Pit Boss 7182FB Pellet Grill Review
The pellet grill with flame broiler from Pit Boss is a big grill that promises big, wood-fired flavor. Here we review the 71820FB pellet grill and take a look at its features one by one.
Ease of use
Editors Overall Rating
Detailed review – Pit Boss Pellet Grill 7182FB
This pellet grill is manufactured by Pit Boss, which is owned by the same people behind the wildly popular Louisiana Grills. Although the pellet grill industry is still dominated by Traeger, Pit Boss is putting up a nice fight, rolling out cookers with comparable quality and features as those by Traeger for more or less the same prices.
One such Grill is the 71820FB, which is made to last, being forged out of tough 16-gauge powder-coated steel. The main grid is made of porcelain-coated cast iron while the removable secondary racks and the lower shelves are made of coated steel rod and wire, respectively. The hopper has a screen to prevent items from getting to the auger and keeping the pellets from getting leveled as they get sucked by the auger.
Having a cooking area measuring 820 sq. in. and having 40,000 BTU, it is obvious that the 71820FB pellet grill means serious business. Other cool features include a digital control board, a dial-in thermostat control with a LED display, and a flame broiler for cooking over direct heat. The flame broiler can be accessed via a slide plate, which can’t make switching between direct and indirect heat any easier.
- Roomy cooking area for a portable grill
- Convection cooking ensures even heating
- Automated ignition and cool down add convenience
- Option to cook over open flame is nice
- Porcelain-coated grids are easy to clean and help heat food
- Auger does not respond immediately to temperature changes
- Other grills with the same capacity have higher max temperatures
Best Features of this Pit Boss Pellet Grill
Natural Wood Fuel
The 71820FB pellet grill is fueled by 100% natural hardwood pellets and coats food in rich, smoky flavor that you only a wood fire can give. Natural food-grade wood pellets are also guaranteed safe because there are no additives or other harmful substances that can taint the meat.
Wood pellets are also efficient, generating more or less 8,200 BTUs per round. They are clean and environmentally friendly, being carbon neutral and producing relatively less ash (0.3 lb/40-lb bags) as other fuel types.
You can cook food under temperatures as low as 180F up to as high as 500F. That is not a bad range, but some outdoor cookers with the same size, capacity, and price as the 71820FB pellet grill can cook at higher temperatures.
The pellet grill’s digital thermostat control system ensures that your food remains heated at the right temperature, so it never gets burned even if you do not monitor it. This means no standing over the grill and no constant lifting of the lid. Just set the dial to your preferred cooking temperature, and the grill’s circuitry will cycle the auger until the correct internal temperature is reached.
Incorporated with the thermostat control is a LED display that shows an accurate internal temperature reading. Aside from simply showing the heat level, this read-out will also help you detect any unusual temperature movements in the grill.
For example, if the internal temperature dips to 150F or lower, the LED display will show the actual temperature instead of the set temperature. Meanwhile, if the temperature gets dangerously high (i.e., higher than 615F), the display will show an error message that says “Erh.”
The 71820FB pellet grill has an automatic start function. Once you power it on, the auger automatically starts transferring pellets over to the firepot, and the igniter begins to heat up. The grill’s other internal components then start to carry out the convection heating process.
Auto Cool Down
After cooking, you are supposed to change the grill setting so that it begins its automatic cool down process. It will burn off any excess pellets and turn itself off without requiring you to do anything else after switching it to auto cool down.
The great thing about having this feature is that it helps ensure that the temperature is set correctly the next time you use the grill by eliminating residue that can cause problems such as temperature errors and flare-ups or grease fires.
The 71820FB pellet grill has a non-stick porcelain-coated cast iron main grid that is durable and highly effective in conducting and retaining heat. This kind of material leaves tempting sear marks, good flavor, and zero unsightly residues on the meat. Lastly, the porcelain coating makes the main grid easy to clean.
Convection cooking works hand in hand with the dial-in thermostat control to heat food evenly at the right temperature. When cooking with non-convection grills, you often have to monitor the meat closely and turn it now and then to make sure that all sides of it are getting the same amount of heat.
Constantly having to do this is not just time-consuming and tiring. Since you have to lift the lid each time to check, a lot of heat and smoke get wasted in the process and result in a slightly longer cook time. The worst case scenario is a flare-up, which happens in some cookers when there is a sudden change in the temperature.
In the case of the 71820FB pellet grill, the process of convection heating is carried out mainly by a fan, which blows air into the firepot to further burn the pellets. The generated heat is then spread all over the inside of the grill chamber by heat diffusers located near the firepot.
Instead of requiring you to turn the food by hand or through the use of a rotisserie, the 71820FB pellet grill spreads the heat for you.
You can cook over direct or indirect heat with the 71820FB pellet grill. It has two arched and slotted steel broilers or plates that you slide open to cook over the open flame. You hook the longer broiler on to a holder located on the hopper. To cook over direct or indirect heat, you slide the smaller steel broiler over the openings of the larger broiler.
Direct heat cooking is used especially for searing and for grilling food that cooks quickly. By “quickly” we are talking around 20 minutes or less. These food include steaks, shrimp, vegetables, and more.
What you get in the package
The following items are what you can expect to see:
- One (1) Pit Boss pellet grill + flame broiler
- One (1) owner’s manual with cookbook
The 71820FB is another addition to the cooking industry’s arsenal of pellet grills. A lot of people used to stay away from this grill type because even entry-level pellet grills are relatively more pricey than other budget cookers such as charcoal and gas grills. However, Pit Boss manages to squeeze in a lot of features into this product, making it a perfectly reasonable buy.
Sturdy, high-quality materials are used in parts where they are needed the most. The primary body is made of heavy-duty steel construction, the handle is forged out of stainless steel, the bottom shelf is made of coated wire, and the main grid and upper rack are porcelain-coated cast iron and steel, respectively.
Also, it is designed to be extra versatile. Its construction, design and features already make it capable of handling various cooking styles such as smoking, grilling, braising, baking, and more. However, Pit Boss still adds a flame broiler, so you have the option to sear food to perfection over an open flame.
We also love how the 71820FB pellet grill makes the task of cooking easier at nearly every step. It has auto start and auto cool down functions, which easily take half of your workload off. The digital thermostat is very convenient because it does the job of cooking at the right temperature for you. Its LED display will also alert you if anything is not right with the temperature fluctuations.
Cooking using convection heating is also immensely helpful because you do not need to keep checking and turning your food anymore. Finally, by using 100% natural wood pellets for fuel, you are leaving a very small carbon footprint while cooking tasty and healthy food. We are hoping that with products like the Pit Boss 71820FB, people will realize that pellet grills are a good investment.