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Review of 24 Inch Pit Boss Kamado


Benm3
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Hi everyone.

 

I picked up a Pit Boss 24" from Costco last weekend for $599, my first kamado and first smoker/non-gas grill in 8 years.  I'm excited.  I've been looking at kamados for the past year but didn't expect to find one at Costco for so cheap.  i'd been eyeing this at Costco and reading reviews on it for 2 weeks and when I went in to buy it, they were all gone!  In their place was the Kamado Joe roadshow.  I wondered around the store and found a few Pit Boss's left.  I was tempted to talk to the road show guy but I was afraid he would successfully talk me into buying the KJ 24" for $1199.  I didn't want to risk the upsell so passed right by him.  $600 already felt like a stretch where I had just been considering a weber smokey mountain cooker previously.  However, combined with a weber kettle grill which I also wanted and $600 starting feeling reasonable.  $1200 not so much.  

 

I got it together and will do a seasoning burn the first chance I get.  I see the top vent fit is extremely loose, I'm going to run another layer of gasket as others mentioned above and consider sealing the bottom door somewhat better.  I see a number of gaskets on Amazon.  Is any vendor recommended above the others?

 

I also will probably get a remote digital thermometer as I know enough to not trust the built in dial gauge.  The PitmasterIQ systems are also intriquing but I want to try my hand at regulating temperature first.

 

I'm really interested in a couple of accessories, namely a pizza stone and deflector and/or half deflector.  My principle interests are going to be low and slow, pizzas, and reverse sear steaks.  That's probably the full gamut AFAIK. 

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Tested the stock thermometer with a pan of boiling water. Pleased to say it was spot on. Over the last 20 years cooking I have had 1 gas and 2 electric ovens. They all

cooked at different temperatures regardless of what the dials were set at. As long as the long low cook temps are accurate I will use a bit of trial and error

in conjunction with any handy tips or advice on this site. Also I don`t want to spend any more money ! Best regards Paul

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Hi everyone.

I picked up a Pit Boss 24" from Costco last weekend for $599, my first kamado and first smoker/non-gas grill in 8 years. I'm excited. I've been looking at kamados for the past year but didn't expect to find one at Costco for so cheap. i'd been eyeing this at Costco and reading reviews on it for 2 weeks and when I went in to buy it, they were all gone! In their place was the Kamado Joe roadshow. I wondered around the store and found a few Pit Boss's left. I was tempted to talk to the road show guy but I was afraid he would successfully talk me into buying the KJ 24" for $1199. I didn't want to risk the upsell so passed right by him. $600 already felt like a stretch where I had just been considering a weber smokey mountain cooker previously. However, combined with a weber kettle grill which I also wanted and $600 starting feeling reasonable. $1200 not so much.

I got it together and will do a seasoning burn the first chance I get. I see the top vent fit is extremely loose, I'm going to run another layer of gasket as others mentioned above and consider sealing the bottom door somewhat better. I see a number of gaskets on Amazon. Is any vendor recommended above the others?

I also will probably get a remote digital thermometer as I know enough to not trust the built in dial gauge. The PitmasterIQ systems are also intriquing but I want to try my hand at regulating temperature first.

I'm really interested in a couple of accessories, namely a pizza stone and deflector and/or half deflector. My principle interests are going to be low and slow, pizzas, and reverse sear steaks. That's probably the full gamut AFAIK.

Congrats on the purchase. I understand your frugality.

I hope you stocked up on KJ lump.

I think the pit boss will be the "gateway" Kamado for many...

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Thanks. Bought a large bag of lump charcoal from Costco. It contains a number of separate bags that you put in as they are and set fire to what look like greasy bags.

Don`t know if they are any good or not as I have had nothing to compare them to yet !. My Kamado smoker and grill cookbook arrived 10 mins ago so busy reading.

Best regards Paul.

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Thanks. Bought a large bag of lump charcoal from Costco. It contains a number of separate bags that you put in as they are and set fire to what look like greasy bags.

Don`t know if they are any good or not as I have had nothing to compare them to yet !. My Kamado smoker and grill cookbook arrived 10 mins ago so busy reading.

Best regards Paul.

I got some of that lump charcoal too. It lights rapidly, which is good for a quick grill, but difficult to get the temp back down for a low and slow cook, I've found.

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We had a mostly rain free day today, so I fired up the PB and roasted a chicken my wife had brined. I don't have a controller setup for it yet, but had no trouble holding the temp right where I wanted it (400F). I put a tray on the lower grid to ask as a deflector and as a drip tray and put the spatchcocked chicken on the upper grid. Near the end, I pulled the tray, flipped the bird over, and opened the air a bit more to get the skin to crisp up a bit.

The results were excellent, and other than the thermometer, the PB performed admirably. When the chicken came off, I opened both dampers fully and let it heat up to 600F for a bit of a self clean and then shut her down. It was still too hot to cover about 90 minutes later when the rain came back. The grill held up fine, but the nearly useless thermometer filled up with water. I could dry it out, but I know this situation will happen again so I am done wasting my time with it.

After a few days and a couple of cooks I am very pleased with the overall Pit Boss package and I have no regrets about purchasing the PB cheap from Costco rather than spending double on a smaller egg or Kamado Joe setup as I initially planned.

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We had a mostly rain free day today, so I fired up the PB and roasted a chicken my wife had brined. I don't have a controller setup for it yet, but had no trouble holding the temp right where I wanted it (400F). I put a tray on the lower grid to ask as a deflector and as a drip tray and put the spatchcocked chicken on the upper grid. Near the end, I pulled the tray, flipped the bird over, and opened the air a bit more to get the skin to crisp up a bit.

The results were excellent, and other than the thermometer, the PB performed admirably. When the chicken came off, I opened both dampers fully and let it heat up to 600F for a bit of a self clean and then shut her down. It was still too hot to cover about 90 minutes later when the rain came back. The grill held up fine, but the nearly useless thermometer filled up with water. I could dry it out, but I know this situation will happen again so I am done wasting my time with it.

After a few days and a couple of cooks I am very pleased with the overall Pit Boss package and I have no regrets about purchasing the PB cheap from Costco rather than spending double on a smaller egg or Kamado Joe setup as I initially planned.

M-fine is it your intention to replace the thermometer (im guessing you are meaning the one in the lid)

 

If so does it look easy and have you any ideas of what to replace it with.

 

Also if it is near useless how did you know it was approx 400 degrees throughout the whole cook

 

thanks

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Yes, I intend to replace the dome thermometer with a Tel-Tru model. The factory one is held on by a wing nut and will come right off. The model of tel tru I want will not have the threads but uses a the BGE style spring clip, but they have models that would screw in as well.

I am using a digital thermometer with a K type thermocouple to know what the actual temp is at the cooking grate.

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Just finished putting mine back together. I went with felt all around the rim of the sliding vent door. Haven't lit it yet, but it feels much tighter and better sealed than before. For $12 in gasket (I have loads left over for future replacement) and about 15 minutes work, I'd say this (or variations of) is a no brainer for this grill.

Can you share a link to the felt you used? I see some on Amazon and Home Depot, but I'm not sure which would work best in a grill. Thanks.

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With over a month on the boss I felt like I should give an additional update...  Still like the grill and the value but needed to make a few modifications.  First thing was the dome thermometer was way off I took it out and tested in boiling water and it was about 75 deg off so I bought this one from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Teika-Temperature-Thermometer-Fahrenheit-Barbecue/dp/B016VZRMXK?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00  which happens to resemble the vision thermometers, don't know if that's a coincidence or not. Most recently while I was doing a brisket I was struggling to keep the temp under 275 and had to close both top and bottom vents and noticed a ton of smoke still escaping from the top vent and seemed to be pulling in air through the closed bottom vent as well. I purchased a cast iron top vent which fits from vision grills, just called vision and asked for the CI top vent for the Classic B it was 49.95 w/shipping. I received it yesterday and installed it, it seems to be much better quality and appears to close better even without the smoke buildup. the PB top vent leaked not only from the holes in the top but also from the space between the daisy wheel and the base of the vent. I also did JDubU mod with the felt gasket on the bottom vent slider, but applied it all the way around like jmcc82 did. I plan to do a pork tenderloin Friday and pizzas on Sunday so I will have a better idea how the mod's perform.

 

there is a thread on the top vent under the vision forum, looks like this:

 

VisionGrillcastirontopvent.jpg

 

Future additions: Like I mentioned in an earlier post I bought the PB heat deflector and don't love how high it sits up in the dome so I am looking at the vision brackets and lava stone setup or the grill dome xl indirect rack.

Sorry for all the questions. I'm brand new and trying to figure this all out.

How is this thermostat working for you? I'm thinking of ordering one and just wanted to see if you still like it after a few weeks and some more Cook's?

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With over a month on the boss I felt like I should give an additional update... Still like the grill and the value but needed to make a few modifications. First thing was the dome thermometer was way off I took it out and tested in boiling water and it was about 75 deg off so I bought this one from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Teika-Temperature-Thermometer-Fahrenheit-Barbecue/dp/B016VZRMXK?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 which happens to resemble the vision thermometers, don't know if that's a coincidence or not. Most recently while I was doing a brisket I was struggling to keep the temp under 275 and had to close both top and bottom vents and noticed a ton of smoke still escaping from the top vent and seemed to be pulling in air through the closed bottom vent as well. I purchased a cast iron top vent which fits from vision grills, just called vision and asked for the CI top vent for the Classic B it was 49.95 w/shipping. I received it yesterday and installed it, it seems to be much better quality and appears to close better even without the smoke buildup. the PB top vent leaked not only from the holes in the top but also from the space between the daisy wheel and the base of the vent. I also did JDubU mod with the felt gasket on the bottom vent slider, but applied it all the way around like jmcc82 did. I plan to do a pork tenderloin Friday and pizzas on Sunday so I will have a better idea how the mod's perform.

there is a thread on the top vent under the vision forum, looks like this:

VisionGrillcastirontopvent.jpg

Future additions: Like I mentioned in an earlier post I bought the PB heat deflector and don't love how high it sits up in the dome so I am looking at the vision brackets and lava stone setup or the grill dome xl indirect rack.

Sorry for all the questions. I'm brand new and trying to figure this all out.

How is this thermostat working for you? I'm thinking of ordering one and just wanted to see if you still like it after a few weeks and some more Cook's?

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With over a month on the boss I felt like I should give an additional update... Still like the grill and the value but needed to make a few modifications. First thing was the dome thermometer was way off I took it out and tested in boiling water and it was about 75 deg off so I bought this one from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Teika-Temperature-Thermometer-Fahrenheit-Barbecue/dp/B016VZRMXK?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 which happens to resemble the vision thermometers, don't know if that's a coincidence or not. Most recently while I was doing a brisket I was struggling to keep the temp under 275 and had to close both top and bottom vents and noticed a ton of smoke still escaping from the top vent and seemed to be pulling in air through the closed bottom vent as well. I purchased a cast iron top vent which fits from vision grills, just called vision and asked for the CI top vent for the Classic B it was 49.95 w/shipping. I received it yesterday and installed it, it seems to be much better quality and appears to close better even without the smoke buildup. the PB top vent leaked not only from the holes in the top but also from the space between the daisy wheel and the base of the vent. I also did JDubU mod with the felt gasket on the bottom vent slider, but applied it all the way around like jmcc82 did. I plan to do a pork tenderloin Friday and pizzas on Sunday so I will have a better idea how the mod's perform.

there is a thread on the top vent under the vision forum, looks like this:

VisionGrillcastirontopvent.jpg

Future additions: Like I mentioned in an earlier post I bought the PB heat deflector and don't love how high it sits up in the dome so I am looking at the vision brackets and lava stone setup or the grill dome xl indirect rack.

What did you do for the screw holes? I got a new Vision cap and it doesn't have screw holes like the PB ones does. Did you drill new holes in the CI?
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