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Pit Boss Temperatures


Smoke Blower
Joined Apr 11, 2016
Hi all. I am going to post some temperature times for the Pit Boss Classic 700 that I just got this past Saturday. I did the initial burn off and did one cook on it but temperatures were all over the place, So I am taking some advice and using my Maverick 733 to do some testing. Thermometer was placed in it's holder on the left side of the grill towards the back. By the way I do have the shield covered in foil if that makes a difference. No meat is on the grill. I set the setting to "smoke" which I understand should be around 180F.

As of right now after 30 minutes I am showing 205F which has come down from a high of about 255F. The dial thermometer on the grill cover said about 170F and the control panel says actual is 190F.

At the one hour mark I show the following. Maverick - 183F. Dial thermometer - 149F. Control panel - 165F. I turned it up to 225F at this point.

At the 30 minute mark set at 225F I show the following - Maverick - 255F. Control Panel - 265F. Dial thermometer - 225F. One more reading to come.

At the 1 hour mark set at 225F I show the following - Maverick - 250F. Control Panel - 260F. Dial thermometer - 210F.

To the best of my knowledge I have never touched the P dial so it should still be at P4.

What does all this tell you?


Fire Starter
Joined Aug 9, 2020
Hi Ice. I have a PB 820 Pro - probably pretty similar.

They do come preset to P4. So far, P4 on mine runs about 185 avg - but that's not absolute. It runs up to about 210ish when pellets go in occasionally 220 for a second or 3, and often goes down to 170. On P - it's a straight timer. Auger turns for X seconds then shuts off for X seconds. I am not home, so I can't tell you exactly on the manual the times. P5 will make the auger off interval longer, reducing pellets fed/hour and going to P3 will INCREASE pellets fed per hour. The smoker will pay no attention to what the temps are nor will it work to maintain a temperature. It's all about turning the auger on/off. P5 is cooler, P3 hotter, P4 is stock.

I actually like running mine on P3 (and this weekend I tried P2 as ambient temp was 68 rather than the 88 is was 3 weeks ago). Graphed out on my inkbird, it's fairly steady and I smoke mine in a low zone a lot longer than most people. Even when I ran a stick - very little heat for the first couple of hours.

You're going to see temp swings on your stock motherboard (what you call control panel). Mine won't stay lit half the time on 225, but when it does it runs 285-210 with an average closer to 250. P I like much better as I'd rather it run at 210 avg with 20-30 degree swings than at the 225 setting with 75 degree swings and flameouts. P2 gets me even closer to 225 AVG in my current ambient temps and no flame outs.

That stock dial thermometer in the lid is decoration. Forget it exists. Mine stays under 225 no matter what the inside is running.

If I put a an Inkbird probe close to the stock one that shows up on the control panel it reads within 5 degrees, so that one I trust.

The P setting means nothing after you turn the dial off of the 'smoke' setting. It's only used in the 'smoke' setting only.

There are aftermarket PID controllers that stop those temp swings and flame outs. They are roughly 200$. I'm going to invest in one, because flame outs are the devil, and if I run on 225 - it flames out every 3-4 hours. On 250, I've had 2. I should have called Pit Boss and fussed, but I imagine the fix is to send another motherboard, and I'm not going to put another stock in when I plan to spend my next credit card cash back on an aftermarket PID - waste of my time.

In summary - your pellet smoker runs hot, like mine. It has big swings, like mine. If the maverick could graph, you'd probably see a chart that looks like rocky mountains with an average around 245 instead of 225. I think the trigger to feed pellets is set closer to the actual dial temp, and it runs too long meaning that about 10 seconds after it hits 220 it spits out a steady stream of pellets until they flare up and raise the motherboard sensor back up to 230. It does a poor job of saying - hey, maybe I shouldn't run the auger for 90 seconds while this half a cup of pellets actually catches on fire. I've watched it do that. No wonder it chokes out (flames out)

Piddle with it and learn it. That's my advice for any new smoker :)
I'm NOT unhappy with mine even tho I fussed a lot. Part of it may be my fault, but like I said, I knew when I bought it I was putting an aftermarket PID in mine. I've turned out 3 briskets (1 terrible by my standards, 1 ok, and one almost perfect) and the only bad one was the first one. I KNEW I should have done the trial cook with a butt - but I was impatient and HAD to have brisket right then. My fault for not learning my smoker first!!!!
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Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
I have been told on the newer units the P settings can be set while in temp mode also, my Austin cant be set except in smoke mode, I have only had 1 flame out in 2.5 years and it was due to a pellet bridge, I run a Inkbird therm setup and was alerted quickly that the temp was dropping so I found the problem quickly


Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 5, 2019
Yeah that's the primitive Pit Boss "controller" for you. All pellet grill manufacturers used the same style until recently. It sucks. Big temp swings, which usually improve as you get to 300+ and it is burning and feeding pellets at a good rate. At low temps big swings are nearly inevitable with a timer based controller. It's feeding in a small quantity of pellets at a time on top of a small heat source and pretty frequently the pellets don't burn uniformly. They pile up and then suddenly ignite. If I were in the market for a pellet burner today PID temp control would be a requirement.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
It's a known fact that you get more smoke at lower temps and it doesn't bother me that it swings up and down some as it all averages out to my set temp, it runs pretty dang good unlike a lot of folks post. I have had great service out of mine and hope it continues . I have 4 6lbs butts to cook tonight and will have the InkBird on duty lol


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
When in smoke mode there isn't a set temp they will run, it will depend on the ambient air temp, at 80 or so mine runs about 190 or so, I reckon I could have or should have kept records, heck I will write it down latter lets have another beer lol.

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