Traeger Grills TFB65BLF Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill Review
In the past, Traeger was criticized for not applying a lot of innovation to their new models. They seemed to take the attitude of “Well, we got it right the first time. In recent years this mentality has changed, as more and more competitors start to chew up pieces of Traeger’s once dominating market share.
This has prompted a new wave of innovative engineering, thoughtful design, and even a few minor material upgrades. You see this renewed passion for innovation in the Traeger Grills TFB65BLF Grill Ironwood 650.
Right off the bat, you’ll appreciate the robust heavy-duty steel construction and a rock-steady sturdy base. The wheels and locking casters let you set it in place confidently, yet you can still wheel it comfortably. Though the diameter of the wheels might be a little small for moving this 176-pound grill across a deck with uneven deck boards.
It has a 20-pound capacity hopper, which means it can hold a ton of wood pellets to accommodate long smoking sessions. If there are leftover wood pellets, you can use the thoughtfully designed hopper cleanout feature to prevent wood pellets from breaking up and potentially jamming the hopper or auger system
Traeger Grills also engineered the Ironwood 650 with a heavy-duty D2 auger. It has the torque to deliver the wood pellet to the internal fire pot with less risk of jamming up or overloading the firepot.
You can control the Traeger Grills TFB65BLF Grill Ironwood 650 via the digital control center. Though it also comes equipped with their WiFire wireless connectivity and companion app. It’s also Alexa compatible, which lets you use this outdoor wood pellet grill just like any other integrated smart home appliance.
They also engineered the Ironwood 650’s primary cooking chamber with a Downdraft Exhaust system. This makes for a more efficient burn rate in the fire pot, while also helping to evenly distribute the hot smoke throughout the chamber. This also helps reduce the chances of tiny ash particles landing on the food you cook. The grill grates are even coated with a special layer of non-stick porcelain.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Traeger Grills TFB65BLF Grill Ironwood 650 uses robust materials throughout. It has heavy-duty steel construction, durable powder coated paint, and thoughtful engineering principles. Though the two locking casters are a little on the small side and even the wheels could be a problem when wheeling it across a cobblestone patio or widely spaced deck boards.
Assembly is going to be a chore with any wood pellet grill or smoker. There’s simply a lot of complex parts that need to all go together correctly for proper performance. Still, Traeger made an honest effort to make this as painless as possible. The assembly instructions are even easy to read, which isn’t always the case with the competitors.
All told, with another pair of hands to help you and tools you already have laying around the house, you should be able to get the Traeger Grills TFB65BLF Grill Ironwood 650 together in a little over two hours.
The WiFire app is a little touch and go at times. This is true with a lot of wood pellet grill apps. Once you get a feel for it, you should be able to dial it in. Arguably, it’s better to set up the Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 at the target temperature you want via the digital control center. Then you can use the WiFire app or the Alexa compatibility to simply monitor the wood pellet grills performance.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 comes with a cold startup and operations feature, which is really nice. A lot of other wood pellet grills simply fail to acknowledge the external weather conditions. This causes them to lag or struggle to heat effectively. A few overcompensate and get to hot. With the Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 set in cold mode, it does a better job of maintaining the internal temperature of the smoking chamber. Though it will still struggle if the temperatures drop into the single digits.
As the name implies the Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 offers a total of 650 square inches of grilling space on the porcelain coated grates. This includes a lower rack and an upper rack.
There’s just enough room to smoke an average size brisket on the lower rack or two nice-size Boston butt pork shoulders. If you’re a fan of ribs, there’s tons of room to host a family reunion rib feed event.
The Down Draft system does a nice job of evenly distributing the heat, feeding consistent airflow to the internal fire pot, and reducing the chances of flyweight ash landing on the food you’re smoking.
The D2 auger is an upgrade from previous models. It has the torque to drive the wood pellets through most internal jams. It also makes for a more consistent delivery rate, which further translates into better heat control.
Ease to Clean
Traeger Grills did their best to make the Ironwood 650 easy to clean. The non-stick porcelain coating on the grill grates makes it easy to scrape down with a nylon-bristled grill brush. The manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures between grilling sessions and the occasional deep clean are also very easy to follow.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 650 is backed by a robust three-year warranty program. Though there are also some online vendors who offer added protection plans for a very affordable rate.
Traeger Grills has answered the call for innovation with its Ironwood 650. There’s tons of room inside the main smoking chamber to cook for a family of four or even six. The hopper can hold up to 20-pounds of wood pellets for extra-long smoking sessions, and the downdraft system makes for even distribution of heat.
The digital controls and WiFire app are a nice touch, but like a lot of wood pellet grill apps, it’s better for monitoring than it is controlling. The cold start and cold weather settings are nice for those times when you want to fire up the grill even though the temperature is dropping.
- 650 square inch porcelain-coated grill grates
- WiFire app for wireless monitoring
- 20-pound hopper with pellet cleanout system
- Down Draft system for even heat distribution
- D2 auger with superior torque
- Casters and wheels are small
- Challenging to move over uneven surfaces
- Single side table is small