Pros & Cons – Traeger Ironwood 650

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The 650 is a first-generation Traeger Ironwood model that introduced some new features into the Traeger product range, which we’ll discuss below. However, it has been nearly four years since the Ironwood 650 was released, and there is now tougher competition. So, let’s review the Pros & Cons of the Traeger Ironwood 650.

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With a typical pellet grill/smoker, you have the iconic little chimney stack. However, there are better exhaust designs to improve smoke circulation within the cooking chamber.

The downdraft exhaust on the Traeger Ironwood 650 is a Pro in its favor.
The downdraft exhaust design on the Traeger Ironwood 650 is one of its best features

For the Ironwood 650 and other premium Traeger models, they introduced a downdraft exhaust design that helps the smoke roll within the cooking chamber. I think its a good design.

The typical price point for the Traeger Ironwood 650 today is around a thousand dollars (check our database). Well, for that price, there are now a lot of other options on the market. As for writing this article, there are 165 models under that price point.

The Traeger Ironwood 650 demands a high price point for the features it offers

When you use our database to compare the Ironwood 650 against its immediate competition at the same price, you will see it comes up short on cooking area, hopper capacity, and maximum heat output.

The Ironwood 650 features a PID controller with 5-degree temperature adjustment, which is a Pro in and of itself. However, accurate temperature control on its own means less smoke production.

Super Smoke mode on the Ironwood 650 means it can produce more smoke than Traeger Pro Series models.
Super Smoke mode will deliberately make the pellet fire less efficient so the pellets smolder more

Super Smoke is a feature that is missing from cheaper Traeger models, such as the Pro 575 and the Pro 780, and it can make a noticeable difference in the levels of smoke production.

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While the Ironwood 650 definitely improves on its smoking performance compared to cheaper Traeger models, it still suffers from Traeger’s biggest problem, grilling performance.

The grilling performance of the Traeger Ironwood 650 is lacking compared to the competition.
The Ironwood 650 is a much better pellet smoker than it is a pellet grill

The Ironwood 650 only offers a maximum temperature setting of 500 degrees, and it features relatively thin wire racks compared to the competition, with no direct-flame capabilities.

A good feature to see on the Traeger Ironwood 650 is that it features insulated side walls in the cooking chamber, this will help with reducing pellet consumption, especially in winter.

The insulated side-walls are a good feature to find on the Traeger Ironwood 650
Dual-wall construction also helps to even out temperatures within the cooking chamber

Now, it is important to note that the rest of the cooking chamber and the lid on the Ironwood 650 are not insulated, but some dual-wall construction is better than none.

When using our database to compare the specs of the Ironwood 650 at its respective price point, you should also notice that its 20lb pellet hopper is below the market average.

The 20 lb hopper on the Traeger Ironwood 650 is below that of many other pellet grills/smokers.
The 20lb pellet hopper on the Ironwood 650 is less than most of its competitors

Now, I will say that the insulated side-walls on the Ironwood 650 will help to reduce pellet consumption a little. Hence, it slightly off-sets the below-average pellet hopper capacity.

My Final Thoughts On The Traeger Ironwood 650

There are features I like on the Traeger Ironwood 650, namely the downdraft exhaust, Super Smoke mode, and the insulated side-walls.

However, for just over a thousand dollars, there are now objectively many other pellet grills that offer better features for similar or less money.

Is the Traeger built better than some its competition, I think so in some cases, but not all, and I don’t think for its current price point, the Ironwood 650 is offering great value.

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