Devon Ferguson
Published by Devon Ferguson
Last Updated On: September 23, 2022

Created in 1985, Traeger's original wood pellet smoker set the stage for a whole new category of grills, and their current line of products continues to be some of the most popular on the market.

These days, the Traeger brand is far from the only manufacturer out there, and there are many other high-quality options available for those looking for a wood pellet grill.

I have tried out the best Traeger alternatives and will share my opinion on each one below.

Editor's Choice
Z Grills
Z Grills
Durability
5.0
Price
4.8
Weight
5.0
Capacity
4.5
Overall Score
4.8
Click For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Pit Boss
Pit Boss
Durability
4.8
Price
5.0
Weight
4.6
Capacity
5.0
Overall Score
4.9
Click For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
Weber
Weber
Durability
4.5
Price
4.7
Weight
4.3
Capacity
4.8
Overall Score
4.6
Check Current Price

Our Top Products

1

Z Grills

Founded in 2016, you might think that Z Grills is a late entrant to the wood pellet grill market.

However, before becoming its own brand, Z Grills spent nearly 30 years as a manufacturer for some of the most easily recognized names in the industry [1].

But, in just a few short years, they have made a name for themselves as a creator of quality wood pellet grills and one of the best Traeger alternatives.

One thing that sets Z Grills apart from other manufacturers is its dedication to the customer experience.

They make it exceptionally simple to use their wood pellet smokers with features like a one-button start-up and a digital control board that gives you precise temperature control no matter what you are cooking.

Compared to the Traeger line, Z Grills has a more robust warranty program.

At first, you might not think that is the case since a Traeger smoker comes with a seven-year warranty on its body, legs, and hopper cover, while Z Grills warrants every part of their grill for three.

However, Traeger only guarantees their fan, augur motor, and other internal parts for a single year.

So Z Grills' 100% three-year warranty seems more comprehensive in comparison.

The Z Grills 7002B2E is an excellent example of the Z Grills product line. It has a temperature range from 180 to 450 °F, which allows you to cook everything from a wood-fired pizza cooked hot and fast to a brisket done low and slow on its cooking grates.

I like that this wood pellet grill is an 8-in-1 unit. I can braise, grill, bake, BBQ, roast, smoke, char-grill, and even do high heat searing on this versatile model’s 697 square inches of cooking surface.

Pros
  • Auger and fan system adjusts the pellet and oxygen supply for consistent temperatures
  • The venturi-style design creates maximum heat distribution
  • 20-pound pellet hopper provides up to 33 hours of smoking
  • Durable fire pot construction resists corrosion and retains heat
Cons
  • Assembly is required

"Pellet grills are the fastest-growing segment of the outdoor cooking world. They've become the new backyard go-to because they produce better flavor than charcoal and are more convenient than gas."
- Z Grills Official Website

2

Pit Boss

Pit Boss' history began in 1999 with the goal of providing affordable pellet grills that are of high quality.

The company has been sold a couple of times and is now owned by Dansons, the same company that owns Louisiana Grills.

Interestingly, Joe Traeger, the creator of the original Traeger grill, was hired in 2018 by Dansons to help advance this Traeger competitor [3].

Pit Boss grills are known for their value - they are often less expensive than most models from other brands while still offering features that rival the more expensive options.

With a large cooking capacity, hopper size, and digital controls to maintain the desired temperature, its grills are some of the top Traeger alternatives.

Although Joe Traeger is now associated with Pit Boss, this doesn't mean that Pit Boss mirrors Traeger Grills in all areas.

While Traeger smokers all have the same general form, Pit Boss offers a variety of shapes to fit your specific needs.

For example, in addition to the traditional horizontal grills, Pit Boss also offers vertical pellet grills.

The Pit Boss 5-Series Vertical Smoker is a prime example of their Traeger alternative product line. It has a whopping 1,513 square inches of cooking space over five adjustable grill grates and six sausage hooks.

This is more cooking space than most of Traeger’s grills. The smoker also has a large hopper that can hold up to 55 pounds of wood pellets, so you won't need to refill it anytime during your smoke.

I appreciate that the digital control panel on the Pit Boss 5-Series works directly to set temperature and with the included meat probe to give me accurate readings.

This panel also lets me track fuel use and adjust the temperature without opening the door.

Pros
  • Four locking caster wheels for easy movement
  • Large pellet view window so you don't have to open the door and lose heat
  • 150 to 420°F cooking range - can do slow cooking at low temperatures
Cons
  • Cannot grill on this smoker
3

Weber

Weber is one of the most iconic names in grilling, with their first kettle grill manufactured in the 1950s.

Their entry into the wood pellet smoker arena came in 2020, with the release of their SmokeFire pellet grill [2].

Weber is a company that has a long history of customer service and satisfaction, so it is no surprise that the company has become one of the top Traeger alternatives.

Besides their long history and experience in grill manufacturing, Weber is also known for their simple and straightforward designs.

The SmokeFire is no different, with an easy-to-use temperature control panel that allows you to set a consistent temperature and monitor it without hassle.

Weber pellet grills also come with a great warranty program. It covers all grill parts for at least three years, compared to Traeger, which limits some high-risk components to a single year.

Also, Weber has a 100-day return policy if you don't like your grill - for any reason. Traeger does not match that generous return policy.

The Weber SmokeFire grill has a 200 to 600 °F temperature range, held steady by a DC-powered engine that uses very little electricity.

You put your cooking temperature on the temperature dial, holding it steady. This makes it great for smoking, searing and grilling all sorts of foods.

The SmokeFire has 672 square inches of cooking space on its stainless steel grates. This is a little less than some similarly priced Traeger models, but it's still plenty of room to cook for a large group.

I find that the smaller size also makes it more mobile and easier to store than other pellet grills.

Pros
  • Porcelain-enameled finish prevents rusting
  • Flavorizer bars help evenly distribute heat across the entire cooking area
  • SmokeBoost adds smoldering pellets to maximize smoke levels
Cons
  • More challenging to clean than other models
4

Camp Chef

Founded in 1990, Camp Chef is a leading manufacturer of outdoor cooking equipment [4].

The company's products include smokers, grills, pellet grills, and accessories. Camp Chef is headquartered in Utah and is known for its WiFi Woodwind pellet grill.

Innovation and quality are the cornerstones of the Camp Chef brand and make it one of the best Traeger alternatives.

The company regularly introduces new products that improve upon the previous versions.

For example, it now offers a pellet grill with a low-glare, high-visibility LED display that keeps temperatures to +/- 5ºF.

Compared to Traeger, Camp Chef pellet grills have more accessories available to expand their cooking capabilities.

For example, the Camp Chef offers a sear box that can reach up to 900ºF. This can be used to quickly cook hamburgers or steak without overcooking them.

A side-mounted propane accessory can be outfitted with a griddle, baking oven, or BBQ grill box for maximum flexibility.

The Camp Chef PG24 MZG SmokePro showcases many of the company's best features.

This particular model has a side shelf and foldable front shelf to provide plenty of prep space. With an 811 square inch cooking surface, it can accommodate large smokes.

I like that the two included meat probes help me monitor progress without opening the lid.

And I can quickly switch between direct and indirect flame modes by pulling a single knob on my Camp Chef.

After my grilling session is over, the ash cleanout system makes my cleanup a breeze without having to reach for my shop-vac.

Pros
  • Hopper and ash removal system makes cleanup easy
  • Heavy duty front shelf gives more prep space
  • Adjustable settings allow you to set how smoke flavor there is in your food
Cons
  • No WiFi control on this model

Buyer's Guide

A person using a yellow mobile phone

When buying a wood pellet grill, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

Price

Although no one wants to spend more money than they have to, finding a pellet grill that fits your needs is essential.

You might spend a little more for features you'll use often, but they will save you frustrating effort and time in the long run.

Weight

A close up image of a smoker grill with wheels

If you plan on moving your smoker around often, look for a relatively lightweight model. This will make transportation and storage much more manageable.

Larger wheels can also be helpful in this regard. They are less likely to dig into the softer ground and make moving the pellet grill difficult.

If you want to go camping or tailgating, consider a portable grill instead of a larger grill.

Cooking Area

Think about how much food you typically smoke at once. If you regularly entertain large groups or smoke meats like ribs or pork butts, look for a pellet grill with a large cooking area.

A smaller model will suffice if you smoke food for smaller groups or individual portions.

Hopper Capacity

As opposed to a gas grill or charcoal grill, a pellet grill has a hopper. The hopper is the chamber that holds the wood pellets.

A larger hopper means you can smoke for longer periods without refilling it. This is advantageous if you plan on smoking overnight or while you're away from home.

Extras

Side to side images of smoker grill extra features

Some wood pellet grills come with added features, such as side shelves, propane attachments, or a grill cover.

Others come with helpful accessories, such as temperature probes and WiFi controllers.

Of course, consider how many bells and whistles you really need before making your final decision because they will add to the price tag.

Durability

It's important to find a smoker that can stand up to regular use. Look for a model with high-quality materials, like heavy-gauge steel that is built to last.

Stainless steel and porcelain-coated surfaces are good choices in this regard. Avoid plastic components whenever possible, as they are more likely to break down over time.

Ease of Use

A person grilling shrimp at a smoker grill

You don't want to struggle to use your smoker, so look for a model with user-friendly features.

Controls that are easy to read and have an intuitive design will make your life much easier when it's time to smoke.

Items like a grease bucket for easy cleaning are also a plus.

Customer Service

You should consider the company's reputation for customer service before making your purchase.

You want to be sure that you can get help if you have any questions or problems with your smoker.

Warranty

It's always a good idea to have a warranty in case something goes wrong with your smoker.

A more extended warranty is better, and the best companies offer a warranty demonstrating their confidence in their great grills.

FAQs

What Other Brand Does Traeger Make?

Traeger doesn't make any other brand of grills. Since Joe Traeger moved over to Pit Boss, there is often some confusion on this point, but as of right now, Traeger only produces one line of grills.

Is Pit Boss Owned by Traeger?

No, Pit Boss is not owned by Traeger. Although Joe Traeger works for the company, Pit Boss is owned by Dansons, the same company that owns Louisiana Grills.

Where Are Traeger Grills Made?

Initially, all Traeger grills were made in Oregon in the United States. However, as the company has grown, they have begun outsourcing its production to China.

This is the same manufacturing location as Z Grills, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef. Other grills Rec Tec, Green Mountain Grills, Grilla Grills, and Traeger grills, are made in China as well.

Smokers Like Traeger: Which One Is the Best Alternative?

Now that we have reviewed the four top Traeger alternatives that make wood pellet grills, it's time to choose the one that makes the best wood pellet grills.

After using all the wood pellet smokers listed above, I recommend the Z Grills 7002B2E Pellet Grill.

This grill has everything you need, including a large cooking area, big hopper capacity, and superior durability. Plus, it has the versatility of 8-in-1 cooking and an excellent warranty. For more information about this grill, click here.

Z Grills

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Auger and fan system adjusts the pellet and oxygen supply for consistent temperatures
  • The venturi-style design creates maximum heat distribution
  • 20-pound pellet hopper provides up to 33 hours of smoking
  • Durable fire pot construction resists corrosion and retains heat
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September

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