Pit Boss 770FB first impressions...
I have been wanting a pellet grill for quite some time now and after much research I settled on the Pit Boss 700FB. Much of this decision was based on price, but when comparing models side by side the choice was clear. Go lift the lid on the ‘leading’ pellet grill and then pick up lid of the Pit Boss. There is a substantial difference in the weight and rigidity. One grill is overpriced and built with thin and flimsy materials. The other is big bang for the buck and uses much more ridged materials. The Pit Boss pulls away from the pack with the added sear feature. Retail is $339. I got mine for $279 with a store credit from a previous purchase. It was simply too good of a deal not to pass up.
The box that arrived did have some damage on it but overall it was packed quite well. There was one minor issue in that external thermometer was broken but a quick call to Pit Boss and a customer service rep by the name of Dan fixed me up. Dan is the man!
As I unpacked I immediately noticed a lack of ‘parts’ in the box. This wasn’t because it was missing anything. They simply do most of the work for you! If I remember correctly there are 21 screws with flat and locking washers and 2 nuts with washers for the wheels. That’s it! Assembly is made with nothing more than a phillips screwdriver and a crescent wrench. This can easily be done by one person. The only part you might need an extra hand is lifting or moving the main unit itself. The grill itself weighs in at just over 100 lbs I believe so not too heavy but the size makes it awkward for one. I had planned on taking a few assembly photos but it went so quick I just didn’t have a chance. It couldn’t have taken longer than 12 minutes to assemble and to start the initial break-in process.
After the break-in was complete I let the grill cool for a few and then washed the racks and gave everything a wipe down. I didn’t have a legit main course ready to go so I figured I’d start out slow and reheat some leftover Chorizo and Jalapeno poppers. I reheated at 250 for about 35 minutes and they turned out great! The sausages remained plump and juicy and the poppers reheated without overcooking the peppers.
OK, I know leftovers aren’t a true test. Here come the meats!
The leftovers were great but I want to give this a proper workout. Since I’ve been obsessed with making meatballs all week I decided that would be a good place to start. When I make meatballs or loaf I don’t use a recipe. It’s generally based on what I have on hand or with as few trips to the store as possible.
I started with a variety of meat for this one. I used approx 1.75 lb. Beef, 1 lb. Ground Lamb, 1.5 lb. Mild Italian Sausage and 9 oz. Pork Chorizo.
Right now fresh herbs are coming off like crazy so I used a handful of sweet and purple basil, chives, oregano parsley and thyme and minced everything well.
Fine chopped Sweet Onion and a variety of pickled sweet and hot peppers.
I took dried and smoked Habanero and Jalapenos and ground them with Chile Tepin and Chile Pequin. To that I added some granulated garlic, cumin and kashmiri chile.
I decided that skewers would be the way to go and had just enough bacon to wrap every other one.
As for the other meat that is a Tri Tip. My prep on that one was an injection of Pa’s Soluble Blackbull and a dusting of the Garlic & Pepper jerky seasoning. I finished that one on my Brinkmann gas grill. I would have used the sear feature on the Pit Boss but I had some meatballs that were in the way. I was also itching to use the Brink as it’s been over a year.
So far so good! The results were outstanding! The Pit Boss is a great way to get a mellow but not over powering smoke flavor and just about anything. Even reheating items that were previously smoked turned out well. The meatball recipe will be in constant rotation. The next batch is getting high temp cheese!
I’m just getting started!
I have been using the oven and dehydrator method on Jerky lately so I haven’t been able to impart any smoky characteristic on my product. Not that Teriyaki needs smoke. I have been wanting to put my own spin on the Bloody Mary Jerky as the first batch I made didn’t hold up to my expectation of one of my favorite beverages.
In my opinion the seasoning on it’s own has too much celery and while the tomato character is there it just doesn’t remind me of the cocktail.
I figured I could spice things up a bit by using some of the other jerky seasonings I had on hand. I measured out my full amount of the Bloody Mary seasoning and then removed 5 teaspoons worth and returned it back to the bag. To make up for the missing seasoning I used 2 tsp each of the Garlic & Pepper and the Habanero Lime and the remaining went to the Gigawatt!
I only had a small amount of meat…just under 3 lbs if I remember correctly. Instead of water for my liquid I used a couple ounces of Pa’s Soluble and a couple ounces of Worcestershire and about the same of a grated ‘hot’ horseradish. I vacuum tumbled for 30 minutes and refrigerated overnight.
When I opened the container the next day I was blasted with the perfect aroma and character I was looking for. This absolutely reminded me of a Bloody Mary in every way. If there was a safe way I could add the remaining liquid to a cocktail I would have. I suppose enough vodka will kill anything. lol
I laid out my jerky on the dehydrator rack and went straight to the Pit Boss. I ran it on smoke mode for the first 30 minutes then raised the temp to 250 for another 30. Rotating every 15 minutes. Towards the end of the time I noticed that the meat on the outer edges was starting to sear a bit so I pulled everything and went to the dehydrator set to 160. The other half of the jerky batch went through the oven at 350 for 10 minutes before dehydrating. Both finished up in about 4-4 1/2 hours total.
After cooling to room temp I held in the fridge overnight. The non-smoked stuff turned out great but the smoky version is incredible! Both batche[censored] you with the horseradish and Worcestershire straight away but the smoke just adds incredible depth even though it’s only subtle. The gigawatt provides a nice building heat and the other jerky seasoning simply bring everything together.
(top is Teriyaki, bottom is Bloody Mary) The teriyaki is soft and sticky due to the glycerine and sugar addition. The Bloody Mary turned out in a drier more traditional style.
The one thing I forgot to photograph yesterday was the smoked almonds! I used the same method as in my previous Almond thread but after roasting I transferred the pan to the Pit Boss and gave it an hour of smoke using the ‘smoke’ mode setting. The smoke was hardly noticeable while cooling but after a couple hours in the bag you could smell and taste it subtly. Store bought smoked almonds are great but these are much better.
@Joe-Hell Bravo on the pictures and the breakdown! Are those grill grates that look like cast iron your Brinkman? My main complaint about my GMG (other than topping out at 500°) is that the grill grates are so basic and when I use the Aluminum Grill Grate Kit I find it hard to maintain a constant temp.
Has anyone replaced the grill grates on a Pellet smoker grill combo? That might be something I try.
Have you ever made your own Chorizo?
@Jonathon The Brinkmann has the cast iron grates. That was a huge factor on that purchase…that and it has a deep fryer! LOL. It also has a timed sear feature that will blast one burner super high one minute at a time and on it’s own when all six burners are cranked it will bury the 600 max temp on the thermometer. The pizza I made in the pizza brat thread was cooked on that. I think there is a model of the Pit Boss that has the cast iron so an upgrade might be available in the future.
I haven’t made Chorizo yet but it’s coming soon! I have the Excalibur seasoning ready to go. I also have the store bought variety as shown below and a package of the new Johnsonville Chorizo Brats waiting in the wings. We have a lot of Mexican grocers in the area so I will probably pick up something there as well. I would like to do a head to head of as many as I can get my hands on. I’ll should make one from scratch while I am at it.
@Joe-Hell Wow! That’s some amazing stuff your doing. Are you really on a diet or just feeding an army…Lol.
@PapaSop Ha! I really am on a diet I swear! @Jonathon can vouch for me! Luckily I have an army of volunteers to help get rid of everything. I couldn’t do it without donations to the cause. Today I’m smoking another batch of trout for a friend. 16 to be exact!
It takes an amazing amount of will power when I’m cooking stuff that I try my best to avoid. Fresh baked sourdough is torture but I gotta keep that starter well fed!
This was the only thing I did grill last weekend! A ‘diet’ burrito! Low carb tortilla, ground beef, avocado, lettuce, sour cream and fresh pico de gallo.
A brief backstory on the poppers. I was intrigued by the concept of the smoked cream cheese after a post by @jonathon so I split two bricks in half and cold smoked for an hour and then packaged and refrigerated for a couple of weeks.
It turned out to be a bit heavy handed on the smoke but that might just be my personal preference. I took one of the packages and whipped that with a full package of non-smoked cream cheese and blended with grated cheddar and chopped pickled peppers…stuffed, wrapped in bacon and skewered for the grill. I went with the Weber on that one and paired with the Chorizo giving them a light smoking with Apple chunks. They turned out amazing. Everyone exclaimed they were the best popper they’ve had. The ones lucky enough to enjoy a bun piled it on high with sliced Chorizo and the cheesy pepper!
@Joe-Hell That burrito looks great except for those two words…“low carb”
@PapaSop Yeah. They aren’t terrible but they aren’t ‘authentic’. I’m growing white and blue heirloom Mexican corn this year exclusively for scratch made tortillas. One of these days I’ll be able to phase a few things back into my diet in limited quantities. A real tortilla is high on the list.
@Joe-Hell Haha. Yep, just giving you some grief . Fantastic things you’re doing! Everything looks great!
@Joe-Hell you mentioned pickled peppers I home canned about 20 pints last year not to many people know what they are, and on a side note I have a tortilla press also and they taste the best
@craigrice I’ve always liked pickled peppers of any variety but lately I’ve been devouring them. Any time you can introduce an acidic element to a meal it’s a good thing in my opinion. I planted an ambitiously sized garden this year with a focus on peppers, tomatoes, corn and herbs. I will be canning and dehydrating everything I can!
@Joe-Hell great looking 1st cook on the new pellet grill.
@macsinsac it’s been fun so far! I had a hard time sleeping over the weekend thinking about everything I will be cooking on this grill!
Last night I went through the cleaning procedure and I couldn’t be happier with the ease of the process. Remove grates, scrape the heat shield with a metal spatula and vacuum the ashes and debris underneath. It only took a few minutes and there was an astonishingly small amount of ash. After two weeks of almost daily grilling and going through 20 lbs or more of pellets the total accumulation was around one cup of ash. The pellets burn so efficiently that there is little to no residual.
These lamb chops turned out perfect!
I made a quick marinade with balsamic, avocado oil, fresh rosemary, garlic, onion flakes, a pinch of red pepper, salt and and a generous amount of pepper. I seasoned the meat and vacuum sealed for about an hour and a half. Before grilling I patted them dry and cooked for about 30 minutes at 225 then used the sear feature to give them some color.
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