Am about to pull the trigger on an Ironwood 885 but am after a little advice.

Dogznuts

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Hello my name is Chris and I live in the UK,

I have had a 4 rack bradley digital smoker for 4 years and have had mixed results when smoking ribs/butts. I believe this was due to the small heating element giving me high temp swings and the fact that when you open the door on the bradley it takes an age for the temp to come back up. This wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for the unpredictable nature of the weather in the UK which means I am often smoking in cold outside temperatures.

My question is this - From what I can see the iron woods primary/only heat source is the wood pellets that burn from an electric element. This is also the source of the heat. So if when smoking ribs for example I only need smoke for the first 3 hrs of the cook so can I turn off the pellet feed and just rely on the element for the heat or is this not how it works?

My wife is not a great fan of very smokey meat so I would like the ability to temper the amount of smoke used during the cooking process. Is this possible with the traeger?

Thank you in advance.
 

dunawayfamily

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Traegers are essentially large convection ovens that use wood pellets as the heat source ... the auger will continually turn at the appropriate variable rate throughout the cooking cycle to feed pellets into the firepot to maintain the selected temp ... higher selected temps result in a lower smoke effect on the proteins ... you will see a temp drop when you open the lid, so suggest using probe(s) to monitor IT of protein(s) to limit the need to open the lid ... I live in the Pacific Northwest - lots of Rain, Hail, and some Snow - moderate climate ... cool/cold temps in the Fall/Winter/Spring ... minimal impact on the PRO 780's ability to maintain temp ... with the Ironwood's double side-wall insulation, you would even have less of an impact ...
 

bfletcher

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My question is this - From what I can see the iron woods primary/only heat source is the wood pellets that burn from an electric element. This is also the source of the heat. So if when smoking ribs for example I only need smoke for the first 3 hrs of the cook so can I turn off the pellet feed and just rely on the element for the heat or is this not how it works?
The "element" is a small igniter used to light pellets in the burn pot; it cannot be used as a fuel source.

Regarding not being a fan of very smoky meat, it is difficult to offer input since this is a personal, subjective preference. But I can say I have several charcoal-based smokers and my Ironwood delivers a more tamed smoke flavor than does charcoal. Different pellet wood species can also impact the smoke flavor.

Good luck!
 

spilla

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I just got the Ironwood 885 this week. First cook chicken thighs at 400 degrees. A little crisp on the skin, but overall, great flavor with just a hint of smoke. More than gas, but far less than wood chunks or charcoal.

Also cooked a 15# brisket Saturday night. Ran it on super smoke for 6 hours and then bumped up the temp to 250 to finish. The brisket had about a 1/4" smoke ring all around but not a gritty super smokey flavor. Just enough smoke flavor to make me happy, but not enough to upset my wife.

This is my first pellet smoker. Before this I'd spend all day poking and prodding to try to maintain temperatures while cooking and always end up with food with too much smokey flavor. For the brisket, I programmed the grill and slept like a baby. Highly recommend it.

For dinner tonight, steaks with a reverse sear.
 
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Dogznuts

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Thank you to you all for your replies.
 

jp9724

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Thank you to you all for your replies.
I have a Bradley and found the same things, plus clean up SUCKS. Got myself an Ironwood 885 and haven't looked back. Light smoke flavor, easier to clean in my opinion and you can use it year round. The Bradley HATES the cold outside and for me, thats half my year.
 
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