Traeger Timberline 850 Concerns

Okskipper

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In addition to the excessive smoke on startup issue I reported on another thread, I also have other concerns:
  • Traeger drip pan liners are too small and dont’ completely cover the pan. Side-to-side is fine it is just an inch or two short front-to-back. The grease ends up directly on the drip pan and cooks on.
  • The heat generated is causing the metal to distort in places. The drip tray in the front, for example. The heat makes the interior prone to corrosion. Not sure how long components will last.
  • The drip channel in the front is useless. The grease never makes it to the collection tray. It puddles up and then, if too much grease accumulates as can happen with fatty meats, it will catch fire.
  • In order to vacuum out all of the areas under lower pan (not sure what it is called), you have to remove 3 screws which after being heated, become very difficult to remove and replace. It would have been better to just have some locating pins to slip the lower pan over.
Other than these small concerns, the Traeger 850 does a marvelous job of cooking.
 

CTWsr50

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I just posted drip tray issue with Timberline 1300. When my 1300 was new, the drip tray, liner and the grease removal system worked great. I’m guessing that through usage the drip tray warps, -maybe loses shape due to heat. Grease pooling (especially) on an extended cook is probably a significant safety issue.
 

Wildblue

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I just put together my new Timberline 850, and was wondering the same thing about the drip tray liner. It covers the entire width of the grill, but is a few inches short, front to back. Should the gap be in the front? Or back? If you put the liner in with the Traeger logo face up and facing you, the back wrap tab is aligned for the back notch, which also lines up the side tabs to slip inside the side brackets, and then the gap is in front.

One Youtube video I watched of a Timberline owner, he said he keeps two liners in the tray at all times. That way, at any time he can just quickly rip off the top one, and he's instantly ready to grill with a non-greased liner underneath. So until I find out otherwise, what I decided to do was put two liners in, but one aligned to the back, the other offset and aligned to the front, so the whole thing is covered.

What's the right answer though? It seems intentional that Traeger put in that gap.
 

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I just put together my new Timberline 850, and was wondering the same thing about the drip tray liner. It covers the entire width of the grill, but is a few inches short, front to back. Should the gap be in the front? Or back? If you put the liner in with the Traeger logo face up and facing you, the back wrap tab is aligned for the back notch, which also lines up the side tabs to slip inside the side brackets, and then the gap is in front.

One Youtube video I watched of a Timberline owner, he said he keeps two liners in the tray at all times. That way, at any time he can just quickly rip off the top one, and he's instantly ready to grill with a non-greased liner underneath. So until I find out otherwise, what I decided to do was put two liners in, but one aligned to the back, the other offset and aligned to the front, so the whole thing is covered.

What's the right answer though? It seems intentional that Traeger put in that gap.

In like to pull my tray liner more towards the front.

I do agree with the others about the front grease channel having issues, suffering from high heat warping. last time I cleaned the grill, that channel had been collecting grease on the right side, that wasn't draining down to the left side and down into the pan. Excess grease clearly had repeatedly burned up on the right instead of draining away.

Since I'm having so much "at-home" time I'm thinking about re-working that front channel to have much more pitch to the left side so it really drains fast. Does anyone know if stainless steel would fare better with the heat in that area? I have a good stainless fabricator in the area that could bend me up a new channel.
 

Phil1454

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In addition to the excessive smoke on startup issue I reported on another thread, I also have other concerns:
  • Traeger drip pan liners are too small and dont’ completely cover the pan. Side-to-side is fine it is just an inch or two short front-to-back. The grease ends up directly on the drip pan and cooks on.
  • The heat generated is causing the metal to distort in places. The drip tray in the front, for example. The heat makes the interior prone to corrosion. Not sure how long components will last.
  • The drip channel in the front is useless. The grease never makes it to the collection tray. It puddles up and then, if too much grease accumulates as can happen with fatty meats, it will catch fire.
  • In order to vacuum out all of the areas under lower pan (not sure what it is called), you have to remove 3 screws which after being heated, become very difficult to remove and replace. It would have been better to just have some locating pins to slip the lower pan over.
Other than these small concerns, the Traeger 850 does a marvelous job of cooking.
In addition to the excessive smoke on startup issue I reported on another thread, I also have other concerns:
  • Traeger drip pan liners are too small and dont’ completely cover the pan. Side-to-side is fine it is just an inch or two short front-to-back. The grease ends up directly on the drip pan and cooks on.
  • The heat generated is causing the metal to distort in places. The drip tray in the front, for example. The heat makes the interior prone to corrosion. Not sure how long components will last.
  • The drip channel in the front is useless. The grease never makes it to the collection tray. It puddles up and then, if too much grease accumulates as can happen with fatty meats, it will catch fire.
  • In order to vacuum out all of the areas under lower pan (not sure what it is called), you have to remove 3 screws which after being heated, become very difficult to remove and replace. It would have been better to just have some locating pins to slip the lower pan over.
Other than these small concerns, the Traeger 850 does a marvelous job of cooking.
As for the screws, every screw in the inside especially the fire pot I loosen them then just lightly snug them haven't had any problems
 

CTWsr50

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I’m pretty meticulous in my cleaning routine, -dedicated shop vac used and done every week and a half-two weeks, well within the recommended 20-hour recommendation per the manual. My Traeger cleaning know-how is taken from YouTube videos, including Traeger’s. I must admit (and always willing to learn), I’ve never loosened any screws, anywhere, on my Timberline 1300, during the cleanup process. But I could be wrong (Don’t repeat that to my wife!)

When I search the work “warp” in this forum, the drip tray warping issue comes up regularly. It appears to be a “know issue”. I’ve had my 1300 for six months and I used my grill during the winter. For the first 2 months, my Traeger worked flawlessly, as I’ve posted in other threads, a wonderful experience. The grease channeling system worked great. For the last 4 months, not one drop of grease has made it off of the drip tray liner, using both self-engineered aluminum foil and Traeger’s liners. Could the expansion/contraction of the drip tray occur due to temperature extremes, changing the characteristics of the drip tray? It looks like the camber of the drip tray has changed. I’ve tried to think of some fix to permanently add more slope, back-to-front to the drip tray, but hesitate to make any alteration that might void the warranty.

Traeger Support promised me a new drip tray, months ago and haven’t delivered. I got a support callback last week and was told the drip tray is still in their system and on back order -pretty understandable during these times. But they need to let me know that they haven’t lost track of my problem. They also assured me that during the warranty period, any such issue would be taken care of.

I still have great hopes for Traeger and my 1300. Per my son and his network, he sees many of his contemporaries getting Traeger’s. I think Traeger’s business is exploding, and they’re trying to figure it out. If they do, they’ll be golden. If not, -well, not good.
 

NYRICO

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I am new to Traeger and received my Timberline 850 one week ago. Having the same issues with the drip tray. First I ordered the Traeger drip tray liners thinking it a couple of bucks for a ready made solution
, after what I spent on the grill it was a drop in the bucket. I assemble my grill and when I first install the drip tray I grab a liner and can't for my life figure out how to install it, I am a former auto mechanic and have a good grasp on assembly, but, it just doesn't appear to fit good in any direction. I also noticed that there isn't alot of "tilt" to the tray in my opinion to get grease flowing into the grease channels. I cooked my first chicken Sunday , tried burgers yesterday and when I raised the temp for a sear....grease fire under the drip tray... not good... not happy, this was my third cook on a new unit. I have to take it all apart now and check what is going on under there. I feel like an idiot saying this, but, I would actually appreciate a instruction sheet for these liners as they do not appear to install in a straightforward manner. I missed it in the instructions, but I saw the video about "priming" the grease channels anyone done this ?
 

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I am new to Traeger and received my Timberline 850 one week ago. Having the same issues with the drip tray. First I ordered the Traeger drip tray liners thinking it a couple of bucks for a ready made solution
, after what I spent on the grill it was a drop in the bucket. I assemble my grill and when I first install the drip tray I grab a liner and can't for my life figure out how to install it, I am a former auto mechanic and have a good grasp on assembly, but, it just doesn't appear to fit good in any direction. I also noticed that there isn't alot of "tilt" to the tray in my opinion to get grease flowing into the grease channels. I cooked my first chicken Sunday , tried burgers yesterday and when I raised the temp for a sear....grease fire under the drip tray... not good... not happy, this was my third cook on a new unit. I have to take it all apart now and check what is going on under there. I feel like an idiot saying this, but, I would actually appreciate a instruction sheet for these liners as they do not appear to install in a straightforward manner. I missed it in the instructions, but I saw the video about "priming" the grease channels anyone done this ?
The liner is placed somewhat centered on the drip tray, it doesn't cover the very back or front of the tray, I favor it a bit more toward the front. Once located, then fold the side and rear tabs on the liner around the pan. Then press and mold the liner to match the contours of the tray, especially the front right and left sides to allow grease flow into the front channel.

It is odd that the liner isn't a perfect fit but it does the job good enough.

My issue is with the front grease channel, mine needs more pitch to the left so grease runs quickly down and out to the lower grease pan. When I clean the grill, it's very clear that grease collects and burns on the right side, it's not draining to the left.
 

CTWsr50

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NYRCO,
I purchased my 1300 assembled. You (someway or another) have to get hold of support, using the Traeger support number on the website. Make the call early in the morning and leave a callback number if you need to. Grease fires are a safety issue.

I know that you’re disappointed, I’m still waiting for a drip tray replacement. I’ve owned my 1300 for just over 6 months, and for the first 2 months, no problems and a great experience. I’ve been working on the drip tray for 2 months. Our warranty is 3 years. I’ve been assured that any such problem is covered For that period.
You sure don’t expect to have these worries on the top of the line product.
 

magoo40

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My issue is with the front grease channel, mine needs more pitch to the left so grease runs quickly down and out to the lower grease pan. When I clean the grill, it's very clear that grease collects and burns on the right side, it's not draining to the left.

Check your grill is level first, and you could always try placing the righthand wheels on something to raise the end of the grill to see if it helps.
 

RemE

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Check your grill is level first, and you could always try placing the righthand wheels on something to raise the end of the grill to see if it helps.

Good ideas, it is level, honestly the front channel should have much greater pitch so grease moves down and away quickly.

The grill weighs so much, I don't want to mess with any wheel lifts lest something bad happens with my luck. Plus I move mine around depending on wind, weather, and storage spot.
 

NYRICO

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The liner is placed somewhat centered on the drip tray, it doesn't cover the very back or front of the tray, I favor it a bit more toward the front. Once located, then fold the side and rear tabs on the liner around the pan. Then press and mold the liner to match the contours of the tray, especially the front right and left sides to allow grease flow into the front channel.

It is odd that the liner isn't a perfect fit but it does the job good enough.

My issue is with the front grease channel, mine needs more pitch to the left so grease runs quickly down and out to the lower grease pan. When I clean the grill, it's very clear that grease collects and burns on the right side, it's not draining to the left.
Thank you for the response. I have been in contact with Traeger about my wifi. It turns out that even though my T is 1 week old and came from the Traeger factory/ warehouse ( wasn't in stock in Home Depot) that the wifi radio is out of date , they are sending me a new one. I finished that call yesterday without a resolution and was supposed to get an email today as to whether or not they were going to mail me out a brain for this thing. Had to call them back to find out and brought up the drip tray, they say they are going to ship me both. The customer service leaves a bit to be desired, and the early problems are a pain. I have been cooking on propane for years and never had a grease fire, I buy this and one of the benefits is supposed to be indirect heat = no fires, but, here I am talking about my grease fire on a 1 week old unit. All in all happy with it though and look forward to Traeger fulfilling their promise and will be well, but this is an $1800.00 machine, In expect more.
Today In took it apart to clean after the fire and was happy to find that the fire was only on the drip tray as the bottom and fire pot were clean of grease. I installed a new Traeger liner, I installed it with the logo facing up and brought to the front edge of the drip tray. I noticed that there are lines or folds about an inch in from the side and bent it there to mold to the contour of the drip pan. I wonder if that what they intend and used the rear tab folded down but not under to raise the pan slightly in the rear. I think that , as you stated, that the pitch of the whole drip tray system is too slight and the grease is made to flow left and then down, doesn't seem efficient, but we will see.
Again, love this thing, but a little frustrated, thanks all that gave advice, Carne asada skirt steak going on this weekend can't wait.
 

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Thank you for the response. I have been in contact with Traeger about my wifi. It turns out that even though my T is 1 week old and came from the Traeger factory/ warehouse ( wasn't in stock in Home Depot) that the wifi radio is out of date , they are sending me a new one. I finished that call yesterday without a resolution and was supposed to get an email today as to whether or not they were going to mail me out a brain for this thing. Had to call them back to find out and brought up the drip tray, they say they are going to ship me both. The customer service leaves a bit to be desired, and the early problems are a pain. I have been cooking on propane for years and never had a grease fire, I buy this and one of the benefits is supposed to be indirect heat = no fires, but, here I am talking about my grease fire on a 1 week old unit. All in all happy with it though and look forward to Traeger fulfilling their promise and will be well, but this is an $1800.00 machine, In expect more.
Today In took it apart to clean after the fire and was happy to find that the fire was only on the drip tray as the bottom and fire pot were clean of grease. I installed a new Traeger liner, I installed it with the logo facing up and brought to the front edge of the drip tray. I noticed that there are lines or folds about an inch in from the side and bent it there to mold to the contour of the drip pan. I wonder if that what they intend and used the rear tab folded down but not under to raise the pan slightly in the rear. I think that , as you stated, that the pitch of the whole drip tray system is too slight and the grease is made to flow left and then down, doesn't seem efficient, but we will see.
Again, love this thing, but a little frustrated, thanks all that gave advice, Carne asada skirt steak going on this weekend can't wait.

WoW ... Traeger Support is frustrating as f**k (FaF) ... there is a 99.9%+ chance that you did NOT need a new WiFIRE Controller, and that the replacement controller could very well have the exact same issues ... The vast majority of Wi-Fi challenges are due to issues with the configuration of the Router / Wireless Access Point and/or issues with the App Device config, both of which can be resolved with minor changes ... people are expecting "plug and play" and not prepared to have to intervene to accommodate the necessary changes / workarounds ... and Traeger Support is completely unprepared to deal with walking customers through the changes that need to be made to accommodate the WiFIRE Controller ... reach out if you want to try and resolve this in the interim ... it usually takes 30-90m of time after some basic information is shared to get a baseline, and then making the necessary configuration changes/updates to get WiFIRE running on your Home Wi-Fi ...
 
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NYRICO

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WoW ... Traeger Support is abysmal ... there is a 99.9%+ chance that you did NOT need a new WiFIRE Controller, and that the replacement controller could very well have the exact same issues ... The vast majority of Wi-Fi challenges are due to issues with the configuration of the Router / Wireless Access Point and/or issues with the App Device config, both of which can be resolved with minor changes ... people are expecting "plug and play" and not prepared to have to intervene to accommodate the necessary changes / workarounds ...
I too was surprised during the call. they asked me for the software revision, I believe, and when I told them it was .....1.1, they told me that this serial number would not work with the app. I didn't expect plug and play and wasn't too worried as I am in IT as a career. I do not do networking, but, am familiar and am friends with my network guys at work, they too were stumped. I was about to mess with my orbi and separate my 2.4 and 5 gig traffic via telnet, but, did not want to go through the hassle. I tried my wifes Galaxy tab that was connecting via the 2.4 ghz network. This should have worked, but, did not and failed with the same error and so I called support. I figured that I'll try this before messing with my already established home network and having to reconnect all of my connected devices to new SSIDs. Now I just gotta hope that they send it. I also have to believe that if they have a note about a particular software revision and issues that they could be right, I've never failed to connect anything to my network and Orbis are pretty fool proof, to a fault. There shouldn't be all of these wifi issues with a new device, I mean Orbis and 5 ghz networks are a couple of years old now, my Ring cameras use 2.4 ghz and set up through a phone app and they were a breeze. I need to grill and not stress over this for now, got my fingers crossed, thanks for the advice i'll have to wait and see.
 

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I too was surprised during the call. they asked me for the software revision, I believe, and when I told them it was .....1.1, they told me that this serial number would not work with the app. I didn't expect plug and play and wasn't too worried as I am in IT as a career. I do not do networking, but, am familiar and am friends with my network guys at work, they too were stumped. I was about to mess with my orbi and separate my 2.4 and 5 gig traffic via telnet, but, did not want to go through the hassle. I tried my wifes Galaxy tab that was connecting via the 2.4 ghz network. This should have worked, but, did not and failed with the same error and so I called support. I figured that I'll try this before messing with my already established home network and having to reconnect all of my connected devices to new SSIDs. Now I just gotta hope that they send it. I also have to believe that if they have a note about a particular software revision and issues that they could be right, I've never failed to connect anything to my network and Orbis are pretty fool proof, to a fault. There shouldn't be all of these wifi issues with a new device, I mean Orbis and 5 ghz networks are a couple of years old now, my Ring cameras use 2.4 ghz and set up through a phone app and they were a breeze. I need to grill and not stress over this for now, got my fingers crossed, thanks for the advice i'll have to wait and see.

Hmmm - if Traeger's latest app version cannot accommodate updating a WiFIRE Controller running pre 2.x Firmware ... yikes ... there are going to be a LOT of folks needing to replace their WiFIRE Controllers as the solution ... which is not an insignificant cost to Traeger (financially and "brand"-wise as it will take months to finish sending out that many WiFIRE Controllers) ...

As for making changes to your Home Wi-Fi Network - I would modify the frequency band with the fewest connections ... in my case, it was the 5GHz band, so I made the following change:

I call my IOT-based device Wireless Networks...
idIOT
idIOT 5GHz


The thing to remember is that the goal for all IOT-device vendors is to reach the widest possible customer base "out-of-the-box" ... that means targeting the most widely implemented Wi-Fi Standard possible ... the following table is a quick summary of the timeline of the "major" releases with regards to Wi-Fi that have been widely adopted by the industry:

802.11b - circa 2000 - 2.4GHz - 11Mb/sec max data rate
802.11g - circa 2003 - 2.4GHz - 54Mb/sec max data rate
802.11n (aka Wi-Fi 4) - circa 2009 - 2.4GHz & 5GHz - 600Mb/sec max data rate
802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) - circa 2013 - 2.4GHz & 5GHz - 600Mb/sec max data rate
+ wider channels & more streams & higher-order modulation & addition of MU-MIMO
+ Mesh Networks starting to become available 2017+
802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) - circa 2019/2020 - 2.4GHz & 5GHz
+ goal is to provide 4x the throughput of 802.11ac
+ OFDMA introduced for multiplexing

Given the above, almost all IOT-device vendors implement Wi-Fi via a chipset that supports 802.11b/g/n, as that will reach the widest possible customer base, thus creating the requirement for connecting the IOT-device to a 2.4GHz Wireless Network ... what seems a bit "unique" to the chipset used in the WiFIRE Controllers is the inability to connect to a single Wireless Network Name (SSID) that includes both 2.4GHz & 5GHz, thus needing to rename one of the frequencies ... Traeger is not the first/only vendor to make the "you must have separate Wireless Network Names" requirement, but I would agree that in 2018-2020+, that caught me off-guard, but since I have run into it in the past, I was prepared to make the necessary changes during my initial setup phase of the WiFIRE Controller ...


Lastly, it is possible/likely that your Wireless Mesh network is doing "steering" to put devices on their preferred connection, which for new(er) phones / tablets would be the 5GHz band and the WiFIRE is sitting on the 2.4GHz band ... so the App cannot connect, or maintain a connection on the 2.4GHz band through completion of the setup process ... The following "workaround" might apply in your particular situation:

---------------

Failed / Hung Setup of WiFIRE | Airplane Mode Workaround

ISSUE: Multiple people have reported that the initial setup of WiFIRE will fail/hang before completion ... this is due to the App device defaulting back to the "preferred" 5GHz Wireless Network after handing off the necessary 2.4GHz Wireless Network information to the Grill (Network Name (SSID), Encryption Type, Password). The App Device MUST reconnect back to the 2.4GHz Home Wireless Network in order for the setup process to successfully complete.

WORKAROUND: The best way to eliminate the failed/hung setup state for WiFIRE is to first put your App Device into Airplane Mode, then manually turn Wi-Fi back on, then "forget" the 5GHz Wi-Fi network, then connect to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network and start the setup process from the beginning ... this eliminates any potential issues with regards to the App Device reconnecting back to the wrong (i.e. 5GHz) Home Wi-Fi Network during the setup process ... once the setup process has successfully completed, you can take the App Device out of Airplane Mode, and reconnect to the 5GHz Wireless network on your App Device (if desired) ...
 

RemE

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Thank you for the response. I have been in contact with Traeger about my wifi. It turns out that even though my T is 1 week old and came from the Traeger factory/ warehouse ( wasn't in stock in Home Depot) that the wifi radio is out of date , they are sending me a new one. I finished that call yesterday without a resolution and was supposed to get an email today as to whether or not they were going to mail me out a brain for this thing. Had to call them back to find out and brought up the drip tray, they say they are going to ship me both. The customer service leaves a bit to be desired, and the early problems are a pain. I have been cooking on propane for years and never had a grease fire, I buy this and one of the benefits is supposed to be indirect heat = no fires, but, here I am talking about my grease fire on a 1 week old unit. All in all happy with it though and look forward to Traeger fulfilling their promise and will be well, but this is an $1800.00 machine, In expect more.
Today In took it apart to clean after the fire and was happy to find that the fire was only on the drip tray as the bottom and fire pot were clean of grease. I installed a new Traeger liner, I installed it with the logo facing up and brought to the front edge of the drip tray. I noticed that there are lines or folds about an inch in from the side and bent it there to mold to the contour of the drip pan. I wonder if that what they intend and used the rear tab folded down but not under to raise the pan slightly in the rear. I think that , as you stated, that the pitch of the whole drip tray system is too slight and the grease is made to flow left and then down, doesn't seem efficient, but we will see.
Again, love this thing, but a little frustrated, thanks all that gave advice, Carne asada skirt steak going on this weekend can't wait.
Glad you are getting sorted, I've had my 850 for almost 1 year now and agree that the WiFi issue just sounds odd regarding incompatibility with the app. I can't imagine what they changed in the last year. I am a networking type and quickly sorted the 2.4Ghz issue, your setup device must be on the 2.4Ghz band of your router as it hands this data to the grill during setup. It is wise to first "forget" any 5Ghz connections on the phone so it sticks with 2.4 until setup is complete. Orbi's auto assign bands and I could see that being an issue without some fiddling. My grill was kind of far from my router so I tossed a cheap 2.4ghz access point in a closet by the grill location, now WiFire life is good.

Regarding the grease fire (I've never had one, so far) , being as it happened on the drip pan, it must have not drained into the channel. This should be impossible because of the rounded shape of the pan that "should" take all liquids to the front channel, odd.
 
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OP
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Okskipper

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I am getting most of my issues on my Timberline 850 straightened out. The drip tray, though, still does not drain. I have nothing in the collection pan after cooking on it for about 9 months.

I am having an issue with the WiFire ceasing to "talk" to the iPhone app. I will be inside the house and notice that the temperature of the grill and/or the probe doesn't change. I close out the app, reopen and the proper readings are back. This is since the new app came out.

I also have somewhat of an issue with the heating cycle. The 850 seems to pause as it is heating. Example, today I am smoking a pork loin and wanted to bring the grill temp to 180. The lighting sequence went well and temps climbed to 150, where it stalled. After about 10-15 minutes, it slowly resumed climbing and eventually leveled off around 180. This is a recent development as the grill always would climb to the set temperature without stopping. Sometimes it would overshoot by 10 degrees or so but then come back to the set temp.
 

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