If you’re looking for the rich, smokey flavor that pellet grills can bring to your outdoor cooking experience, Traeger and Pit Boss are common brands to start with. We’ve compared some of the brands’ best-selling products to see which is right for you.
Wood-pellet grills give a unique flavor to your food that you don’t get from traditional gas or charcoal grills. And they make low-temp, slow cooking a breeze.
Traeger and Pit Boss are two of the leading brands for wood-pellet smokers to consider if you want to spice up your backyard barbecue with a new grilling method.
After comparing features and reading user reviews, we put together this guide for you to compare the differences between Traeger and Pit Boss pellet grills. We also highlighted some of the brands’ top-selling products for your consideration.
Wood-Pellet Grills: Pit Boss vs. Traeger
Wood-pellet grills give you the flavor of food cooked over hardwood while allowing for good temperature control. Pellet grills are extremely versatile — many Traeger and Pit Boss products double as both a grill, with temps up to 500 degrees, and a “low-and-slow” smoker. And both brands come equipped with digital controllers for a more accurate temperature setting.
Pellet grills also let you subtly flavor your food with different types of wood pellets. Both Traeger and Pit Boss sell their own brand of pellets with their own mix of wood flavors. Pit Boss pellets have more of a reputation for turning to unusable sawdust, but overall people don’t have a problem with them, and they are cheaper than Traeger pellets.
When deciding which pellet grill to buy, the first thing to consider is size. Both Traeger and Pit Boss sell many sizes, but if you’re looking for very small or very large grills, Traeger has a wider range of cooking space available.
You’ll also want to consider the mobility of your grill. Will you want to pack it for a tailgating party or bring it fishing? Both brands make portable grills, but Traeger’s lineup includes smaller, easier-to-move options.
Traeger is the longest-established pellet grill company, and its grills tend to be equipped with the latest technology. Pit Boss pellet grills are less expensive and come with a 5-year warranty. However, with Pit Boss, you give up several features that many enjoy as part of the grilling experience.
More than 30 years ago, Traeger invented the hardwood pellet-burning grill. Even after its patent expired, Traeger is still one of the best-selling brand names for pellet grills.
And it continues to be at the forefront of innovation in that area. In 2017, Traeger implemented a Wi-Fi controller to one of its grills, allowing users to control the temperature from a distance. That design is spreading — by 2020, three of its product lines come equipped with WiFIRE Technology.
Where are Treger grills made? Traeger grills were originally manufactured in the USA, but the brand has since moved production to China.
Pit Boss History
Founded in 1999, Pit Boss produces a wide range of grilling equipment, including charcoal and gas grills. But it’s best known for pellet grills.
Pit Boss focuses on affordability and simplicity, often choosing to forgo the latest technological upgrades. However, it still remains relevant. In fact, it began incorporating remote settings using Bluetooth on its Platinum line of grills in 2020.
Where are Pit Boss grills made? Pit Boss is a subsidiary of Dansons Inc., which also makes Louisiana Grills. It manufactures Pit Boss in China.
Top Traeger Pellet Grills
If you’re looking for a backyard grill for a large family or a small party, the Traeger Pro 575 is made for you. It has a 575 square-inch cooking surface and holds 18 pounds of pellets in its hopper. With this grill, you can cook enough hotdogs or hamburgers to comfortably feed 8 to 12 people at once.
You can set the temperature in 5-degree increments, exercising precise control over the grilling experience. The Pro’s D2 Drivetrain allows you to set the temperature range as high as 500 degrees.
With the Traeger Pro’s WiFIRE Technology, you can control the settings from a distance on your smartphone. For all-day cooks like brisket, that means you don’t have constantly tend the grill while it slowly smokes through hours of cooking.
If you’re looking to feed a crowd or smoke large quantities of meat, the Traeger Timberline 1300 has 1,300 square inches of total cooking space and holds 24 pounds of pellets in its hopper. It also has a full double-wall, stainless steel interior for extra insulation, as well as the same D2 Drivetrain as the Pro, allowing for precision in your grilling experience.
The Timberline Pellet Grill comes equipped with many other features such as the Traeger pellet sensor, which alerts you when your pellets run low, and a magnetic bamboo cutting board. It also has WiFIRE Technology, allowing you to control the settings from your smartphone.
If you want to easily transport your pellet grill, Traeger has you covered. The Ranger has 176 square inches of cooking space and holds 8 pounds of pellets. It’s equipped with a latching lid for easy transportation and has a “keep warm” mode so food doesn’t get cold sitting outside.
The Ranger is a bit hefty compared to other legless grills, weighing in at 60 pounds. However, much of that weight comes from its cast iron griddle.
Like all of these brands’ pellet grills, the Ranger runs on electricity and must be plugged in. So it’s not a substitute for a true camp stove. However, if there is an outlet available, the Ranger Pellet Grill gives you a great grilling experience on the go. When it first came out, we reviewed it in more depth here.
Top Pit Boss Pellet Grills
Made for hosting backyard barbecues, the Pit Boss Classic gives you 700 square inches of cooking space, and its hopper holds 21 pounds of pellets. This gives you the space to grill up to 32 burgers at once.
The temperature controls are not very precise, jumping 25 or 50 degrees with each increment. However, the grill does come with two meat probe cords to monitor the internal temperature of the meat without opening the grill. If you’re looking for a cost-effective pellet grill that can feed a small party, the Pit Boss Classic is worth looking at.
Pit Boss Rancher XL Wood-Pellet Grill: $597 on Sale
If you’re looking to feed a crowd, the Rancher XL has 1,004 square inches of cooking space. And the hopper holds up to 31 pounds of pellets, meaning it can cook up to 52 burgers at once.
Like most Pit Boss wood-pellet grills, the Rancher XL comes equipped with a sliding plate on the bottom that allows you to easily switch between smoking and open flame grilling. Although the temperature controls are not very precise, the grill can reach 500 degrees.
The amount of space the Rancher XL provides makes this low-cost grill excellent for a large party.
Pit Boss Sportsman Portable Wood-Pellet Grill: $349 on Sale
This is Pit Boss’ version of a portable wood-pellet grill. It has 387 square inches of cooking space, and the hopper holds 19 pounds of pellets. The legs fold up and the lid latches, so it’s more suitable to load in the back of your car.
The temperature is set by a simple dial, and the digital control center has a large LED readout. Overall, the Pit Boss Sportsman is a straightforward, easy-to-use grill that’s simple to transport.
So who stands on top of the battle between Traeger vs. Pit Boss? Let us know what smoker or grill you use and prefer.