Over the last few years, pellet grills have been emerging as the new standard by which BBQ champions across American and beyond produce perfect BBQ.
Like most innovative designs, the concept for the pellet grill was born from necessity.
During the oil crisis of the 1970’s, a young man who’s father owned a heating company in Oregon developed the pellet stove in an effort to provide heating appliances that used affordable, renewable resources.
Joe Traeger, then took his idea a step further and developed the pellet grill. Traeger was first created in 1985 and was able to hold the pellet grill market on its own until the 1986 patent expired in 2006.
Once the patent was out of the way, a wave of competition flooded the market.
What is a Pellet Grill?
A pellet grill functions very similarly to a traditional smoker, and in the beginning, the design was fairly simple. Food grade, 100% wood pellets were loaded into a hopper.
The pellets were then fed by an auger to the firepot at intervals controlled by a three-position control knob, A fan, coupled with a diffuser plate in the cooking area, distributed the heat.
They offered a “set it and forget it” method of smoking meats. With modern technology, the pellet grills of today have evolved into multifunctional wonder-appliances.
Improvements in construction, a wider range of settings on heat level, digital sensors, and LED readouts, make cooking with them almost fool proof.
Most offer both direct and indirect cooking options, with a variety of often customizable settings.
Traeger Pellet Grills
Joe Traeger was the first person to introduce these grills. He produced them for the first time in 1985. He later patented them in 1986. The early design had three heating modes.
You could use the low, medium, and high settings. When it came to the market in 1986, they looked similar to smokers.
The latest Trager models have the patented technology known as the set it and forget it control. It will allow you to cook without experience.
It is also crucial to know that a bag of pallets will last as long as a propane tank. Some latest models allow you to control intensity from your smartphone.
It is not less than a marvel of technology. People choose them because they are the market leaders and parent company of the pallet grills.
Weber Pellet Grills
This company has a long history of making grilling equipment. They started in 1952 with a kettle. They introduced their best wood pellet grill in 2020.
The SmokeFire is perfect equipment for every barbeque lover. It has all the features of the Traeger with some specialized additions. You may prefer them because of their high durability.
You can expect their machines to last more than 20 years.
Some of us also like this company because of the low price of pellets. You can obtain an equal amount of pellets with the same burning capacity from the Weber at a lower price.
Traeger Ironwood Series 885 vs Weber Grill SmokeFire EX6 Review
Traeger Ironwood Series 885 Pellet Grill
It is the latest addition to the Traeger Ironwood series. They have introduced many features not present in any other models of this company and other companies.
It has WiFire technology to control the thermostat. You can use your smartphone to set the thermostat in it and get the readings also. You can adjust it with a knob also.
You can adjust it like the oven as the thermostat allows you to change a minimum of 5 degrees.
You will never run out of the pellets as the sensor will inform you when the quantity gets low. They use a patented exhaust system to keep passing fresh smoke over the food.
It enhances the taste as more wood smoke flavors will enter the food. It also allows you to increase the smoke with the press of a button. It is perfect for people who like smoky flavors.
There is no need to lift the lid as you can monitor the food from the outside with sensors. It is easy to move due to the specialized tires.
You can clean the pallet box easily because the hopper clean out feature will let you remove the content of the box quickly. There are no issues in cold weather as the equipment has good insulation to prevent heat leakage.
You can find many recipes on the company website to help you with the food preparation process.
Traeger Ironwood Series 885 Pellet Grill: Check Its Current price on Amazon!
Weber SmokeFire EX6 Pellet Grill
It is the latest product in the SmokeFire range of the Weber company. It has many positive reviews because of the wide temperature range. You can set it from 200 to 600 degrees in it.
The company claims that it is an All-in-one product for all your outdoor preparation needs. They have introduced the Weber Connect system to help you with flipping.
You will receive a notification on your smartphone when there is time to flip the food. This feature works by using the sensors inside the equipment and the app countdown timer.
It has a porcelain-enamel coat on the inside. This coat does not allow the hot air to go outside leading to better retention. There are flavorizer bars in this equipment.
The company has made these bars to enhance smoke circulation. These bars will ensure adequate smoke delivery to every part of the food.
If you select smoke boost at the start of the process, you can obtain the extra smoke flavor in the food as the grill will send more smoke to the food. Money-back guarantee is an important feature of this grill.
You can get your money back within hundred days if you do not like the product.
Weber SmokeFire EX6 Pellet Grill: Check Its Current Price on Amazon!
Traeger Ironwood Series 885 vs Weber Grill SmokeFire EX6 Feature Comparison
Although both of these are the state of the art grills, we can’t decide if one is better without looking at the features. We need to check them starting from the hopper size down to its performance and warranty.
Thermostat control gives us cooking accuracy as we will get the same result every time we prepare a meal.
We will also check the durability as we want the machine to work flawlessly for a lifetime. Cooking performance is analyzed by reviews of the experts because they can compare them.
We also added wifi connectivity that is exclusive to these grills only as most of them do not have this feature in the market. We will check if the machine is value for money at the end of the comparison.
Warranty comparison is also essential to ensure there is no flaw in any of them.
Hopper Size and Pellet Capacity
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: It has a hopper capacity of 20lbs. Each bag of pellets has 20lbs. You can add a full bag to the hopper if it is empty.
Weber SmokeFire EX6: You can keep 22 pounds of burning material in the Weber hopper. It means that you can add a full bag without removing some of the old hopper content.
Temperature Range and Control
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: You can reach a maximum of 500 degrees Fahrenheit in it. They recommend cooking at 165 to 225 degrees to ensure a better smokey taste.
You can slow cook the meal using this machine as it has a lower control range. You can control temperature more accurately because it has a direct-drive D2 controller.
Weber SmokeFire EX6: It has a wider range of temperature control. You can cook between 200 to 500 degrees. You cannot go to the ultra-slow cooking methods as the range starts from 200 degrees.
Construction, Material, and Durability
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: It is durable equipment as it is made from powdered-coated steel and has double-wall insulation. Powdered steel does not accumulate rust and withstands higher temperatures.
The grate is coated with the porcelain-coated material to withstand high-intensity levels.
Weber SmokeFire EX6: It has flavorizer bars, a side table, and a cart frame made of stainless steel. The heat distribution plates, lid, and cook box are coated with porcelain-coated material.
It is durable and the ability to resist rust is more than the powder-coated steel.
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: It gives an excellent performance due to the better temperature control. You can control it with the D2 controls.
If you do not want to wait for the grill to reach a specific temperature, you can use the TurboTemp option to reach the specific temperature faster.
It improves the smoky taste due to the heat vortex in the cooking chamber.
You can use the super smoke mode to get a better taste. It is crucial to know that you cannot sear the steaks with this machine as it is best for smoking only.
Weber SmokeFire EX6: It will take more time to reach a specific temperature as there is no turbo mode to reach faster. You may have to wait for 15 minutes to reach the specified temperature.
Equal distribution of heat is the most important option for this grill. You can sear the meat in this machine because you can use the direct heat feature also.
Wifi Connectivity Features
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: It has WiFire connectivity that will allow you to connect with your mobile device and monitor. You can also control the temperature using your smartphone.
It is Alexa enabled as you can control it using voice commands. It is a perfect feature when you do not want to touch anything while eating.
Weber SmokeFire EX6: It also has wifi connectivity as you can use their app to connect the grill to your smartphone. Once it is connected, you can control the temperature and monitor the performance.
The flip notification is the most advanced feature of this machine.
You will get a reminder to flip the food to avoid overheating on one side. It is a perfect future for people who have to manage other functions of the gathering with cooking.
Price, Value, and Warranty
Traeger Ironwood Series 885: It comes with 3 YearManufacturer’s Warranty on All parts of the equipment. You can also ask them to give your money back within 45 days of purchase.
A little pricier than competitor’s units in the same category, but offers a few more features to make up for it.
Pit Boss 700FB: “Best-in-class” 5 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty on cook box and a few other components. While the cooking place, pellet slide, heat baffle, and electrical components have a warranty of 3 years.
Fairly basic unit, with competitive pricing.
And the winner is…
Both types of equipment are winners in this review. Each feature of these machines is suitable for one person and not for the others. If you live in an area where there are metal rust issues, you should take the Weber SmokeFire because of its stainless steel.
People who want to use the grill for a long time without the need for a pallet refill can buy the Weber Smokefire because it has more hopper capacity.
You need the Traeger equipment if you love slow cooking. The Webber machine is better for people who like the high-heat fast cooking experience.
You cannot sear in the Traeger hence SmokeFire is better for people who love searing. People who want a budget-friendly option should prefer the SmokeFire because you will get it for 1299 dollars.
It is 300 dollars lower than the Ironwood.
The Weber is giving a longer warranty for some parts of the machine. You can receive up to 5 years of warranty when the equipment part is unspecified in their part’s list.
If you are unsure about the purchase and want to test the equipment, you can buy the Traeger from an authorized dealer because they will give you a money-back guarantee for 45 days.