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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked, has written widely about the world of barbecue and grilling.
Pit Boss makes some pretty solid grills. While I wouldn’t say their grills are the best on the market, as they have some pretty severe flaws that hold them back, what they are is significantly cheaper on average than their competitors. When compared to a Traeger grill for example, you get a pellet grill with high performance and good parts, for about half the price.
In other words, Pit Boss pellet grills are excellent as a budget replacement for more expensive but better grills.
Pit Boss 700FB: Detailed Review & Breakdown
Let’s start with the construction, which is overall quite good. The grill is made entirely of stainless steel; a sturdy material that can weather a lot of damage. This is the perfect construction for a grill, and while wood trim and tables might look good on other grills, it’s not really needed. Speaking of looks, terms of aesthetics…this one’s nothing special, really. The grill looks quite basic, with a simple black paintjob and stubby straight legged design.
The lid lifts back widely, but is otherwise unremarkable. There’s no air lift hinges or any other accoutrements here, but it does have a nice handle that stays relatively cool to the touch and is comfortable to lift with.
I’m not a huge fan of the legs on this one. They’re a terrible combination of straight and thin, and are fairly tall too; this grill sits pretty high off the ground compared to others. The legs being so simultaneously tall, thin, and straight (instead of splayed out on at least one side, like a lot of higher end grills) makes this pellet grill feel very unsteady. It’s not going to be knocked over by a stiff breeze, by any means, but I’d be nervous about it around a rambunctious dog or children.
The legs also make the wheels on the back end less than serviceable. The wheels themselves are thin strips of metal that seemed to be designed to look rustic and aesthetically pleasing more than serviceable. They’re terrible for rough terrain, and the long, straight legs make it hard to tilt and move in the first place, even for short distances on flat ground.
The interior of the grill is where it starts to shine. The huge 700 square inch capacity isn’t the largest grill I’ve ever seen, but it’s larger than most out there, and is plenty enough for most purposes. Several racks of ribs can fit on this grill with ease, or multiple other large foods, as well as up to 32 hamburgers.
The grill grates are also stainless steel, which is good enough. Typically, cast iron grill grates are superior. They heat up more slowly and produce a wonderful char, with top notch heat retention; meaning that once you heat things up, they stay hot even once you remove or reduce the heat.
Stainless steel also reaches incredibly high max temperatures and has solid heat retention, but it’s not quite as good, and will produce somewhat lesser results.
The shape of the grates is fairly standard, short and thin lines of grates that produce thin lines. There are no “flavorizers” or whatever each individual brand decides to call them. These are angled, triangular shaped grill grates that are able to catch the juices flowing off the meat and vaporize them, creating more delicious smoking and flavoring on meat. It’s one of the main features to look for in higher end grills, so it’s a shame they’re not present here.
They are, however, porcelain coated grates, which is nice to have. Porcelain coatings are much easier to clean, without sacrificing any type of performance.
The performance of the actual heat source is excellent, with a solid sized hopper. 21 lbs. gives you around 6 to 20 hours of cooking time per refill, enough for most smoking or grilling tasks. Similarly, the range of temperatures is plenty good enough to cook anything you might care to. It goes down to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for slow smoking purposes, and can be tweaked all the way up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for quick searing, and any temperature in between is fair game. The higher the temperature, the faster pellets are consumed, of course.
It can also quickly swap between a standard smoking formation and an open flame sear just by sliding a plate, giving you even more added versatility in its use.
Unfortunately, one major design flaw holds it back from being a truly great smoker as well as a grill: the chimney. It’s center set and very simply made.
The optimal position for a smoker’s chimney is for it to be set off to one side; either the side opposite the hopper (for a standard smoker), or on the same side for a reverse flow smoker. In either case, the smoke has farther to travel to the chimney (either in raw distance or with the clever setup of a reverse flow smoker), so the smoke has longer content with the meat and imparts more of that delicious smoky flavor you smoke foods for in the first place.
A center set chimney isn’t terrible, but it’s a clear mistake in design for any grill with aspirations of being used for smoking.
All in all, this grill isn’t bad. It has solid performance and decent construction, and comes in at a great price, which is enough to save it from its flaws. It’s just sad that it’s merely good when it could have been excellent with a few simple design changes.
Thank you for reading until this part. Since you’ve read about one of the top Pit Boss grills offered today, we want to segway the conversation to the comparison of Pit Boss & REC TEC or how would Pit Boss fare compared to Z Grills. Which product line has better features? Which is more affordable? Which is the overall better grill? Will try to answer these questions on our comparison page.
We hope that you’ve gained something from reading this page. Just to let you know the Pit Boss 700FB is not the only product that we’ve reviewed. Read this Pit Boss Lockhart review to know how a combo smoker grill is better then buying each one separately.