Thoughts on Pitboss Pro Series 850?

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jcam222

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 13, 2017
8,204
9,054
Northeast Ohio
My neighbor is in the market for a quality pellet smoker at a reasonable price point. I am well aware of RecTeq, Yoder and many others but specifically would like feedback on this Pit Boss model. I know many folks on here have Pit Boss they like. I know this has a PID controller and smoke setting which are very nice at a price point around $600. Reviews seem a bit mixed on the app. Love to hear some first hand use feedback.
 

jcam222

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
Jun 13, 2017
8,204
9,054
Northeast Ohio
I haven't personally used one but my brother has that model and loves it
Thanks Jake! Would you mind asking him if he uses the app and if he has issues with it? I know you have another Pit Boss model you like.
 

Kevin Braker

Smoke Blower
May 21, 2018
98
54
My cousin just got one recently. He is getting used to it , his main go to devices new WSM and a Pitbarrel. From what i see in person at the store and on YT, they look prettying good for the price. I think if i was in the market, it would tops on the list.
 
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JIMSMOKES

Meat Mopper
Jul 27, 2021
168
140
Greenville SC
I have the PB1150PS2 and like most everything about it. Only thing I don't like is the wifi app. Once I got it commuting everytime I'd check temps away from home. My temps would go stupid hot. Grill set points would show what I set at along with app 250°. Grill would be at 350° and climbing.
I uninstalled apps from all devices and just set manually and it does whatever I want. I say all devices cause my tablet still had it installed and I a few hiccups if I used it while smoker was running.
So now I use a inkbird to monitor temps and just roll the dial when I want to change temps and it does what what I bought it for.
Keep me from having to feed a fire every 45 mins. Not that there's anything wrong with that. LoL
Dang got wordy! Sorry
 
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jcam222

Legendary Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
Jun 13, 2017
8,204
9,054
Northeast Ohio
I have the PB1150PS2 and like most everything about it. Only thing I don't like is the wifi app. Once I got it commuting everytime I'd check temps away from home. My temps would go stupid hot. Grill set points would show what I set at along with app 250°. Grill would be at 350° and climbing.
I uninstalled apps from all devices and just set manually and it does whatever I want. I say all devices cause my tablet still had it installed and I a few hiccups if I used it while smoker was running.
So now I use a inkbird to monitor temps and just roll the dial when I want to change temps and it does what what I bought it for.
Keep me from having to feed a fire every 45 mins. Not that there's anything wrong with that. LoL
Dang got wordy! Sorry
This is the biggest negative I see in reviews. Any feedback from Pitboss on the app issues?
 

JIMSMOKES

Meat Mopper
Jul 27, 2021
168
140
Greenville SC
This is the biggest negative I see in reviews. Any feedback from Pitboss on the app issues?
I think the app is third party. I know of people replacing controllers and working with support fighting with it. Wasn't worth the trouble to me especially after finding out if everything was working correctly. It still wouldn't give you a audible alarm when something was either done or wrong. Inkbird does that for me. Sad part is I have four probes for my 1150 and they are within 3 degrees of my 4 inkbird probes.
 

CalgaryPT

Newbie
Aug 11, 2022
14
11
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (eh?)
My neighbor is in the market for a quality pellet smoker at a reasonable price point. I am well aware of RecTeq, Yoder and many others but specifically would like feedback on this Pit Boss model. I know many folks on here have Pit Boss they like. I know this has a PID controller and smoke setting which are very nice at a price point around $600. Reviews seem a bit mixed on the app. Love to hear some first hand use feedback.
I'm chime in now that I own a Pit Boss 850, although I suspect your neighbour likely bought his smoker of choice already.

I love the PitBoss. Build quality is good, features are all pretty nice and the price point is good. I like the porcelain coated grills because they clean up like a dream and the cross hatch pattern makes nice grill marks w/o having to remember to turn meat. The clean-out on the bigger 1100 model isn't on the 850, but cleanup is still pretty simple. I bought a 14" x 20" plastic tote (about 6" tall) that I can just drop the grills into to soak; they simply wipe off well with the help of a scotch brite pad.

I had an initial issue with the PID controller. It still worked fine but wouldn't connect to WiFi. PB sent me a new one and now I love it. The app seems fine to me; it's nothing fancy, but has everything I'd want including alarms and timer. I spend a lot of time cursing our WiFi so expected an issue, but it actually works like a dream for me. I doubt I will use the advanced controller features that allow you to set times and control the grill to keep meat warm after cooking, but I guess these are nice to have.

I am using my grill at least four times a week now. The ability to open the sear plate and do steaks and burgers is a great feature and I may ditch my larger gas grill next year because of it. We will see. But you need to consider your needs; you can only get a couple of steaks or maybe 6 burgers over the fire pot at once, so if you need to sear a dozen at a time, a gas grill is better. Alternatively, you can stagger your burgers and steaks on the PB 850 for larger meals. But for a family of three to four, I think you will be fine. Most smokers don't allow you to sear easily, so this feature moves the PB out ahead a bit for me.

The ease of smoking on this machine is incredible. You almost feel like you want to keep it a secret and just impress people with the results. Lots of experimenting is needed, but it's not a bad journey to be on.

A couple of minor modifications I will make to mine (or would like to see PB make):
  1. I'd like to see a hook attached above the removeable square rubber door at the back of the hopper. This would allow you to hang a bucket on to empty your pellets as needed. Otherwise you put a five gallon pail underneath and the pellets go everywhere (unless you elevate the bucket).
  2. I'd like the pellet screen to be removable. This way you don't have to stick an implement through the holes to push the pellets around when trying to swap them out. I realize the safety issue PB was trying to address here, but it's just a PIA. I'll either remove mine or come up with a easy way to detach it to solve the pellet swap issue.
  3. I'd like to see built in hanger hooks to hold the upper rack when not being used—maybe on the back of the grill.
  4. I'd like to see the front fold down shelf marginally larger as it won't quite hold large plates or trays confidently. But I give full marks for the fold down design.
So far I give my grill a 9/10 and am happy with it.
 
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