There are a ton of grills out there, and sometimes it’s hard to see through the marketing hype to find out which one really offers the best. That’s why in this article, we’ll be comparing two top grilling brands to cut through to the facts and give you the real deal. We’ve made a little comparison chart to help you with some basic info, but keep reading for the full overview.
Masterbuilt vs Traeger – Quick Comparison
|Masterbuilt Gravity 1050XL||Traeger Pro 575|
|Cooking method?||Quick/Searing||Low and Slow|
|Works With Alexa?||NO||YES|
|Hopper Capacity?||10- 16 lbs||18 lbs|
|Check Price on Amazon||Check Price On Amazon|
While pellet grills are all the rage right now, we still love the original. A charcoal grill is just more versatile than a pure pellet grill. Though if it’s important that you be able to talk to your grill for some reason, then the Traeger does interface with Alexa. We could care less though.
I’m more interested in being able to do more cooking on my grill, and the Masterbuilt is the clear winner here.
While the Traeger does do a great job at what it’s meant for, that means low and slow cooking and smoking and not really much else honestly.
What’s more is that this grill seems to be very efficient at heating! I’m not sure if it has something to do with the hopper loading of the charcoal or not, but it can reach 700 degrees in 10-15 minutes. This is much faster than a pellet grill, and it’s pretty awesome.
Some may disagree, but if it was our money, it’d be Masterbuilt all the way. By the way, if you want some of that good smokey flavor which you get from pellets you can still toss in some flavorful wood with your charcoal.
This is readily available at most home improvement stores. The best of both worlds. You can check prices, see the full specs, and more reviews for this particular grill model at Amazon. Or, keep reading for more info on the differences between these two grill and smoker combos.
Masterbuilt vs Traeger Overview
Okay, so we chose the two closest grills by both brands to compare. In price, they are on equal footing, but you should know that the operate quite differently, so keep reading to learn about the differences. Below you’ll find our full comparison based on the data points above.
Models included in this comparison: Masterbuilt 1050XL and Traeger Pro 575
We chose the above grills because they were closest in size and pricing to make a more fair comparison between them. The data for the above chart was taken from these models. They’re pretty much even when it comes to cooking space and pricing, so we didn’t bother focusing on those aspects.
Charcoal vs Pellets
So, while the Masterbuilt smoker/grill combo does have a hopper, you actually feed charcoal into it. The pros of this is that charcoal is more readily available and generally cheaper than pellets, which are used by the Traeger.
However, charcoal is not as efficient as pellets are. What’s more is that wood pellet grills can more easily use the “low and slow” approach to cooking to infuse flavors from woods, such as Apple, into the meats.
This is great on wings and ribs, but they do lackluster at searing, as their maximum temperature is more limited than with traditional charcoal grills. This makes a pellet smoker more limited in applications when compared to a traditional full-temperature grill.
There are, of course, notable exceptions though. For example, the Traeger smoker/grill can be paired with a “cold smoking” accessory. You can use this to do things like smoke cheeses, and while this is a bit more niche, the Masterbuilt does not have this option available. (Though there are some other “broad” after market accessories for this.)
So, should you pick charcoal or pellets? That’s really up to you, but if you’re the type that likes playing with the fire and quick searing, you likely will not enjoy a pellet grill. So, keep that in mind, and remember that both of these options can function as both a grill and a smoker. Personally, I prefer good old whole chunk wood charcoal for that beautiful sear without the chemical nastiness of briquettes.
Oh, one more note. As far as capacity goes, the hopper on the Traeger does hold more at 18 lbs capacity. You’ll only be able to stuff 16 lbs of charcoal briquettes, or 10 lbs or lump charcoal into the Masterbuilt hopper. This should last you about 8 hours, plenty of cook time.
Tech and Accessories
Both the Traeger and the Masterbuilt grills have bluetooth/Wifi apps, and they’re pretty even in this regard. However, the Traeger also features the ability to interface with Alexa. This isn’t a super big feature for me personally, but I know a lot of people love their Alexa, so I thought I would mention it at least if you’re one of those people.
The Traeger also seems to have more “purpose made” accessories. By that, I mean official add-ons, such as a cold smoker accessory. These seem to be lacking for the Masterbuilt grills, but this is also not a big deal for me, because there almost always after market accessories which do just as well and often for cheaper than official ones.
In closing, I’m a big fan of traditional charcoal grilling, and I love the versatility of the Masterbuilt grill. However, I can also see the appeal of the Treager pellet grills, and if you prefer low and slow style cooking for smoking meats, then a Treager pellet grill could be the way to go for you!