Pit Boss vs. Traeger: How to Choose the Best Wood Pellet Grill

Pot Boss grills are hotter, denser, and bigger than other designs that you can find in today’s marketplace. This brand promotes an 8-in-1 design that ensures everyone can make their favorite foods efficiently and affordably. You can enjoy a flame-broiled burger, a carefully smoked and seared steak, or flavorful vegetables by creating a convection-like experience. That means your options are almost endless.

Traeger promotes itself as the original wood grill manufacturer. It is a three-step process to start using their products: add pellets, pick the temperature you prefer, and enjoy a flavorful moment with your family or friends. Hardwood pellets move automatically from the hopper to the fire pot with an auger, ensuring that your flames are always kept at a consistent level. That’s why many grillers say that this brand creates some of the best foods that they’ve ever made at home.

No matter what side you fall on in the Pit Boss vs. Traeger debate, you will come out a winner. Grilling with wood pellets is one of the best innovations ever developed by the grilling industry.

Benefits of Choosing a Wood Pellet Grill from Pit Boss or Traeger

Wood pellet grills are one of the most versatile products available in the marketplace today. Whether you choose Pit Boss, Traeger, or another brand for your needs, the fuel operates with less smoke while creating a hotter internal temperature. The result is similar to what you’d experience with a convection oven.

If that advantage isn’t enough to convince you too look at a wood pellet grill, here are some additional benefits that come with this investment.

1. Wood pellet grills cook food fast.

The pre-heating cycle for a wood pellet grill is significantly faster than it is for charcoal, propane, or natural gas. You can save up to ten minutes by using this approach without sacrificing the quality of the grilling experience. It also cooks faster so that you can have a significantly higher food output for social gatherings or a large family get-together.

2. The design offers improved temperature regulation.

Wood pellet grills provide a consistent temperature within the chamber. Instead of having temperature controls at the top of the unit, most manufacturers place this feature near the fuel source so that you have a better idea of what to expect with your food. It doesn’t go through the same fluctuations that happen with charcoal and some propane designs.

3. You receive a smooth cooking experience.

Instead of operating off of gas, you can avoid the inherent dangers of the fuel with this electricity-based option. A heat-diffuser plate enables grillers to place soaked woodchips or a hardwood chunk to enhance the smoking effect for your favorite meats or vegetables. The pellets create an even heating experience along the grates that feels a lot like a propane grill with its consistency.

4. A variety of wood pellet choices are available to use.

Wood pellets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can select different density levels, species, and flavors to ensure that your preferences are always met. It is an affordable solution that lets you work with maple, pecan, apple, hickory, and more without adding several steps to the grilling process.

5. You may have an option to use a cold smoker.

Some wood pellet grill manufacturers create equipment that enables you to perform cold smoking on foods. This option is perfect for anyone who loves to have some smoked salmon or cheese in the house. You can even turn this product into a side hustle opportunity in some areas because of the flavors you can give to the food.

Overview of the Pit Boss Grills Brand

Pit Boss Grills started to compete with Traeger in the late 1990s based on a series of smokers produced under the original Dansons brand. The company is based in Alberta, which helped it to become competitive early since it didn’t have the same level of restrictions against development with its Canadian location.

The goal of Pit Boss was to create an affordable alternative to the Traeger brand. The experience in the Louisiana pellet smokers helped the new company to create an innovative product that makes it easier to produce consistent results when grilling.

It can be challenging to purchase some Pit Boss models. Exclusivity agreements make it so that you must shop with specific retailers, such as Lowe’s, Walmart, or Menard’s to get the grill that you want.

Overview of the Traeger Brand

Joe Traeger founded his company after patenting the first pellet grill in 1986. The organization had a monopoly on the marketplace for about 15 years, snuffing out the competition because the designs that disruptors tried to create couldn’t compete with the quality that Traeger produced.

When the patent expired in 2006, a rush of competition came to the market because more details about Traeger’s invention could get incorporated into new designs.

It stayed a family-run business in Oregon until 2014 when the company moved its headquarters to Salt Lake City. Over $300 million in grills are sold every year, making it the United States’ top brand for wood pellet designs.

Traeger decided to join Dansons in 2018 to work on the Pit Boss brand of grills and the company’s Louisiana smokers.

Pit Boss vs. Traeger Brand Comparison

It is usually more practical to compare specific products than brands. There are some points to consider when you start shopping for Pit Boss or Traeger wood pellet grills that may influence which direction you initially lean. Still, you should always look at the specific features, manufacturing processes, and overall value of the items you prefer.

Manufacturing Facilities

Pit Boss Grills is a subsidiary of Dansons, Inc. It is a family-owned business that seeks to provide the best value in the marketplace per square inch. Their headquarters is in Phoenix, Arizona, as is their customer service, but the manufacturing takes place in China.

Traeger also manufactures its grills in China. Their headquarters is in Salt Lake City, while warehouses and logistics operations are found in Colorado, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Some parts in Pit Boss and Traeger grills get manufactured in the same factory in China.

Overall Value

Pit Boss typically provides a better overall value for your investment, but many of their models are more expensive than comparable Traeger options.

New models from Traeger return to the previous designs that brought the initial success that the brand experienced. Although they aren’t returning manufacturing to the United States, it does add more competition to this category.

Warranty Protections

Pit Boss increased their base warranty for wood pellet grills from 12 months to five years. Traeger currently offers a 3-year guarantee on their products.

Anyone who has an older Pit Boss (2017 or before) does not receive retroactive protection for their product. That means a grill sold today would still be under warranty in 2022, but not the ones that got manufactured in 2017, despite falling within the new period.

Fire Pot and Heat Distribution

Pit Boss places its heat distribution system in the middle of the grill. Traeger uses a design that puts it on the side of the unit instead.

This difference ensures that the sliding slit system for flame-broiling is available to users when using a wood pellet grill.

Older Traeger wood pellet grills are the best option. If you are shopping for something recently made, you should compare Pit Boss to this brand by looking at the price, construction, temperature range, hopper size, and cooking space of your preferred models.

You may also want to compare feature availability if you have specific grilling needs that you want to meet.

Top Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grills

At first glance, it seems Pit Boss has several models to consider when you want a wood pellet grill to use at home.

Several different series are available on their website. When you take a closer look at the wood pellet grills, you discover that virtually every design is almost identical to every other one.

Slightly different configurations can make it a little confusing to know what options could work well in your home.

The top Pit Boss wood pellet grills have vertical and horizontal designs, with some models coming in multiple configurations. These are the best options that are currently for sale.

Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Grill

Choose this grill if you like the idea of having a flame-broiled burger or steak made at home. It provides you with 1,000 square inches of cooking space, giving grillers plenty of room for smoking and more. The unit comes well-packaged with clear instructions so that you can start making fantastic food in under an hour.

The finish and color of this Pit Boss grill make it look like professional-quality equipment. Two meat probes come in the box to help ensure that your meats get cooked to the proper temperature.

This design incorporates sliding plates that give you more access to the flame created by the wood pellets. That means you can sizzle and sear when making a meal or take the low-and-slow route to create something tender and smoked.

The pre-heat cycle for the Austin XL takes about ten minutes, which is comparable to most grills on the market today. Its hopper holds 31 pounds of pellets, allowing you to cook all day long if necessary.

Pit Boss 700 Wood Pellet Grill

Pit Boss puts numbers in the name of the grill to indicate how much usable space is available. This model provides about 700 square inches for your steaks, burgers, chicken, and more – the owner’s manual lists this feature at 667 square inches. This figure includes the upper rack, which acts closer to a warming function or smoking area more than direct grilling.

You can easily reach 600°F with this unit with a 10-minute pre-heating cycle, and grillers get to use the slide plate feature for direct access to the flame. A digital controller works with the product to give you temperature controls, although it isn’t as reliable as some of the other systems out there.

A temperature gauge at the top of the unit is also available for monitoring your grilling action. The hopper has enough capacity to get the job done, although some models can hold more pellets.

It doesn’t come with a side table in the base unit, but some variations may offer this option. The design features a standard card with a wheelbarrow movement, along with a grease capture bucket that you can remove.

Pit Boss 500 Wood Pellet Grill

This grill offers 542 square inches of cooking area to use, with a hopper capacity of 15 pounds. It’s an affordable way to achieve rich flavors without breaking the budget. This model is especially useful for anyone who smokes jerky, sears fish, or grills game after a successful hunting season.

The cooking range on this unit reaches 500°F when it goes through its standard pre-heating cycle. It takes advantage of the 8-in-1 system so that you can always grill in the way you prefer. The design includes a built-in spice rack next to the hopper, a stainless steel side shelf with a removable tray, and a bottle opener.

1000 Traditions Wood Pellet Grill

This Pit Boss grill provides the most value for the price. You can put up to 55 burgers on this unit at once with 924 square inches of usable space. The hopper capacity offers 31 pounds of hardwood pellet support so that you can add robust flavors to all of your favorite meats and veggies.

It comes with the brand’s V2 digital control board so that you can stay in control of the grilling experience. The grill features two levels of porcelain-coated gridding so that you get a nice sear without compromising your ability to clean the unit. Move the slider plate to take advantage of the open flame or do indirect grilling – it’s always your choice.

The heavy-duty steel construction of the frame ensures that your grill can support your backyard needs for years to come. It operates with fan-forced convection so that you get even cooking at all levels of the interior. Roast, smoke, or grill whenever you want because this design knows how to be supportive in all conditions.

Some Pit Boss grills ship with a cover that works to protect your investment. The company explicitly states that this added feature is a water-resistant material and not waterproof. If you live in a high-moisture environment, such as a coastal community, your experience with these wood pellet grills may be different than indicated above.

Top Traeger Wood Pellet Grills

Traeger offers several grill series for consideration if you want to experience the joys of using wood pellets to create incredible foods. The Pro Series is the best option for those focused on affordability, with pricing starting at $800.

Although that makes the entry-level Traeger grills more expensive than their Pit Boss counterparts, the features you can find with this brand can make the investment worthwhile.

Traeger also produces portable grills, options that include Wi-Fi, and commercial models that can help you to handle some of the most stringent food preparation, smoking, grilling, and searing tasks.

Each Trager grill features a convection-like experience with a fan circulating heat and smoke. You must be specific with this option when shopping with the Pit Boss brand. That’s why food cooks faster and provides more flavor than other options, including gas and charcoal.

These models are the top Traeger wood pellet grills worth considering today.

Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill

The Traeger Pro series of wood pellet grills are the best-selling products of its type in the world today. This model features WiFIRE® technology that lets you adjust your approach to grilling whenever you want with a smartphone app. It also features the D2® drivetrain that helps heat to start faster, heat up quicker, and produce better smoke.

This combination of features creates consistent results that offer wood-fired flavor on a budget. You receive 575 square inches of cooking space that is entirely usable because of the convection feature. Although the grill weighs 124 pounds, it is still relatively easy to move with its wheelbarrow cart design.

The pellet hopper capacity on the Pro 575 is 18 pounds. You can fit two dozen burgers, four chickens, or five racks of ribs with the 27 inches of depth. The bottom shelf provides an impressive 418 square inches right next to the flame.

Smoking is super simple. You set your temperature, add your preferred hardwood pellets, and then monitor the results through the app. That means anyone can produce high-quality results!

Timberline Series 850 Wood Pellet Grill

The Timberline series from Traeger is a top-of-the-line grilling experience for those who want to push their skills to the next level. The 850 provides unrivaled flavors with a variety of features that make the smoking and cooking process effortless.

This grill does weigh 208 pounds, making it a little challenging to move to its permanent position. Part of the reason for the added heft is Traeger’s inclusion of a double-wall stainless steel interior.

Traeger equipped the 850 with WiFIRE, D2, and TurboTemp® to ensure grillers can get to work almost immediately.

It also contains a concealed grease management system and three layers of stainless steel grates to provide 850 square inches of grilling space. The hopper capacity is at 24 pounds for your favorite hardwood options, achieving a maximum temperature of 500°F with its setup.

You receive the magnetic bamboo cutting board from Traeger in the box.

Traeger XL Pellet Grill

The best grill on the market today is arguably this one. It provides 836 square inches of grilling area that gets supported by a 42.5-pound hopper – not even Pit Boss offers a comparable model to this beast. You can get all-day support with consistent results for ideal wood-fired cooking opportunities and flavors.

All of this space means that you can make an entire meal at once using your favorite hardwood pellets. You’ve got the room to grill a whole hog if you prefer for a family get-together or a friendly social gathering.

Dual meat probes make it simple to monitor the internal temperature of what you’re making without opening the lid to lose all of your heat. Although the max temp of 450°F is lower than what you can find with other models, the low-and-slow smoking you get with this design will take your food preparation to the next level.

This grill does weight 232 pounds, which means it may not be suitable for some decks, porches, or patios.

Traeger Ironwood 650 Wood Pellet Grill

The Ironwood series from Traeger provides a good compromise between an entry-level product and something more commercial in design. Grillers gain access to the next generation of features that this brand offers while enjoying some extra space for working without going overboard.

The 650 gives you access to everything that the commercial models receive by way of features. It has double sidewall insulation, a pellet sensor, GrillGuide®, TurboTemp, D2, and WiFIRE to simplify your grilling work. You receive 650 square inches of total cooking space with this model, supported by a 20-pound hopper. The grill is even manageable in size, standing at 149 pounds.

Grillers get 418 square inches of space on the bottom rack to work on searing and high-temperature work. Convection features ensure that even cooking occurs. You can also add more smoke by using the top shelf.

The stand that supports the grill includes four wheels instead of the standard two, making it easier to move the unit around your yard for cleaning and more.

If you love brisket, short ribs, and more, the Traeger Ironwood 650 delivers high-quality results without overwhelming your budget.

Products Besides Wood Pellet Grills By Pit Boss and Traeger

Although both manufacturers became known globally because of their innovative wood pellet grills, each brand produces different products that can help with your grilling work. Pit Boss even makes charcoal and gas grills if you prefer that approach to food preparation.

Traeger offers a line of portable grills that let you take the benefits of smoking to a campsite, tailgating party, or wherever else an adventure takes you. Models like the Ranger Pellet Grill work right on a truck bed, letting you spend a day fishing before you grill your meal. The products feature the digital arc controller to have precise control over the temperatures, while a keep-warm mode lets your items sit until you feel hungry.

It is the most affordable way to enjoy the benefits of grilling wood pellets on the market today. It has enough room for six burgers, ten hot dogs, or one rack of ribs. The only downside to this unit is that it weighs 60 pounds, so it isn’t portable for a long journey. If you travel in an RV, this option could be perfect for you.

Pit Boss manufactures a line of griddles that let you create tasty foods with a flat top experience. You can choose from one, two, or four burners based on the model you prefer. Each item works on propane so that you can have a portable experience. For less than $200, you can grab a bundle that includes a burger press, a branded apron, and a two-burner tabletop model.

The griddles from Pit Boss provide a fantastic alternative for making breakfast on the grill, blackening fish, or putting a stunning sear on a steak without waiting through an entire preheating cycle.

Additional Brands to Consider for Wood Pellet Grills

Pit Boss and Traeger supply quality assurance monitors to their Chinese factories to ensure the quality of the wood pellet grills that reach the marketplace.

Some consumers have strong concerns about the quality of the craftsmanship of these brands because of their overseas production. Long-time Traeger fans often complain about the noticeable changes that happened when the work transition from American factories to offshore facilities.

When your preference is to shop for a wood pellet grill that gets designed and manufactured in the United States, a handful of brands can meet that stipulation.

Smokin’ Brothers started manufacturing wood pellet grills in 2011, although the family business got its start in 2005. Although the lineup isn’t as extensive, you can enjoy a guaranteed high-quality product for your backyard or business.

Cookshack got into the market in 2003 when the brand joined forces with Fast Eddy’s to create pellet smokers. You don’t receive the same grilling experience as you can with Traeger or Pit Boss, but you are also supporting jobs in Oklahoma with your purchase.

If smoking is your primary preference, Yoder Smokers is a brand to consider. The company promises that its products are the most versatile in the world. They have been manufacturing products in the United States since 2008, and it is one of the most expansive catalogs outside of the Traeger or Pit Boss brands.

MAK Grills is an Oregon-based company founded by military veterans. The family behind the brand chose to innovate during the 2008 economic downturn to save jobs. That’s when they started to make their first pellet grills. Traeger might promote its Wi-Fi capabilities, but this company was the first to the marketplace with this technology, ceramic igniters, and a roaming thermocouple.

Are You Ready to Start Grilling with Wood?

If you thought wood pellets were meant for smoking only, you have been missing out on some flavorful food!

The best wood pellet grills from Pit Boss and Traeger provide incredible results while helping beginners or experts alike improve their skills. You can also shop from competitive brands to find a specific model that fits your exact needs.

What makes the pellet grill market unique is that each major contribution came from a family-run business trying to make the foods we eat better with new preparation methods. That means there is a direct recognition of the needs you have when making something tasty at home.

The Pit Boss vs. Traeger debate may never have a clear winner. Some people may go in a third direction. When you taste what can happen when hardwood pellets mix with human innovation, you may never go back to charcoal or propane ever again!

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