Which grill is right for me? What should I look for in a pellet grill? When it comes to backyard grilling, the choices can seem overwhelming and even confusing, especially when you’re new to outdoor cooking and don’t know what to look for.
With so many different brands, models, styles, and types of grills and smokers, it can be hard to determine which one will work best for your needs.
Fortunately, some clear winners in this field stand above all others, making it easier to narrow down your search and find the ideal grill or smoker for your needs: Camp Chef and Pit Boss. Both are high-quality pellet grills, but subtle differences make one more attractive than the other, depending on personal needs.
This guide will help you choose between these two market leaders to find the perfect grill to fit your needs.
Camp Chef Overview
Camp Chef traces its origin back to 1990 when the company was founded by Ty Measom, who was dissatisfied with the quality and size of outdoor grills available at that time. He then decided to design and manufacture his grills and sell them under a new brand name: Camp Chef.
This model was quality and portable, perfect for camping trips. In 1992, they began selling their products through hardware stores and sports shops. They were able to expand into larger retail chains such as Home Depot and Lowes in less than five years.
Currently, Camp Chef offers various models, including wood pellet grills, charcoal grills, gas grills, and more.
The ideal pellet grill is more convenient and easy to use than charcoal or gas grills. They are available in different colors and sizes, including small, medium, and large. They can be portable or fixed, depending on your need. The compact size of the Camp Chef pellet grill allows you to place it almost anywhere where you have space for it.
How Does a Camp Chef Pellet Grill Work?
Camp Chef pellet grill works by adding pellets into a hopper. When you turn on a switch, it ignites a fire that burns through these pellets and creates heat. Then, a fan blows air into your cooking chamber to keep it at a consistent temperature. It’s simple as that!
The best part is that there are no flare-ups or hot spots in your food because of burners or heating elements. Besides, you can check the temperature using the temperature probe you connect to the food on the grill. So, if necessary, you can easily adjust your cook settings to get them just right.
You can check out this video for an easy guide on using a Camp Chef Pellet Grill.
Pit Boss Overview
As the name goes, Pit Boss has been a boss in all of our grilling needs. It is easy to use and it is lightweight. The best part about it is that it can be easily moved from one place to another without hassle.
Since 1999, Pit Boss has been making quality grills and smokers for all types of outdoor cooking. Their products are known for their durability and ease of use. With various options available, they’re sure to have something that will fit your needs. They also offer a wide range of accessories to help make your grilling experience even better.
Being well built and featuring frame broiler level, Pit Boss is ideal for any griller looking for excellent and easy cooking. The products have been getting positive reviews since 1999. You get a lot with their products, but their customer service can help you find answers quickly if you have any questions or issues.
How Does a Pitt Boss Pellet Grill Work?
Like its counterpart, the Camp Chef, Pit Boss works in a pretty similar way. It has to be plugged into an outlet before it can start working and needs to be filled with pellets. The hopper holds up to 20 pounds of pellets and is easily refilled by opening its lid, allowing you to control how much wood pellets go into your grill at any given time.
Once you have the pellets in, you press a button on the grill’s digital display panel that will tell it to start heating up.
You set your desired temperature using a dial and wait for your food to cook. Simple as that! Watch this video for a more visual idea of the working of the Pit Boss Pellet Grill.
Difference Between Camp Chef and Pit Boss
While these two brands have lots in common and are quality pellet grills, subtle differences set them apart. This comparison will help you decide which one is best for you.
For both companies, temperature control is a digital system that allows you to set your desired temperature. The difference is that Pit Boss uses a regular temperature controller while the Camp Chef uses a PID-base controller for its grills.
While it’s not a big deal for most people, it does give Camp Chef an edge in terms of consistency and accuracy when setting temperatures compared to Pit Boss. The Camp Chef system allows only small temperature dips and spikes of +/-5 degrees Fahrenheit while Pit Boss’s temperature fluctuations are +/-20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bigger the temperature fluctuation, the smokey the grill. Therefore you can expect your meat to be smokey with a Pit Boss than Camp Chef. But who knows, you may be the type that likes smokey meat?
It’s worth noting that many pellet grill controllers use PID controllers or something similar, so we’re not saying it’s better than other brands just because of their choice of using a different technology.
They both have a high and low setting for temperature range, with Pit Boss having 180-500 degrees Fahrenheit and the Camp Chef 150-500 degrees Fahrenheit. This slight temperature range difference doesn’t make much difference to most people, but it might be worth looking into if you’re particular about your cooking temperatures.
As with temperature increments, both brands have 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Some brands will have smaller increments, but 25 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be shared for pellet grills. It shouldn’t be a problem if you’re not picky about temperature.
Under this factor, neither the Camp Chef nor the Pit Boss takes away the credit over the other. Both are great grills, and you can’t go wrong with either one of them in terms of the temperature range.
With the Camp Chef hoppers, you can get 18 to 22 pounds of pellets, compared to 18- 31 (may go up to 55 pounds for the largest vertical smoker) pounds from Pit Boss. A pellet hopper capacity of above 18 pounds is enough to run you through the night without needing to add more pellets; therefore, both grills score at it.
However, if you want a larger or unlimited capacity, Pit Boss is your best bet. It can hold up to 55 pounds of pellets and automatically has an auger that automatically feeds pellets into your grill. This makes it much easier to smoke meat all day long without worrying about refilling your hopper now and then.
There’s quite a considerable difference if we look at grill cooking space. Depending on the model, the Camp Chef can hold 500 to 1200 square inches of cooking space, while you can get 250 to 2000 square inches of cooking space from Pit Boss. The difference in size is a lot more than we anticipated.
While it does make sense that Pit Boss has a larger grilling area, it’s not something that will be noticeable to most people. For most people, what matters is how much meat they’re able to cook, and with that said, both grills have ample room for cooking food for your family or friends.
Extra space isn’t necessary unless you want a grill just for yourself.
We give Pit Boss an edge over Camp Chef in terms of size because of its cooking space; up to 2000 square feet is much bigger than 1200 square feet. If you need more space, then no problem; get yourself a bigger grill like Pit Boss.
The Camp Chef is known for its build quality, so there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting a sturdy grill with great material. The same goes for Pit Boss but with one slight difference.
We’ve seen a few complaints regarding build quality; the material making Pit Boss is not as solid and sturdy. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t have good build quality, but from what we’ve seen, Camp Chef takes home the trophy in terms of build quality.
Camp Chef and Pit Boss come with a warranty, which is more than enough for most people, especially since you’ll be using your grill for quite some time. Even if you use it every day, one or two years should be enough to cover all repairs.
Pit Boss’ 5 years warranty is better than Camp Chef’s 3-year warranty, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Both companies offer excellent customer service and have proven to be helpful in any issues.
We can’t afford to exclude the extra features in our comparison. The Camp Chef grills have additional features that might matter to you. They include Wi-Fi capability, built-in meat probes ports, and extra add ons such as an extra oven and sear station.
Pit Boss doesn’t come with any of these extra features, but if you’re not looking for them, then it shouldn’t be a problem at all. The primary purpose of a grill is to cook food, and we believe both these grills do it perfectly well without any additional bells and whistles.
Camp Chef vs Pit Boss Comparison Table
|Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
|Pit Boss Sportsman 500SP Wood Pellet Grill
|570 sq. in.
|542 sq. in.
|160°F – 500°F
|180°F – 500°F
Camp Chef vs Pit Boss: Which is Better?
We’ve already seen the major differences between these two grills. The Camp Chef is a more traditional grill, while the Pit Boss is a smoker/grill hybrid. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you to decide which one works best for your needs.
If you’re looking for something that will get you cooking quickly, go with a Camp Chef. If you want something that can smoke and a grill, then go with a Pit Boss. If you need something that can do both equally well, there’s no wrong answer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Pit Boss Pellets Work in Camp Chef?
Yes! Pit boss pellets are compatible with Camp Chef. You can use them in your Camp Chef stoves, including your pellet grill.
Is Camp Chef Cast Iron Made in the USA?
China is where Camp Chef cast iron is made. China has a history of producing goods and high-quality materials.
What Do You Do When Your Camp Chef Runs Out of Pellets?
You can have another bag of pellets ready to go as soon as your pellet grill has run out. A pellet smoker is great because you can load it with more pellets so that you do not have to wait for your pellet grill to heat up again.
Where are Pit Boss Grills Made?
Pit Boss grills are made in China. Pit Boss is Dansons Inc’s subsidiary, and they make most of their products in China. They also make many different types of smokers, not just pellet smokers.
Are Camp Chefs Good?
Yes, Camp Chefs are good. They have high-end models that are worth a trial. Camp Chef is a little more expensive than your average smoker, so it’s important to know what you will use it for.
Why is My Pit Boss Grill Not Smoking?
The Pit Boss grill often fails to smoke when there’s a problem with the temperature, pellets, or firepot. You can solve this by troubleshooting your machine using the instructions in the user manual.
How Hot Can a Camp Chef Pellet Grill Get?
A Camp Chef can heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very hot, and you need to be careful when using it.
How Long Will a Camp Chef Pellet Grill Last?
The Camp chef will last for a long time. If you maintain it well, it can last from 8-10 years on average or even longer.
You have to keep in mind that each grill is better at doing certain things than the other. It comes down to your goals and how much money you want to spend. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that can still get high-quality results, go with Pit Boss.
However, if you’re looking for something more advanced with more features and options to play around with, then go with Camp Chef.