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    Pit Boss

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  1. There probably some quality control issues for me to receive two poor Pit Bosses. However it was enough for me to move on and not look back. YMMV
  2. https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/38751-down-and-dirty-charcoal-retort/
  3. A drum, a few pieces of pipe and fittings, some of my own wood and a fire = lump charcoal. I purchased a drum for $15. Then put together some on hand 3/4" black iron pipe. Drilled some holes (1/8" at 2") in the bottom piece to act like a burner. I stacked up a few concrete 4" blocks to serve as a stand. Filled the drum with hard wood cut to length about the size of my arm, not stacked too tight. Sealed up the drum and put it on the block stand. Then built the fire using litter collected over the winter and scrape from splitting and stacking. I kept the fire hot for about 6 hours leaning long pieces on end against the drum and pushing coals underneath as it burned. The finished pics are from the next morning after everything cooled. At first mostly steam is exhausted out the burner holes (and some around the poorly fitting lid). After the wood reaches about 500 degrees F the pyrolitic process starts and the off gassing ignites (Methane) causing the burner to assist the heating. Some stack blocks to make more of a kiln conserving the heat and requiring a lot less wood to burn or use a double drum method. Personally, I have more wood than blocks (lots of downed wood) and this is easier to remove from the fire ring when finished, like the title says, down and dirty. If you don't have a lot of wood to burn the kiln approach may be a better route for you. Now I have homegrown lump on hand, no chance added chemicals and the price is only a little time in a fire I'm going to have anyway. I also use my own smoker chips from trees on the property. The volume of finished charcoal is about half of the wood you started with. There is something enjoyable to me being self sufficient when possible and prefer DIY when I can. Not for everyone, I know. Also, not everyone has the property to safely have a fire this size. Initially, I thought I would need to block the burner pipe to prevent oxygen from being sucked back in during cooling. That is why there is a tee instead of an elbow near the bung. After seeing the results I don't think it's needed. I am trying to come up with a way to get a better lid seal to push more gas out the burner instead of burning around the lip. Some sort of high temp gasket like used on a wood stove door? All and all not too bad and easy. Now to come up with a good way to store the charcoal.. For more information search charcoal retort.
  4. I recently returned 2 Pit Boss PBK22s because of many problems (the second one was an attempt to start over and get a good one) and purchased a Vision B series. After assembly here are my thoughts The Vision has (in no order): a lower vent screen, stainless straps and hardware for the lid and hinge (not powder coated), handle screws that were tight to the band so I could attach the handle, better assembly tools (T handle socket was kind of nice), spare screws and nuts (a nice touch), an included cover, ability to be converted to gas with an optional purchase, an ash drawer, a lid that takes about half the effort to lift, a lid that fit without leaks, a better damper design, a cradle that is stainless and made from welded square tubing, better casters and locks, top vent felt for sealing better, a nicer looking thermometer and housing, Diamond cut surface (personally is more appealing even though it does seem to show any flaws in the glazing more), both grills that are hinged, a cradle that is assembled with non-visible hex head bolts instead of exposed phillips machine screws, a better heat deflector system as it is held lower away from the grill, much better packaging, a $50 cheaper price (price to me purchasing at the wrong time of the year), Vision was in stock. The shelves and handle on the Vision are slats and stained v. solid bamboo on the Pit Boss. In my book just different I don't know if it is better or worse. The vision also does not use lock washers on it's bracket and handle screws. Time will tell if this is an issue, there is always thread locker. The manual was better with the Pit Boss. The Vision recommends no curing fire, I did it anyway if for no other reason than to burn off any manufacturing fluids on the grill and the label I couldn't remove from inside the firebox. There are a few dimples noticeable on the glazing but crazing is much less. Things I had to do on the Vision; spread the top vent retainers for a better fit, align hinged bars on lower grill to prevent wobbling, trim felt around top vent, align thermometer, remove a small amount of felt glue accidentally smeared on the outside. All add up to pretty much nothing to be concerned about IMHO. The gas conversion has not been received or tested yet. This may get flamed by the Kamado purists, I get it. But is something I found attractive. It keeps my options open. I don't expect to get Kamado tasting food with it. But for me, cooking for one, I hope it gives me a quick option for throwing a burger on the grill. Hope this helps others when deciding between the two.
  5. I purchased a Vision Diamond Cut B-series from Sam's over the weekend. The differences are huge and it is performing well. I intend to make a full right up in the next few days showing the differences. I was close to purchasing the small and portable Vision Cadet. However, the gas convertibility available on a few Visions was very attractive to me. We'll see how it all works in a few days.
  6. Great! You are doing much better than I did. I was 2 for 2 with loose screws. I've decided to move on. Currently looking at a Vision Diamond cut B series with ash drawer. Before buying the PB heat deflector, look at some of the DIY options here. Not sure if you're interested in them. I was not happy with the way the PB deflector is designed. Way too high. Enjoy your kamado.
  7. Congrats I hope you have better luck than I. I'm interested if your screws that are used to hold on the handle are firmly attached to the metal band.
  8. Thanks for all the replies. WalMart initially said that without the packaging it was up to the manufacturer. When I talked to management the box wasn't important. The second grill arrived today and.... The handle screws are sloppy loose. I didn't look any further for things like lid alignment. I will not accept a loose handle for the life of the grill. At this point, I plan on returning both grills and rethinking my direction entirely. I hope I can return the cover and heat deflector as well. If not I'll just have to eat that cost :( There is a Costco nearby but I'm not a member. Maybe I can find a friend that is. Honestly, I'm not sure about ANY Pit Boss now. I'm really stretching things with the 22 as I only ever cook for one. The good news is that my DIY charcoal retort is about ready for use. I'm sure my switch from gas to charcoal is still happening.
  9. Thanks for the reply. So the newer 24" have a screen in lower vent? I'm not worried about that so much as I can make one. I'm not expecting perfection, but a product that is not functional, at any price, is not acceptable. The finish is absolutely poor for a $600 item. Not less than half the price BTW. I don't see how loosening the band will allow the handle nuts to be tightened. Only if it is completely removed would the heads of the screws be reachable and the screws are still too log. The nut bottoms out before it gets tight, notice the double lock washers on the screws installed at the factory to make up for the extra length. My biggest concern is that a second one has the same problems since I will only have one box.
  10. Looks good. I wish I had waited to buy mine, I would have done something similar. Is there a function for the 3 extra holes? Maybe they would work for grill stands to solve the hinge problem? Double nutting some threaded rod or ?
  11. Thanks guys. I was not aware that PB was new at this.
  12. Pit Boss K22 Deflector.pdf I can't say I'm too fond of the design. If I were making one I would make it flat or even with tabs to lower it into the fire container some. If flat weld some tabs to support the grill. The way it is the grill sits flat on the deflector with no space underneath. If you flip it over the grill will balance on the legs. The way it is you can not use the 2nd tier of the grill and the deflector together as it stacks up so high it interferes with the lid. Hope this helps
  13. Thanks for the reply RRL2. I too did a lot of research before the purchase and thought I was going in a good direction. The chip is not a huge deal and could be touched up, but Dansons has no touch up. The crazing was expected and is not listed. I can handle the lower vent issues with retrofitting a screen and felt. The biggest things are not being able to install/tighten the handle, the poor fitting lid, and the poor glazing coverage. All the things stacking up, including the poor heat deflector design, are what put me over the top more than any one or two things. Some of these things look like they could be design issues. The product issues and the fact that Customer Support did not respond to my calls, messages or emails leaves me guessing how creditable the company is. Once I did make contact their only option is "return it to where you bought it" So much for the warranty. I had hoped for replies from actual owners to see if mine is a lemon or if this is typical prior to dropping another $600+. But not so even after 92 views. Oh Well.
  14. Greetings from the Newbie. I just purchased a 22" Pit Boss ($596 from Wal-Mart.com) I've had a number of issues with it and Dansons has said the best thing to do is return it to the seller. To do so I need to order a 2nd one first to get the packaging and go thru the hassle of disassembly and repacking. The last thing I need is a repeat performance of my issues: · Screw on stand broke with very little torque during assembly. CS has sent a replacement. · Chip on front of bottom appeared during first use · Stand uprights shaped incorrectly causing metal to touch ceramic at top while leaving a gap at the bottom. · Poor glazing on about ½ of right side lid lip. · Poor fitting lid that is tight on right but leaves a gap on the left. This leaks smoke / air and prevents shutting off air completely. · Lid handle can not be attached since screws are loose and too long making tightening the nuts impossible. Other items attached at the factory on the same band have either two lock washers stacked (defeating the purpose) or two flat washers stacked to compensate for too long screws. Even if screws were the correct length there is no way to hold the to tighten the nuts. · Dampener brackets attached with washers that are too thin letting them bend. · Fire sparks exit out of the grill thru the open vent creating a fire hazard. (not expected to be different on a replacement, I can fab up something and fix the loose fitting vent. see video In addition, I'm disappointed in how the heat deflector sits with the grill resting on it with no space underneath. It also can not be used with both levels of the grill installed. Is upside down the answer? The big question is, are these issues common? Thoughts? Comments?
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