There is now a second-generation (Gen 2) version of the range-topping Traeger models, the Timberline range. I’ve previously written about the new features of the Gen 2 Timberline. However, what I wanted to do with this article is to discuss how the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline models compare on features and price. While I definitely feel the Gen 2 Timberline is an improvement in many areas, its also seen a considerable price increase. Therefore, is a Gen 2 Traeger Timberline model worth the higher price?
Table of Contents
Introduction On The Traeger Timberline Gen 1 vs Gen 2
This article is focused on a comparison of those features and, of course, a discussion on the price point of each.
However, to provide a quick run-through and reference point of the features and differences between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline, I’ve provided the table below.
I think this table will provide useful as you read my comments below to understand which grill has what features, price etc.
Traeger Timberline Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Comparison Table
|Features||Gen 1 Timberline 850||Gen 1 Timberline 1300||Gen 2 Timberline||Gen 2 Timberline XL|
|Total Cooking Area||869 sq.in||1,300 sq.in||880 sq.in||1320 sq.in|
|Main Grate||363 sq.in||561 sq.in||396 sq.in||594 sq.in|
|Hopper Size?||24 lbs||24 lbs||22 lbs||22 lbs|
|Twin-Wall?||Yes (Full)||Yes (Full)||Yes (Full)||Yes (Full)|
|Stainless Steel Internals?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||3 Years||3 Years||10 Years||10 Years|
I’ve referenced the typical price figures above from Traeger.com. Now, you may find one of the grills above at a different price point when on sale etc.
Also, its not clear how long Traeger is going to keep selling/supplying the Gen 1 Timberline models, so please bear that in mind.
Design and Cooking Area Differences
First off, let’s discuss the design differences between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline as you can see from the image above, there has been a pretty significant design shift.
Where the Gen 1 Timberline models are based on the traditional cart design with four separate legs, the Gen 2 Timberline models are based on an enclosed cabinet design.
Part of this design choice, I think, is that Traeger is clearly aiming the Gen 2 Timberline models at those looking for a dedicated outdoor kitchen setup.
As such, each of the Gen 2 Timberline models can be spec’d with a built-in optional kit for under $200.
This kit provides adjustable feet to replace the standard caster wheels and a front kick plate to finish off the look of a fully integrated grill.
When integrating a Timberline Gen 2 model into a dedicated outdoor kitchen setup, the induction hob can be separated from the side self and integrated into the worktop, so no cooking functionality is lost.
The construction and cooking chambers of Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline models are very similar. Both generations feature fully insulated/dual-wall construction with a stainless steel interior.
With regards to the cooking areas, as you can see from the table above, the Gen 2 Timberline models are indeed larger than their Gen 1 siblings.
However, the difference is not that significant, with an additional 20 sq.in provided on Gen 2 models. So what about temperature control?
Temperature Control and Searing Potential Differences
Now, on the face of it, when it comes to temperature control and cooking functionality, the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline models would appear very similar, if not identical.
Both generations have a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees on all models, for instance.
So are there really any significant differences between them? Yes, there are.
First off, where Gen 1 Timberline models use a single temperature probe to give information to the control panel, Gen 2 Timberline models are fitted with multiple temperature probes.
For instance, Gen 2 models are monitoring ambient air temperature around the grill, whereas that’s not the case on Gen 1 models.
The benefit is that Gen 2 Timberline models can provide an even more consistent temperature during summer or winter conditions.
Furthermore, Gen 2 models know when the lid is open and alert the control panel to increase pellet combustion to compensate for the loss of heat.
Another notable difference is the Gen 2 Timberline can support up to two wireless MEATER temperature probes.
I would have thought that with a firmware update to Gen 1 Timberline models and other Traeger models, they would also get this functionality, but that’s not as yet been confirmed.
The Advantage Of The Timberline Gen 2 Induction Hob
Something that neither the Gen 1 nor Gen 2 Timberline has is direct-flame access from the pellet fire to the grill grate.
That means that high-temperature grilling/searing has always been a weakness of Traeger pellet grills.
As I have previously discussed in my article on ‘can a Traeger replace a gas grill?‘, you can add in a set of GrillGrates to provide higher grate surface temperatures for grilling.
However, the Gen 2 Timberline does have an ace up its leave when it comes to high-temperature cooking over 500 degrees, its induction hob.
The induction hob on Gen 2 Timberline models can get a metal pan/skillet up to 700 degrees twice as fast as even a gas hob.
Therefore, Gen 2 Timberline models have one of the fastest heat-up searing solutions of any outdoor grill on the market.
Granted, you’re not searing over flames and getting the benefit of wood smoke flavour from the pellets.
However, you can start the cook inside the grill using the pellets and then take the steaks/burgers out of the grill and into a hot pan on the induction hob to finish them off at a very high temperature.
Pricing and Warranty Differences
So as we have established above, the Gen 2 Timberline models are now designed to fit into an outdoor kitchen setup.
They have a more user-friendly full-colour control panel which is smarter, measuring more variables such as ambient air temperature, and it knows when the grill lid is open etc.
Furthermore, the addition of an induction hob on the Gen 2 Timberline models adds additional cooking functionality and addresses a key limitation of Traeger grills of the past, access to cooking temperatures over 500 degrees.
However, induction hob technology and the electromagnets they use are still expensive tech, and as such, there has been a step up in price from the Gen 1 to the Gen 2 Timberline range.
As you can see from the Table above, the Gen 1 has a price range of $2,099 to $2,299, and the Gen 2 is $3,499 to $3,799.
That’s, on average, across the models a jump of $1,450 going from the Gen 1 to the Gen 2 Timberline models.
That’s not an insignificant amount of money, its a considerable amount of money for most people. I’ll discuss more below my thoughts on that.
However, I will also say a notable difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2, which I actually only noticed as I was doing my final checks/research before writing this article, is the warranty.
Gen 1 Timberline models come with the standard 3-year Traeger warranty, which as I’ve previously discussed in my article on the best pellet grill warranties, is pretty average.
However, Gen 2 Timberline models now get an industry leading 10 year limited-warranty.
That warranty will cover ‘any defects in material or workmanship under normal use and maintenance‘.
However, it won’t cover the paint finish and any surface rust which may appear on the steel outer body work should the powder coated paint finish fail.
My Thoughts On The Traeger Timberline Gen 1 vs Gen 2…
So what are my final thoughts on this comparison and the merits of choosing the latest generation of Traeger Timberline over the previous versions?
Well, there are definitely notable improvements on Gen 2 models, such as the more advanced temperature control and obviously the induction hob.
There are also improvements to making clean-up easier on the Gen 2 models, which I didn’t touch on above with the new EZ Clean ash and grease keg.
Furthermore, how Gen 2 Timberline models can be integrated into a dedicated outdoor kitchen I know is going to appeal to quite a few people.
However, I always felt paying over $2K for a Traeger, as is the case with a Gen 1 Timberline, as its not a full-stainless steel grill, is a tough sell.
Now, we have the Gen 2 Timberline pushing close to $4K and its still not a full-stainless steel grill, its an even tougher sell.
In terms of cooking area and pellet cooking temperature range, the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Timberline are almost identical.
If you’re not looking for a built-in solution and you can live without the induction hob, then a Gen 1 Timberline is probably going to give you better value.
If you’re all about team Traeger and you’re after the latest and greatest, then there are definite improvements on the Gen 2 Timberline.
However, I would seriously question the value of the smaller Gen 2 Timberline over the much larger Gen 2 Timberline XL.
While the XL is more expensive than its smaller Gen 2 Timberline sibling by around $300, that’s not a significant difference when your spending at least $3,499 on a Gen 2 Timberline.
Therefore if you’re still up for a Gen 2 Timberline, the XL makes the most sense, really.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found the above comparison interesting useful.
If you would like to learn more about you’re wider pellet grill options, I would encourage you to check out my Wood Pellet Grill Guide. 🙂
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