I’ll admit I was overcome with joy when my old gas grill finally stopped working, opening up the door for me to start shopping for a new one. As you all know by now, 618 Mark has the Green Mountain pellet grill. When he’s not smoking incredible food on it, he can crank up the heat and grill most anything that you would normally make on a traditional gas or charcoal grill. Going beyond that, Mark and I have had many discussions on how a grill of the pellet variety can outwork other grills by adding wood fired flavor to many dishes while also having the ability to reverse sear foods like steak. Did I mention the fuel source is wood? That sits well with me, being a smoker of food at heart. So, after several weeks of deliberation I decided to replace my old gas grill with a pellet burner hoping that I could meet the needs of my family’s favorite grill recipes while expanding my BBQ horizons. But which one to buy?
The world of pellet grills has expanded in recent years as they gain more popularity and begin popping up in backyards all across America. Traeger, Green Mountain, Pit Boss, Rec Tec, and Yoder are just a few of the brands that you will see online and at your local hardware store or big box retailer. For me, I wanted an entry level pellet grill since I was not one hundred percent sure that it would be a good replacement for my old gas version. Enter Pit Boss. With a huge line of different grills to choose from and a low price tag, this brand was calling my name from the start. With the “Boss” I could get a way bigger grill for a lot less money without, on paper at least, sacrificing a ton of features that other high end grills offered. So off to Wal-Mart I went to purchase my Pit Boss Austin XL.
The Austin is huge. 1,100 square inches of cooking space in this bad boy. Plenty of room to tackle almost any backyard BBQ job. On top of that, it holds a whopping 30 pounds of pellets which means I wouldn’t be constantly running to the garage to add more every few hours. Add in high quality wheels, a removable shelf, two digital probes, and a sweet paint job and you have yourself a grill that should hang with the so called big boys. We’ll see if it can truly hang with the best of them a bit later, but for now let’s unbox the Pit Boss and see what’s inside…
Oh man, this grill is heavy. Which I like. That tells me heat retention should be pretty decent. Pit Boss also took care in packaging the grill so as to avoid any damage during transport. Also appreciated. On to assembly.
Putting the Pit Boss together was a snap. The directions were easy to follow and the parts were well organized. As big as this grill is, you only need a partner to lift the barrel onto the stand. Once the main grilling chamber is resting on the cart assembly, the rest of it goes together with one person fairly easily. That includes moving it into place. Thanks to the roller blade like wheels, I was able to get this grill to my backyard with ease and on my own.
Oh yeah! Looking good! I could barely contain my excitement. But can it grill? How about barbecue? Smoke?? I have no idea. Stay tuned to find out if the “Boss” can hang with Mark’s Green Mountain and the other studs of the pellet grill group. For now, it’s an assembly job well done. Time for a beer.