Pit Boss Grill Review – The Perfect Option for Beginners?

by | Apr 26, 2017 | Reviews

71700FB Pellet Grill

Our Rating:  4.5 Stars
Digital Control of Burn  
Natural Wood Pellets  
Cooking Surface 700 sq/inch
Price $$$

This particular pellet grill was featured on our list of the best options, which inspired this more in-depth Pit Boss grill review that you’re about to read.

This is an excellent choice, and one of the top picks in this budget range. Basically, it’s a great starting point without having to make any sacrifices. Despite being a great place to start your smoking journey, it’s definitely not an entry-level unit in regards to quality or value.

We’re going to cover some of the basics of backyard pellet grilling and what makes this such an exciting category that’s been gaining a lot of attention lately, and then we’ll get right into this unit in particular. We’re going to look at the pros, some areas that could use improvement, and finally who this grill is best suited for.

Why is everybody pellet grilling?

Pellet grilling is becoming more and more popular each season because it’s a relatively affordable way to produce top-caliber smoked foods at your own home. It takes the traditional backyard smoker and builds on it, making it easier to use and more versatile.

Most of them work in a very similar way. There’s a hopper attached to either the side or the back of the grill which holds pellets, often between 10-40 pounds at once, and it feeds them into the flames as necessary to achieve your desired temperature. The temperatures often range from 170 degrees up to 500. This allows you to smoke your food very slowly, for a perfectly flavorful and tender result, or to get the cooking done more quickly similar to that of a BBQ, but once again, with the delicious flavor profile from the pellets.

It’s just a matter of picking a grill, buying some pellets, and finding a couple recipes to try out. You’ll fall in love once you taste it, you won’t believe you could make something so delicious at home. It’ll taste like you got it fresh from a smokehouse in Texas.

Bit Boss 71700FB Pellet Grill Review

Let’s start with the basics. This grill has 700 square inches of cooking surface available so it can hold plenty. There are bigger options out there, but they’re basically as big as a tank and kind of overkill unless you’re smoking some serious quantities of meat at a time.

The grids that you’ll be cooking on are made of cast iron so they’re heavy, solid, and can hold a consistent temperature. They’re also coated in porcelain to help stop anything from sticking.

You can use any brand of pellets in here, but we highly recommend finding some pellets that are 100% natural hardwood. You can get individual woods like apple, mesquite, hickory, and cherry. You can also get blends that contain various amounts of different hardwords. In any case, the type of wood that you’re burning is going to influence the taste that the smoke adds to your food, and this pellet grill will work with any quality pellets – not just the ones made and sold by Pit Boss.

This grill weighs just under 120 pounds, it’s sturdy and durable, and it’ll last you a very long time, especially if you’re taking good care of it.

Best Features of this Pit Boss Pellet Grill

There’s a lot to like here, even before you sink your teeth into the first bike of a perfectly roasted brisket that has been teasing you with its scent all day long.

It’s big enough to cook a feast for up to six people. There are bigger units out there, but for the size and price this one is a great choice unless you’re doing some seriously heavy-volume smoking.

Pit Boss has made a very versatile pellet grill here, and used high-gauge steel for an excellent build quality. Back to versatility. Whether you want to grill, smoke, roast, sear, braise, BBQ, bake, or char-grill, you can do it.

In traditional smokers, the idea of a perfectly seared steak might sound like a fantasy, but now it’s a reality. There’s a plate at the bottom that you can slide over, which exposes the flames to the grilling area, to get a great sear while still enjoying all of the advantages of a smoker. There’s a second rack that you can use as well.

Overall, it’s very well-reviewed and people just love it.

Tip: If you’re a whiskey drinker, some people have been known to smoke water, then to freeze it into ice cubes, which adds a new flavor profile rather than just watering down your drink once the ice melts. This might not be your cup of tea, per se, but it’s an interesting example of what’s possible with a unit like this.

Areas to improve

It’s hard to criticize a unit for things it wasn’t designed for. Some people love the size, others wish it was  a bit larger, but frankly 700 square inches of cooking surface is a lot bigger than other grills in this price range, for the most part.

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.

To finish off this Pit Boss review…

To wrap things up, let’s go over who this unit is for, and who should look for something else.

If you…

  • Are new to smoking,
  • Want to start with a high-quality unit instead of something totally entry-level,
  • Want a unit that’s well-made and will last you a long time,
  • Don’t typically need to feed more than 6-8 people at a time…

Then Pit Boss grill is a really strong choice, to sum things up. If you have been smoking meats for years  and are looking for a unit that lands at the very peak of the high-end for home use, you’ll want to look at one of the premium units we’ve reviewed, but frankly for the vast majority of people, this one right here will be an absolute treat and more than enough.

If you need to feed huge groups on a regular basis, or like to have a TON of leftovers, you might want to look at a larger unit as well, but this Pit Boss isn’t small by any means.

All in all, if it fits your budget, this is a great choice whether you’re new to smoking or you’re just looking for something new.

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.

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