Masterbuilt vs Traeger: Which one Grills the Best?

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

As soon as the warm weather breaks, Americans can’t wait to start their normal summertime traditions of camping, pool parties, and holiday get-togethers. At the heart of each and every one of these is the American cookout.

This culinary tradition is a centerpiece for American culture. Charring meat and veggies over an open fire bring family, friends, and neighbors together like little else in the country. The importance of this tradition has started pushing pitmasters all over the United States to experiment outside the normal custom of grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, or even steaks over charcoal or gas.

Jim Bob
A long-time contributor to GrillBabyGrill. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
delicious smoked ribs

Brand Overviews

When it comes to slow cooking ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork shoulder you just won’t find anything better than the Masterbuilt and Traeger grill brands. These brands have, consistently, brought innovation to the forefront of the businesses to create grilling experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.

Masterbuilt Grills

Masterbuilt’s tradition of excellence dates back to 1973 when Dawson McLemore and his sons started building fish cookers for family friends. Since the inception of a company they then called M&M Welding and Metal Works, the McLemores have developed their business model to reflect heavily on their beliefs of “faith, family, and then the rest” while adhering to their standards of excellence and innovation.

The brand firmly believes in making work fun, but recognizes that its priorities have to revolve around relationships with loved ones, community, employees, and customers.

Its dedication to excellence in customer service is unmatched because of this deep-seated belief in building long-lasting relationships. Masterbuilt sees its customers as the company’s greatest assets and strives to provide them with the most innovative products on the market.

Customers have come to depend on Masterbuilt’s ethical business practices as much as they rely on their high-quality products and services.

Traeger Grills

It’s been 30 years since Traeger originally built and marketed its first wood pellet grill. By the time its patent on the design expired in 2007, Americans knew they could trust the Traeger brand to consistently cook their food each and every time they fired up their grill. Today, Traeger continues to set industry standards by providing recipes and support for novice users and veterans alike on its WiFIRE®️ app.

Traeger designed its original grills to resemble the offset barrel smokers that most pitmasters were already familiar with. The barrel smokers and Traeger’s pellet grills deviated at the smoker box, where Traeger placed their pellet hopper. The technology of feeding wood from a hopper to a firepot by rotating auger was brand-new in the early 1980s, but it created a safer environment to cook on when compared to an open flame.

The main selling points of Traeger pellet grills continue to be its ease of use and versatility. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish in your outdoor kitchen, Traeger’s grills can pull it off. All the mess and fuss of traditional smokers are replaced by Traeger Pro Series that provides set-it-and-forget-it tech so you can spend less time manning the grill and more time enjoying your afternoon in the sun.

Brand Comparisons

When it comes to shopping for a new appliance like an outdoor grill or smoker, most buyers start looking at how to get the best bang for their buck. In other words, consumers want as many features that can be packed into the lowest price point.

With a bit of effort and a few internet searches, it’s possible to make the decision of which grill is worth investing your money in before you even get to the store. However, you’ll always want to ensure that the grill you’re purchasing has certain capabilities and provide an ample warranty.

Temperature Control

Heat retention and control is key for any griller that wants to cook low-and-slow. You’ll always want to find a product that offers good insulation and is manufactured well using stainless steel. Controlling temperature with just a dial is good enough to manage, but some models may have digital panels to serve this purpose now.

Both brands have manufactured their products using stainless steel for the bodies and chassis. As an added layer of insulation, Traeger opts to use 2 layers of steel to retain heat in its grills. This makes both brands more than well-suited for temperature control.

Temperature Range

Smoking is all about that low-and-slow setting. While the higher temperature ranges are nice to have to quickly sear steaks and burgers, they’re not necessary if you’re trying to infuse food with the great flavor of charcoal or wood-fired smoke.

Most meats smoke slowly on the low end of the temperature scale at about 180°F to 200°F. At a minimum, your grill or smoker should be able to achieve those temperatures without having to worry about your fires going out.

To sear your meats, the Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series is the only grill on this list that reaches a max temp of 700°F.

Warranties

Warranties are a way for brands to show consumers that they’re putting the best product on the market by offering to replace it within a set timeframe. Almost anyone will tell you when you’re purchasing an appliance that the warranty on it is one of the most important aspects to consider.

Traeger grills come with a standard 3-year warranty. Masterbuilt provides a 90-day warranty that covers all defects but is exclusive of any paint that may have been chipped or otherwise damaged.

Cooking Surfaces

User preference really dictates the ideal cooking surface. Most grills and smokers come in various shapes and sizes, with options for grate material such as porcelain-coated, cast-iron, or stainless steel.

The size of your grill’s cooking surface immediately impacts how many people you cook for regularly, so consider how large your family is when making your choice. A good rule to consider is 76 sq. in. of cooking space per person.

If you plan on having small, intimate barbeques with 4 people or less, then a grill with a total cooking surface of about 350 sq. in. is just fine. If you’re planning on inviting the entire neighborhood over, you may want to opt for a grill that has a larger cooking surface.

FINAL VERDICT

When it comes to grilling, the options can be overwhelming and it can be hard to find a brand you trust. Fortunately, Masterbuilt and Traeger are both industry leaders in the world of grilling, and for good reason.

Considering each brand’s dedication to its craft, it’s clear from the high quality of their products that each takes itself very seriously. People who are new to grilling and old pros alike can constantly find good feedback about these brands when asking for recommendations from friends and family.