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

A wood pellet grill is one of the best investments to acquire to improve your kitchen skills. Also known as the wood pellet smoker, it is a good asset for smoking and grilling your foods. When you decide to get one, the hurdle may be which brand to get.

There are several brands in the market, but we will narrow them down to two brands, Pit Boss and Traeger. The two are top brands that guarantee you excellent results. So which one should you go for?

We will review each of the wood pellet grills to draw you closer to deciding which one to have in your cooking area.

A Look at Each Brand

The two brands have a strong name in the smoker and griller manufacturing scene. Their products are of high quality, a reason we are featuring them in this article. Here is a look at each of the company’s history.

Pit Boss

Pit-Boss-griller

A look at Pit Boss’s website, you learn that the company is a subsidiary of Dansons Inc. It has been in operation since 1999 and has a vast collection of cooking utilities, including smokers, griddles, combos, and accessories.

The cooking utilities are top-rated among cooking enthusiasts. A thing that endears Pit Boss’s products is their durability. It means that any cooker you get will serve you for a decent amount of time. You also notice that it has a versatile catalog, where you are sure to get what you want.

The cookers come in various designs to accommodate large and small-scale cooking. Talking about wood pellet grills, there are around 30 types in various shapes and sizes. There are large ones, small ones, portable ones, and many more.

Pit Boss also stocks various wood pellets

Traeger

Traeger-grill

Traeger Grills is the brainchild of Joe Traeger, who created it in 1985. A patent followed in 1986. The patent made Traeger Grills the sole creator of the pellet grill for 20 years until its expiry. After the expiry, many players joined the scene, widening the supply of the pellet grill.

The company majors on pellet grills with different varieties in its catalog. They include the pro series, Timberline series, Ironwood series, and grill bundles. It also stocks accessories like barbecue tools, grill covers, and shelves and liners. You will also get wood pellets from its online shop, which you can use in smoking your food.

After looking at each of the company’s histories, we now look at their top-selling pellet grills.

Leading Pit Boss Grills

Pit Boss 1150G Navigator Wood Pellet Grill


Starting the list of the best Pit Boss grills is the 1150G Navigator. It has a vast array of features that we will look at.

Large Cooking Area

A key selling point of this wood pellet grill is its large cooking area. It has 1158 square inches of cooking space, which is far above the average cooking area. This large area permits you to bring several foods to smoke or grill.

You may bring in plenty of burgers, a full-sized turkey, or several racks of ribs. You do not have to worry about the food being too much for this cooker.

User-Friendly

The 1150G Navigator is user-friendly, as it is easy to use. You can quickly learn the controls, and if you have an issue, you can refer to its user manual. It sports a digital control board with an LED read-out for control reading.

Maintenance is a problem to many, primarily the cleaning part. That should not be an issue anymore with this grill, as it has porcelain-coated cooking grids. The porcelain coating makes it less susceptible to dirt. Cleaning is a straightforward affair.

Durability

The smoker has a sturdy frame, which makes it durable. As such, you are sure that this grill will have your back for a long time before it wears out.

Included Accessories

Pit Boss 1150G smoker comes with plenty of accessories. They include a grill cover, built-in tool hooks, and two meat probes.

Pit Boss Sportsman 1230 Combo Grill


Pit Boss Sportsman 1230 combo grill is one of the most versatile grills that you will encounter. Here are some of its standout characteristics.

Versatility

The appealing aspect of this grill is its flexibility. You can use hardwood pellets or propane gas to power it. When you use hardwood pellets, you can go for the smoking variety. Here, you will benefit from their smoky aroma and their functionality as fuel.

Its adaptability will also come to play in its cooking functions. The sportsman 1230 can support eight functions. These include smoking, grilling, baking, braise and searing.

Cooking Capacity

The Pit Boss Sportsman 1230 has an impressive cooking capacity of 1260 square inches. It is more than the average limit, and it can accommodate large food servings.

Temperature Range

This combo grill has a cooking temperature range of 180 to 500-degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great range, which is ideal for preparing meat dishes. The heat range will also do fine with veggies.

Pit Boss Sportsman 10538 Wood Pellet Grill


In your search for an ideal wood pellet grill, do not compromise on durability. With your eyes on this attribute, the Pit Boss Sportsman 10538 is a good choice. Highlighted below are some of this grill’s attributes.

Durability

As previously hinted, the Sportsman 10538 wood pellet grill is a durable appliance. It is a premium gauge stainless steel build, making it sturdy.  This means that it will serve you for a long time without breaking down.

Handiness

You can also appreciate the handiness of this smoker. It is easy to use, courtesy of its automatic startup and cool-down functions. Even if you are a beginner, you can quickly learn how to use it. The digital control board with LED read-out eases the controls.

You cannot overlook the fan-forced convection cooking. This feature guarantees the even spread of smoke and heat in the cooking chamber.

Cleaning is stress-free as you have porcelain-coated racks that are simple to clean. Additionally, the cooking appliance has a large cooking area. Considering it has a small build, its 387-square inch cooking space is imposing.

Compact Design

The Pit Boss Sportsman 10538 has a compact design with a small outlook. The compactness makes its handling an effortless engagement. Still, on its compact design, the grill is portable. It weighs around 80-pounds and has wheels for assisted movement.

Related: The Best Portable Pellet Grills for 2021

Pit Boss 3-Series Vertical Smoker


Vertical smokers are gaining immense popularity in the wood pellet smoker market. They are easy to use and are economical in space. The Pit Boss 3-series vertical smoker is a great example of vertical smokers. Let us delve into some of its attributes.

Compact Design

A noticeable feature of this grill is its compact design. The compactness makes it economical in space when you store it. This attribute will additionally make its overall maintenance a walk in the park as it is easy to handle.

Viewing Window

Another standout feature of the 3-series vertical smoker is its viewing window. You can observe your food’s cooking progress via the window without opening the door.

Cooking Temperature

Cooking temperature is a crucial determining factor when getting a smoker. If you want to smoke or grill meat dishes, you should go for cookers with a higher cooking heat. The griller in question has a range of 100-350-degrees Fahrenheit.

This range is good for smoking vegetables and meat.

Related: A comprehensive review of Pit Boss Austin XL

Spaciousness

The Pit Boss 3-Series vertical smoker is relatively spacious. It has three removable cooking grids, which you may remove to create extra cooking space.

Related article: Best Vertical Pellet Smokers of 2021

Leading Traeger Pellet Grills

Traeger Pro Series 575 Pellet Grill


The Traeger Pro series 575 pellet grill is an all-rounded utility. The cooker will give you a decent serving of various aspects, as seen below.

User-Friendliness

User-friendliness is a standout feature you will notice from this wood pellet smoker. It has a compact shape, which is economical in space. A slight downside is that the grill is quite heavy at 124-pounds. This is not something to worry about, as it has wheels that make its translocation stress-free.

Another hint at its friendliness is its WiFIRE technology. Through this technology, you can remotely control the grill using a mobile application. It can connect to your home Wi-Fi network, meaning you do not have to check on it constantly.

The grill will also start up quickly and burn fast. The result is excellent smoke production to cook your food. It has porcelain-coated components like the grills, which are easy to maintain, mostly focusing on cleaning.

The grill is easy to use, as learning the controls is effortless. This makes it beginner-friendly. The Pro 575 can work with Alexa.

Versatility

The Traeger pro 575 manages to stand atop the pack of the finest pellet smokers due to its versatility. In this case, you can use this cooker to perform cooking functions such as smoking food, grilling, roasting, baking, braising, and barbecuing. With the Pro 575, it is like having a 6-in-1 cooking appliance.

Cooking Space

When you get a smoker, you should consider its available cooking space. Ensure that it has enough cooking space to accommodate the food you want to smoke or grill. The Traeger 575 is fairly spacious, offering you 575 square inches of cooking space.

The space is large enough to prepare large servings, like a whole turkey. To give you an idea of how big it is, it can accommodate five racks of ribs.

Also, check our in-depth Review on Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill

Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill


Traeger Grills never disappoints when it comes to its creation. Clear evidence of this notion is the Traeger Grills ironwood 885 wood pellet grill. It is a versatile appliance that allows you to change your cooking style where necessary. Below are some of the features of this wood pellet smoker.

Versatility

The selling factor of the ironwood 885 smoker is its versatility. It is adaptable, an attribute that you see from the many functions it can handle. They include smoking, baking, grilling, barbecuing, and roasting.

In total, it has six cooking functions, meaning you have six cookers in one appliance.

All-Weather Grill

When using some grills, a problem that you may encounter is that the weather conditions may affect their performance. You notice this issue, mostly in cold temperatures, where the functionality dips. Bid goodbye to this problem with the Traeger Grills ironwood 885 model, as it is an all-weather grill.

It sports double sidewall insulation, which stabilizes the temperature, ensuring consistency which is essential when smoking.

Tech Leanings

A feature you will see in most new Traeger Grills models is their tech leanings. The ironwood 885 model features several technological backings. This feature makes it easy to use. It relies on the WiFIRE technology, which connects it to your home Wi-Fi network.

Using its mobile app, you can remotely monitor and control the grill. This saves you the hassle of frequently checking on the cooker.

Convenience

This Traeger Grills model is very convenient. First of all, it is easy to maintain, courtesy of the coating, more so, in cleaning. The racks have a porcelain coat, which makes cleaning a hassle-free engagement. This pellet smoker is heavy, weighing 175-pounds.

The good thing is that the weight is manageable through its wheels. You do not have to carry it when moving it. You simply push it.

Check our comprehensive Traeger Ironwood 885 pellet grill review

Traeger Grills Ranger Wood Pellet Smoker


Simplicity and efficiency are the right words to describe the Traeger Grills Ranger wood pellet smoker. It comes in a compact shape and is quite lightweight. Let us look at some of this smoker’s key attributes.

Portability

An appealing aspect of the Ranger wood pellet is that it is portable. It weighs 60-pounds, which is relatively light compared to most smokers. Its lightweight makes it easy to carry when moving.

Compact Shape and Size

This wood pellet smoker has a compact shape and a small size. It acts to its advantage as it is economical in space. This aspect translates to ease in maintenance, as it is easy to handle. Coupled with its lightweight, you can easily carry it and have it as a camping companion.

Cooking Area

The Traeger Grills pellet smoker model is small in size. However, it will come as a surprise to know that it has a large cooking area of 184 square inches. For a tabletop smoker, this is a large cooking spot. It can accommodate one rack of ribs, a full chicken, or six burgers.

User-Friendliness

User-friendliness is an additional attribute that you will benefit from when you use this tabletop smoker. Assembly is easy, the same as the controls. If you are a beginner, its user manual will come to your aid.

Cleaning is a crucial maintenance practice, but it is challenging for many smokers. For this smoker, cleaning is stress-free, considering that it sports porcelain-coated racks. Cleaning the racks is simple as they hardly catch dirt.

The cooking appliance has a timer, which lets you know if the food is ready. You can set it to know when to apply more sauce or feed wood pellets.

Advanced Grilling Logic

Cooking relies on temperature, and you have to be sure that it is right. Temperature maintenance is difficult, something you bypass on this Traeger Grills’ smoker. The Advanced Grilling Logic is its saving grace. It allows for precision in temperature control.

Traeger Tailgater 20 Pellet Grill


Traeger Tailgater 20 pellet grill is an excellent pick and is one of this brand’s top sellers. It has a vast array of features that we will look at.

Convenience

Convenience is a number one attribute to look for when shopping for a wood pellet smoker. The Tailgater 20 pellet grill is the utter definition of convenience, with many supporting features. First of all, it is easy to use, and even if you are a novice, you can learn to use it quickly.

Maintenance is unchallenging, with the porcelain-coated racks being easy to clean. Furthermore, this smoker has foldable legs that give ample room for storage. You can fold the legs and convert them to a tabletop grill.

The Tailgater 20 comes with a meat probe. This component lets you inspect smoking or grilling meat to know if it is ready.

Portability

This rack is not that heavy, weighing 62 pounds. While this weight is manageable, its portability gets a boost courtesy of its wheels. As such, moving this grill-cum-smoker is not a draining engagement.

Temperature Control

If you master temperature control in grilling or smoking your food, then you are a pro-level cook. Mastering is a problem for many. The good news is that you can avoid this hurdle with this grill, as it has temperature control features.

One of the features is the digital arc controller. This function allows you to set the temperature at 5-minute intervals. This, together with the Advanced Grilling Logic, help achieve temperature precision.

Cooking Space

The Traeger Tailgate grill looks small at first sight, but it has a spacious cooking area. Its cooking space area is 300 square inches. While it may seem slightly average, you have to factor in its small stature. This smoker has a maximum achievable temperature of 450-degrees Fahrenheit. This range is good for meat dishes.

Check our comprehensive review for the best Traeger grills in 2021

Pit Boss Vs. Traeger: Which Is The Best?

If you want to know which one is superior, there are several factors to look at. Among them is the price. Here, you will realize that Pit Boss grills are more affordable than Traeger grills.

What about quality? Traeger grills have a solid reputation when you talk about quality, as they have been in the market for a long spell. Pit Boss grills are also of high quality, a factor that ups their popularity.

Additionally, both brands have vast catalogs with many items on sale. The best pick will depend on what you are looking for, as both brands spare no effort to be the greatest.

Conclusion

In summary, a wood pellet smoker is a great utility to have in your kitchen to diversify your cooking style. Presented to you are the leading smoker brands that you will encounter. Look at their respective catalogs and see which smoker brand will work for you.

Still on comparison wave? Then check our Yoder vs. Traeger review and find out which is the superior pellet grill in 2021?

Last update on 2021-10-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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