Thinking about buying a Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker but not sure if it is the right smoker for you?
Don’t worry, because we’ve tested it out and can tell you all about it!
In this TheGrillingDad.com review, you will learn:
- Everything you need to know about the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker options
- Pros and cons of this pellet smoker
- And much more!
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Overview of the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
Pit Boss is a long-trusted company in the world of pellet smokers. Known for their durability, quality, and ease of use, many people choose a Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker for their first smoker.
One of the main draws of this particular line of smokers is that they offer space for smoking vertically–meaning they take up much less space on your porch.
This makes them ideal for a balcony or for someone who already has a charcoal grill but wants to smoke meats on occasion.
No matter what series you choose, a Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker offers you all of the space for smoking multiple meats at once. For large families, there really is no other way to go.
Supporting temperatures of up to 420°F, there isn’t much that this pellet smoker can’t handle.
Plus, with a 60lb capacity hopper, you won’t need to worry about refilling the pellets mid-smoke as you might with some other pellet grills.
While any Pit Boss Vertical Pellet smoker you are interested in is sure to be amazing, our personal favorite is the 5 series, and that is what we will go into in this article.
Read on to learn more about the 5-series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smokers and see if they might be a good fit for you and your family.
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Characteristics of the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
The characteristics of pellet smokers vary widely depending on the company you purchase it from. Below are some of the common characteristics of Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smokers.
Most Prominent Characteristics:
- Temperature range of 150°F-420°F
- Large capacity
- 5-in-1 cooking technology
- Long lasing hopper
- Porcelain coated cooking racks
- Heavy duty steel construction
- Digital control panel
- On wheels for easy maneuvering
- Large viewing window
- One meat probe for easy temperature checks
- Automatic start up and cool down sequences
- 5-year warranty
- Sporty wood colored finish
- Can cold smoke items like cheese
Best Features of the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
There are so many amazing features of the 5-series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker that we had some trouble narrowing it down! Here are our favorites.
You simply can’t beat the space that this smoker offers. You get a full 1,513 inches of cooking space spread over four racks which can be moved to allow more or less clearance for your meats.
Whether you’ve got a roast, pork loin, or even a whole chicken, it can be smoked in this smoker.
Do note, however, that the space is vertical space, meaning you may need to cut your rack of beef ribs in half. But we do believe that it is possible to get two small turkeys into this smoker come holiday season!
The 60lb pellet hopper on the 5 series Vertical Smokers is like no other. When full, they give you a burn time of over 35 hours, allowing you to smoke meats as low and slow as your heart desires.
Not only that, but it has a purge function. Meaning if you are tired of a certain flavor, you can easily dump its entire contents and fill it with something else. This makes it easy to switch up pellets and experiment with your favorite flavor.
The Automatic Start-Up and Cool Down Cycles
Any experienced smoker knows that the hardest thing is getting the pellet smoker to the right temperature. With the automatic start-up and cool-down features of this pellet smoker, it will automatically ignite and heat the pellets to your desired temperature and then will shut off.
This prevents pellet wastage and helps your smoker maintain a consistent temperature.
This pellet smoker is built out of heavy-duty steel with porcelain-coated cast iron grates. That means that this grill is not going anywhere with the wind as it weighs an impressive 127 lbs.
The temperature probes are made from high-duty steel and will give you an accurate reading of temperature. The powder coat finish ensures that you can leave this smoker outdoors even when there is inclement weather.
While the probes are made of steel, so is the water pan, but it is porcelain coated, meaning you don’t have to worry about it rusting as you do for non-porcelain coated water pans.
This grill will overall last you a long time. With a 5-year warranty, you know that Pit Boss has built its products to last. Because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t offer such a long warranty!
5-in-1 Cooking Technology
While you will still probably want to have a charcoal grill on hand, this pellet smoker really can do it all. The 5-in-1 cooking technology allows you to smoke, roast, bake, braise, and BBQ, all with the use of this single machine.
It also allows cold smoking, which you can use to create smoked cheeses and other creations which simply aren’t possible with all smokers or pellet grill and smoker combos.
The 5-Series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker is a machine that most professionals would love to have, but you can purchase it at the price of a regular grill. This makes it affordable when compared to other smokers or pellet grills.
Related >> Best Pellet Grills Under $500
Remember, the 5-series isn’t the only Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker out there either, so if you find the 5-series a bit too expensive, they have a wide variety of 2-series and 3-series vertical smokers that work in the same way with many of the same features.
Digital control panels are always easier to use, and we are surprised that they aren’t installed on all pellet smokers yet. With the digital panel on the Pit Boss Vertical Smoker, you will be able to know exactly what temperature you are set to without needing to guess.
We also love the rubber steel around the door to this pellet smoker as it keeps the smoke in better than any other smoker we’ve ever seen. This also helps it to heat up quickly, shortening the amount of time you need to wait before you start cooking.
For those who are just beginning, the smoker also comes with a temperature control guide that can help you pick the right temperatures for your cut of meat–something which often goes overlooked by other companies!
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Size and Cooking Capacity Considerations
The Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker is massive, and it can be used to feed a crowd. The only problem is that this is vertical space only.
This means that you may need to cut racks of ribs in half. And if you are hoping to smoke turkeys, you will need to get birds that aren’t too long in length. While this isn’t a problem for most smokers, it is something to keep in mind as you shop.
Then, you also need to remember that great capacity comes with great responsibility and the fact that this smoker weighs 127 lbs. Although it is on wheels, you will need a permanent place in your yard to place this smoker, and you shouldn’t plan to take it camping with you.
Unlike a pellet grill/smoker combo, there aren’t too many add-ons for a full pellet smoker. But we do have a few recommendations for you.
Because this smoker is so difficult to use, if you live somewhere where you plan to leave it outside year-round, you should also plan to purchase a cover. These aren’t too expensive, and they can go a long way towards helping your pellet smoker last for a long time.
You’re going to need wood pellets for your pellet smoker, and we recommend getting a variety pack. A variety pack of pellets will allow you to try out several different flavors of pellets as you change up the meats.
You can also mix pellets, which is great for the lazy folk who don’t want to empty the hopper. You never know when you might find the next great pellet recommendation!
There is nothing quite as tasty as a smoked sausage. While the 5-series sportsman model comes with meat hooks, the regular 5 series does not, thus, we recommend purchasing these on the side. They are an inexpensive add-on and will truly add to your smoking experience.
Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker 5-Series Sportsman Model
We should take a moment to mention the sportsman model, which is the other model in the 5-series by Pitboss. Just like the regular version, we highly recommend this model.
It’s slightly smaller, but it is also slightly cheaper as well. You will lose about 100 square inches of cooking space with this model, along with 5lbs of hopper space, but for someone who wants something just a little cheaper but with the same great quality, the sportsman model is the way to go.
The only thing really different about this model is the look of the exterior. Rather than the wood finish, you have a black powder finish with an orange lining. It still looks great, just much different than the traditional model.
Pros and Cons of the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
Like with any purchase, you need to weigh the pros and cons before you buy a pellet smoker. We’ve listed them below to make it easy for you.
- Quality build
- Digital controls
- Hot and cold smoking possible
- Includes probes
- 5 racks which can be rearranged easily
- Massive hopper capacity
- Massive capacity in general
- Durable water pan
- Auto start and cool down cycles
- Excellent customer service when problems arrive
- Heavy, don’t plan to move this smoker
- Some users report electrical issues (while we didn’t experience any of these if you are worried about experiencing them order the sports model which is much less prone to them.)
- Temperature reading isn’t always accurate
- You can’t leave the pellets in the smoker when not in use
- The space is vertical so may not fit a full rack or ribs, large turkey, or full prime rib
- Not wifi capable like other smokers
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons, meaning this smoker is definitely a decent purchase for you to consider!
Is the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker Worth It?
We’ve had an amazingly positive experience with the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker 5-Series, but the same can’t be said for all users. Some report complicated electrical problems, which, while the company provided replacement parts, can be difficult for someone who doesn’t know grills to deal with.
Because of that, we recommend the regular Pit Boss Vertical Smoker 5-series for experienced smokers. If you are new to smoking meats, don’t be disheartened, as the sportsman model doesn’t have the same electrical issues and still gives you the same benefit. Thus, those newer to smoking should order the sportsman model.
All in all, the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smokers are a great value for the price. While you’ll pay the same amount as a regular grill, you will simply get so much more. We aren’t sure if this pellet smoker will replace a grill entirely for us, but with its sleek shape, it easily fits on our balcony with our grill without a problem.
Plus, you can’t beat the fact that it simply feeds everyone. There is no need to cook in turns, and you truly can smoke every single meat at once. If you are planning to host regular parties, there is no reason not to purchase this smoker.
You also really can’t beat the durable construction for the price. Many comparable smokers are made of steel that can quickly degrade when left out in the elements. With Pit Boss, you get a smoker that will last you for years to come for a very low price.
So yes, in the end, this vertical pellet smoker is 100% worth the cost for what you get!
Things to Think About Before You Buy a Vertical Pellet Smoker by Pit Boss
Here are a few things to consider before you buy:
1. Where You Will Put the Smoker?
As mentioned numerous times, this is not a smoker that you will be moving in and out of your garage every weekend. Before you order it, ensure you know where you will put it, and consider a cover if you plan to have it outside year-round.
2. Decide What You Plan to Smoke
What is your main reason for purchasing a smoker? If it’s to smoke turkeys, you may want to reconsider, or at least consider the sportsman version, which is a little wider. Remember, this pellet smoker is vertical, meaning most of the space is up rather than out.
3. Determine Your Smoking Experience
While the sportsman version of the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker 5-series is great for the beginner, not all models by Pit Boss are meant for those who have no experience smoking. Recognize what your experience level is at so you can select the Pit Boss Vertical Smoker that is right for you.
Final Thoughts on the Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
Overall, the 5-series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker, both the original and the sportsman models, are a steal for the price. You will get a high-quality restaurant-style smoker to keep in your very own backyard for smoking meats.
Not only that, but it comes with a 5-year warranty, meaning if anything does go wrong, you can call up Pit Boss and get replacement parts (or an entirely new unit) shipped your way. Before you know it, you will be hosting all the parties, complete with smoke sausages, cheeses, and even full chickens!