Pit Boss vs Traeger Review
Grilling season fast approaches. If you listen closely you can hear dads tying aprons around their waists and taking their favorite spice blends out of the cupboards.
In that case, it’s worth looking at two leading grill manufacturers, Pit Boss and Traeger.
Table of Contents
About Pit Boss
Pit Boss has been around since 1999 when they were created as a subsidiary of Dansons Inc by Dan Thiessen. They maintain product quality and fair pricing above all else with a family-oriented mindset.
They were originally formed as an alternative to more expensive pellet grill manufacturing companies. Their combination of high-quality grills and affordable prices earned them a rabid fanbase. In fact, they were one of the top-selling grill brands in the United States on a unit-sold measurement scale.
This grilling company has been around since the 1980s and is notable for inventing the wood-fire grill. That’s an innovation they’re extremely proud of, and rightfully so.
Much to their fanbase’s delight, they continue to produce some of the best wood-fired grills and barbeques on the market today.
Traeger’s line-up is stacked with cookbook authors, pitmasters, recipe developers, and outdoorsmen. This unique roster combines their heads to conjure grills unlike any other.
They have over 1 million Instagram followers who keep up with the brand’s feed of mouth-watering recipes.
Both brands sound promising, but which one should you shop with? In this Pit Boss vs Traeger review, I’ll tackle that question from a variety of angles.
I’ll provide insight on each company’s products, practices, quality, prices, customer receptions, promotions, and more. That way you’ll know what you’re getting into before you jump feet first into the fire.
What to Consider
A brand is more than the sum of its parts. A company could have a single product that’s worth its weight in gold but falters with its other available items.
Traeger specializes in wood-fire grills and has a huge array of them in different sizes, shapes, and functions. They also sell their own wood pellets as well as accessories like sauces, liners, grill covers, and more.
Meanwhile, Pit Boss sells wood pellet and gas grills, smokers, griddles, fire pits, and combination barbeques. They also manufacture their own grilling accessories.
Everybody wants a barbeque but not everybody wants the same type of barbeque. Frequent travelers would prefer a portable grill while stay-at-home dads would be better off with a Rube-Goldberg-like barbeque.
It seems that Traeger aims for an audience with a bit more spending money and free space for larger grills. Comparatively, Pit Boss’ wide selection means their intended audience is a bit bigger than Traeger’s.
Design and durability
Pitting the durability of the brands against each other is more a question of the product than anything. I’ve summarized that regardless of whether you want a compact grill or a big barbeque, both Traeger and Pit Boss have a design to suit your needs.
Ease of installation
Pit Boss and Traeger each publish their instruction manuals on their websites. After giving them a quick glance it’s safe to say that most of their products have straightforward assembly processes.
Neither of these companies is the distant step-fathers of the grilling world. They both provide support for their customers long after the initial transaction wraps up.
I’m not just talking about warranties and repairs. Pit Boss and Traeger each publish recipes created by their in-house chef team.
Pit Boss has recipes for different cuts of meat, vegetables, and even some baking options. They have in-depth guides for cooking poultry, beef, and pork and how they each differ. Their professionals also provide beginner guides for customers who are new to grilling.
Alternatively, Traeger could probably release their own cookbook based on how many recipes they have on their website. They have filters for recipes based on meal type, cooking method, dietary preference, and holidays.
They also produce their own cooking show which airs on their website every Thursday. Fans can follow along with professional chef Eduardo Garcia as he teaches viewers how to prepare some of his favorite meals.
Pit Boss doesn’t publish much about their sustainability practices, nor do they seem to place much importance on it.
Conversely, Traeger only uses wood pellets that are made in the USA. that reduces their footprint by cutting down on product shipment transportation.
It’d be a real shame if you made it to the end of this Pit Boss vs Traeger review only to find out that it’s nearly impossible to find either brand anywhere.
Pit Boss makes it easy for their fans to purchase their products. They’re available in over 30 countries and can be purchased in chain stores like Walmart, Lowe’s, Canadian Tire, and Home Depot. You can also find their items on Amazon’s digital shelves.
Those curious about Traeger can find their grills lining the aisles of places like The Home Depot, Ace, Bass Pro Shops, and Costco. Just like Pit Boss, Traeger items can also be purchased on Amazon.
Pit Boss Sportsman Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill vs Traeger Timberline 1300 Review:
This section of my Pit Boss vs Traeger review will compare the two companies’ big-name grills.
The Pit Boss Sportsman Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill allows you to grill anywhere you please. Whether you’re heading on a camping trip, a college football tailgate, or have to leave the house due to a restraining order you’re going to want to make sure to pack this with you.
It epitomizes convenience both in its portability and its functionality. The grill has two burners that operate independently of each other, meaning you can cook different foods at different temperatures simultaneously.
The cooking space is 320 square inches and is powered by a simple push-and-turn ignition system.
Meanwhile, the Traeger Timberline 1300 is a powerhouse of a grill. It has three levels of stainless steel grilling trays, which is enough space to feed an armada of soldiers.
But what really makes this grill worthwhile is its WiFIRE technology. You can control the grill’s temperature from your phone, meaning you can adjust the heat without having to even step near the grill.
Barbecuing traditionalists are probably scoffing after reading that, but that’s a big plus if you’re grilling for a big family event or catering a party. The Traeger Timberline 1300 also uses wood pellets as fuel, giving the food a nice smokey flavor.
Finally, it has a bamboo cutting board and a front shelf already installed, giving you more flexibility to prepare your dishes as you cook.
So, the Traeger Timberline 1300 is a massive beast that cooks with wood pellets and can be controlled via wifi.
The Pit Boss Sportsman Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill is comparatively more humble. It’s better suited for trips away from the home. It’s smaller, uses gas for fuel, and has a simpler interface.
Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill vs Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill Review:
Let’s balance the scales a bit by comparing two more similar products. These grills are both compact and portable, but you’ll find out that the distinguishing devils are always in the details.
The Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill is another entry in their stellar line of versatile and tampered grills. This one has a stainless steel exterior to protect it from the elements and (more importantly) to ensure that not even a tsunami could affect your burgers.
It has 275 square inches of cooking space and its burners rip with 10,000 BTU. I hope you’re not getting too sweaty just reading that alone.
It doesn’t seem like Traeger is sweating though, based on what the Trager Ranger Pellet Grill offers. It’s a lightweight and portable alternative to their usually heavier items. This grill has a 184 square inch cooking space and only weighs 60 pounds.
The Trager Ranger Pellet Grill uses wood pellets as fuel, which is a big turn-on for people who prefer rustic flavors. Even if you’re not a dedicated griller, this item has tons of convenient options to make your life easier.
I’m talking about the Trager Ranger Pellet Grill’s Keep Warm mode, which allows you to maintain a steady temperature so that your food remains at an edible temperature without overcooking it. You can also control the grill’s temperature to the exact degree with its digital arc controller.
So, the Trager Ranger Pellet Grill is easier to use for the average joe. It has a much more “sear-it-and-forget-it” approach to grilling whereas the Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill is better suited for those who want to put some work into their food.
Pit Boss Grill & Smoker Cleaner & Degreaser vs Traeger All Natural Grill Cleaner Review:
A dirty grill is more than just a surefire way to ensure you never get a reply for your Tinder date. It can also be damaging to your health due to the build-up of burnt food items which can lead to more smoke (and not the good kind).
Therefore, it’s vital that you keep your grills clean. This segment of my Pit Boss vs Traeger review will examine how each brand helps customers keep their grills as clean as a nun’s vocabulary.
The Pit Boss Grill & Smoker Cleaner & Degreaser actually does more than its name suggests. It penetrates deep to cleanse stains, burns, and debris. So its cleaning properties aren’t just about appearances.
You can use this cleaning product on the inside and outside of your grill. It couldn’t be simpler to use either. Just spray it, give it some time to work its magic, then wipe it off and marvel at the end product.
Not only can the Pit Boss Grill & Smoker Cleaner & Degreaser make your grill look as good as new, but it can also have it running like it did when you first took it out of the box.
It’s also made from natural extracts and doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.
There are two cowboys in this showdown though, so let’s cover the Traeger All Natural Grill Cleaner. This cleaner is made from all-natural ingredients which makes it safe to use on surfaces that usually come in contact with food.
It’s also biodegradable, a quality that adds to its versatile cleaning prowess. It can be great for removing deep grease stains from your grill and for lifting debris build-up with the help of a hand brush.
Both of these cleaning products are safe, toxin-free, and non-corrosive. It’s hard to pick between the two, but you should have at least one of them on hand!
Pit Boss vs Traeger: Quality
Quality is what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the grill masters from the frat dudes who rely on air fryers.
This Pit Boss vs Traeger review section will look deeper into what each company does to imbue their products with a level of quality all of their own.
The Pit Boss team designs all their products in-house with a team of crack engineers and grilling experts (and no, Guy Fieri isn’t on that team). Their grills are built to withstand the outdoors and various culinary experiments.
That’s why Pit Boss often uses stainless steel and cast iron in their products. These materials are durable and easy to maintain on the customer’s end.
None of that is to say that Traeger cuts corners. After all, they invented the wood-fire grill, so clearly they care about product quality. They encourage customers to find the product that will best suit their needs by offering a quiz that matches customers to their ideal grills.
Their items usually run on pellets. This differentiates them from Pit Boss, who offers grills that use gas, pellets, and other fuel sources. Wood pellets have their own advantages as a fuel source. Most of these come down to how they affect the flame and the ensuing taste of the food.
All of their wood pellets are made in the USA and are 100% natural. Their products also come with top-of-the-line technology like their WiFIRE system where you can control your grill’s temperature via the Traeger app.
It’s fair to say that both brands exude high quality, but Traeger pays more attention to ingenuity than Pit Boss.
Pit Boss vs Traeger: Price & Value
If you’re reading this Pit Boss vs Traeger review then obviously you care about putting your money towards a product you can trust. Really, if you didn’t want to spend any money you could just cook all your food over a bonfire in your backyard.
But you’re not a caveman, you’re a gentleman, and gentlemen take precaution before they act. Well then, sir, allow me to detail the prices of the Pit Boss items I’ve covered thus far:
- Pit Boss Sportsman Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill $250
- Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable 2-Burner Gas Grill: $210
- Pit Boss Grill & Smoker Cleaner & Degreaser: $13
Now let’s look at what their competition is offering in terms of prices:
- Traeger Timberline 1300: $2,300
- Trager Ranger Pellet Grill: $450
- Traeger All Natural Grill Cleaner: $15
You don’t need a calculator to see that Pit Boss’ products are more affordable. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Their items are designed for portability and thus have to make concessions when it comes to power and fuel sources.
So while the Pit Boss grills are easier to carry, the Traeger grills use pellets. This gives them a completely different grilling presence. The Pit Boss items I’ve included all use gas – which isn’t a bad thing – but doesn’t have the same finish as a wood-fire grill.
I recommend looking beyond the numbers and at what each product’s intentions are. Were they made as an easy way to grill on the go, or were they designed to optimize home cooking?
Pit Boss vs Traeger: What Do Customers Think?
They say that the customer is always right and who am I to argue with them. I’m releasing my grip on the steering wheel of this Pit Boss vs Traeger review and letting the customers drive you to enlightenment.
By enlightenment, I mean an honest look at what real people think about Pit Boss and Traeger.
Let’s look at what fans thought about Traeger’s products by consulting their scores on the company’s website:
- Traeger Timberline 1300: 4.2/5 stars from close to 300 ratings
- Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill: 4.3/5 stars from more than 50 ratings
- Traeger All Natural Grill Cleaner: 4.6/5 stars from more than 60 ratings
Looks like it’s high scores across the board for Traeger, but what did fans like about these products so much? Customers called the grills easy to install, great to use, and passionately designed.
Here’s a revealing recount of one fan’s experience with the Traeger Timberline 1300:
“It is well built. The assembly was easy and the packaging even gives you a beer holder….The WiFi hooked up with no problem. I love that feature. Just ignite and tell it to use one of the online recipes and it does the rest or you can control the temp from the phone and see the probe temperature at all times.”
Their ease of use was championed on other parts of the internet. It was one of the reasons 40 customers gave them an average score of 3.4/5 stars on Consumer Affairs.
One of many 5/5 stars reviews was aplomb with excitement about Traeger: “What more can you say about this unit except for this Grill is So very easy to use. Set it to the desired temperature and let it do the work. It does not get any easier than that. 5 GOLD Stars for this one!”
The wifi cooking functionality was the most frequently touted component of Traeger’s grills. But fans also said that the grills were large enough that they could cook whatever they wanted however they wanted.
The negative fan reviews honed in on Traeger’s items not being inconsistent. They mentioned that sometimes fans failed, or that they couldn’t rely on the grills to provide the same smokey flavor as the company promised. Thankfully these sentiments were in the vast minority.
With those positives and negatives considered let’s look at how fans received Pit Boss.
I tallied the customer scores from Pit Boss products on Wayfair as they housed a majority of the brand’s catalog. Here’s what I saw:
- Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grill: 5/5 stars from 3 ratings
- Pit Boss 2 – Burner Liquid Propane 24000 BTU Gas Grill: 4.8/5 stars from more than 30 ratings
- Pit Boss Single Burner Portable Liquid Propane 10000 BTU Gas Grill: 4.6/5 stars from more than 30 ratings
I wasn’t shocked to read that customers loved how portable Pit Boss’ smaller products were. Many of them took their Pit Boss grills with them on cross-country trips and enjoyed great meals.
Despite being portable, the brand’s items weren’t flimsy. Customers found that their Pit Boss grills were rock solid. That’s actually what this consumer loved about their Pit Boss 2-Burner Liquid Propane 24000 BTU Gas Grill:
“This grill stand was exactly what I was looking for; heavy duty, sturdy, and portable. It’s the perfect height and my grill fits nicely on it. The sides fold down if you don’t need them and the bottom shelf is very handy. It’s quite heavy but folds up easily and has a handy carrying strap. I will get a lot of use out of this table.”
Fans gave affection to Pits Boss elsewhere on the internet too. The Pit Boss Pro 1150-sq in Hammer Tone Pellet Grill earned a 3.8/5 stars average score from more than 500 customer ratings on the Lowe’s website.
Meanwhile, the Pit Boss Mahogany Series 456 Pellet Grill – Steel – Chestnut and Black – 456-sq. in. received the same 3.8/5 stars average rating from more than 10 reviews on Rona’s website.
In conclusion, both Pit Boss and Traeger have rightfully earned their customer’s adoration.
Pit Boss vs Traeger: Promotions & Discounts
Grills can be large financial investments. Much like a wedding, you don’t want to pour a bunch of money into a barbeque only to find out that it doesn’t excite you after the honeymoon.
In this section of my Pit Boss vs Traeger review, I’ll look at what each company does to help customers save money.
Let’s begin with Pit Boss since they have an entire page on their website dedicated to products that are on a special discount. They rotate their discounted items on a regular basis, so you can always check back to see which goodies you can get for a cheaper price.
Currently, the Pit Boss 2-Series Gas Vertical Smoker and the Pit Boss Maintenance Ammo Box Kit are on sale for $199 and $80, respectively.
Pit Boss also offers a 25% discount for police officers, firefighters, and members of the military. Both active servers and veterans can use this discount by verifying their identity at checkout.
Traeger can’t seem to keep up in this category. Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to find any ongoing promotions or flash sales offered by Traeger.
That’s not to say that their never run promotions, but Pit Boss makes it easier to see which products are available for a lesser price.
Pit Boss vs Traeger: Shipping & Returns
It’s sad to admit but sometimes the perfect grill isn’t the grill you ordered. In those instances, I understand the desire to return said grill.
This penultimate portion of my Pit Boss vs Traeger review will peer into how the two companies handle these situations. Plus, I’ll also look at their shipping policies.
Let’s start with the returns. Pit Boss offers a 60-day return window in which you can send any unused, unopened, and untarnished grills back to them for a refund. You can’t return any pellets, sauces, or spices.
Traeger’s policy is virtually the same except for one key difference. Whereas Pit Boss gives you a 60-day period to apply for a return, Traeger only gives customers 45 days to request a refund.
For those in the United States and Alaska, Traeger uses UPS Ground Shipping. These deliveries take an average of 7 business days. The shipping and handling fees are all calculated at product checkout.
Frustratingly, I wasn’t able to find any shipping information on Pit Boss’ website. They don’t even have a page that shows where they ship to. Thus, Traeger gets a leg up on them here.
While Pit Boss claims to be available in over 30 countries, it’s difficult to see which countries they’re talking about!
Who Will You Shop With?
There are a few key considerations that will sway your decision between Pit Boss and Traeger.
Traeger’s products are more expensive but they all use pellets that were made on American soil.
On the other hand, Pit Boss’ grills are built for portability and accessibility, meaning that they’re more affordable but may not provide the same finished product as Traeger’s.
Either way, you should have all the information you need to make the best choice for your grilling needs after finishing my Pit Boss vs Traeger review.
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