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The Pit Boss 820 Review: Everything You Need To Know

by Lianne Jones June 30, 2022

The Pit Boss 820 Review: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to finding the right grill for you, sometimes the options can really seem endless.

There’s tons of brands, styles, features and names that you can choose from, so rather than spending your time researching through the best possible grill for you, in this article we’ll be reviewing the Pit Boss 820, and explaining why it might be the perfect choice for you.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

About Pit Boss Grills

Pit Boss was founded in 1999 by Dansons, the company was started by a father son-trio Dan Thiessen and his two sons, Jordan and Jeff, ever since then they’ve become one of the largest names in the barbecue industry, and that’s for good reason Pit Boss is a full-service barbecue provider, offering wood pellet, gas, charcoal, and combination-fueled grills, barbecues, smokers, and portable grills.

Within the brand there’s also full lines of griddles, pellet fuel, cooking accessories, and spices.

Each and every product from Pit Boss is designed in-house by a highly talented team of engineers and category experts with a focus on quality and authenticity.

Offering a range of price points and technology features, Pit Boss has something for everyone, and the Pit Boss 820 could just be their best grill yet.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25.3 x 47.8 x 50.2 inches (fully assembled)
  • Cooking Area: 849 square inches
  • Cooking Grids: Porcelain coated cast iron
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity: 19 pounds
  • Material: 16 gauge heavy duty stainless steel
  • Temperature Range: 170 to 500 degrees F
  • BTU Rating: 20700
  • Ignition: Auto-ignition
  • Weight: 141.1 pounds
  • Burger Capacity: 42
  • Control: V1 Digital Control Board

The Best Parts

Temperature

As is with any grill, temperature and the controlling of it is always going to be one of the most important factors.

With the versatility to cook from 180°F to 500°F, the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 wood pellet grill is sure to please a large customer base, as getting a bunch of pellets going whilst you walk away and grab a beer with friends couldn’t be easier.

Once you’ve got your heat going too, it’s very easy to control exactly what temperature you want, and the accurate Dial-in digital control board with LED readout makes it super easy to see exactly what’s going on with your grill, and give you the information you need to get a fantastic sear on whatever you’re cooking, be that baking, searing, roasting, grilling, or even smoking.

Everything’s an option here.

The Grill

With 849 square inches of cooking space you’re going to easily be able to entertain multiple people that come over with ease, no more worrying about getting the food out in batches, you’ll easily be able to get multiple burgers on the same grill with a perfect sear, without having to worry about running out of space.

There’s also porcelain coated racks situated above the main grill for you to put cooked food on, so that they don’t go cold whilst you’re waiting for anything else to cook.

Extra Features

The 820 model comes with plenty of features like a slide plate flame broiler with an easy-access handle (more on this function later), a 2-in-1 stainless steel side shelf with removable tray, and a built-in spice rack attached to the 21lb. capacity pellet hopper.

There’s also a handy heat shield, that’s excellent for when you’re cooking delicate fish that would easily burn without a little extra help from the grill.

There’s even a bottle opener on the hopper for those especially hot summer days that call for a few cold ones, the perfect excuse!

Portability

With all these features, you’d imagine the 820 to be relatively heavy and difficult to move around, but actually the two wheels placed on one side of the grill allows for really easy movement, whether that be from one side of your yard to the other, or transporting it long distances, the weight of the grill is still there, but with some effort it’s easy to move your grill around whenever you’ll need to.

Pellet Hopper

With some grills, you can find that the pellet hopper is relatively annoying to use whenever, but with the 820 it really couldn’t be easier to use, simply pour in whatever pellets you’d like to use and that’s it!

You can even remove pellets from the hopper whilst they’re hot, which is something that’s often a bit of a pain with other grills, but not with this one!

Super easy, whilst still providing excellent results.

Overall let’s compile a quick list of the benefits that come with the 820:

  • Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
  • 849 square inches of cooking surface
  • Adjustable Flame Broiler Lever™ for direct and indirect heat cooking
  • Open flame searing up to 1,000° F
  • 8-In-1 cooking versatility – Grill, smoke, bake, roast, sear, braise, char-grill, and BBQ
  • One meat probe included
  • Fueled by 100% hardwood pellets
  • 21-pound hopper capacity
  • Stainless-steel bottle opener
  • Fan forced convection cooking
  • Folding front shelf
  • Removable stainless-steel side shelf
  • Solid bottom shelf
  • Solid legs with two inline-style wheels

Setup

Now that we’ve highlighted some of the great features of the Pit Boss 820, what’s the setup like for it? Well, it’s actually incredibly easy.

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master looking for a new grill to use, or even if you’re brand new to grills altogether, following the simple steps on the instruction manual that comes with the grill makes short work of setting up the 820.

Average setup time is only roughly 40 minutes, so if you really wanted to you could even set it up when you’ve got your guests over, it’s that simple!

Note that you’ve got to prime the grill before you add the pellets, this is relatively easy to do, but it’s really important for retaining the longevity of your grill, so make sure you follow this step!

Priming Your Grill

Hopper priming is a procedure that ensures your auger feed system and burn pot work correctly, this is why it’s an incredibly important step to take.

The auger feed system should be primed to allow the wood pellets to pass through the auger and fill the burn pot.

This helps ensure your igniter works properly and avoids timeouts before the pellets are ignited.

The hopper should be primed every time you get the grill and turn it on for the very first time, and each time your grill eventually runs out of pellets in the hopper while using it, this can be a bit of a pain, but making sure you prime your grill every time you need to is a great practice to get into, and will improve the effectiveness of your grill.

Simply:

  • Plug the Grill To A Power Source
  • Remove the Cooking Components of Your Grill
  • Turn on Your Grill
  • Add the Pellets Open the hopper lid and add your pellets. Now that the hopper is filled with wood pellets, turn your temperature dial to the smoke function.
  • Press the Prime Button, make sure to keep pressing the prime button until you see pellets start to fall into the fire pot.
  • Turn Off Your Grill, once you’ve finished priming, turn off your grill and reassemble the cooking components, including the iron cooking grates/grill grates. You could resume grilling again if you did this when you ran out of pellets.

Note that after each grilling session, it’s really useful to ensure to empty pellets and keep your unused pellets/leftover pellets in a secure device like a gallon bucket for next use.

This is going to help you to not run out of pellet supply easily.

Follow these easy steps and you’ll soon have your grill ready to go whenever you need it.

Ease Of Use

Some grills can be finicky, others can just be a downright pain to cook with, but the 820 really is an absolute pleasure to cook with, simply follow the steps above to prime your grill, fill it up with pellets which is super easy, and thanks to the auto-ignition it’s really easy from there.

Pellets are so much easier to cook with as you’re never going to have to get your hands dirty with charcoal or lighter fluid, and monitoring the temperature and cook of your grill can even be done with an app on your phone, so you can spend time with your friends, family, or just watch the game inside whilst your grill does all the work for you.

That same old pleasure of flipping burgers or roasting a big cut of meat is still there though, if you want you can go completely manual, and stand over your grill.

Or use some of the features to make your life easier, both options are available and completely fine!

Cleanup

Unlike other grills, regular cleanup isn’t actually required with the 820in order to prevent rust and other bad things from building up on your grill.

Simply giving everything a quick wipe down all over after each use will keep everything clean, and you can even leave any residue left behind on the grill until your next use, as anything stuck onto the grill will come off incredibly easily once it’s heated up again.

Just give it a rub down with any of your utensils, or if you’re dedicated to cleaning it after use, wiping it down with a bit of elbow grease will always work.

The grease bucket on the lower half of the grill is excellent for catching grease and any other gross bits that might fall off your grill, you can save a bit of extra cleaning by lining this with some foil or very thick plastic liner, and just throwing that in the garbage after use, but even if you don’t choose to do this, cleanup down here is super easy.

Durability

The Pit Boss 820 is actually built from 16 gauge steel, which means that it’s incredibly durable, and will last you many, many years, especially with the right care and treatment gone into it.

The denseness of the steel also means that heat retention is fantastic, so you can keep cooking for a really long time, and it really makes the grill feel stable, so you’re never worried about it riding away anywhere, it feels like a very sturdy and effective grill to handle.

On the other hand though, this steel is incredibly heavy, which can mean that moving the grill can sometimes prove to be a bit of a challenge.

A small complaint overall, especially considering the benefits of having a very heavy material, but movement does suffer due to the weight.

Warranty

With all of these different features, you’d be a bit crazy to not worry about anything being damaged during the lifespan of the grill, but actually Pit Boss has you covered there too, offering a limited 5 year warranty with the purchase of the Pit Boss 820.

This gives you the confidence that your grill won’t just fall apart and that’ll be all your money gone, instead you’re covered by Pit Boss, guaranteeing that you’ll see no real wear on your grill until at the very least 5 years.

It is important to know that the Pit Boss 820’s warranty is not applicable due to:

  • Accidents.
  • Modifications, adjustments, or repairs that were unauthorized.
  • Normal wear and tear.
  • Use of improper wood pellets.
  • Lack of necessary proper maintenance.

So be sure to be respectful of your grill, clean it fairly regularly, and don’t tinker with anything that could potentially damage it, and ruin your warranty.

Is It Worth It?

This is a difficult question, as it’s going to come down to who you are, and how much realistically you care about barbecue.

Regardless of these questions though, there are some concrete facts that we can say about the Pit Boss 820, which can help to influence your decision when it comes to purchasing one.

Pros Of The Pit Boss 820

  • Great heat control while cooking.
  • Auto-ignition and large pellet hopper.
  • Cost efficient considering all of its features and materials
  • Built-in bottom shelf and bottle opener.
  • Options for cooking directly or indirectly.
  • Stable and feels comfortable to cook on.
  • Large cooking space to cater for big crowds.
  • Tough porcelain coated cast iron grids.

Cons Of The Pit Boss 820

  • No prep space included with the grill
  • Requires a power outlet to function
  • Heavy and can be difficult to effectively move around
  • Wheels can be relatively unstable for moving such a heavy grill.

Overall Thoughts

Not everyone wants to happily spend lots of money on a grill, and that’s okay, considering the pricing of the grill at the time of writing this article, you’re actually getting a lot of bang for your buck, relative to the price.

So overall if you are looking for a simple, yet effective grill, that gets the job done and makes delicious food, whilst also being extremely easy to clean, then this could be the grill for you.

Sure, there’s better grills on the market, but in terms of price, function and size, this is an incredibly efficient grill for anyone that’s a big fan of barbecue.

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


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