When it comes to pellet grills, Traeger and Pit Boss are two of the strongest competitors on the market. If you want to make delicious, wood-fired flavored smokey BBQ, you need to check out the great pellet grills from Pit Boss and Traeger that we’ve featured here.
Keep reading to find out the considerable differences between these two leading brands in the industry. Which is better? We discuss their price difference, construction, warranty, and cooking surface, and more in this comprehensive Pit Boss vs Traeger review.
Traeger and Pit Boss: the Wood Pellet Grills Overview
Traeger and Pit Boss are a couple of the most popular pellet grill brands. Their grills and smokers are well-known for helping people get that smoky, hardwood-cooked flavor into their BBQ.
Their grills and smokers also have extremely easy temperature control. Most come with advanced technologies that further simplify the cooking experience, whether you need to slow-cook something or want a quick cook at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pit Boss and Traeger also make various flavors of wood pellets. But having said all that, Pit Boss products are much cheaper than Traeger, despite their grills having a five-year warranty. Traeger products also come with a lot more features than Pit Boss, so if that’s something that matters to you, you’ll like Traeger more.
Pit Boss Company Overview
Pit Boss is well-known for its pellet grills even though it produces a wide variety of grilling equipment. The Alberta-based brand started in 1999, and Dan Thiessen founded it.
Pit Boss made it clear right from the start that they can compete with Traeger’s quality for a more affordable price. Thus, they created products that are more simple and don’t really incorporate the latest technology. However, in 2020, they started to change direction and liked the idea of Bluetooth remotes for the Pit Boss pellet grills – as you can see with their Platinum lineup.
Traeger Company Overview
Joe Traeger invented the Traeger pellet grill in 1985 and continued to build their bestsellers with innovation in mind. For instance, they added one of their most distinct features, the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity they called WiFire Technology, to their Traeger Pro Series, Ironwood, and Timberline. With this feature, you can control the grill even from your couch using the Traeger App on your smartphone.
Traeger remains today the largest maker of pellet grills. Every year, they manage to sell grills worth $300 million.
3 Best Models of Traeger Grills
Traeger’s grill lineups have continued to be competitive, boasting innovations that are increasingly well-liked by grill masters and beginners alike. Here are three top-notch Traeger grills that are comparable to Pit Boss’ pellet grills.
1. Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill
Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 is one of Traeger’s most famous products. But what makes it so popular?
Firstly, it is just the right size for the average user. I guarantee it won’t occupy much space in your backyard, yet still will let you cook food for your family. With its 575 square inches of cooking space, you can grill burgers, ribs, chicken, steak, and more without thinking about losing space.
You can grill in various ways with Traeger Pro 575: with this pellet grill, you can grill, smoke, bake, braise, roast, and BBQ at any temperature you like.
All Traeger Pro 575 grills have WiFire Technology that allows a much more user-friendly experience for smartphone owners. Using a smartphone app, you can set timers, pick a temperature, and monitor the cooking food’s internal temperature.
- Easy to assemble
- WiFire technology
- Great value for money
- Good build quality
- The lowest temperature it can reach is 165 F, which can be too high for delicate food.
- If you need repairs, you will experience a lot of hassle.
This grill is so easy to assemble and use. It offers many features, such as voice control and Wi-Fi connectivity, that make you grill smarter.
2. Traeger Ironwood Series 885 Pellet Grill
The Ironwood Series 885 is the way to go if you like a more premium Traeger pellet grill. Traeger Grills Ironwood Series 885 is a next-gen feature-rich cooker that’s one of the best on the market.
The 885 square inches of cooking space will be sufficient for smoked and grilled BBQs for large gatherings. At the same time, the meat probe lets you check your food’s internal temperature without opening the lid.
This Traeger grill is great since it has double-sided wall insulation that lets you grill even in cold weather.
And, like the Traeger Pro 575, it has a WiFire controller. You can use Traeger’s smartphone app to monitor the pellet levels, adjust the temperature, and look at recipes.
- You can “set and forget”
- Easy to assemble
- Speedy smoker
- With its Pro features come an expensive price
- There’s a bit of a learning curve
Traeger Ironwood Series 885 is pretty spectacular for its price. It comes with an updated auger system called D2 Direct Drive, which means it does all the work in automated and overall, making your grilling experience much smoother.
3. Traeger Grills Pro Series 780
Like the Ironwood Series 885 and Pro 575, the Traeger Pro 780 gives you an effortless grilling experience with its WiFire technology. This grill is also Alexa-enabled, letting you take control of it with your voice. But, there’s more to this Pro grill than just a great user experience.
One of its best features is the super-fast ignition system called TurboTemp. It is a property of the newer Traeger grills that makes it easy to get the grill hotter quicker. Meanwhile, the D2 Direct Drive drive-train allows variable speed for the fan and auger, providing the perfect amount of smokey flavor that seeps into your food.
Ultimately, the 780 square inches of the cooking surface will be enough for many folks on a cookout.
- Excellent build quality as seen in the sawhorse chassis
- Hassle-free operation and cleanup
- Turbotemp quick-start ignition system
- WiFire controller
- Does not have a smoke setting
- Poor product support
Traeger Pro 780 makes grilling and smoking an enjoyable experience, making it one of the bestselling Traeger products. Get this one if you need something that can cook for a large family.
3 Best Models of Pit Boss Grills
Pit Boss has competitive prices. Their products are appealing to many BBQ fans because their pellet grills have amazing quality for the price – that’s why these three Pit Boss grills are up to par with Traeger’s.
1. Pit Boss Sportsman 820
Pit Boss Sportsman 820 is one of Pit Boss’ latest releases. This budget-friendly option runs on hardwood pellet fuel, and it can reach 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 849 square inches of cooking space, and the hopper can hold 21 lbs. of pellets: pretty impressive numbers if you ask me.
What’s nice about this is you can fold up its legs, making it easier to fit in your car. It is indeed a heavy-duty pellet grill, as said by many user reviews. It is perfect for many things like searing fish and smoking jerky due to its 8-in-1 versatility.
Other features include a side plate flame broiler, a stainless steel side shelf, a removable tray, a spice rack, and a temperature dial. Its dial-in digital control center has a very easy to read LED display.
- Offers a generous cooking size for the price
- Sizeable storage
- Relatively small searing zone
- The rounded diverter plate makes it kind of hard to collect drippings.
Pit Boss Sportsman 820 is one pellet grill that would get you lots of features that would exceed your expectations given its price. It is a great choice if you don’t mind not controlling the grill using an app but still want a spacious, portable grill.
Pit Boss’ Navigator Series is known for being technologically advanced. The Navigator Series 850 is the bestselling product, and you’ll find out why.
Like the Sportsman 820, the Navigator 850 packs a lot of grill space (879 square inches) for a reasonable price. It has a 180-500 degrees Fahrenheit range that lets you smoke pretty much anything from briskets to large fish. With its porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates, this grill seems high-quality.
But, unlike the Sportsman 820, this grill’s hopper capacity is 27 lbs. It gives you a better experience, especially when you plan to grill for hours on end since you don’t have to refill it.
We also like the Navigator 850 is its side plate flame broiler that you can place over direct heat – something most pellet grills lack. Moreover, it has a side shelf and a folding front shelf, plus some tool hooks and locking caster wheels.
- Huge hopper capacity
- Large grilling space
- Digital LED readout
- Built-in probe thermometer
- No Wi-Fi connectivity
Overall, the Pit Boss Navigator 850 is your answer if you’re wondering what grill could give you a great design, huge cooking space, and hopper capacity, plus some minor useful features. It’s incredibly easy to use, making you manage your cook very well.
3. Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Pit Boss 440D model is the last budget wood pellet grill on our list with astounding quality. At first glance, you’ll be enamored with its compact, eye-catching design that seems durable. It’s got a heavy gauge steel construction and stunning two-tone black and mahogany finish.
This portable pellet grill is perfect for your small backyard. Its cooking space is still sufficient, though, having 518 square inches overall. There’s also a removable upper rack (in case it’s time to take your meat off), and both that and the main cooking area is porcelain-coated steel.
You can cook between 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can still take advantage of the lower and upper rack regarding how quickly you want the food to cook. But overall, the cooking surface allows you to make twenty burgers – not bad for a smaller sized grill.
The digital control board of this model lets you have a look at the grill’s temperature. You can also mess with it if you appreciate the cool-down feature.
And although this model is relatively small, it comes complete with a side shelf, tool hooks, bottle opener, and slide plate flame broiler. It also has storage underneath for cutlery, cooking tools, and dining plates.
There are some drawbacks to a smaller pellet grill and smoker, though: its 5 lbs. hopper capacity.
- Beautiful two-toned design
- Heavy gauge steel is built to last
- Portable but still a complete package
- Porcelain-coated enamel grates
- Powder-coated steel lid
- 5-year warranty
- Small hopper capacity
In conclusion, the Pit Boss 440D will never disappoint if you enjoy a delicious, wood-fired meaty flavor but lack the space in your backyard. It performs well and is guaranteed to last a long time, as proven by its long warranty.
Detail Comparison of Pit Boss versus Traeger Grills
The following are the important things for shoppers when choosing between a Pit Boss and a Traeger pellet grill. Both grill brands get many positive reviews from buyers, but you should still be aware of the features that make one better than the other.
Grill construction is important because you don’t want to replace your Pit Boss or Traeger grill every season.
Traeger is one of the best when it comes to superior construction. For example, their pellet grills’ cast-iron grates come with a non-stick coating to make it easier to clean. Same with their fireboxes.
Pit Boss is okay in terms of design and construction – in fact, their grills may look weak compared to the competitor, but overall, Traeger is pretty hard to beat in this regard.
Pellet grills need to have cooking versatility to be an attractive option for consumers. When you are getting a pretty bulky grill to put in your backyard, it might as well do more than one thing. You’d want your wood pellet grill to not just grill but also smoke, roast, bake, and sear. One big factor of great versatility is the temperature range.
Comparing Pit Boss and Traeger, both brands’ pellet grills can handle the sweet spot of 225 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit required for smoking. For searing steak or making pizza, though, your grill needs to reach into the 400 degrees Fahrenheit zone.
We noticed a very small advantage of Pit Boss grills since these have a range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while the majority of Traeger grills can only go from 180 to 400 degrees. You can only get a 500-degree Fahrenheit Traeger grill if you avail of their premium lineup.
Precise temperature control is also a critical aspect of a pellet grill. This factor relies on the grill’s insulation, which will ensure even cooking, and how precisely you can control your grill’s temperature (preferably smaller increments).
These Traeger and Pit Boss grills are marketed as easy to use, and their manufacturers claim you can just set and forget. Let’s see how true that is.
Pit Boss grills do the job well when it comes to heat preservation in their grills. You will never have a problem with heat leak or too much smoke when you get one of their grills.
If you’re very anal about your grilling technique, you will be unsatisfied with the 25-degree Fahrenheit increment of their temperature dials. And because of Pit Boss’ impressive heat production, many people struggle to decrease the temperature easily when it gets too hot.
On the other hand, you can set Traeger grills in 15-degree increments, which is pretty decent. If you get their more expensive models, though, you can adjust in 5-degree increments.
Traeger grills have always excelled in heat retention. They make sure to put two stainless steel layers on each of their cooking chambers to help with heat retention and insulation. Thus, you won’t experience heat loss, and you can be more efficient with your cooking by not wasting energy.
So, Traeger wins this round.
Cooking surface area
Both Traeger and Pit Boss offer a wide range of pellet grill sizes. They consider people who are looking for portable grills and those who’d prefer larger cookers for commercial use.
Pit Boss offers great value for money when it comes to the cooking surface. You simply get more bang for your buck with their pellet grills since they’re more affordable, yet the size is sufficient for a lot of food.
The hopper capacity is another consideration since you don’t want to constantly get up and refill your hopper when it runs out. Usually, in an hour of cooking, you should expect to use a half-pound to 1½ lbs. of wood pellets.
Full-sized Traeger pellet grills typically have 18 lbs. of hopper capacity, which is already enough for long cooks. However, Pit Boss’ most recent releases have a maximum of 20+ pounds of hopper capacity, which beats Traeger!
Pit Boss is the way to go if you want the best hopper capacity on your pellet grill.
The manufacturer’s warranty says a lot about the brand’s confidence in its product quality. Pit Boss and Traeger offer good warranties, but Pit Boss pellet grills’ is better – a 5-year warranty covers them compared to Traeger’s 3-year warranty on their grills. Three years is not bad, but you have to love Pit Boss for their half-a-decade warranty.
We hope this comparison of Pit Boss vs. Traeger pellet grills made your buying decision easier. Both leading brands make good quality pellet grills, with Pit Boss offering the more affordable, simpler options and Traeger selling premium quality grills. You can’t go wrong with any of the six products we’ve listed here as long as you carefully consider their pros and cons.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.