Pros & Cons – Traeger Timberline 850

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The 850 is a first-generation Traeger Timberline model, the smaller sibling to the 1300. When the Timberline 850 was first introduced in 2017, it was pretty unique with some notable features. However, the market has moved on, and this pellet grill/smoker now faces some tough competition. Right, let’s review its Pros & Cons.

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I think the biggest plus point in favor of the Timberline 850 is its twin-wall insulated cooking chamber that is also lined with stainless steel.

The stainless steel lined twin-wall cooking chamber is the biggest Pro in favor of the Traeger Timberline 850.
I would argue the best feature of the Timblerine 850 is its insulated/stainless steel cooking chamber

The cooking chamber is not only lined with stainless steel, but the cooking grates are also stainless steel. Therefore, keeping the grill clean without damaging it will be easier as a result.

As of writing this article, the typical price has dropped a little to $1,699 (check our database). However, that is still a high price point for its features compared to the competition.

The Traeger Timberline 850 is expensive for its features compared to its immediate compeition.
There are better pellet grill/smoker options on the market for the price point of the Timberline 850

While the insulated stainless steel lined cooking chamber is a good feature, there are weaknesses of this pellet grill/smoker that I don’t think justify its current price point.

For instance, the main cooking grate on the Timberline 850 is just 363 square inches, which is absolutely tiny compared to other pellet grills/smokers at this price point.

The Timberline 850 benefits from a feature that Traeger introduced on the Ironwood 650 and 885, and its a downdraft exhaust design.

The downdraft exhaust design on the Traeger Timberline 850 is one of its best features.
The downdraft exhaust design on the Timberline 850 I think is one of its best features

Instead of using a small vertical chimney, the downdraft exhaust design will help smoke to roll for longer within the cooking chamber, and it will also even out the temperature across the grates.

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The maximum temperature setting of just 500 degrees and no direct-flame access means the Timberline 850 is very limited when it comes to high-temperature grilling/searing.

The grilling/searing performance of the Traeger Timberline 850 is very limited.
There are many pellet grills that are better ‘grills’ than the Timberline 850

Now, the grilling performance can be improved with a set of GrillGrates and by using 100% charcoal pellets for the best heat output possible.

But the point remains, there are many cheaper pellet grills that offer higher max temp settings of 600 and 700 degrees, that are better pellet grills straight out of the box.

While the insulated cooking chamber aids in better/more consistently cooked BBQ (especially in winter), it also has a secondary benefit, reduced pellet consumption.

The insulated cooking chamber means the Timberline 850 will use less pellets than the average pellet grill/smoker.
The pellet usage rate on the Timberline 850 is below that of non-insulated pellet grills/smokers

Now, if you don’t use a pellet grill/smoker that frequently, and you don’t use one during the colder months of the year, the reduced pellet consumption may not be that noticeable.

However, for those who do wish to use their pellet grill/smoker frequently and, for example, smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving. Well, that’s where the reduction in pellet usage really comes into play.

While the inside of the Traeger Timberline 850 is stainless steel lined, the exterior of the cooking chamber is powered-coated carbon steel. Hence, its prone to rust.

Rust will be a potential issue for Timberline 850 owners overtime.
The outer surface of the Timberline 850 will be prone to rust once the paint finish starts to fail

Now, obviously, lots of grills are prone to rust being made from painted steel. However, you need to consider the price point here of this pellet grill/smoker and its wider competition.

With our database, you can see for the same price as the Timberline 850 or less, there are multiple stainless steel pellet grills.

My Final Thoughts On The Traeger Timberline 850

When the Traeger Timberline 850 first came out, it was pretty unique, and the insulated stainless steel lined cooking chamber stud out as a feature not found on many grills.

However, for its relatively high price point today, I would argue that there are better options for the same money that will feature more stainless steel construction.

But don’t just take my word for it. You can check for yourself by using the link to our database below. Set the custom filter to show all grills under $1,800 and see for yourself.

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