Traeger Ironwood 650 [Pellet Grill Review]

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The Traeger Ironwood 650 pellet grill offers efficient temperature performance, easy WiFi control, and exceptional insulation.

traeger ironwood 650 pellet grill review

Traeger has made some impressive innovations in the world of pellet grills, and many of these can be seen in the Traeger Ironwood 650. Although a smaller sibling to their larger Ironwood 885, the 650 offers a seriously impressive amount of heft at a more budget-friendly price.

With a decent amount of cooking space to work with, as well as compatibility with Traeger’s own WiFire app, the smaller scale doesn’t mean you’re missing out on the brand’s key features. It even features its signature Super Smoke mode, which adds an unmistakable barbecue smoke taste to your cooking, whether you’ve been searing for ten minutes or smoking for ten hours.

From its temperature and control systems to its cooking performance, discover what makes it stand out among its peers with our Traeger Ironwood 650 review.

traeger ironwood 650 review
Photo: Traeger

Quick Review

The Traeger Ironwood 650 allows you a lot of control over the temperature with accurate methods of keeping a reliable temperature, such as TurboTemp, which helps to heat the grill faster after startup and get back up to temperature after opening the grill. Like other Ironwood grills and top Traeger grills, it allows control on the go with the WiFire app, and the Super Smoke mode can also add even more of the smoky flavor.

★★★★★

Check it out here

Features Summary

  • Great for smoking with a Downdraft Exhaust System to keep the smoke in the grill and add the smoky taste, along with Super Smoke mode that releases a blast of smoke.
  • TurboTemp quickly heats the grill to required temperature or regains temperature after the grill has been opened.
  • A Pellet Sensor to notify you when you need to refill the pellets.
  • Well-built and rugged wheels that are great for moving the grill around on all terrains.
  • Hopper trap door lets you quickly empty the pellets and replace them with a different flavor.
traeger ironwood 650 review
Photo: Traeger

Ignition

Ignition is simple, but remember that this is a pellet grill and needs power, so the ignition is handled on a digital display. 

Plug in the grill, and press the Power Button, ensuring you have some pellets in the hopper, too.

The control panel will light up, and there is a dial to select the temperature. Once you choose the temperature, press the dial down. A message will display after you dial in your temperature saying PRESS HERE TO IGNITE. Hold this message and the sequence to heat the Ironwood 650 will start.

Temperature Range

Like its larger sibling, the temperature range is suitable for low and slow or for searing, with options from 165 up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Some grills go higher than this, but it is rarely required. 500 degrees is more than enough for searing. It is even more impressive how much control you actually have over the temperature.

traeger ironwood 650 review
Photo: Traeger

Build Quality

There are only some minor complaints with build quality. There is protective paint that is applied on the steel drum, and users have found this may start to peel. This is especially true if you don’t use a cover, of course. It isn’t beyond repair if this happens, as you can buy specific paints to go over the steel, but you’d rather not have to, of course. This issue is also not covered under the product’s warranty.

The quality of the wheels is notable. Many grills have flimsy little wheels, but these are rugged and good for moving the grill anywhere you want.

Related to the build quality is the motor, and Direct Drive drivetrain, which features a one-piece auger and variable speed fan. The motor is also brushless, something Traeger claims their range provides as a first in the grilling industry.

For the money, you would expect a high-quality grill, and with the one paint caveat, Ironwood grills provide exactly that.

Cooking Performance

Let’s compare the cooking performance of the Ironwood 650 when it comes to both smoking and grilling. 

Smoking

The Ironwood 650 is great for slow cooking and smoking. If you love to tweak flavors and work hard on a slow cooked brisket or ribs, it has some exciting features.

As well as the stable temperature and the inbuilt temperature gauge, it has the Super Smoke function to release a boost of smoke around the chamber, adding plenty of mouthwatering flavor. We’ve already mentioned the Downdraft Exhaust System and TRU Convection® System which help smoke to flow around everything in the grill. It’s clear that smoking was a priority for the manufacturer.

Grilling

Grilling is great too, with reliable, hot temperatures reached in superfast times. The grill is insulated with double-sidewall insulation, keeping temperatures stable even in low outdoor temperatures.

The Super Smoke feature can be used when grilling too, adding a nice blast of flavor when used correctly.

Cooking Space

There’s 650 square inches split over two levels with multiple grates. That can be hard to visualize, but it is enough for around five rib racks or eight whole chickens. There’s room for plenty of food there, but if you still need more, the option to go up to the Ironwood 885 is also useful, and the extra cost is reasonable.

Pros

  • Control over flavor. As well as the additional features to add smoke, there’s also the option to quickly change pellet flavors.
  • Stable temperatures. This makes your cooking much simpler and reduces the chance of mistakes.
  • WiFire control means you can change the temperature or get alerts from afar. 

Cons

  • The internal temperature gauge is sometimes inaccurate, so use a second thermometer if you need a reading that is 100% accurate
  • The Ironwood 650’s protective coating has been known to peel, which looks bad as well as being very frustrating

Final Verdict

The Traeger Ironwood 650 is a high-tech grill, and if you are happy to pay for a more professional grill, it can be a great choice.

In spite of the issue with protective coating, there’s more to like than to dislike.

Grilling on two different levels to maximize space, controlling temperature without having to manually adjust anything, and even tweaking flavors with different pellets and the inbuilt Super Smoke feature is a lot of fun, as well as providing a delicious end result. 

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Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.


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