Pit Boss at Menards

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by andrewst35, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. katbird

    katbird Newbie

    I just bought the Pit Boss 820 yesterday from Menards. I have a Traeger Grill, and am fed up with it. I have had the Traeger for two years. It came with a three year warranty, and so far, I have had the body replaced, (paint peeling, inside and out), the heat rod twice, and the drip pan, (paint peeling). The quality is so poor. The pellets as they go down into the auger, stick up onto the sides of the pellet box, thus you lose your heat, and there goes your cooking.

    I cooked ribeye steaks on the Pit Boss last night, they turned out great! The Pit Boss heats up so much more and quicker. The pellet box is huge, and holds an entire bag of pellets, the drip pan is so better designed and easily fitted. The price I paid for this model, was 450.00, compared to 399.00, :yahoo:I paid for the Lil Junior Traeger. For 50 dollars more, I get a 820 sq. inch cooking area vs. 292 square inch cooking area of the Traeger. I also get a dome thermometer, and digital thermometer display, and a cook heat that goes to 500 degrees versus 450 of the Traeger. I am getting twice the grill for that fifty dollars. I pray that in future months that the quality of my Pit Boss does not diminish. But so far I am happy. :yahoo:
  2. tim in az

    tim in az Newbie

    I picked up one of these Pit Boss grills last week while Cabelas had them on sale for 399. The build quality just seemed to good to pass up on that price. I already own a FEC Pg 500 which has been a great unit. The hot rod/ igniter has already died on the Pit Boss. I called Danson and was immediately put on the line with someone in technical customer service. They are sending me a new igniter.

    I spoke with the tech guy for a bit on temp swings and temps way over shooting target temp and learned a bit that might help others out.

    Apparently the Pitboss controller will continuously dump pellets for three minutes every time you make a temp change on the controller whether it be up or down.

    For example if you are set at 225 and want to bump up to say 275. The auger will feed pellets for 3 minutes. This will more than likely shoot you up to a higher temp like 350 or so. It will eventually work its way down to set temp and then only feed pellets as needed to keep set temp.

    For whatever reason it does this when going down in temp as well.

    The bottom line is you have to be patient and let it settle in to the temp.

    I have done a few cooks since by doing a manual start ( dead igniter) and am really getting it figured out.

    Overall I'm happy with this unit even with bad igniter. Hoping the igniter isn't an on going issue as I've read a few people with bad ones. All though I haven't received my new igniter yet ( hopefully soon) I'm completely satisfied so far with Dansons customer service. They were very helpful.
  3. mac attack 54

    mac attack 54 Newbie

    I purchase the pit masters also on Saturday put it together and it kept blowing a mini fuse took it back on Sunday and got another one got it together about 3o clock put on some popper wrapped in bacon and one rack of ribs the poppers turned out excellent the ribs for about 5 hours at 220 came out a little underdone but I'm going to finish those up today I plan on smoking with it every Sunday I'll let you all know how it works for me. tonight I'm going to try some hamburgers on it and finish the ribs off
  4. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    I was eager to try my new Pit-Boss this weekend. First, it is plugged in an outdoor outlet in the backyard and it trips the GFCI every time the igniter comes on. So as an experiment I first moved the garage fridge off that GFCI as the combination of the fridge kicking on and the grill might be the culprit. No luck, Grill still tripped GFCI every time. Then I replaced GFCI with a new one and a little stronger. No luck, GFCI tripped 10 times. So then I run an extension cord out of the house from a non-GFCI plug and then it blows the fuse in the grill itself. After going to three stores to find a 5 amp quick-blow fuse, as the book reccommends, I finally get going. This time it runs and perfectly smoke bacon-wrapped sea scallops. This was all Saturday. Sunday I try to ignite the smoker and it again blows fuse. So I guess everytime I use it, I have to run an extension cord out of the house and replace the fuse. It does cook well once it gets up to temp, and I was able to go from 220 to 500 relatively quickly and in control. It will work well as a grill but almost no smoke comes out of the apple pellets. They do burn hot but produce no smoke, and there is no place to put a chip packet, so I do not think it will be a decent smoke. I live in Cypress, Texas and would make someone a good deal on this grill if they want to buy it. If not I will likely junk it soon. Do not buy this junk!
  5. I would take it back and get another unit.  If you are blowing a fuse everytime, then there is a problem with the grill.

    Also if you are running at higher temps, you will have less smoke.  That is the nature of a pellet grill and not a problem with the one you have.  Some people use an AMPs or AMAZING smoker to generate more smoke, but I find that my PG500 does fine if I use lower temps and set the pellet feed the right way.  Not sure what kind of adjustments you can make in the Pit Boss but you may need to tweak it depending on what temps you are running.
  6. tim in az

    tim in az Newbie

    I had no problems getting smoke out of mine yesterday on ribs. I set it to smoke setting and p6. It ran consistently between 180 and 190 for 3 hours till I ramped it up to 250 and then it held well there to. I'm betting you have a bad hot rod and it is tripping your GFI. I'd call Dansons.
  7. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    I would take it back but I live 160 miles from the nearest Cabela's, so I don't plan to be there soon. MY bad for buying it from a store so far away!
  8. canyoncoolers

    canyoncoolers Newbie

    MerrymanB:  That was really helpful info on the electronics, - basically don't over manage it, which is what I was doing on the first few cooks. 

    Now do I cook a pork butt or pork shoulder next, hmmm, and which is more novice friendly. 
  9. tim in az

    tim in az Newbie

    I haven't done a Butt on the Pitboss yet but can't imagine it would be any different than the way I do it on my Pg500. I usually go 180 to 200 for 5 to 6 hours and then ramp up to 225 - 250 for the remainder of time till internal temp is between 195 and 200.

    I usually figure 1 1/2 to 2 hrs per pound give or take. If I plan on eating at 4 pm I'll usually start the night before around 8 pm and let it go at 180-200 all night long till 6 am and then turn it up to 225 or 250 depending on where the Internal temp is.

    If it finishes early before guests are coming I'll pull it off, double wrap it in foil, then wrap in 2 beach towels and put in warm cooler.
  10. mac attack 54

    mac attack 54 Newbie

    here's a couple of things I learned though on the pit master make sure the unit is shut off before you plug it in and if you do have to change the mini fuse behind the controller make sure its unpluggedthe fuse is it just for the heat element and when you're taking it out it could ground out and blow the circuit board
  11. illini smoker

    illini smoker Newbie

    I got one from Menards couple months ago and love it temp does not hold like I think it should but only goes up about 25* for the money it work good enough for backyard smoking
  12. Have you adjusted your P setting?  Pit Boss has a P setting of 0-8   Lower P setting Higher Temp I believe.  I have smoked as low as 140 and can smoke as high as 280.  I purchased this grill in April and LOVE it.  Had one minor setback this AM though so I am back to my Side Box and LP smoker for the day.  The electrical supply for auger motor became wrapped around the shaft before Auger and fried the Auger Motor.  Have email into Pit Boss to get a new Auger Motor.  Have had this problem with Traeger as well.  
  13. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    UPDATE on the Pit Boss 820: I called Dansons and told them all the symptoms. The very nice guy I spoke to said it sounds like the igniter is bad. He sent me another one and it took about 5 minutes to put in. Now this smoker is working great. Temp is easy to set and it runs about 20 degrees hotter than where I set it, but that's ok as long as I know it. I've used the grill 6 times now and no issues.
  14. tim in az

    tim in az Newbie

    Pretty much my same experience. I'm thinking they should just ship every unit with an extra igniter. Are you going by the dome guage with that 20 degree off in temp. If so those dome guages aren't very acurate.
  15. merrymanb

    merrymanb Fire Starter

    My dome gauge seems to agree with my Maverick. Both show about 240 when the dial is on 220.  At 240 on dial it runs about 265.
  16. lamrith

    lamrith Newbie

    This is very very true.  As a worker at a small company there may only be ONE person doing their tech support.  If he is out sick or on vacation, they may not be able to help you.  Small company is double edged sword, you usually get better service overall, but when someone is out there is nobody else to help..

    After finishing this thread it sounds like their support is top notch.  It is troubling to hear of the hotrod issues, but they seem to be covering them.  Also GREAT info about the 3min feed issue, betting that is what the problem was with that one unit running so hot.  I wonder if there is a way to counter that?

    Rollercoaster thread, I was negative on it after hearing about the overtemp issue and then not getting support, but it sounds like that may have been an isolated incident.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  17. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    I was just on the Menards web site and they have the Pit Boss on sale for $399 thru 9/1/14
  18. I am going to menards tomarrow well still on sale for $399.00 After reading the reviews I don't think for the money you can beat it
    tester2 likes this.
  19. sawmillmike

    sawmillmike Newbie

    I purchased a pit-boss at Menard's during 4th of July week this year. It is amazing. I had problems with it at first due to operator error. It does shoot past target heat initially but will come down to temperaturetemperature in a short period of time and hold plus or minus 5 degrees for hours on end. During 90 degree weather I can smoke at 140 degrees with no problems. My family has always enjoyed my BBQ and thought that I couldn't do better until we had ribs off this unit. Everyone that has eaten BBQ off this rig has been amazed. I got it on sale for 399 and initially was disappointed due to overshooting desired te!mprerature range; after one call to service (which they were polite and helpful and actually returned a call within15 min) they explained why it overshot temperature and told me to quit playing with the temp control once it is set. I did as they TLD me and it overshoots by 30-40 degrees when not in the smoking mode. Overall I can't say enough good things about this unit for the money. I would buy this unit again without reservation.
    tester2 likes this.
  20. tester2

    tester2 Newbie

    I smoked my first 10 lb pork loin and salmon on the Pit Boss PB-320 from Menards on 9/7/2014 using the competition pellets. It was frigging awesome! 

    I set at smoke for 4 hours and then turned it up to 350 for about 30 minutes. During the smoke, it maintained a temperature of ~150 to 160' and from 345 to 350'.  This unit is an absolute steal for the sale price of $399 at Menards! 

    I put this unit together and felt that the packaging, assembly and operating instructions were good as well. The quality of all the pieces appeared to very good including welds and finish. It only took about 15 minutes to unpack, assemble and test the unit.

    This smoker was less than half the cost of the Smokin Brothers SB20 unit and it was only 527 square inches for a price of $899.00.

    The other post that talk about control issues need to read the instructions! They state that the temperature will increase due to the pellet feed when you turn up the temperature dial. Its how these smokers are designed and each manufacturer tells you that. It comes right back down in about 15 minutes and as I said previously, it maintained temperatures within about 5 degrees for 4 plus hours. I cannot say that about propane grill that will soon be listed on Craigslist.

Share This Page