If you’re new to the world of grilling, the fierce brand loyalty of many grillers might come as a bit of a shock to you. They’re constantly arguing about the best brand of grill machines, the merits, and demerits of modern grill machines, and last but not least, what kinds of pellets to use.
When the topic of pellets comes up, two of the most popular brands are Traeger and Pit Boss. A common question among grillers is whether Pit Boss pellets can be used in a Traeger grill. The answer is yes, but before deciding which brand of pellets you’re going to choose there are some things to consider.
- You can use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger Grill.
- There are some differences between Pit Boss and Traeger pellets, namely the most debated one is the big price difference between Pit Boss and Traeger pellets.
- Quality wood pellets matter so that you get the best quality meat grilled on your grill without compromising the taste.
- Your Traeger Grill warranty doesn’t become void for using other branded pellets. With other brands, you can create a unique blend of pellets with different flavors.
What are Wooden Pellets?
Whether it’s indoor or outdoor grilling, most modern grills these days don’t use wood logs anymore like the good old days. Instead, wooden pellets made from compressed sawdust are the norm now, and most grill machines are made with this in mind as the fuel source.
The quality of wood pellets can vary greatly from one geographical location to another. For example, the pellets made in Europe differ greatly from the ones made in America because of the species of timber available at hand. You can easily tell good-quality pellets from bad ones based on their bonding.
Good-quality pellets use heat and other natural bonding methods which prevent the smoke and food from having an odd smell or flavor. The bad ones on the other hand are bonded with glue and other chemicals which immediately gives off the smell of burning chemicals.
As you can see, choosing the right pellet can make a world of difference.
Can I Use Pit Boss Pellets in a Traeger Grill?
It’s true that Traeger makes good-quality pellets, but after years of grilling experience, we can tell you all standard wooden pellets more or less perform the same. Unless your brand loyalty with Traeger runs deep, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t opt for the cheaper option of the same quality over the expensive one.
Yes, you can definitely use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger Grill without any negative results. The general notion that you should only use Traeger pellets in a Traeger Grill stems from the fact that Traeger encourages it on their warranty card where it says, “Traeger grills perform best with Traeger brand pellets.”
That’s there to only encourage you to buy more Traeger products, not force you into it. If you thought using Pit Boss pellets would void the guarantee, you would be wrong. The same thing is also mentioned on their website worded differently which further adds to the confusion,
“This warranty shall be void if the unit is not assembled or operated in accordance with the operation instructions provided with this unit; the unit is resold or traded to another owner; components, accessories, or fuels not compatible with the unit have been used;
The fuel not compatible part only applies to other types of grill fuel like wood or charcoal, not pellets of other brands. And even if Traeger did make it mandatory in their clause, they would be going against the law by violating the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act that,
“prohibits warrantors from conditioning warranties on the consumer’s use of a replacement product or repair service identified by brand or name, unless the article or service is provided without charge to the consumer or the warrantor has received a waiver.”
Pit Boss and Traeger are of similar standards, so using one over the other ultimately boils down to personal preference and budget.
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Traeger Pellets vs. Pit Boss Pellets
So now that we know that using both brands of pellets is valid for Traeger grills, let’s take a look at some of the finer differences between Traeger and Pit Boss pellets so that you can make a more informed choice when it’s time to buy pellets for your Traeger grill.
High-end Vs Low-end
The first main difference between Traeger and Pit Boss is their intended target market. Their production procedure is almost the same beat-by-beat, but Traeger targets the more high-end market and makes some fancy pellets. Some of their offerings include:
- Signature Blend
- Mesquite BBQ
- Hickory BBQ
- Apple Wood
- Cherry Wood
Both brands use hardwood timber that is finely sawed before being compressed into pellets by natural means without any binders or fillers.
The Quality of the Smoke
The main purpose of grilling meat is the smokey barbeque flavor that enriches the taste of the meat. In this aspect, Pit Boss beats Traeger significantly. Despite being made similarly, grillers tend to have a harder time getting that smokey flavor from Traeger pellets.
On the other hand, Pit Boss pellets are much better at delivering the smoked flavor all grillers look for. But don’t take this as a difference in quality; it’s more about the composition of the pellets than the quality of the timber used. Since most pellet brands do not show the exact percentages on the label, you really can’t be sure.
Our guess is that the composition of Pit Boss pellets is much better than Traeger pellets which allow for the smokey flavor to be released. For best results, experiment with different types of pellets to find the quality of smoke you’re looking for; there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this.
Overall Pellet Quality
When it comes to the overall pellet quality, both Traeger and Pit Boss stand shoulder to shoulder. Both have a solid reputation for making good-quality pellets and any negative reviews you hear or read online are the result of bad packaging rather than bad-quality products.
Price Difference Between Traeger and Pit Boss
Now this is the point that divides Traeger and Pit Boss pellet supporters. Despite being of the same quality, the price difference between the two brands is enormous. Also, Pit Boss sells their pellets in multiple-sized packages (20 and 40 pounds) while Traeger only sells one size (20 pounds).
For a fair comparison, let’s take a look at the prices of a 20-pound bag of Pit Boss Pellets and a 20-pound bag of Traeger Pellets:
- A 20-pound bag of Pit Boss hickory pellets will cost you $8.88
- A 20-pound bag of Traeger hickory pellets will cost you $18.95
This is just the base price for basic pellets; some of the fancier versions of Traeger pellets can go up to $30. Given the price difference, it’s a no-brainer which brand should you go for if you want to save money in the long run.
Can I Use Other Branded Pellets in a Traeger Grill?
It’s understandable if you’re having a hard time finding Pit Boss or Traeger pellets in your locality, they’re not widely available everywhere. In situations like these, you’ll have to make do with pellets from other brands to use in your Traeger grill. The million-dollar question is- is it safe to do so?
Provided you’re buying hardwood pellets that don’t use glue or other binding agents, you can safely use pellets from brands other than Pit Boss or Traeger. In fact, some people actually prefer multiple pellets of different flavors and mix them together to create their own signature smoked flavor.
Why Pellet Quality Matters?
There are some grilling purists out there who claim nothing beats the smoke of a bunch of heartily burning fire logs. Since that’s cumbersome in today’s day and age, pellets have become the new alternative. But this new alternative also has some caveats attached to it.
For starters, pellets are basically sawdust compressed together to take a pill-shaped form, which is usually 3-40mm in length and a diameter of 6-8mm by ENplus Standards. While this isn’t an issue during production and use, the problem starts when long-distance delivery gets involved.
If the pellets aren’t of good quality, then chances are high that the pellets will disintegrate and arrive on your doorstep as a bag of broken sawdust. Good-quality pellets are made from hardwood which makes them dry, hard, and durable- all essential qualities for both grilling and long-distance delivery.
If the moisture content is more than 10% and the ash quality is not good, you’re going to have a hard time grilling your meat. Also, poor-quality pellets can damage your Traeger grill over time which will turn into unnecessary repair costs for you.
1. Can I order Pit Boss and Traeger pellets online?
Yes, you can order Pit Boss and Traeger Pellets online. Both are commercially available on their own websites and other online stores like Amazon and Walmart.
2. Can I get a discount when buying pellets?
It will depend on a number of things. Some physical stores will offer you a discount for bulk purchases and there are also sales that can take place from time to time.
3. Can I use Traeger Pellets with Pit Boss grills?
Yes, the same rules apply the other way around! You can use Traeger pellets with Pit Boss grills.
4. Can different pellet types be mixed together?
Yes, different pellet types can be mixed together for unique blends. Just remember that you need good-quality pellets or else you might have odd-flavored food from your grill.
Now that you have all the facts, you should have no qualms about using Pit Boss and other branded pellets in your Traeger grill. As long as you know what are the properties of a good hardwood pellet, you shouldn’t have any problem grilling away to your heart’s content. You will be voiding no warranties and you can mix a blend of different hardwood pellets in your grill to get a combination of different flavors! Just make sure that the pellets you are using are not using glue as a binding agent for the pellets. So good luck on your grilling journey and make some tasty steaks and grills!
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.