Traeger Ironwood Review: The Sweet Spot

Traeger Ironwood review

SmokedBBQSource is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page. Learn more

I like to think of the Ironwood as the Goldilocks in Traeger’s pellet grill lineup.

The Pro is cheap, but it’s lacking features and hasn’t been updated since 2019. The Timberline is great, but the price is INSANE.

Keep reading and check out the accompanying video where I put the Ironwood to the test smoking ribs, ham, turkey, and brisket.

Traeger Ironwood XL Pellet Grill
  • Large cooking area
  • Technological features
  • Sturdy and durable build
  • Smoke profile
  • Easy to clean
  • No firepot cleanout
  • Only 2 rotating, locking caster wheels
Check Latest Price at Traeger

Overview of the Traeger Ironwood

Here’s a secret: the Ironwood has very similar features to the Timberline but is a heck of a lot cheaper.

These comparable features include advanced digital technology, an expansive cooking space, and sturdy build quality.

I’m reviewing the Traeger Ironwood XL today. The only significant difference is the larger cooking area (924 versus 616 square inches).

Traeger Ironwood XL pellet grill specifications:

Dimensions70 x 48 x 25 in
Total weight243 lbs
Cooking area924 sq. in.
Pellet hopper capacity22 lbs
Temperature range165°F to 500°F
Meat probes2
Warranty10-year limited warranty
PriceCheck Latest Price

What I like:

  • App connectivity: Monitoring my grill from my phone is a creature comfort I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Build quality: This is a sturdy pellet smoker. I appreciate that it doesn’t feel flimsy at all when cooking. The build quality also extends to the tight lid, so smoke only escapes through the rear exhaust system.
  • Smoke profile: I’m a big fan of the Super Smoke Mode and I really love the smoky flavor it gives everything from ribs to brisket.
  • Cooking space: To put it into perspective, you can smoke four chickens, eight rib racks, or four pork butts in the expansive 925-square-inch cooking area. Yep, you can feed an army. I also like the adjustable warming racks.

What I don’t like:

  • No firepot cleanout: I do like the grease management system, but I’d love it even more if it included an ash cleanout system.
  • The wheels: This is a personal preference, but one thing I’d change is having four rotating, locking casters instead of two.

Unboxing and setup

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Traeger is how they package their grills. Every one I’ve owned arrives dent-free and well-packaged. Plus, the packaging is made to transform into a fort for kids when you’re done.

Traeger Ironwood pellet grill in a cardboard packaging

The Ironwood comes on a handled cardboard tray, which makes assembly much easier. It took us just over an hour to assemble it, and it’s a straightforward process. But you’ll definitely need a second set of hands to help maneuver it.

The initial startup and burnoff on this particular wood pellet grill is a downright breeze. All you have to do is fill up the pellet hopper and follow the instructions on the digital controller. The pit will do its thing and automatically transition into the shutdown cycle afterward.

The build quality is a step up

The Traeger Ironwood’s build quality is definitely a step up from its predecessors. Weighing in at 243 lbs, it has a durable powder-coated finish and includes two locking casters and two wagon wheels. Considering its size, it’s pretty easy to move around and very sturdy when locked in place.

traeger ironwood xl pellet grill build quality

Using the Traeger Ironwood


The Traeger Ironwood XL has 924 square inches of total cooking space: 595 on the bottom grate and 330 on the top warming rack. Both are porcelain-coated grill grates, and I love that the top rack is adjustable.

cooking area on the Traeger Ironwood XL

Meanwhile, the Non XL Traeger Ironwood has a total cooking area of 616 square inches: 396 on the bottom and 220 on the top.

You also have a 22-pound pellet hopper with the built-in Traeger Pellet Sensor. This sensor monitors your pellet levels and alerts you when your pellets run low.

But I still recommend checking on your pellets from time to time, as there can be a “log jam” while smoking. If this happens, just push them down and they’ll flow nice and free.

Traeger Ironwood XL pellet hopper with fuel sensor

A convenient trap door helps you efficiently empty the hopper to swap pellet flavors or clean up in a flash.

Temperature control

This pellet smoker has a temperature range of 165 to 500°F, which you can adjust in 5-degree increments.

It also has Super Smoke Mode, one of my personal favorite features. It keeps the fresh smoke flowing over your food for optimal wood-fired flavor. However, this can only run between 165 and 225 degrees.

Traeger Ironwood XL temperature controller

Between 165 and 195°F, you can run the Keep Warm Mode. It’s great if you get your cook done early, and need to keep it warm until it’s ready to rest.

The grill’s double-wall insulation helps with heat retention. This means fewer temperature fluctuations inside when temperatures fluctuate outside.

I’ve tested many pellet grills in my time, and the Traeger Ironwood releases much less smoke than its competitors. Thanks to the tight lid and heavy insulation strip lining the lip, the only place it escapes is through the rear Downdraft Exhaust system.

Smoking performance

You won’t have any issues smoking or grilling on the Traeger Ironwood. While you can do both, it truly excels at low and slow smoking.

My first cook involved spicy spare ribs, and wow, talk about a smoke ring! The smoke penetrated right down to the bone.

two slabs of pork ribs on Traeger Ironwood XL pellet grill

I’ve also smoked ham, turkey, and beef cheeks for Taco Tuesday. The Ironwood frankly crushed the cheeks.

One final test we did involved smoking a Costo brisket. You need to click through to see the results, but let me just say that the Super Smoke Mode came in handy.


The built-in D2 Grill Controller includes Traeger’s signature WiFIRE Technology and a full-color control panel. I have to admit, it’s very simple to use and easy to read.

The pellet grill makes smoking a breeze. You can set up timers and temperature alerts for the wired meat temperature probes, which pair with the two built-in ports.

Temperature alert set up on Traeger Ironwood

The WiFIRE app is a little more advanced than others in the field, but it’s still effortless to use. There are even plenty of recipes for inspiration if needed (although Smoked BBQ Source also has you covered).

The best part of the app is you can set the grill and forget it, controlling and monitoring your grill from afar. You don’t realize how handy this is until you do a full-day smoke.

Storage & accessories

The Ironwood includes a large side shelf and a heavy-duty bottom shelf for storage.

Traeger is known for its P.A.L. (Pop-and-Lock) accessories, which simply lock into place wherever you want them. The list of extra storage and accessories includes a folding front shelf, accessory hooks, a paper towel rack, a cast iron griddle, a fish and veggie tray, and a storage bin.

Pop-and-Lock storage bin and paper towel holder accessories on Traeger Ironwood XL

Before you start spending, we’ve actually compiled a list of the best Traeger accessories. But if you only buy one thing, I recommend the grill cover.


The EZ-Clean Grease & Ash Keg collects drippings and pellet ash in one large container. It’s easily accessible at the front for your convenience. Otherwise, this pellet grill’s cleanup is pretty standard. Just scrap it down and vacuum it up.

a person vacuuming the ash from the Traeger Ironwood pellet grill

Alternatives to consider

Here are a few alternative wood pellet grills to consider:

Wrapping it up

There’s truly nothing not to like about the Traeger Ironwood pellet grill. It’s a very nice pit with all the technological advancements you could want or need. Plus, you can grill or smoke whatever your heart desires with optimal results and wood-fired flavor.

Traeger Ironwood XL Pellet Grill
  • Large cooking area
  • Technological features
  • Sturdy and durable build
  • Smoke profile
  • Easy to clean
  • No firepot cleanout
  • Only 2 rotating, locking caster wheels
Check Latest Price at Traeger

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *