Traeger Grills TFB89BLF Ironwood Series 885 Pellet Grill & Smoker Review
In recent years Traeger Grills has been praised for embracing new innovations and engineering concepts in their otherwise tried and true wood pellet grills. They were pioneers in this popular form of outdoor cooking and they continue to lead the way with their new Ironwood series of wood pellet grills.
The Ironwood 885 is the bigger brother of the increasingly popular Ironwood 650. So, you see a lot of similarities between the two.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 was built with heavy-duty steel construction, as well as a very cart base. It has a pair of wheels on one set of legs and locking casters on the other. This means that you can move this large wood pellet grill to where you want it, and still be able to store it away. Though it does struggle a little bit to roll smoothly across widely spaced deck boards or a roughly paved patio.
It has a 20-pound capacity wood pellet hopper to accommodate long smoking and grilling sessions. The pellet are then delivered to the fire pot via a heavy-duty D2 auger. It was engineered with superior torque for less risk of jamming up or overloading the firepot.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 has a digital control center. It comes equipped with Traeger’s proprietary WiFire wireless connectivity and companion app for monitoring the wood pellet grill, even when you aren’t nearby. They also made it compatible with Alexa, which lets you control it just like you would any other smart home appliances. One could argue that there are some minor functionality issues with the app interface itself, but this is common throughout most grilling apps.
The double-walled primary cooking chamber has a special Downdraft Exhaust system, which gives it a more efficient burn rate, to make the most out of your wood pellets. It also helps to evenly distribute the hot smoke throughout the cooking chamber. The Downdraft Exhaust system also helps eliminate tiny ash particles landing on the food you cook. It also translates into a maximum temperature of up to 500-degrees.
The 885 square inch grill grates have been coated with a special layer of nonstick porcelain. It helps to release food for less stuck-on debris and easier scraping after you’re done grilling.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 is made out of heavy-duty steel construction, durable powder coated paint. The primary cooking chamber is even double-walled for superior heat retention and efficiency.
Almost all wood pellet grills take longer to put together than traditional charcoal and a lot of gas grills. Though Traeger did make a sincere effort to make the assembly instructions easy to read. It’s still a very heavy grill, so it’s best to recruit another pair of helping hands.
Traeger states that the Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 can be put together in as little as 60-minutes, though 90 minutes is more realistic. Two hours might be more on the nose if you’re trying to put it together all by yourself.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885’s WiFire app was designed to let you control and monitor the wood pellet grill. Though the control aspect of the app is a little bit glitchy as are most wood pellet grill apps. So, it’s best to think of it as a handy monitoring system, rather than your command and control center for the grill. It’s still easier to set it how you want right at the grill side. Then you can walk away to entertain, and the app will let you monitor what’s going on at a glance.
There’s also a cold startup and operation feature built into the Traeger Grills Ironwood 885. It does a very good job of maintaining the internal temperature of the smoking chamber when the mercury starts to dip. Though like all grills and smokers it will still struggle to stay consistently hot as you approach zero degrees Fahrenheit.
With a maximum temperature of up to 500-degrees the Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 lets you grill a smoky flavorful steak, or even bake a pizza. Yet you can still dial it down slow and low for doing things like smoking wild-caught salmon fillets.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 has 885 total square inches of grill grate space. It’s distributed between the primary grill grate and the secondary warming rack. Though the Downdraft Exhaust system evenly distributes the heat to the point that the second rack is just as functional for cooking as the primary.
The Down Draft system helps to evenly distribute the smoke and heat. It also reduces the chances of tiny ash particles landing on your food.
The D2 auger has the torque to confidently drive the wood pellets through the system without accidentally jamming. It also provides a consistent delivery rate, which further translates into better heat control.
Ease to Clean
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 is very easy to clean. The porcelain coating on the grill grates makes it easy to scrape then down. The pellet hopper release system lets you clear pellets out of the hopper after each session, without a lot of awkward scooping.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 come with 3-years of warranty coverage. This is pretty much on par with the competition. Though there are a few wood pellet grills in this range that have 5-years of warranty coverage.
The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 offers a lot of space in the primary cooking, and a giant 20-pound hopper to feed it. The Downdraft Exhaust system also helps with even heat distribution. Cleanup is even a breeze.
The WiFire app is a nice touch, but it’s still better for monitoring than it is controlling. It’s better to get things started and make all your significant adjustments at the traditional digital control center. You also have to tip your hat to the cold startup settings. Especially if you like smoking fresh sausages during hunting season.
- 885 square inch grill grates with a porcelain coating
- 20-pound hopper with pellet cleanout system
- Down Draft system for even heat distribution
- Wireless WiFire app for monitoring
- D2 auger with superior torque
- Struggles to move across uneven surfaces
- The side table is small
- Heavy to assemble alone