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24" Pit Boss from Costco UK (2018)

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After much cogitating I plumbed for upgrading my Weber kettle and Weber Smokey Mountain to a Pit Boss 24" from Costco in the UK. Went to look at one in store at Costco Birmingham (England).  It was too big to fit in my car and ordered one on-line when I got back, I grimaced when saw the price difference between in-store and on-line but hey, I had no choice!   (I guess I'm out of touch with shipping costs).

 

After receiving the one I ordered I can say the one on display on the shop floor seemed to be an older version (no spark guard and fire bowl was different, the fire bowl had a slot cut through it most of the way down and the two round holes drilled towards the base - you can see the picture later, the one I received had a spark guard and different fire bowl).

 

The Pit Boss was well packaged and protected by lots of stiff cardboard, and inner and outer box as well as foam to protect parts in transit.  The corner of the packaging had been damaged in transit but the excellent packaging meant no harm had come to the contents.

 

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This is what it looks like once assembled.

 

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The fire bowl has a slot all the way through and down one side (different to the one on display in the store).

 

A little more care could have been taken in the factory (but I knew to expect the need to undertake a few minor modifications).

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Whilst most people wouldn't even consider this an issue given I'll be running the kamado outside without any protection from the elements and I need to make it as weather proof as possible, a little more high temp sealant needed here (see arrow in picture) to stop the rain.

 

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I was pleased to see that the item came with with spark guard (unlike earlier models I'd read about on the forum).  When open the sliders are a little loose but snug up nicely when closed.

 

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Looks like the factory have made some other improvements, the lower edge of the bottom inlet has black gasket behind it indicated to by the arrow, I'm guessing that I won't need to mod the bottom vent as others have had to before.

 

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I recall others mentioning about the fine lines, crazing appearing on the glaze over time, well mine came like it (hopefully can be seen in the pic).  And as the manual says, completely normal due to the differential expansion of the ceramic and the glaze.

 

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With the top vent open a smidge and the bottom as above the Pit Boss held the proper temp for a few hours to cure the gasket and ensure it sticks to the ceramic (as recommended in the handbook).  Confession: I didn't think a handful of charcoal would be enough so put much more in for the initial burn.

 

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Now to a new problem I'd not read about before.  The holes drilled in the metal top vent were exactly opposite each other however the holes for the bolts to go through were incorrectly positioned in the ceramic.  My guess would be either the top was distorted a little prior to firing or during firing the ceramic distorted.  To fix things I has to peel off a little of the gasket around the chimney so that I could get the top vent as close to the rear edge of hole.  That still didn't fix things, still couldn't get bots through the holes so used a needle file to elongate each of the holes enough to get both the bolts through - not a major drama for me but would be for others without a fine file to hand.

 

After curing the next day I though I'd do something simple to start, a chicken with no wood smoke:

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It was interesting starting to figure out temp control, but settled down nicely and didn't need tweaking at all.  One thing I did learn was that I was too hasty putting the food on (or I've got some sub-standard charcoal) and should have let the fire 'set' properly and only emit the fine wispy smoke - chicken came out okay but taste wasn't as good as it could have been, it tasted a bit smokey but not in a pleasant way.

 

Next exercise was pizza, no pictures I'm afraid, it was that good we couldn't wait to eat it.  Let fire 'set' properly, and the food was awesome.

 

I do need to test and almost certainly add gasket to the top vent.   The other thing on my to-do list is rain protection, I want to use the Pit Boss in all weathers but don't have (and am prohibited from getting) something like a gazebo or arbour to provide that protection.  I'll be thinking about what I can make or mod to stop rain/snow getting down the top vent - I'll post in the DIY forum (or here) if I come up with any viable solution that won't be affected by strong wind.

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awesome post!  Thanks for sharing with us.  I'm sure you'll nail the next chicken cook... but I definitely know what you mean on what happened, been there and done that.  I agree pizza on the Kamado is amazing!

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Congrats!

 

The old firebowls came with a partial slit and would then crack to make a full slit. The new one is “pre-cracked” so owners won’t worry or complain.  They also moved it from the back to the front where you won’t see it as much. 

 

I haven’t had the screws in my top vent since the first fire. I added felt to seal it and as a byproduct, it also not fits snug enough that it won’t fall off, but it can be easily removed. 

 

To keep out rain rain and snow, I make a tent/cover out of aluminum foil. Tuck it between the cap and felt and it stays in place. I should put the screw holes to use and make a more permanent rain cap. 

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If you put an extre ring of felt around the top to seal the top vent, you don’t need the two screw to hold the vent to the pit boss, so you can use those holes to hold the rain cap on the the vent. 

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Picked up this chimney cap at the local hardware store for about $8.00. Cut out the front for the adjustment lever. Might paint it eventually. or not.P_20180609_123256_vHDR_On.thumb.jpg.675ec27b6b1019324c3a3da7f43a4039.jpg

Cut a slot in the sides to fit over the existing screws so it can be easily removed but won't blow off.P_20180609_123310_vHDR_On.thumb.jpg.3841c1894ea6a7b8c38f7be3e1f8dae6.jpg

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Wow I really like the color. Dont leave it outside in the elements moister kills ceramics,get a cover for it  at the very least . A nice little shelter would be nice too so you can use it when its raining. Thats one of my next projects LOL Herman :)

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My top cap screws didnt line up perfectly either... but they went in on a slight angle non the less I knew it didnt matter as i'd be adding a layer of felt to the top... it takes some wiggling to get it on clean  but once the top vent is on.. its not going anywhere.

 

 

 

I like that top vent mod idea! seems practical for those that dont have anything covering theirs...

 

 

 

I'd also heavily advise getting a cover for the PB..... 

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I got mine from Costco Canada. It came with a cover included. Do they come with it in the UK too? I usually wait until the next day to cover it as it is usually still a bit warm at night. Until I decide to use it the next day. The cap keeps out the rain if it starts during a cook or overnight while it is cooling down.

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On 6/8/2018 at 7:06 AM, Red River Smoke said:

I think something like this could work as a rain guard, just have to remove it when opening the lid, can't think of a good way to secure it easily.

Image result for round chimney cap

 

one could use a large diameter stainless hose clamp, something like i've done on mine...mind you, you will have to cut it.  i wasn't too bothered by that. i painted it and that was fancy enough.  plus hey, it was jazzed up with the stainless steel.

while it is certainly not the most glamourous modification out there, it is also far from the worst.  but it works a treat in all conditions and does exactly what i wanted it to do.  and i never have to worry about it.

 

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On 6/9/2018 at 12:22 AM, m-fine said:

If you put an extre ring of felt around the top to seal the top vent, you don’t need the two screw to hold the vent to the pit boss, so you can use those holes to hold the rain cap on the the vent. 

Thanks for the pointer.  I'd read elsewhere on the forum that others had done that too.

 

I'd been waiting for a UK suppliers web shop to be fixed so I could order some nomex felt.  After waiting too long I ordered from the USA and got the necessary item in a couple of days.

 

One extra band f felt (on top of the existing) wasn't enough so I added another layer too, that made it really tight (I had to ease the top vent over the felt using a very thing piece of plastic to guide the vent over the felt a bit at a time and worked my way round).

 

I've not got a super snug top vent (and being a pt unsure of how the felt changes over time put one of the fixing screws back in and left the other out).

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15 hours ago, AA Ron said:

I got mine from Costco Canada. It came with a cover included. Do they come with it in the UK too? I usually wait until the next day to cover it as it is usually still a bit warm at night. Until I decide to use it the next day. The cap keeps out the rain if it starts during a cook or overnight while it is cooling down.

The ones in the UK from Costco come with a cover too and I'll use it to help protect from the elements.

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I'd just like to thank everyone for thier great suggestions.

 

I looked for chimney and pipe caps available in the UK and found a couple that were galvanised that could have been moded.  I was after something in stainless steel and the one I found was expensive so set about designing and making one.  Key design principles:

 

 (a) Keep the rain out

 (b) Stay on in high wind

 (c) Be removable

 (d) Provide easy access to adjust vent

 (e) Use low cost materials

 (f) Be easy to make (no need for specialist skills)

 (g) Use freely available tools and materials

 

Here's a sneak peek of the final product:

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The design and construction is uncomplicated (I learned a few things on the way) and can be easily changed to meet your needs and to work with other makes/designs of kamado as well as being straight forward enough for anyone to make.

 

Full and detailed instructions will be uploaded into the Do-It-Yourself forum in the next few days.

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