As we enjoy the summer season, our minds wander to weekend barbecues with loved ones on the backyard deck. Pellet grills have revolutionized the grilling experience, making it accessible to anyone, regardless of their level of expertise. With our extensive knowledge of pellet grills, we decided to put the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill to the test.
Do You Have What It Takes?
One notable difference between pellet grills and other types of grills is the need for a power source. The controller requires electricity to operate the auger, control the screen, and enable WiFi connectivity (for models with this feature). If you’re accustomed to using gas or charcoal grills, this is something to consider.
8-in-1 Cooking Versatility
The PB1100SP offers remarkable cooking versatility, with the ability to grill, smoke, roast, broil, sear, braise, char-grill, and barbecue all in one device.
To begin, simply power on the grill and set the temperature to “smoke” with the lid open. Allow the grill to auto-ignite for approximately 10 minutes (it’s ready when the white smoke dissipates), then close the lid and set your desired cooking temperature.
The dial-in digital control pad works alongside two wired meat probes, enabling you to monitor the doneness of your meat. Having two probes is particularly useful when cooking multiple cuts of meat. For example, you can insert a probe into the smallest and largest pieces of chicken to ensure the entire flock is perfectly cooked.
Unique to the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 is its Flame Broiler Lever, which opens a series of sliding vents in the middle of the thermal plate. This feature provides instant direct heat for quick searing at temperatures up to 1000°F, or indirect heat ranging from 180°F to 500°F. Adjusting cooking temperatures and monitoring fuel levels is hassle-free, thanks to the intuitive controls. Simply set it and let the Sportsman do the rest.
Taste the Flavor
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 infuses a subtle smoky flavor into your food, enhancing the taste without overpowering it. For a more pronounced smoky barbecue flavor, set the temperature knob to the “smoked” setting. This will regulate the feeding of pellets based on your selected “P” setting (with P4 being the default). Each setting controls the duration of the pellet feed auger as follows:
- P0: 18 seconds on, 55 seconds off
- P1: 18 seconds on, 70 seconds off
- P2: 18 seconds on, 85 seconds off
- P3: 18 seconds on, 100 seconds off
- P4: 18 seconds on, 115 seconds off
- P5: 18 seconds on, 130 seconds off
- P6: 18 seconds on, 140 seconds off
- P7: 18 seconds on, 150 seconds off
Keep in mind that higher “P” settings result in lower cooking temperatures. Environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, and humidity may affect pellet consumption, so some experimentation might be necessary to achieve the desired temperature.
Additionally, the computerized control system dynamically adjusts pellet feed rates based on the chosen temperature setting. The hotter you cook, the less smoke you’ll get.
Pro Tip: Craving a smoky flavor at higher cooking temperatures? Allow the meat to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, then increase the heat until it reaches your desired internal doneness.
Abundant Cooking Space
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 offers a generous 1610 square inches of cooking space. The primary cooking area consists of three grids measuring 35 x 19 inches. Additionally, there is an upper tray measuring 33 x 11 inches and a stainless steel jerky tray measuring 32 x 14 inches.
With this ample space, you can comfortably accommodate three whole turkeys for a Thanksgiving feast. For baby back ribs, you can fit 8-10 rows, using a full row on the bottom and a half row on top. The bottom grill can hold approximately 35 burgers or 15-18 ribeye steaks. In short, whether hosting a sizable gathering or feeding a group of hungry teenagers, this grill has you covered.
All Geared Up
Equipped with a 30-pound hopper, the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 allows for longer cooking sessions without the need for frequent pellet refills. Plus, the convenient side window lets you keep an eye on the pellet level. To make cleanup hassle-free, the grill features a pellet clean-out chute, ensuring easy removal of any remaining pellets between cooking sessions. If you store pellets outdoors, be sure to use an airtight container to maintain their quality.
The pellet consumption of your grill can vary depending on several factors. While Pit Boss did not provide specific numbers, at a temperature of 225°F, we burned approximately 1 pound of pellets per hour. Remember, the hotter you cook, the faster the pellets will be consumed.
It’s worth noting that the average person typically uses about six bags of pellets per year. Premium hardwood pellets, which cost between $15 and $20 per bag, are highly recommended. Cheaper alternatives may contain fillers and binders that produce unpleasant odors, burn inefficiently, and leave excessive residue on the grill.
Ample Storage Space
When it comes to organizing sauces, seasonings, grilling tools, trays, and plates, having designated storage space is essential. The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 features a sturdy bottom tray perfect for storing your pellet bucket. Additionally, it boasts a convenient side shelf with a removable tray. The tray’s perforations enable you to line it with foil, providing a convenient resting spot for your meat before transferring it to the cutting or serving area.
Making the Switch to the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill
You’ll want to season your grill before using it for the first time, which takes approximately an hour. The seasoning process serves as an introduction to the grill’s functionality, acting as a helpful tutorial.
Unlike traditional wood-fired smokers that require constant attention, the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 simplifies the process of cooking low and slow. Fill the hopper with pellets, bring the grill to the desired temperature, and let it work its magic. The computerized temperature control system eliminates the need for constant monitoring.
After a long day at work or a good night’s sleep, you can rest assured that your food will be perfectly cooked and incredibly delicious. However, accidents can happen, so it’s crucial to set up the grill in an open outdoor area for times when you’ll be away. After all, nobody wants to star in the next Farmer’s Insurance commercial.
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
- Stainless steel bottle opener
Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill Prices and Warranty
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 is available at your local Pit Boss retailer for $799, accompanied by a 5-year warranty. The package includes the grill itself, two wired meat probes, a stainless steel jerky rack, a spice rack, a removable side tray, and a fold-out front tray.
To express gratitude towards First Responders and Military members, Pit Boss offers a 25% HERO discount. Details on eligibility and instructions can be found here.
The Bottom Line
If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a pellet grill yet, the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 is a game-changer. It will transform your grilling and smoking endeavors, exceeding your expectations with exceptional food quality and restaurant-level grilling performance. With its spacious cooking area, hosting large gatherings becomes a breeze.
Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill Specifications
- Model: Pit Boss PB1100SP
- Power supply: 120V AC
- Total Cooking Space: 1610 sq. inches
- Pellet Hopper Capacity: 30 lbs.
- Maximum Pellet Cooking Temperature: 500°F
- Maximum flame searing temperature: 1000°F
- 8-in-1 multi-function cooking
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $799