You just can’t beat that authentic smokey flavor that comes from wood pellet grills. For years, these smokers were basically tanks that required you to constantly stoke the smoke. Otherwise, the cooking would stop.
Nowadays, smokers can do it all, from slow smoking to searing. It’s just not fair to judge the best smart grills unless you are looking at the top wood smoker grills.
We scrutinized all of the top sellers. When we were done narrowing the choices down, we were left with two tough contenders. And now we will put them head to head to see which one comes out on top.
Both of these smokers are well-made and dependable, with porcelain-coated steel bodies and porcelain-coated iron cooking grates. While Traeger offers a decent three-year warranty, Weber shines with their famous 10-year no-nonsense warranty period.
Another commonality is the insulated walls, which improve pellet efficiency and heat retention.
As both are smart grills, they each have an app. The Traeger’s WiFIRE app works with Alexa voice control and allows you to monitor and adjust the temperature from anywhere. The Weber features Weber Connect, which goes a step further by texting you step-by-step cooking instructions.
Traeger’s Ironwood has 885 square inches of main cooking area and the expected 250-inch warming rack. The Weber SmokeFire has no warming rack. It’s designed with smaller upper and lower main cooking racks that add up to just over 1,000 square inches of cooking space.
These are both very versatile, good-quality grills that can do all traditional grilling, searing, and smoking with an upper limit of 600 degrees. Traeger’s smoker has a lower temp of 200 degrees, but Weber’s goes all the way down to about 150 for the ultimate slow smoking experience.
The Traeger can be had for about $1500. That’s a good price, but Weber wows with the incredible value of their $1200-ish grill.
Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 vs Weber SmokeFire EX6 Comparison:
The Weber SmokeFire EX6 is the smartest grill. It can tell you, via its app or even text, when it’s time to flip your burgers. And it slowly smokes better because you can set it below 200 degrees for the richest smoke. It’s made like a tank, and it is warranted for 10 years. The surprising thing is that it’s priced about $300 lower than Ironwood.
Traeger’s Ironwood 885 is more expensive, but is there a good reason? Well, it’s more automated for one thing. You just set the temperature and the time. The Ironwood does the rest. Its dependable DC auger motor will keep those pellets moving into the firebox at just the right rate to hold the perfect temp.
When you look inside the Ironwood, you’ll see that 885-inch cooking grate and the smaller warming rack on top. That’s a standard design, right? The Weber goes off the beaten path with a two-tier design. There are double primary cooking grates. The lower is best for direct-heat cooking, and the top works perfectly for slower roasts and bakes. You can sear steaks and slow-cook a Boston butt at the same time.
Traeger Ironwood 885:
- 53”L x27”W x47”H
- Solidly made of porcelain-coated steel with iron porcelain-coated grates
- Big 20-pound hopper
- 885 inches of main cooking area with an additional 250-inch warming rack
- Convenient automatic ignition
- Digitally control the temp from 200 to 600 degrees
- Control via the WiFIRE app and Alexa voice control
- Grill, smoke, bake, braise, sear and BBQ
- Available accessories include a rib rack, poultry throne, chicken leg holder, jalapeno popper tray, and griddle
- 3-year warranty
Weber SmokeFire EX6:
- 55”L 47”W 33”H
- Durable porcelain-enameled steel body and porcelain-coated iron grates
- 20-pound pellet hopper keeps the smoke going all day
- 1,008 inches of cooking area split between upper and lower grates
- Quick auto ignition
- Digitally control the temperature between 150 for slow smoking and 600 for searing
- Monitor and adjust the temperature via the Weber Connect app
- Smoke, bake, braise, grill, sear, and BBQ
- Available accessories include a wet smoke kit, griddle, wok, dutch oven, sear grate, and poultry throne
- Industry-leading 10-year warranty
Traeger Ironwood 885:
- A highly automated pellet feed and temperature control system does the cooking for you
- Pellet augers and motors are the toughest in the industry and are designed to last for years
- Temperature can be controlled and watched with the WiFIRE app from anywhere, and you can talk to Alexa to work the grill
- A built-in pellet sensor lets you know when you’re starting to run low on fuel during extended smoking
- The ignition system lights pellets faster and provides steadier smoke
- The included digital meat probe sends you the internal temperature through the app
- Downdraft exhaust makes for better circulation of smoke, which means great flavor and moist meat
Weber SmokeFire EX6:
- Weber Connect shows you all pertinent details including temperature whether you’re standing at the grill or on the other side of town
- Set timers so you don’t get sidetracked while grilling
- Receive alerts and even instructions so you know what you have to do and when
- A rugged ignition system can be expected to last as long as the grill
- Upper and lower racks allow simultaneous cooking of various foods using the same temperature setting
- Connect up to four meat probes for cooking several types and thicknesses of meat at once
- Separate ash and grease drawers make cleaning quick and easy
- A lower temp is fantastic for an extra smokey flavor
Traeger Ironwood 885:
- This is a rather expensive pellet barbeque grill for what you get
- Despite the awesome insulation, the heat is somewhat uneven
- There are multiple reports that Traeger’s customer service is subpar
Weber SmokeFire EX6:
- There is the possibility of flare-ups when cooking at the highest temperature range
- The pellets sometimes get stuck in the auger, causing the firebox to run low on pellets
- There are customer reports that even though Weber is one of the top-rated grill brands, the quality of this model is not up to the standards of Weber gas grills
Folks are surprised with the quality of the Traeger Ironwood 885. They say it’s very well made and sturdy. Traeger just isn’t known for smart grills, so the WiFIRE and Alexa connectivity is a pleasant and refreshing experience for the company’s fans. One man said in his Traeger BBQ review that his new smoker has more computing power than his smartphone. That’s an exaggeration, but it shows the shock that people have when they see Traeger’s smart features.
They are all happy with the end result as well. The meats that come out of this smoker are juicy and permeated with hardwood smoke flavor. The Traeger Ironwood grill reviews show mostly favorable opinions for new and seasoned grillers alike.
There have been so many complaints about Traeger’s customer service though. There’s not much help to be found there.
Fans of Weber were also surprised but for a different reason. They say that they expected a better build quality from this company that has made such a great name for itself with all of its cool gas grills.
The thing that they brag about is the Weber Connect feature. It takes all of the guesswork out of the grilling process. There’s no need for them to watch the clock or wonder about the temperature of their meat. Weber pellet grill reviews are mixed. People love the tasty meats and other food that they pull out of their new Weber smoker grill, but they’re somewhat disappointed with the quality of the grill itself.
Traeger Ironwood 885 Or Weber EX6: The Bottom Line
Ok, so the Traeger is the better-made grill. It has a traditional build with a large main grate and a smaller warming rack. The pellet auger system is almost unbelievably reliable, as is the ignition system. It’s more costly than the Weber EX6, but it offers more durability.
The Weber EX6 is the smarter grill. The Weber Connect app is a watchful eye that tells you everything that is going on inside the grill. You can monitor the temps of up to four different pieces of meat at once. So you can have a brisket slow smoking on the top rack and a couple of big T-bones searing on the bottom one. But there are some issues with the build quality. It’s a good thing that they offer that sweet 10-year warranty.
If you’re after the most dependable pellet grill and smoker, you may be better off with the Traeger Ironwood 885. It is tough and solid with all the smart features that you will ever need in your brand-new grill.
If you are willing to sacrifice some build quality for better results, take a good hard look at Weber’s SmokeFire EX6. When you choose the lowest temperature setting on this grill and smoker combo, the thick smoke lingers over the surface of your meats and slowly absorbs for the most incredible authentic smokehouse flavor.