Pit Boss Smoker Reviews

Image of Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker outside

Few names in the grilling community are as respected as Pit Boss, a brand known for its quality grills and smokers. Here at Fire Food Chef we decided it was time to take a closer look at Pit Boss’ collection of smokers. 

There were so many great smokers to choose from the company’s line up but after many hours of combing reviews, customer forums, queries, and product comparisons we finally narrowed down our selection to a handful of top picks!


Fire Food Chef Best Pit Boss Smoker Review 2019

Key Features

- User Rating: 4.5 
- Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 23 x 47 in
- Weight: 52 lbs
- 2 Stainless Steel burners (13, 500 BTU)
- Dual valve/burner Temperature Control 
- 100-350F Temperature Range
- 3 Porcelain-coated Cooking Grids
- 884 sq inch Total Cooking Area
- Front-loadingWood Chip Drawer 
- Grease tray
- Large viewing window (High-temperature seal)
- 2 Rear wheels for easy transport

Product Review

We begin our review with the Pit Boss Vertical LP, a digital gas smoker. First, you’ll find that this model is well packaged and easy to assemble. All the parts are sturdy and high quality. There are 2 legs on the rear legs for easy transport around your backyard or outdoors. 

One of the best things about the Pit Boss Vertical Lp Gas Smoker is how quickly and consistently it maintains a temperature. It features a unique dual valve burner system that includes a 3500 BTU burner for the wood chips, and a 10,000 BTU burner for the cabinet. 

The dual valve system allows you to adjust the wood burner temperature as well as the cabinet for a more consistent temperature. Using a single knob control, you can achieve a temperature range of between 100 -350F. The side dampeners make it easier to maintain a steady temperature of about 225F, which is optimal for smoking meat.

Image of the inside of Pit Boss Grills 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker

Either wet chips or pellets can be used for burning. The water tray is a decent size and will hold enough water for about 1.5 - 2 hrs before it needs refilling. With 884 square inches of cooking area, you can smoke diverse dishes. The 4 grates are porcelain-coated and can be easily cleaned with soap and water, as long as you grease them before smoking your meat.

A front-loading slide out tray allows for easy loading and refueling without any risk of getting burned. There aren’t any fancy LED or digital features, but the design is stylish with a red, semi-gloss finish. The large viewing window makes monitoring your smoked dishes safe and easy as well.

Overall, the Pit Boss Vertical LP Gas Smoker is an amazing bargain and moderately priced. Your Your investment will certainly go far and elevate your smoking to a new level of delicious!

Pros:

- Dual valve burner system maintains consistent temperature
- Heats quickly with 13,000 Total BTU output
- Durable, well-built
- Spacious, 4 cooking grates

Cons:

- Does not include internal meat thermometer
- Water tray could be slightly bigger for smoking longer than 2 hrs
- Can’t adjust burners separately

Key Features:

- User Rating: 4.2
- Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 23 x 41 in
- Weight: 48.5 lbs
- Dual valve/burner system 
- 100-350 Temperature Range
- 4 Porcelain-coated Cooking Grates
- 676 sq inch Total Cooking Area
- 2 Stainless Steel burners (13, 500 Total BTU)
- Front-loading Wood Chip And Grease tray
- Large viewing window with high temperature door seal

Product Review

Following close behind at #2 in our review, the Pit Boss 77425 vertical LP is another gas smoker, and very similar to our first pick. Slightly smaller than the Pit Boss 77435, it includes  3 porcelain-coated grates and a total of 676 sq inches of cooking area. That’s still plenty of space to smoke, say, a 12lb brisket.

Like the 77435, the BTU output is a total 13,500, and comes from 2 separate stainless steel burners. It also uses a dual valve system which supplies gas to both burners, one for the wood chips, and the other for the smoking cabinet. 

Although the 77425 holds a consistent temperature, adjusting the temperature control is tricky. There are no numbers on the dial so you can experience a quite drastic temperature variance depending on the level of humidity you’re cooking in. You may also find heat escaping from the corners of the large viewing window, which is high-temperature sealed.

Image of the Pit Boss Grills 77425 2.5 Gas Smoker with tray out

Thankfully, this is a well made gas smoker that heats quickly and is easy to clean, thanks to the front-loading wood chip tray and grease catcher. You might, however, find the water tray too small if you want to slow cook food overnight. Replacing the water with a 13"×9"×2" baking pan is the most direct solution, otherwise you’ll have to refill the water tray about every 2 hrs.

Finally, the metal wood tray tends to expand when heated, which makes it difficult to remove without considerable effort. This can cause scraping on the inside because of the effort required to niggle the tray out, but it’s a small problem overall.

For quality and temperature consistency, the Pit Boss 77425 is hard to beat and well worth the price.

Pros:

- 13,000 BTU output heats quickly
- Maintains consistent temperature using dual valve stainless steel burner system
- Durable construction
- Easy to load wood chips and clean

Cons:

- Can experience considerable temperature variance
- Difficult to adjust temperature control knob precisely because dial has no numbers
- Wood chip tray expands when heated
- Water tray not large enough for smoking overnight

Key Features:

- User Rating: 3.2 / 5 Stars
- Product Dimensions: 28 x 29 x 53 in
- Weight: 131 lbs
- Monitor internal temperatures with digital LED readout and meat probe
- Five porcelain coated cooking grids
- 1830 sq in. cooking area
- Porcelain-coated water pan and heat deflector
- 40+ lb hopper capacity with pellet Purge
- Digital 150 - 450 temperature range
- Auto-start 300 watt igniter with auto shut-off

Product Review

If you prefer a more traditional pellet smoker that can handle large gatherings, the Pit Boss 77550 5.5 is a fantastic choice. There are, however, few performance issues you should be aware of.

There’s a lot to love about the PIt Boss pellet smoker. First, it’s is a large capacity smoker with 5 porcelain-coated cooking grates for a total of 1830 sq inches of cooking area. You could smoke salmon, pork butt, brisket, chicken, and a rack of oysters all at the same time! 

The large viewing window is high-temperature sealed, and the programmable temperature control adjusts between 150 - 450F, which is much hotter than you’ll ever need for smoking meat. 

You could smoke your meat overnight in it without having to replace wood chips, thanks to the 40lb hopper. A digital LED display reads the internal temperature so you can easily monitor the progress of your smoked masterpiece. The display could be a bit brighter though.

One problem of concern with the Pit Boss 77550 Pellet Smoker is the temperature variance. Admittedly, you’ll likely have more difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature in humid weather conditions with almost any pellet smoker. 

Image of Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker outside

Unfortunately, this model also has an auto shut-off that activates if left on for longer than 12hrs. This is strange, since the hopper is designed to accommodate enough pellets for 24 hrs. Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night to turn their pellet smoker back on?

Lastly, the water tray isn’t ventilated enough to be useful over 24hrs. The lack of ventilation produces too much humidity inside the smoker, which can turn your pellets into a gummy, sticky residue that can block the pellet feeder. lf this happens, cleaning it will be a hassle. 

All in all, the large-capacity Pit Boss 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker is spacious, easy to assemble, and priced moderately enough to be a good bargain. As long as you don’t try to smoke anything for longer than 12 hrs, this model will perform very well.

Pros:

- Large capacity cooking area (1830 sq in)
- Internal meat thermometer
- Programmable 140f - 350F temperature range
- 40lb hopper holds enough pellets for 24hrs of smoking

Cons:

- Water tray needs more ventilation to reduce humidity inside the smoker
- Temperature can vary wildly in humidity
- LED Display is not bright enough
- Auto shut-off prevents overnight smoking

Key Features:

- User Rating: 3.1 / 5 Stars 
- Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 23 x 41 in 
- Weight: 58 lbs
- Push-button digital control panel 
- 100F - 400F Temperature range
- LED Display
- 593 sq in. cooking area
- 3 porcelain-coated cooking racks 
- Porcelain coated water pan
- Double walled construction with blanket insulation
- Large viewing window (high temperature, sealed)
- 1 yr warranty for electrical parts

Product Review

Ideal for your backyard or outdoor kitchen, the Pit Boss 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker is average-sized with all the important design features to elevate your dishes. A convenient LED Display reads cabinet temperature and a meat probe is also included. The complimentary app is extremely useful and works like a dream. Smoking your meat has really never been easier!

The 77221 Digital Smoker features a wrap-around heating element that allows you to adjust the smoke level as desired, and the auto shut-off feature kicks in after 3hrs. The high temperature range means you can not only smoke meat, but you can also bake in it as well.

There are 3 porcelain-coated racks and the water tray is also porcelain-coated. So, you could smoke an 8lb pork butt, for example, in its 593 sq inches of cooking area. It smokes any dish you can think of to perfection but there are one or two issues of concern.

side by side image of Pit Boss Grills 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker temperature control

While defective models aren’t common, users have complained of defective controllers and overheating issues. The overheating produces excessive smoke which is unhealthy. Thankfully, the high-temperature sealed door has a large viewing window, and there is a 1yr warranty that covers electrical parts. There is also an auto shut-off safety feature.

If you’re curious, you can check out the Pit Boss 77221 2.2 Digital Smoker User Guide. We 

recommend you read it through thoroughly to get the most out of your unit.

Pros:

- Cabinet temperature control with 100F - 400F temperature range
- Internal meat probe
- Wheels for easy transport
- 1 yr warranty

Cons:

- Defective controller may be an issue
- Overheating and excessive smoke may occur

Key Features:

- User Rating: 3.0/5 Stars
- Product Dimensions:26 x 22 x 53 inches
- Weight: 97 lbs
- Digital LED Display and meat probe
- 4 Porcelain-coated cooking grates
- Porcelain coated water and heat Deflector
- 901 sq in. cooking area
 -40+ lb hopper capacity with pellet Purge
- 150F - 450F Temperature Control
- Auto-start 300 watt igniter with auto shut-off

Product Review
Serving a large gathering of 20 won’t be a problem with this pellet smoker. The Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker isn’t a premium product but isn’t bad for the price either.

With 4 cooking racks and 901 sq inches of cooking area, this smoker can accommodate a 13 lb brisket, the average being 10 - 12. It’s easy to assemble out of the box and there are wheels on the legs for easy transport outdoors.

The temperature ranges rom 150F - 450F, making it as versatile as a household kitchen oven. The wood tray holds a 40lb bag of wood chips, enough for 24hrs of smoking. There’s a large viewing window, which is handy for monitoring smoke levels and meal readiness.

image of Pit Boss Grills PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker, Copper with meat inside

The water tray is porcelain-coated and the heat deflector aids in heat distribution. Flare ups, however, can occur more frequently than you might like with the Pit Boss V3P1 due to the oddly shaped grease catcher. It doesn’t catch grease effectively, which can lead to excessive smoke.

You can smoke dishes overnight and easily monitor the temperature inside using the LED Display, but you may notice wild swings in temperature variance. A more accurate temperature controller would be an improvement. Otherwise, the PB V3P1 Pellet Smoker is a good smoker that will perform well.

Pros:

- Spacious 910 sq inch cooking area
- Internal meat probe and programmable LED temperature display
- Large capacity wood tray holds 40 lb wood chip bag

Cons:

- Too much temperature variance, could use better temperature control
- Grease catcher doesn’t catch grease effectively, causes excessive smoke and flare ups

image of pit boss smoker outside with meat inside

Is A Pit Boss Smoker Worth It?

There are really only a handful of top brand names when it comes to quality smokers, and Pit Boss Grills certainly stands among them. The company has been around since 1999 and is  a subsidiary of Dansons, Inc. Dansons, by the way, is known for their Louisiana Pellet Smokers. 

Pit Boss manufactures a wide range of portable, outdoor grills, all of them distinguished by their durability and craftsmanship. Whether it’s a traditional charcoal-fueled grill, portable gas grill or a digital pellet smoker with Wifi and LED display, Pit Boss grills have a unique design and perform surprisingly well for the price. They’re usually more economical than higher-end models but they are specifically designed for bbq and block party lovers of all ages.

A Pit Boss Smoker is a worthwhile investment but you may experience some issues with your particular model. Defective controllers and high temperatures are the most common issues described by users, but the overwhelming majority are very satisfied with their decision.

How To Use A Pellet Smoker

Smoking meat can take anywhere from 6 - 22 hrs depending on the meat and its thickness. Brisket, for example can take as long as 22 hrs, while other meats will take 6 - 8hrs. To reduce the time, precook your meat and then transfer it immediately to the smoker. 

If you’re new to smoking meat or using a smoker, there are some nuances you’ll need to develop over time. Setting the right temperature and cooking slowly are the key to making sure your smoker performs at its best. 

You can smoke vegetables, cheese, nuts, fruit, and you can even bake pizza or cookies in a pellet smoker. If you’re new to smoking meat using a digital smoker, the steps below will guide you through the process.

image of pellets from wood pellet grill

Maintenance Tips For Your Pit Boss Smoker

When you first unpackage your Pit Boss Smoker, you’ll no doubt be eager to assemble and test it out. There are, however, important warnings included in your user manual that can save you a great deal of headache and help keep your smoker in optimal condition.

Follow these tips for maintaining your smoker:

- Do not cover or wrap the cooking racks with metal foil. This will trap heat and cause severe damage to your electric smoker.
- Do not put the drip tray directly on the cooking rack as this may damage the electric smoker.
- Use caution when handling or adding wood. In some cases, the wood tray can be extremely hot.
- Always unplug your Pit Boss Smoker from the outlet when not in use and before cleaning.  wood chip box or water pan.
- Do not store your electric smoker with hot ashes left inside
- Remove and clean the cooking grates after each use to keep them in peak condition.  Porcelain-coated grates are similar to non-stick surfaces. Ordinary household dishwashing soap and warm water will remove food debris from them fairly easily.

Steps To Cooking Meat In A Digital Smoker

  1. Season your meat and cure it overnight if possible.

  2. Adjust your smoker to the right temperature.  200 degrees F is an ideal temp for all meats ( pork, chicken, fish, beef). You should always adjust the temperature setting before adding the wood.  225F is good too but high temperatures are more difficult to keep consistently. Too much heat can cause flare ups and overcooked meat on one side. 

  3. Next, add water and wood to your smoker. Be careful because your smoker will be very hot. During the smoking process, the water evaporates and keeps meat moist inside the cooking chamber.

  4. Add wood using the wood tray, which dumps wood onto the heating element.

  5. Now you can add meat to the smoker. If the racks are removable, remove them and place the meat on the racks before you set the temperature. Otherwise, a spatula with a long handle will also do - and a pair of oven mits.

  6. Baste the meat halfway through the cooking process to keep the flavors and seasoning juicy.

  7. You may need to add more chips after you baste the meat, depending on the size of the wood hopper or tray.

  8. Use an internal meat thermometer to test meat readiness

  9. Finally,applyour y finishing sauce in the final 30-40 minutes

You might also be interested in 5 Mouthwatering Recipes For Your Pit BossDigital Smoker.  

Conclusion

Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of the smokers in our review.  And remember, you can always find a ton of reviews on the best grilling and smoking products on the market at Fire Food Chef!  We’ll help you elevate your grilling and smoking skills to thrilling new levels of culinary mastery!

This post was last updated on July 24th, 2019 at 04:29 pm