How to Use a Pit Boss Smoker: A Guide to Smoking Meats

Well, let’s learn how to use a Pit Boss Smoker – that hulking beast of steel and smoke, the altar upon which many a meaty offering is laid in the pursuit of smoky perfection. It’s not just a cooking apparatus; it’s a gateway to a primal culinary experience, a way to tap into that ancient ritual of fire, wood, and flesh that harkens back to the days of yore. So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey, shall we?

Pit Boss Grills and Smokers

Pit Boss offers a range of smokers, including wood pellet, vertical, and combination smokers. Combination smokers combine the features of smokers and grills into a single unit, whereas vertical smokers are designed to save space, allowing for the benefits of smoking without requiring a large footprint​.

Pit Boss Grills, a subsidiary of Dansons, Inc., was established in 1999 by Dan Theissen and his sons Jeff and Jordan. It’s notable for being one of the first companies to enter the pellet smoker market following the expiration of the Traeger patent. The brand is known for its innovation in the industry, particularly with the introduction of the sliding flame broiler system in their pellet smokers, which allows for searing steaks and grilling burgers—a feature not commonly found in other smokers​

Some of the recommended models from Pit Boss include the Navigator 850, known as the best overall, and the Sportsman 1100, which is the largest option. Wood Pellet & Gas combo is Pit Boss PB1230SP Wood Pellet and Gas Combo Grill – read the review. For those looking for something small and affordable, the Pit Boss 440FB1 is suggested. The best vertical smoker from Pit Boss is the Sportsman 5-Series, and for portability, the Pit Boss Sportsman Portable is the best option​.

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Pit Boss PB1230SP Wood Pellet and Gas Combo Grill
Pit Boss PB1230SP Wood Pellet and Gas Combo Grill
8-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, roast, bake, braise, barbecue, char-grill, and sear
Premium features of the Sportsman Wood Pellet and Gas Combo include a more than 1,200 cooking space, an innovative slide plate flame broiler with an easy-access handle on the pellet side.
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The Pit Boss Copperhead Collection is part of the pellet smoker line, which are mostly self-operating, offering convenience with features like an automatic prime function that ignites pellets using a fan-forced draft and a 300-watt igniter. These models are distinguished by their striking copper color and hammertone finish​​.

One of the specific models, the Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker, is a vertical cabinet smoker fueled by wood pellets. It boasts a significant cooking area and a large hopper capacity, designed to cook a lot of food in one session with ease​​.

Pit Boss’s product range also includes other grill models such as gas grills and charcoal grills, as well as vertical water smokers, offset smokers, and cabinet smokers, catering to a wide array of outdoor cooking preferences.

How to Use a Pit Boss Smoker?

Initiate your grilling session by igniting the grill with its lid ajar, selecting the smoke option for a duration of 10 minutes within a temperature spectrum of 180-210° F (80-100° C). Following this, seal the lid and modify the temperature to your preferred setting.

Activating the grill with the smoke option first is crucial to prevent an excess deposit of pellets in the firepot. Keeping the lid open during this stage ensures the smoke doesn’t accumulate excessively within the barrel, which also aids in averting a potential backdraft in the appliance.

After the grill has attained the temperature you’re aiming for, it’s ready for you to place the food on it.

For those using a Pit Boss grill equipped with a Prime Button, particularly if the grill is new or has been depleted of pellets, priming is necessary to convey pellets to the firepot while the igniter is operational.

The igniter remains active for a few minutes upon the grill’s activation before it automatically turns off. It typically takes more time for the pellets to make their initial journey from the hopper to the firepot.

By holding down the Prime button, you ensure a continuous flow of pellets as it prevents the auger from stopping. Note that pressing the Prime button does not increase the auger’s speed.

Bear in mind that even after priming, once the pellets have reached the firepot, you may need to power cycle your grill—turn it off and then on—to reignite the igniter now that the auger is filled with pellets.

The Initiation Ritual: Unboxing Your Pit Boss Smoker

Unboxing your Pit Boss Smoker is akin to opening Aladdin’s cave, only instead of gold and jewels, you’re met with racks and grates – a treasure trove for the meat-loving gastronome. Assemble it with the care of a samurai crafting his sword, for this will be your weapon in the epic battle against blandness.

The Fire Within: Lighting Up Your Pit Boss Smoker

Igniting your Pit Boss Smoker is not just about flipping switches or striking matches. It’s about awakening the dragon within, breathing life into the belly of the beast. Begin with quality pellets, for they are the lifeblood of your smoker, the source of the smoke that will lovingly caress every fiber of your meat, imparting the essence of flavor.

A Dance with Smoke: Managing Temperature

Controlling the temperature in your Pit Boss Smoker is like conducting an orchestra – it requires finesse, attention, and a bit of flair. You’re not just making heat; you’re crafting an environment where the warm, smoky air swirls around your meat, enveloping it in a warm embrace.

The Main Attraction: Smoking Your Meats

Now comes the main act, the raison d’être of the Pit Boss Smoker – smoking your meats. This is where patience becomes a virtue, and slow and steady wins the race. Whether it’s brisket, ribs, or a humble chicken, treat each piece as if it were the last meat on earth. Spice it, rub it, and then let it bathe in the smoky spa that is your Pit Boss.

The Secret Ingredient: Time

If there’s one ingredient more important than any spice, it’s time. Smoking meat is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s about the slow, transformative power of heat and smoke over hours, an exercise in restraint and anticipation. Your Pit Boss Smoker isn’t just cooking; it’s alchemizing tough muscle into tender, flavorful nirvana.

The Waiting Game: Patience Is a Flavor

The hardest part of using a Pit Boss Smoker? The waiting. The tantalizing aromas wafting from the smoker are a siren song, luring you to peek inside. Resist! Each peek is a betrayal to the sacred covenant between you and the smoke. Trust in the process, and your patience will be rewarded tenfold with succulent, fall-off-the-bone meat.

Pitfalls to Avoid

Beware the common follies of the eager smoker: the temperature tantrum, the smoke-choked hustle, and the premature tasting. These are the trials that test the mettle of the Pit Boss maestro. Keep a steady hand and an even steadier heart, and you shall overcome.

The Moment of Truth: The Taste Test

The grand finale, the taste test, is not merely a bite; it’s a culmination of all your senses coming together in a symphony of smoky, meaty goodness. It’s the moment when time stands still, and all that matters is the intricate dance of flavors on your palate. This is what it’s all about – the pursuit of the perfect bite.

Sharing the Bounty

The true joy of smoking meat is not just in the eating, but in the sharing. Slice up your masterpiece, serve it up to friends and family, and watch as their faces light up with the joy that only true, smoked-to-perfection meat can bring. It’s not just food; it’s an experience, a memory in the making.

The Aftermath: Cleaning and Maintenance

After the feast comes the less glamorous, but equally important, task of cleaning and maintaining your Pit Boss Smoker. Treat it with the respect of a soldier cleaning his rifle. After all, this smoker is your comrade-in-arms in the ongoing battle against the ordinary.

Wrapping it Out

The average cost of Pit Boss smokers is quite reasonable, with most models priced under $1,000. Common models are available in the range of $500 to $700, which places them within a moderate price bracket for smokers. A standard Pit Boss smoker can be found at a price point of around $499, with the possibility of higher-end models reaching about $1,000 or more, depending on the features and size​​​​​​.

Pit Boss smokers are well-regarded in the user community, appreciated for their efficient design, ample cooking space, and robust temperature control. They are recognized for their quality, with the Pit Boss Vertical Smoker rated at an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars by customers. These smokers are known for maintaining their set temperature even in challenging conditions and are noted for their simplicity of operation and high-quality construction. Despite some concerns over durability and the need for monitoring during use, they stand as a competitive option among smokers in the US market​​.

In fact, Pit Boss smokers have been listed among the best smokers, with certain models being highlighted for their cutting-edge features and ability to elevate the barbecue experience​​​​. Specifically, the 5-Series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker is mentioned as a product that professionals would be eager to own due to its features and affordability​​.

Pit Boss smokers cater to a wide range of users, from casual backyard enthusiasts to more serious pitmasters. The brand’s variety of models and sizes means that there’s likely a smoker to fit the needs of different users, whether they smoke meat frequently or only occasionally. Those who appreciate technology and convenience in their grilling equipment may find Pit Boss smokers especially appealing due to their innovative features like the sliding flame broiler system and automatic pellet ignition​

Liam Turner

Gear Review Specialist. Liam’s expertise lies in testing and reviewing smoking equipment, ensuring our readers make informed decisions.

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