Traeger Timberline 850 – An In-Depth Review And Comparison

The Timberline is Traeger’s high-end pellet grill series. There are two generations in this series, and the 850 is the smaller of the Gen 1 models. The overall build quality of the Timberline is superior to other models. It has all the technology, and all the components are well constructed.

Why The Timberline Is The Best

The Timberline is different to all the other Traeger models. Here are some things that set this grill apart:

  • Build Quality. The Timberline is built like a tank. Every component is high quality. The less expensive the Traeger, the more likely it has cheaper components.
  • Fully Insulated. The Timberline is fully insulated, so it has the best heat retention of all Traeger grills. This makes the Timberline perfect for winter cooking.
  • Temperature Stability. The Timberline has a new convection system. This helps the Timberline maintain temperature within a few degrees—something other models can’t do. 
  • Large Hopper. The Timberline has a 24 pound pellet hopper, which holds more than all other Traeger models.
  • Economical. The superior insulation means the Timberline will burn through less pellets than all other Traeger models. Pellets are expensive, so this means you will save in the long run.
  • High Temp Searing. Unlike other models, you can sear steaks at 500°F on the Timberline. This model allows you to drop the bottom grill grate closer to the fire.
  • Food Capacity. This model has 850 square inches of cooking area which is enough to cook 8 racks of ribs, or 9 whole chickens, or 6 pork butts.
  • Three-Tier-Rack System. For versatility, this model has three levels of cooking racks.
  • Shelving. The Timberline comes with two shelves; a narrow shelf on the front, and a large side shelf. With other Traeger models, shelving is an add-on.
  • Built-In Cutting Board. The Timberline has a nice bamboo cutting board above the controller.
  • Hidden Grease Trap. An extra safety feature to prevent hot grease burns, the Timberline has a hidden grease trap. Large enough to fit an aluminium tray, the grease trap is out of reach from animals and children.

Timberline 850 Specs

SpecificationsTraeger Timberline 850
ManufacturerTraeger Pellet Grills
Price (US)$2099.99 (check latest)
Weight213 lbs
Dimension (DxHxW)27″ x 48″ x 52″
Cooking Area Range363 square inches
Grilling Area869 sq in cooking area
Hopper Capacity24 lbs
Hopper CleanoutYes
Control StyleSuper Smoke Mode
Special Features* Magnetic cutting board made of bamboo *  Equipped with advanced technology *   3 tiers grates made from stainless-steel *   Concealed Grease Tray
ConnectivityWiFire® with Timberline D2 Controller to be used in Traeger application.Can be connected to Google Assistant and Alexa
Power SourceElectricity (3 Prong Outlet)
Inner MaterialStainless Steel
Outer MaterialPainted Steel
Color VariationsBlack only
WheelsTwo (2) All-terrain wheels
Fuel TypeWood pellet, electricity.
Assembly RequiredYes
Front/Side ShelfYes
TechnologyWifi / WiFire®

How Much Can You Cook?

At first glance, the Timberline 850 doesn’t look like a huge grill. However, there’s lots of vertical cooking space with a three-tier rack system — so you can fit a lot of meat. 

  • You get 869 square inches of cooking area in the Timberline 850.
  • As with all Traeger grills, the name or model number usually relates to the amount of cooking area. 
  • The Timberline 850 can cook eight whole racks of ribs, or cook nine whole chickens, or six pork butts.
Traeger Timberline 850Cooking Area/Meat
Total Cooking Area869 SQ IN
Top Rack198 SQ IN
Middle Rack308 SQ IN
Bottom Rack363 SQ IN
Rib Racks8
Whole Chickens9
Pork Butts6

Three-Tier-Rack Cooking System

A noticeable difference between the Timberline and other Traeger models is the extra cooking shelving. There are two cooking grills, at the top there is a small cooling rack. You can remove these racks for vertical cooking. 

The cooking area on the Timberline 850 is like larger Pro Series models, even though the Timberland 850 is a smaller grill. This is largely because of the way Traeger designed the grill grates with a multi-tier system.  

There are three racks; two main cooking grates on the bottom, and a heating rack on top. The vertical cooking area gives you more vertical cooking area so you don’t have to buy a huge grill that will take up a large part of your outdoor area. 

The Timberline 850 gives you the benefit of cooking more meat, without taking up much space.

How Much Room Will It Take Up?

Size is an important consideration when you’re looking at what grill to buy. Not everybody has a large yard, some people have a small deck, or a small patio, so they don’t want a huge grill taking up a lot of that space. 

Some of the Traeger models, like the Timberline 1300, are huge units. But the smaller Timberline 850 is a compact unit with ample vertical cooking area.

Timberline 850Dimensions
Depth28 IN
Height51 IN
Width46 IN
Weight208 LBS

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices vary with Traeger grill, however, the Timberline 850 usually costs around $2100. Traeger often have sales, and the price can drop significantly. So keep an eye on the Traeger website.

If you purchase the grill through, you’re entitled to FREE SHIPPING. Although I’m not sure if this applies to countries outside the USA. The free shipping makes it easier than buying the grill from your local hardware store.

With the Timberline, you don’t add-ons unless you want a cover. You’re buying a premium product, so it ships with all the shelving, etc.

Timberline 850Price
Grill Only$1700 to $2100 ( Check Latest )
Cover$89.99 ( Check latest )
Buy-Now-Pay-Later$107/mo with affirm.
DeliveryFREE DELIVERY ( check outside USA)
Hardwood Pellets $19.99 ( Check Latest )
Grease Pan Liner (5 pack)$5.00 ( Check Latest )
Warranty3 Years

Price Difference Between The Timberline 850 vs Other Models

Traeger ModelPrice
Ranger (portable)$449 (see latest)
Tailgater (portable)$529 (see latest)
Pro 22 (Gen 1) $599 (see latest)
Pro 34 (Gen 1) $699 (see latest)
Pro 575$899 (see latest)
Pro 780$999 (see latest)
Ironwood 650$1399 (see latest)
Ironwood 885$1599 (see latest)
Timberline 850 (Gen 1) $2099 (see latest)
Timberline 1300 (Gen 1) $2299 (see latest)
Timberline $3499 (see latest)
Timberline XL$3799 (see latest)
Traeger Pellet Grill Price Comparison

Special Features

General FeaturesTraeger Timberline 850
Temperature ControlAdvanced Grilling Logic
Max Temperature500 °F
Cooking Methods6-in-1 versatility to smoke, grill, bake, braise, BBQ, and roast food to juicy perfection
Food productionNine (9) chickens or eight (8) rib racks or six (6) pork butts
Double Side Wall InsulationYes
Downdraft Exhaust SystemYes
Standard SizeLarge

Temperature Range And Modes

Mode Temperature
High Temp500°F
Low Temp165°F
Super Smoke Mode170°F to 200°F
Keep Warm Mode165°F

Temperature Range. The Timberline 850 allows you to cook anywhere between 165 F and 500° F. Traeger pellet grills work best for low-and-slow cooking in the 225°F to 275°F range, however, the Timberline 850 can also cook hot-and-fast.

High-Temp Searing. The Timberline allows you to drop the bottom grill grate, and cook closer to the fire pot. This means you can sear steaks at 500°F.

Cold Smoking. The low temp on the Timberline is 165°F, which isn’t quite low enough for cold smoking. However, if you place trays of ice in the grill, it will keep the temperature low enough. Also, save your cold smoking for the winter months.

SuperSmoke. This mode allows you to generate more smoke when cooking at lower temperatures. The newer Traeger models also have this feature. SuperSmoke works by turning the fan and the auger on and off. This causes the pellets to smolder and generate more smoke. SuperSmoke mode hovers between 170° F and 200° F. I find the temperature fluctuates a little on SuperSmoke mode. 

Keep Warm Mode. If your meat is done, but you’re not ready to serve, the Timberline has a useful KEEP WARM mode. This mode will hold the grill at 165°F. Another cool feature with the 850 is you can switch the grill into KEEP WARM mode from your phone via the App. You don’t even need to be home!

New Convection System. Temperature accuracy is an important feature to look for in a grill. The Timberline models have a new convection system which distributes heat differently to the other models. The new convection system is more accurate, meaning the temperature will be closer to your set temperature. 

Timberline’s Downdraft Exhaust System

Most pellet grills will have a chimney or a smokestack. The Timberline 850 has a different ventilation system with no chimney. The Downdraft system pushes smoke out through vents at the bottom of the grill rather than a smokestack at the top. This system apparently creates more smoke, and will remove stale smoke sooner. 

Why Superior Insulation Matters

  • One of the main reasons some people buy the Timberline is because it’s a thick steel construction.
  • Insulation is especially important for people who live in colder climates.
  • If you have a grill or smoker with a thin metal, it’s very difficult to cook in the colder months. Not only will it take a while to bring the cooker up to temperature, it’s also a challenge to maintain temperature during the cook.
  • A poorly insulated smoker will burn more pellets and take twice as long to cook. 
  • The metal on the Traeger Timberline is much thicker than the other Traeger models. The Traeger Ironwood is only partially insulated, and the Pro Series has no extra insulation. 
  • The extra insulation means the Timberline can maintain a stable temperature, whereas other grills may fluctuate and frustrate you throughout the cook. 
  • The Timberline 850 has a gasket along the lid lining. This gives the grill a better seal, and improving the insulation. The stronger seal is extremely important when cooking in cold weather. It will help keep the cold air out, and help retain the heat. 

Even Cooking – No Hot Spots

Most smokers have hotspots and cool zones. This can be annoying because when you’re cooking a brisket or ribs, you need to rotate the meat so that parts of the roast don’t burn. 

The Timberline is probably the most even cooking temperature on the grill that I’ve seen. You could lie out meat across the whole grill and it will be cooked evenly. There may be small areas that are slightly hotter than others, but it’s not as noticeable as most other grills. 

Timberline Has All The Extras

As you would expect when buying a premium model, the Timberline comes with all the extra features.

Pellet Sensor. The Timberline has a sensor that alerts you when the wood pellets are running low. A notification will alarm on your phone via the App.

Bamboo Cutting Board. When you’re buying the premium model, you want a few extra features. The Timberline 850 has a nice bamboo cutting board attached to the top of the pellet hopper. This is handy for preparing meat, or can be used as a storage area.

Extra Shelving. The Timberline 850 has stainless steel shelving around the Timberline. This is great for thermometers, rubs, spritz bottles, etc. The shelves have hooks to hang grilling tools. 

Built-in Meat Probe. The Traeger comes with a meat probe that connects directly to the controller. There’s a cable hole that allows you to feed thermometer wires through. I find this useful because some grills don’t have this feature. It creates a better seal, and it weakens the seal when you have to feed it through the lid. 

Large Pellet Hopper. The top of the line Traeger models have larger pellet hoppers. The 850 Timberline has a 20 pound hopper, which is enough to fit an entire bag of wood pellets. A 20 pound bag is enough for 20 hours of cooking. 

Grease Trap. The Timberline has a new grease management system which allows you to insert an aluminium tray into the side of the unit. The grease unit slides out easily, has a lead, and you can insert a tray in the grease trap. This allows you to swap out the trays and is especially useful when cooking fatty meat where you have lots of grease drippings. 

Pellet Dump. The Timberline 850 also has a pellet dump trapdoor, so you can swap out pellet flavors. Or you can remove wood from your hopper while the grill is not in use. 

Reverse Sear. With the Timberline, you can lower the bottom rack and sear steaks at 500°F—something most other pellet grills can’t do. Reverse searing is one of the best ways to cook a steak on a pellet grill, and the lower grate on the Timberline makes it easier. 

To reverse sear steaks, first smoke the low-and-slow. This will allow time for the meat to absorb smoke. Then lower the grate and increase the temperature to 500° F. Sear off the steaks on the bottom grill for a few minutes on each side.

All-Terrain Wheels. The Timberline is easy to move around with lockable all-terrain wheels.

Easy Assembly

As with all Traeger grills, the assembling the grill is fairly straightforward. Traeger provides all the tools needed. You may need a second person to hold the grill while you’re installing the legs, but you could easily assemble it by yourself.  

It should only take about 45 minutes to an hour to put the Timberline together. The unit comes with the barrel and the pellet hopper already attached. The main thing you need to do is install the legs and all the shelving and the internal components. 

Seasoning Your Grill

  • Always season the grill before doing your first cook.
  • Run the grill at about 350° F for 20 minutes to half an hour.
  • The burn-in is important, and after about 20 minutes, crank it up to about 500° F.
  • Then let it go for another half an hour.
  • This will get rid of the factory chemicals and whatever may be inside the grill that could make your meat taste bad. 

How To Use The Timberline 850

  1. Turn on the power switch at the back of the grill. 
  2. Turn on the grill from the front control
  3. Prime the grill by feeding pellets into the fire pot. If you don’t prime the grill, it will take longer to begin your cook. 
  4. Scroll down the menu, and select auger
  5. Using the knob, select “Prime”. 
  6. It will take about 1 minute and 30 seconds to feed pellets through the auger and into the fire pot. 
  7. On the control, scroll down the menu, and select AUGER
  8. Using the knob, select “PRIME”. 
  9. It will take about 1 minute and 30 seconds to feed pellets through the auger and into the fire pot. 
  10. Once the grill is primed, press the ignite button and hold it down. 
  11. Set the temperature on the stainless steel dial on the control panel.

Once you bring it up to temperature, place your meat in the smoker and leave it alone. You can alter the temperature with your phone and make minor adjustments. Only open the lid to spritz or flip your meat. Other than that, relax and let the Timberline do the work for you. 

Safety Feature. You can monitor and control your Timberline from a mobile phone, however, Traeger has a safety feature so you can’t accidentally start the grill. Before firing up your Timberline, you need to do a visual check and manually turn on the power button. 

Firing Up The Traeger. It takes about 15 to 18 minutes for the Timberline 850 to come up to about 350° F. Obviously, this will depend on the climate, altitude, humidity, etc in your area. 

Winter Cooking. If you live in a cold climate, then the metal is going to be colder and therefore takes longer to come up to temperature. On average, it will take about 15 to 18 minutes to reach 350° F. 

In winter, allow about 20 minutes for the grill to come up to temperature. On startup, I always overshoot my target temp, then wind it back. Once you’ve reached your target temperature, the Timberline is exceptional at maintaining a stable temperature throughout the cook. 

The Traeger App 

  • The advantage of using a Wi-Fi controller is being able to monitor and adjust the temperature of your pellet grill from your phone. 
  • To monitor and control your Traeger from a mobile device, you first need to download the Traeger App.
  • Once the App is paired with your grill, you can make temperature adjustments.
  • Use the App to check the level of the wood pellets.
  • Check the internal meat temperature of your meat on your phone.
  • Use your phone to put the grill into SuperSmoke mode.
  • If you’re out and about, use your phone to put your meat into Keep Warm Mode.
  • You can turn off the grill, but you can’t turn the grill on. 

App Cons. Traeger may have updated their app, but I found the version I was using frustrating. The App kept logging me out, which means you have to keep putting in your password. 

Notifications. The Timberline will also give you notifications when you need to top up your pellet smoker, clean out the fire pot, or give the pellet grill a clean. Some people may find this annoying, but you might find it helpful. 

Traeger’s WI-Fi

  • Traeger’s Wi-Fi connectivity is called “WIFIRE”.
  • It’s easy to set up. Just follow the prompts as you would set up any other device.
  • Once the Traeger WIFIRE recognizes your Wi-Fi network, it will stay connected. 

Grill Guide Recipes

The Traeger App comes preloaded with 100’s of barbecue recipes. These recipes have improved recently. The earlier versions weren’t very good. Traeger finally got input from barbecue professionals, so the recipes are much improved. Traeger has experimented with the guided cook function, but I wouldn’t trust this function. I like to have full control of my grill. 

Timberline Cons?

Some people might say the Timberline’s price tag is a con. However, if you want quality, you have to pay for it. There’s not much else I can say about the Timberline. This grill is close to perfection. Although there’s a few things that should have been included.

The Timberline only ships with one meat thermometer, which doesn’t make sense. This model can cook an enormous amount of meat, so it should have more than one meat thermometer. Even the older Traeger Pro Series supplies two thermometers. Anyway, most serious pitmasters use their own meat thermometers, so this isn’t an issue for most people.

Save Money On Pellets

The Timberline burns through fewer pellets than other models and other smokers. This is the case with all fully insulated grills. Although you spend more upfront with the Timberline, I think you save money in the long run because wood pellets are expensive. 

The Timberline also burns less, which means less ash. Less ash means cleaner smoke. 


All Traeger grills have a 3-year warranty. I’ve always found the Traeger customer service to be good as well. If anything is faulty, they will replace it.

The Timberline 850 vs the Timberline 1300

The only difference between the 1300 and 850 is size and the price. The 1300 has more cooking area, weighs more, and is longer. Everything else is the same. 

Price difference 1300 vs 850. The Timberline 850 costs about $2100, and the Timberline 1300 costs $2300. Is the price difference worth it? It really depends how much food you want to cook. It’s always better to have a larger grill, unless you have a small outdoor area.

Cooking Capacity 1300 vs 850. The 850 and 1300 are both large enough to cook for crowds. However, if you want to cook for much larger groups (like church gatherings or sporting groups), then consider the 1300. The 1300 can cook 12 whole chickens, or 15 racks of ribs, or 12 pork butts. That’s a lot of meat! 

The total cooking area is 1300 square inches, as the name of the grill suggests. The 1300 also has the three tier rack, with 306 square inches on the top rack, 476 square inches on the middle rack, and 561 square inches on the bottom rack. 

SpecificationsTraeger Timberline 1300Traeger Timberline 850
ManufacturerTraeger Pellet GrillsTraeger Pellet Grills
Price (US)$2299.99 (Check Latest)$2099.99 (Check Latest)
Weight238 lbs213 lbs
Dimension (DxHxW)28″ x 51″ x 58″27″ x 48″ x 52″
Cooking Area Range801 square inches363 square inches
Grilling Area1343 sq in cooking area869 sq in cooking area
Hopper Capacity24 lbs24 lbs
Hopper CleanoutYesYes
Control StyleSuper Smoke Mode with convection systemSuper Smoke Mode
Special Features* Magnetic cutting board made of bamboo *  Equipped with advanced technology *  3 tiers grates made from stainless-steel * True convection system* Magnetic cutting board made of bamboo *  Equipped with advanced technology *  3 tiers grates made from stainless-steel *  Concealed Grease Tray
ConnectivityWiFire® with Timberline D2 Controller to be used in Traeger application.Can be connected to Google Assistant and AlexaWiFire® with Timberline D2 Controller to be used in Traeger application.Can be connected to Google Assistant and Alexa
Power SourceElectricity (3 Prong Outlet)Electricity (3 Prong Outlet)
Inner MaterialStainless SteelStainless Steel
Outer MaterialPainted SteelPainted Steel
Color VariationsBlack onlyBlack only
WheelsFour (4) All-terrain wheelsTwo (2) All-terrain wheels
Fuel TypeWood pelletWood pellet
Assembly RequiredYesYes
Front/Side ShelfYesYes
TechnologyWifi / WiFire®Wifi / WiFire®

General FeaturesTraeger Timberline 1300Traeger Timberline 850
Temperature ControlAdvanced Grilling LogicAdvanced Grilling Logic
Max Temperature500 °F500 °F
Cooking Methods6 in 1 versatility cooking (smoke, bake, roast, bbq, braise and bake)6-in-1 versatility to smoke, grill, bake, braise, BBQ, and roast food to juicy perfection
Food productionTwelve (12) chickens or Fifteen (15) rib racks or Twelve (12) pork buttsNine (9) chickens or eight (8) rib racks or six (6) pork butts
Double Side Wall InsulationYesYes
Downdraft Exhaust SystemYesYes
Standard SizeExtra LargeLarge


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