CNET First Look
Traeger's smart Timberline smokes up fantastically good foodThe Traeger Timberline 850 pellet-powered grill smokes delicious food with a smart connection.
[MUSIC] The Timberline 850 is no ordinary barbecue grill, it isn't powered by liquid propane, natural gas, or even charcoal. This baby burns wood pellets. The heat and smoke it produces makes this machine more of a hot smoker than a cooker. I really wanted to hate this Grill. It's fickle, must be cleaned often, and if you don't tend it properly, its flames die at the worst possible times. At $1,700 the Traeger Timberline is extremely expensive too. Worst, it uses only specialty wood pellets sold by Traeger. But food cooked on the Timberline is good, phenomenally good. So tasty, in fact, that I forgive its fault, mostly. You put pellets into the Traeger's hopper like this Just pour it right in. Once the hopper's full, make sure to smooth it out. Make sure there are no gaps, and that ensures that the auger within the machine will constantly feed a steady stream of pellets into the Traeger's firebox, and ignite them. This thing is temperamental though. Too much ash in the firebox, and the grill won't start properly, and die out. Dead flame can lead to unfired pellets which then causes overfiring, a scary flare up when too many pellets ignite at once. Everything the Traeger cooks from ribs, to burgers, to chicken and veggies were kissed with delicious smoky flavor. The meat was especially juicy and flavorful. There's a super smoke function to add extra taste and aroma to ingredients, too. The grill even talks to your phone over Wi-Fi and through an app you can monitor and control it remotely. The app has a large library of recipes as well. You can also send recipes directly to the grill. The Timberline then uses these instructions along with a digital meat probe to cook food autonomously. So, is the Timberline worth it? Right now, it's the only non-portable and smart pellet grill you can buy. So if that's what you're after, then the answer is yes. It has precisely controlled temperatures and serves up delicious food, if you have the money and patience to use it properly. [MUSIC]