The Traeger name is synonymous with pellet BBQ grills, and for good reason. Traeger created the pellet grill and has produced a wide range of grill models over the years.
Traeger is the industry leader in grill technology and innovation, but all that innovation comes at a hefty cost. Also, not everyone wants a Traeger grill. After all, that is one of the freedoms we all enjoy; the freedom to choose what you like.
So if you are into pellet grilling or looking perhaps for more affordable options to a Traeger grill, this article will cover other popular brands and the best traeger alternatives available in the market today.
Why Choose an Alternative to Traeger?
Traeger makes amazing pellet grills, and their brand is known for bringing leading innovation to the pellet grill market. They invented the pellet grill and have a substantial advantage over many companies, having vast experience in grills and being the first.
Traeger is also a large company with hundreds of employees devoted to the research and design of their grills. However, all this comes at a price. Traeger grills can be expensive. You do have to pay to get all the gadgetry. Traeger’s latest grill, the Timberline XL, even has a touchscreen temperature controller.
With that being said, there are two reasons why you might choose Traeger alternatives. The first and most obvious is to find a more affordable smoker or grill, and the second is to find other quality attributes and features.
Not everyone has a couple thousand dollars around to throw at a grill, and some people don’t grill that often, in which case a more affordable option can be a better fit. Others don’t care for all the gadgetry and technology, so there is a cost saving point.
Others are looking for basic features or are looking for a starter grill. Something simple and easy to use.
Lastly, we have those who are looking for exceptional quality and even a grill made in the USA. There are smaller pellet grill companies still making their products here in the USA. These grills tend to be more expensive and cater to a smaller niche of hardcore BBQ enthusiasts, but they offer exceptional quality.
Best Traeger Alternatives
Below is a list of great Traeger alternatives, including high end brands. All of these companies produce and sell excellent grills, and we will briefly discuss each of them to let you know which ones are the best at what they do.
Z Grills is a company better known for offering very affordable pellet grills and manufacturing grills for other well-known brands. That’s right. Z Grills has been manufacturing grills for over 30 years, including making grills for popular brands like Traeger.
What makes Z Grills a good alternative to Treager’s is price. Z Grills are untouchable when it comes to their prices and bundles. Some of their grills include advanced features like digital temperature controllers, meat probes, and even WIFI.
The fit and finish are not as good quality as Trager’s, but on average a Z Grill retails for about half the price of a comparable Traeger grill. This is because since Z Grills manufactures and sells direct to consumers, there isn’t a middle man or much overhead compared to brands that outsource every aspect of manufacturing.
Read more about Z Grills vs. Traeger.
Top Selling Z Grills pellet grills
The Z Grills 450B
The 450B is small but mighty. This model is very popular for various reasons, but mainly because you get a lot of bang for your buck. This is Z Grills’ entry level grill, so it is priced affordably. Still, you get a digital temperature controller, a meat probe, and enough grilling surface for a small family.
This grill is very popular among beginners, those looking for something simple and easy to use.
You can read our in-depth review of the 450B in this article.
The Z Grills 700D4E
The 700D4E is another well-rounded grill manufactured by Z Grills. This is a larger and more desirable model because it is closer to the typical size of most backyard grills, has more usable space, and is still priced well below every other grill on this list.
The 700D4E offers over 600 square inches of cooking surface, two meat probes, a digital temperature controller for precise temperature control, and two cooking grates.
We tested the 7004DE and were impressed with its large storage area, which is great for storing pellet bins and containers as well as BBQ tools.
Read More: Z Grills 7004DE Full Review by BBQ Grill Academy.
The Z Grills Multitasker
The Multitasker is the most technologically advanced of this particular brand’s larger models. It features a wireless temperature controller and over 900 square inches of cooking space. This grill is pretty much as close as you can get to an older Traeger Timberline series, they even look the same but almost half the price.
Pit Boss Grills
Pit Boss is another brand offering good grills to consumers at affordable prices. Pit Boss, in terms of quality, goes a step above Z Grills by offering thicker, stronger steel-built grills. Their price is also higher, but as far as features go, both Z Grills and Pit Boss are equal.
With Pit Boss, you will find a large range of models at different price points with slightly different features, but as far as gadgetry and technology go, they are pretty equal to Z grills, priced just a bit higher.
One area where Pit Boss shines is in their direct heat feature, which consists of a manual operated lever that opens a shield above the fire pot to allow direct flame to come into contact with the grates. This allows you to sear steak or substantially increase the temperature for high and fast cooking.
Read More: Pit Boss VS. Z Grills
Top Pit Boss Grills
The Sportsman Series
These are Pit Boss entry level grills and are available in different models, including portable models. The Sportman are simple and easy to use but packs all the basic features you need to cook a good BBQ dinner.
Camp Chef is better known for its wide variety of outdoor camping cooking products. They do also have a nice range of pellet grills, among other things. Camp Chef pellet grills are comparable to Z Grills in terms of build quality. (The latest Pit Boss models use pretty decent thick steel).
However, Camp Chef is superior to both Z Grills and Pit Boss in terms of technology and features, while their construction quality is comparable. With Camp Chef, you get an amazing mobile app to wirelessly control the grill from anywhere in your home.
A WIFI digital temperature controller, meat probes, and unique to Camp Chef, their SideKick gas-powered accessories. More on that later.
Camp Chef pellet grills are a few hundred dollars more expensive than Z Grills, and the price difference is all in the technology and gadgetry. Price wise, Camp Chef is comparable to Pit Boss, but in technology and features, they are almost there with Treager, almost.
One unique and winning feature is their SideKick system. The SideKick is a platform on the grill that allows you to “snap on” various gas/propane powered accessories, making this grill an excellent gas/pellet combo grill for those looking for maximum versatility.
The Sidekick system supports a propane-powered side griddle, a pizza box, and even a searing side burner. So you can have a full pellet grill on one side and your side table can be turned into just about anything.
This is a great invention by Camp Chef. Pellet grills are amazing and easy to use, but with most of their models, the average temperature range is from 160 to 500 degrees, meaning that if you want to bake a pizza or sear a steak, the grill might not get hot enough. This is when the SideKick system delivers.
Top Camp Chef Grills
The Woodwind Line up
Camp Chef keeps things straightforward, unlike competing brands. The Woodwind grills are the name of Camp Chefs’ product line. Among this line up you will find different sized models, all with the same features but with the expectation of size. There is a Woodwind 24, a 36, and so on.
New to their line up is the Apex grill, which is their largest and newest wood pellet smoker and grill.
Green Mountain Grills
Green Mountain grills are well known for their portable pellet grills. This brand also makes good quality large grills. They are best known for their portable pellet grill, the David Crocket. This little guy can connect to your car’s 12 volt battery and operate.
This makes it a good option for RVs and campers. Grab your favorite campfire cooking gear and pack this little guy for a weekend full of flavorful BBQ.
Grilla Grill is another cool brand and another wood pellet grill company offering well rounded wood pellet grills. This company incorporates their name into the design of their grills and has come up with interesting shapes and features.
Top Selling Traeger Grills
Now there isn’t to say that there isn’t good affordable Trager grills Check out these models and top selling Traeger grills.
The Pro 575 series
The Pro 575 is Traeger’s entry level grill but packed with features. The only thing you do not get with this grill is the double walled cooking chamber found in their more expensive models, but you still get Trwager quality, warranty, and best of all, their D2 temperature controller.
The D2 controller is smart and controls a variable speed fan to deliver the most precise cooking temperatures.
Other High-End Wood Pellet Grill Traeger Alternatives
As I mentioned before, there are smaller wood pellet grill companies offering great alternatives to Traeger. Some of these companies are focusing more on quality and building materials, but it is still hard to beat Trager innovation and technology. Traeger, as a large company, has plenty of resources to devote to things like mobile app development and grill technology.
In case you are wondering or looking for the pinnacle of pellet grill luxury, quality, and technology, then let me introduce you to Twin Eagles. Many have not heard about this brand, but its company is the Mercedes Benz of pellet grills.
With Twin Eagles, you get state-of-the-art technology, including touchscreen controls and an outstanding mobile app.
These grills are the absolute best in terms of luxury and style when it comes to outdoor cooking appliances. Twin Eagle takes the lead. These grills are great for luxurious outdoor kitchen setups and for those with large budgets. Yes, these girls are not cheap.
Memphis Pellet Grills
If you like the finer things in life, and that includes a good looking grill for your outdoor kitchen, these Memphis grills deliver. These grills are built using fine and high quality materials such as stainless steel. But unlike rectqe, these companies pride themselves on delivering highly refined grills with the latest technology.
Expect to pay a premium for these grills, but their technology and features are comparable or better in some ways than Traeger.
Recteq is a direct competitor to Traeger and, despite being a smaller company, manages to offer a full line of electric pellet grills primarily to the consumer. These grills are built exceptionally well using top quality materials, and the main cooking chamber is all 304 stainless steel.
As you can expect, these rec teq ain’t cheap, but because they are built so well, you can expect to get hours out of your investment.
One area where recteqw falls short of Traeger and even other grill brands is technology and refinement. Reqteq grills, though they boast amazing build quality, look and feel more like smaller hand-built grill brands. Also, although they use digital temperature controllers, you will not see the technology found in a traditional traeger.
There are other small details that scream “homemade”, like exposed wires, and even an ol’school wireless antenna that sticks out of the controllers.
Nevertheless, this company is known for its quality, amazing warranty, and customer support. So if quality is all that matters to you, rec teq can deliver.
Yoder Pellet Smokers
Yoder Smokers is another high-end brand known for building tanks on wheels for smokers and is made in the USA. These pellet smokers will set you back a few thousand dollars, but you get a large, heavy-gauge steel smoker. Tech is not where these grills shine; it’s in their build quality.
What Makes Traeger Smokers So Special?
Traeger is a well known brand, and most people have heard of or owned a Traeger. This isn’t necessary because they are the best, but they were definitely the first pellet grill company.
Are wood pellet grills worth the investment?
Wood pellet grills are definitely a good buy, but a lot depends on the type and brand of pellet grill you choose. As far as cooking with wood pellets and pellet grills, you get great flavor and these grills are easy to use.
As far as which is best, our article on wood pellet grills is a good start to finding a good fit, but a good rule of thumb is to find a reliable brand with a good warranty and built using decent materials. But remember, a good pellet grill won’t make you a better cook.
Traeger grills are market leaders in innovation and technology when it comes to pellet grills. However, they are not the only game in town. As we showed in this article, there are good options to Traeger grills and also very high-end better quality wood pellet grill companies.
What’s important when choosing a wood pellet grill is to know how much you are willing to spend, find a company with a good warranty and the features you need.