For many of us, the first night spent grilling meat with our friends and family, is the true first day of summer. After the long, dark months of winter, nothing feels better than breaking out the grill and cooking a rack of ribs.
The one downside of grilling season is the fact that everyone has differing opinions on what the best grill is. Your mate has one opinion, your father-in-law has a completely different one.
So, when it comes to purchasing a new grill it can be hard to know where to start.
But don’t worry. Today, we’re going to answer all your questions. We’ll be pitting two of the most popular grilling brands against each other to find out which one is best and worth your hard earned money.
Pit Boss is the Apple of the grilling market. No, their products aren’t the cheapest on the market, but the superior service they provide makes them worth every cent.
Here is a brief overview of the brand’s pros and cons:
- Multiple shelves for grilling
- Huge grilling areas (750+ square inch)
- Unique temperature control system
- Well made
- Gas, coal, and pellet options
- Wide range of pellet flavors
- 5+ year warranty on products
- On the more expensive side
- Must use the brands smoke pellets
Pit Boss – the products
Pit Boss is a brand that is trusted by home chefs and restaurants alike – with many Texas BBQ chains choosing to use the brand in their kitchens.
Pit Boss has such a wide range of products, that there is something for everyone. From the BBQ purists that want to cook over coals, to Avant Guard smokers who are looking to create lavish feasts on one grill.
The brand is particularly famous for its large smokers. The smallest of which comes with an impressive 750+ square inches of grilling space, and the largest offering over 1250+ square inches.
Many of these smokers come with detachable shelving within the grill. This provides extra grilling space and gives the chef the opportunity to separate parts of the meal. This is helpful if you’re cooking for people with different dietary needs.
The 750 inch smoker gives you enough space to cook two briskets and multiple steaks at once, or a side of vegetables.
If you are someone that wants to regularly cook for a large number of people, Pit Boss is going to be a brand you want to look into.
The one minor flaw of the Pit Boss range is that you have to use their own brand of smoking pellets. If you don’t, the feeding shoot can clog, which is very dangerous if not dealt with straight away.
We do think that Pit Boss offers a great range of smoking pellets, with enough choices to satisfy everybody. But we are aware that these pellets are more expensive than most.
However, if you are prepared to invest a little more in your pellets, you will notice the difference in quality when you taste the meat.
Finally, let’s talk about the aesthetics and quality of Pit Boss grills and smokers.
When it comes to aesthetics, you’re not going to find many grills that are better looking than the Pit Boss ones. They come in a range of classic colors – the fire hydrant red is our personal favorite.
As for quality, Pit Boss machines come with a warranty that ranges from 5-10 depending on the type of grill. But the grill will last you much longer than that. These beautiful grills are designed and manufactured in the US.
Best options from Pit Boss
Here are three of their top options:
Traeger is another one of America’s favorite grilling brands. If you are looking for a top of the range grill that will cook you the perfect burger and satisfy your need for gadgets at the same time – well, look no further.
Traeger grills come with an even higher price tag than the Pit Boss range, but they do offer so much that we can justify the price.
Here is a brief overview of this brands pros and cons:
- Wifi-enabled smart grills
- Easy to clean
- Charcoal, pellet, and gas grill available
- Wide range of products
- Sleek, classic looking grills
- Very expensive
- Complex to use (some products)
- Have to use the brand’s pellets
Traeger – the products
Let’s address the elephant in the room – why are Traeger grills so expensive?
Well, let’s start with the quality of the grills. They are clearly designed by people who love grilling. They are easy to clean, move around, and store.
They have beautifully burnished stainless steel bodies that will look good in any garden. And the company has even used heatproof paint across their whole range.
These are all small details that make a really big difference to your overall grilling experience. With Traeger, you are paying for quality and their close attention to detail.
Another thing that bumps up the price of Traeger grills is their smart capabilities. Not only can these grills and smokers be operable using Wifi and a phone app. But they can also be used with an Amazon Echo or Alexa.
You can use these devices to check the temperature of your smoker or grill and adjust it without having to physically do it yourself. This makes preparing for a big bash a lot easier.
You can work on preparing other things while Alexa takes care of your food.
The Traeger ranges have a classic 60s/70s American feel to them. Most of them are painted with sleek heatproof paint or are made from treated metal – like copper and cold rolled steel.
If you are interested in purchasing a Traeger smoker then you should be aware that you can only use the brand’s own pellets with it. Just as with the Pit Boss smokers, using the wrong type of pellets can lead to the feeding shot clogging.
This can be particularly dangerous if you are operating the machine remotely, and don’t physically check the feeding shoot. This can be avoided by using Traeger brand wood chips.
So, what is the Traeger wood chip range like?
Well, firstly, it is on the more expensive side of things. Secondly, we are a little disappointed in the range of chip flavors provided.
They cover the majority of the classic flavors (hickory and oak in particular), however, we would have liked to see the industry leaders offer a lot more for the price they are charging.
Best options from Traeger
Here are some of our top choices:
Pit Boss vs Traeger – which is best?
Finally, it is time to discuss which brand is better. As with most comparisons, there is not a simple answer to this question. Which one you think is best will entirely depend on what you want in a grill.
That being said, for us Pit Boss is the overall winner.
The Pit Boss grills are cheaper, they come with a longer warranty, they are made in the US, and they provide a lot more grilling space.
When it comes to our summer BBQs, we are not particularly interested in Wifi-enabled features. We just want a grill that is a good value for money and makes delicious food.
Pit Boss, for those who love cooking
If you want a grill that is going to be solid and reliable then you will want a Pit Boss. It does one job and it does it well – cooking mouthwatering food.
We love to cook for a large number of people, and the Pit Boss range makes this possible. Even the smallest grill has enough space to cook a brisket and half a set of ribs at once.
Pit Boss gets all the small details right. An easy to use temperature adjustment system. An easy to clean smokestack. Their machines are beautifully designed and come with impressive warranties.
Traeger, for those who love technology
However, if technology and ease of use matter to you, and you don’t mind paying extra for it – you will love the Traeger range. They really aren’t bad grills, they just don’t match up to what Pit Boss has to offer.
If you are looking for a new grill for this summer then you cannot go wrong with either of these brands. Both of them have a lot to offer. Both also require you to use their own brand of wood chips for health and safety reasons.
If you want a smart grill, then you might be interested in investing in a Traeger grill.
However, if you want the best value for your money then Pit Boss is the obvious choice. Their grills are large and cook meat well – which in the end, is all we really need from our grills.