Pit Boss vs. Traeger (Clear Winner)

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Pit Boss vs. Traeger (Clear Winner) - Cuso Cuts

If you’re reading this, you have likely seen me playfully cooking at my grill on TikTokInstagram, and YouTube. It’s inspiring to watch all the wacky and wonderful dishes that come from trial and error. It’s barbecue bliss! As you shop, you may come accross articles about Pit Boss vs. Traeger (Clear Winner). It is always good to research before investing in a grill. 

There’s no question that sometimes when you walk into the back yard and see a standard gas or charcoal grill it illicets a sigh. How can you take your barbecue and elevate it?

When you love to barbecue, it’s not surprising that you want the best equipment to amaze your friends and family. Not only does the food get “oohs” and “aahs” – so does the grill! 

So what about Pit Boss vs. Traeger? This article will help you decide which of the two is right for you. If you have a chance, head to the local outdoor supply store and look at each in person!


Trager has its beginnings in Oregon, making heating stoves that used wood pellets. The stoves sparked the idea of going further by making girls adapted for burning pellets. They stayed true to traditional offset smokers with a chimney but replaced the firebox with a pellet hopper. So, when people looked at the grill, their nostalgic image remained intact, with only the internals transforming. 

First to the Market

The concept came at just the right time, with their first grill appearing in 1988. They had the first pellet grill EVER. It hit the market in 1988. Pellets are lit far easier than charcoal and burned cleaning. They came in all types of woods, offering the smoky flavor for which profile barbecue lovers yearn.

Worry-Free Cooking

Traeger offered tremendous convenience. You load it and go. No adjusting vents or worrying about coals. The company took to shows with the grill offering demos, which only increased the excitement. While some had questions about the Traeger, others became loyal to the brand, including myself. 


In its 30+ year history, the concept behind Traeger pellet grills didn’t change much. However, innovation keeps moving forward. The company finessed their product with electronics, Wi-Fi, and over 25 different grills, one of which is sure to suit your needs. Sizes range from grills perfect for spaces like balconies (also great for small tailgate parties) to a behemoth style with 1353 square inches of cooking space (yes, really!). 

Pit Boss

Pit Boss traces its roots to Alberta, Canada, in 1999. Presently headquartered in Phoenix, Az., the business is family-owned. Pit Boss endeavors to create grills with both longevity and craftsmanship.  


Their current offerings include over 20 pellet grills, pellet/gas combos, griddles, smokers, and a 3-in-one option (gas, charcoal, electric). However, even with such a variety, Pit Boss strives to create a more affordable product that still has all the proverbial bells and whistles. 

Entering the Competition

The tag line for Pit Boss is, “Bigger. Hotter. Heavier.” They were among the first companies competing with Traeger. They built several wood pellet plants and kick-started some successful pellet grilling firms. 

Pit Boss Nation

People passionate about Pit Boss created the Pit Boss Nation. Here, people share their experiences, recipes, tips, and tricks. Pit Boss models range from an easily transported size of 250 square inches to a 1,158 square foot, “all in one” machine. 

Fundamental Differences: Pit Boss vs. Traeger (Clear Winner)

When you review the construction of the Pit Boss, there appears to be a wide array of materials ranging from 14-gauge steel to stainless and other metals.  Traeger grills primarily use powder-coated steel or stainless in their construction. 

All mid-tier Traeger grills have double-sided walls, offering better heat retention. Unfortunately, Pit Boss only provides one item, the vertical smoker, with this feature. 

Cooking Surface & Temperature

Both Traeger and Pit Boss accommodate large and small cooking surfaces, with mid-sizes suited for your family. Of the two, Pit Boss inches out Traeger because of their smaller portable offering. 

When looking at heat, the difference between the two is negligible, going from 180F to 500F. The low smoke setting on both is great for adding flavor to fish. However, this is where the similarities stop.

Pit Boss’ controls have increments of 25 degrees but skip 275F and 375F. By comparison, Traeger has 5 and 10-degree increments offering greater finesse, which is a huge bonus in my opinion. 

Bells and Whistles

If you love “gadgets,” both companies have perks depending on your choice of models. For example, you can get a digital thermometer or a meat probe. Traeger includes a probe in all its models. 

When you want a place for your pellets and cooking tools, Pit Boss grills have a lower shelf that’s standard. Traeger does not, although the 1300 series offers one as an add-on. 

Other options include a good cover, which I recommend (both companies have them), an insulated winter blanket (Pit Boss), and of course, clothing (don’t forget your hat!). 

Budget Considerations

Pit Boss is a little easier on your bottom line in side-by-side comparisons. However, you’re getting far better electronic systems and solid construction when you buy a Traeger. 

And the Winner is?

If you want a less expensive smoker that gives you a good end-product, Pit Boss will fit the bill. For me, Traeger wins the day.  In this case, price does equal quality. Traeger gives you a better return on your investment. 

1 comment
  • Been using my Pitboss 820 for nearly 10 years and the only thing I’ve done to it is replace the ignitor 2 years ago. I bought a 5 series vertical smoker about a year ago so only time will tell if it lasts like the grill. All I do is keep it relatively clean and cook lol. I average 3 days a week using the grill all year long. So a Traeger at the price they want probably won’t be in my future

    Jim on
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