Known to be competitors, Traeger and Pit Boss are among the top of the line for grilling and smoking. Pit Boss was established in 1999 and has continued to be one of Traeger’s primary opponents.
Using marketing strategies to show an excellent pellet grill at an affordable price to win over more customers has been rewarding and challenging for the Traeger company.
Traeger was first created in 1985 and was able to hold the pellet grill market on its own until the 1986 patent expired in 2006. Once the patent was out of the way, a wave of competition flooded the market.
Pellet usage from one brand to another is a common frequently asked.
I have used Traeger pellets in my PitBoss820 and they work Just fine. Since Traeger and Pit Boss both use wood pellets, yes, a Pit Boss Grill can use Traeger pellets and vice versa. The only trivial part to the question is choosing which flavor, or flavors, to use when you’re ready to cook.
Traeger and Pit-Boss’s pellets are relatively equal in size, flavor, and price. However, the availability of either wood pellet is determined by a store’s contractual obligations and each location’s preferences.
Warehouse stores such as Costco are known to sell Traeger pellets, while Walmart and Menards carry the Pit Boss brand. It wouldn’t be a big deal to swap them across.
Even the most dedicated Pit-Boss fan can find themself in a pickle.
Are Pit Boss and Traeger Grills Pellets the Same?
The pellets follow similar steps in the production line, but they are not the same. The wood pellets from both brands are interchangeable with each smoker, but there are some differences in how each company produces the pellets for consumer purchase.
Traeger and Pit Boss both use 100% natural hardwood for their pellets.
Following a drying process, once the wood has been completely dried to the core, it is turned into super-fine sawdust, which is then pressurized with intense heat that compacts the sawdust into individual pellets.
It is then in fact they do make their wood pellets a bit differently. Pit Boss infuses different flavors into their pellets; while Traeger uses natural oils to enhance the flavor of its wood pellets.
Traeger vs. Pit Boss Wood Pellets
When comparing Traeger pellets and Pit Boss wood pellets, it really comes down to personal preference.
Either pellet can be used in one or the other pellet grills, making it easy based on product availability, but outside of that, it is up to individual taste, smell, and smoke preference.
Traeger Wood Pellets
Traeger has been making wood pellets for over thirty years. The process is different than other brands and takes on a slightly more difficult task to obtain the different flavors available.
Each wood that Traeger uses requires special attention and unique steps to avoid technical errors on the machines and ensure high-quality products.
Working with a variety of raw materials can be challenging but well worth it in the end. The first step in creating wood pellets is choosing the wood and sent through the hammer mill.
The hammer mill uses small screens to push the broken-down logs through, resulting in small particles to be dried before moving to the pellet mill.
Large rotary dryers are used to remove all the moisture from the wood. This is one of the most critical steps. Different rotation speeds are used for different woods.
Some woods may take longer to dry than others due to general wood characteristics, but external conditions such as length in a lumber yard and weather also play a role in the speed and time it takes to dry.
While in the pellet mill, Traeger uses food-grade soybean oil that drip-feeds into the tanks and pumps to avoid machine blockages. The use of oil is different than other brands.
The pellets form into their round, compact shape using intense heat and two rollers. A knife then cuts the long roll into standard-sized pellets before they are sent to be cooled, packaged, shipped, and sold.
Trager wood pellets came in eight flavors: Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Mesquite, Oak, and Pecan.
Some blends can be bought or made at home: Signature Blend (Hickory, Cherry, and Maple), A Kiss of Smoke (Oak and Alder), A Kiss of Summer (Alder, Maple, and a hint of citrus zest), Bold to the Bone (Hickory and Pecan), Winemaker’s Blend (Oak, Hickory, Alder, and Apple), and Cherry Mesquite.
Pit Boss Wood Pellets
Pit Boss wood pellets follow the same few first steps as Traeger wood pellets; the natural wood is selected and dried. After the drying process has been completed, the wood is then ground into fine sawdust.
The sawdust is pressurized with an intense heat that creates a compacted pellet.
The wood’s natural lignin holds the pellet together in a rounded shape. Pit-Boss infuses the pellets with natural flavor to give an aromatic experience as well as a delicious one.
Pellet flavors include Hickory, Apple, Mesquite, Cherry, Pecan, Maple, Oak, Competition Blend, Charcoal, Whiskey Barrel, Fruitwood Blend, Pitmaster Blend, Classic Blend, and Trophy.
Is There a Difference Between Traeger Grills and Pit Boss Smokers?
There are some general differences between the two brands.
As an initial cost, Pit Boss offers better value for the money, but Traeger has such considerable recognition that they haven’t had to drop their prices to remain a top contender.
Formerly made only in the United States, Trager is now manufactured in China. As of 2018, Pit Boss increased the warranty of new smokers to 5 years, whereas Traeger is three years.
Other than that they are similar in both working and function. But there are two major area where they show distinct characteristics / features; Mechanical and Temperature Differences.
Using one of Pit-Boss’s most popular grills and one of Traeger’s most popular grills, we can see a few differences that could make or break a potential purchase.
However, what one grill offers that the other doesn’t could become a well-considered trade-off. Trager Pro 575 comes in at 53x41x27 inches in size, comparable to Pit Boss Sportsman 820 that is 58x32x52 inches (LxWxH).
The hopper capacity that holds the wood pellets on the Traeger Pro 575 is 18 pounds, while the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 can hold up to 21 pounds.
Traeger Pro 575 has a 575 square inch cooking surface that is a combination of 425 square inches on the bottom and 150 square inches on the top rack. Pit Boss Sportsman 820 measures 849 square inches with 592 on the main grilling area and 256 on the secondary area.
The Traeger Pro 575 does not have direct flame contact, while the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 has a side plate flame broiler that does have direct flame contact. Both grills come with one meat probe.
If you are looking for an app controllable temperature feature, the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 does not provide a WiFi connection. Traeger comes equipped with WiFi that allows temperature monitoring and adjusting from an installed app on a smartphone or tablet.
Pit Boss Sportsman 820 uses a dial-in digital control with an LED read-out. Traeger Pro 575 utilizes the D2 drivetrain, a brand-new addition to the Traeger grills.
D2 offers variable speed fan and auger settings, temperature ranges with turbo-temp for fast startup, hotter quicker temps, and maintaining temps for low-and-slow cooking.
Providing a slightly wider range of temperatures to work with, Trager Pro 575 can be as low as 165°F and up to 500°F. The Pit-Boss Sportsman 820 goes from 180°F to 500°F.
Smokers using wood pellets use indirect heat for cooking various meats in ways that other grills cannot achieve.
A meat smoker’s mechanical and temperature differences matter only to a point based on what is needed or wanted to make your job easier.
The quality of the wood pellet used while cooking will be either the icing on the cake or the bland Thanksgiving turkey when it is time to move from smoking and grilling to eating.
Can You Use Traeger Pellets In A Pit Boss?
As stated above you can use Traeger Pellets in a Pit Boss without any issues. In fact I have used Traeger pellets in my PitBoss820 in the past and they work Just fine.
Many a times I even make blends with mixing Traeger and Pit Boss pellets. Since Traeger and Pit-Boss both make their wood pellets with similar process, they are similar in both shape and flavor.
So there is no actual issues in using pellet from one brand to another; as far as their performance is concerned. But sometimes manufacturer restricts you from using pellets from other brands.
For example Traeger makes a big deal in their warranty agreement about using pellets from different brands saying “Using other brand wood pellets voids warranty”.
Luckily, Pit Boss is more realistic and clearly states in its website “While we always recommend using Pit Boss or Louisiana Grills brand pellets in your grill, however, you can use other brands of pellets in the grill”.
So no problem there, even when you use Pit Boss or other pellets in your Traeger Grill just don’t mention it to the company when you have to claim your warranty.
Pit Boss vs. Traeger Pellets: Which Smoke Better?
Pit Boss wood pellets perform as well as they claim. The pellets work just as well at low temperatures as they do at mid-range and higher temperatures.
Pit Boss branded pellets provide a steady heat with very few temperature fluctuations during cooking. The amount of ash produced from burning pellets is also minimal.
Smoke from Pit-Boss wood pellets is clean, clear, and manageable. Meat cooked with Pit Boss pellets has a decent amount of smoked flavor that is pleasing and satisfying.
Traeger wood pellets may be hard to beat when it comes to performance.
The pellets are consistent with temperature changes, providing steady heat and having a picturesque thin blue smoke that makes other wood pellets jealous. The smoke is full of flavor that perfectly infuses in all meats.
Like Pit-Boss wood pellets, Traeger pellets also produce minimal amounts of ash while cooking. Traeger pellets also seem to make less dust while packaged than other brands.
Trager wood pellets are currently only sold in 20-pound bags with a cost that places them in the middle of expensive and not expensive compared to other brand names.
Pit Boss wood pellets are available in either 20-pound or 40-pound bags.
A 20-pound Pit Boss bag of pellets is the same cost as a 20-pound Traeger bag, but the 40-pound bag at a price for weight ends up being a better value than either 20-pound option.
Traeger wood pellets can be used in a Pit-Boss smoker, just as Pit Boss wood pellets can be used in a Traeger smoker. Both brands of grills and smokers offer similar pros and cons that make decision-making up to individual preferences.