Pit Boss Mahogany vs Navigator – Is There A Difference?


Hi, I’m Chris I started PelHeat.com back in 2007.

Following on from my previous articles on the Pit Boss Navigator vs Sportsman range and the Mahogany vs Sportsman range, I wanted to conclude this collection with a comparison of the Mahogany vs Navigator ranges. Again as before, the article will not discuss every pellet grill/smoker under each range. The point is to directly compare models which appear to be more or less identical. The objective is to come to a conclusion on which is the better value.

Pit Boss Mahogany vs Navigator
You’ll surely agree that the Mahogany 820D on the left and the Navigator 850 on the right look very similar, so which is the better deal?: Images – PitBoss-Grills.com

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Introduction To The Pit Boss Mahogany vs Navigator Ranges

The Mahogany range currently offers the largest range of products under the Pit Boss brand, with several horizontal pellet grills/smokers along with a portable pellet grill and tabletop pellet grill.

The Navigator range, by comparison, is smaller, with currently only three products, all horizontal pellet grills/smokers.

Its the two larger pellet grills/smokers within the Navigator range that we are interested in for this comparison as they appear to share many similarities to two Mahogany models.

Below I’ve produced two tables which show the specs of all four models. Then below the table, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between the relevant models.


Pit Boss Mahogany Models

FeaturesMahogany 820D3Mahogany 1000
Total Cooking Area849 sq.in1,021 sq.in
Main Grate593 sq.in711 sq.in
Hopper Size21 lbs21 lbs
Temp Range180-500180-500
Direct Flame Access?YesYes
Typical Price$649$699

In terms of the ‘Typical Price’ figures above, I’ve referenced them directly from PitBoss-Grills.com, and you can use the button above to check the prices should a sale be on etc.

Now, please bear in mind that your conclusions may be very different from mine if you find a particular model on sale at Amazon.com, for instance.


Pit Boss Navigator Models

FeaturesNavigator 850Navigator 1150
Total Cooking Area879 sq.in1,158 sq.in
Main Grate593 sq.in711 sq.in
Hopper Size27 lbs32 lbs
Temp Range180-500180-500
Direct Flame Access?YesYes
Typical Price$899$999

In terms of the ‘Typical Price’ figures above, I’ve referenced them directly from PitBoss-Grills.com, and you can use the button above to check the prices should a sale be on etc.

Now, please bear in mind that your conclusions may be very different from mine if you find a particular model on sale at Amazon.com, for instance.


Pit Boss Mahogany 820D3 vs Navigator 850

These two horizontal pellet grills/smokers are your mid-sized backyard grill, suitable in size for your average family and capable of cooking up a good meal for a relatively large group of friends.

Right, first off, both the Mahogany 820D3 and Navigator 850 have exactly the same control panel minus the slight cosmetic differences.

Its a time-based control panel (no PID) that doesn’t as yet feature SmokeIT functionality, even though that’s a feature that is available as an upgrade option.

The temperature range on both is 180 to 500 degrees. However, as both also offer direct-flame access, when in use, the centre of the grate should be able to get to temperatures in excess of 650 degrees.

Pit Boss Mahogany 820D3 vs Navigator 850
On the left is the Pit Boss Mahogany 820D3 and on the right is the Navigator 850: Images – PitBoss-Grills.com

As you can see from the image above, these two pellet grills are very similar in appearance, despite a few changes. Note the chimney and lower shelf of the Mahogany 820D3, which is missing from the Navigator 850.

Are there really any notable differences though? Well, the Mahogany 820D3 also gets an analogue temperature gauge on its lid that the Navigator 850 doesn’t.

Points in favour of the Navigator 850 are the slightly larger upper rack, and more notably, a large 27 lb hopper than the 21 lb hopper found on the Mahogany 820D3.

But does the Navigator 850 come in at a higher price point? Oh yes, $899 compared to just $649 for the Mahogany 820D3.

Hence, despite the larger hopper, save yourself some coins, and go with the cheaper Mahogany 820D3. You’ll do just fine with a 21lb hopper, it can still take a full bag of grill pellets.


Pit Boss Mahogany 1000 vs Navigator 1150

So if the pellet grills/smokers are just not large enough for your needs, something of this size may suit you better.

Again, the Mahogany 1000 and Navigator 1150 are fitted with the same control panel, the same 180 to 500-degree temperature range, and they both also get direct flame access.

Pit Boss Mahogany 1000 vs Navigator 1150
Despite the color change and a few features, you can see the Mahogany 1000 (left) and Navigator 1150 are very similar: Images – PitBoss-Grill.com

You’ll notice, as above with the other comparison above, the Mahogany 1000 gets a chimney, whereas the Navigator 1150 has vents at the back.

The Mahogany 1000 gets a lower shelf and stainless steel side shelf, along with an analogue temperature gauge on the lid, features missing on the Navigator 1150.

However, the Navigator 1150 has the larger overall cooking area due to a slightly larger upper rack, but please note, both grills get the same sized main grate at 711 sq.in.

There is a larger pellet hopper on the Navigator 1150 at 32 lbs compared to just 21 lbs on the Mahogany 1000. Would that additional 11 lbs come in handy?

Sure, in the winter/colder months, when pellet usage will increase, even with an insulated blanket, the larger hopper will provide more reassurance that you won’t run out mid-cook.

However, the Navigator 1150 is priced at $999, and the Mahogany 1000 is just $699. I don’t think the larger hopper can justify spending that additional cash, and I’d go Mahogany.


Conclusions On The Pit Boss Mahogany vs Navigator

By checking out the Mahogany table and Navigator table above, you can see these are very similar pellet grills/smokers, apart from their typical price points.

Yes, the Navigator models provide a slightly larger cooking area, and they can hold more pellets, but the price difference isn’t insignificant, we’re talking several hundred dollars here.

Therefore, in both of the comparisons above, I’d go for a Mahogany model over a Navigator model and live with the smaller hopper, partly because I don’t recommend leaving pellets in hoppers anyway.

Right, that’s it! Thanks for reading, if you are interested in either of the Pit Boss ranges above, I hope the above helped you to make your mind up.

As always, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more about the latest and greatest developments in the world of pellet BBQs. 🙂

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.

Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.

A to Z List of The Best BBQ Wood Pellets

A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.

In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.

Chris - PelHeat.com

Hi, I’m Chris. I started PelHeat.com back in 2007. This website is intended to be an educational resource on BBQ pellets, pellet grills & smokers. I hope you find the information useful.

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