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Pit Boss Pellets vs Traeger Pellets: The Better Bag?

They’re two major brands, both promising a top performing, all-natural hardwood pellet for about the same price. So, are they any different?

I’ve been using both of these brands for years in a wide range of different pellet smokers. In this Pit Boss pellets vs Traeger pellets comparison, I’ll share my experience with both along with the more in-depth, background info including what’s in them, in case you’re interested.

Keep in mind, you can use both the Pit Boss pellets and Traeger pellets in any pellet smoker. You’re not stuck to the matching brand. 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.

But, while you’re at buying some good quality pellets, don’t forget to think about how you’re going to store them! An open bag isn’t the best way. Click the link for a range of options.

On to how these two favorites compare…

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Quick Summary

Quick Comparison of Pit Boss Pellets vs Traeger Pellets

Table of Contents

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, I have found that Pit Boss pellets have slightly more dust than Traeger’s. Either way though, I do use a sieve to get rid of the majority of the dust before I pop them in any pellet smoker.

What Flavors of Pit Boss Pellets Are Available?

Pit Boss Pellet Flavors

At the time of writing this, Pit Boss sell 14 different smoking pellet flavors. These include:

  • Hickory
  • Apple
  • Mesquite
  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Pecan
  • Whiskey barrel
  • Competition blend
  • Oak
  • Charcoal
  • Classic blend
  • Fruitwood blend
  • Trophy
  • Pitmaster blend

Check out the image for Pit Boss’s recommended pellet to meat pairings, or, our guide on the best type of wood for smoking.

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.

Although you can get 20 pound bags of Pit Boss pellets, the 40 pound bags are what you’ll see around more often, and give you more value anyway.

Pound for pound, Pit Boss pellets currently sell for pretty much the same price as a bag of Traeger pellets.

Follow the links below to check the current price of Pit Boss pellets and check for specials!

About Traeger Pellets

Just like Pit Boss, Traeger wood pellets are made from 100% natural, food-grade hardwood. There’s absolutely no fillers, additives, or flavoring added to any 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. Read more about Trager’s process here.

How Do Traeger Pellets Perform?

I’ve found Traeger pellets to be one of the most consistently performing hardwood pellets I’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 me, lower than I often get in competing brands.

What Flavors of Traeger Pellets Are Available?

Traeger Pellet Flavors

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:

  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Hickory
  • Mesquite
  • Pecan
  • Signature blend

The picture above/beside shows which pellet flavor Traeger recommends to pair with particular foods. Check out our wood pairing guide too in which I don’t give the typical advice.

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.

At the moment, they price of Traeger pellets is the same as Pit Boss’s when you’re comparing pound for pound. Because they don’t sell larger bags, there’s no option to save money buying in bulk. The plus side is, the smaller bags are very easily managable.

For current Traeger pellet prices, click the links below.

What Would I Buy? Pit Boss or Traeger Pellets?

Performance-wise, I find that Pit Boss and Traeger pellets perform pretty similarly.

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.

I do like the fact that Pit Boss pellets come in so many different flavors. So, I’ll always reach for Pit Boss when I’m after a more unique or particular flavor. But, when you get the odd bag that’s got more dust down the bottom, it is a bit of a turnoff.

So, usually when it’s between Pit Boss pellets and Traeger pellets and I’m not after a particular flavor, I buy whatever is currently on sale, or is available. They’re both well-performing products so there’s nothing more to it in my mind.

Kate Brown, the founder and voice behind Burning Brisket, is not your typical pitmaster or restaurateur. Her expertise in barbecue grew from a humble desire to cook exceptional meals for her family. From overcoming burnt brisket mishaps to establishing her boutique cattle ranch, Kate shares her passion to help 'ordinary' individuals cook extraordinary barbecue, believing that simplicity often yields the best flavors. Kate is committed to making great barbecue accessible to all with the right resources and some tasty practice.

About Burning Brisket

Burning Brisket is one of the leading, independent authorities on all things barbecue. Family-owned and run, it's our mission uncomplicate the art of smoking to help you enjoy making incredible food at home for your family and friends to create memories over.

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