Pit Boss and Traeger Pellet smokers are two of the largest manufacturers of pellet grills in America. Pellet smokers are, essentially, an amalgamation of everything you need for cooking.
They are a kitchen oven, gas grill, and charcoal grill, all in one. Some pellet smokers are designed with even more versatility, such as roasting and baking.
Unlike other grills, pellet smokers require wooden pellets that are pushed through and heated to create smoke.
How they work really is as simple as setting a temperature and allowing the hot rod ignition to set alight the pellets.
According to the temperature you set, the appropriate pellets will be pushed into the auger and remain there at the required temperature.
Gone are the days of tending to charcoal flames - these simple and very effective grills do the work for you.
The Pit Boss and Traeger Pellet smokers are two popular pellet smoker designs, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. We have looked at both to find the best option for your needs.
Pit Boss Pellet Smokers
Pit Boss pellet smokers are well known for competing against Traeger pellet smokers, mostly for their price point.
These smokers generally have a more affordable price range to other competing brands, which can make them more appealing to potential buyers.
This affordability is due to the lack of versatility from Pit Boss products that Traeger may have instead, but this depends on what you are looking for in a pellet smoker. If you are wanting a bog standard yet very good quality grill, Pit Boss is your best choice.
Pit Boss pellet smoker models are designed to have convenient storage space and are mostly adjustable to size, placement, and moveability.
This means they are ideal for any yard situation as well as camping or going elsewhere for an evening grill.
These smokers also come with a removable and adjustable rack for cooking multiple foods at the same time - ideal for food that requires longer to cook on a lower temperature.
Pit Boss pellet smokers are made of high quality stainless steel that comes with a sealable door to maintain the smoke and heat.
This heavy duty design is matched with a dual burner system that can reach 450 degrees fahrenheit to cook food to your liking, fast.
They are also designed with safety in mind, as the grease tray and pellet drawer can be accessed on the outside to prevent injury.
The real highlight of Pit Boss pellet smokers is the P setting. The P setting stands for Pause, meaning there is ultimate control over the temperature.
This means that these models have the ability to pause an auger cycle without changing the heat, whether hot or cold, to prevent food from burning or allow food to cool down.
The P setting works to stop sudden temperature changes from the addition of pellets by literally pausing the cycle for however long you want.
This pause can be increased or decreased depending on how fast you want the cycle change to be, which is a lot more beneficial than a grill that does it anyway and provides temperature swings.
This function is also useful in windy weather that may alter the smoke and temperature, because you have a chance to gauge the wind flow according to the cycle breaks.
This is a fairly recent addition to the Pit Boss pellet grills, which used to be less easy to control in terms of temperature.
However, this does not act like a gas grill adjustment knob, as each P change needs at least 30 minutes to set in properly. Too many adjustments may create temperature changes.
The default setting is P4, and the temperature is shown on an LED screen display that also shows the meat probe temperature.
Whilst Pit Boss pellet smokers do have their good points, there are some disadvantages to be aware of. These models are great for grilling and can be made versatile for other uses, but this does not often come easy with their design.
If you are looking for a large and affordable grill that ticks every box, then the Pit Boss has everything you need. If you are looking for something more advanced, this may not be the product for you.
Traeger Pellet Smokers
Traeger pellet smokers have been around since 1985, when the first pellet grill was created by a small family owned company in Oregon.
They have since moved to Salt Lake City and are the largest manufacturer of pellet grills in the United States. As Traeger has been a leading competitor in the grill market for so long, they have perfected their design in each model.
Traeger pellet smokers are the ideal grill for those wanting a more advanced, precision cooking experience.
These pellet smokers offer a 6-in-1 cooking design that includes grilling, roasting, smoking, braising, BBQ, and even baking - offering an immensely versatile piece of equipment.
Everything is about enhancing the flavour with the Traeger smoker and their own brand BBQ wood pellets - which all work well for everything but have their specific flavour strengths.
If you cook pork regularly, Apple pellets are the best. Maple pellets work the best for vegetables. Cherry pellets are an all-rounder.
These pellet smokers are, to put it simply, essentially the most convenient and versatile outdoors oven - just with more settings.
These settings mean the Traeger grills are all about taking your food to the next level. The multiple racks allow for more cooking storage for larger meals.
Possibly the most important factor to the Traeger pellet smokers is that they offer a unique user experience by the form of electronic control.
Each grill model comes with WiFire enabled controllers that connect to either a home system such as Alexa or the Traeger App. This unique and modern setting allows for an exciting new method of cooking.
Those cooler nights have never felt cosier as you control the temperature of the food cooking on the pellet grill as you wait indoors, simply changing the settings with your phone.
To top it all off, the Traeger pellet grills are made from non-toxic materials, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals affecting your food.
The main disadvantage of Traeger pellet smokers is the price point. Due to the versatility and electronic connection, they are the more expensive grill option.
Which is best?
Annoyingly, it isn’t easy to give a simple answer to which is better, because it all comes down to individual preference. It depends on what the buyer is looking for.
Are you looking for a pellet smoker to enhance your food whilst maintaining a fuss-free and simple cooking experience for an affordable price? Or are you looking for something more advanced with more versatility, but for a higher price?
If we are to compare the Pit Boss and Traeger pellet smokers, we must consider their biggest selling points. The Pit Boss has the P setting to allow better control over the temperature of the grill by changing the speeds of pellet cycles.
This is ideal for preventing temperature swings and changes, and allows the pellets to catch up or slow down along with your preferred cooking style.
This is the pellet grill’s version of an adjustable knob or settings on an oven, except it can only be done once every half an hour at least, because constant movement could affect temperature swings.
The Traeger does not have this option, but instead offers a 6-in-1 versatile design that can cook pretty much any food.
Along with this comes the unique WiFire connection that links to the Traeger app and home systems, allowing for a modern and easy way of controlling the temperature and time.
If you find the WiFire connection to be a gimmick rather than a useful addition, or if you think the P setting has the potential to affect the quality of the food, this could be the main selling point of either grill.
Another main selling point between both smokers is the price points. Pit Boss smokers are more affordable, whilst Traeger smokers are generally more expensive.
For the Traeger functions and versatility, you do get what you pay for, which will inevitably cost more. This, however, does not mean that the Pit Boss is cheap, as the quality is still significantly high.
Both pellet smokers are designed with high quality and durability in mind.
The Pit Boss pellet smoker is an affordable and good quality grill for assuring good temperature control through its unique pause setting in most units.
This control over auger cycles makes the Pit Boss smokers stand out for making wood pellets easy to regulate.
The Traeger pellet smoker, whilst generally more expensive, is the most effective in its 6-in-1 design and WiFire connection, allowing for a convenient and versatile usage that perhaps the Pit Boss does not offer.
As both smokers come from the best companies for pellet grills, potential buyers must only consider how much they are willing to invest for great pieces of cooking equipment.