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Pit Boss Austin XL Newbie here. 1st Cook was less than ideal!

dvdslw45

Newbie
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3
Joined Jun 24, 2021
Been a while since I've posted here but after receiving a new Pit Boss Austin XL for fathers day and cooking a few times on it I wanted to get some feedback from other Pit Boss users and maybe get a few tips on getting things set properly to get the most out of this grill.

1st impressions are this thing is huge, heavy, and appears well built. After assembly I filled the hopper with the competition pellets from Pit Boss and did a simple cook of some boneless chicken breasts and pork chops for the family on Father's day. Everything was tasty and cooked well but I felt like the smokey flavor was lacking. I'm used to an offset wood/coal that I've been using for the last few years so this was a bit different.

Yesterday I fired it up to do 3 slabs of baby back ribs. For whatever reason I tried a new recipe found on the Pit Boss's YouTube channel that was waaaay too sweet for my liking with loads of brown sugar and honey. The final product was tender but tasted just like a Jack's Links beef jersey. It was also the 1st time I tried the Texas crutch method of wrapping the ribs in foil after two hrs. I usually just smoke the whole time and moisten as needed with a spritz of juice or olive oil spray.

Needless to say I'm a bit underwhelmed at this point and would love some pointers and/or recipes from those liking what their eating off one of these grills.

What are the best pellets for smokey flavor?

What is your smoke (p) setting at?

Do you wrap part way through cooking ribs or anything else?

Anyone have a decent brisket recipe to share?


Thank you!
20210623_181644.jpg
 

smokerjim

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Pellet grills ain't going to match up to an offset for smoke flavor that's why lots of us use a smoke tube for extra smoke. The higher you go on temp with pellet grills the less smoke you'll get. I dont wrap anything just let it roll until done. As far as pellets lots of opinions on here I say just try some different brands and see what works for you,
 

dvdslw45

Newbie
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Joined Jun 24, 2021
Pellet grills ain't going to match up to an offset for smoke flavor that's why lots of us use a smoke tube for extra smoke. The higher you go on temp with pellet grills the less smoke you'll get. I dont wrap anything just let it roll until done. As far as pellets lots of opinions on here I say just try some different brands and see what works for you,
Yeah, that's kind of what I was expecting to hear. I do plan to get a tube to boost the smoke and possibly empty out my hopper to try some straight up Hickory. The competition pellets were enticing in the store but I second guessed that decision immediately afterwards. That and not wrapping my meat! (phot of ribs above was 2hrs into cooking just before wrapping).
 

bigfurmn

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I have a Pit Boss 1000SC, similar to the Austin. I use lumber jack pellets on my cooks, seems to give more smoke and more flavor. I personally never wrap anything I'm smoking. P settings I don't mess with much. Seems to be a pain. Decent brisket recipe, just do a search for any type you are interested in here and you will get lots of options.
 

mcokevin

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You are asking a lot of questions in your post and potentially injecting a lot of variables into the equation. First time you did ribs on the new smoker but also first time you wrapped them, and you tried a new recipe.

It's really difficult to isolate what's causing you to not like the new ribs. Right now it could be the smoker, the recipe, the method, or some combo of all three.

I'd go simple here -- try a recipe you know well and can execute every time from your days using the offset. Do that recipe on the pit boss exactly how you have done it on the offset, then figure the differences.

Eliminate variables and have it be a controlled cook, with the only variable being the new smoker and everything else being a control element.
 

SmokinAl

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Most of the guys with pellet grills use an alternate source for smoke, like an AMNPS from Amazen products. There are a lot of other pellet tubes being made now, I think Walmart has them. The bottom line is you just need to get more smoke in there & you need an auxiliary source. So a pellet tube will do that for you.
Al
 

WaterRat

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Joined Feb 14, 2018
Needless to say I'm a bit underwhelmed at this point and would love some pointers and/or recipes from those liking what their eating off one of these grills.

What are the best pellets for smokey flavor?

What is your smoke (p) setting at?

Do you wrap part way through cooking ribs or anything else?

Anyone have a decent brisket recipe to share?

Thank you!
I have a PitBoss 440D, slightly different but still a pellet pooper so...

Best pellets: really not sure, I usuasly use the PB competition. I'm OK without the heavier smoke flavor that some prefer so they work for me. The Lumberjack pellets I've used are a bit better. I'd probably use them more but they're tough to source locally.

Smoke(p) setting only works when the dial is on "Smoke" and allows you to adjust from about 140ish to 190ish°F. It is meaningless if you're using a regular temp setting like 200°F, or 250°F.

I don't wrap ribs. I will pan/foil Butts (depending on time), chuckys, and individual beef ribs.

For pork ribs I just mop if they're looking dry and let 'em go. If you didn't like the flavor of your ribs and easy rub to try is Bone Sucking Sauce Seasoning and Rub, they carry it at Home Depot. I like a touch more heat but it's a pretty decent rub. For spare ribs I'll typically do a bit of rub, let sit in the fridge either o/n or a least an hour or two, then some brown sugar and another layer of rub. Smoker @225°F and let em go for 6-7 hours. Mop if they look dry.

Brisket is on my list of things I need to do!
 
Last edited:

bregent

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I don't use a smoke tube in my pellet cooker and get a smoke profile that I like. I only use 100% hickory pellets, cook on the lower end of temp, and rarely wrap anything to allow more exposure to smoke. It still might not be enough if you are used to an offset, but I've had food from stick burners that had a similar amount of smoke flavor to what I am getting. And charcoal is almost always going to give a different flavor profile that wood.
 

mike243

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I have the same smoker for over 3 years now, give them a hour or 2 on low temp with 6 on the P setting, then change to 250 or what temp you like to cook at, i use a pellet tube as the tray wont stay lit in the pellet smokers, last use 100% flavored wood as lumberjack hickory only has hickory wood in it, pitboss uses only about 30% of the printed label wood, bear mountain and B&B also have good wood, the competition blend is also good in those 3 brands , remember low heat higher smoker higher heat leas smoke, also Kingsford has some great pellets so don’t overlook those if you find them at a Lowe's store
 

Dirty Steve

Fire Starter
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Joined Apr 15, 2021
Im new to smoking and have a pit boss vertical. At first I was just happy to have a smoker and enjoyed the flavors and food. After a while I wanted just a little more smoke on some of the meat. I got ones of those tubes and that definitely adds more smoke to the meat. I do my ribs at 250 and have recently stopped wrapping. After seeing what people do hear I thought I would try and I enjoy it much more. I don’t like my ribs sweet either, I’m more of just a rub sometimes mustard binder and I’ll spritz with apple cider vinegar. As for pellets I have been running the traeged competition blend lately. I like it a lot. If I’m not doing that just hickory for me.
Good luck with your new smoker and fine running it.
 

dvdslw45

Newbie
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3
Joined Jun 24, 2021
Thanks for the responses, lots of great feedback and I will keep things simple for the next batch of ribs I cook. I was just so disappointed after all the hype, putting it together, and finally getting to "smoke" something on it. The chicken and pork chops had pretty decent flavor from a few days prior so I have that to consider.

I think tonight I'll do some leg quarters or whole split chickens and see how that goes.
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
352
174
Joined Aug 26, 2018
Been a while since I've posted here but after receiving a new Pit Boss Austin XL for fathers day and cooking a few times on it I wanted to get some feedback from other Pit Boss users and maybe get a few tips on getting things set properly to get the most out of this grill.

1st impressions are this thing is huge, heavy, and appears well built. After assembly I filled the hopper with the competition pellets from Pit Boss and did a simple cook of some boneless chicken breasts and pork chops for the family on Father's day. Everything was tasty and cooked well but I felt like the smokey flavor was lacking. I'm used to an offset wood/coal that I've been using for the last few years so this was a bit different.

Yesterday I fired it up to do 3 slabs of baby back ribs. For whatever reason I tried a new recipe found on the Pit Boss's YouTube channel that was waaaay too sweet for my liking with loads of brown sugar and honey. The final product was tender but tasted just like a Jack's Links beef jersey. It was also the 1st time I tried the Texas crutch method of wrapping the ribs in foil after two hrs. I usually just smoke the whole time and moisten as needed with a spritz of juice or olive oil spray.

Needless to say I'm a bit underwhelmed at this point and would love some pointers and/or recipes from those liking what their eating off one of these grills.

What are the best pellets for smokey flavor?

What is your smoke (p) setting at?

Do you wrap part way through cooking ribs or anything else?

Anyone have a decent brisket recipe to share?


Thank you! View attachment 501106
Welcome to the World of Pellet Grilling.. Your Pit Boss Austin XL is a nice entry level pellet grill, that’s capable of putting out some great bbq once you get it figured out. Here’s a few tips that’ll help you with your future cooks on your PB Austin XL.

  1. And the most important… Always follow the directions of the owners manual and never take any short cuts in the understanding of the proper operation of your pellet grill.
  2. Never just turn your grill on and set the temp. Your Austin XL uses a Non-PID Controller, so pre-heating your grill for 20-30 mins is very important to allow your grills Controller to stabilize. Read Page 15. in your owners manual… Preheating your grill will also help it to maintain more stable temps. Non PID Controller pellet grills will have Temp Swings. Temp Swings of 20*-30* degrees are completely normal and those swings will also help produce more smoke. It’s those wild temp swings like 50* degrees or higher that you want to avoid and preheating your grill correctly will help prevent that from happening.
  3. Get into a habit of cleaning out the burn pot after every cook or clear it out before your start a new cook. Accumulation of pellet ash in the burn pot can cause your grill to have wild temp swings and flame outs…
  4. Every bbq cooking device is different, so learning your grills strengths and weaknesses is key. Pellet Grills are best used bbqing Low and Slow for the best smoke production. Start your cooks at 200* degrees or lower for the first couple of hours and then bumped up the temp to 250* degrees to finish, for the best smoke production from your grill. Any temps above 250* degrees from most pellet grills is almost like using an oven and the smoke production will be lacking. You can grill and sear using your Austin XL, but again the Smoke Flavor Profile will be lacking. The higher the Set temp, the less smoke production. And that’s from any Pellet Grill. FYI.. for bbqing baby back or spare ribs, don’t wrap the ribs… You’ll get more smoke on them without the wrap. Now if you are a rib wrapper, I recommend to only wrap the ribs for one hour and not 2. Practice-practice.. practice.
  5. Try bbqing low and slow first and if possible, always try to use 100% wood type pellets…. and not the blended/fake pellets. They will give you the best pellet smoke production. Kingsford makes a very good 100% wood type hickory pellets that produce less ash then Lumberjack Pellets. Lumberjack pellets are good, but they use the tree bark in the production process of their pellets, which produces more ash when used.
  6. If after giving the low and slow bbq approach a shot and the smoke flavor profile is still to low, then you have a few more options to help add more smoke. One already mentioned from earlier postings is a pellet smoke tube. You can fill it with a mixture of wood pellets and hardwood chips to get that extra boost of smoke. 2nd. You can also try using a Smoke Basket in your grill. You can fill it with real hardwood chunks and charcoal briquettes to get that true Hardwood/Charcoal smoke that’s missing from just using pellets alone. The cost investment of a Smoke Basket is about the same as buying a Pellet Smoke Tube, but you’ll be able to enjoy real hardwood and charcoal smoke and not just pellet smoke. 3rd. Is using a Smoke Generator. They are very effective in producing good hardwood and charcoal smoke as well, but they can also be expensive.
  7. If you don’t have one already, invest in getting a ShopVac. They are very handy in cleaning out the burn pot of pellet ash and keeping your grill clean.
  8. As for the P-setting. Factory default is P-4. P-4 is a safe medium. P-setting P-5 will help add a little bit more smoke then P-4. I would avoid using P Settings P-6 or P-7. Using those can make for a greater chance of your grill flaming out, especially in cold weather.
  9. Lastly, again don’t just Set the Temp and forget it. Learn/figure out your grill first. Remember, your grill has a Non-PID Controller, so preheating your grill is very important. Once the preheating is completed, then set your grill to your desired temp and then you can forget it… Kinda. lol.

I hope the tips help you with your new PB Austin XL. Good luck and enjoy.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods… In SoCal and Always… Semper Fi
 
Last edited:

dvdslw45

Newbie
6
3
Joined Jun 24, 2021
Welcome to the World of Pellet Grilling.. Your Pit Boss Austin XL is a nice entry level pellet grill, that’s capable of putting out some great bbq once you get it figured out. Here’s a few tips for that’ll help you with your future cooks on your PB Austin XL.

  1. And the most important… Always follow the directions of the owners manual and never take any short cuts in the understanding of the proper operation of your pellet grill.
  2. Never just turn your grill on and set the temp. Your Austin XL uses a Non-PID Controller, so pre-heating your grill for 20-30 mins is very important to allow your grills Controller to stabilize. Read Page 15. in your owners manual… Preheating your grill will also help it to maintain more stable temps. Non PID Controller pellet grills will have Temp Swings. Temp Swings of 20*-30* degrees are completely normal and those swings will also help produce more smoke. It’s those wild temp swings that you want to avoid and preheating your grill correctly will help prevent that from happening.
  3. Get into a habit of cleaning out the burn pot after every cook or clear it out before your start a new cook. Accumulation of pellet ash in the burn pot can cause your grill to have wild temp swings and flame outs…
  4. Every bbq cooking device is different, so learning your grills strengths and weaknesses is key. Pellet Grills are best used bbqing Low and Slow for the best smoke production. Start your cooks at 200* degrees or lower for the first couple of hours and then bumped up the temp to 250* degrees to finish, for the best smoke production from your grill. Any temps above 250* degrees from most pellet grills is almost like using an oven and the smoke production will be lacking. You can grill and sear using your Austin XL, but again the Smoke Flavor Profile will be lacking. The higher the Set temp, the less smoke production. And that’s from any Pellet Grill. FYI.. for bbqing baby back or spare ribs, don’t wrap the ribs… You’ll get more smoke on them without the wrap. Now if you are a rib wrapper, I recommend to only wrap the ribs for one hour and not 2. Practice-practice.. practice.
  5. Try bbqing low and slow first and if possible, always try to use 100% wood type pellets…. and not the blended/fake pellets. They will give you the best pellet smoke production. Kingsford makes a very good 100% wood type hickory pellets that produce less ash the Lumberjack Pellets. Lumberjack pellets are good, but they use the tree bark in the production process of their pellets, which produces more ash when used.
  6. If after giving the low and slow bbq approach a shot and the smoke flavor profile still to low, then you have a few more options to help add more smoke. One already mentioned from earlier postings is a pellet smoke tube. You can fill it with a mixture of wood pellets and hardwood chips to get that extra boost of smoke. 2nd. You can also try using a Smoke Basket in your grill. You can fill it with real hardwood chunks and charcoal briquettes to get that true Hardwood/Charcoal smoke that’s missing from just using pellets alone. The cost investment of a Smoke Basket is about the same as buying a Pellet Smoke Tube, but you’ll be able to enjoy real hardwood and charcoal smoke and not just pellet smoke. 3rd. Is using a Smoke Generator. They are very effective in producing good hardwood and charcoal smoke as well, but they can also be expensive.
  7. If you don’t have one already, invest in getting a ShopVac. They are very handy in cleaning out the burn pot of pellet ash and keeping your grill clean.
  8. As for the P-setting. Factory default is P-4. P-4 is a safe medium. P-5 is will help add a little bit more smoke. I would avoid using P Settings P-6 or P-7. Using those can make for a greater chance of your grill flaming out, especially in cold weather.
  9. Lastly, again don’t just Set the Temp and forget it. Learn/figure out grill first. Remember, your grill has a Non-PID Controller, so preheating you’re grill is very important. Once the preheating is completed, then set your grill to your desired temp and then you can forget it… Kinda. lol.

I hope the tips help you with your new PB Austin XL. Good luck and enjoy.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods… In SoCal and Always… Semper Fi
Very informative, thank you!
 

dvdslw45

Newbie
6
3
Joined Jun 24, 2021
I feel much better now after doing a quick cook of some chicken legs last night that came out really good. I still desire more of a smoky flavor so I have a tube on the way to help things out a bit. I also plan to vacuum out the PB Competition pellets and get some 100% hickory pellets a try because when the grill is firing up it smells like particle board to me instead of real hardwood so maybe that's what I'm tasting in the final product? We'll see.

Thanks again for all the tips and I look forward to being part of the community again.
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Feb 25, 2018
pB has a fruitwood blend i want to try, not sure I have seen any reviews here on them,
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
352
174
Joined Aug 26, 2018
I feel much better now after doing a quick cook of some chicken legs last night that came out really good. I still desire more of a smoky flavor so I have a tube on the way to help things out a bit. I also plan to vacuum out the PB Competition pellets and get some 100% hickory pellets a try because when the grill is firing up it smells like particle board to me instead of real hardwood so maybe that's what I'm tasting in the final product? We'll see.

Thanks again for all the tips and I look forward to being part of the community again.
Smelled like a particle board… lol. Pellet smoke smell is not bad, once you get use to it. Pellet smoke definitely smells different then true Hardwood Smoke. Often times, hardwood smoke is being mixed in with charcoal smoke, while pellets are being burn by its self. In my current set up, the hardwood/charcoal smoke over powers the pellet smoke, so that’s all I smell. FYI. Good quality pellets usually smells great in the bag. When they’re burning in the burn pot at higher temps, the smell/scent is very lite, but at lower, smoking temps the smell can be quite different because the pellets are smoldering more. Also, it’s important to do a proper burn off on any new bbq equipment, to burn off any production oils. That to can give off a strange smell as well as old burnt oils in the grill from prior cooks. Just use good quality bbq pellets and keep your grill clean. Good luck.



Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods…. In SoCal and Always…. Semper Fi
 

dvdslw45

Newbie
6
3
Joined Jun 24, 2021
Smelled like a particle board… lol. Pellet smoke smell is not bad, once you get use to it. Pellet smoke definitely smells different then true Hardwood Smoke. Often times, hardwood smoke is being mixed in with charcoal smoke, while pellets are being burn by its self. In my current set up, the hardwood/charcoal smoke over powers the pellet smoke, so that’s all I smell. FYI. Good quality pellets usually smells great in the bag. When they’re burning in the burn pot at higher temps, the smell/scent is very lite, but at lower, smoking temps the smell can be quite different because the pellets are smoldering more. Also, it’s important to do a proper burn off on any new bbq equipment, to burn off any production oils. That to can give off a strange smell as well as old burnt oils in the grill from prior cooks. Just use good quality bbq pellets and keep your grill clean. Good luck.



Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods…. In SoCal and Always…. Semper Fi
Thanks for the reply, I agree with you on the burn off. I've done several cooks this week and the smell has become more natural with use. I love this grill and can't stop going to the store to get something new to cook on it. Did pizza's last night and might do some fish tonight. I still want to try some 100% hickory pellets just to see if there's a difference.
 

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