You may be planning to change your grill, or you may have it in mind to get your very first grill. Either way, the process can be a little challenging. There are countless brands and models of grills that you may get confused in the process of trying to buy one.
Many people confuse pellet grills for normal barbecue grills but the difference that is most notable at times is the separate firebox that comes with pellet grills.
Pellet grills are very interesting because of the multiple cooking options they offer; this is one of the reasons people go for them; it is such a good idea to buy a single grill that can over you multiple cooking options than to go and buy separate ones.
For anyone looking forward to a complete and fantastic grilling experience, a pellet grill will give you what you are looking for. That is why this review focuses on two of the leading brands that produce pellet grills and will make it easier for you to decide on the type and model of pellet grill to buy.
This review will cover the general features of the grills from each brand, and then we will go further to talk about one grill from each brand. First, let us talk about the essential features of pellet grills.
The temperature range on a grill is significant. If you are an expert at grilling then you know this, however, if you are new to grilling and you didn’t know this, well, now you know.
Traeger grills and Pit Boss grills are very similar when we judge by temperature range. They both have a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If this factor is what will decide which brand you buy from, you will have to look at other factors.
This comes into play whenever you are about to buy anything or make a choice between two different options. While you can get different models of charcoal, propane, and electric gas at prices around $100, you have to budget a higher amount of money when you plan to get a pellet grill.
These two brands have grills that will suit various types of budget. Typically, a wood pellet grill costs around $1000, but Pit Boss offers some other grills at lower prices between $500 -$700.
Also, there are grills from Traeger that start from around $500. The good thing about both Pit Boss and Traeger is that even the cheap models come with essential features that will make your grilling experience a great one.
A very important thing is not to bite off more than you can chew. You should not go above what you can afford, even when you see a very captivating option on the market. With the money you have, you will get a suitable grill that will serve you well.
If we are judging by cooking area, Traeger will come out on top. Top Boss doesn’t even come close to Traeger when it comes to the space available for cooking. Majority of the Traeger grills come with a cooking space of around 600 square inches while most Pit Boss grills have an average cooking space of 500 square inches.
Better still, Traeger’s Pro Series 34 Grill Burnz has a vast cooking area of 884 square inches in addition to a cool firebox; you will find it hard to get a grill with a cooking area that comes close to this.
The primary of the hopper on any pellet grill is to hold the pellets as the grill works. The capacity of a hopper will directly determine how long the grill will burn before it needs refilling. You want your hopper to be big enough as it can be annoying to have to refill the hopper always.
Judging by this factor, Traeger comes out on top again. Pit Boss hoppers typically hold between 10 – 12 pounds of wood pellets. On the other hand, Traeger grills have hoppers that can hold up to 18 pounds of wood pellets at once and they also come with an ash collecting system that makes cleaning easier.
You also have to pay close attention to this if you want your grill to last long. The materials and manner of construction greatly determine how durable a grill will be, and Traeger grills are known for their durability.
In general, there are very few companies that can match the level of grill construction that Traeger offers. They use heavy-duty cast iron to make their grates and then coat them to give a non-stick quality. While Pit Boss use similar materials on their grills, the grills don’t match Traeger grills in construction and strength.
A Comparison of Two Models
Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22
Like most Traeger grills, this pellet grill has an outstanding grill construction. It is made from 20 powder-coated gauge steel. It is very durable, and with proper maintenance, it will serve you for a very long time.
Pellet grills stand high above other types of grills because they offer multiple cooking options, as accurate as this is, some pellet grills offer more cooking options than others. The Lil Tex Elite 22 offers five different cooking options; grilling, smoking, roasting, baking, and braising.
With 19,500 BTUs, it offers even heat distribution that will cook your food thoroughly. Compared to other Traeger grills, the Lil Tex Elite 22 looks small, but it still provides a generous space of 418 square inches, which is big enough for any friends or family gathering.
Furthermore, it has a non-stick quality that is ensured by the porcelain coating on the grill grates; this makes the grates easier to clean. The temperature range on this grill is between 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and is easily regulated through the digital thermostat.
In reality, the grill comes with a manual and an automatic start option, but most people choose to use the automatic option. By simply plugging the grill and turning it on, it will ignite by itself, and the grill will be ready to use five minutes after the pellets start to burn.
It is essential for your grill to have non-stick grates. Having your meat and other foods stick to the grate can be frustrating. Also, the grates will be harder to clean if they are not non-stick.
The grates are porcelain coated and will give your meat the perfect sear. The grates have excellent heat retention properties that ensure even cooking.
With the digital thermostat, you don’t have to stand over the grill and closely monitor the temperature to keep your food from burning. All you have to do is to set the temperature and let your food cook. The auger is automatically adjusted to maintain your preferred temperature throughout the cooking process.
The Automatic Shut Down feature shuts down the grill automatically with minimal intervention from you. All you need to do is to set the temperature so that draft induction fan can burn the leftover pellets. Once the fan stops, the grill will switch off.
Furthermore, the grill offers convection cooking, which ensures that your food is evenly cooked and you don’t have to stand above the grill to continually check the food for raw spots.
The Lil Tex Elite 22 comes with two different safety alarms, one of which is responsible for notifying the person using the grill when the temperature falls below 125 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes.
The other alarm is to notify when the temperature reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit on the interior of the grill.
To keep the whole system clean, it is necessary to have a grease draining system that will collect all the grease drippings. The E-Z drain grease system does this entirely. All the grease drippings are collected into a drain pan and a drain from which the grease will move to a grease bucket where it can be cleaned out.
Porcelain-coated grates are non-stick and easy to clean
Electric ignition system
Convection heating for even heating
It is portable
The temperature is not so wide
Pit Boss Grills 71820FB PB820FB BBQ Pellet Grill
Ever since Pit Boss came into the market, they have been striving hard to match the quality and popularity of Traeger grills. This Pit Boss grill is a wonderful example of their commitment to delivering good pellet grills.
The PB820FB is constructed out of cast iron, and it is coated with porcelain for added strength. As regards to the cooking area, this grill is unique. It is rare to find a Pit Boss grill with a cooking area up to 600 square inches. However, this grill has 820 square inches of cooking space.
With 40,000 BTUs, it more than doubles Traeger Grills Lil Tex Elite 22’s 19,500 BTUs. Additionally, the grill has detachable secondary rack and lower shelves that are constructed from steel rod and wire. With the thermostat control feature, controlling the temperature is made easy.
The grill is fuelled by hardwood pellets that will give your food that cool smoky flavor. The natural wood fuel is also considered as one of the safest cooking options because wood pellets don’t contain chemicals that can contaminate the food.
With a temperature range of 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermostat control feature makes temperature control and monitoring very easy. You don’t have to stand by the grill to keep the temperature within the range; the thermostat control feature takes care of this.
Unlike some grills that require manual ignition of the pellets to get the grill going, the PB820FB has an automatic ignition feature that requires only a button press. This makes the grill easier to use.
The porcelain-coated grates are easy to clean, and they have a non-stick feature that ensures your food doesn’t stick to the grates. These grates have high heat-retaining ability that makes for even cooking of your food.
Furthermore, the grill offers convection cooking. This feature is what ensures that your food is evenly cooked without any raw spots. You won’t have to continually check to see if all parts of your food are being cooked with convection heating.
Another important feature that this grill comes with is the automatic cool down feature. As soon as you are done the cooking, you simply have to turn on the automatic cool down; this will burn out the excess wood pellets and cool down the grill.
The flame broiler gives the option to cook over direct heat or indirect heat. This is an essential feature that makes different cooking options available to users.
Convection heat ensures even heating and cooking
The porcelain-coated grills are easy to clean, and they are non-stick
It features automatic ignition
The grill has an automatic cool down feature
Similar-sized grills have higher temperature limits
It may take a while for the auger to show temperature changes
You should know exactly what to look for in a pellet grill by now. Thus, you should find it easy to make a choice whenever you are about to buy a pellet grill. This review has revealed to you what you didn’t know about two of the popular brands that make pellet grills.
Now to the question of which is better- Traeger grills or Pit Boss grill. Going by all the necessary features that a good pellet grill must have, we will have to say that Traeger grills are superior for a lot of reasons.
Traeger grills generally have a wider temperature range; they have a wider cooking area and a generous warranty offer. However, if you are looking for a cheaper pellet grill option that will still have excellent features, there are a lot of Pit Boss grills that fit this description.
If you have the luxury of money; however, then you should buy the best pellet grill you can find, and between the grills from these two companies, Trager grills are still superior.