PRO: Grill is well built and assembly is straight forward. CONS: Grill exceeds selected temp by at least 40 degrees before settling in at selected temp. (Settling is a strong word, it continues to move between 25 degrees over and under selected temp) One time I saw 75 degrees over selected temp. I called customer service about the 40 degrees over and was told that is "normal" After three uses, grill wouldn't hold selected temp, temp kept falling. Turned off and cleaned. That fixed it. Cleaning this thing is a pain. Poor design. Now I clean burner before every use. Major pain. When smoking, it will not hold temp well. Bottom line: This is not the set it, and forget it Grill/smoker I was hoping for. It may be going back to Walmart
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With 440 square inches of cooking space, an auger-fed pellet delivery system, and a digital LED thermostat and controller, your cooking will be simple, whether it’s burgers, a whole turkey, or racks of ribs. The side shelf is a convenient place for cooking tools or plates while the bottom shelf can hold spare bags of pellets or jugs of sauces out of the way.
The ceramic body has an integrated damper constructed from high quality cast iron. The grill itself is on wheels, meaning that it’s easily transportable should you want to move it around your backyard. It even comes in 2 sizes; a 22-inch model (which is the one we’ve based this review on), and a slightly larger model at 24 inches. The grill allows for moisture-lock in, the heavily insulated walls and the heat from the charcoal uniquely seeps into the food infusing it with flavor and moisture. The incredible insulation qualities of the grills also mean that you get the most out of each lump of charcoal so you can save on fuel expenses.
You then simply select your desired temperature via the digital controls and relax, safe in the knowledge that the temperature will stay steady and there won't be any dreaded hot or cold spots. This consistence is achieved through the efficient temperature control system and automated auger. This ensures a deep smokey flavor is embedded in your meat every time.
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.
Strangely, whenever you switch cooking temp, the auger runs continuously for four minutes before trying to adjust to the new set temp. This isn't so bad if you're going from low to high, but problematic in the opposite direction. We were slow smoking ribs when interrupted just as they passed the bend test and were ready to be sauced. Forgetting the controllers odd four minute drill, we turned the temp down from 225° to the lowest "Smoke" setting to hold them briefly. Luckily we returned within a few minutes to rescue the ribs. The continuous pellet feed had goosed temps to 400°! A serious flaw that should be corrected.
We’ve looked at grills with larger hopper capacities, but this one has been reported to hold anywhere from 10-20 pounds, depending on who you ask, but you should be able to fit a twenty-pound bag in there. This isn’t really a major point of contention because it’s simple to add more pellets as needed, and you can have this thing smoking all day without having to add more.
It is the PERFECT size for us. Large enough to cook for a party (you could get a full-size brisket, a medium pork shoulder and a rack of ribs or two on this grill at the same time using both racks), but it doesn’t take up the whole backyard. It gets hot enough, so that you could grill some chicken breasts or leg quarters, and/or sausage links while your briskets and ribs are resting. I plan on using this to feed about 100 guests and my son’s graduation party, and I don’t think it will even be a stretch with some good timing and finishing some brisket and pork shoulder in an oven.