This is our review of best Pit Boss pellet grills.
Pit Boss has become a household name in the pellet grill industry next to grills like Traeger and Weber. We have owned a Pit Boss as our everyday grill for over 2 years and have tested many of the features discussed in the reviews below.
Since Pit Boss covers a wide range of price points and uses, it’s difficult to say which of their pellet grills is the “best” overall. There are clear winners in each category depending on what you all looking for in a pellet grill:
[Best for Everyday Use] – Sportsman 820
[Best Budget Grill] – Mahogany Series 440
[Features For Price] – Mahogany Series 1000
[Best Premium Grill] – Navigator 1150
[Great for Small Patios] – Mahogany Tabletop
[Best Combo Grill] – Navigator Pellet/Gas Combo
Keep reading below for a complete review of Pit Boss’ popular pellet grills.
Pit Boss Overview
Pit Boss has quickly become one of the most well-known brands in the pellet grill industry. Its growth is due in large part from its products being sold in many of the largest retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and many more. Pit Boss is owned by its parent company Dansons which also offers other grill brands such as Louisiana Grills, Country Smokers, Thieseens, and A-Mazen .
Their massive storefront presence isn’t the only reason for their success. Pit Boss offers quality grills at budget-friendly prices and the vast majority of their customers cite both quality and price in their Pit Boss reviews. Pit Boss stands behind their grills with a generous 5-Year warranty and their retail partners offer a very fair return policy. For example, Pit Boss offers a 60-day return period for unused grills brought from the official Pit Boss website.
With their popularity comes a massive online support community where users share tips, recipes, and other Pit Boss specific topics. If you are buying your first pellet grill or need grilling advice from time to time, the groups on various social media sites can be a great resource.
The Pit Boss Sportsman 820 is a great budget-friendly pellet grill for everyday use. In its price range, the Sportsman 820 offers the most features and cooking surface for your buck. Due to its medium sized cooking area, Pit Boss has found a great balance between grilling for both family dinners and medium-sized gatherings.
As you might have guessed the larger the grill, the more pellets it will burn to hold temperature. So when grilling for a weeknight family dinner, you won’t want to waste pellets on a cooking area you aren’t fully utilizing. The Sportsman 820 has the perfect balance of cooking area for everyday dinners but is also large enough for gatherings such as football games, cookouts, and medium-sized parties.
Another feature we like about the Sportsman 820 is the generous shelf space. The front and side shelf give you plenty of space for prepping and removing food from the grill. The front shelf also folds out of the way when it isn’t needed allowing for easy access to the grill and more compact storage. We did notice that some reviewers online have modified the front shelf to add more space by attaching a cutting board or similar to extend the shelf even further. While this likely voids the warranty and return policy, we thought it was worth mentioning after noticing it on a few customer reviews of the grill.
The Mahogany Series 440 from Pit Boss is built for the minimalist or budget conscious griller. This grill is best for those looking to start out in grilling and smoking on a pellet grill without spending too many of those hard earned dollars.
At the lower price point, the Mahogany Series 440 has a smaller cooking area (518 square inches) and much less hopper capacity (5 lbs) than the other pellet grills on this list besides the Mahogany Tabletop model below. This size configuration is great for casual wood fire grilling, shorter low-and-slow smoking sessions, and those with limited patio or storage space. If you plan to use your pellet grill often for long, hand-off low-and-slow smoking, you may want to spend a few extra bucks for the Sportsman 820 since it has a much longer hopper. If you don’t mind refilling the the hopper a few times then that shouldn’t deter you from the Series 440.
As we’ll mention in other sections, we like how well the powder coating holds up on the Mahogany Series pellet grills. After many years of heavy use, the powder coating on the lid, barrel, and hopper are still in great shape. When cared for properly, the Mahogany Series 440 is the right Pit Boss for those on a budget or plan to use their pellet grill for short cooks.
The Mahogany Series 1000 is a solid, middle-priced pellet grill from Pit Boss. It’s slightly pricier but larger than the Sportsman 820. It’s also slightly smaller and less feature packed than the premium Navigator 1150 that we will cover next. For those reasons, the Mahogany Series 1000 is a good choice for those looking for the middle ground between more features and affordability.
The first thing you might notice is that the Mahogany Series 1000 offers quite a few more features without much of a price increase compared to the Austin XL 1000 and Sportsman 820. These include a hopper cleanout door, hopper viewing window, a few smaller extras, and a flame broiler lever for direct searing. So the Mahogany pellet grill offers better pellet management features and easier searing for a minimum price jump.
With 1,021 square inches of cooking surface, it’s a great middle ground between the various Pit Boss pellet grills. However, it’s worth noting that the hopper is 21 lbs which is the size of other smaller pellet grills offered by Pit Boss. For comparison, the Navigator has 1,150 square inches of cooking surface with a 32 lbs hopper. You might have to refill the Mahogany more often than the Navigator 1150 for longer cooks.
All that said, we have used a grill similar to the Mahogany (Pit Boss Lexington) for our everyday grilling needs. After 2 years of heavy use, we have been very satisfied with how well the powder coat finish has held up to the elements.
The Navigator 1150 is part of Pit Boss’ premium line of pellet grills. The Navigator series offers most all of the features Pit Boss has to offer in a pellet grill plus reinforced legs for greater durability. The Navigator 1150 would be a great addition for those looking to upgrade to a grill with premium features.
With 1,150 square inches of cooking area, the Navigator can easily cook for large gatherings. The oversized 32 lbs hopper is perfect for hours long low-and-slow cooking without having to reload pellets. The hopper also features a viewing window larger than other Pit Boss models and includes a hopper cleanout door to easily swap pellet flavors.
Similar to the Sportsman 820, the Navigator 1150 has both a side and folding front shelf. However, the Navigator’s front shelf is larger in comparison to the Sportsman model giving you more prep space when needed.
A premium grill wouldn’t be complete without WiFi compatibility so Pit Boss has an option available to upgrade the control board to access WiFi and Bluetooth to control the grill via the Pit Boss Grills app. Typically a premium grill would offer WiFi out of the box but even with the $150 upgrade charge, the Pit Boss Navigator 1150 is a good bargain for a premium grill.
The Mahogany Tabletop is a compact and portable pellet grill from Pit Boss. This grill is great for taking on camping trips, tailgating, and those with limited patio space. Since this is a “tabletop” grill, you will need a table or other outdoor surface to set it on.
Pit Boss Mahogany Tabletop offers some familiar features found on full sized pellet grills such as 256 square inches of cooking surface, temperature probe port, temperature range of 180-500F, and a sliding sear plate. It’s great that Pit Boss was able to keep so many of the key features of a pellet grill on their portable Tabletop model. However, Pit Boss did modify a few features to make this grill portable including a locking lid which makes the grill easier to carry and a 5 lbs hopper.
When empty the grill weighs about 40 lbs which is manageable for most to carry. However, this grill probably shouldn’t be on your packing list for a backpacking trip along the hiking trail. There are lighter hiking grills available. Choose the Mahogany Tabletop for a setting where you only need to move it from the car to the picnic table!
The Pit Boss Navigator Pellet/Gas Combo is a premium line grill offering both a propane and pellet grill in one. If you are on the fence between a pellet and a propane grill the Navigator Pellet/Gas Grill is a great premium combination option.
The Navigator Pellet/Gas Combo features 1,084 square inches of cooking space split between a gas section and pellet grill section. Probably one of the coolest features of this grill is the pellet-to-gas damper for cold smoking. This gives you the option to gas grill, pellet grill, and cold smoke all on one grill.
As a part of Pit Boss’ premium product line, the Navigator Pellet/Gas Combo is loaded with all the top features Pit Boss has to offer. These features include a side shelf, front folding shelf, reinforced leg design, two temperature probe ports, flame broiler lever, and tool hooks.
The propane side of the grill features three burners with adjustable gas control and a storage bracket for the propane tank.
At the time of this review, the Navigator Pellet/Gas Combo also comes with a custom fitting cover which is typically an add-on purchase.
See looking for the right pellet grill? Check out our picks for the best Traeger pellet grill alternatives.