Pit Boss is currently the second most popular pellet grill focused brand behind Traeger (here’s proof). However, in terms of general BBQ brands, they don’t come any bigger than Weber, founded in 1893. Weber is the brand leader when it comes to charcoal and gas/propane BBQs. However, Weber has only recently dipped their toe into the world of pellet grills/smokers with its SmokeFire range. With this article, I’ll discuss how Pit Boss and Weber wood pellets currently compare. Though as I discuss in my Pit Boss vs Traeger article, Pit Boss and Weber are really targeting very different customers.
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As Weber is focused on premium pellet grills I’ll compare them to the current top-of-the-line Pit Boss pellet grills, the Platinum Series. Now, there is still a price disparity/difference between the Weber SmokeFire range and the Pit Boss Platinum Series, which I’ll discuss more below. However, these are currently the two closest comparable offerings from each brand in terms of price.
Introduction To Pit Boss vs Weber Pellet Grills/Smokers
Pit Boss has established itself with a strong brand reputation in offering affordable pellet grills and smokers with direct-flame broiling and cast-iron grates. Pit Boss grill also typically offer larger cooking areas on a $ per square inch basis compared to much of their competition.
Now, in my Pit Boss vs Camp Chef article, I’m critical of the budget Pit Boss grills for their lack of PID temperature controllers. However, in this article on Pit Boss vs Weber, we are purely discussing the pellet grills within the Platinum Series which both feature PID control panels.
Weber has been biding their time when it comes to pellet grill/smokers. On one hand, they appear to be have been carefully observing all the features that many users look for in a premium pellet grill, direct-flame, WiFi and PID controllers.
However, understandably Weber also wanted to enter the pellet grill game with a product that didn’t look or operate like anything else on the market. As I’ll discuss below, I believe the Weber SmokeFire pellet grills have some good design ideas. However, there are also some problems with their pellet grills that I hope Weber addresses with their second generation of SmokeFire pellet grills.
Pit Boss Platinum Series Pellet Grills
As I’ve stated above, the Platinum Series are the best Pit Boss pellet grills you can currently buy. There are two models within the Platinum range currently. First, there is the Lockhart which is very unique, its a horizontal pellet grill with a vertical pellet smoker cabinet on top.
There is nothing quite like the Lockhart from any other brand currently. It obviously provides a lot of cooking area, a massive 2,136 square inches to be precise. However, along with that large cooking area comes its heavyweight at just over 275lbs.
Hence, this is not a grill that you are going to be moving in and out of your garage/shed, it will have to be kept outside. As the Lockhart is not a stainless steel pellet grill you would want to protect it with a cover. While Pit Boss provides a reasonable 5-year warranty, it doesn’t cover rust/corrosion or failure of the paint finish.
The other model within the Pit Boss Platinum Series is the KC Combo which is a pellet/gas combo grill. As I discuss in my pellet vs gas grills article, a gas grill is going to get up to higher temperatures more quickly than a pellet grill. Therefore, a combo pellet/gas grill does appeal to some people. The KC Combo does provide a smaller total cooking area compared to the Lockhart at just over 1,000 square inches.
However, in every other regard, the pellet cooking side of things is identical. Both the Lockhart and KC Combo have a temperature range of 180 – 500 degrees from the pellet fire controlled by Pit Boss’s first PID control panel. The KC Combo is a little lighter than the Lockhart but not by much, it still weighs just over 262 lbs. I discuss both models in more detail in my Pit Boss Platinum Series article.
Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grills
There are currently two models within the Weber SmokeFire pellet grill range, the smaller EX4 and the larger EX6. I discuss the features/capabilities of the Weber SmokeFire range in this article. Below I’ll just briefly discuss their features to compare them against the Pit Boss Platinum Series. In terms of cooking area, the EX4 provides 672 square inches and the EX6 provides just over 1,000 square inches.
Therefore while the Weber Smokefire EX6 and Pit Boss KC Combo are comparable in cooking area, the Pit Boss Lockhart is significantly larger than either Weber pellet grill. However, both the Weber EX4 and EX6 provide a higher cooking temperature of 600 degrees. That’s 100 degrees higher than the Pit Boss Platinum Series can manage.
The internal components of the Weber SmokeFire range are DC powered. Hence, very similar to the Traeger D2 Direct Drive system. I should also note that both the Weber EX4 and EX6 are WiFi pellet grills. Originally the Pit Boss Platinum Series grills just offered Bluetooth connectivity, however, they are now also WiFi-compatible.
Controlling a pellet grill from a phone is seen as a gimmick by some, while its a very handy feature for others who are too busy to monitor the grill at home through the whole cook. The point being, if you do want to monitor the grill with the phone while away from home, you need WiFi compatibility, not Bluetooth. The lids on the Weber SmokeFire pellet grills have a nice porcelain coated finish, and there is some use of stainless steel. Hence, the Weber SmokeFire grills do have a premium appearance.
Customer Issues With Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grills
As you will see from the reviews on the BBQGuys.com, some first-generation Weber SmokeFire owners did experiencing issues. The three main issues generally involved the hopper, grease collection and the control panel. On the EX6, in particular, it does appear the angles within the hopper are not steep enough for the pellets to flow properly/consistently. The grease collection is more of an issue.
The grease falls into the base of the grills and its intended to flow out under the burn pot via channels. However, over time ash is mixing with the grease, causing the flow to stop. Grease can then build up in the base of the grill, potentially leading to a grease fire. Finally, there have been reports of control panel firmware issues. However, as of writing this, I believe most of those firmware issues have been resolved with updates.
Conclusions On Pit Boss vs Weber Pellet Grills
So what are my final thoughts when comparing Pit Boss vs Weber? Well, I do believe the Weber SmokeFire grills are using some higher quality materials than Pit Boss and the fit and finish of the Weber grills do appear to be of better quality. This shouldn’t be too surprising for a couple of reasons.
The general quality/fit and finish of Weber’s charcoal/gas grills is why they are the leading BBQ brand. However, the other reason is the Weber SmokeFire pellet grills are more expensive than the Pit Boss Platinum Series.
The Weber SmokeFire EX4 retails for around $1,000 and the EX6 is closer to $1,200. Both of the Pit Boss Platinum Series pellet grills on the other hand retail for around $750.
I do believe that Weber with their second generation of SmokeFire pellet grills can address the issues above that existing customers have been experiencing. However, until that’s the case its difficult to recommend them, especially due to their premium price point.
I come to a similar conclusion in my Camp Chef vs Weber article. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean I would recommend the Pit Boss Platinum Series either. I believe there are several other pellet grills you should also consider for under $1,000 as I have previously discussed.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I hope this article has helped you to understand how the pellet grills from Pit Boss and Weber currently compare. I’ll update this post in the future with updated pellet grills from both brands. In the meantime, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more. 🙂
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 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.