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Reviews of Pit Boss Grills and Smokers

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in BBQ & Outdoor

pit boss reviews

So you’re ready to get your grill on. But with so many choices, shopping for the right outdoor barbeque that best suits your needs can be challenging. Pit Boss offers the perfect combination of a known name you can trust and a variety of products to ensure you’ll find your perfect match.

Pit Boss is an established name in the grilling/smoking community, respected by home cooks, amateur barbeque crafters, and professional grillers and smokers. Established in 1999, Pit Boss (a part of Danson’s, Inc.) produces quality products at a reasonable price so that anyone can be the Grill Master of their barbeque kingdom.

Whether you’re looking for a smaller portable grill, a vertical smoker, or a pellet grill, Pit Boss brings the heat so that your meats can shine. Below we offer reviews on some of Pit Boss’s most popular units.

Before we dive into the specific units, let’s discuss some general barbeque terms for the beginner. For the seasoned Pit Boss, feel free to jump to the individual product reviews.

Grilling. Cooking food by exposing it to high and direct heat is known as grilling. A traditional backyard picnic or Fourth of July celebration involves grilling: throwing some hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and corn on the grill is a delight most of us are familiar with.

Charcoal, wood, and gas are used to create the grill, and the flavor varies depending on what you use. Pit Boss uses either gas or wood pellets for their grills; the wood will result in a smokier flavor.

Smoking. Smoking has quickly become the preferred method of outdoor meat preparation. The process of smoking is converse to the process of grilling: meat is smoked by exposing it to low and indirect heat.

Pit Boss has both gas and pellet smokers, depending on your preference.

Wood pellets. Pit Boss grills and smokers don’t use charcoal; in fact, charcoal won’t fit in the pellet grill or smoker. Made from 100% all-natural hardwood, the pellets are made from dried hardwood sawdust that is heated at extreme heat and pressurized to form small pellets.

The lignin from the wood coats the pellets and holds them together. Pit Boss wood pellets have plentiful flavor with less than 1% ash. Pellets are one of the easiest fuels to use.

Here we will review the popular Pit Boss grills:

75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill

The 75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill is, as the name suggests, portable and easy to carry, making it a good choice for a camping trip, a day at the beach, or tailgating before your favorite game.

The two-burner model has a latch hood and folding legs to ensure easy carrying and weighs in at only 23 pounds. To make your cooking experience smooth and easy, it has a dome thermometer in the lid and a push-and-turn ignition. One great feature of this Pit Boss is that it doesn’t have any hot spots, so it cooks your food evenly.

The 75275 portable grill is durable. The grid is constructed of 304-grade stainless steel; the body and lid made out of 430-grade stainless steel. Cooking is a breeze with perfect heat delivery for searing and grilling, and the two-burner design features 10,000 BTU. With a cooking surface of 276 square inches, you will have sufficient room to cook for four people.

This portable grill runs on propane gas and operates on a 20-pound cylinder, but you can get an adapter if you want to hook it up to a smaller tank.

Easy to clean this grill has sloped panels under that drain into a grease tray that’s removable. Make sure to keep the grill level so that it drains where it’s supposed to.

There’s little assembly required, so you’ll be cooking in no time. Beware that this portable grill unit has some sharp edges, particularly in the legs, and the legs don’t lock.

With two burners, the Pit Boss portable is going to consume more propane than a single-burner unit. Its features outweigh its shortcomings, and it’s a good value.

Dimensions: 23″ W x 16″ T x 19.5″ D

Features

  • Light and easy to transport
  • Portable design features folding legs and latching hood for easy carry
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Two burners 10,000 BTU
  • A push-and-turn ignition
  • Dome thermometer

PB100P1 Pit Stop Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill

Next up is the PB100P1 Pit Stop Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill, the second of the portable grills we’re reviewing. With one U-shaped burner, this unit is smaller than the 75275, with a 205-square inch cooking area and a 100-square inch warming rack.

Like its two-burner counterpart, the body and hood are stainless steel, and the dome thermometer is enclosed in the latching hood.

The one-burner 10,000 BTU unit runs on a 1-pound propane tank (sold separately). The left side of the burner runs hotter than the right, so you can cook on the left side and warm on the right.

This easy-to-transport unit is great for a campsite, the beach, or a tailgate but also sturdy for home use. The Pit Stop ignites with a push-button and has a side-access grease tray for simple cooking and cleanup.

With two racks and 263 inches of cooking space, you’ll never want to use your inside oven again.

The Pit Stop has sharp edges so be careful when you open the legs. We like that the Pit Stop comes assembled, so you’re ready to start cooking as soon as it’s out of the box.

Features

  • Lightweight unit with folding legs
  • 205 sq. inch stainless steel main cooking area with 100 sq. inch warming rack
  • Stainless steel body and hood
  • Dome thermometer encased in latching hood
  • 10,000 BTU U-shaped burner
  • Easy access grease tray
  • Push-button ignition

PB440TG Portable Wood Folding Pellet Grill

The PB440TG Portable Wood Folding Pellet Grill doubles as a grill and a smoker. It is a full-size grill, but still portable; with the legs off, you can use this grill from the back of your truck.

The Pit Boss PB440TG cooks with pellets rather than propane gas, so it will produce a smokier flavor to your meats, even when you’re using the grilling function.

This model boasts 440 square inches of cooking surface and a flame broiler for cooking with direct flame. With the dial-in temperature control, you can set your desired between 180 and 550 degrees Fahrenheit and the grill’s exhaust convection system maintains the temperature you choose.

There is no confusion about the temperature because the digital control center is equipped with an LED display, but sometimes the actual temperature differs from where you set it.

This pellet grill has folding legs with wheels, so you can easily transport it and set it up wherever you want, although it should be noted that this grill weighs more than 100 pounds, which might limit its transportability.

The Pit Boss 440TG has a 5-pound hopper capacity; this will last 4-5 hours. There’s no notification when the hopper is getting low, so keep an eye out.

Other features include an auto-start hot rod for a quickfire up. Pitmasters should note, though, that the 440TG needs a 120v power source, so you’ll need to be near electricity. A 12v vehicle power source might work if you have a converter.

Of the units we’ve looked at so far, this one requires the most assembly. The directions are not super clear, however.

The ability to both grill and smoke, as well as the wheels to move it, are top features of the Pit Boss PB440TG.

Features

  • 5-pound capacity hopper
  • Combination grill and smoker
  • 440 square inches cooking space
  • Collapsible legs and wheels for rolling
  • Direct flame cooking
  • 180-550 degree temperature range
  • Operates on electricity

Now we are going to review some popular Pit Boss smokers:

77435 Vertical LP Gas Smoker

The 77435 Vertical LP Gas Smoker has a low and slow focus, with a lower temperature range of 100-350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll love the stylish red exterior of this gas smoker, and the inside offers 3 removable porcelain-coated removable racks.

The dual burner/dual valve system provides heat to 800 square inches of cooking surface, with stainless steel burners that offer 12,500 total BTU.

The temperature is fairly consistent, so you won’t have to constantly monitor the progress of your meat treats and worry about the smoker getting too hot. The temperature control knob can be difficult to operate, and this unit certainly works better at a lower temperature preferred for a low and slow smoke.

One of the great features of the Vertical LP gas smoker is the viewing window in the front of the unit, which allows you full visual access to the progress of the food inside the smoker.

Also, because it has a vertical design, it’s easy to get the trays in and out. Other external features are a handle and wheels for the seamless moving of the smoker.

You can access the grease tray and the wood chip drawer from the outside. When the drawer is filled, the wood pellets should last an hour to an hour and a half.

It may be hard to get the smoke tray out when it expands when heated.

Note that although this unit operates on propane gas, you’ll have to purchase the propane tank separately. This red Vertical LP gas smoker does require full assembly, which should take less than two hours.

Features

  • Dual valve/dual burner system
  • Large viewing window
  • Stainless steel 12,500 BTU burners
  • 100-350 degree Fahrenheit temperature range
  • Three porcelain-coated cooking grids
  • Cooking space 800 square inches
  • Outside access to wood chip drawer and grease tray

Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker offers slightly more cooking space than the Vertical LP gas smoker, with 901 square inches of cooking space across four cooking racks.

The hopper, which is a top loader, is nestled in the back of the smoker. With a 40-plus pound capacity, this unit will smoke for at least 24 hours.

Fully digital, the LED readout and meat probe will monitor internal temperatures for you. The porcelain-coated cooking grids deflect heat and water to ensure the indirect heat necessary for smoking meat.

This smoker is programmable from 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit. For a low and slow smoke, you’ll want to set it around the 200-250 degree range.

The PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker has blanket insulation that will keep your smoking meats warm even when it’s freezing outside. And with an auto-start 300-watt igniter with auto shut-off, your smoker can start without you.

In terms of size, you can fit 8 pork butts at once into this spacious smoker, but with the larger quantity, you might want to add a wider catch pan to handle all the drippings.

If you keep this smoker at the lower end of the temperature range, you’re less likely to have issues with the pellet dust backing up in the hopper. If that does happen, you can clear it out with a broom handle.

The temperature control is somewhat unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what you’re smoking.
Beware of spattered grease catching fire when trying to clean the grease tray, especially since the tray is behind the electronic control panel.

Features

  • Digital LED readout and meat probe
  • Auto-start with auto shut-off
  • 901 square inches of cooking space
  • 150-450 degree temperature range
  • Four porcelain-coated cooking racks
  • 40lb+ hopper capacity for 24+ hours of use.

Pit Boss 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker offers 5 porcelain-coated cooking racks and 1,830-square inches of cooking surface.
The Pellet Smoker also has a digital LED display and adds a meat probe so that you can monitor internal temperatures while your meat is smoking. This unit can be programmed from temperatures of 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is some inconsistency with the temperature control, so you do have to check throughout the cooking cycle. But as long as you are smoking low and slow while maintaining a lower temperature, the Pellet Smoker should work fine. The higher temperature used for grilling is not as effective with this unit.

The hopper on this model, with a 40 pound+ capacity, can keep you smoking for more than 24 hours. Not only that, but the hopper offers a pellet purge, although sometimes the sawdust gets stuck in the bottom.

It’s important to keep the pellets out of humidity, as that’s what causes the sticking.

Smoking is a long process, but the Pit Boss vertical smoker has an auto-start 300-watt ignite mechanism with auto shut-off, so you can set the smoker to heat up before you get up and smoke low and slow.

This model has a blanket insulation construction, so it will maintain the temperature you set even if it’s cold outside.

The porcelain-coated cooking grids ensure stable heat distribution so that you get the results you want – a nice bark outside, and super tender inside.
Looking to smoke some oh-so-delicious ribs? This model will fit 3-4 racks of ribs.

Remember this is a dedicated smoker and doesn’t offer the direct heat needed for grilling, but with 5 racks, you can have a real fiesta of smoked brisket, chicken, ribs, sausage, and/or pork butt.

You can remove racks if you need more room for taller cuts of meat. Because the racks come out, you can load the racks up inside before putting them in the smoker.

Features

  • Digital LED readout and meat probe
  • Cooking area of 1830 square inches
  • Fully programmable with auto-start igniter/auto shut-off
  • Temperature range of 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 40-pound hopper capacity for 24-hour use
  • Four porcelain-coated cooking grids

Accessories

Need some pellets to go along with your grill or smoker? You can feel good about the quality and performance of Pit Boss wood pellets:

  • 100% natural hardwood
  • Free of chemicals, glue, spray scents, and artificial flavors
  • Burn hotter and cleaner
  • Easy to use
  • All-natural and great taste from natural juices in the wood
  • Raw wood sourced across North America
  • No mess: 40-pound creates 1/2 cup ash

Pit Boss offers three main varieties:

Apple BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb

  • A mild, sweet taste
  • Ideal for pork, poultry, vegetables, and baking products
  • All-natural

Hickory BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb


  • The strong, smoky taste
  • Best for beef, pork, poultry, and vegetables
  • Chemical-free

Competition Blend BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb

  • The complex taste made with a select blend
  • Versatile flavor for use with all foods
  • No artificial flavors

No matter what your needs, priorities, or preferences, Pit Boss has a grill or smoker for you. Offering:

  • portable and stationary models
  • grills, smokers, and grill/smoker combination units
  • propane gas or wood pellet cooking methods,

Pit Boss maintains a variety of products that all share the trusted Pit Boss name and durable quality.

You can rely on Pit Boss to help you create delicious meat that will satisfy your hungry crew and crown you Pit Boss.

FAQ

Can you use the Pit Boss wood pellets in other branded grills and smokers?
Yes, Pit Boss wood pellets are compatible with any pellet grill or smoker

How long will a 20-pound propane tank last?
A 20-pound propane tank should last 18-20 hours on a grill and approximately 40 hours on a smoker.

Should I choose an electric smoker or a propane smoker?
That’s a great question. It depends on your setup at home and your preferences, but here are a few things to consider.

Electric Smoker

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Good temperature control at low heat
  • nexpensive fuel cost
  • Less monitoring

CONS

  • Can’t use it in the rain (it’s electric!)
  • Electrical system inconsistent in a greasy, hot environment
  • The flavor may not have the traditional grill taste you’re seeking
  • Cords might be unsightly and in the way

Propane Smoker

PROS

  • Achieve the traditional flavor of wood cooking
  • Can be used in a power outage
  • No safety concerns in wet weathert
  • More reliable

CONS

  • CNeed to monitor and adjust heat more often, although Pit Boss smokers have a temperature control built-in
  • May experience temperature inconsistencies in inclement weather
  • More difficult to control temperature, especially at lower ranges
  • Need to maintain a backup propane tank

What are the different cooking methods I can use with my Pit Boss grill?
Pit Boss calls their grills 8-in-1 products. You can use eight different cooking styles: in addition to the obvious grilling and smoking, you can also barbeque, sear, roast, char, braise, and even bake.

How does the temperature control operate on a Pit Boss?
Pit Boss grills combine a digital control board with meat probes and an auger (the auger feeds the pellets into the burn plate). This combination allows the grill to achieve and sustain your desired temperature.

As long as your hopper has pellets, your grill should have a consistent temperature

Do Pit Boss grills come with a warranty?
Yes. All Pit Boss grills come with a 5-year warranty.

What does Pit Boss mean when they say it’s a “set it and forget it” grill?
The wood pellets in the Pit Boss operate much like an oven, creating a stable temperature so that once you set it to the desired temperature, you can leave it to go do other things.

A gas grill requires more supervision due to the fact that gas grills lose heat. So if you choose one of the pellet grills/smokers from our list, you should be able to “set it and forget it.”

Does the Pit Boss operate with natural gas?
No. The Pit Boss gas models run on propane (LP) fuel. A natural gas conversion kit is not included.

Can I use a smaller one-pound propane tank for the portable grill?
Yes, but you’ll need to purchase an adapter to connect the one-pound tank.

How can I achieve a more intense flavor with my smoker?
Immediately after putting your food on the smoker, try switching to a low, smoke temperature range. This will intensify the smoky flavor because the smoke seeps into the pores of the meat before they close (about 120 degrees F).

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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