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Pit Boss Austin XL Review: Is It Any Good?

by Burning Brisket
Pit Boss Austin XL Review

Pit Boss have built their reputation around selling quality pellet grills that provide exceptional value for money. And, the Austin XL is one of their most popular in a long line of choices.

Giving you almost 1,000 square inches to not only smoke, but also flame grill, the Pit Boss Austin XL is a true set and forget smoker that’s set up for anyone and everyone to reap the mouthwatering results of wood smoked perfection, effortlessly, every single time.

But, with it’s surprisingly low price, it’s reasonable to wonder if Pit Boss is actually any good. So, in this Pit Boss Austin XL review, we’ve put our experience, the specs and other user reviews together to give you the 411 on this best-selling pellet smoker to see if it’s right for you.

Features of the Pit Boss Austin XL Pellet Smoker

Construction:

  • Heavy-duty powder-coated steel body
  • Porcelain-coated steel cooking grates
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Super-sized pellet hopper

Ease of use:

  • Full-function LED control panel
  • Auto start and stop
  • Pellet purge system allows easy emptying of unused pellets
  • Wide temperature range to suit smoking and grilling
  • Reliable heat regulation

Included extras:

  • Slide out sear plate for open flame grilling
  • 1 meat probe
  • Stainless side shelf with removable serving tray
  • Industry-leading 5 year warranty

In-Depth Review of the Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Smoker

Construction

When we first saw the Pit Boss Austin XL, we were impressed with the high quality of this affordable smoker. The powder-coated steel design looks sharp, it’s got a sturdy feel, and, it fits together well, giving it a seal that’s not just going to leak smoke.

The porcelain-coated cooking racks one of our preferred types because they’re so durable and easy to clean. And, the removable stainless steel serving tray is a nice touch.

Smoking Performance

But, the performance of the Pit Boss Austin XL is what’s really impressive. With a wide temperature range, this thing can do low and slow, it can sear over an open flame, it can bake, roast, and even wood fire a pizza. The almost 1,000 square inches (52 burgers worth) of cooking space is ideal for large families, people who like to entertain, or have lots of leftovers like us!

The cooking space is split over two removable racks, one above another. But, thanks to the convection fans, the heat is kept pretty uniform inside so the top rack’s as good as the bottom when it comes to smoking space.

How does the Pit Boss Austin XL work

As is to be expected for a pellet grill of this size in this price range, the Austin XL doesn’t come with WiFi. But, it’s auto start and stop feature, coupled with the massive 31 pound pellet hopper and reliable temperature regulation mean that you can feel confident setting it up and leaving it to do it’s thing.

Unlike Pit Boss’s vertical pellet smoker models, don’t expect 24 hours of uninterrupted smoke time out of this hopper. But, holding 31 pounds, 12-14 hours at 225°F in normal weather conditions is doable. As with all pellet smokers, pellet use can vary a lot depending on the conditions though.

In terms of temperature accuracy, the Pit Boss Austin XL is reliable. The V3 Digital Control Board does a good job of maintaining your set temperature, even in cooler weather conditions.

Grilling on the Pit Boss Austin

But, what’s extra worthwhile about the Pit Boss Austin XL (and all of Pit Boss’s pellet grills), is that they not only high-heat grill, but you can grill over open flame too! Simply sliding the broiler plate over gives you direct access to the 100% wood fire for a better sear and better flavor. We friggin’ love this feature!

It’s not something you get with every pellet smoker but means you don’t need to have a separate grill to cook up a quick mid-week burger.

Included Extras

Because extras are always appreciated, it’s worth mentioning that the Austin XL comes with 2 meat probes. These let you can keep a good eye on exactly how your meat is going. The internal meat temperature is then reported on the LCD screen alongside the cooking chamber temperature.

Cleaning the Pit Boss Austin XL

Once you’re done cooking, the Pit Boss Austin XL does have a good pellet clean out door. It works well and makes it easy to empty the hopper so you can store your pellets properly to prevent them from absorbing moisture.

The only real complaint we have with the Pit Boss Austin XL is that you’re meant to use a shop vac to clean out the firepot after each use. To do that you’ve got to remove the center grate and it’s cover and vacuum the ash out ONCE IT’S COLD. If you don’t, you’re more likely to get a flame out. It really doesn’t take that long. But, if it’s something that’s going to bother you, check out the Camp Chef XXL Pellet Smoker that’s got a super simple ash clean out system instead.

Pros of the Pit Boss Austin XL:

  • High quality, well built smoker for this price range
  • Large cooking capacity gives you the extra space you need for entertaining or doing Thanksgiving turkey
  • Large pellet hopper allows for long cook times without having to add more pellets
  • Wide temperature range gives you the versatility to smoke, bake, roast and grill practically anything
  • Slide out sear plate lets you grill over the open flame
  • Digital controller accurately reaches target temperature and reliably keeps it there
  • Auto start and stop feature means you can keep sleeping even if 2am starts are required
  • Pellet clean out system
  • Price includes 2 meat probes that display temperature on the LCD panel
  • Industry leading 5 year warranty

Cons of the Pit Boss Austin XL:

  • You need to manually clean out the ash after each use using a shop vac (check out the Camp Chef XXL if you don’t want to do that)
  • No WiFi might be a downside for some
Pit Boss Austin XL Open

Specs for the Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Grill

Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 930 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 31 lbs

Heat range: 150 – 500 F

Fuel type: Wood pellet

Price guide: $$$

Model: PB1000XLW1

Dimensions: 62.4″(W) x 25.8″(D) x 28.23″(H)

Weight: 181 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

FAQs About the Pit Boss Austin XL Pellet Grill

Q. Does the Pit Boss Austin XL have WiFi?

No. The automatic start feature allows you to set the unit to turn on at a particular temperature but there’s no way to remotely change the temperature. You can, however, set it to turn off as well.

Q. Are Pit Boss pellet grills any good?

Pit Boss are one of most popular manufacturers of pellet grills. Their wide range of barbecues are known to be great value for money and while they generally don’t have all the bells and whistles that some more expensive brands do, they’re a solid option for simple wood pellet smoking and grilling.

Q. How long can you smoke on the Pit Boss Austin XL?

It depends hugely on how hot you’re cooking. As a general guide, a full 31 pound pellet hopper should last about 12-14 hours at 225°F.

Q. How do you empty the hopper on the Pit Boss Austin?

There’s an easy to use pellet clean-out door that effectively removes all of the unused pellets. No shop vacuum required.

Q. Can you grill on the Pit Boss Austin XL?

Yes. The Pit Boss Austin XL max’s out at 500°F which is hot enough for grilling. But, there’s also the option to use the slide out sear plate feature to sear directly over the wood pellet fire for higher heat and more flavor.

Our Verdict on the Pit Boss Austin XL Review

Pit Boss have helped to make pellet smoking affordable. And, there’s no denying, that the Austin XL pellet smoker is simply great value for money.

A solid build with a wide temperature range, huge capacity and the ability to grill over the open flame, it ticks a lot of boxes! And, with a 5 year warranty, you can’t go too wrong with this choice.

Ideal for anyone who’s happy with basic features that are done well, the Pit Boss Austin XL is versatile, reliable and easy to use.

To compare the Pit Boss Austin with some alternatives, read our review of the best pellet smokers. There’s some big and budget-friendly options in there too.

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