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Pitboss vs Traeger — Weighing In Two Popular Grill Brands (2022)

by Outdoor Cooking Pros January 28, 2021

Pitboss vs Traeger

The Pit Boss vs Traeger brands debate has gone on for the longest time. Our team of experts studied both pellet grills manufacturers carefully to determine the better option and settle the dispute. Both products are great, but one stands out. Read on to find out which product is best for your cooking needs.

Pit Boss

Pit Boss brands was founded in 1999 by Dan Thiessen and his sons. They were great fans of grilling, and naturally, wanted to create a product that all enthusiasts could use. The result was the wide range of Pit Boss pellet grills we have today.

Between 1999 and now, they’ve manufactured several machines, from movable pellet grills to massive pellet stoves. Pit Boss also seems to have gotten better with age because it’s incorporated several technological advancements into its pellet grills. For example, some grills or smoker now use a combination of charcoal, gas, and electricity.

The 2020 platinum line of Pit Boss grill or smoker has even incorporated with top of the line Bluetooth. Pit Boss has made cooking as easy as whipping out your phone and pushing a few buttons.

Pit Boss pellet grills like Rec Tec and Yoder models have grown to become a popular sight for sore eyes at block parties, small party and outdoor get-togethers. This models are loved for their durable construction, craftsmanship, and aesthetics, and that’s why Traeger vs Pit Boss is such a significant debate and both Pit Boss and Traeger are great brands overview in terms of pellet grills.


Joe Trager developed the top of the line Traeger's grill in 1985. He patented his Traeger grill design models one year later and went on to create a host of popular magnificent brands pellet grills. One of the first models of Traeger pellet grill had a low, medium, and high temperature setting, enabling users to adjust and set the temperature and prepare just about anything.

The Pit Boss vs Traeger debate is so easily heated because of Traeger’s manufacturing competence.  The Traeger pellet grill had a humble beginning with a wood pellets fuel source. It might have cooked slowly in pellet smokers, but it was years ahead of its time. Traeger has maintained that tempo with some of the coolest pellet smokers we’ve ever seen.

In 2017, Traeger pellets pushed the envelope further by introducing the top of the line WiFIRE technology controller, a feature that allows owners to fire up their grills remotely. This top Traeger pellets functionality has propelled the manufacturer all these years and supercharged the Traeger vs Pit Boss controversy. Both Pit Boss and Traeger brands have a lot of choices when comes to size. Others are affordable, such as the models from the brand that made it to our top under 500 pellet grills.

Top 3 Pit Boss Grills

1. Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill

This Pit Boss Sportsman is one of the best in the Pit Boss sportsman 820 series. It was designed as an outdoor grill for people who love to enjoy some fresh air while preparing their food or meals. The Pit Boss grill comes in an 8-in-1 cooking surface area setting, from baking to roasting, grilling, barbecuing, and even searing. Our team found that the grill could prepare easily whatever they want, however they wanted it.

Additionally, this model has extra features the trademarked open Flame Broiler Lever System. It’s a temperature control lever that allows you to set the temperature range of 180° to 500°F instant temperature. Cooking grates with that much temperature can burn your meat with other grills. Our experts were grateful for the dial-in control board that monitors the meat’s doneness while the lid is closed. This portable pellet grills make it possible to grill, smoke, barbeque or bbq, burgers, sear at the same unit.  

We were also pleased to learn about the Pit Boss Sportsman’s 5-year warranty. It allowed us to grill and prepare without worrying about being stuck with a bad purchase. 

We also found other features, like it comes in a 21-pound hopper capacity, 849 square inches of cooking space and surface area, and several side shelves. These allow you to cook more for longer and save time.

2. Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Grill

In the Pit Boss vs Traeger debate, this pro series grill really gives the competition a run for its money. We were stunned by its outstanding 31-pound pellet hopper capacity and spacious inches of cooking surface area. With 930 square inches of cooking space, we could grill enough for the whole team at a go without running out of fuel. 

But the two tiers of stoneware coated cooking grates weren’t the only impressive features. The Pit Boss Austin XL brand also has an easy-to-use LED digital controller that lets you start and stop your grill. And thanks to its fan-forced convection mechanism, it can achieve an internal temperature range of up to 500°F.

This large grill model also has simple feature overview like a side shelf, a removable lid, meat probe, and digital temperature control. We loved the large  8-in-1 cooking mechanisms that included a smoking flame broiler because it allowed us to cook and smoke meat in different ways. The grill’s plate was designed and built to provide ease when you’re cooking or smoke meat over the open smoking flame. All we had to do was slide our food and set the smoking temperature to high and let it do the rest.

One feature we love about Pit Boss pellet grills is the build. While it’s easy to admire the porcelain coated cooking space and the pellet hopper size, heavy-duty steel construction is equally important. Like cast iron pellet grills, this cooker was built to last, which makes the 5-year warranty redundant, in our opinion.

To know more about this pellet grills, read our detailed review of Pit Boss Austin XL here. 

3. Pit Boss Stainless Steel 2-Burner Gas Grill

Pit Boss Stainless Steel 2-Burner Gas Grill

As far as portable premium gauge stainless steel smokers or pellets go for grilling, we were most impressed with this one. It is one of the top-performing gas grills below 300, as well. It comes in everything we were looking for, from a large lb hopper to heat retention and even a digital control board.

Having explored full-sized grills, our experts wanted to see how the Boss vs Traeger pellet grills would do in the portable category. It has a modest 275 square inches of cooking space and comes in two independent premium stainless steel side burners grilling. The temperature digital control on this premium gauge stainless steel grill was fine enough to cook fast and slowly simultaneously. We found this grilling device very impressive since it can heat up to 500°F. 

These brands weighed only 23 pounds, which allowed our team to take it on a camping trip and really test its ability. For a stainless steel portable grill, it was surprisingly adept. The built-in dome thermometer made sure we never burned our food, and we soon forgot that the product doesn't come with a meat probe.

We also found this Pit Boss Stainless Steel Grill brand movable enough to fit into small storage spaces; it’s only 12 ⅝” tall when folded. It’s also surprisingly easy to set up. We didn't need movable pellet hoppers because we could connect the grill to 1lb propane canisters for a quick meal. This model has 5-year warranty.

Top 3 Traeger Grills

1. Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill

Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill

The Pro 575 brand is one of the leading grills in the Traeger series. Our experts tested Pro 575 square and found it a formidable beast, powerful enough to stand in the Pit Boss and Traeger contest. 

Even though it’s a wood pellet grill like Pit Boss 700FB, this product features Traeger’s patented WiFIRE technology just like Ironwood 650. The feature allows you to set your grill’s temperature from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection just like Ironwood 650. The grill also has a temperature range of between 180 – 450°F, hot enough to cook any meal. 

One feature we didn’t expect from this Traeger product was Alexa compatibility. We connected it to an Alexa speaker and got cooking using simple voice commands [1]. The experience was even more pleasurable thanks to the D2 direct drive train that made the grill heat up quicker than most other products on the market like the Ironwood 650.

The pellet grill comes in black and bronze, giving you more customization options than your average grill. Our team also loved the grill’s overall design with its detailed front cover and sturdy legs.

Other impressive features include a secondary grilling area, 18 pounds pellet hopper capacity, and an open flame for the passionate chefs among us. Most Traeger grills come with incredible pellet efficiency, and this one is no different. We only burned through 2 pounds of wood pellets per hour on high heat.

2. Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

As far as Traeger pellet grills go, this is the king. The Traeger Pro 780 is the best selling wood pellet grills in the world. With over 700 square inches of cooking space and an 18-pound pellet hopper, this grill surpassed our expectations.

Our team could cook 34 burger patties at a go on its spacious grill with enough room for more. We also enjoyed its multiple cooking options. You can bake, smoke, roast, barbecue, and grill all on the same grates. Because the temperature range goes all the way to 500°F, we could also sear at will.

Traeger pellet smoker is known for their technological advancements, and the Pro 780 did not disappoint. Like other grills in the Pro series of Pit Boss vs Traeger, it has WiFIRE technology that lets you cook your meals from your phone. It can also be connected to Alexa for voice-activated grilling.

Other impressive features included a porcelain coated grill that makes cleaning easier and fan-forced convection that smokes your food evenly. We also loved the Turbotemp feature. Turbotemp is automatically triggered when you turn on the grill, and it helps the grill achieve preset temperatures faster than ever. 

3. Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill

Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill

We wanted to see how full sized grills would fare vs Traeger pellet grills, so we tested this product. On the surface, it looks like regular Traeger grills with porcelain coats and a cooking timer. But the Traeger Ranger Pellet Smoker really packs a punch.

It has a 184 square inches cooking space or cooking surface, which is more than enough space for six burger patties or ten hotdogs. The Traeger Ranger also has a cast iron griddle if you want to sear your steak to perfection. 

Some other features of this Traeger grills we enjoyed are the spacious 8-pound hopper and the temperature control. We could cook for longer without worrying about burning the meal. Of course, it is an important feature present in top brands like Camp Chef and Blackstone

We tested variations of this wood pellet grill and smoker, including those that came with extra features like the cover and drip pan. We were disappointed that some grills don’t come with a drip pan. But we had to let it off the hook because of all its amazing features. 

Overall Winner: Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill

The Traeger vs Pit Boss pellet grill debate has existed and been popular for years, and customers will always support and buy their favorite grill. But we  asked our experts to choose objectively between Traeger and Pit Boss grills, and they picked the Traeger 780 Pellet grill.

Between Traeger and Pit Boss, Traeger has many winning qualities without extra cost, one of which is its technological edge. It beats Pit Boss with its WiFIRE technology that lets you cook meals as easily as you’d send a text message. Its D2 drive train also heats the grill quickly, allowing users to cook meals in half the time, compared to Pit Boss grills.

When discussing Pit Boss vs Traeger, the Traeger also has the aesthetic edge. The lid design is sleek but practical, representing the best combination of form and function. It also has all-terrain wheels that make it easier to move around. Since it weighs over 140 pounds, the wheels are an excellent addition.

Aside from Traeger and Pit Boss, we also reviewed top-tier brands Rec Tec and Yoder here. Check out which brand between Traeger and Pit Boss will stand out to your overall liking. Read next! 

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