The first 820 Deluxe Pit Boss sent was defective. It made a loud clanging sound and visibly shook with each clang. It quickly became obvious that something was wrong with the auger. Pit Boss took it back and sent another that worked fine. The exact reason for the clanging was never adequately explained. Recognizing the popularity of Pit Boss and lack of substantive complaints by owners, we give them the benefit of the doubt and are willing to accept this problem was an anomaly. We could not find any other account of a similar issue with Pit Boss, and indeed, the vast majority of buyers seem pleased.
Be sure to read the manual before operating. There is vital information there, especially for the first fire up. One note that the manual does not mention, is that when you first fill the hopper, it takes several minutes for the pellets to reach the firebox. On your first "attempt", it is likely that the firebox will turn off before the pellets reach it, and you will think your grill is defective. Its not. Either "prime" the firebox with a small handful of pellets, or let it cycle once, unplug, and restart on "smoke" setting. You should always start the grill on "smoke" setting with the lid up until the initial smoke clears and you hear a nice "roar" of pellets burning...
Jump into summer with the Pit Boss Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill. Pit Boss brings the fun back to grilling with this heavy-duty grill with temperature range capabilities from 170–500 degrees Fahrenheit. With two levels of cooking racks, you can grill more at the same time and keep your foods in direct or indirect heat. An auto-ignition will have you up and grilling within seconds, and when you're done grilling, you can rely on the auto shutoff to wrap things up.
Deluxe models have a unique arched drip plate, (above), which is found on many Louisiana smokers. Attempting to create a hot sear zone, a small plate is used to slide over openings in the larger arched plate to open or close direct exposure to the flaming firepot. The idea of exposing foods to the fire pot is used by several brands of pellet smokers. Generally it doesn't work well because the firepot flame is just too small to do much searing. Pit Boss is no exception. We placed a flight of chicken wings over the open slider, flipping occasionally while taking care not to move them from their original positions. As expected, only the few wings directly over the flame were seared,(below). The slider design dictates the absence of a flame diffuser over the firepot and one is not included with Deluxe models.
Awesome!.. clean, keeps temps, smokes like a boss (: 1st cookout was a 12lb pork butt, 24 brats, 12 hamburgers and 8 chicken thighs. Smoked the butt for 4 hours and wrapped. Kept it in for 6 hours at 250. It was a party favorite. I've never had a grill I could leave unattended for any length of time besides my electric smoker, and the flavor from the pitboss most definitely proves to be Superior. Thanks for the awesome setup guys!
There's something about wood and wood chip grills that gas and electric grills just can't replace. They can provide that little extra flavor or pop that only wood-smoking and grilling can provide. Unfortunately, that also means wood chip grills can be a little more on the expensive side. Thankfully, Walmart has just the deal if you want the kind of quality barbecue you'd find from some great joints at home.
Take your grilling craft to the next level with the Pit Boss Grill 440D Wood Pellet Grill. This innovative grill is powered by 100% natural wood pellets leaving all of the cuisines you create with a real wood-fire flavor for the entire family to enjoy. The 440 square-inch cooking area, provides a spacious amount of space for an ample amount of food, and the 100 square-inch porcelain coated steel removable upper cooking rack supplies even more space to cook up your favorite meals. Fire up the grill fill the hopper with all natural barbecue wood pellets, set the desired cooking temperature, and start grilling you next professional-grade meal from 180-degrees to 500-degrees.
A positive Pit Boss attribute we observed, but couldn't explain or verify was that everything we cooked seemed to come out remarkably moist and juicy. The only apparent unique features we saw were the arched drip plate and lack of flame diffuser. Our science advisor, Dr. Greg Blonder, doubted the arched plate was a factor, but observed, "The odd firepot arrangement might cause a circulating airflow pattern, which could affect the humidity bubble around meat".
Here's the conundrum pellet smoker manufacturers have been facing all along – people who own them love the ease of use and excellent results, and have no remorse for paying a few hundred bucks more than the cost of their neighbor's grill. But for many, pellet smokers are overpriced foreign objects, although that's changing as the pellet smoker industry slowly infiltrates the country, one backyard at a time. So we love finding a decent pellet smoker at a low price like Pit Boss. But remember – don't pay the MSRP posted below. At list price we give the 820D an AmazingRibs.com Best Value Bronze Medal. At around $500 it jumps to Silver. List price on the standard 820 is about a hundred bucks less than Deluxe.
This pellet grill allows you to cook between the temperatures of 170F all the way up to 600F. The idea of cooking at such high temperatures sounds like a scary concept; but with the automated control system regulating air flow, you can be assured of a clean, safe and flavorful cook. The use of fans within the grill not only ensure safety and flavor, but cook food completely evenly, meaning you can rest assured of perfection every time. Even deactivating the grill post-use is made simple; all you need to do is press a button and the grill will safely power down, cooling as necessary all automatically.
Although the Pit Boss cook surface ran a bit hotter on the left side, it was reasonably even. With cooking temp set at 225° we measured temps at 240° left – 220° right. The difference increased exponentially as set temp went higher. At the "High" maximum position on the controller dial we monitored actual temps at 520 left – 475 right. Controllers respond to a thermostat inside the oven and increase or decrease pellet feeds to the firepot to maintain set temperatures. Your indoor kitchen oven works the same way with a controller that turns gas burners or electric elements on and off as needed. And while some sophisticated controllers are very good at keeping temps within a tight tolerance, it is not unusual to see some temp swings as the unit cycles on and off. The Pit Boss controller has wide temp swings that allow it to go way below and above your set temp. Although everything we cooked on Pit Boss came out with good smoke flavor and good smoke rings, we noticed a slight tendency to overcook the surface of meats on the cooking grate side. This led us to flip meats once or twice while cooking. We speculate this may be caused by the soaring temps PB's controller allows before cutting off the pellet feed.
Packaging was good inside and out. All parts were secured to prevent damage and we liked the colorful graphics on the hopper and under the hood that explained how a pellet smoker works for a first time user. When the 820 was almost fully assembled, we noticed an unused bag of washers that were not mentioned in the assembly instructions except in the parts list. After being on hold with customer service for ten minutes, we were advised to unscrew everything and refasten all parts adding the washers to the screw and lock nut assemblies.
UPDATE 8/27 - This grill is still performing flawlessly. No error messages, maintains temperatures. I have made homeade pizzas and strombolis on a pizza stone and it actually makes them better than in the oven. Its like a restaurant wood fired pizza. I made a pork butt, beef brisket, bacon wrapped scallops....it just simply cooks everything well. Love my Pit Boss !!