In a battle of Traeger vs Pit Boss, who would win? Traeger and Pit Boss do cater to different audiences, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
If you are looking for affordable pellets with a large cooking and hopper capacity, then Pit Boss is the way to go. On the other hand, if you like a professional grilling experience combined with high tech features, then Traeger is the brand for you.
I have had the opportunity to use both Traeger and Pit Boss over the years and have carefully documented my experience with each brand and model. Here is my compilation of what I have discovered!
In this post, I will compare Traeger vs Pit Boss grills according to their general features and will also take a look a the top models across various price ranges. Let’s begin!
Here is a look into both Traeger and Pit Boss companies:
If you have ever wondered why Traeger Grills is a household name – there is quite a story behind it. This is because Joe Traeger developed the first pellet grill. This grill was created in 1985 and the Traeger company was founded three years later.
Ever since then, Traeger Grills has been leading the way in quality and innovation for the wood pellet grill industry.
Pit Boss Grills is actually a subsidiary of Dansons Inc. It is a family oriented business that was started in 1999. The company did get its start in pellet grills but has now expanded to include a wide range of barbecue machines and accessories.
Currently, Pit Boss Grills are available in over 30 countries and is currently the eighth largest growing brand in the Home and Garden industry.
I first want to do a quick overview of how Traeger and Pit Boss compare to one another in the main categories. Later on, I will compare the top models to each other.
If you are planning on investing in either a Traeger or Pit Boss, the first thing you are going to be concerned about is construction. Pit Boss vs Traeger, just how well built are each of these brands?
I have to say that both these brands tend to even out in terms of build quality. All the Pit Boss models are made from durable steel construction. Of course, keep in mind that the entire grill is not made from steel or stainless steel.
The Traeger is made from similarly high quality materials like steel and stainless steel. The only thing is that there is a bit more variation between each Traeger model. Here, the materials used will depend on the price of the grill.
For instance, when it comes to Pit Boss pellet grills, you have porcelain coated cast iron grates across the board, regardless of the price point of the grill.
In the case of Traeger, the more affordable grills will have cast iron grates. The top Traeger grills, on the other hand, boast stainless steel grates.
It is also worth mentioning that both companies have their grills produced and assembled in China. Due to this, they are on similar planes when it comes to quality.
Since its inception, the country has only ever stuck to making different versions of the Traeger wood pellet grill. Due to this, you will not find variety in the types of grills in the Traeger grill lineup.
There are different types of Traeger pellet grills, though. They range from tabletop and portable all the way to premium with the latest high tech features.
The Pit Boss lineup is a lot more diverse. In addition to the different types of Pit Boss pellet grills, they also have gas grills, charcoal grills, and vertical pellet smokers. So, if you are looking to branch out, then Pit Boss is the way to go.
As I said, there are lots of different models – and, as such, different sizes – to choose from when it comes to Pit Boss vs Traeger.
So, which one has the smallest or the largest grill?
Well, both Traeger and Pit Boss have tabletop versions of their pellet grill models. Pit Boss has the Mahogany 150PPS, Pro Series II Portable 150, and the PP150PPG. The Traeger has the Ranger.
When it comes to cooking space, Pit Boss takes the winner with up to 256 square inches of cooking area. The Traeger Ranger, on the other hand, tops out at under 200 square inches.
When it comes to the largest cooking space, Pit Boss takes the lead once more! The PIT BOSS PRO SERIES 1600 ELITE PSE boasts almost 1600 square inches.
With the Traeger, the Timberline XL in the Timberline Series is the largest grill – it has 1320 square inches of cooking surface area.
I do want to say that the grilling performance isn’t the same across the board for either Pit Boss or Traeger wood pellet grills. The features and performance vary depending on the model as well as the price.
Therefore, the more expensive models will ultimately outperform the cheaper ones.
Still, when it comes to the smoking or grilling experience, I would say that the Traeger takes the lead here. There is a bit more attention to detail in terms of how the grills are designed. For instance, you will find that the cooking chambers of some of the grills are double insulated to get better heat retention.
Also, each Traeger pellet grill has been progressively improving and has many updates. Not only does this mean that the features of each grill are better, but they are also doing a better job of smoking and grilling food.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Pit Boss is out of the running – not at all. Many of the grills do boast a great performance – after all, it is one of the reasons that they continue to be some of the most popular pellet grills around.
It is just that when compared to Traeger, Pit Boss isn’t as strong. And, considering that these two brands aren’t really targeting the same audience, I would say that this is fine.
And, if you are looking for a pellet grill that also functions as a smoker, then Traeger should be your go-to choice. Any Traeger pellet grill functions just as well as a smoker as it does a grill.
On the other hand, if you want an actual pellet smoker, then I would go with Pit Boss. As I mentioned earlier, this brand has a greater variety of options to offer you.
It is becoming increasingly common for more and more hi-tech features to be added to grills. These are meant to make it easier and more efficient for you to grill or smoke your food.
Without a doubt, Traeger wins this round. One of the great things about Traeger is that even some of their mid-range models come equipped with Wi-Fi features. With Pit Boss, though, it is only the premium grills that offer such features.
This means that you get more bang for your buck with your Traeger.
I also like the fact that the features that you find on Traeger are well developed. As a result, they actually function the way that they are supposed to and make your cook a more pleasant experience.
Now, you may be wondering just how important such features are when it comes to grilling food. Well, this does depend on the person.
If you don’t mind going old school with your grilling and smoking, then Pit Boss will work well for you. However, this new generation of pit masters do enjoy the peace of mind that various high tech features provide you with.
For instance, when it comes to Wi-Fi connected Traeger grills, you can sync the grill up to the Traeger app on your smartphone. In doing so, you can watch the temperature of the cooking chamber, the internal temperature of the food, and more from your phone.
This allows you to move around your house and to be more productive. Such a feature can be especially helpful when you have a very long cook in front of you.
In general, most pellet grills in the Traeger line are going to be more expensive than the Pit Boss pellet grills.
Now, at the lower end, the price discrepancy isn’t that noticeable, Traeger will often cost between $100 and $300 more than most Pit Boss models.
It is only as you get to the premium models that you notice that it will cost a great deal more for a Traeger grill.
To a certain degree, this does come down to building quality. As I mentioned earlier, the more expensive a Traeger grill is, the better the quality of the materials used.
The other reason that the Traeger pellet grills are more expensive is due to the high tech features. Traeger adds Wi-Fi connectivity, apps, and integrated accessories to make their grills easier and more efficient to use.
All of this adds up to the final sticker cost.
If you are talking about actual physical stores, then most Pit Boss grills and Traeger grills can be found in places like Walmart, Home Depot, etc.
If you want to buy the grill from an online marketplace like Amazon, however, then, Traeger would be the bests for you. Nearly all of the lines except for the Timberline Series are available on sites like Amazon.
Buying Pit Boss grills on such sites isn’t as easy, though. This is because there are many models that can only be purchased directly from Walmart.
At the surface, this doesn’t seem like such a big issue as you can still get the grill fairly easily. The only thing is that you may end up paying a higher price for the grill as you don’t have other platforms to compare the cost to.
Now that we have the fundamental elements out of the way, let’s take a look at how Traeger and Pit Boss match up against each other when you compare two pellet grills in similar lines.
To begin with, let’s take a look at each portable pellet grill for Pit Boss and Traeger.
I am going to have to give it up to this tabletop pellet grill when it comes to the cooking surface area. This is a great space to cook for up to three to four people at the same time and not have to cook in too many batches.
Also, as far as portability goes, this grill gets top marks once more because it is one of the lightest grills around. You can easily manage it by yourself and it can fit on a balcony if you live in an apartment complex. Best of all, if you do need to travel around, you can do so in the smallest vehicle.
This is a propane gas grill and it is able to get up to high enough temperatures to grill and sear your food. So, you should be able to cook your meats at a fairly steady rate. The only downside is that you don’t get that gorgeous smoky flavor as you do with a pellet grill.
Don’t let the compact size and the folding legs fool you, this is actually quite a durable Pit Boss grill. Due to this, you can easily move it around and transport it. There is also a greater chance of this grill lasting quite a while.
If you want an experience that is similar to that of a full sized grill, then this is the portable pellet grill that you need to get. It functions beautifully, complete with high temperatures, and precise controls that allow you to get precisely the kind of final result that you want.
The only downside is that this is a pretty hefty grill and you are going to need some help to move it around.
As this is a wood pellet smoker and grill, you will discover that your food is infused with a gorgeous smoke flavor. It will be just as if you cooked it on a regular grill. The hopper is large enough that you will not have to refill the hopper even if you are cooking a larger cut of meat.
This is a pretty modern pellet smoker and grill. As a result, the settings are very simple to use and have almost no learning curve at all. Even if this is the first time that you are using a grill, you will be able to figure it out soon enough.
I like that this pellet grill has a warmer. This way, you can prepare your food ahead of time and ensure that it is ready to eat whenever you need it to be.
Here are two of the cheapest grills for Pit Boss and Traeger:
I love the cooking area on this pellet grill. It has a removable second rack that can be used to cook foods at a slower rate or you can use this as a warming rack.
You can easily cook several racks of ribs, two chickens, and dozens of burgers. So, if you have a large family or you like to have frequent cookouts, then this grill is going to serve you well.
I have to say that I really like the flavors produced by this grill – not only does it get hot enough to sear food, but the wood pellets infuse the meat with a delightful smoke flavor.
The only real complaint that I have is that the temperature fluctuations with this grill is a little unpredictable. The temperature can go up by around 20 degrees over the set temp.
I love how easy it is to use this pellet smoker and grill. It is just a matter of priming it, setting the temperature, and preheating it, and you are good to go. If you are just getting started out, you will find this grill a breeze to use.
I like that there is a removable side shelf right next to the grill. This is great for moving the food onto trays once they are done cooking. Doing so prevents you from accidentally burning your meat.
One of the things that I like about the Tailgater is that even at this price point it offers excellent temperature control. There are very few fluctuations throughout the cook. One of the perks is that you can ensure that your food is cooking at a steady rate. The other is that you can set the temperature and then go about other work without having to constantly check on the grill.
The other thing that I like is that despite this being a basic pellet grill it definitely doesn’t skimp on flavor. The smoke is gently infused into the food throughout the cooking or smoking session, taking the flavor up to the next level.
This is another pellet grill that is ideal for anyone who is new to grilling. As there are a minimum number of features, you can easily figure out how to get the grill and get cooking in no time at all.
Not only is this pellet grill incredibly lightweight, it also has been designed to be portable with folding legs. The only issue is that the legs can be tricky to assemble whenever you move the grill around.
Here is a comparison of the Traeger and Pit Boss pellet grills that fall into the mid-range category:
If you have a large family or love to host cookouts for large crowds, then I would definitely recommend this Pit Boss pellet grill to you! The cooking area is massive and you can easily cook large quantities of food at once rather than cooking food in batches.
The other thing that I like about this Pit Boss grill is the large hopper. This is excellent for larger cuts of meat like pork butt, shoulder, or even a full brisket. And, if you want to smoke food then the hopper accommodates long and slow cooks too!
I was quite impressed with the overall temperature management of this Pit Boss – it is a great set and leave it pellet grill.
I do have to warn you about the slide plate flame broiler, though. This is there to allow you to move and sear your food. The only downside is that it can create a bit of a hot spot so you do need to be careful.
One of the reasons that this is the most popular pellet grill has to do with temperature control. The fluctuations on this pellet grill are so minor that there will be no alterations to your cooking process. Due to this, you can have complete peace of mind.
I also love the flavor that I get with this pellet grill. It produces great and consistent flavor regardless of whether you are cooking burgers, pork butt, or brisket.
The only thing against this grill would be the fact that the cooking area is fairly small for this price point.
This may be a mid-range grill but it is as easy to use as any beginner machine. The settings are simple to use and very intuitive. So, you should have the grill up and running in no time at all.
This grill has wi-fi features that allow you to sync the grill to your phone. In turn, you can keep an eye on the cooking temp, internal temperature, and progress from anywhere in your home.
Here is a look at Traeger vs Pit Boss for their premium pellet grills:
The main buying point about this grill is that it boasts highly accurate temperature control. Once you set the dial, you can guarantee that the temp inside the cooking chamber will not budge by more than a few degrees here and there. This means that there are no surprises during your cook.
The cooking area for this pellet grill is immense. You can easily cook for a large family at once and cook different types of meat in one go too. So, if you are catering to a large crowd, this is the grill to help you out.
The hopper capacity with this pellet grill is unreal. You can easily stock it so that you can smoke a full brisket without needing to top up the hopper in between. It is also great for cooking large amounts of food back to back.
Despite being one of the premium models, this Pit Boss model is just as easy to use as any other. Therefore, anyone can use it with minimal hassle.
The only downside is that at this price point, there are no special or additional features that can be a letdown.
I absolutely love the temperature control on this pellet grill. Once you set it to your desired temperature, the temp inside the cooking chamber barely budges. This comes in handy when grilling or smoking more delicate meats like pork.
While this grill is far from affordable, I like that you get so many added features. This includes being able to keep track of the cooking process from your phone, being able to monitor the hopper capacity, and a lot more. Best of all, you don’t have to hover over your grill.
The only thing that I don’t like is that for this price point, the cooking surface area is far too small.
Despite having so many features, this pellet grill is still a rather easy one to use. Best of all, all the settings can be set on the app, allowing you to change the status of your cook from a distance away.
This grill has been designed to create an extra smoke flavor and it really shows. It doesn’t matter if you are grilling or smoking your food, you can enjoy a nice smoky flavor.
No, I don’t think that I can say outright that Traeger or Pit Boss is better than the other. Instead, it all depends on what you are looking for from a smoker.
Are you a beginner griller who wants an affordable machine to get started on? In this case, I would suggest Pit Boss for you. This brand provides you with grills that are easy to use and that you can figure out in no time at all.
What’s more, you will find grills in a wide price range. Therefore, you should have no trouble finding a grill that fits your budget.
If you are a more serious pitmaster and you are looking for a pellet grill with all the bells and whistles, then choosing a Traeger would be the right move for you. Yes, there is a little bit more to understand with these grills but the final results make this effort worthwhile.