If you’ve ever struggled to get briquettes to light, a pellet grill could be an ideal addition to your outdoor kitchen. The Pit Boss 820 Deluxe offers barbecue fans the chance for smoky barbecue flavor without the hassle of handling briquettes.
You simply plug in the unit, add pellets to the hopper, and let the auger feed the fire. This unit features an adjustable heat shield for direct and indirect cooking, so you can flame broil or use it as an oven!
SEE ALSO: Pellet Smoker Reviews
Features & Specifications
Official Pit Boss 820 Review Commercial Video:
To get the pellets to burn, they must be poured into the hopper so the mechanism can turn, feeding the pellets to the fire. Consistent working of the pellet auger is critical to a consistent heat source and reliable fire.
The condition of your pellets is critical. While barbecue pellets can’t become stale in the traditional sense, they may absorb moisture over time, which will limit their ability to burn at low temperatures. As possible, store your pellets in an airtight environment.
Hardwood pellets are expensive, but offer great flavor and a consistent burn. Cheaper pellets are available; however, cheap grilling pellets are loaded with fillers and will cause a nasty ash build-up in your grill.
Additionally, cheap pellets may shut down the auger. Home heating pellets are toxic and should not ever be used in a grill.
Check the date and age of your pellets. If they’ve been exposed to humidity, they may not ignite or hold at low temperatures. They should still work for high temperature cooking.
If the auger gets overloaded or can’t spin properly, the heat stick may time out. Follow the instructions in your manual for clearing the auger or re-dispersing the pellets. Never stick your hand near the auger!
Once your pellets are loaded and burning, you can control the heat of this grill with a simple dial.
The grill does feature a thermometer display in the lid of the grill which can help you determine the ambient temperature, but it’s important to use a good meat thermometer to confirm meat products have reached a safe temperature.
The 72820 features two racks, one for intense heat and one for indirect cooking or as a space to keep warm. Because you have the option to use this grill as a convection oven thanks to the fan, the upper grill rack can serve as a baking space with the right pans.
There’s plenty of baking space on the top rack. For pizza, you will need a pizza stone or pan to prevent the pizza from sagging down into the fire. With a cast iron griddle, you can use the baking space to bake many foods, including desserts.
Once the grill cools, you’ll need to remove the grates and vacuum the ash out of the bottom. Take care not to disturb the heat stick that lights the pellets, but do be sure to clear away any ash or pellets that linger near the auger.
The 72820 Pit Boss Pellet Grill Deluxe comes with trays that fit into the bracket at the right hand side of the grill.
These trays are great for transport, but you’ll need to do your prep work elsewhere; the food trays are stainless steel and aren’t a great space for cutting.
There is no flat space for prepping food at the left side of the grill; this is the hopper lid and must be kept clear so you can add more pellets if needed.
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Pros And Cons
- Dial-In Temperature
- Adjustable Heat Shield
- Easy To Access Hopper
- Built-In Bottle Opener And Bottom Shelf
- Hopper Challenges
- Wheel Placement
- Power Outlet Required
One of the frustrations for many who try to use briquettes is trying to determine the proper time to start cooking.
If you fight to light the briquettes, you may start your food too early when the fire does more incinerating than cooking, but if you wait too long cooking takes forever or never finishes.
The 72820 Deluxe Pellet Grill avoids this hassle with the temperature dial.
Adjustable Heat Shield
While flame-grilled steaks and burgers are delicious, many foods don’t tolerate direct exposure to fire. By adjust the heat shield, you can cook more delicate products indirectly while your steak sizzles.
Easy To Access Hopper
The pellet hopper is nice and high so adding pellets while the grill is working will keep you from bending near the flames. Always follow the manual instructions when working near an active auger or a hot grill.
Built-In Bottle Opener And Bottom Shelf
Grilling should be fun and relaxing, so kick back a little and enjoy! The bottom shelf serves a dual purpose. It may give you a spot to store a bin of grilling utensils or other necessary tools. Additionally, this shelf stabilizes your grill legs so moving the grill into position is safe and easy.
No Pit Boss 820 review would be complete without discussing the hopper challenges inherent in pellet grilling and some of the specific problems faced by those using a pellet grill.
Pellets are fed into the fire by an auger, and augers must turn and church the pellets to create a controlled burn.
If the auger is not functioning well or properly secured, fire delivery and thus heat will be erratic and the grill will not work properly.
Some users have found the plastic wheels to be insufficient for their needs, or felt they should be under the hopper and not the prep tray.
There is a sturdy handle at the hopper end that makes it easy to maneuver this grill as designed.
Many factors can impact the accuracy of the thermometer in the lid, including wind and humidity. Any time you’re handling raw meat, you need to use a quality meat thermometer with a probe to confirm a safe cooking temperature.
Of course this is an issue with all grills, not just the Pit Boss.
You will need to plug this unit in to power for the auger and heat source to work, so be prepared to run power out to your patio if you don’t have an outlet.
The 72820 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill gives those who love the taste and smell of woodsmoke a safe and convenient cooking option.
This grill gives backyard chefs a portable oven with smoking capabilities, and your pellet choice can expand your flavor options.
Assembly is quick, but you may need some help getting the grill onto the assembly area; the package is around 150 pounds. All hardware and parts are provided with your purchase. Review the packaging upon acceptance of the shipment as tears in the box could lead to a loss of small hardware.
By adjusting the heat shield, you can turn your pellet grill into a char-broiled steak production line or a pizza baking oven. Be sure to set up your grill in a spot with access to power, plenty of safety space around the grill to protect your home and other belongings, and enjoy!