Timberline 850 Cook Times

droog40

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Hi All - We purchased a Bronson 20 a few years ago to see if we would enjoy smoking. We were hooked! Quickly nailed the 3-2-1 method for ribs. Brisket took a number of tries before we found a process that worked. Our briskets cooked for approximately 45 mins per pound, for larger cuts it might take 1hr - 1hr 15 mins at 225 degrees. We never recognized a significant stall with a brisket. Porks butts, wings, turkey, steak; Everything we cooked was tender and relatively predictable.

We upgraded to the Timberline 850 two weeks ago and our cook times have taken a hit. Our first smoke on the Timberline was a rack of ribs and a ~5lb brisket. Tops this should have taken 6hrs but ran close to 8, nothing was tender. As I type this we have a 5lb brisket that has been on 225 for the last 6 1/2 hrs and it has not hit 160 degrees yet. The size of the Timberline is impressive but missing the Bronson. Also getting nervous because we planned to smoke our Thanksgiving Turkey this week. Has anyone else experienced similar issues?
 

RemE

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Unfortunately yes, many of us have found that the grill holds the set temp very well, however, the set temp can be different than reality. So your set "225F" could actually be lower, or your Bronson may have run hotter.

The solution for us is to use a 3rd party temp monitor, I like the Fireboard 2, these are very accurate and have excellent WiFi reporting to an app (and Apple Watch if you sport one) that charts the cook so you can watch the stall etc. They are 6 channel units so I have 1 or 2 grate probes as well as the meat all monitored.

I realize this is more money, but once you use one of these the value will be clear. They can also be moved to other cookers as needed. This will allow you to get consistent cooks on any grill.

I've "mapped" out my Timberline now and am very happy with the results. You will need to re-calibrate your recipe temp settings for your new grill.

Link to FireBoard;
FireBoard Labs

Also, Fireboard has super nice "needle" type probes that you can request (competition probes) instead of the regular ones, cost difference is within a dollar. These are excellent for anything, right down to in-between ribs!
 
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droog40

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Thanks for the reply, RemE. While we haven't used the Fireboard however we have a few temp monitoring devices. After closer inspection of my 850 the insulation was pulling away from the door, also noticed the door did not firmly shut. After adjusting those two things the Turkey smoke went well yesterday.
 

DonJ

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RemE, as a hypothetical, let’s say your Traeger, at a setting of 325, indicates an actual temp of 300 per your FireBoard. Your ‘mapped’ scale might indicate that if you want to cook something at 325 per a recipe, you need to set your Traeger dial at 345, for example. Have you found that setting the Traeger temp at that higher setting always results in the true temp you are looking for on all your cooks from there on? I have a MEATER probe and have seen ambient temp differences of 40 degrees. It would be nice if one could some how adjust the Traeger readings to a correct reading, somewhat like you can on their probe (like their old p-setting adjustments). Better yet, I wonder why Traeger doesn’t include an accurate temperature indicator on grills that can breach the $2,000 mark.
 

RemE

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RemE, as a hypothetical, let’s say your Traeger, at a setting of 325, indicates an actual temp of 300 per your FireBoard. Your ‘mapped’ scale might indicate that if you want to cook something at 325 per a recipe, you need to set your Traeger dial at 345, for example. Have you found that setting the Traeger temp at that higher setting always results in the true temp you are looking for on all your cooks from there on? I have a MEATER probe and have seen ambient temp differences of 40 degrees. It would be nice if one could some how adjust the Traeger readings to a correct reading, somewhat like you can on their probe (like their old p-setting adjustments). Better yet, I wonder why Traeger doesn’t include an accurate temperature indicator on grills that can breach the $2,000 mark.
My Timberline is super stable, however, its reported temps are non-linear on the low end.
Set
165 = 175
175 = 190
250 = 250
300 = 300
450 = 450
I use my Fireboard to monitor the grill temps on a new recipe and on new cooks. If the recipe calls for 190F I'll adjust the grill temp until the fireboard reads correctly. I note in each recipe, say "set temp to 190F (in parens I add 170F).

So, the grill is consistent, I have committed the low end map to memory, plus my notes so I don't need to monitor the grill often. On long cooks I do monitor, and sometimes set a low temp alarm as a backup, in case the grill fails and temps drop for some reason.
 

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