Having temperature problems with your Pit Boss Pellet Grill?
We'll show you TWO simple solutions to help improve the temperature accuracy and uneven distribution of heat across the cooking surface.
While Pit Boss pellet grills are convenient and easy to use compared to charcoal or offset wood burning smokers, they do have some cons.
With our Pit Boss 1150 Pro, we noticed two major issues related to temperature:
- Temperature accuracy
- Uneven distribution of heat over the cooking surface
We will take you through the causes of and solutions to both of these Pit Boss temperature problems.
In searching for solutions to these temperature problems, we found the company Smokes Like a Boss. They have developed two products to combat these temperature issues.
Please note, Mad Backyard has no affiliation with Smokes Like a Boss and receives no commission from product sales. We just like the products and want to share!
We'll also provide an inexpensive alternative to each product that some of our YouTube viewers have suggested.
Rather WATCH than read? Check out our YouTube video that accompanies this article.
Problem #1: Temperature Accuracy
Using a probe thermometer, we realized that the temperature the Pit Boss DISPLAYED was different than the ACTUAL ambient temperature inside the grill.
The way the Pit Boss measures temperature is with a temperature probe located on the left side of the cooking chamber.
Based on the temperature that this probe measures, the Pit Boss will determine how many pellets to feed into the auger to create more or less heat, and it adjusts the fan speed based on the temperature reading.
Heat is created in a Pit Boss by pellets being burned in the firepot.
The heat rises up out of the firepot and comes around the flame broiler plate to create ambient heat in the cooking chamber.
In theory, this would generate a nice, even heat throughout the inside of the Pit Boss.
In reality, this is not always what happens.
If you remove the flame broiler, you'll notice that it is curved, while the left ledge it rests on is flat.
A curved edge resting on a flat ledge makes a gap through which hot air from the firepot can travel up and blow right at the temperature probe.
This causes the Pit Boss thermometer to read hotter than the actual ambient temperature inside the cooking chamber, causing the grill to down regulate the amount of pellets it feeds to the firepot.
Let's say you have your Pit Boss set to 250°F.
The hot air from the firepot blows at the thermometer to make it think it's at 250°F when in actuality the ambient temperature is only 225°F.
So what can we do?
Solution #1: Heat Deflector
The Heat Deflector is a fabricated piece of stainless steel with a flat bottom and a curved top. It rests on top of the ledge on the left of the cooking chamber to block the gap between the flame broiler and the ledge on which it rests.
Adding this modification to our Pit Boss helped solve our temperature accuracy issue.
Before inserting this piece, you can see that our Pit Boss was measuring 251°F, but the ambient temperature, which we measured with a probe thermometer, was only 226°F.
This is about a 25° difference in the actual temperature from the temperature reading on the Pit Boss.
After installing the heat deflector, our Pit Boss was reading 244°F and the ambient air temperature also measured 244°F!
If you have noticed that your Pit Boss temperature is lower than the setting, this modification may help correct it.
A hidden bonus of using the heat deflector is that it also blocks some ash that the fan can push up into the cooking chamber.
While we have the heat deflector from Smokes Like a Boss, we located another version that is less expensive but has great reviews.
Some of our viewers suggested using a piece of balled up aluminum foil to block the air flow. This may be worth a try to see if it makes a difference.
Problem #2: Uneven Temperatures across the Grill Grates
In Pit Boss models that have the DIRECT HEAT option, you may notice that the center of the grill above the firepot gets hotter than the sides of the grill, even when the flame broiler is closed.
This is because with the adjustable flame broiler plate, there is just a thin piece of metal separating the cooking grates from the firepot in the center of the cooking surface.
For that reason, we sought a solution to even out the temperature of our Pit Boss cooking surface.
Solution #2: Flame Tamer
The Flame Tamer is a fabricated piece of stainless steel that fits right over the firepot.
You can turn it either way to have the gaps facing the front/back or the sides depending on your particular grill.
The flame tamer is another layer of metal that acts as a diffuser for the heat coming up from the firepot to give us a more even temperature across the cooking grates.
It is removable, so if you're doing steaks or hamburgers where you want high heat, you can move it out of the way and still be able to get the direct heat option that makes some models of Pit Boss unique versus other pellet grills.
We have the original flame tamer, but Smokes Like a Boss now offers a 3-window unit and a 4-window unit in addition to the original model to provide more options for your specific needs.
As you can see, before we added the Flame Tamer, the Pit Boss temperature reading was 226°F; however, the temperature right above the firepot, even with the flame broiler plate closed, was 255°F.
After adding the flame tamer, the temperature of the Pit Boss was reading 230°F and the temperature above the firepot was 228°F, so they basically match!
If you have noticed that your Pit Boss temperature right above the fire pot is higher than the setting, this modification may help even it out.
While we have the flame tamer from Smokes Like a Boss, we also found this version that appears to work similarly.
Like the aluminum foil hack solution for Problem #1, viewers have suggested using heavy duty aluminum foil on top of the flame broiler to help even out the temperature across the cooking surface.
We do feel the need to point out that Pit Boss does NOT recommend placing aluminum foil on top of the flame broiler, as it gets extremely hot and the foil can adhere to the flame broiler.
In summary, we have found that adding these two modifications to our Pit Boss greatly improved our temperature issues.
If you are experiencing Pit Boss temperature swings, these mods may be the solution.
If you need help assembling your new Pit Boss, visit our YouTube Channel for a complete step-by-step assembly video.