Until this month, I’ve been a “throw a sausage and steak on the BBQ and let it cook” kinda guy. Love my BBQ, but it’s really just a way of making dinner once a week that isn’t in the kitchen. Today, I’m a BBQ Pitmaster – well, far from it, but let’s just say I’ve taken it to the next level with the Traeger Timberline 1300.
When asked if I wanted to review this, I was skeptical. Problem is, I loves me a good Texas BBQ – every year in January the boys and I head to a BBQ joint for ribs and brisket and more.
But I’ve seen people using “smokers” – that’s complex stuff, and my ability to light a fire let alone keep it at a constant temperature rules me right out of that one.
Then the penny dropped – the Traeger Timberline 1300 was made for me. It’s WiFi connected and smart – it uses pellet wood granules to burn, smoke and has the smarts to keep the temperature at a set level of a few degrees either side for hours and hours on end.
Just the box alone was daunting frankly – a massive unit that couldn’t simply be wheeled around the back.
Assembly had to take place on the driveway, in the very spot the truck had left it.
After a decent length of time and careful following of the instructions, we had it upright and ready.
Funnily enough it didn’t fit around the side of the house, so we took it carefully through the garage and kitchen – don’t tell my wife ok?
A power point is all you need, as well as a couple of bags of Traeger Wood Pellets.
My biggest problem was the fear of looking like a goose at the butcher, so I sought advice from my man Mike and my good mate Ronny Brisket on what to cook first.
We agreed Pork Ribs was a winner.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos, this one got me through the ribs.
The process there was about four hours, but in the weeks ahead, I would soon learn that was nothing at all.
Next up, Pulled Lamb Shoulder. This was my first real “be confident” moment at the butcher, that’s a bit of meat I’d never normally order.
But, after a seven hour cook – I was in heaven.
This was a real learning experience, the slow cook, the smoking of the meat, the wrapping the meat to take it to the final temp.
Using the Traeger Timberline 1300 made this all a breeze. A built in probe means I can monitor the meat all the time, and because of WiFi or as they call it “WiFire” I had full control of the Traeger from anywhere I was with the app.
That came into its own when I finally got the courage to order a Brisket from the Butcher. That’s a solid bit of meat but It’s one of my favourites at a restaurant.
For this, I chose to use the Traeger App to choose the recipe – in this case the Traeger BBQ Brisket.
Because I chose the recipe in the app, the app now guides the cooking, in fact even the screen on the front of the Traeger Timeberline 1300 is showing the cooking steps. Brilliant.
Rather than keeping a close eye, I could chill out watch TV or even go for a drive, but know my Grill info is just a click away.
Setting a timer, done. Changing the temperature of the cook, done. Checking the temp of the prob, done. All within the Traeger Grills app when you connect your Timberline 1300 to WiFi.
This is the most high-tech BBQ I’ve seen, and trust me, as someone who’s best effort is normally toasted cheese, it’s made for everyone from beginners to the Pitmasters.
Despite the term “smoker”, I’m quite amazed how little smoke it produces, it’s more constant than overwhelming.
Now I’ve got a Brisket, Ribs and Pulled Lamb under my belt, I’m finally ready to try to put it all together in one day’s cook and have some people around!
It’s all powered by the Timberline D2 Direct Drive system which pushes pellets into the burner as required and not mor ethan needed. It can cook up to 260 degrees if you wanted to Sear some meat, but is made for the long, low, and slow cooking.
The hardest part is keeping Pellets handy because in just three “simple” cooks we’ve gone through two and half bags already (grab more at Barbecues Galore for about $39.90)
And it’s solid too – built with a double-wall stainless steel interior, it’s made to prevent rust, so it will last years.
Inside are three tiers of stainless steel grates, so you really can cook up a storm for a big group, or if the Timberline 1300 is a bit big, it’s baby brother the Timberline 850 will do the job.
The Timberline 1300 is $4,499 and the Timberline 850 is $3,699 – worth every cent I say given the taste of the meat we’ve had just in a few cooks. Christmas visits are going to be a genuine BBQ experience henceforth, Summer is set with the Traeger Timberline 1300 in our backyard!
Oh, and for those with kids, the Traeger Timberline 1300 box turns into a Cubby house for the kids – hours of fun for the whole family!