Traeger Ironwood 885 [Pellet Grill Review]

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The Traeger Ironwood 885 offers a significant step up for pellet cooking fans, with efficient temperature performance, easy WiFi control, and incredible insulation.

traeger ironwood 885 pellet grill

Traeger’s range of pellet grills is very popular, and the Traeger Ironwood 885 promises a lot with some modern and interesting features. Does the brand live up to the pledge to “crank up the flavor” with this grill?

While not as expensive as their flagship Timberline grills, the Ironwood 885 is by no means cheap. However, it offers some impressive control and features, such as Super Smoke mode, to give a signature smoky taste to your cooking.

traeger ironwood 885
Photo: Traeger

Quick Review

With a dual position grate and accurate control over the temperature, this is suitable for both smoking and searing, sometimes even at the same time. The Ironwood 885 is compatible with Traeger’s WiFire mobile app to control your grill from afar if you wish. An impressive grill that makes life easier with high-tech features.

★★★★★

Check it out here

Features Summary

  • Super Smoke mode produces and releases extra smoke at the push of a button to add flavor.
  • The Downdraft Exhaust System and TRU Convection® System create a “vortex” and force the smoke to keep flowing around the food, imparting more taste.
  • TurboTemp means the grill gets to the desired temperature quickly, no matter what it is set to.
  • Simple hopper management. Traeger Pellet Sensor tells you when the hopper is getting low and can even notify you via the app.
  • Rugged design, including wheels to move your grill around the yard.

Ignition

To start the grill, ensure you’ve got plenty of pellets in the hopper ready to burn. Then, you need to plug it in and press the Power Button.

The grill’s control panel will light up and the dial allows you to choose the temperature you wish. Press the dial down and you should see a message on the screen, PRESS HERE TO IGNITE. Tap and hold this message, and it will start the preheating sequence.

Temperature Range

This grill starts with temperatures as low as 165 and goes all the way up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it is suitable for both searing and smoking. The temperature stability is as impressive as the range, as it only fluctuates very slightly from the temperature you choose to dial in.

As this grill has a lot of smoking features (more on that to come), a lot of people like to use this for “low and slow” cooking, but it is certainly capable of quickly grilling some burgers too.

traeger ironwood 885
Photo: Traeger

Build Quality

The build quality of the Ironwood 885 is generally solid. The wheels are particularly good and can handle being dragged around the yard and on different surfaces. This is notable, as for a lot of grill brands, wheels seem to be an afterthought.

The Ironwood 885 features the Direct Drive drivetrain. This includes a variable speed fan and a one-piece auger. The grill’s motor shouldn’t need replacing any time soon, either. It’s a brushless DC motor, and Traeger is proud that this is an “industry first”.

One criticism is that the protective paint on the drum may start to peel over time. This exposes the steel. You can buy paints to go over this yourself but of course this is less than ideal. This particular issue is also not covered by the warranty.

Cooking Performance

Let’s get into the cooking performance of the grill, which is something of a slow-cooking delight…

Smoking

Traeger has built this grill to smoke, and to create the smoky flavor so many of us are looking for when we leave a brisket or pork butt in the grill for hours on end. 

The Super Smoke works well, and gives you a nice little boost as required. If you’re worried it isn’t going to be smoky enough for your tastes, it’s Super Smoke to the rescue. The Downdraft Exhaust System and TRU Convection® System keep smoke flowing around the grill. Ultimately, this is how the flavor gets imparted on your food.

Grilling

Grilling is great, too, with the dual position grate you can even have some of your food further away from the heat for slow cooking or just keeping warm, and get on with grilling below.

The grill can go all the way up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, great for searing steaks. The insulated grill helps you to keep the temperature high even on cold days.

The Super Smoke feature can be used when grilling too, giving the benefit of a boost to the taste without having to leave meat cooking all day.

traeger ironwood 885
Photo: Traeger

Cooking Space

Cooking space is generous, with two racks for maximum space. 885 square inches of space means you would have space for around 9-10 pork butts and/or chickens at the same time. There is a smaller model in the range, the Ironwood 650, which has 650 square inches instead. This is still plenty for most people who are grilling at home. You can fit a lot of food within.

Pros

  • Heaps of flavor. Between choosing different wood pellets and utilizing the Super Smoker feature you can really influence the taste.
  • Control. The grill stays at the desired temperature and can even be altered from a distance using the app.
  • Manage fuel easily. The hopper notifies you when it is getting empty, and also has a trapdoor function when it is time to remove pellets.

Cons

  • The internal temperature gauge is not perfect and can be inaccurate, so use a separate meat thermometer to check.
  • The grill’s protective coating may come off over time and this ruins the looks, as well as being detrimental to the durability.

Final Verdict

The Traeger Ironwood 885 has a lot of cooking space, and adds control and convenience to your cooking. This is true of a lot of the Traeger range thanks to the WiFire app and inbuilt technology that monitors and controls the temperature.

While it is unfortunate that some models seem to have the issue with the protective coating, the grill’s performance is excellent for grilling and smoking alike, and cooking over two levels also maximizes space. 

Perhaps the most impressive feature is the way this handles smoke and imparts this taste, so those of you who like to experiment with pellet smoke and different flavors will get the most out of the Ironwood 885.

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Last update on 2024-04-21 / 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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