Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills and Smokers

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7 Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills and Smokers Reviewed [2022]

Pellet grills are taking the backyard cooking world by storm.

Like a magician’s trick, they’ve appeared on our patios in a puff of smoke and wowed us in every way. Their clean fuels make heat and smoke, and their digital controllers make cooking at any temperature easy.

Pit Boss is one of the leading makers of pellet grills, and their line includes everything from huge smoking pits to tiny portable units. Here’s a look at their offerings and what to watch for.

Our recommendations for Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills and Smokers:

Why Pit Boss Pellet Grills Are so Popular

Pit Boss pellet grills are a common sight in barbecue enthusiasts’ backyards, and for a good reason.

Here are a few reasons why this brand is so popular:

  • Performance: Pit Boss pellet grills are reliable and easy to use — they have a simple digital control system for choosing your preferred cooking temperature.
  • Product Range: There is a wide range of different sizes and types of pellet grills and smokers you can choose from — something to fit everyone’s budget and needs.
  • Versatility: Compared to most other brands, Pit Boss has a wider temperature range and offers a unique open flame searing feature.
  • Durability: These pellet grills are built sturdy and come with a 5-year warranty.

Top 7 Best Pit Boss Pellet Grills and Smokers Reviewed

We have chosen our seven favorite Pit Boss pellet grills and smokers to be reviewed below. They include anything from typical backyard models to smaller and more affordable units and even a portable tabletop option.

Best Overall: Pit Boss Navigator 850 Pellet Grill

The Navigator series by Pit Boss represents some of the best pellet grills you can buy. The Navigator 850 is just the right size for most backyard chefs, is easy and fun to use, and has an attractive price point.

These grills are built robustly, with heavy-gauge steel. In addition, the entire grill is protected by a high-temperature powder-coated finish.

Pit Boss Navigator 850 Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 879 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 28 lbs
  • Weight: 164 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Navigator 850 has 879 square inches of cooking space on porcelain-coated cast iron grates. It features Pit Boss’s unique and simple slide-plate flame broiler for direct cooking and searing or easy indirect cooking versatility.

So if you are looking for the best pellet grill for searing, this is definitely one to consider.

The Pit Boss Navigator pellet smoker has an enormous 28-pound-capacity hopper with a front viewing window so you can monitor the fuel level from a distance.

Temperature is controlled with a dial-in digital controller with an LED screen to monitor temperatures. In addition, the 850 comes with one remote meat thermometer probe that works with the control panel. A grill cover is also included in the package.

The Navigator doesn’t have much insulation, and rear wents might let wind and rain in, so it’s not an optimal smoker to be used in bad weather. If you are planning to use it in colder might, it’s best to get an insulating blanket.

This big, heavy grill will last you decades if you take care of it. It measures about 58 inches long, 37 inches deep, and 47 inches tall. All totaled, it weighs in at a whopping 164 pounds!

It’s backed by a best-in-class 5-year warranty, too.

What We Love

  • Large cooking area
  • Excellent value for money
  • Versatile — Great for both smoking and grilling
  • Easy temperature control
  • Built to last
  • Comes with a meat probe and grill cover
  • Has a 5-year warranty

What We Don’t

  • Doesn’t work very well in rainy, windy, or cold weather

Largest Option: Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Pellet Grill

Are you looking to feed a crowd? The Sportsman 1100 grill has all the features you want and space for everyone. Plus, it looks great doing it.

This pellet grill is very similar to the Navigator reviewed above, except it’s bigger and comes with two meat probes and a stainless-steel jerky rack.

Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 1121 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 30 lbs
  • Weight: 173 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Sportsman 1100 features a 1,121 square inch main cooking surface on porcelain-coated cast iron grates and a 30-pound hopper to feed that raging fire.

In addition, it has some nice little details like a stainless bottle opener, a folding front shelf, and a removable stainless side shelf.

This is a really big smoker! It measures 65 inches long and weighs 173 pounds, so you also need to consider the space requirement.

What We Love

  • Huge cooking space
  • Affordable for its size
  • Large hopper capacity
  • Comes with 2 meat probes
  • Includes a stainless steel jerky rack

What We Don’t

  • Needs plenty of space and is quite heavy

Small and Affordable: Pit Boss 440FB1 Pellet Grill

This no-frills option is an older version that made Pit Boss famous. If you are looking for the best pellet grill for under 500 dollars, then this is one of the best options on the market.

Its straightforward barrel design has no shelves or add-ons. Instead, it’s just a simple and affordable smoker with a side-mounted five-pound capacity hopper.

Pit Boss 440FB1 Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 482 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 5 lbs
  • Weight: 104 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Pit Boss 440FB1 has 482 square inches of cooking space — much less than the Navigator and Sportsman models reviewed earlier, but still enough to cook for the whole family.

This is a great little pellet grill that is easy and fun to use. It has the flame broil lever and the same temperature settings as other Pit Boss grills.

What We Love

  • Very affordable
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great overall cooking performance

What We Don’t

  • No meat probe included
  • You might have to add more pellets during longer cookouts

Best Vertical Smoker: Pit Boss Sportsman 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss Sportsman 5-Series model is one of the best vertical pellet smokers you can find. It’s something that you want if you intend to do a lot of smoking.

This smoker holds 1,513 square inches of food on five removable racks or six meat hooks. The huge 55-pound pellet hopper is mounted on the back of the unit and has a window to monitor the fuel level.

Pit Boss Sportsman 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 1513 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 150 – 420°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 55 lbs
  • Weight: 129 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

Pellets are an excellent fuel source, especially the high-quality food-grade pellets used by Pit Boss and other grill companies. The 5-Series wood smoker has the same digital control panel and heat control that Pit Boss grills have, only this unit is programmable from 150 to 420 degrees. That’s low enough for delicate recipes like fish.

Normal pellet grills do a decent job at smoking, but their biggest weakness is their small cooking areas. Cabinet smokers have the advantage of being able to hold a lot of food, including very large cuts of meat.

They can do this because direct heat cooking is not an option — everything cooks low and slow in the big cabinet.

However, this pellet-fueled smoker will still get hotter than other most other cabinet-style smokers on the market — up to 420 degrees for roasting or baking.

What We Love

  • Great for long smoking sessions
  • Can fit big and tall food items
  • Gets hot enough for roasting and baking
  • Can be set to as low as 150 degrees

What We Don’t

  • Can’t reach high enough temperatures for grilling

Best Portable Option: Pit Boss Sportsman Portable Wood Pellet Grill

The Sportsman Portable straddles the line between the barrel-shaped standard wood pellet grills and the tiny tabletop models. It features a folding scissor-style cart with heavy-duty rolling wheels.

Somehow, Pit Boss managed to squeeze in an impressive 387 square inches of cooking space and a 19-pound capacity hopper. The result is a great tailgating grill that can go almost anywhere and cook almost anything.

Pit Boss Sportsman Portable Wood Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 387 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 19 lbs
  • Weight: 80 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Sportsman Portable can be thought of as a mini Pit Boss pellet grill. It has all the same features, from the slide-out flame broiler to the digital control panel that accepts two probes.

Temperatures are programmable from 180 to 500 degrees. It weighs 80 pounds and folds into a package about 38 by 38 by 25 inches. You can still roll the grill when it is folded.

Just remember that, like other pellet grills, you still need to plug this unit into an electric supply to use it.

What We Love

  • Great option for camping and tailgating
  • Folds into a relatively small package
  • Adequate cooking space

What We Don’t

  • Needs electricity to work

Budget Pick: Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Pellet Grill

The Mahogany 440 is a compact and simple pellet grill that is surprisingly affordable.

This is an older Pit Boss model that still holds its own against the newer offerings. The differences are mostly in design aesthetics and an older controller board.

Pit Boss Mahogany 440 Deluxe Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 465 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 5 lbs
  • Weight: 96 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Mahogany 440 has 518 square inches on the porcelain-coated steel cooking grates and a five-pound hopper. The digital controller can be set anywhere from 180 to 500 degrees, and the open flame searing mode can reach up to 1,000 degrees.

All in all, the Mahogany 440 has most of the same features and ease of use as the newer versions.

What We Love

  • Very affordable
  • A good basic pellet grill
  • Compact and simple design

What We Don’t

  • Small hopper capacity
  • No meat probe included

Most Compact: Pit Boss Mahogany Portable Tabletop Pellet Grill

If you need a pellet grill that’s ready for any adventure, the Pit Boss Mahogany tabletop model is definitely worth a look. Compared to your old charcoal camping grill, this one is simple and easy to use, especially when you want to do some smoking in addition to grilled recipes.

Pit Boss Mahogany Portable Tabletop Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 256 sq.in
  • Temperature Range: 180 – 500°F
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 7 lbs
  • Weight: 42 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel and porcelain-coated steel
  • Warranty: 5 years

This tiny grill has a seven-pound hopper and a 256-square-inch cooking grate, all snuggly built into a toolbox-sized case. The lid locks in place, and the lid handle makes carrying this little 42-pound grill easy.

Even though this grill features an older version of the controller, it is still settable anywhere between 180 and 500 degrees.

The small size certainly limits what you can cook with it, but you’ll be eating like kings for a few people on a camping trip.

What We Love

  • Very compact and portable
  • Great cooking performance
  • Affordable

What We Don’t

  • Limited cooking space
  • Needs electricity

Pit Boss Pellet Grill and Smoker Buying Guide

The choices can seem daunting if you’re shopping for your first pellet grill. But here are some of the features you’ll want to look for and what’s important to keep in mind.

Size

The grill size you choose depends on how many people you are cooking for — or at least on how much food you want to cook at once.

Pit Boss makes wood pellet grills ranging from portables with only 250 square inches to backyard pits with enormous cooking areas. Most backyard chefs are looking for something between 500 and 800 square inches.

Ease of Use

Pit Boss pellet grills are easy to set up and use. The beauty of the pellet grill is that you can set the temperature of your desired cooking and know that the grill will maintain it.

On these grills, you dial in the precise temperature you want — anywhere from 180 to 500 degrees.

If you want to sear, Pit Boss has a slide-to-open grate that exposes the firebox under the food. This flame broiling option can get you searing temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit!

When you compare Pit Boss and Traeger pellet grills, Pit Boss offers more versatility because of the wider temp range and open flame searing option.

The precise temperature control offered on these grills sets them apart from gas and charcoal options.

While the pellet grill is complex in design and construction, its actual use is pretty easy. Fill the hopper with hardwood pellets, dial in the temperature you want to cook at, and put your food on the grates. It doesn’t get much easier!

The new Pit Boss digital controller accepts inputs from two separate meat thermometer probes. As such, you can dial in not only the cooking temperature but the desired meat doneness, as well.

Pellet Consumption

Pellet grills consume their fuel at various rates depending on the unit size, outside temperature, and your programmed cooking temperature. Colder weather and higher cooking temperatures increase the rate of burn.

Also, a larger unit needs more pellets to maintain a certain temperature — this is one reason you don’t want to buy a grill that is too large.

At the same time, a smaller pellet hopper will need to be refilled more often. A good rule of thumb is to plan on two pounds of pellets being used for slow smoking recipes and four pounds per hour burned for hot and fast grilling recipes.

With the popularity of these grills in recent years, it has become easier than ever to find more pellets. But you will want plenty in reserve since they are harder to come by than other fuels like propane or charcoal.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Pit Boss has an excellent YouTube channel with plenty of information about their models and how to use them.

Here’s an excellent video that shows how to clean and maintain your Pit Boss wood pellet grill:

How to Clean and Maintain Your Wood Pellet Grill

Cleaning and maintaining a pellet grill is not unlike any other quality grill. It’s best to perform cleanings more often as gunk can build up quickly with heavy use.

After a long cookout or two or three short cooking sessions, Pit Boss recommends cleaning the grates with a wire grill brush and then vacuuming the dust and ash with a shop vacuum.

Be sure to empty the grease-catching bucket when it gets to about 2/3 full.

You can clean the interior and exterior of heavy build-ups with a commercial grill cleaner and degreaser. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash everything with soap and water.

This includes the grill’s grates, firebox, interior, and exterior. Once you’ve cleaned everything, run the grill at its highest setting for 10 or 15 minutes to burn off any chemicals from the cleaning products.

Design and Appearance

Pit boss divides their grills into model lineups that share similar features. The most popular grill lines are the Navigator and the Sportsman. The exact features of these two grill lines are very similar, making picking between them difficult.

Pit Boss Navigator grills feature a black powder-coated finish. They are the top-of-the-line grills available from Pit Boss, which feature the most robust design and upgraded features.

Compared to the Navigator grills, the most noticeable difference with the Sportsman line is the presence of a large chimney on the right-hand side of the grill. The Sportsmans also feature a matte black finish with orange accents.

All newer Pit Boss grills have the same digital temperature controller with dual meat probe inputs. Likewise, all come with the slide-to-open flame broiler.

Portability

Pellet grills are larger and more complex than most other types of grills and smokers. As a result, there are fewer portable options.

Those that do exist, like the Pit Boss tabletop model, compromise hopper capacity and cooking area for portability. But these are still great grills that easily fit in the trunk of your car.

If you step up to a freestanding model with the traditional barrel-shaped design, you’ll have a lot more space to cook and a cooking experience much more like regular grilling. But these models are large and require their own carts.

Versatility and Special Features

By their very nature, pellet grills are some of the most versatile backyard cooking appliances. Pit Boss touts their grills as “8-in-1” cookers. They can grill, bake, roast, smoke, sear, braise, barbeque, and char-grill.

There aren’t too many special features to look out for.

The newer models have better digital control boards that accept multiple meat thermometer probe inputs. This allows you to set not only the temperature of the grill but also the doneness.

Various models come with side or front shelves, plus storage shelves below the grill. Some models include a fitted cover, while others do not.

Now it’s time to choose a Pit Boss unit that best suits your needs and start cooking.

Have a great barbecue!

About the Author

Hi, I’m Joonas!

As soon as I learned to walk, I started to assist my dad and uncles with grilling and smoking. I always loved helping them and later took over the role of the grill master in my family.

My goal is to cook tasty barbecue food, enjoy it with family & friends, and help others do the same!

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