s fitted with the legs and wheels it will need two people to lift it. No problem placing it on the patio or patio or garden tiles, but moving over grass can be difficult.

Programming the Traeger Ironwood 650

With so many controls and features, it took a little time to figure out how best to use the Ironwood: how to set the temperature, how much wood chips to add, how to dump it afterwards, or how and when to use the Super Smoke option for example. Luckily, there is plenty of information online from fellow Traegar fans, as well as how-to guides about the app. The internet also has many helpful clips to watch.

Cooking with the Traeger Ironwood 650

Jane Palmer

We’ve used it three times this summer so far; twice to cook whole chickens and once to cook a lamb shank with butterflies, the meat juices dripping from the 650 square inch cooking surface onto roast potatoes on a tray below. We used the meat probe to tell us when the food was ready, rather than the previous method of just guessing.

The chickens came out juicy and tender, and the lamb was like no lamb we’ve made before. Medium rare, so tender we cried with joy and packed with delicious flavor. The potatoes underneath benefited greatly from the lamb fat raining down on them, becoming crispy and tasty. With plenty left over, the lamb was amazing and tender the next day too.

Jane Palmer

We’re already planning what’s next: brisket, ribs and chicken wings are all on the menu.

Traeger Ironwood 650 – the WiFIRE test

Fire may be an invention almost as old as time itself, but in the 21st century it turns out that the element can be tamed through the all-encompassing power of Wi-Fi. Traegar’s Grill uses an app to help you monitor your food, optimize the temperature, and when you’re hungry for inspiration, you can browse 1600+ recipes. The app even lets you know when the pellets are running low thanks to the sensor in the machine – brilliant!

Your home router will need to be less than six feet from the grill to connect to your WiFi, which is something to consider when deciding where to place the Ironwood 650. Either that or getting a WiFi extender or for extreme BBQ lovers, move your router if possible.

Of course, that doesn’t stop you from using the grill/smoker manually or accessing the hundreds of recipes to get inspiration for your next meal.

Good to know: Traeger Ironwood 650

  • It takes a little longer than expected to heat up, so it’s certainly not something to break open on the spur of the moment.
  • Plan when you will use it and what you will cook on it to have enough cooking time: some recipes take hours!
  • The timer option is your BBQ BFF: use it and you’ll be rewarded.
  • The porcelain coated grill plates make it fairly easy to clean, although we haven’t cooked anything with sticky BBQ frosting, so this will be the ultimate test. The drip trays work well.

– Additional review by Jane Palmer-Drislane

Traegar Ironwood 650

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Now with a 20 percent discount at John Lewis.

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