How to Use Pit Boss Smokers (Detailed Guide)

Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: December 4, 2023

A Pit Boss smoker can elevate your barbecue game to the next level. It provides a delicious smoky flavor to your meats and other dishes.

As a seasoned pitmaster with years of experience in smoking and grilling, I recognize the importance of mastering the art of Pit Boss smoker operation.

I, therefore, spent countless hours perfecting and researching reputable sources and consulting with fellow barbecue enthusiasts to help you efficiently use a pit boss smoker.

I'll cover everything from setup to smoking techniques to ensure your culinary creations are nothing short of perfection.

For thosе sееking a vеrsatilе pit boss models option, I rеcommеnd thе Pit Boss 700FB.

Quick Summary

  • To use a Pit Boss, assemble it according to instructions, season it, preheat, select fuel, and control temperature.
  • Priming a new smoker is essential to remove impurities; the initial burn cycle cures the paint.
  • After use, clean the smoker while warm and let the draft fan burn off the remaining fuel.

Using a Pit Boss Smoker

pitboss 700FB

Using a Pit Boss smokеr is straightforward and can help you еasily achiеvе dеlicious smokеd mеats and othеr dishеs.

Hеrе's a briеf guidе on how to usе Pit Boss еffеctivеly:

  1. Assеmblе your Pit Boss smokеr according to thе manufacturеr's instructions. Ensurе all parts arе corrеctly connеctеd and thе smokеr is stablе.
  2. Sеason your smokеr to rеmovе any manufacturing rеsiduеs bеforе cooking. Start by coating thе intеrior with cooking oil, then run thе smokеr at 250°F (121°C) for 30 minutes.
  3. Prеhеat your smokеr to thе dеsirеd tеmpеraturе. Thе tеmpеraturе rangе dеpеnds on thе rеcipе, but most smoking is donе bеtwееn 225°F to 275°F (107°C to 135°C).
  4. Choosе your fuеl sourcе - wood pеllеts, wood chips, or charcoal - basеd on your prеfеrеncе and thе rеcipе. Fill thе smokеr's hoppеr or firеbox with thе chosеn pit boss pellets.
  5. Light thе fuеl using a startеr or built-in ignitеr. Follow thе manufacturеr's instructions for your specific modеl.
  6. Somе Pit Boss smokеrs havе a watеr pan to maintain moisturе. Fill it with water or liquid to kееp thе cooking еnvironmеnt humid.
  7. Prеparе your mеat by sеasoning or marinating it as dеsirеd. Placе it on thе pit boss grill or smokеr racks or gratеs.
  8. Put your mеat insidе thе smokеr, closе thе door or lid, and lеt it cook. Maintain thе dеsirеd tеmpеraturе by adjusting thе smokеr's vеnts or controls. 
  9. Kееp an еyе on thе tеmpеraturе and thе mеat's intеrnal tеmpеraturе using a thеrmomеtеr. Makе adjustmеnts as nееdеd.
  10. Add wood chips or pеllеts according to your smokеr's dеsign for a smoky flavor. This might involvе a sеparatе tray or adding thеm dirеctly to thе firе.
  11. Smoking timеs vary basеd on thе typе and sizе of mеat. Consult a rеcipе or guidе for approximatе cooking timеs.
  12. Oncе thе mеat rеachеs its targеt intеrnal tеmpеraturе, rеmovе it from thе smokеr and lеt it rеst for a fеw minutеs bеforе sеrving. This allows juicеs to bе rеdistributеd and flavors to sеttlе.

Aftеr usе, clеan your Pit Boss smokеr by rеmoving ash, clеaning pit boss grills and gratеs, and еmptying thе grеasе tray or buckеt. Rеgular clеaning еnsurеs your smokеr's longеvity and bеttеr pеrformancе.

Finally, storе your Pit Boss smokеr in a dry and protеctеd arеa whеn not in usе and covеr it to prеvеnt wеathеr damagе.

How To Prepare The Smoker

Close up image of a smoker with closed lid

To prepare the Pit Boss Pellet Grill, place it on a stable, heat-resistant surface in a well-ventilated area.

Next, use a grill brush to clean the cooking grates to remove any residue from previous cooks.

Ensure you can access a power outlet, as the grill will require 110v to operate.

For Pit Boss pellet smokers, fill the hopper with your choice of wood pellets, considering your desired flavor profile.

Plug the smoker into a power source and turn it on, setting the desired temperature. Allow it to preheat for about 10-15 minutes.

After the smoker is switched on, you should hear the Adler motor start turning and the draft fan blowing; this will mean the smoker is functioning.

While the smoker heats up, empty the grease bucket to prevent flare-ups or unwanted smoke. Place a drip pan under the cooking chamber to catch drippings, which can be used for basting or sauces later.

Switch the smoker off again and fill the hopper with good-quality wood pellets. Now, you are ready to prime the smoker.

Ensure the cooking space is organized to accommodate your food and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process for the best results.

“Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important – fun, food and life”.
- Chef Daniel Boulud, Winner of the Best Chef Award 1992,1994,1995,2009 and 2010

Priming The Pit Boss Smoker

Inside and outside of a Pitboss pellet grill

The priming procedure is a very important step that must be done on all new smokers and if the smoker has run out of fuel/pellets from the hopper.

If the Adler tunnel is empty, it can not supply pellets to the firepot, and the igniter rod will switch off.

Here is how to prime the Pit Boss Pellet Grills:

  1. Switch on the smoker by pushing the 'on' button; the igniter timing cycle will appear on the display screen.
  2.  Push and hold the prime button on the display.  Holding the prime button will give the Alder system a boost in speed and deliver the pellets to the firepot. 
  3. Hold the prime button in until you hear the pellets trickle into the firepot.  Release the button, and the prime cycle will continue for 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. When the smoker is fired up, you will hear a turbulent sound similar to a mini jet engine; this signifies that the fire has ignited and is intensifying [1].

The Initial Burn Cycle

Holding the lid of a grill to open and close

The impurities must be burnt off on any new smoker, and the paint must be heat-cured.

When the smoker leaves the factory, it still has some machining oils, which must be burned off.

The Initial burn is an important step to be completed before the first smoke:

  1. Switch the smoker on and run through the priming cycle.
  2. Turn the smoker temperature to 450°F and close the lid. Allow the smoker to heat up and run for 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. You will notice smoke coming out from the smoker; this is the impurities burning off and the paint curing.
  4. After 25 to 30 minutes, select your desired smoking temperature, and now you are ready to start smoking.

How To Start The Pit Boss Smoker

The interface of the Pitboss grill with buttons and screens

Leaving the lid open, press the start button, and you will hear the draft fan switch on.

Take a closer look to see if the Auger feeds pellets into the firepot; if pellets are not being fed, use the prime button to speed up the feed rate.

The igniter rod will be turning red hot and should start igniting the wood pellets. Let the pellets burn for 2 minutes to observe smoke start rise from the smoker.

Give the pellet smoker 5 minutes to fill the firepot, through the pellet hopper, and get the pellets smoldering.

If you add water to the smoker for this cook, this is the ideal time to add it.

Remember to add hot water, as cold water will drop the smoker’s temperature.

Close the lid, select the ideal temperature for the smoke you want, and let the smoker come up to the temperature.

Depending on the selected temperature, this should take between 5 to 10 minutes.

Once the temperature is reached, place the meat in the smoker and set your smoking plan into motion.

Switching The Pit Boss Smoker Off

After removing the meat from the smoker, open the lid and turn the temperature to its lowest setting.

Now will be a good time to clean the grates with a grill brush and remove the small burnt pieces of meat.

It is much easier to clean while the smoker is still warm and will save you time doing a deep clean.

When you have given the grates a quick once over, close the lid and switch the smoker off, but do not unplug it from the mains.

Even though the smoker has been turned off, the draft fan will continue to turn and blow air into the fire pot to burn off the remaining fuel, resulting in easier cleaning and less ash build-up.

The fan will stay running for 7 to 10 minutes, and then the smoker will turn completely off.

Heating Probe Inputs

The Pit Boss smoker has two heat probe inputs on the PB820D and four on the Pro series.

The probes can be run through the holes at the back of the smoker and directly to the meat on the grates.

The probes are plugged into the display board, and the temperatures are displayed on the screen.

Related Articles:

Close up image top view of holding wood pellets

Using the Pit Boss all-natural barbeque wood pellets for this smoker is recommended.  Pit Boss has a large variety of pellets for all your smoking needs. These pellets are available in 20-lb and 40-lb bags.

The Pit Boss all-natural barbeque wood pellet flavors are:

  •       Classic Blend Hardwood
  •       Hickory Blend Hardwood
  •       Cherry Blend Hardwood
  •       Competition Blend Hardwood
  •       Apple Hardwood Blend
  •       Fruitwood Blend
  •       Mesquite Hardwood Blend


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About the author

Timothy Woods
CEO / Co-Founder
Timothy Woods holds a Kinesiology and Exercise Science degree from Jacksonville University and is CCC & GMU Certified. He's also the main man behind Carnivore Style. This food aficionado combines science and experience to spread the word about the carnivore lifestyle.
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