Connect with us

Social

Traeger Ironwood 650 review: This smart grill can up your summer party game

Published

on

Today, Traeger introduced updates to the Pro and Timberline series while also rolling out the new Ironwood series. All six new grills, two options for each of the three series, include WiFIRE technology and the new D2 drivetrain system. Prices range from $799 to $1,799 and all can be controlled with your smartphone.

As a young US Coast Guard officer moving around the country, we stuck with inexpensive charcoal or propane grills that usually lasted two to three years before falling apart. When I left the service and settled down in a new house five years ago we decided to look for a better quality grill and bought a Weber model that connects to the natural gas in my house. My grilling game improved and with the help of the Meater wireless thermometer my results have been solid for the last several months.

Last month, Clay Blackham, senior VP of Method Communications, reached out to gauge my interest in testing out a new smart grill. I asked about the connection to mobile technology and learned that these new grills incorporated Traeger’s WiFIRE technology that provides smartphone connectivity and control with iOS and Android smartphones. Clay told me that my life would change with a Traeger and after more than a week with three different grilling sessions and different meats I think he may just be right.

See also: Cook a perfect turkey with the help of the Meater wireless thermometer and your smartphone

New Traeger Pro and Timberline models and prices

The Pro 575 and 780 were introduced today with the number specifying the square inches of grilling space. The Pro series has an 18-pound hopper for pellets, a meat probe, and an extra grill rack. The Pro 575 is $799 and the Pro 780 is $999.

These two grills have the new WiFIRE technology and D2 Direct Drive system. A new Pro D2 controller is also present with an increased temperature range of 165 degrees to 450 degrees, set in five-degree increments.

The Timberline 850 and 1300 were also revealed, again with 850 and 1300 square inches of grilling space, at prices of $1,799 and $1,999. The current Timberline series had WiFIRE technology so that continues here as well. In addition, the D2 Direct Drive system is included with a new Timberline D2 controller.

A new pellet sensing technology is present in these two new Timberline grills that allows users to monitor the amount of pellets currently in the hopper. You will still need someone to manually fill the hopper, but that’s usually an easy task for another family member or neighbor.

As specified by Traeger:

The new D2 Direct Drive drivetrain uses an all-new variable speed fan and auger, providing optimal blue smoke production across a much wider temperature range for the finest hardwood flavor. It also features Turbotemp technology, allowing the grills to get hotter faster so users can get grilling quicker and enjoy more precise cooking temps. The D2 drivetrain is all powered by an industry-first brushless motor, delivering years of reliable performance.

Ironwood 650 specifications

The new Ironwood series comes as the Ironwood 650 and 885, again with these numbers specifying the square inches of grilling space. The 650 is priced at $1,199 and the 855 at $1,399.

WiFIRE technology, the D2 Direct Drive system, Traeger’s DownDraft Exhaust and TRU Convection systems, and new Ironwood D2 Controller are all found on the new Ironwood series. The temperature range of the grill is 165 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, set in five-degree increments, with a new Super Smoke Mode that lets you quickly increase smoke and boost the flavor with a single button press on the D2 Controller or in the smartphone app.

The Ironwood 650 has assembled dimensions of 46 inches wide by 27 inches deep by 48 inches in height. The assembled weight, with an empty hopper, is 146 pounds. The pellet hopper has a capacity of 20 pounds.

A grease bucket is provided with a couple of extra bucket liners. The bucket hooks to a bracket on the lower left side of the barrel that is fed by the grease drip pan. You can purchase grease drip tray liners, a folding front shelf, and a grill cover. Traeger included a grill cover with this evaluation unit and it is made of very thick material with a rubber lining to keep the grill fully protected if you do not have it under a cover outside.

A smaller upper grate is provided with a lower one that can be used in two positions. You can fully remove the upper or lower grate too in order to have the most flexibility for cooking or to maintenance the grease tray or firepot.

A stainless steel shelf is provided for the left side of the Ironwood 650 with three hooks on the front to hang your grilling utensils. There are a couple of other screws in the left side for other accessories.

Unboxing experience and initial use

The Ironwood 650 evaluation unit was delivered via FedEx Freight with a grill cover and bags of hickory and apple pellets. It arrived on a pallet in a large box that stated two people were recommended for setup of the grill. Unfortunately, no one else was around the day it arrived so I set it up myself. Keep in mind, I played football and rugby in college so was confident in my ability to maneuver around 150 pounds of grill.

The box that the Traeger was packed in is quite large and when my three girls were young we always made forts out of these boxes. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Traeger provided directions to reverse the outer box and printed the inside of the box to be one of the coolest cabins for kids I have ever seen. I offered the box up in our neighborhood Facebook group and it was quickly scooped up by a family with young kids who have enjoyed playing in it every day since I passed it along.

Traeger includes easy-to-read assembly instructions, an owner’s manual, the tools you need for assembly (screwdriver and wrench), and all of the hardware necessary to assemble the grill. The major components, including the barrel, hopper, and controller, are all assembled in the box. Setup primarily consists of attaching the four legs, supporting brackets between the legs, handle for the lid, and stainless steel side shelf. Internal grill racks, grease drain pan, and other parts are removed from inside the grill first and then reinstalled into their proper location after you get the legs on and stand up the grill. One set of legs has large wheels while the other set has casters with locking mechanisms so the grill will not move around in windy conditions or on a surface that is not level.

The Ironwood 650 has a new pill-shaped barrel design, along with Traeger’s DownDraft exhaust and TRU Convection systems in order to help food cook in the shortest amount of time. Unlike many Traeger grills, there is no smoke stack for exhaust as the exhaust is instead forced out the upper back of the barrel and then downward towards the ground.

After assembling everything, I followed the instructions in the owner’s manual to season the grill. This is a process that takes about an hour and only has to be completed the first time you fire up the grill. It took longer for the first ignition than I anticipated, even after priming the auger, so I actually emptied out the fire pot and started up the ignition sequence a second time with more patience for ignition. The second time everything went as planned for seasoning.

The grill ignited in a timely fashion every single time after the seasoning process and I’ve been very pleased with how fast it heated up. While the app lets you easily send recipes and cooking instructions to the grill via WiFi, you can also manually enter custom cook cycles using the D2 Controller. Custom cook cycles can also be setup in the smartphone app and sent via WiFi to the Traeger. The grill is on my back patio and has held the WiFi connection with no issues.

The Ironwood 650 also comes with an internal probe. The prove connects via a 3.5mm jack on the front left of the D2 Controller and then through a rubber grommet into the inside of the grill. I’ve used the probe for a couple recipes and it has proven to be accurate and essential for properly cooking the meat to perfection.

There is a timer button on the D2 Controller that you can use for timing other things, such as vegetable cooking, basting, or toasting buns. It does not impact grill operation or recipes. There is also a Super Smoke button that you can use when the grill is between 165 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit in order to add more smoke flavor to your meat.

I also switched out hardwood pellets over the last 10 days. This was easy to do with a spatula and the rear clean-out door on the back of the hopper. I simply held a large bowl under the access door and removed the pellets in the hopper in this manner.

See also: Best BBQ equipment for tech fans

Smartphone application

The Traeger app and WiFIRE technology was previously only provided on the Timberline series, but with today’s releases this smartphone connectivity is now also available on a couple Pro and Ironwood grills. In order to fully test out the capability of the Traeger app I tested it using an iPhone XS, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Google Pixel 3 XL, and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The app appears to have the same capabilities whether your are using an iPhone or an Android phone with slightly different ways to access the various sections of the app. The Android app uses an three-bar menu icon to slide in options from the left side of the display while the iOS app has bottom icons to switch between the main pages for home, recipes, WiFIRE, shop, dealer locator, and other helpful Traeger references.

On the home panel you will see a featured recipe, the status of your connected grill, a troubleshooting section, and quick access icons to top 10 recipes, favorites, tips & tricks, and filters to quickly view recipes for beef, pork, poultry, lamb, vegetables, seafood, wild game, baked goods, and cocktails. The recipes have a thumbnail photo, name of the recipe, description, cooking time, and number of ingredients. Tapping on a specific recipe gives you the ability to quickly add it to your favorites, share the recipe, view the difficulty level, see the estimated prep time, view the cooking time, and see which hardwood pellet is recommended for that recipe.

Once you find a recipe you wish to cook, scroll down for the ingredients and then further down for the preparation details. After getting everything together and then before you go outside to grill, tap the button to cook now and the recipe will be sent via WiFi to your connected grill.

The app will control the full grilling experience, including informing you when time or internal probe temps are reached and then proceeding to the next step in the grilling process (as applicable). The app controls the grill temps, as well as sending alerts to baste and perform other manual tasks that the app cannot perform. Since many smoke and grill times continue for many hours, you are no longer tied to the house when preparing meals. I was controlling the grilling experience from the office one day and from a date night another day. It was awesome to have a full and complete understanding of the status of the meal on the grill through the smartphone app.

In the WiFIRE section of the app you can view the grill temperature, probe temperature, and timer status. Tapping on any one of these three dials puts that metric in the center of the display in larger size. Buttons on the bottom of the WiFIRE display let you set a sauce timer, super smoke mode, and enable the keep warm option.

The shop option in the app lets you order grills, hardwood, accessories, grill covers, sauces, rubs & spices, recipe books, Traeger apparel, and parts to repair your grill.

Grilling experiences

My brother is an avid outdoorsman who hunts and fishes regularly, including butchering his own game and then grilling it on Traeger grills. He has always been held up as the family grillmaster, but was also excited to hear about my experiences with this new Ironwood 650 smart grill. I took him a sample of the Traeger BBQ brisket I cooked up and he loved it. My youngest daughter loves her uncle’s brisket, but said the one I cooked beat even his standard of excellence.

Since I tested the Ironwood 650 out with multiple phones, it was clear to me that the iPhone app had just a bit better functionality. This isn’t surprising since I continue to find iOS apps to be better than Android apps in major and minor ways. The clear difference in the Traeger app is that the Android app does not show the current step in the process on either the home page or the WiFIRE status page. This is a bit annoying since I tried a few different recipes in the past week and like to know how many steps are left and where I was at in the whole grilling process.

In the past 10 days, I used the Ironwood 650 to cook a roasted beer can chicken, smoked pork loin, and BBQ brisket. I used hickory wood pellets for the chicken and brisket with apple pellets for the pork loin. I went to the store to buy some Traeger Signature pellets and mesquite to try out some other flavors. I have salmon to smoke next, but didn’t get a chance to grill it up before the review embargo lifted. The chicken was very moist, but next time I plan to smoke it for a few hours and then turn up the temperature at the end to get the skin crispy. The pork loin was excellent and extremely easy to grill. The BBQ brisket was fabulous and again so easy to do that it’s almost embarrassing to say all I did was rub on the spices, wrap it up for 24 hours, and then throw it on the Ironwood 650 as the Traeger did all the work.

I have thoroughly enjoyed grilling with the Traeger Ironwood 650 and absolutely love the smell of the smoke that is embedded in my clothes and in my nose. It’s amazing how much you can do with a Traeger grill and I have only begun to test out its capabilities. I understand you can bake pizza or cookies, grill vegetables, and so much more. We use our grills here in Washington State all year long because of the mild temperatures and I can’t wait to taste more great meals cooked with the help of my smartphone.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Social

Cymulate snaps up $70M to help cybersecurity teams stress test their networks with attack simulations – TechCrunch

Published

on

The cost of cybercrime has been growing at an alarming rate of 15% per year, projected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. To cope with the challenges that this poses, organizations are turning to a growing range of AI-powered tools to supplement their existing security software and the work of their security teams. Today, a startup called Cymulate — which has built a platform to help those teams automatically and continuously stress test their networks against potential attacks with simulations, and provide guidance on how to improve their systems to ward off real attacks — is announcing a significant round of growth funding after seeing strong demand for its tools.

The startup — founded in Tel Aviv, with a second base in New York — has raised $70 million, a Series D that it will be using to continue expanding globally and investing in expanding its technology (both organically and potentially through acquisitions).

Today, Cymulate’s platform covers both on-premise and cloud networks, providing breach and attack simulations for endpoints, email and web gateways and more; automated “red teaming”; and a “purple teaming” facility to create and launch different security breach scenarios for organizations that lack the resources to dedicate people to a live red team — in all, a “holistic” solution for companies looking to make sure they are getting the most out of the network security architecture that they already have in place, in the worlds of Eyal Wachsman, Cymulate’s CEO.

“We are providing our customers with a different approach for how to do cybersecurity and get insights [on]  all the products already implemented in a network,” he said in an interview. The resulting platform has found particular traction in the current market climate. Although companies continue to invest in their security architecture, security teams are also feeling the market squeeze, which is impacting IT budgets, and sometimes headcount in an industry that was already facing a shortage of expertise. (Cymulate cites figures from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology that estimate a shortfall of 2.72 million security professionals in the workforce globally.)

The idea with Cymulate is that it’s built something that helps organizations get the most out of what they already have. “And at the end, we provide our customers the ability to prioritize where they need to invest, in terms of closing gaps in their environment,” Wachsman said.

The round is being led by One Peak, with Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE), Vertex Ventures Israel, Vertex Growth and strategic backer Dell Technologies Capital also participating. (All five also backed Cymulate in its $45 million Series C last year.) Relatively speaking, this is a big round for Cymulate, doubling its total raised to $141 million, and while the startup is not disclosing its valuation, I understand from sources that it is around the $500 million mark.

Wachsman noted that the funding is coming on the heels of a big year for the startup (the irony being that the constantly escalating issue of cybersecurity and growing threat landscape spells good news for companies built to combat that). Revenues have doubled, although it’s not disclosing any numbers today, and the company is now at over 200 employees and works with some 500 paying customers across the enterprise and mid-market, including NTT, Telit, and Euronext, up from 300 customers a year ago.

Wachsman, who co-founded the company with Avihai Ben-Yossef and Eyal Gruner, said he first thought of the idea of building a platform to continuously test an organization’s threat posture in 2016, after years of working in cybersecurity consulting for other companies. He found that no matter how much effort his customers and outside consultants put into architecting security solutions annually or semi-annually, those gains were potentially lost each time a malicious hacker made an unexpected move.

“If the bad guys decided to penetrate the organization, they could, so we needed to find a different approach,” he said. He looked to AI and machine learning for the solution, a complement to everything already in the organization, to build “a machine that allows you to test your security controls and security posture, continuously and on demand, and to get the results immediately… one step before the hackers.”

Last year, Wachsman described Cymulate’s approach to me as “the largest cybersecurity consulting firm without consultants,” but in reality the company does have its own large in-house team of cybersecurity researchers, white-hat hackers who are trying to find new holes — new bugs, zero days and other vulnerabilities — to develop the intelligence that powers Cymulate’s platform.

These insights are then combined with other assets, for example the MITRE ATT&CK framework, a knowledge base of threats, tactics and techniques used by a number of other cybersecurity services, including others building continuous validation services that compete with Cymulate. (Competitors include the likes of FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Randori, AttackIQ and many more.)

Cymulate’s work comes in the form of network maps that detail a company’s threat profile, with technical recommendations for remediation and mitigations, as well as an executive summary that can be presented to financial teams and management who might be auditing security spend. It also has built tools for running security checks when integrating any services or IT with third parties, for instance in the event of an M&A process or when working in a supply chain.

Today the company focuses on network security, which is big enough in itself but also leaves the door open for Cymulate to acquire companies in other areas like application security — or to build that for itself. “This is something on our roadmap,” said Wachsman.

If potential M&A leads to more fundraising for Cymulate, it helps that the startup is in one of the handful of categories that are going to continue to see a lot of attention from investors.

“Cybersecurity is clearly an area that we think will benefit from the current macroeconomic environment, versus maybe some of the more capital-intensive businesses like consumer internet or food delivery,” said David Klein, a managing partner at One Peak. Within that, he added, “The best companies [are those] that are mission critical for their customers… Those will continue to attract very good multiples.”

Continue Reading

Social

Open-source password manager Bitwarden raises $100M – TechCrunch

Published

on

Bitwarden, an open-source password manager for enterprises and consumers, has raised $100 million in a round of funding led by PSG, with participation form Battery Ventures.

Founded initially back in 2015, Santa Barbara, California-based Bitwarden operates in a space that includes well-known incumbents including 1Password, which recently hit a $6.8 billion valuation off the back of a $620 million fundraise, and Lastpass, which was recently spun out as an independent company again two years after landing in the hands of private equity firms.

In a nutshell, Bitwarden and its ilk make it easier for people to generate secure passwords automatically, and store all their unique passwords and sensitive information such as credit card data in a secure digital vault, saving them from reusing the same insecure password across all their online accounts.

Bitwarden’s big differentiator, of course, lies in the fact that it’s built atop an open-source codebase, which for super security-conscious individuals and businesses is a good thing — they can fully inspect the inner-workings of the platform. Moreover, people can contribute back to the codebase and expedite development of new features.

On top of a basic free service, Bitwarden ships a bunch of paid-for premium features and services, including advanced enterprise features like single sign-on (SSO) integrations and identity management.

Bitwarden

It’s worth noting that today’s “minority growth investment” represents Bitwarden’s first substantial external funding in its seven year history, though we’re told that it did raise a small undisclosed series A round back in 2019. Its latest cash injection is indicative of how the world has changed in the intervening years. The rise of remote work, with people increasingly meshing personal and work accounts on the same devices, means the same password is used across different services. And such poor password and credential hygiene puts businesses at great risk.

Additionally, growing competition and investments in the management space means that Bitwarden can’t rest on its laurels — it needs to expand, and that is what its funds will be used for. Indeed, Bitwarden has confirmed plans to extend its offering into several aligned security and privacy verticals, including secrets management — something that 1Password expanded into last year via its SecretHub acquisition.

“The timing of the investment is ideal, as we expand into opportunities in developer secrets, passwordless technologies, and authentication,” Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell noted in a press release. “Most importantly, we aim to continue to serve all Bitwarden users for the long haul.”

Continue Reading

Social

downgrade the ‘middle-men’ resellers – TechCrunch

Published

on

As well as the traditional carbon offset resellers and exchanges such as Climate Partner or Climate Impact X the tech space has also produced a few, including Patch (US-based, raised $26.5M) and Lune (UK-based, raised $4M).

Now, Ceezer, a B2B marketplace for carbon credits, has closed a €4.2M round, led by Carbon Removal Partners with participation of impact-VC Norrsken VC and with existing investor Picus Capital. 

Ceezer ’s pitch is that companies have to deal with a lot of complexity when considering how they address carbon removal and reduction associated with their businesses. Whie they can buy offsetting credits, the market remains pretty ‘wild-west’, and has multiple competing standards running in parallel. For instance, the price range of $5 to $500 per ton is clearly all over the place, and sometimes carbon offset resellers make buyers pay high prices for low-quality carbon credits, pulling in extra revenues from a very opaque market.

The startup’s offering is for corporates to integrate both carbon removal and avoidance credits in one package. It does this by mining the offsetting market for lots of data points, enabling carbon offset sellers to reach buyers without having to use these middle-men resellers.

The startup claims that sellers no longer waste time and money on bespoke contracts with corporates but instead use Ceezer’s legal framework for all transactions. Simultaneously, buyers can access credits at a primary market level, maximizing the effect of the dollars they spend on carbon offsets.

Ceezer says it now has over 50 corporate customers and has 200,000 tons of carbon credits to sell across a variety of categories.
 and will use the funds to expand its impact and sourcing team, the idea being to make carbon removal technologies more accessible to corporate buyers, plus widen the product offering for credit sellers and buyers.

Continue Reading

Trending