Overview Of The Pit Boss Brand
Pit Boss is a subsidiary of Dansons Inc. which was founded in 1999. Being one of the first companies to compete in the pellet smoker market, Pit Boss is best known for their affordable yet high-quality pellet grills, although they do manufacture a wide range of other barbecues including charcoal and gas grills.
Dansons also own Lousianna Grills, another popular manufacturer of pellet smokers.
Where are Pit Boss grills made?
Pit Boss pellet smokers are manufactured in China.
Our Overall Pit Boss Vs Traeger Winner
Both Pit Boss and Traeger are solid pellet smoker choices that you cant really go wrong with. High quality, accurate temperature control, the ability to smoke and grill, plus, decent warranties, make these two brands up there with the market leaders.
If budget is a concern, Pit Boss does stand out because its just great value for money.
But, if you can afford it, the sturdiness, extra temperature control and added WiFIRE connectivity protect the Traeger from quickly becoming outdated.
Traeger Ranger Pellet Grill: $400
If you want to easily transport your pellet grill, Traeger has you covered. The Ranger has;176 square inches of cooking space and holds 8 pounds of pellets. Its equipped with a latching lid for easy transportation and has a keep warm mode so food doesnt get cold sitting outside.
The Ranger is a bit hefty compared to other legless grills, weighing in at 60 pounds. However, much of that weight comes from its cast iron griddle.
Like all of these brands pellet grills, the Ranger runs on electricity and must be plugged in. So its not a substitute for a true camp stove. However, if there is an outlet available, the Ranger Pellet Grill gives you a great grilling experience on the go. When it first came out, we;reviewed it in more depth here.
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How Does A Pellet Smoker Work
Load a pellet grill’s hopper with pellets , calibrate the onboard computer to your desired temperature and walk away for 15 or so minutes. The grill’s computer ignites the firepot at the center of the grill, and begins turning an auger which feeds pellets into it to generate heat and smoke. This process is typically helped along and regulated by a series of interior fans and temperature monitors. For the most part, fire pots are not directly exposed to the grill grates; they’re usually separated by an angled steel plate, which catches dripping grease and feeds it away from the fire pot and into a catch. This means the majority of pellet grills cook with indirect heat, which is why temperatures are lower than their gas and charcoal counterparts.
Pit Boss Promotions & Discounts
This Pit Boss smoker review found several discounts. First and foremost, the Pit Boss 700FB is on sale for $350, giving you $160 in savings. It also comes with a free, high-quality, and durable cover that is made to fit the barbecue like a glove.
But Pit Boss has way more deals than that. In fact, they have a page dedicated to them all year round. Heres another grill-and-cover bundle: the huge Sportsman 1,100, on sale for $599 .
You can also check out sales like the:
- 6-Piece Cast Iron Starter Kit marked down to $75 for a 25% savings
- R-Series Wooden Pellet Grill for $299,down from $449
But this Pit Boss smoker reviews favorite discount is the Rosewood Bundle of five essential premium cooking tools, which is priced at $30 for a full $65 in savings.
On top of all that, this Pit Boss smoker review is happy to say that the brand offers a monthly payment option for almost all their products through the Affirm service, bringing down hundreds of dollars in upfront cost to double digits.
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Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone Prime Plus
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Must purchase through a licensed dealership
The upgraded version of the standard Daniel Boone comes with Wi-Fi controls, which takes the pellet grill from a slightly hands-off grilling experience to a completely hands-off grilling experience. The Prime Plus also comes with handy quality of life improvements like a built-in rotisserie, collapsible front shelf and the perhaps the best sleeper grill feature there is: an under-hood light. Its motor and pellet-efficiency is better, too. If you’re struggling to decide between the two, consider how often you might expect to use the grill. If the answer is less than once every other week, the more affordable option should do the trick. More than that, though, the convenience and options presented by the Prime Plus make the few hundred dollar price hike worth it.
- Bottom storage space is great
- All-steel build; no plastic component parts
Why The Traeger System Is Better
There are two huge reasons why I like the Traeger system better.
The first reason that the Traeger system is better is that the addition of heat deflector directly above the fire pot makes the Traeger have much more even heat distribution than you get on the Pit Boss.; The temperature profile across the cooking grate in a Traeger isnt exactly even but it is pretty dang nice.
The second reason that the Traeger system is better is that the flat grease collection tray is extremely easy to clean.; You can easily line the tray with foil or just take a putty knife and scrape everything off.; The curved dome shield on the Pit Boss makes cleaning up more of a challenge.
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How Pellet Grills Work
Pellet grills have a hopper, or basket, that holds the wood pellets. These pellets are then driven into a pot through a shaft with an auger. The pot has a heating rod and a fan below that is thermostatically controlled just like the heat in your home, Marks explained. The fan controls the oxygen flow, creating efficient use of the wood pellets as well as a very narrow window of temperature fluctuation and rapid recovery time when you open and close the door.
The heating rod then fires up the pellets drawn into the pot by the auger while the fan blows. When it comes to temperature, its typically set it and forget it with pellet grills. They typically are able to heat up to 175 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit without you needing to tend a fire. It’s pretty simple for the cook you turn it on and set it to your desired temp and, as long as you keep the hopper full of pellets, itll keep cooking, said Ray Dr. BBQ Lampe, author of Dr. BBQ’s Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook and member of the American Royal BBQ Hall of Fame. A big positive is that the pellets are 100 percent wood so it’s a clean burning wood fire with even heat. These are things that all barbecue cooks strive for and the pellet grill makes it easy.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker
Vertical pellet smokers work just like other vertical smokers, only they run off pellets instead of wood chips or other fuels. Because the category is a niche of a niche, there aren’t many options, and those that exist are rarely available on a continuous basis. We like Camp Chef’s larger vertical smoker because it nails the baseline steady temperatures, plenty of space and a strong app and is typically in stock . Throw in nice-to-have features like a see-through pellet hopper, sausage hooks, swivel wheels and a freaking bottle opener on the side and you’ve got a well-considered, good value vertical smoker.
Looking for more pellet grills and smokers? Scroll passed this section.
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Pit Boss Rancher Xl Wood
If youre looking to feed a crowd, the Rancher XL has 1,004 square inches of cooking space. And the hopper holds up to 31 pounds of pellets, meaning it can cook up to 52 burgers at once.
Like most Pit Boss wood-pellet grills, the Rancher XL comes equipped with a sliding plate on the bottom that allows you to easily switch between smoking and open flame grilling. Although the temperature controls are not very precise, the grill can reach 500 degrees.
The amount of space the Rancher XL provides makes this low-cost grill excellent for a large party.
Why The Pit Boss System Is Better
I love playing with fire.
With the Pit Boss system you get to slide the heat shield aside and have direct access to flames for searing steaks and chops.; On one hand the flame broiling action is a bit of a gimmick that you wont use much.; On the other hand the primal part of my brain just keeps saying, Fire is Good!
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Where To Buy A Pit Boss Pellet Grill
At the time of this writing a Pit Boss grill can be purchased at the following locations:
- Lowes Home Improvement
- Tractor Supply
- Pit Boss
The prices of the grills are pretty standard at all the stores above. That said, some stores will offer lower prices than others, especially during the holidays, so be sure to shop around.
Pit Boss Vs Traeger: Is It Worth The Premium
Two of the most popular brands in pellet smokers, two different price points and a whole heap of models to choose from! Its a lot to take in and youre totally right in wanting to make the best purchase decision for your needs. You are, after all, planning on getting A LOT of good smoking years out of this barbecue.
In this guide, we dive into the differences between Pit Boss vs Traeger pellet grills, objectively highlighting where each company shines and where theyre a bit behind.
Youll also find reviews of the most popular pellet grills from both Pit Boss and Traeger, followed by a side by side comparison so you can clearly see how these brands stack up in real life. Lets jump in!
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Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Freelance food writer and cookbook author Donna Currie is an expert on all things food, from cookbooks to cooking gadgets. She’s also a product tester for The Spruce Eats and has cooked with every type of grill out there, including pellet grills.
This article was updated by Camryn Rabideau, a grilling expert and product tester for The Spruce. She’s tested several pellet grills, including the Z Grills ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill and Traeger Ironwood 885, and she interviewed Jess Pryles, a grilling expert and author of “Hardcore Carnivore” while researching grills for this article.
Cookshack Pg1000 Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill
According to Lampe, this stainless steel grill is a cooking machine with double walled construction and insulation for heat retention as well as a quality searing burner and smoking performance. It also has the ability to cook over direct or indirect heat at up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit and a two-year limited warranty. Theres even a warming drawer to hold a pan of food while you keep cooking, he said. Fast Eddy is a long-time championship barbecue cook and pit builder so its no surprise that his grills are at the top of their class.
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Pit Boss 700 Classic Vs Traeger Pro 22
The Pit Boss 700 is a Walmart exclusive grill that can also be found on Amazon at times and is one of the popular grills in the Pit Boss lineup.; The Traeger Pro 22 is extremely similar in size and function to the 700 Classic.
Here are the important details about the two grills:
The Pit Boss has a better warranty, higher top temperature, more cooking surface, a larger hopper and is about $200 less expensive than the Traeger.
The smoke exhaust design is an interesting difference between these grills.; On the Traeger the smoke comes up from the burn pot and goes out the top of the smoker through the smokestack.; On the Pit Boss the smoke comes up from the burn pot, goes up to the lid and then has to come back down across the meat before it can exit out the back of the smoker.
The vent design on the Pit Boss 700 Classic is the same design that Traeger uses on its higher end grills like the Ironwood and Timberline.; Traeger says that the rear exhaust design provides better smoke flavor and improved convection cooking.
Let me also go on a rant about the size of the pellet hopper.;
Traeger sells their wood pellets in 20 pound bags.; 20 pound bags are pretty much the industry standard. So please.why in the world does Traeger make a grill with an 18 pound hopper?; By design they want you to end up with a bag that is almost empty that you have to roll up and stash away to make sure the last two pounds of pellets dont get wet.
The Pros And Cons Of Pellet Grills
The biggest pro to investing in a pellet grill versus other types of grills is its simplicity, according to Lampe. The cooker does all the work and makes it pretty easy to cook barbecue, he explained.
Marks agreed that when it comes to ease of use and consistency, a pellet grill wins. Temperature control produced by a pellet grill makes a huge difference for the average Joe, he added. If you want to have a great barbeque with a reasonable amount of work while still being able to enjoy your friends and family when they are over, a pellet grill is the best way to go with the most amount of success and the least amount of stress.
However, the biggest potential downside is that it’s a mechanical device, so if theres a loss of power or a malfunction, that can disrupt your day of cooking. Good maintenance helps with this, Lampe added. A long-time BBQ pro might like to play with the fire while theyre cooking, but a pellet cooker means there is really no need to tend your fire constantly making it perfect for an at-home cook.
To help prevent this, he emphasized the importance of keeping your pellet grill dry and protected from the elements with a secure cover. If the electronics get wet they can short out and the replacement parts for those panels generally are not under warranty, as you the owner are responsible for proper care, he said. Also, when pellets get wet they expand and then dry causing the auger to lock up.
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Overview Of The Traeger Brand
Traeger are the innovators behind the original wood pellet grill. Designed by founder Joe Traeger in 1985 and patented in 1986, Traegers 100% wood-smoked barbecue revolutionized the industry with its set and forget operation.
Patenting the design meant that Traeger had a monopoly over the market as they established themselves as a premium brand with a product that took the fuss out of home smoking and their popularity, understandably, soared.
Once their patent expired in 2006, other barbecue manufacturers raced into the market, fueling innovation and price competition. And, although theres now have a lot of pellet grill brands to choose from, Traeger are still one of the best-selling companies, backed by their premium image as the original and best.
The company, Traeger, is no longer a family-owned business. Interestingly, Joe Traeger sold it in 2006 and now works for rival company, Dansons, the owners of Pit Boss.
Where are Traeger grills made?
Traeger were originally made in the US but have since moved their manufacturing to China like most competing companies.
Pit Boss Sportsman Portable Wood
This is Pit Boss version of a portable wood-pellet grill. It has 387 square inches of cooking space, and the hopper holds 19 pounds of pellets. The legs fold up and the lid latches, so its more suitable to load in the back of your car.
The temperature is set by a simple dial, and the digital control center has a large LED readout. Overall, the Pit Boss Sportsman is a straightforward, easy-to-use grill thats simple to transport.
So who stands on top of the battle between Traeger vs. Pit Boss? Let us know what smoker or grill you use and prefer.
Justice is an avid outdoors-lover who has dabbled in camping, hiking, cross country skiing, and more. She has been mountain biking for over a decade and has raced competitively for several years. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in English at the University of Minnesota, and shes always up for talking about either bikes or books.
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Pit Boss Heat Management System
On a Pit Boss pellet grill the fire pot is located in the CENTER of the grill and does NOT have a heat deflector over the pot.
The fire pit on the Pit Boss is covered by a domed metal shield with open slits.
The open fire pot and the slits in the shield are intended to let you do do open flame grilling.; This is a handy feature when you want to; sear off a flank steak after you have smoked it.; When you want to smoke instead of grill there is a second metal shield that slides over the open slits.
There are pros and cons to how the grease trays and heat deflectors are arranged in these grills.