Which Pellet Grill Should You Buy: Pit Boss or Traeger?

Rate this post

So you’ve chosen to purchase a wood pellet barbecue but aren’t sure which brand to choose.

Some of the most popular pellet grills on the market today are made by Traeger and Pit Boss.

You’ll get a lot of different answers if you ask around.

The difficulty is that individuals are continuously defending their grills and trashing the competitors, making it difficult to get an impartial evaluation.

To help you pick which pellet grill is ideal for you, we break down the differences between Traeger and Pit Boss and look at some of their top grills.

Not convinced by Pit Boss or Traeger? Z Grills is a popular new company that provides grills comparable to the iconic 700D4E but at a cheaper price range. See our entire Z Grills review.

Pit Boss vs Traeger Wood Pellet Grill – Head to head

Pit Boss VS Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Should you Buy?

I usually try to avoid declaring that one grill is clearly superior than another.

It is really difficult to compare grills fairly. Is it reasonable to argue that if one grill costs $500 and another costs $1000, the $1000 grill is superior?

You also have a scenario in which each business is continuously changing its product range and grill structure.

So a review you read may be on the 2016 Pit Boss, which is no longer available.

With that caution in mind, below are some broad distinctions that most people agree on between Traeger and Pit Boss.

  • Pit Boss grills include a slide and sear feature that allows you to create a tiny searing zone just over the fire pot.

Now that you know a little bit more about both manufacturers, your best bet is to narrow down the Traeger or Pit Boss model you want to purchase, and then compare the characteristics of each grill.

I suggest comparing grills in these 6 categories:

  • Price
  • Construction
  • Temperature Range
  • Cooking space
  • Hopper Size
  • Features (e.g. WiFi connectivity)

To assist you in your comparison, we chose two of the most popular grills sold by Traeger and Pit Boss and compared them across a variety of criteria.

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Traeger Pro 575
Dimensions 58 x 32 x 52 in 53x41x27 in
Hopper capacity 21 lb 18 lb
Cooking surface area (sq in) 849 (592 main grate + 256 secondary) 575 (425 main grate + 150 secondary)
Direct flame Slide plate flame broiler No
Meat probes 1 1
Temperature range 180°F – 500°F 165°F-500°F
WiFi No Yes
Control Dial-in digital control with LED read-out D2® drivetrain
Storage Removable side shelf Folding front shelf sold seperately
Pellet purge system Yes Yes
Warranty 5 years 3 years
Price Check latest price Check latest price

The Traeger Pro 575 costs more for a smaller grill, but it has the WiFIRE system, which allows you to manage the barbecue through an app, as well as a more complex control system.

With the Pit Boss Sportsman 820, you get a bigger grill with some good usability features like a sliding plate for cooking and a detachable side shelf to aid with prep work.

We go into more information about the two brands in the next section, or you can jump ahead to read our breakdown of all the most popular grills from each manufacturer.

Brand History

Pit Boss VS Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Should you Buy?

Overview of Traeger

Traeger has the more fascinating history of the two brands.

Joe Traeger created the initial idea for Traeger grills after experimenting with wood burning stoves.

His first pellet grill was designed in 1985, and he patented it in 1986.

This effectively gave Traeger a stranglehold on the pellet grill industry for the next 20 years.

Traeger remained a small family business located in Oregon during this time.

When the patent expired in 2006, a flood of new rivals entered the market.

Traeger has grown in popularity when Jeremy Andrus joined the firm in 2014 and relocated the company to Salt Lake City.

Traeger is now the world’s biggest pellet grill producer, selling more than $300 million in barbecues each year.

Overview of Pit Boss

Pit Boss was among the first firms to compete with Traeger.

Dan Thiessen created the firm in 1999 as a subsidiary of Dansons, Inc. The firm is headquartered in Alberta.

Pit Boss Grills positioned themselves as a more inexpensive pellet grill alternative to Traeger.

The popular Louisiana line of Pellet Smokers is also manufactured by the same firm. You can see our evaluation of their renowned Black Label Pellet Grill Series here.

Joe Traeger joined Dansons in 2018 to work on both the Pit Boss and Louisiana grill brands, in an unexpected twist of fate.

Check out our complete selection of Traeger grill options.

Top Pit Boss Grills

The Pit Boss grill lineup may be perplexing.

If you check at their website, you’ll see that they offer a variety of models, some of which are only available at Walmart or Lowes.

Many of their grills are almost similar but are available in slightly various configurations.

For this article, we’ll look at the most popular Pit Boss models, which include both horizontal and vertical pellet smokers and can be purchased directly from their website.

1. Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill

The Sportsman 820 is one of Pit Boss’s newest models, and it packs a lot of features for a low price.

We emphasized the ample size for the price in our evaluation, with 829 square inches of cooking area divided between a main and secondary grate.

There’s also a 21-pound hopper with a window to monitor your pellet level and a simple method to empty unneeded pellets at the conclusion of a meal.

You can see all of the features and our thoughts in more depth in our video review below.

The Sportsman’s only serious flaws were the tiny searing zone, which is typical with most slide and sear systems, and the rounded diverter plate, which hampered our ability to gather drippings.

If you don’t want to use an app to manage your barbecue, the Sportsman is less expensive, contains more food, and has superior storage and prep facilities than the Traeger.

2. Pit Boss 700FB Wood Pellet Grill

The 700FB was one of Pit Boss’ best-selling grills, but with the introduction of the Sportsman and Navigator lines, it has gotten a bit out of date.

The Pit Boss 700FB has 700 square inches of cooking surface, as the name implies. To obtain the same amount of room on a Traeger, you’d have to pay twice as much for the Traeger Pro 780.

While certain capabilities, like as WiFi connection, are sacrificed, the price difference alone makes the 700FB a highly appealing option in the mid to big sized pellet smoker category.

However, there are other possibilities for cooking hot on this grill. It can reach 600°F and has a flame broiler system with a slide-plate for direct flame grilling.

Because you receive a regular digital controller rather than a PID controller, the temperature will vary somewhat more. The control panel isn’t as beautiful as the one on the Sportsman, and there are no side or front racks.

Other than that, the characteristics of this grill are quite identical to those covered in our Pit Boss 440 review.

3. Pit Boss 5 Series Vertical Wood Pellet Smoker

There aren’t many firms who offer vertical pellet smokers.

Perhaps it’s because people appreciate the retro cool aesthetic of the drum-shaped design.

That’s a pity, considering the vertical design allows you to put a lot more cooking space into a smaller footprint.

Pit Boss offers three vertical smoker series: the 3 series, the 5 series, and the 7 series.

There is no Traeger substitute for the Pit Boss Vertical smokers.

Each cigarette has a similar shape, with a large glass door and a fashionable copper hue.

Copperhead Pellet Smokers are another name for them.

The Pit Boss 5 series has 1,659 square inches of cooking surface and a massive 40lb hopper, which is more than adequate for most people.

That cooking area is distributed among 5 racks, which may be adjusted based on what you’re cooking.

If you’re cooking anything huge, such as a turkey or brisket, you’ll need to remove a rack, so you won’t have the whole 1659 square inches to work with.

Because of the large hopper, you may cook for up to 24 hours without having to reload your pellets.

We’ve heard of some folks having issues with this smoker.

Based on my research, it seems that some folks have simply gotten defective grills.

Many others have not had any problems, and it is usually the ones that have problems who post reviews, but we would nevertheless advise you to proceed with care.

Pit Boss customer support seems to be pretty responsive, for what it’s worth.

4. Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill

When it comes to portable pellet grills, you have a lot of options.

We chose the 440 Deluxe, but you could instead opt with the Sportsman Portable, which has foldable legs.

The cooking area is separated into two sections: a 340 square inch primary grill and a 100 square inch top rack. The grills are both constructed of porcelain coated steel.

The rack is detachable, which comes in handy when it’s time to remove your meat; just remove the whole grill.

This variant has a useful side shelf as well as tool hooks for simple storage.

Because the 5lb hopper is on the tiny side, this isn’t a suitable grill for setting up a meal and then leaving for the day.

5. Pit Boss Lockhart Platinum Series

Traeger does not make grills like the Lockhart, but it is a fun grill, so we included it anyhow.

On the bottom is a very basic pellet grill, with a double-door smoke cabinet slapped on top.

This provides an astounding 2136 square inches of cooking area in a very small footprint (assembled measurements are 55.12L x 31.50W x 66.93H).

You get a massive 40-pound hopper to keep you cooking, as well as two probes that can be expanded to a total of four.

It’s a fun, one-of-a-kind smoker that doesn’t fit into the same mold as 99% of the other pellet barbecues on the market.

It’s a terrific option for anybody who wants to feed a large group without spending too much money.

Top Traeger Grills

We have a thorough guide to the best Traeger grill reviews that goes into much more depth, or you can read on for a summary to help you decide between a Pit Boss and a Traeger.

One thing to keep in mind is that Traeger redesigned their grill collection for 2019 with new features and renamed each model.

The number in the product name of the new 2019 versions relates to the cooking surface.

The Pro 780, for example, has a cooking surface area of 780 square inches.

In contrast to prior Traeger models, the number above relates to the size of the primary grilling rack. The Pro Series 34, for example, features a 34 x 19 grilling rack.

At the time of writing, several major merchants, such as Amazon, seem to be offering older Traeger Grills, therefore we’ve included links to the latest versions offered directly from Traeger.com.

Traeger now manufactures three primary brands of pellet grills, as well as a few more popular types.

The Traeger Pellet Grill lineup:

  • Traeger Pro line Traeger barbecues are available in two sizes and now incorporate WiFi connection.
  • Ironwood Series Traeger The Ironwood series, an improvement over the Pro series, offers bigger capacities as well as a slew of additional features such as DownDraft Exhaust and TRU convection. You also get Super Smoke mode, which allows you to increase the amount of smoke created by pressing a button.
  • Timberline series by Traeger The most costly and biggest model has all of the capabilities of the Ironwood as well as futuristic pellet detecting technology that allows you to check your pellet levels through the app.
  • Tailgater Traeger The portable model, with 300 square inches and much less technology. The Tailgater is a decent little alternative for use at home.

In contrast to Pit Boss, most Traeger barbecue models now have WiFi. Traeger offers a variety of accessories ranging from necessities such as the cover and front rack to nice-to-haves such as the pellet sensor.

Other brands to consider

If you can’t decide between a Traeger and a Pit Boss, you could discover that one of the many other manufacturers provides the pellet grill you’ve been eyeing.

We’ll go through some of the choices you may want to think about.

Another budget alternative – Z Grills

If the price of a Pit Boss is your major consideration, you should check at Z Grills.

These people are very new to selling to customers, but they have been manufacturing pellet grills for other businesses (including Traeger!) for many years.

When you look at the design, you can clearly notice the similarities. Except for the exorbitant price tag, everything is the same.

The most popular model is the Z Grills 700D4E, a recent update over the popular 700E that has a PID temperature controller, a better screen, and quick pellet cleaning features.

We’ve cooked a lot of meals on the 700D4E (for more information, see our complete review) and believe it’s a wonderful pellet grill. It doesn’t have as many amenities as a grill like the Traeger Pro 575 (for instance, no WiFI), but it does have a decent cabinet for storage.

A solid mid-range alternative – Camp Chef

Camp Chefs Pellet Grills are a favorite of ours. We awarded their popular Woodwind pellet grill our overall best pellet grill.

While it is not the biggest grill for the price, it has a fantastic build quality, is simple to clean, and consumes pellets extremely efficiently.

We also enjoy Camp Chef’s method of searing. Rather than a gimmick, they just provide the option of adding an optional sear box.

While it may seem basic, it is the greatest way to searing we have seen from a pellet grill.

Fortunately, the Camp Chef assortment is much simpler than those of Traeger and Pit Boss.

We also prepared a detailed Camp Chef vs Traeger comparison, so you can discover what sets both grills apart.

Wrapping it up

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the distinctions between Traeger and Pit Boss.

I hope our analysis did not enrage any die-hard Traeger supporters. We’re not saying they produce awful grills; we’re simply saying that for the price, Pit Boss offers more bang for your cash.

Having said that, the newest Traeger barbecues have WiFi connection and the option to operate your grill from your phone, which may be too appealing for some.


What makes the Traeger better than a Pit Boss?

Traeger Wins in Temperature Control

Pit Boss Copperhead pellet smokers feature double-walled, cold-rolled steel smoking chambers that effectively trap heat and smoke, while Traeger Timberline and Ironwood grills also have double-walled insulation (albeit the majority of the lower-end Pro Series does not).

What is the difference between a Pit Boss and a Traeger grill?

Traeger smokers have a temperature range of 165 degrees F to 500 degrees F, whereas the Pit Boss has a temperature range of 180 degrees F to 500 degrees F. The Traeger’s lower temperature acts as a warming mode for your meal. The Pit Boss smoker, on the other hand, is capable of open flame searing.

Are Traeger and Pit Boss owned by the same company?

One of the most intriguing aspects about Dansons Inc is that Joe Traeger of the Traeger family is a member of business, bringing vital knowledge to the creation of grills in both the Pit Boss and Louisiana lines. Lawsuits have been filed between the two firms.

How many years will a Pit Boss pellet grill last?

More costly versions like Traeger, Pit Boss, Camp Chef, MAK Grills, Yoder, or Twin Eagles should last 6-10 years, making the purchase worthwhile if you want to grill for many years.

Why are traegers the best?

Traeger wood pellet grills provide authentic, exquisite wood-fired taste that other conventional grills cannot match. They also allow you to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ all on the same grill, and its Set-It & Forget-It® controls make them as simple to operate as an oven.

Which pellet grill has the best temperature control?

Wood Fired Pellet Grill Weber Smokefire EX4 (2nd Gen)

Because of its porcelain enamel surface, the EX4 offers outstanding heat management and (more crucially) retention. Its big grilling surface can handle around 13 burgers for high-heat cooking or three briskets for smoking.

Is it OK to use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger?

“Can you use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger grill?” is the big question. “Yes, you can use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger grill without fear of damaging the grill or voiding the warranty,” says the response.

Can you use a Pit Boss like a regular grill?

A Pit Boss Pellet Grill can reach hot enough to grill and sear in addition to smoking and “low and slow” BBQ. And who doesn’t like a well-seared steak? As a result, Pit Boss Pellet Grills are regarded as 8 in 1 grills capable of providing every BBQ choice imaginable.

Can you use a Pit Boss pellet grill as a regular grill?

However, the pellet grill’s adaptability does not end there. These cookers may also be used for ordinary cooking, much like a gas grill. On weeknights, heat it up quickly and use it to make tasty burgers and dogs.

Is Pit Boss Grills made in USA?

Smoker brands you’re familiar with, such as Pit Boss, Lousiana Grills, Camp Chef, and Z Grills (not mentioned above), are manufactured in China, not the United States. Dansons LLC, situated in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a US-owned corporation that owns the Pit Boss and Lousiana Grills brands.As a result, other popular pellet grills

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *