Grill Like A Pro This Season With The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill
As we enjoy the summer, our minds turn to weekend barbecues out on the back deck with the family. The emergence of the pellet grill has opened the flood gate and made quality homemade bbq accessible to folks at nearly any level of experience. Around here, we’re no stranger to pellet grills so we the Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill to the test.
Using The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill
One thing that’s very different with a pellet grill is the need for access to power. The controller needs power to run the auger, control screen, and WiFi (for models that have it). That’s something you need to consider if you’re coming from the world of gas and charcoal grills.
8-in-1 Cooking Versatility
The PB1100SP offers 8-in-1 cooking versatility, allowing you to grill, smoke, bake, roast, sear, braise, char-grill, and BBQ all in one.
Start by turning the power on and setting the temperature to “Smoke” with the lid open. Give the grill about 10 minutes to automatically ignite (it’s ready when the white smoke is gone), close the lid, and then set the temperature you want to cook at.
The dial-in digital control board works in tandem with the two wired meat probes so you can monitor meat doneness. Having two probes is a nice luxury when you’re cooking more than one piece of meat. Even if you have a bunch of chickens cooking, put one probe in the smallest and one in the largest to keep the entire flock in check.
Unique to Pit Boss is their Flame Broiler Lever that opens a series of sliding vents in the middle of the heat deflector. It gives you instant direct heat over the fire pot for quick searing up to 1000°F or indirect heat ranging from 180° to 500°F.
It also lets you quickly adjust cooking temperatures and track fuel without having to open the lid. Just set it, forget it, and let the Sportsman do the work for you.
Savor The Flavor
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 produces a subtle smoke flavor that’s very enjoyable but not overpowering. When you want a true smokey BBQ flavor, set the temperature dial to the “Smoke” setting. This feeds pellets based on the “P” setting you select (P4 is the default setting). Here’s what each setting does with the pellet-feeding auger:
- 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
The higher the “P” setting, the lower the cooking temperature. Environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, and humidity affect it, so you may need to experiment a little to get the temp you want.
From there, the computer controls the feed based on which temperature setting you select. The higher the temp you cook at, the less smoke flavor you’ll get.
Pro Tip: Want that smoked flavor on meat that has to be cooked at a higher temp? Start by smoking it for 30 minutes to an hour and then turn the temp up until it reaches the internal doneness you’re shooting for.
Tons of Cooking Space
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 has a total of 1610 square inches of cooking space. The main cooking area (3 grates) is 35 x 19 inches. There’s also an upper tray that’s 33 x 11 inches and a stainless steel jerky tray that’s 32 x 14 inches.
So what can you fit on there? It’s enough space for three full turkeys at Thanksgiving. You can get 8 – 10 racks of baby back ribs with full racks on the bottom and half racks on top. Plan on up to 35 burgers on the bottom grates or 15 – 18 ribeyes. Basically, you can feed a small army or 6 teenage boys.
All Hopped Up
Pit Boss equips this pellet grill with a hefty 30-pound capacity hopper and there’s a handy side window to keep an eye on your levels. That’s on the higher side for a pellet grill and it gives you a longer time frame between needing to top off your pellets.
The wood pellets can swell with excessive ambient humidity and moisture like we have in central Florida. Pit Boss includes a clean-out chute so you can easily empty the hopper of any remaining pellets between cooks. If you’re storing your pellets outside, be sure to use an airtight container.
There are many variables that affect a grill’s pellet consumption. While Pit Boss doesn’t give us an exact number, we’re running through about 1 pound per hour when we’re smoking at 225° F. Keep in mind that the hotter you run the grill, the faster you’ll run through pellets.
It’s worth noting that the average person will use around six bags of pellets per year. Quality pellets cost between $15 and $20 per bag. With the price of propane these days, we’re not spending a whole lot more on fuel by using pellets.
There are plenty of options when it comes to pellets, and we recommend using a high-quality 100% hardwood pellet. Cheaper alternatives may contain fillers and binders that can result in “off” flavors, won’t burn as efficiently, and can leave additional residue on your grill.
From sauces and seasonings to grilling tools, tray, and plates, you need spots to set things down. The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 has a solid base tray that’s great for storing your pellet buckets on.
There’s a folding front try that’s an absolute must-have when you’re pulling food off to sauce, wrap, or put in serving trays.
There’s also a very handy side shelf with a removable tray. It has holes in it and you can line it with foil to use for setting meat on before bringing it over to your cutting/serving station.
Making The Switch To A Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill
You need to season the grill before using it the first time and plan for about an hour. What’s nice is that the seasoning process also introduces you to the grill’s functions, so it’s kind of like a tutorial.
I simply don’t have the time to babysit a traditional wood-burning smoker, and Pit Boss makes cooking low and slow super-easy. Fill up the hopper with pellets, hit your target temperature, and let it cook. The computer takes care of managing the temperature so you don’t have to.
When it’s all said and done, we can get in a full day’s work (or a full night’s sleep), and still enjoy some seriously delicious food. Accidents can happen, so be sure you’re cooking in an open, outdoor area for those times you’re going to step away from the grill. No one wants to be the subject of the next Farmer’s Insurance commercial.
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
- Stainless-steel bottle opener
Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill Price
The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 retails for $799 at your local Pit Boss retailer and they back it with a 5-year warranty. In the box, you get the grill, two wired meat probes, a stainless-steel jerky rack, a spice rack, a removable side tray, and a folding front tray.
To all first responders and servicemen and women, Pit Boss extends a big THANK YOU by offering a 25% HERO discount! Click here for instructions and eligibility requirements.
The Bottom Line
If you haven’t used a pellet grill before, it completely changes the way you approach your grilling and smoking game. The Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 delivered far more than I hoped for, making me look like a culinary genius with quality results and better BBQ than we get at most restaurants. With the amount of cooking space that’s available, it’s easy to host a large gathering without having to call for backup.
Pit Boss Sportsman 1100 Wood Pellet Grill Specifications
- Model: Pit Boss PB1100SP
- Power Source: 120V AC
- Total Cooking Space: 1610 sq. in.
- Pellet Hopper Capacity: 30 lbs.
- Max Pellet Cooking Temperature: 500°F
- Max Open Flame Searing Temperature: 1000°F
- 8-in-1 Cooking Versatility
- Warranty: 5-year
- Price: $799