Pit Boss VS Traeger – Which one is better?
Which one is better – Pit Boss vs Traeger? Pit boss smokers have been around for a long time, and they are often compared to Traeger smokers. Both brands are popular among backyard barbecue enthusiasts, but there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the two brands and compare their features. We will also discuss which smoker is better for your needs. At the end of the article, you will be able to make an informed decision about which smoker is right for you.
There are a lot of smoker brands on the market these days. Two of the most popular are Pit Boss and Traeger. So, which one is better? In this blog post, we will compare the two brands and help you decide which one is right for you.
What is a Pit boss?
A pit boss is a brand of smoker that has been on the market for several years. This American company specializes in making charcoal and electric smokers for home use. Pit bosses are becoming increasingly popular because they are affordable, reliable, and durable. They have a classic barrel shape design, which gives them an old-school look. What makes the pit boss stand out from other brands is its folding side shelves. These come in very handy when you must add chips or water to your barbecue machine during the cooking process. The foldable side racks allow you to do this without any hassle, even if there’s a huge cut of meat on top of your grill!
Features of a Pit boss:
Size: The most popular models of pit boss smokers have a large cooking surface – 700 square inches for the more expensive options and 500 square inches for cheaper options.
Price: Pit bosses are among the cheapest smokers on the market, which makes them very popular. The more expensive options can cost as low as $300 (check some discounts here!)
Flavor: One of the main advantages of using a pit boss is its more even heat distribution and less fuel consumption, compared to other charcoal smokers. This means that your barbecue will come out juicy and flavorful every time! You do not need to use any foil or special grilling techniques like “indirect cooking” when you own this smoker. It does what it’s supposed to do right out of the box, and that’s what makes it stand out from other charcoal options.
Temperature Range: The temperature inside your pit boss smoker will range between 150 F and 500F. Depending on which model you buy; your pit boss might have an adjustable smoke generator or not. If it doesn’t, you will be stuck with the smoke level produced by the chips/chunks you put in there (if they produce any), so you might have to experiment a little bit until you find the perfect combination of temperature and smoke.
Design: Pit bosses are available in classic barrel shape, with a large cooking surface and foldable shelves. The more expensive models have an adjustable smoke generator.
Style: Pit bosses are available in classic barrel shape, with a large cooking surface and foldable shelves. The more expensive models have an adjustable smoke generator.
Stackable Baskets: No stackable baskets come with this smoker – you will have to figure out how to best arrange your food on the grills! Some models do have an adjustable smoke generator, which can work as a built-in rack… but not always.
Burners: Pit bosses have a single burner, which is located below the grills.
Construction: The pit bosses are made from high-quality materials, and they can last for a long time if you properly maintain them. They are very sturdy and easy to clean.
Warranty: The pit boss is backed by a 1-year warranty on all parts and labor.
Materials: The pit boss is made of stainless steel and high-quality materials like: aluminum, porcelain enameled steel, and cast iron.
Customer service: Pit bosses are less expensive than other models, so they come with fewer customer service options. It is best to take this into account before purchasing a pit boss!
Ease of Use: This smoker is very simple to use, and it doesn’t require any additional techniques or special supplies. It does what all other models do, main difference being that it’s a bit harder to adjust its smoking levels.
Accessories: Pit bosses come with a few basic accessories, like:
1 ash pan and handle
1 heat gauge
Power input: Pit boss usually runs on around 12,000 BTUs.
Power output: The power output of a pit boss is 12,000 BTUs.
Weight: The most popular pit boss models weigh around 30 pounds.
Maintenance: Pit boss smokers require very little maintenance. The only thing you need to do is replace the chip tray and clean out the ash after each use.
Efficiency: Pit boss smokers produce a lot of smoke and heat, which can make them less efficient than other types of smokers.
Fuel consumption: Pit boss smokers are very fuel efficient, depending on the type of wood you decide to use.
Heat zones: No heat zones.
Time: Pit bosses take around 4 hours to fully cook a whole chicken or turkey, depending on the size. The cooking time is usually longer for larger pieces of meat.
Wi-Fi: No Wi-Fi.
Shelves: The pit boss has one cooking rack and one folding shelf. They are both located on the top side of the smoker, which makes it very easy to access them while you’re cooking.
Carrying handle: The handles are located on the sides of the pit boss, which makes it easier to carry.
Control: The pit boss smoker has a single control knob which you use to adjust the temperature and the smoke level. The more you turn up the dial, the hotter your smoker gets and vice versa. There is no built-in adjustable smoke generator.
Thermometer: The pit boss does not have a built-in thermometer.
Cleaning: You will need around 10 minutes to fully clean the pit boss after each use – this includes both brushing out the ashes and wiping off the grease from the racks with a cloth.
Assembly: The pit boss is very easy to assemble, as most of its parts come pre-assembled. It only takes a few minutes to make it ready for cooking.
Noise: The pit boss is very quiet when it’s turned on, even at higher temperatures.
Packaging: The pit boss comes in an average sized box which is well packaged and fairly easy to open. Nothing much inside the box though – just a few pieces of grills and manuals!
Safety features: No automatic shut-off.
Water/drip pan: No water/drip pan.
Cord length: The cord length is around 3 feet long.
What is a Traeger?
Traeger is also a brand that focuses on smokers and grills, and they have been in business for several years now. The company was founded back in 1993 in Texas, when the grill market had very limited options when it came out. Traeger wanted to change this by offering high quality products with an affordable price tag – and their idea worked! They quickly became popular among barbecue enthusiasts. Today, Traeger is still growing at such a fast pace that they recently built a new factory to handle all of their production needs (you can read more about the history of this great smoker here).
Features of a Traeger:
Size: Traeger smokers have been on the market for several years as well. Their main advantage over other brands is that they produce very little smoke – around 3% of what you would normally get from a standard charcoal barbecue machine. This means that your food will come out just as flavorful, but without all those annoying smoke particles flying around and sticking to your meat! The Traeger is also more fuel efficient than other models on the market; it uses less propane or pellets than most other smokers will.
Price: Traegers are very expensive, and it seems that the more features they have, the higher the price. You can find cheaper models on sale for as low as $400 (check here), but these might not be good enough for smoking large pieces of meat. More expensive options go up to $1,000 and feature several removable parts and a larger cooking area (some models provide as much as 800 square inches).
Flavor: While the Traeger uses a lot less fuel than other options on the market, it also provides up to 15% more smoke. This means that your meat will be flavorful and juicy – but you might need to use some sort of smoking wood to produce enough smoke.
Temperature Range: The heat range inside your Traeger is limited by its small size – some options can only reach 100F-275F degrees, which make them less suitable for smoking large cuts of meat.
Design: Traeger smokers typically come in a simple rectangular shape with removable parts. They are designed to be more user-friendly than other options, and they typically come with a digital control panel (if you choose one of the more expensive models).
Stackable Baskets: Traeger smokers do not have any kind of stackable baskets – everything is arranged to maximize cooking space and minimize refilling time. Some models come with an internal rack that can be very convenient!
Burners: Traeger features three individual burners, each heating a separate smoking area (so all in all you get 3 heat ranges instead of 1).
Construction: The Traeger smokers are made from high-quality materials; they feature several removable parts for easier cleaning and maintenance. If this is your first smoker, we suggest that you buy a Traeger – it will make learning how to smoke easier and more rewarding.
Warranty: The Traeger is backed by a 1-year warranty on all parts and labor.
Materials: The Traeger is made from high-quality materials like stainless steel and cast iron.
Customer service: Traeger offers a lot of support for new users as well as experienced chefs – they have several manuals and YouTube videos that can teach you how to operate your grill. They also offer free replacement parts if anything on the machine breaks down.
Ease of Use: The Traeger is very user-friendly, and it can also be used by beginners. You can find a lot of information online with regards to operating this smoker, from basic instructions on how to set up the grill for smoking meat to more advanced techniques like reverse searing steaks. If you are a newbie, we strongly suggest that you search for some videos or how-to guides before using your smoker!
Accessories: Some accessories that you might need for your Traeger include smoking wood, smoker boxes (which can be bought separately), cooking grates, water/drip pans and digital thermometers.
Power input: The Traeger has three separate burners (for a total of 3 power ranges); each one requires between 16-40k BTU/hour.
Power output: The three burners have a total of 39k BTU/hour.
Weight: The Traeger is very light – it weighs only 40 pounds.
Maintenance: Cleaning the Traeger can be difficult at times, especially when dealing with ash and grease. Some parts are dishwasher-friendly, while others must be hand washed with hot water and soap. If you use your smoker every day, it might be best to clean everything by hand!
Efficiency: Since this smoker uses 3 different burners, maintaining efficiency levels is very easy; you will get consistent heat during all smoking sessions. This also means that one burner (on low) can be enough to maintain ideal smoking temperatures.
Fuel consumption: One 20-lb bag of pellets will last you for approximately 4 hours of cooking at 225F, 2 hours of cooking at 325F, and around 1 hour 45 minutes of cooking at 425F (depending on the type of pellet used).
Heat zones: The Traeger has 3 different heat zones; each zone is controlled by a separate burner.
Time: The Traeger smoker has a built-in meat thermometer that shows you the internal temperature of your meat. You can set it to cook for up to 8 hours without checking on it!
Wi-Fi: The Traeger is not Wi-Fi enabled.
Shelves: The Traeger is not equipped with any shelves or racks that you can use for holding your food while smoking.
Carrying handle: There are two different carrying handles on this smoker – one in the front and one in the back.
Control: The Traeger has a total of 5 built-in temperature settings which you can use to control the temperature of your grill. You can set these temperature controls between 160F and 500F. This smoker also features an internal meat thermometer that will let you know when your food is ready!
Thermometer: The Traeger comes with a built-in meat thermometer that shows you how hot your grill is.
Cleaning: The Traeger is very difficult to clean, which might be a problem if you are not home during the day. Some parts of the grill can be cleaned with water and soap, while others must be scrubbed with a brush. In some cases, you can’t clean it by hand – you must use a dishwasher!
Assembly: You will have to assemble the Traeger yourself before using it, but this is relatively easy. RV Stumpers offers a great YouTube video that will show you how to properly put everything together.
Noise: This smoker is very quiet.
Packaging: The Traeger comes with a great packaging that ensures that it will not get damaged during transport. We strongly suggest using the original packaging when moving it from one place to another!
Safety features: When the Traeger reaches temperatures higher than 160F, its built-in sensor will automatically turn off and remove power from all burners.
Water/drip pan: The Traeger has no water or drip pans – if you want to keep your food moist while smoking, we suggest placing aluminum foil on top of the grill grates before adding your food.
Cord length: The Traeger has a 6-foot power cord.
The similarities of Pit boss and Traeger smoker:
They both use wood pellets as fuel.
They both have 3 heat ranges.
Both feature stainless steel.
You can switch between heating levels using a dial.
The differences of Pit boss and Traeger smoker:
Pit boss features only 1 power range, so it is less versatile than the Traeger.
Pit boss is significantly cheaper than Traeger.
The Traeger is way better than the Pit boss; it is more user-friendly, versatile, and reliable. However, we think that if you are a very experienced smoker, or if you want to learn how to use your grill as well as possible, the Pit Boss might be the right choice for you!
FAQs about Pit Boss VS Traeger
What is the primary difference between a Traeger and Pit Boss smoker?
Pit Boss features only one heat range, so it is less versatile than the Traeger.
Which smoker is right for me?
If you are a newbie, we suggest buying the Traeger; however, if you have some experience with smoking meat and you’re willing to pay more for a reliable smoker that is versatile enough to cook anything, the Pit Boss might be a better choice for you.
Pros and Cons of a Traeger and Pit Boss smoker?
More versatile than the Pit Boss.
Features multiple smoke settings, so it works even in cold weather.
More expensive than the Pit Boss.
Pit Boss Pros:
Very inexpensive, making it a good choice for beginners.
Lightweight and easy to use.
Pit Boss Cons:
One heat setting, so it is less versatile than the Traeger.
The Pit Boss smoker is not very durable.
The Traeger offers multiple heat ranges, so it works in cold weather conditions. We suggest using the original packaging when moving your grill from one place to another. The Pit Boss is a traditional smoker that is less expensive than the Traeger. It is a good choice for beginners who want a cheap and reliable grill to start smoking, but we think that if you are looking for an all-around versatile smoker, the Traeger will be a better investment!