Pit Boss 700SC Wood Pellet Grill Review
Wood pellet grills are very popular these days. At the same time, they all tend to work the same way, which makes it a little hard to choose one over the other. Before you know it you are working on a spreadsheet comparing the price difference and value between a unit with a disposable drippings cup versus one that has a reusable one.
The wood pellet grill niche has been waiting for someone to come up with a unit that has a few more bells and whistles. Maybe just a little something that lets it stand apart from the competition.
Pit Boss was wise to recognize this important market opportunity and worked to develop their 700 series. At the top of this size category in their line sits the 700SC. It has a lot of extra bells and whistles as well as thoughtful features.
One thing that really stands apart with the Pit Boss 700SC is the flame broiler feature. The one thing lacking with most wood pellet grills is the ability to cook over direct fire like you would with a traditional charcoal grill. It basically prevents you from really searing a Steak. To operate this feature, you just slide a little door open in the bottom of the main chamber and the flames of the fire pot are now exposed to the primary cooking area.
The Pit Boss 700SC also has some other thoughtful little features. The slide-out grease trap is much larger than the little reusable cups you get with competitor grills in the same class.
The pellet cleanout door also allows you to quickly clean out the hopper. This is nice if there’s high humidity or rain in the forecast as wood pellet are loosely bound together with water-soluble lignin. With many competitor units, you have to scoop leftover pellets out by hand.
At first glance the bottle opener is a handy little feature. However, it’s mounted on the front of the grill. If you are just the right height it has a real knack for banging you in the knee, with all the searing pan of banging your shin on the hitch of your truck! It’s not necessarily a bad feature. Just watch out for it.
One other small yet notable thing with the Pitboss 700SC is that it has a cabinet style base, which lets you store away tools and other special items when you’re not using them.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Pit Boss hangs their hat on using quality materials. They use thick gauge metal, solid welds and quality fasteners throughout the 700SC. One minor letdown is that you have to manually slide the flame broiler open. This can be a bit of a pain in the neck, if you are in the middle of cooking and you want to do something like sear off a roast or mark some chicken. There are a small number of other competitor wood pellet grills with a similar flame broiler features that are controlled by an outside lever.
When it comes to assembling the Pit Boss 700SC, you have to be prepared for a little bit more elbow grease compared to if you were just slapping together a simple charcoal kettle grill. At the same time, the 700SC is a bit on the heavy side for its size. Fully assembled it weighs around 150 pounds. It’s the sort of thing where you may want to recruit a friend to help you on a lazy Saturday afternoon, with the promise of smoked meat as a reward.
The Pit Boss 700SC does everything you expect a quality wood pellet smoker to do. It can produce near competition level barbecue. It can perfectly prepare whole or butterfly cut chicken permeated with just the right amount of smoke. It even makes some grilled hot wings that will make your knees weak.
At the same time, it’s not just a smoked meat, one-trick pony. You can use it to bake a really nice pizza from fresh dough and ingredients or even from frozen. Don’t be afraid to try it for baking other items. With a little tweaking in the recipe, and few practice runs, you can even use it to make a smoky sweet corn bread.
The flame broiler is where this wood pellet grill really stands apart. There are only a handful of units that have this feature. The only draw back is that you have to manually slide the internal door, which is tricky if you want to go from smoking to flame broiling in the same session. One way to make this easier is to use a welding glove to quickly lift the grate and slide the broiler door.
Between the primary grilling rack, and the secondary warming rack the Pit Boss 700SC provides you with 700 square inches of cooking space. This means you smoke two pork shoulders on the lower rack for supper, while finishing off a couple of ring sausages on the top rack for lunch. You can even stagger a lot of ribs between the top and bottom racks. Just make sure to rotate them at least once in the cooking process.
The built-in bottle opener, the pull-out grease trap, and pellet cleanout features are all nice little bells and whistles. The thing that really lets the Pit Boss 700SC stand apart from its competitors is the flame broiler feature.
Ease to Clean
The pellet clean out door saves you a solid five minutes, over a wood pellet grill that you have to scoop out. The grease trap is nice. I like the size of it, but if it’s really full it can be a little bit awkward to empty compared to a simple drippings cup.
The Pit Boss 700SB has a one-year warranty on the electrical system as well physical manufacturer defects on components. This is unfortunate when you consider that most competitor grills in this class tend to carry some level of 3-year limited warranty.
In a certain light, wood pellet grills started out as the next new and innovative way to smoke meat without the hassles of a conventional barbecue pit. Somewhere along the way the market got flooded and they all sort of started feeling the same. The Pit Boss 700 stands out with it’s thoughtful features and the multi-tasking flame broiler. Just beware of the bottle opener’s love-hate relationship with the human kneecap!
- Flame broiler option
- Easy wood pellet cleanout
- Large slide out grease trap
- Plenty of grilling space
- Durable high-quality construction
- Limited warranty compared to competitors
- Manual slide for flame broiler instead of lever
- Bottle open on front instead of side
- Grease trap is a little awkward to empty