Pit Boss Grills 77425 Gas Smoker Review
Propane is typically seen as a thing of convenience when it comes to outdoor grilling. At the same time, smoking is also seen as something meant for charcoal or hardwood fire. Some would argue that a wood pellet grill also fits into this niche.
Yet in recent years gas-fired smokers have been growing in demand and popularity. This inspires some manufacturers like Pit Boss, to provide units that fit comfortably on your deck, while gently smoking wood under the easy to control flame provided by our handy little friend liquid propane.
The Pit Boss Grills 77425 2.5 Gas Smoker was thoughtfully designed. It includes two stainless steel burners, as well as an internal ignition system. The dual valve burner system has a single stainless steel burner that is rated to produce up to 3, 500 BTUs. It is intended to handle the wood chips or wood chunks. Then there is a secondary 10, 000 BTU propane burner that affects the overall cabinet temperature.
Underneath there is a receptacle for wood chips as well as a removable drippings pot. Both of which can be accessed externally, without having to alter the heat and smoke characteristics inside.
It has a large viewing window that allows you to monitor how all four of the racks are doing. Each rack has been porcelain-coated to reduce sticking while also helping make cleanup a little easier.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Pit Boss has been working on developing a reputation for quality for several years now. Compared to some small gas smokers in this same class and price point, they stand about half a head taller. The seals on the door of this smoker work relatively well, with only a little bit of leaking at the corners. If the fire is set high, it can sometimes cause the metal of the wood chips tray to expand, causing to jam stubbornly in place.
When it comes to assembly, the Pit Boss Grills 77425 Gas Smoker is pretty easy. For the most part, the instructions are easy to read, and the parts go together easily. In a few places, you might find your finger dexterity challenged.
With all that in mind, you should be able to get this gas smoker fully assembled in a little over an hour. Maybe an hour and a half. If you aren’t mechanically inclined there are some online retailers who offer a reasonably priced, expert assembly service for this gas smoker.
One other minor factor to keep in mind, this “Gas Smoker” is only set up for liquid propane. Pit Boss does not offer a natural gas conversion kit.
Pit Boss really did try their best to be thoughtful with the design of the 77425 Gas Smoker. Still, you should be prepared for it to take a couple of sessions to really dial in the smoke characteristics and temperature.
The first few times you use it, try to pick meats that are a little more forgiving and on the fatty side. Link or ring sausages, a small pork shoulder, or some country style ribs might make it a little easier to dial in the smoke and temperature. A pork tenderloin or skinless chicken might dry out the first few times while you’re working on getting a feel for it.
This gas smoker is a little bit on the small side. Yet it has enough space to smoke most everything that you want. If something is taller, like a whole chicken, or a large pork shoulder, you can easily remove one of its four racks.
Once you get it dialed in the Pit Boss Grills 77425 has a nice temperature range. With a deft touch, it’s capable of going as low as 100 to 110 degrees. This allows you to play with some semi-cold smoking applications like fish or adding a natural smoke enhancement to some beef or turkey jerky. The right kind of cheese could also benefit from the smoke enhancement.
If you want to smoke fresh link sausages, you can remove all the racks except the top one. Then tie the links on and let them dangle.
The general size of the Pit Boss Grills 77425 means that you likely aren’t going to be able to smoke a whole flat brisket unless you cut it. A small rack of spare ribs can fit snug on each rack. If you wanted to smoke a large number of ribs, you can certainly increase the volume by cutting them down into 3 to 4 rib sections.
The lower wood chip receptacle can jam sometimes when you are smoking above say 220 degrees. This is sometimes due to the wood chips themselves catching fire. One way to reduce the chances of this happening is to use prepared and cut chunks of wood that have been soaked in water all night long. They do take a little bit longer to start smoking, but once they do, the chunks are less likely to flare up.
Each of the four grates has a semi-nonstick porcelain coating and measure in at 221 square inches. When they are all installed you have 884 total square inches of space to work with.
The dual heating elements is a nice touch. However, they are still controlled by one knob, so it can take a delicate touch sometimes.
Ease to Clean
Smokers are always a bit more work to clean. At least a gas smoker isn’t as much labor as a charcoal smoker. Every few smoking sessions, you should give it a good rub down on the inside to remove any lingering soot or minor grease deposits. You should also accept that the window will eventually smog up.
The porcelain grates make it easy to clean. If something is stuck, you can just soak it in warm water. The protective coating will prevent rust. After that, it’s as simple as dumping out the drippings cup and emptying the ashes out of the wood chip receptacle.
Pit Boss has made a concerted effort to establish a reputation for quality and standing by their products. The Pit Boss Grills 77425 Gas Smoker comes with a five-year warranty on pretty much every part and component. This is far more than pretty much all the competitors in this class and price point.
If you are in the market for a vertical smoker, with the ease of propane, the Pit Boss Grills 77425 Gas Smoker is a good choice. The five-year warranty proves that its well made and that Pit Boss stands by their products.
Just give yourself a little bit of time to get a feel for how to dial it in best. Whenever possible try to go with water-soaked chunks of wood instead of wood chips, which tend to flare.
- Best in class warranty
- Dual burners
- Quality materials
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to clean
- Door leaks a little bit
- Wood chip receptacle can sometimes jam
- A little on the small side