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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling,
passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Wood pellet grills are a great addition to any home because they combine everything you love about a smoker with a standard grill. Depending on the model that you buy, you can make smoked dishes like brisket and sausage at the same time that you make burgers, hot dogs and other dishes on the grill. These grills are great for family dinners in the summer and for parties and special occasion celebrations.
Many people just buy a pellet grill that looks nice without thinking about how much use they’ll get out of it or even how long the grill will last. Smart shoppers know that they should pick one from one of the top manufacturers around. The top two companies making wood pellet grills today are Traeger and Pit Boss.
Comparing Pit Boss VS Traeger Wood Pellet Grills
Wood pellet grills look like standard barbecue grills but some with a separate firebox for making smoked meats that will also let you smoke vegetables and other ingredients. As Traeger and Pit Boss both get good reviews from customers, it’s important that you look at the top features of this grills and how each company compares in relation to those features.
Price is important to many shoppers because they want to get a grill for a good price. While you can find a standard charcoal grill or even a propane grill that sits on the table for $100 or less, you need to spend a little more to find one that also functions like a smoker. Some of the top wood pellet grills cost at least $1,000.
If you look at price alone, Pit Boss will come out on top. Pit Boss makes wood pellet grills that cost under $1,000, and many of its more popular models cost in the $500 to $700 range. Those on a budget might not think twice about investing in a Pit Boss wood pellet grill.
Before you hand over your money though, keep in mind that Traeger also has some affordable models. Top models like its Select Elite Grill will set you back at least $1,000, but the company also makes grills in the range of $500 or less. Both companies offer grills to fit different budgets.
Construction is just as important as price and may be even more important. No matter how much you spend, you want a grill that will last for years and not just a single summer.
When it comes to construction, few companies can beat Traeger. Its grills come with construction features like cast-iron grates with a clear and nontoxic coating that prevents food from sticking to the grill and fireboxes made from a similar material. Though Pit Boss grills feature similar elements, many look flimsy, and most will not keep up with your grilling and smoking demands.
In terms of design and construction, we also made a guide to compare Pit Boss & Z Grills. Check how Pit Boss fares with Z Grills.
If you compare Pit Boss and Traeger based on temperature range, you’ll find that the two are pretty equal. Both have grills with a maximum temperature range of 500 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum temperature in the 100 degrees Fahrenheit range. However, we found out that when when the products were compared to Z Grills that Z Grill models have a slight edge on some features.
In a head-to-head competition in terms of cooking space, Traeger wipes the floor with Pit Boss. Its Pro Series 34 Grill Burnz has an impressive 884 square inches of cooking space, which does not include the amount of space in the firebox. Many of its top models have at least 600 square inches of interior space too.
When you look at the top and most expensive models from Pit Boss, you’ll find that those grills give you less cooking space. Many have as little as 500 square inches of space for grilling.
The hopper, also called the wood pellet hopper, is a large canister or container on the grill that holds the wood pellets. As the grill heats up, those wood pellets burn to create smoke. The more pellets the hopper can hold, the more smoke you’ll get without needing to refill that container.
Pit Boss makes quite a few smokers that come with a hopper that can hold up to 10 or even 12 pounds of wood pellets, but Traeger makes several models that can hold even more. Some can hold up to 18 pounds and come with a system that collects the ash from those pellets.
Top Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grills
Pit Boss Austin XL
Pit Boss Austin XL
Pit Boss PB440D2
Pit Boss PB440D2
1. Pit Boss Austin XL 1000 Sq. In. Pellet Grill
If you love to invite friends and family round to the backyard for a cookout, then the Pit Boss Austin XL with a 1000 sq. in. cooking surface area has you covered. The porcelain-coated cooking surface provides superior heat retention, and you can switch from indirect heating to direct heating using the flame broiler.
Enjoy slow-cooking with the indirect heating method, and then sear your meat over an open flame to seal in the tasty juices. The 31 lb. automatic feed hopper ensures you can fill the chamber and then leave it for hours to simmer your meal.
Outdoor cooking is about the social experience, and you can set-and-forget the temperature using the digital control board, and enjoy mingling with your guests. The hopper intelligently feeds hardwood pellets into the cooking chamber to maintain a consistent temperature.
There is a convenient stainless steel side table for food preparation, and you can detach it for use as a serving tray when the meal is ready. You can use the included meat probe to ensure steaks, burgers, and chicken are thoroughly cooked through before serving.
The handy grease bucket catches any escaped juices, so there is a minimal mess even when cooking for large parties.
2. Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, Mahogany
Buying a pellet grill while on a budget doesn’t mean you have to accept a lack of quality. This compact model from Pit Boss is sure to draw attention with its beautiful two-tone black and mahogany-colored finish. The compact design is ideal for small backyards, and the smooth-rolling wheels are suitable for moving around the yard, whether you prefer to cook in the sun or the shade.
Cook at temperatures between 180°F and 500°F; use the lower cooking grill for cooking quickly, or the higher shelf to keep the meat warm while preparing the rest of the meal. Using both levels, there is a generous cooking capacity for 20 4” burgers so that you can cook for a large party.
The solid bottom shelf below the grill is ideal for storing plates, cutlery, and essential cooking tools, while the integrated bottle opener is a nice touch for thirsty pitmasters. The digital control board provides accurate information about the cooking chamber’s temperature, and there is an automatic cool-down feature for convenience.
The porcelain enamel-coated grates and powder-coated steel lid ensure this model is built to last, and Pit Boss also provides a 5-year warranty for your peace of mind. Compact and durable, this is a great, affordable pellet grill.
3. Pit Boss 72700S Pellet Grill with Upgraded Cart
The top Pit Boss wood pellet grill that money can buy is the 72700S, which now comes with an upgraded cart.
That cart is more dependable than previous carts and comes with rugged wheels for pushing or moving the grill across any type of floor or ground and a small area for storage. Though it comes with a more standard temperature knob, it does have a digital screen that shows you the temperature you selected.
Cast-iron grids coated in porcelain sit directly over the heat for even cooking and further from the heat for warming. You’ll get 700 square inches of cooking room too.
4. Pit Boss 700SC Wood Pellet Grill
This 700SC Wood Pellet Grill from Pit Boss is well worth the money.
Though it comes with the same 700 square inches of space, it also features a cabinet on the base that lets you store cooking equipment, extra ingredients and other supplies away from the heat. The cart also has a small bottle opener for added convenience.
A built-in flame broiler inside makes it easy to create burgers that taste like restaurant burgers. Caster wheels on the base glide smoothly but also come with locking mechanisms that keep the grill stable while you cook and use the wood pellet smoker.
5. Pit Boss 820 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
The Pit Boss 72820 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill comes with built-in features that cut down on your prep work and prep time like a bottle opener for opening bottles of sauce and a prep side table that can hold a serving tray as you take food off the grill.
A lid coated in copper keeps the smoke locked inside to ensure that every dish comes out with the right amount of smoke flavor.
Made from 16-gauge steel, this grill also comes with an automatic cool down feature that helps quickly bring down the internal temperature when you turn it off.
6. Pit Boss Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler
Two larger wheels on the bottom of this grill will let you move it easily in the same way you would a wheelbarrow, and two straight legs add some stability to the grill and grates as you use it.
Its built-in flame broiler lets you move dishes closer to the flames to get that good sear that you want, which locks in natural juices.
With a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, this grill lets you bake, grill, smoke and even saute. You can keep an eye on that temperature via the LED screen on the firebox.
7. Pit Boss Grills 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill
A digital control and a dial knob on the 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill helps you more easily change the temperature based on what you want to cook and the amount of heat you need.
It comes with an ash chute and attached bucket that lets the ash from the pellets fall into that bucket instead of on the ground, and a large shelf on the bottom gives you more storage.
Its automatic start function turns the grill on faster, and it comes with an automatic shut down features that forces the grill to cool down when you finish cooking.
You may also want to read our review for Pit Boss 700FB Wood Pellet Grill.
Top Traeger Wood Pellet Grills
Traeger Tailgater 20
Traeger Tailgater 20
Traeger Pro Series 34
Traeger Pro Series 34
1. Traeger TFB30LZB Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill
The Tailgater 20 Series Freestanding Grill is one of the best wood pellet grills from Traeger for those who like to cook away from home. It’s small and lightweight enough that you can load it in your car for tailgating before the big game or grilling at the park. Its flexibility shines when you want to cook outdoors. To prepare for a good camping trip, you’ll need to bring the Tailgater with you. Also, The ash bucket collects all ash created, which makes cleaning up before heading home easier.
If you like to take your grill with you to a tailgate party or a campsite, then this could be the perfect pellet grill for you. The EZ folding legs quickly fold up to sit alongside the cooking chamber, making it the ideal size to fit in the back of a truck or campervan.
Although this is a portable model, it has a generous 8 lb. hopper capacity. Burning Traeger’s premium quality hardwood pellets ensure you can enjoy the beautiful blue smoke and tasty flavors. The digital arc controller is as easy to use as the oven in your kitchen. Set the temperature and chat with friends while the pellet grill cooks your meat to perfection.
If you want to change the temperature to cook more quickly or slowly, you have precise heat control. The grill is capable of adjusting in small 5 -degree increments. The non-stick porcelain grates make clean-up a straightforward experience, which is ideal if you’re away from home and need to keep your grill in pristine condition for the next cookout.
If you’re looking for inspiration, access the Traeger app, and choose from one of the 1500 delicious recipes. You’ll never be stuck for outdoor cooking ideas again, and you can surprise your guests with new and exotic meals.
2. Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill
Despite making dozens of different wood pellet grills, the best model from Traeger is easily its Pro Series 34 Grill Blue.
It has an impressive BTU output of 36,000, which ensures that it comes up to temperature as fast as possible and that it retains that temperature for smooth and even cooking. Its cast-iron construction retains heat better than almost any other material and locks in all the flavor of your smoke.
Thanks to its automatic start feature, you can now load the hopper, which holds 18 pounds of pellets, and produce smoke faster. Traeger gives you two meat probes for checking the internal temperature of your ingredients too.
You can jump to the link for more Traeger grill reviews.
3. Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GZE Pro Series 780 Pellet Bronze Grill
Many grills come with a remote control so you can adjust the temperature, set timers, and monitor your grill from a distance. Traeger provides this feature with its WiFIRE controller, but it also makes managing your grill even more effortless.
This Alexa-enabled grill allows you to make adjustments to your grilling temperature and settings with the sound of your voice for the ultimate in cooking convenience.
The Turbotemp quick-start ignition system means you don’t have long to wait for your grill to heat up, and the D2 direct drive enables hot and fast cooking, or slow-cooking depending on your recipes. This versatility means you can enjoy a cookout if you’re in a hurry, or if you have time to spend enjoying the smoky wood smells when relaxing in your backyard on a sunny day.
Enjoy smoking, baking, grilling, braising, or warming up dessert on the same grill to complete your meal. The variable fan speed stokes the fire to keep the temperature at the desired level, while also circulating the smoke from the wood pellets to ensure consistent flavoring.
The Saw-Horse chassis provides stability, and the included drip tray liners ensure that cleaning after cooking is hassle-free. This grill is an excellent all-round choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.
4. Traeger Pro Series 22 Wood Pellet Grill
All the top features of the Traeger Pro Series comes shining through in this 22 Wood Pellet Grill, which comes in a black finish with a lid in a rich bronze finish.
The only reason its big brother beat it in our rankings is because the 22 has only 572 square inches of interior space, but you’ll still have enough room for most grilling applications.
Its automatic auger constantly monitors the heat and adds more wood pellets from the hopper as needed, which lets you walk away without worrying the the temperature might change. An ash collection system moves any ash produced into a removable bucket.
5. Traeger TFB29PLB Bronson 20 Wood Pellet Grill
The Bronson 20 Grill is the type of wood pellet grill you’ll want to reach for when making a batch of burgers and hot dogs at a backyard BBQ.
It uses only wood pellets made from 100% hardwood instead of requiring that you use charcoal or gas too. The LED display on the firebox works like a standard oven to keep track of the temperature and to let you know of any temperature changes.
A sawhorse chassis takes some of the weight off the grill for more easily moving it, and the all-terrain wheels will move effortlessly across any ground covering.
We’ve made a review of similar charcoal grills that you might be interested in looking into.
6. Traeger Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill
The Lil Tex Elite 22 Pellet Grill is a great example of the smaller wood pellet grills made by Traeger.
Its smaller size makes it suitable for an apartment balcony or a small patio, but it still gives you more than 400 square inches of cooking grates that can hold more than 20 burgers. Its hopper can hold 10 or more pounds of pellets and works with the auger to keep those pellets moving through the grill for extra smoke.
A digital thermostat increases the temperature range and lets you smoke, grill, roast, bake and BBQ inside. Traeger gives you a three-year warranty too.
In a direct face off between Pit Boss and Traeger, we at Seriously Smoked believe Traeger easily takes the top spot. The company makes a wide range of wood pellet grills that come with an attached firebox for smoking and models that you can use as a smoker and a grill.
Like any great smoker the best Traeger smoker also makes grills with dependable wheels that help you move your grill and digital controls that make smoking much easier.
There are many technical aspects of a pellet grill that you can investigate but one of the main purchase points is budget and purpose. If you’re on a budget and looking for a wood pellet grill that you can use for cooking BBQ dishes like brisket and such, then you can’t go wrong with Pit Boss. Its affordable models will fit all budgets. Most people who are serious about smoking their own meats who also like grilling though will pick Traeger every time.