It’s been a while since I started using Traeger, to say the least. It’s been almost five years since I switched from my old barrel smoker that used indirect charcoal heat. My experiences with the old smoker were quite diverse, to put it mildly.
During the first five years of using a Traeger grill, I relied on the first generation Traeger Tailgater. It was the most practical choice for me as I could easily transport it to different locations such as my home, the lake, and Michigan football tailgates.
Surprisingly, I was able to cook three smaller pork shoulders at one point. However, my interest was piqued when the Traeger Timberline was released. As a tech enthusiast, I was impressed with its larger cooking surface and WiFire feature. Since then, I have been a loyal fan of the Traeger Timberline.
The most important aspect to consider was the size of the grilling surface. According to Traeger, the grill can accommodate up to 12 whole chickens, 15 racks of ribs, or 12 pork shoulders at once. Of course, this estimation depends on the size of each cut of meat. Nevertheless, with a cooking surface of 1,300 square inches, there should be ample room for any gathering, big or small.
One noteworthy feature of the smoker is the carefully crafted hood and lining that provide an exceptional seal. This seal guarantees a steady temperature throughout the entire smoking process, which was a major challenge for me before I started using Traeger. Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial when smoking any type of meat, making this aspect a top priority.
Another factor to consider is the size of the hopper. It’s convenient to be able to effortlessly empty a 20-pound bag of pellets into it. Inside the hopper, there’s a barrier that appears to be intended to safeguard individuals from getting their fingers caught in the auger. I won’t confirm or deny if I’ve removed it. Nonetheless, I haven’t had any unfavorable incidents with the hopper so far.
One factor to consider is the time it takes for the Traeger Timberline 1300 to reach the desired temperature. As someone who often cooks for their family after work, I’ve noticed it typically takes around 20-30 minutes to heat up. While this requires some additional planning, I don’t find it to be a significant issue.
UPDATE (March, 2019): The new Traeger Timberline 1300 with the D2 Controller now has “Turbotemp.” Per their site: Hotter, faster – ultra fast startup so you can grill quicker. Precision cooking temps will give you more consistent results with rapid reaction to temperature changes. I have received feedback that this new technology does make a noticeable difference.
My second challenge was connecting the WiFire module, which was a crucial factor in my purchase decision. It took me almost a month to successfully set it up due to outdated firmware on the unit when it was shipped. Unfortunately, Traeger could not provide a remote update as we were unable to establish an internet connection, which made it even more challenging.
At some point, the device eventually connected. However, I was unaware of an update that was pushed to the controller. This became problematic as the update changed my temperature settings from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Unfortunately, I only discovered this after ruining a batch of jerky and a pork shoulder.
Despite the unfortunate experience, Traeger’s support team was exceptional in handling the situation. Once the issue was identified, they were eager to make things right. Although they couldn’t compensate for the ruined meat and wasted pellets, they offered to send me a free accessory. I chose the Pizza Stone and utensil set, which has been frequently used ever since.
The purchase of the Traeger Timberline 1300 has been the best decision we’ve made in a while. We approached it as if it was an additional kitchen appliance, which helped us justify the seemingly high price point that others have criticized.
This smoker’s technology and design enable year-round usage while accommodating a variety of dishes, ranging from appetizers and sides to main courses and desserts.
Please visit our recipe section frequently to stay updated on the latest dishes we have smoked. We also encourage you to share your feedback or your favorite recipe for the Traeger Timberline in the comments section.