I’ve previously covered the best pellet grills under $500 and best pellet grills under $1,000. However, if you take your outdoor cooking requirements a bit more seriously and want to up that budget to $2,000 what can you get? Well, between $1,000 and $2,000 you start to open up your options to consider Premium and Luxury Class products. For instance, that includes the highest specification models from Traeger which are the Ironwood and Timberline range. It also opens up a nice selection of grills from several other brands. For instance, it provides the option to purchase a full stainless steel pellet grill/smoker from Memphis or Cookshack. Hence, you have the option of a made in the USA pellet grill.
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While the larger budget provides the option to purchases some of the largest pellet grills from the respective manufacturers it also comes with the option of better construction and materials. For instance, with a budget of up to $2,000, you will find better-insulated pellet grills. Grills which have an insulated body/lid are less influenced by the external environment temperatures. Hence, if you want to cook in a colder climate a higher budget pellet grill will provide you with more stable/predictable performance due to its better construction/insulation.
Traeger Pellet Grills For Under $2,000
Below $1,000 the Pro Series are the largest Traeger grills available. However, with a budget of between $1,000 and $2,000 it opens up the full range of premium Traeger grills, the Ironwood and Timberline. These pellet grills are larger than the Pro Series. However, they also offer several other benefits/improvements which I’ll discuss below. I’ll also discuss the differences between the Ironwood and Timberline pellet grills.
Increase In Cooking/Smoking Area
With the Gen 2 Pro Series 575 and 780 you get 575 square inches and 780 square inches of cooking area respectively. Stepping up to an Ironwood specification pellet grill you get either 650 square inches on the smaller model and 885 square inches on the larger model. With grills in the top-of-the-range Timberline specification, you get either 850 square inches or 1,300 square inches on the largest model which just sneaks in under $2,000.
Improvements/Upgrades Over The Traeger Pro Series
Both the Ironwood and Timberline specification pellet grills are based on the same D2 Direct Drive system as the Pro Series. Therefore, all grills are WiFire compatible, though there are some control panel differences. For instance, the Ironwood and Timberline have additional buttons for Super Smoke and Keep Warm on the control panel.
While there are small differences between the control panel buttons/features, the biggest difference between the Pro Series and Ironwood/Timberline range is the downdraft exhaust. On these higher specification pellet grills gone is the classic short chimney stack on the side of the pellet grill and a rear horizontal chimney design is used. The downdraft is part of Traeger’s latest Tru Convection cooking/smoking system. Heat and smoke is brought up and over the food equally and then pulled underneath and out of the back of the grills through the downdraft exhaust.
Differences Between Ironwood and Timberline Pellet Grills
Above I’ve discussed the differences between the Pro Series and Ironwood/Timberline Traeger pellet grills when you up your budget to $2,000. What about the differences between the Ironwood and Timberline specification pellet grills themselves? Well, first off on a Timberline grill you get the Traeger pellet sensor as standard. On an Ironwood grill, you have to purchase and add the sensor as an optional extra if you want it. However, the main differences between the Ironwood and Timberline grills (besides the size difference) is in the construction of the cooking body.
Insulated Construction and Stainless Steel
The Ironwood range does feature an insulated body, which will improve cooking performance in colder climates. However, the lid on the Ironwood is not insulated, its just single-wall steel. The Timberline range, on the other hand, features twin-wall construction all around the cooking area including the lid. Furthermore, the internal surface of the twin-wall insulated construction on the Timberline is 304 stainless steel. This not only means the Timberline is likely to have a longer service life than the Ironwood, it will also make it easier to clean the pellet grill. Furthermore, the grates/racks on the Timberline are stainless steel whereas that’s not the case on the Ironwood grills.
These improved materials/construction obviously come at a cost. The Timberline only just sneaks in under $2,000 whereas the largest Ironwood the 885 in some cases is available for under $1,500. That’s the cost of using 304 stainless steel. I should also note the Timberline 1300 is quite a bit heavier than the Ironwood 885 being 238lbs and 172lbs respectively. Therefore, if you do move your grills around the yard/patio/garden quite a bit that’s worth noting.
Broil King Regal Pellet Grills Under $2,000
Broil King make two ranges of pellet grill, the Baron and the Regal. The Baron comes in under $1,000 so I discussed the features of those grills in my previous post. In this post for grills between $1,000 and $2,000, we’ll discuss the Regal range. While very similar in appearance to the Baron grills there are some notable differences between the two which explain the cost increase of several hundred dollars.
So the first difference between the Broil King Baron and Regal grills as you can see from the table below is the size of the cooking/smoking area provided within the grills:
- Broil King Baron 440 – 26″ Wide Grill, Total Grilling Area = 570 Sq. Inches
- Broil King Baron 550 – 32″ Wide Grill, Total Grilling Area = 750 Sq. Inches
- Broil King Regal 400 – 26″ Wide Grill, Total Grilling Area = 630 Sq. Inches
- Broil King Regal 500 – 32″ Wide Grill, Total Grilling Area = 825 Sq. Inches
The second thing to point out is where the Baron range is made from 1.4m (16 gauge) steel, the Regal range is made from thicker 2mm (14 gauge) steel. This will help the grill to hold its heat better while also providing a longer service life with the thicker steel taking longer to corrode through. There is also a step-up in pellet hopper size with the Baron (18lb) and Regal (22lb). Hence, the Broil Kink Regal pellet grills can take a full 20lb of BBQ wood pellets in one go where the Baron range cannot. Finally, the other key difference is the Regal grills come with the Rotisserie Kit included, where its a cost option on the Baron grills.
Cookshack Pellet Grills Under $2,000
You will be forgiven if you are just starting your pellet grill research and you have never heard of Cookshack. While they are a comparably small brand compared to Traeger, they are actually after Traeger one of the longest established pellet grill/brands. They do manufacture quite a few residential pellet grills in either PG500 or PG1000 specification. However, Cookshack also produces a lot of commercial equipment. That should definitely appeal to you if you are considering a pellet grill/smoker for under $2,000. Manufacturers who are also producing commercial equipment know how to produce equipment that’s going to last.
One of the big advantages with the Cookshack PG500 is that its a full stainless steel pellet grill/smoker which means it will last longer and be easier to clean than painted steel alternatives. I’m always quite surprised its possible to get a full stainless steel pellet grill for under $2,000, but the PG500 is an example. Now, I should point out the control panel is not as advanced as you would find on the Traeger Ironwood/Timberline, there is no WiFi for instance. Also, you have to be a bit savvier to adjust the settings on the PG500 control panel when cooking in colder temperatures. So while the full stainless steel construction is a bit tick in the box, this PG500 Cookshack pellet grill does require more user experience/involvement over the Traeger grills, for example, to get the best out of it.
Memphis Pellet Grills Under $2,000
Memphis are very similar to Cookshack in the sense they only manufacture stainless steel pellet grills. However, the Memphis grills are generally more expensive due to the fact they use 304/430 stainless steel for the external bodywork whereas Cookshack uses 201. 304/430 grade stainless steel is more expensive, therefore it pushes up the price of the grills. You can learn more about the grades of stainless steel used in my full review article on the Memphis pellet grill range. Memphis previously only produced two pellet grills called the Pro and Elite, and neither of these grills are available for under $2,000. However, the latest pellet grill from Memphis called the Beale Street does cost under $2,000, just.
I should note the Memphis Beale Street is only available in 430-grade stainless steel whereas their larger grills are also available in 304 which is a higher grade of stainless steel and more corrosion resistant. However, as stated above those grills are a lot more expensive in the $4-5k range. Beale Street is a little more expensive than the Cookshack PG500. However, as stated its external bodywork is made from a higher grade of stainless steel. Furthermore, the Memphis Beale Street has a higher specification control panel which does come with WiFi integration.
Conclusions On Pellet Grills/Smokers Under $2,000
The gap between $1,000 and $2,000 is obviously double that of my previous posts when I’ve discussed the best pellet grills under $500 and under $1,000. The reason I didn’t write a post for under $1,500 is too many products straddle that price point and it will make your best options more confusing. Furthermore, I believe anyone who is willing to spend more than $1,000 on a pellet grill/smoker is more inclined to also consider higher-priced options. Though what this does mean is different choices from the options above depending on if we are talking about a budget closer to $1,000 or $2,000.
At the lower end of this budget (closer to $1,000) you have the Traeger Ironwood grills and the Broil King Regal grills. I do think for the money the Broil King is impressive in terms of build quality and physical features. However, I think the Ironwood with the downdraft exhaust is a better chimney design. Furthermore, the WiFire system from Traeger with recipes (including videos) built into the app is currently the best in the business. Being able to download cooking settings to your grill with a few taps, very cool. So at that end of the budget, you would have to weigh-up which of the above features were more important to you.
At the top end of the budget, you have the Traeger Timberline, Cookshack PG500 and Memphis Beale Street. With the Timberline 1,300 you have the largest cooking surface. However, with the Cookshack and Memphis grills, you have full stainless steel construction, not just a stainless steel interior lining. The PG500 is a little bit cheaper than Beale Street. However, as stated above the Beal Street is made from higher grade stainless steel and features a better control panel with WiFi. Again, you really need to carefully consider which features matter most to you. The largest grill for the money or a full stainless steel pellet grill?
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope this post has helped you to consider your options better with a $2,000 budget. Once you have made your pick if you pop over to BBQGuys.com they have all the pellet grills referenced above along with some great finance deals. If you’re like me and you like to extensively research your options please check out my wood pellet grill/smoker guide. If you want to spend above $2,000 there are even more pellet grills to choose from by Coyote and Twin Eagles.