Pit Boss and Traeger are two of the most popular grill brands on the market today, and people often narrow down buying options to Pit Boss vs Traeger.
Pit Boss is known for their high-quality cost effective grills that deliver on many levels, while Traeger is renowned for their cutting-edge technology that allows for precise temperature control and easy-to-use features. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to determine which brand and grill is right for you.
That’s where this article comes in – our goal is to compare Pit Boss and Traeger grills side-by-side, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each brand to help you make an informed decision about which grill to buy.
- Pit Boss vs Traeger – Which is the Better Grill to Buy and Why?
- A Brief History of Traeger
- A Brief History of Pit Boss
- Traeger vs Pit Boss – A General Comparison
- Pit Boss vs Traeger Quick Summary
- Pit Boss Navigator 700 vs Traeger Ironwood 650
- Price & Value for Money
- Features & Specifications
- Cooking Space
- Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 vs Traeger Timberline XL
- Price and Value for Money
- Features and Specifications
- Cooking Space
- Pit Boss vs Traeger FAQ’s
- What is the Difference between Pit Boss and Traeger?
- Are Traeger and Pit Boss Made by the Same Company?
- Is There a Smoker as Good as a Traeger?
- What is the Best Pellet Smoking Grill?
Pit Boss vs Traeger – Which is the Better Grill to Buy and Why?
So we researched this topic thoroughly and used the following criteria for a hopefully fair comparison between the 2 manufacturers overall.
- Price and Value For Money
- Features and Specifications
- Construction & Durability
- Cooking Space
- Ease of Use
A Brief History of Traeger
Traeger Grills is a brand of wood pellet grills that was founded in Mt. Angel Oregon in 1985. The company was started Joe Traeger, who invented the original wood pellet grill and patented it in 1986.
The first Traeger Grills were made from simple designs and marketed as a healthier and easier way to barbecue. Over the years, the company has grown and expanded its product line to include portable grills, commercial-grade grills, and more recently WiFi-enabled grills.
Joe Traeger and his son Brian sold their rights to the name Traeger in 2006 for $12.4 million to a Florida based firm who then sold it to its present owner Trilantic Capital Partners. Jeremy Andruss is the CEO and president of Traeger at the moment.
A Brief History of Pit Boss
Pit Boss Grills is a brand of wood pellet grills that has quickly gained popularity among outdoor cooking enthusiasts since its founding in 1999.
The company was started by Dan Thiessen, who began by importing ceramic grills from China and selling them under the name “Louisiana Ceramic Grills”. In 2005, Thiessen shifted his focus to wood pellet grills and rebranded the company as Pit Boss Grills.
The brand quickly gained a reputation for affordable, high-quality grills that offered a range of features typically found in more expensive models. Today, Pit Boss Grills offers a wide variety of wood pellet grills, including portable grills, vertical smokers, and even a combo grill that can be used for both smoking and grilling.
Pit Boss Grills is owned by the Dansons Group (so called because it was started by Dan and his sons).
The interesting twist in the tale is that Joe and Brian Traeger actually went on to work with Dansons to design Pit Boss grills in 2018.
Traeger filed a lawsuit against Dansons for trying to copy their brand and for misusing the intellectual property rights of the band which they had bought. The company felt that Dansons were exploiting Joe and Brian Traeger as well as images and logos that belonged to the Traeger brand. They also felt that their trade secrets were being copied and used by Dansons.
This has led to understandable confusion over whether Pit Boss and Traeger are the same company or in any way affiliated with each other. The answer is complicated because the original founder of Traeger and the inventor of the wood pellet grill now works for Pit Boss, leading some to believe that Pit Boss is out-traegering Traeger!
In reality, despite some overlaps in design Pit Boss have produced some quite different grills than Traeger over the years. For example Pit Boss offer the Copperhead 3 series, 5 series and 7 series vertical smokers to which there are no Traeger equivalents.
They also have a range of combo grills which allow for the use gas and wood pellets.
As well as a wide range of portable grills and griddles.
To make things clearer and easier, we will look at a general comparison between the two grills and then look at specific models that are similar enough to make a fair comparison.
Traeger vs Pit Boss – A General Comparison
It’s actually quite simple to talk generally about the differences between Traeger and Pit Boss. Traeger have historically been the more expensive of the two. Pit Boss gives you more cooking space for less money, in some cases considerably less money. While in most cases Traeger grills have more advanced features, such as pellet sensors and Wifi capability.
Pit Boss vs Traeger Quick Summary
Pit Boss Grills:
- Offer a wide range of grills at various price points, from vertical smokers, gas and pellet combo grills, and portable models to large pellet smokers
- Historically Pit Boss have focused on simplicity and affordability
- Most models feature digital temperature control and programmable meat probes
- Some models feature Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps e.g. the new Pit Boss Pro Series
- Primarily offers pellet grills and smokers with 2 portable options – Traeger Ranger & Tailgator grills
- Generally higher in price than Pit Boss grills
- Most models feature Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps – Pit Boss have only started to add these advanced features from 2020 onwards
- Some models feature advanced features like Super Smoke mode (for extra smoky flavour) and a pellet sensor which monitors when you need to refuel
For example, let’s consider the Traeger Ironwood 650 and the Pit Boss Navigator 700, 2 popular grills of similar size from both manufacturers.
Pit Boss Navigator 700 vs Traeger Ironwood 650
Price & Value for Money
The Pit Boss 700 is considerably less expensive than the Traeger Ironwood 650, retailing at around $500 (£406) compared to around $1300 (£1057).
However, the Traeger Ironwood 650 has a larger pellet hopper, more advanced technology features, and a higher-quality construction, making it better value for money in terms of features and specifications.
Whether the hefty price tag is justified or not is really up to personal preference and needs.
Features & Specifications
Both grills have a range of features that make them versatile for different cooking needs. The Pit Boss 700 has a larger cooking space and a flame broiler system that allows for direct and indirect grilling.
The Traeger Ironwood 650 has more advanced technology features, including WiFIRE technology, a D2 grill controller, and a pellet sensor. It also has a downdraft exhaust and Super Smoke mode that ensures even smoke distribution and adds a smokier flavour. Overall, the Traeger Ironwood 650 has more advanced features that provide greater precision and control over the cooking process.
The Pit Boss 700 has a total cooking space of 4500 sq. cm (700 sq. in), with a main cooking grate of 49 x 62cm (19″ x 24″) and an upper grate of 21 x 60cm (8″ x 23″). The Traeger Ironwood 650 has a total cooking space of 650 sq. inches, which is slightly smaller than the Pit Boss 700. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Traeger Ironwood 650 has a dual-position smoke/sear bottom grate that allows for more cooking versatility.
Construction: Both grills have a durable construction, but the Traeger Ironwood 650 has an arguably higher-quality construction with a double side wall interior and porcelain-coated grill grates. It also has all-terrain wheels and locking caster wheels that make it easier to move around and keep it stationary when needed. The Pit Boss 700 has two metal wheels for easy movement.
Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 vs Traeger Timberline XL
Comparing the higher end and more recent grills from Pit Boss and Traeger is a useful point of reference also.
Price and Value for Money
The Traeger Timberline XL is a high-end grill with a price point to match. It is priced significantly higher than the Pit Boss Pro Series. While both grills offer a range of advanced features and technologies, the Traeger Timberline XL is more expensive, which may impact its value for money for some buyers.
The Timberline XL retails at around $3799.99 (£3091) and the Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 is around
Features and Specifications
Both the Traeger Timberline XL and the Pit Boss Pro Series offer a range of features and technologies that make them versatile and easy to use. The Traeger Timberline XL offers more advanced features, such as Smart Combustion, WiFIRE technology, and Traeger Induction for precise stovetop cooking. The Pit Boss Pro Series, on the other hand, offers unique features such as a digital PID control board, slide-plate flame broiler, and interchangeable griddle insert.
The Traeger Timberline XL has a smaller cooking area than the Pit Boss Pro Series, with a total cooking area of 1,320 sq. inches compared to the Pit Boss Pro Series’ 1598 sq. inches. While some might see this as Pit Boss giving you more for less, it will ultimately depend on what your cooking needs are.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Pit Boss Pro Series offers the flexibility of an interchangeable griddle insert for further cooking options.
Both the Traeger Timberline XL and the Pit Boss Pro Series are constructed from high-quality materials and feature heavy-duty steel construction with a high-temperature powder coat finish.
The Traeger Timberline XL also features fully insulated construction for reliable results and maximum efficiency.
The Pit Boss Pro Series has a bigger hopper capacity than the Traeger Timberline XL – 31 lbs compared to 22lbs.
Both grills have integrated Wifi and Bluetooth technology, meaning you can control the grill from your phone. This is something Traeger have been doing for longer than Pit Boss, but you have to hand it to Pit Boss that they have really stepped up technologically.
In summary, while the Traeger Timberline XL offers more advanced features and a larger cooking area, it is also significantly more expensive than the Pit Boss Pro Series. The Pit Boss Pro Series offers a range of unique features, such as a digital PID control board and interchangeable griddle insert, that may make it more appealing to some users. Ultimately, the choice between these two grills will come down to personal preferences and budget.
Overall, both Pit Boss and Traeger offer quality grills with a range of features and cooking spaces. Pit Boss grills may offer better value for those on a budget, while Traeger grills may offer more advanced features for serious grillers who like advanced features.
Pit Boss vs Traeger FAQ’s
What is the Difference between Pit Boss and Traeger?
Pit Boss and Traeger are two well-known brands in the world of pellet grills, and while they share some similarities, there are some key differences between the two. Pit Boss grills tend to offer larger cooking areas and hopper capacities, as well as more affordable price points. Traeger grills, on the other hand, tend to offer more advanced features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, better insulation, and higher quality construction, but at a higher price point.
Are Traeger and Pit Boss Made by the Same Company?
Traeger and Pit Boss are 2 separate companies – Pit Boss is owned by the Dansons Group and Traeger is owned by President and CEO Jeremy Andruss.
In a strange twist of fate the original founder of Traeger (Joe Traeger) now works for Pit Boss grills which keeps things interesting if not confusing. Although Joe Traeger sold the rights to Traeger, he is still the inventor of the wood pellet grill and a symbol of the original Traeger grills. There have been lawsuits!
Is There a Smoker as Good as a Traeger?
Traeger have a great reputation for producing innovative, high quality pellet grills with advanced features. However there are other manufacturers out there who are making grills that have similar features at a lower price point such as Pit Boss or Z Grills.
What is the Best Pellet Smoking Grill?
While the best pellet smoking grill for you is a matter of budget and preference, if you want a high quality grill with advanced features and technology Traeger may be your best option.
If you want a more affordable smoker with plenty of cooking space then a Pit Boss grill may suit you best.