There's also room to save custom cook cycles in the app, and of course you can shut down the grill remotely. The Traeger app is also where you can download and apply updates to the Timberline should the need arise. During my time with the grill, the company pushed an update to add manual meat-probe calibration. Based on feedback from users (including myself), Traeger added the ability to adjust the meat probe if you felt it wasn't accurate.
In my case, I noticed about a 12-degree difference between the built-in probe and the Weber iGrill Mini Bluetooth meat probe during my first few cooks. Once I applied the update, though -- which took about five minutes -- I didn't have any issues. I was able to easily adjust the probe with the on-grill controls to compensate for the difference. Yes, it was an easy fix, but when you purchase a $1,700 grill, you kind of expect it to work perfectly out of the box. Still, it's nice to see that Traeger took notice of a problem and acted to address customer complaints.
Aside from the meat-probe calibration, I didn't encounter any other issues with the Timberline 850. I used it primarily as a smoker for chicken, pork shoulders and ribs, but I did crank up the temperature a few times to make sure it worked. Five hundred degrees is the max setting, but during those tests, the thermometer went as high as 505. That's not really an issue; just pointing out that the Timberline is well equipped to hit 500 when you need a quick sear. I made some rookie mistakes on the chicken, but the multiple racks of ribs and pork shoulders I cooked during testing came out delicious. There's a perfect amount of smoke flavor, and the meat was still moist and delicious.
At $1,700, the smaller Timberline is a serious investment, and the larger $2,000 option even more so. Traeger does offer more affordable options in a range of sizes and feature, starting at $450, but the Timberline 850 and Timberline 1300 are the only two that offer WiFi connectivity and all the extra tools it offers. You also have to consider that you'll need to purchase bags of pellets, along with other supplies like gloves, aluminum foil and grill cleaner. As you might expect, Traeger recommends you use only its pellets, which come in a variety of options for $19 each (20-pound bag) -- wood options like Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, Oak, Apple and more. That's usually more expensive than the same amount of charcoal, but it does save you from chopping or acquiring split wood if you want to go the all-wood route. During my test, one bag was enough to get me through about two cooks, but depending on temperature and cook time, your mileage may vary.
Other companies -- like Pit Boss, Camp Chef and Green Mountain -- make wood pellet grills, but their prices are comparable to Traeger's smaller, non-WiFi-equipped models. Green Mountain also has WiFi, app-controlled models that range from $400 to $1,000, but the largest option offers less cooking surface than the Timberline 850. When you look at other top-level grills and smokers, Traeger isn't asking too much for what it offers. I can certainly understand if you'd prefer to spend your money on a really nice gas grill or a Big Green Egg instead. If you're looking to try your hand at low-and-slow methods, and like the convenience of wood pellets, Traeger has some of the best available options -- even if you don't bite on a high-end model.