Should You Buy The Pit Boss Austin XL? Our Review

If you are a fan of grilling or have spent a lot of time hosting BBQs, you will know the name of Pit Boss.

This brand has made a name for itself in creating stellar pellet grills that cost barely anything in comparison to other comparative models from other brands. In terms of popularity, the Austin XL grill remains at the top of their product list.

This is a pretty beefy grill, providing users with a huge amount of space to cook – almost 1000 square inches, to be exact. Smoking isn’t the only thing that you can do either – you can also enjoy the delights of flame grilling your food.

It’s one of those rare smokers that will give you pretty much everything you need for a successful BBQ. Just set this bad boy up and enjoy the delicious food in the aftermath, with barely any effort required the whole time.

This grill is super affordable though, so one thing that you may be asking yourself is whether this grill is worth the hype – is it actually decent? Thankfully, we’ve got the answer to that burning question and more.

We’ve covered our times with this smoker, the specifications that it boasts and the opinions of other people in order to give you a well rounded review to help you to figure out whether this is a grill that you should be investing in.

What To Expect From This Pellet Smoker

Construction

  • Lots of cooking space
  • Huge pellet hopper
  • Cooking grates coated in porcelain
  • Powder coated steel bod that’s very durable

Usability

  • Comes with a fully functional LED control panel
  • Lots of temperature options available so users can flame and grill their food
  • Auto start and stop
  • Pellet purge system will automatically get rid of any unused pellets with minimal effort
  • Heat regulation system that you can trust

Additional Features

  • A meat probe
  • Sear plate that slides out if you want to grill on open flames
  • Side shelf with serving tray
  • 5 year warranty

Our Thorough Review of the Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Smoker

How It’s Made

First of all, we need to address the super impeccable construction of this BBQ grill. For such an affordable grill, it’s pretty impressive in this respect.

It features a powder coated steel design which is sleek and attractive looking. Every part of it feels durable and there aren’t any parts that fit badly together. You’re unlikely to see lots of smoke leaking out of this grill, which is always a bonus.

The grill features porcelain coated cooking racks, and these are both sturdy and super simple to clean – ideal after long cooking sessions where extensive dish washing is the last thing on your mind.

We especially like the stainless steel serving tray that you can remove as needed – it’s one of those bonus features that we always look for in a grill, and we were happy to see it here.

How It Smokes

Of course, it’s not the construction that you care about above all else. Sure, a good construction is important, but what matters most is the smoking performance. Thankfully, you’ll get something truly special in terms of performance from your Pit Boss Austin XL Smoker.

With this smoker, you can choose from a wide range of temperatures so you can do a lot with it – you can cook on low temperature for longer time periods, sear your meats, bake things, roast things and if you fancy a pizza then you can even cook one on this grill. You will get a tremendous 1,000 (almost!) square inches worth of cooking space.

That’s the equivalent of 52 burgers, ideal for huge family cookouts! It’s perfect if you are a fan of entertaining the entire street.

There are two removable racks inside of the grill, and this is where you will put the food. You won’t need to worry about the heat escaping either because of the convection fans, so it’s toasty and warm both on the top and bottom shelf.

Unfortunately you aren’t going to get WiFi compatibility with this grill because of the price range on it, but you will get auto start and stop functionality. In addition to this, there’s also a 31 pound hopper and the temperature is well regulated, so you can feel confident in allowing it to work its magic while you sit and relax. 

One thing that you aren’t going to get from this smoker is 24 hours of smoking completely interrupted. It’s a bit of a bummer, but you are going to get 12-14 hours out of it thanks to the large hopper, so long as the weather is good.

The efficiency of the hopper will largely depend on the weather conditions – this is a pretty common thing with pellet smokers.

The temperature accuracy is very dependable on this grill, and you can ensure that the temperature is well regulated by using the V3 Digital Control Board. This works well even when it’s cool outside too! 

The Grilling Experience

The grilling experience is important when you’re getting a new smoker, and you are going to get something truly special with this model. The grill functions as a grill, sure, but you can also grill over open flames which is something really worth praising.

It’s simple to do – slide out the broiler plate and you have a roaring wood fire right below. This is ideal for searing and getting even more flavor into your meats.

Not every pellet smoker offers this feature either. It’s pretty convenient if you don’t want to get a separate grill for your burgers in the middle of the week when you have a hankering for one.

Additional Features

We always love a couple of extra features with our grills. Thankfully that’s something that you are going to get with this offering. With the Austin XL you’re going to get 2 meat probes for free, which is handy when you need to check your meat.

The internal meat thermometer will tell you how hot your meat is and will also tell you the temperature of the cooking chamber. It’s pretty handy, and definitely a welcome addition.

The Cleaning Process

Nobody likes cleaning their grill after they’re finished with their amazing food, but it has to be done! That’s why we all appreciate a grill with a simple cleaning process.

Thankfully that is something that you will get with the Pit Boss Austin XL. The pellet clean out door is useful as it makes it simple to open it up and then empty the hopper. This will allow you to store the remaining pellets in the correct manner to prevent them from being damaged by moisture.

There is one issue – if you want to clean out the firepot after you are done then you are going to need to use a shop vac in order to do it. This involves taking out the center grate and the cover, then you’re going to need to use a vacuum to remove the ash when it’s turned cold.

You may struggle to get a flame going in your next use if you don’t do this. It takes very little time to do this, but it can still be quite annoying to deal with. If this is a dealbreaker for you though, there are a lot of other smokers that you can get with much more effective cleaning systems.

Pros

  • A huge cooking capacity that’s ideal for feeding large groups of people – it’s especially good for families to get together during Thanksgiving if you want a space to cook your turkey! 
  • Well made smoker that’s a high quality considering the price
  • Can be used for many hours without adding pellets thanks to the large hopper capacity
  • Large range of temperatures, allowing you to cook in all sorts of different ways – roasting, grilling, baking and smoking. It’s very versatile
  • Pellet clean out system
  • Digital controller that helps you to get and stay at the temperature that you want
  • You can use it to cook over open flames thanks to the slide out sear plate
  • Comes with 2 meat probes that will show the temperature on the LCD panel
  • 5 year warranty
  • Auto stop and start functionality

Cons

  • The lack of WiFi functionality may be a problem for some people
  • The ash is going to need to be cleaned out manually after you have used it every time. You’ll need to use a shop vac to do this

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this grill come with WiFi?

Unfortunately not. Instead, the grill features an automatic start feature and this allows you to turn it on at a temperature of your choosing each time you start it off.

It is not possible to set the temperature from a distance using WiFi. The auto stop feature may help to minimize the inconvenience of this.

Are these grills worth the money?

As far as grills go, you won’t find many manufacturers that are more popular than Pit Boss. Pit Boss has a huge variety of different grills that are good in terms of the price.

They don’t always come with the sheer range of additional features that you may get from brands that cost a lot more money, but they are a great choice if you want an affordable grill for smoking and pretty much anything else in between. In short, they are a great choice.

How long can I use my grill for smoking?

This can vary based on the temperature that you are planning on cooking at. If you are cooking at a higher temperature then you won’t be able to cook as long since your grill will need to use more pellets in a shorter period of time.

In most cases though, if you have a completely stocked 31 pound hopper in your Austin XL, then this should realistically last for roughly 12-14 hours when cooking at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

How does the hopper empty?

You just need to use the pellet clean-out door to remove the pellets that you haven’t used from the hopper.

It’s simple and allows you to save your pellets again for another use.

Is it possible to grill on this BBQ?

Thankfully, yet. You are able to grill on this BBQ thanks to the 500 degrees Fahrenheit max temperature.

It’s possible to sear food directly over open flame too thanks to the slide out sear plate if that is something that you wish to do.