BBQ, in the United States, has come to be much more than just another cooking technique. The country’s long history of cooking food, especially meat, low and slow over an indirect flame is testament to the fact that BBQ has, over the years, taken the shape of no less than a culinary tradition. Naturally, over the course of the evolution of American BBQ, a plethora of companies have come forward with their own lines of smokers and grills of all shapes and sizes.

Two of the most renowned names among these grill giants are Camp Chef and Pit Boss. As with all things that have an overlapping product range and target audience, these two brands, too, are the subject of much debate and controversy as to which is superior. If you are a first-time buyer, the varied opinions on this subject can perplex you and make it difficult to choose between the two. Both are reliable names in the grill industry and have much to offer in terms of quality and features.

To make your decision easier, therefore, our team closely studied the two brands and all that they bring to the table, to settle the Camp Chef vs Pit Boss debate once and for all. Read on to find out more.

At a Glance…


Portable Pellet Grills

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickCamp Chef Pursuit 20
  • 501 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 10 pound hopper
  • Dual meat probes
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imagePit Boss Sportsman
  • 387 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 19 pound hopper
  • Dual meat probes
CHECK PRICE

Vertical Pellet Grills

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageCamp Chef XXL
  • 2408 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 18 pound hopper
  • Wifi compatibility
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byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickPit Boss Sportsman 7 series
  • 1815 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 55 pound hopper
  • Supports dual meat probes
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Top Selling Pellet Grills

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickCamp Chef SG 24
  • 429 sq. inches of cooking space
  • Adjustable smoke settings
  • Wifi compatibility
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byb2-table__imagePit Boss Sportsman 500
  • 542 sq. inches of cooking space
  • Flame broiler lever technology
  • Can purchase wifi controller separately
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Flat Top Griddles

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageCamp Chef Flat Top 600
  • 600 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 48,000 BTU's
  • Set in grill grates
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageTop PickTop PickPit Boss 4 Burner Griddle
  • 748 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 62,000 BTU's
  • Independent control gas burners
CHECK PRICE

Camp Chef vs Pit Boss: A Brief Overview

Though best known for pellet grills, right after Traeger, both Camp Chef and Pit Boss offer a comprehensive range of grills and smokers that span across fairly similar price points. Each of the brands has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, but all in all, BBQ aficionados unanimously agree that both companies produce top-tier grills and other outdoor cooking equipment.

Camp Chef

Camp Chef has been a renowned name in the outdoor cooking industry for upwards of 20 years. Founded in 1990 by Ty Measom, the company offers an extensive range of products. The company’s very first product was an outdoor cooking system by the name of Pro60, the design of which was gradually improved upon to incorporate more accessories so as to make it one of the most versatile cooking systems available in the market. The once bare-bones Pro60 has now come to include flat top griddles, BBQ boxes, and even pizza ovens.

Camp Chef, after having been in the market for about 10 years, eventually began to manufacture cast iron cookware. Currently, their product lines include grills, flat tops, smokers, and pellet grills. All Camp Chef products are manufactured in China and designed and assembled in the US.

Pit Boss

Founded in 1999 in Alberta, Canada, Pit Boss eventually moved to Phoenix, Arizona. They have since amassed a large roster of products that include electric smokers, ceramic grills, charcoal grills, gas grills, smokers, and griddles. They currently have a large collection of pellet grills on offer across various price points.

Pit Boss grills are manufactured in China and assembled in the US. Pit Boss and Louisiana Grills are both owned by the Dansons group of companies.

Pit Boss vs Camp Chef – Feature Rundown

Both brands are relatively new to the world of grills and have managed to create strong footholds in the American BBQ market. However, there is a subtle difference in their brand philosophies. Camp Chef seems to prioritize features and technology while Pit Boss places its trust in quality of materials, construction, simple design, and long warranty coverage.

Quality

Quality is high across the board in both camps. Camp Chef has various models ranging from introductory, mid grade and premium so naturally the quality of materials will increase with the higher model lines. Introductory lines will use lesser quality materials.

Pit Boss on the other hand, has flawless quality of materials and construction. However, it is this focus on quality that sometimes compels them to sell products that are slightly short on innovative features compared with the competition

Features

In the battle of features, Camp Chef usually takes the crown as it is their philosophy to load their products with the latest and greatest in terms of innovation and tech features. Most Camp Chef grills come with WIFI support, which enables you to set and monitor your cooking from a remote location with the help of their mobile app. Similarly, you can find innovative design features like their Slide and Grill line that adds extra versatility to what is essentially a pellet smoker by enabling direct heat grilling for searing temperatures. A similar feature from Pit Boss is the Flame Broiler Lever technology.

Camp Chef Slide and Glide
slide plate for flame broiler pit boss
Pit Boss Flame Broiler lever

Camp Chef products usually come out on top when it comes to convenience features as well. However, since Pit Boss grills are made with excellent quality of materials, they can often be the better choice if your focus is on reliability and durability. When it comes to portability, both companies have innovative products on offer. However, Pit Boss is more concerned with providing better quality while keeping its functions and features simple.

Warranty

When it comes to providing generous warranties and also following up with exemplary support, Pit Boss has an excellent reputation. On top of maintaining high standards of quality in material choice and construction, most Pit Boss grills come with a generous 5 years of warranty. In contrast, most Camp Chef products comes with a maximum of 3 years of warranty and even 1 year in the case of some products.

With that said, the best way to give you the right information is by breaking down a few products. Here are some product comparisons between Camp Chef and Pit Boss grills across various product types.

Portable Grill Comparison

Camp Chef Pursuit 20 vs Pit Boss Sportsman Portable

The Camp Chef Pursuit 20 is a surprisingly good package that combines great features with a competitive price. In fact, this one includes many features you would find on higher-priced grills. A great mix of portability and functionality, the Pursuit 20 features a generous 501 sq. inches of total cooking area, divided into roughly equal parts in the top and bottom racks. The grill has a temperature range of 160 to 500 Fahrenheit, with the 500F top range being significantly hotter than most of the competition.

The hopper can accommodate a generous 10lbs of pellets. The grill also features PID control (accurate and consistent temperatures) and comes with dual meat probes for easy temperature monitoring. You have several custom smoke settings that ensure your food is cooked and flavored just the way you want. The easily operable slide rods help you control the directness of heat and you can go for a quick sear or a longer, slower cook. Portability and quality of materials is adequate. See our other favorite portable pellet grills.

What We Like…

  • Gets hotter than the competition
  • More advanced features than the competition
  • Slide rod system can create direct and indirect heating zones
  • Simple, efficient ash cleanup
  • Dual meat probes

What Makes Us Angry…

  • No pellet dump feature makes cleanup more intense
  • Heavy for a portable


The Pit Boss Sportsman Portable carries the long and heralded lineage of Pit Boss grills and does not disappoint. It is a fully portable, automatic, and digitally controlled pellet grill with great features. While the total cooking area is a little modest at 387 sq. inches, the unit makes up with an operating temperature range of 180 to 500 Fahrenheit, giving you great versatility while cooking. There is also side rack storage on top of the control box. The latching hood and hopper prevent heat loss and pellet spill.

The hopper is massive and can accommodate 19lbs of pellets. The porcelain-costed cast iron grates, coupled with the metal body and hood, give a reassuring feel of solidity. The unit also comes with two meat probes you can use to keep a handle on the temperature and a 5-year warranty.  On the other hand, the temperature control is stepped and not granular and the temperature display can often give inaccurate readings.

What We Like…

  • Latching hood and pellet hopper are well constructed
  • Ceramic-coated grill surface is easy to clean
  • Comes with dual meat probes

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Temperature selector only has stepped controls
  • Frequent inaccurate temperature readings
  • No ash cleanout feature

Vertical Pellet Smokers

Camp Chef XXL vs Pit Boss Sportsman 7-Series

If you are looking for a small footprint pellet smoker with advanced features, the Camp Chef XXL WIFI can be an apt choice. This digital PID-controlled vertical pellet smoker comes with a large assortment of cooking racks, including 4 standard cooking racks, 12 sausage hooks, 1 hanging rack, and 3 jerky racks. The digital temperature control is accurate and reliable while you can set a custom smoke level for just the desired amount of smoky goodness.

The grill comes with dual meat probes and features cleanout systems for ash, grease, and pellets. The hopper has an easy viewing window and the grill has sturdy wheels with castors.  You have a whopping 2,408 sq. inches of total cooking area and the pellet hopper can accommodate 18lbs of pellets. The best feature is WIFI compatibility, that allows you to set and monitor your cooks from your phone.

What We Like…

  • WIFI compatibility
  • Large cooking area with multiple racks
  • Accurate PID temperature control and smoke settings
  • Internal fan for circulation

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Some smoke can leak around the door area
  • Price and availability

The Pit Boss Sportsman 7-Series brings together excellent quality of materials and construction and supreme ease of use. The grill offers a total cooking area of 1,815 sq. inches, ensuring that all your food can be cooked at one go. This is further helped by the fact that the pellet hopper holds an enormous amount of pellets at 55lbs, making it easy for you to plan even 24-hour smoking sessions without having to top it off.

The grill incorporates 6 stainless steel hooks you can use to hang different cuts of meat and supports dual meat probes while one comes bundled. The design, apart from being attractive, is also reassuring in its heft and quality. You also get easy cleanup and convenience features like a quick pellet removal door.

What We Like…

  • Large and well laid-out cooking chamber
  • Very little heat loss
  • Excellent construction and quality of materials
  • Huge pellet hopper capacity

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Comes with only one meat probe
  • No Wifi support

Top-Selling Pellet Grills

Camp Chef SG 24 WIFI vs Pit Boss Sportsman 500

The SG or Slide and Grill line from Camp Chef has always been popular for its versatility and the SG 24 is no exception. This unit can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from long and slow smoking sessions to quick, high-heat grilling, thanks to the design of the drip plates that allow food to be cooked from the direct heat of the grate. With 429 sq. inches of cooking space on offer, operating the SG 24 is basically “set and forget” and operation is entirely automatic and reliable.

See our full review and long term test of the SG24 WIFI.

The grill features exemplary build quality and incorporates innovative features like the hopper drain chute that lets you experiment with different cooking flavors. There are storage shelves, utility racks, and a sear box on offer too, as well as features like automatic shut off, auto start ignition, and ash cleanout system. The unit is WIFI compatible and works well with the Camp Chef Connect app for remote use, coming with dual meat probes.

What We Like…

  • WIFI compatible
  • Adjustable smoke settings
  • PID controller
  • Easy to use

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Grease bucket can be tipped easily when removing cover
  • Short warranty


The Pit Boss Sportsman 500 is a well-built, versatile pellet grill that provides 542 sq. inches of cooking capacity and has a temperature range of 180 to 500 Fahrenheit. The versatility comes courtesy of the clever design, with the Flame Broiler Lever technology that you can use to instantly change the heat from indirect to direct for some quick searing or char-grilling. The porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates are great for heat transfer and the digital temperature control system is reliable.

An internal fan moves the air around and brings the convenience of convection cooking. The convenience features include a stainless-steel side shelf which you can remove and solid legs with inline wheels. The open flame searing feature lets you reach temperatures up to 1,000 Fahrenheit and the meat probes provide reliable readouts. The unit does not come with WIFI support, but you can purchase the WIFI controller separately.

What We Like…

  • Excellent high-heat searing function
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable side shelf
  • Generous warranty

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Settings might be a bit confusing for beginners
  • Handle is difficult to operate

Flat Top Grills

Camp Chef Flat Top 600 vs Pit Boss 4-Burner Griddle

For those looking for a mid-range flat top grill or griddle, The Camp Chef Flat Top 600 presents a unique value proposition with excellent quality and a compelling feature set. This gas-powered flat top provides a total of 600 sq. inches of cooking area, services by four stainless steel burners putting out 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour. The grill is portable and easy to move around and the quality of the thick and pre-seasoned griddle top is exceptional at first glance.

The stainless-steel construction makes the grill easy to clean and durable. A unique feature is the set-in grill grates, that allow you to convert this from a griddle into a direct-heat grill, further increasing the versatility of the product. Heat loss is minimal as there is very little gap between the burning and cooking surfaces and the impact of wind is minimum on the unit. The burners can be turned on without matches or battery ignition units and the two side shelves provide ample storage.

what We Like…

  • With both flat top and grill grates, you have more versatility
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Easy ignition
  • Wind guard built-in

What Makes Us Angry…

  • No Grill Lid as Standard Feature

The Pit Boss 4-Burner Griddle is massive, offering a whopping 748 sq. inches of cooking area serviced by 4 independently controlled gas burners that pump out a total of 62,000 BTUs of heat per hour. Thanks to the independent control, you can create separate cooking zones based on heat requirements. The griddle surface is made of thick, high-quality cast iron that does a good job of transferring heat.

The light weight, foldable wheels, and rotating casters make this unit deceptively portable in spite of its size. The grill also has two side shelves which can fold down for easy storage.

What We Like…

  • Large cooking area
  • Generous warranty
  • Foldable side trays for storage
  • Does a good job holding heat

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Packaging: Complaints of damage from shipping is common

For those in the market for a grill or smoker, both Camp Chef and Pit Boss bring specific merits to the table. If you are looking for a feature-rich grill that you plan to use for a few years and then swap for another, more recent product, there is a lot of utility in choosing Camp Chef products. However, if you are looking for a strong, durable product that you intend to use for many years with great core functionality and limited features, Pit Boss products would be the way to go.

Take a look at the products discussed above and it should be easy to select a grill that ticks all the right boxes for you.

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