Traeger sells several varieties of wood pellets to use in their grills. While the Traeger pellets are high quality they are also pretty expensive when compared to those sold by other brands such as Pit Boss.
You might be thinking that all wood pellets are just about the same and you could save yourself some cash if you bought the cheaper pellets from Pit Boss. But the big question is, “Can you use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger grill?”
The answer is, “Yes, you can use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger grill without worrying about hurting the grill or voiding the warranty.”
Keep reading and we’ll look at the differences between the wood pellets made by these companies.
Does Using Pit Boss Pellets Void the Warranty on a Traeger Grill?
Many people are under the impression that you can only use Traeger wood pellets in a Traeger grill or you will void the warranty. This impression comes from two sources:
- Traeger Warranty Card
- Traeger Warranty Website
Let’s take a look at why people have this impression and the law that would make this illegal.
The Warranty Card
When you buy a Traeger grill it comes with a warranty card that tells you how to register the grill along with the terms and conditions of the warranty. For a long time (and maybe it still does) the card had a phrase that said something along the lines of “Traeger grills perform best with Traeger brand pellets.”
People thought that because the warranty card specifically mentions the use of Traeger pellets that using anything other than Traeger pellets would void the warranty.
Nope. The card does not require the use of Traeger pellets, it just recommends them.
The Company Website
When you look up the warranty information on a Traeger grills there is a line that says:
“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;…..” (emphasis added)
People think that “fuels not compatible with the unit” means anything other than Traeger pellets.
In reality what this means is that if you use your Traeger to burn charcoal or wood instead of wood pellets than the warranty is voided.
The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act
The final piece of the puzzle comes from the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act which makes it illegal for a company to tie the warranty to the use of its own name brand consumables or aftermarket parts.
Among other things, this law:
“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.”
In short, it would be illegal for Traeger to make their warranty dependent upon the use of Traeger pellets.
Are Pit Boss Pellets as Good as Traeger Pellets?
So now that you know that you can use Pit Boss pellets in a Traeger grill the question becomes, “Should you?” The answer to that question comes down to cost and flavor.
Price Differences Between Pit Boss and Traeger Wood Pellets
The two brands have massive differences in prices. For example:
- A 20 pound bag of Pit Boss hickory pellets will cost you $8.88 at Walmart.
- A 20 pound bag of Traeger hickory pellets will cost you $18.95 at Home Depot.
The Traeger pellets cost more than twice as much as the Pit Boss pellets and I can promise you that they are not twice as good.
Here is where things get highly subjective.
It can be challenging to get enough smoke flavor from a Traeger and one of the solutions I recommend is to try switching up brands and wood types until you find the one that works best for the level of smoke that you want.
The reason you need to try the different brands is because the true composition of the pellets is not always obvious. Weber is highly transparent in the composition of their wood pellets but most companies are not.
For example, what we know about the composition of Apple pellets from three different brands are:
- Weber: 40% Apple, 60% Maple
- Pit Boss: “A proprietary blend of apple mixed with a base of oak/alder depending on the season, factory they were produced at, and a few other factors”
- Traeger: Natural Hardwood Blend
The big takeaway is that you really don’t know what type of smoke flavor a pellet is going to give you until you try it in your grill.
Overall Pellet Quality
You can go online and see lots of negative reviews about any type of pellet that are about the bag having too much dust, broken pellets, etc.
The real issues with bad bags of pellets, from any brand, is not in the manufacturing process but in how they were transported and stored. If bags were handled roughly or stored for prolonged periods in damp or humid conditions then they will start to fall apart.
Regardless of which brand you go with, look for bags of pellets which are undamaged and look clean. Avoid any bags of pellets that look like they have been sitting around a long time or bags that were on the bottom of the pile.