Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
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For a specialized activity such as grilling food, most people have come to realize that having the right equipment makes the job so much easier. However, the right gadget is almost always relative to the person using it. An example is where some people will swear by their Pit Boss grills, while others would never pick any model that isn’t Traeger. Both these companies do have some high-quality offerings. However, there are going to be some fundamental differences between these products as well.
As such, it makes sense that people new to both of these brands may want to compare the two. This will, of course, have a significant impact on their final buying decision. Also, you expect the various models on offer by these two manufacturers to offer different benefits in terms of features and cost. As such, it is not uncommon to find competing products out of the lineups given by the Pit Boss and Traeger makers. Consequently, it falls to us to help you compare both the manufacturers and a few of their products. As a result of our efforts, you should be able to make your conclusions on the matter after seeing how these devices compare to each other.
If you do take a look at the history of both of these product lines, you will note that none of the companies is older than 40 years of age. In fact, the age difference between the two is just slightly longer than ten years.
Traeger is, of course, the older of the two companies. As such, it has been in the market for longer and has made quite the reputation for itself. This is especially where smokers that use wood pellets as their source of fuel are concerned.
Of course, their original designs seem remarkably similar on the outside to those of traditional smokers that came before. However, this only applies to the exterior of the device. The interior is completely revamped to support the use of wood pellets as fuel.
Nevertheless, it is essential to note that even now, their products still stick to the design they started with. That being said, some improvements have been made, and as such, there is higher fuel efficiency.
Also, a point to note is that pellets have always been made from a variety of woods. They thus smoke the same, and that can often be felt in the smoky flavor of the meats you put on these grills.
Traeger, as a manufacturer does have a huge fan base. You can often attribute this to the fact that the manufacturer offers a more extended warranty as compared to that of competitors. Also, the hopper capacity of their devices is often more extensive as compared to that of Pit Boss, and thus you can leave your grill unattended for longer. You will also note that Traeger has a better reputation. One can only assume that since the manufacturer has been producing these types of machines for longer there are a few things they have perfected.
Pit Boss, on the other hand, was launched almost a decade after Traeger. As such, what the manufacturer lacks in history they make up for in low cost and a variety of great features. As well, most people who have used their products can vouch for their durability.
Also, in comparison to the Traeger devices of the same caliber, the Pit Boss devices often have a larger cooking area. This is in addition to their devices, producing more heat.
It is important to note that while this is the case for most comparable products by the two manufacturers, there are some exceptions. One area where the Traeger products have a clear and unassailable lead in comparison to their counterparts is in warranty coverage.
Pit Boss offers a 1-year warranty for all their products which is a third of what is given by Traeger. As you can see, the manufacturers differ in philosophy and also in the features they prioritize. Consequently, you shouldn’t have a hard time picking between the two since there are as well features you prioritize in the products you buy. Nevertheless, the exterior design is similar for both product lines.
Pit Boss vs Traeger: Comparing popular models
As mentioned above, there are comparable models where both these manufacturers are concerned. As such, you often find them competing for the same market share. However, even buyers in the same market also want different things from the products they buy. Some desire reliability and better temperature control. Others would rather have a larger cooking area. Consequently, we have decided to compare some of the most popular models below. After that, we will leave the decision making to you.
Pit Boss 440 Deluxe vs Traeger TFB38TOD Renegade Pro
Being that these two devices are quite similar in design, we have to look carefully at the features so that we can adequately differentiate them. There are, of course, the major areas we need to look at. Top of that list is the cooking area.
The Pit Boss 440 Deluxe, for instance, does have quite the large cooking surface. This does mean that you can cook about 20 burgers at the same time. This should come in handy if you are hosting guests. However, it is worth noting that to fit a turkey in the device, you would have to stuff it in. Of course, this is because the drum sometimes needs to be closed for adequate cooking results.
By comparison, the Traeger TFB38TOD does have a smaller cooking area. If you feel like this is a deal-breaker for you, then you can always pick the Pit Boss and be on your way.
Another difference comes in where BTU values are concerned. Here as well the Pit Boss product performs better than its counterpart. The maximum BTU value is 20,700, which is about 700 more than what is offered by the competition. Of course, with higher BTU food is likely to cook faster. Nevertheless, this is not the only critical feature in determining how long it takes for food to cook.
As a potential buyer, you would as well desire to know the maximum temperatures that can be reached by these devices. After all, the maximum temperature is a good way of judging how well the food will cook and how long it should take to get ready. Besides some recipes require that certain temperatures are used. As such, here you will find that the Traeger slightly edges in front of the Pit Boss. The difference being 50°F may not be such a big deal to some.
Also, besides the differences in grill size, there are other differences in construction as well. It seems like the Traeger uses some of the extra space left by the smaller cooking surface to add to the pellet hopper.
As such, the hopper on the Traeger is much larger and has more capacity than the Pit Boss. As such, while a buyer may be able to fit only 5 lbs of wood pellets on the Pit Boss, the Traeger is far superior as it allows even up to 18 pounds. Given that the hoppers continually feed pellets to the firepot, you should be free to leave the Traeger on for longer.
Of course, with this tool, the risk of fuel running out and leaving your food semi-cooked is significantly reduced. Another area you might want to look at before deciding is the construction of the grates. Both of these models feature porcelain construction. However, on the Pit Boss 440, the porcelain acts as a coating to the steel interior.
As a result of the construction, the 440 definitely features more solid grates. Nonetheless, for both products, meat sticking to the grate is unlikely to be an issue.
As we have already mentioned, the Traeger warranty is better. That cuts across the board for almost all their products.
Another area that matters a lot is customer approval ratings. While on paper the Pit Boss does seem to offer better features more people like the Traeger renegade pro better. This is seen in the number of positive reviews relative to purchases. As such, you need to add this to your criteria as you figure out which purchase is better.
Pit Boss 700FBvs Traeger Grills Ironwood Series 650
Another pair of products that seem to be in close competition with each other is the Pit Boss 700FB and the Traeger Grills Ironwood Series 650. These two devices feature more benefits than the Pit Boss 440 and the Traeger Renegade Pro mentioned above.
Nevertheless, some of what they offer stays similar across the board. We have previously mentioned the warranty terms, and that does not change for these two products as well. You still get the one-year coverage with the Pit Boss while the Traeger has coverage for three years.
Also, here both of these machines are capable of reaching the same amount of heat or maximum temperature. They both maximize at 500°F. Of course, they both burn wooden pellets to achieve this temperature. The two manufacturers have their wood pellet offerings, and we would advise that you buy the one specific to your machine. This will, of course, give you better results even in the smoky flavor of your food.
Where grates are concerned, the Pit Boss again takes the cake. It features cast iron to bear the weight of whatever you put on it. Additionally, the porcelain coating does have its benefits. Food not sticking to the grate is one of them; hence they should be easy to clean. Also, heat retention is phenomenal.
Stainless steel options on the Traeger may not be able to retain as much heat. They also require more rigorous cleaning. Another competitive area is where the hopper capacity is concerned. Nonetheless, there is not much to say here as the difference in capacities is one pound.
Not many people would make their purchase based on that one minor difference. As such, we need to look into a few other areas. The BTU value is one such example. Pit Boss will again take first place since it offers about 4000 more BTU than the competition.
As well some people may be looking to get as large a cooking surface as possible. Here again, you would end up picking out the Pit Boss 700FB. The 50 sq. ft. difference between the two products is sufficient enough to sway a buying decision one way or another.
Of course, not everyone will want the bigger surface. Nevertheless, you would have to admit that these two products rank pretty close to each other. As such, some people might have a harder time choosing between the two.
However, pricing is one area where significant differences are seen. The Traeger is less accessible to the masses due to the high price point. Nonetheless, approval rating doesn’t seem to favor the Pit Boss in this comparison either. Nevertheless, you are now in a much better position to pick which of these two models you would rather have.
Our last comparison is between two products with some of the most extensive cooking surfaces. As such if you know you will be serving large crowds of people these are the two frontrunners.
In the above two sets, the Pit Boss products feature larger cooking surface as compared to the Traeger options. However, where the Pit Boss PB820FB vs Traeger Pellet Grill 32297 Pro 34 is concerned, there is a paradigm shift. As you can see displayed in the table, the Traeger model offers a larger surface.
Even as this is the case, the construction of the Pit Boss PB820FB still manages to be a bit heavier than its competition. Nevertheless, both these products do come with wheels and thus should be easy to move. However, this applies only if you are trying to move it in the confines of your yard. If you are however trying to transport it to a different location you might have a harder time. This of course is because you will have to lift it off the ground.
Hopper capacity is an area where the Pit Boss holds an advantage as well. However, just like the overall weight of the devices, this will not be the reason you select the Pit Boss over the Traeger option. After all, a one-pound capacity difference is barely noticeable.
A recurring theme is that if you want more warranty coverage, you will take up the Traeger model since it offers thrice the coverage of the Pit Boss. However, you will have to pay quite a sum for this product. Of course, if you do compare the prices, it seems that the Traeger is almost three times what you would need to pay for the PB820FB.
It is up to you to weigh whether the price is worth it or not and the information provided here should help. Nevertheless, you do have porcelain as the grate material for the higher-priced Traeger 32297 Pro 34.
It does seem like the Pit Boss PB820FB has a significant advantage here. It features porcelain as a component of the grates. As such, it features high heat retention properties and is even easy to clean. This is however contingent on you doing the cleaning promptly after cooking. These properties are likely to be echoed with the Traeger as well.
Nevertheless, the Pit Boss does have additional components inside the porcelain coating in the form of cast iron. This adds a bit of durability to the grate.
Also, we find ourselves in yet another situation where the BTU value provided by both devices favors the Pit Boss. Just like in the previous comparison, the figures are the same. The Traeger offers 36000 BTU, and you would need to add 4000 more BTU to catch up to the PB820FB. As such, the Pit Boss is the clear winner in this section.
However, the competition does catch up with regards to the maximum temperature that can be reached by these devices. Both options have a limit of 500°F, and as such, it is hard to use this as the decisive criteria.
One area where Traeger products have previously done consistently well over their competition is where approval ratings are concerned. Buyers tend to be more satisfied with Traeger products than they are with the Pit Boss options. However, with regards to this comparison, the Pit Boss PB820FB has caught up to the curve.
You will thus see more and more people going for the Pit Boss PB820FB. Nevertheless, if you do feel like the Traeger Pellet Grill 32297 Pro 34 is still your product of choice then go for it.
Both of these manufacturers do focus on different things. Pit Boss, while being the more recent company to come into the market, offers some very affordable products. The features listed are also often quite impressive. Nevertheless, the reliability of the tools may falter a little bit.
On the other hand, the Traeger manufacturer may not have all the best features to offer. However, most people feel like they can count on their products for the best results.
For this reason, you find that our first two picks are the Traeger TFB38TOD Renegade Pro and the Traeger Grills Ironwood Series 650. You may find that on the features listed the Pit Boss options seem to be better in almost every way. However, when the products get to the buyers, there is a higher chance that they are going to be disappointed.
On the other hand, more and more users of the Traeger brand can vouch for the quality and ease of use. However, our third pick would have to be the Pit Boss PB820FB. It is way more affordable than the competition, and the approval rate doesn’t seem to be an issue with this product.
Nevertheless, since it is your money you are going to be spending feel free to pick the grill that strikes your fancy out of the six given above.