They’re two major brands, both promising a top performing, all-natural hardwood pellet for about the same price. So, are they any different?
In this comparison of the Pit Boss pellets vs Traeger pellets, we dive into how these two popular pellets perform.
Here, you’ll find all the details on how they’re made, what’s in them, how they burn, and, what quality consistency is like to help you decide which to buy.
Keep in mind, you can use both the Pit Boss pellets and Traeger pellets in any pellet smoker. You’re not just limited to matching brands. So, if you’re using this to help you decide which pellet smoker to buy, you don’t need to factor in pellet quality. Instead, check out our Traeger vs Pit Boss review that puts the pellet smokers head to head themselves.
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The Quick Version: Pit Boss Pellets vs Traeger Pellets
As you’d expect from two major brands, both the Pit Boss pellets and Traeger pellets are great quality options. With a huge range of flavors, all produced with strict quality controls right here in the USA from 100% hardwood, you can’t go wrong with a bag of either.
Performance-wise, we’ve found them both to be fairly equal and up there with the top smoker pellet options on the market.
Whether you’re smoking low and slow, or, grilling over high heat, both produce adequate heat and beautiful thin blue smoke that’s exactly what you need for optimal wood-smoked flavor. Ash production is low, and, dust levels are reasonably low in a bag of either as well.
But, Pit Boss do have a wider range of flavors available, and, give you the choice of two different bag sizes, making the larger one slightly cheaper than Traeger pound for pound. So, when you’ve got two pretty equally performing products but one’s got more choice and a lower price point, that’s what we’d generally reach for. We do, however, use Traeger pellets regularly as well.
About Pit Boss Pellets
Pit Boss have a huge range of 100% natural, all-hardwood smoking pellets. There’s absolutely no artificial flavors, sprays, glues or chemicals used in any Pit Boss pellets, creating a high quality product that creates the even heat and clean smoke you need for consistently impressive results.
Where Are Pit Boss Pellets Made?
The wood used in Pit Boss pellets is sourced from a range of forests across North America.
They work with everything from larger companies to small, one-man shows to bring in the variety of quality woods required for top notch pellet production.
From there, the pellets themselves are manufactured in a huge facility in Arkansas.
How Are Pit Boss Pellets Made?
While they’re not advertised as being totally sustainably produced, Pit Boss state that their logs are often sourced from trees that are storm damaged or are reaching the end of their life cycle. This improves the health of forests and minimizes environmental impact.
Once the logs have been collected and taken to the Pit Boss Pellet Mill, they’re sorted by species and debarked to reduce end ash production and prevent the soft bark from jamming the auger.
The logs are then chipped and mixed into their desired blends.
From there, the chips are passed through a dryer three times to reduce the moisture content to the desired level for clean burning. Then, they’re run through a hammer mill to reduce the chip size to sawdust before being processed in a special machine. In it, the wood is heated to activate the natural lignin’s in the wood fiber which acts to hold the pellets together without having to add any glues or fillers.
Once cooled, the pellets are packaged in plastic bags to keep moisture out during transport and, eventually, storage at your house.
How Do Pit Boss Pellets Perform?
In our experience, Pit Boss pellets perform just as highly as they claim to do.
Whether we’re smoking at low temperatures or grilling over high heat, they produce steady heat with minimal fluctuations. Ash production is low, we get about 1/2 a cup out of a 40 pound bag, depending on the flavor used. And, the smoke production is clean and clear while leaving a good amount of flavor in the meat.
What's the Quality and Consistency of Pit Boss Pellets Like?
After assessing a large number of bags, sold by different retailers, over a decent period of time, we’ve found the quality and consistency of Pit Boss pellets to be very good and stable.
The pellet sizes themselves are fairly uniform with individual pellets having the optimal hard and shiny surface that shows minimal moisture content.
In terms of dust at the bottom of the bag, we find it to be about what you’d expect from other high quality pellets.
What Flavors of Pit Boss Pellets Are Available?
What's the Price Like of Pit Boss Pellets?
Pit Boss pellets aren’t the cheapest pellets out there. But, they’re also not the most expensive.
There are two size options for most of the Pit Boss pellet flavors; 20 lbs and 40 lbs.
At the time of writing this, the 20 lb Pit Boss pellets are available for exactly the same price as 20 lbs of Traeger pellets. The 40 lb Pit Boss bags are slightly cheaper per pound and are the most affordable of the Pit Boss and Traeger options.
Click on the links below to check the current price of Pit Boss pellets.
About Traeger Pellets
As the original manufacturer of pellets and pellet smokers, Traeger have over 20 years of experience in developing high quality pellets. As such, they claim to have created the gold standard when it comes to pellet production and performance.
Where Are Traeger Pellets Made?
The wood for Traeger pellets is grown at a number of locations right across the USA. It’s then processed at mills strategically situated near to where the wood is sourced. For example, Alder is produced in the North West, Mesquite comes from the heart of Texas, and, White Oak is sourced in Georgia.
How Are Traeger Pellets Made?
Traeger believe the reason their pellets are so good is that they’ve perfected the moisture content that’s necessary to create good heat with a barely visible smoke that’s the best wood-fired flavor.
So, after greenwood is sourced, it’s chipped and dried accordingly before being reduced to a powder-like sawdust. From there, the wood is transferred to a forming die that heats it up so the wood’s natural binding agent, lignin, is released and the pellets are extruded.
Once cooled, the pellets are bagged in plastic to keep moisture out and transported to a retailer near you.
How Do Traeger Pellets Perform?
We’ve found Traeger pellets to be one of the most consistently performing hardwood pellets we’ve used.
Regardless of how hot we’re cooking, they’re always able to keep up with the smoker, the heat is steady, and, the smoke is indeed, that thin, blue smoke that’s perfect for full flavor without the bitterness.
Ash production is low, just as you’d expect from a well-dried product, and, the dust in the bottom of the bag has been, for us, lower than we often get in competing brands.
What Flavors of Traeger Pellets Are Available?
At the time of writing this, Traeger sell 6 different types of smoking pellets through their website and a few more on Amazon. Their flavors include:
The picture above/beside shows which pellet flavor Traeger recommends to pair with particular foods.
What's the Price Like of Traeger Pellets?
Traeger pellets are only sold in 20 lb bags. They’re not the cheapest hardwood pellet out there. But, they’re also not the most expensive either.
For current Traeger pellet prices, click the links below.
So, Which One's Better? Our Pit Boss Pellets vs Traeger Pellets Winner
They’re both made in the USA from 100% hardwoods with absolutely no additives. Both brands seem to have perfected their moisture ratio so their ranges of pellets create good heat and that optimal thin blue smoke without leaving a lot of ash to clean up.
We personally use Traeger pellets regularly and are always appreciative of the consistency of their pellets. But, more choice at a slightly lower price with Pit Boss does give them the edge in what’s a tough to call comparison.