Pit Boss Austin XL Mods

Camp Boss

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I was just wondering what modifications other members have done to there Pit Boss Austin XL. I have had the grill since they first came out and was ok with it's overall performance but it could be a lot better. I understand that these grills are at the low end/affordable range of pellet grills. The most frustrating issues with the grill are the drastic temperature swings (15 deg. +/-) and that hot spot right above the burn pot. Not to mention there heat distribution across the grill is also horrible at best. The top rack I have never used because it just seems to be always in the way. Other than that I actually like the grill. So I think it's time to tear this thing apart and do some much needed upgrades.

1st Upgrade:

This is a very nice front shelf upgrade that is easy to install and is a wonderful product. Shipping was very fast and the product came with all items to attach to the grill. I give it a solid 5 stars.
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2nd Upgrade:

I don't have a picture of mine so I used there image. This was extremely easy to install and reduced temperature fluctuations.

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3rd Upgrade:

I wanted to upgrade the controller in the grill to something better with more accurate temperature control and have a better temperature selection. At first I was trying to get a Rec Teq controller but ran into issues. They wouldn't sell me one unless I had a serial number and prof of purchase. So I went on a search and found a Camp Chef Woodwind WIFI Bluetooth controller that had a 3 inch color display and could monitor 4 meat probes. Did some research and found that this controller would work on the Pit Boss with a few modifications to the mounting location and installing a new RTD. The RTD is longer so I had to drill a hole in the upper shelf mount. I might just remove it because I have never used that shelf. It just always seems to be in the way. The new adapter plate is 1/16" anodized aluminum plate that is attached with 8/32 stainless steel cap screws.

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DaveXDm9

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I was just wondering what modifications other members have done to there Pit Boss Austin XL. I have had the grill since they first came out and was ok with it's overall performance but it could be a lot better. I understand that these grills are at the low end/affordable range of pellet grills. The most frustrating issues with the grill are the drastic temperature swings (15 deg. +/-) and that hot spot right above the burn pot. Not to mention there heat distribution across the grill is also horrible at best. The top rack I have never used because it just seems to be always in the way. Other than that I actually like the grill. So I think it's time to tear this thing apart and do some much needed upgrades.

There is a few mods you can do by switching out the controller for a better one and the defuser. Check out Smoke Daddy he sells a few modifications for Pit Boss grills.

 

Camp Boss

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There is a few mods you can do by switching out the controller for a better one and the defuser. Check out Smoke Daddy he sells a few modifications for Pit Boss grills.

Thanks,

I just ordered the 10 gauge heat diffuser to help with that hot spot. Will add it to this post when I get It installed.
 

Camp Boss

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4th Upgrade:

I cut out the center section of the pellet hopper so that I could get better access when changing out pellets. Tried removing it all together but the hopper is not very sturdy without it.

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Camp Boss

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Thank You RCAlan.

So, I did a few more modification to the old Pit Boss. I first removed the upper shelf bracket so that it didn’t interfere with the longer CC RTD. My thinking was to get better air circulation next to the probe. I never used that top rack anyway. Next, I got one of those SD heat diffusers and had to cut 1 inch off the bottom and round the top corners to get it to fit. I also installed a rail system in the bottom of the barrel because as I moved the diffuser back and forth it would go out of level. I slotted the original PB heat diffuser so that the new SD diffuser could be moved back and forth. I wanted to keep the dead air space in the grill as I cook in below freezing conditions. I then ran a test at 2 different temperatures with probe 1 next to the hopper and probe 4 next to the smoke stack. I am pleased with the results but I may try a test with the air gap mod removed to see if probe 1 temperature levels out a bit.
 

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Camp Boss

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Thank You RCAlan.

So, I did a few more modification to the old Pit Boss. I first removed the upper shelf bracket so that it didn’t interfere with the longer CC RTD. My thinking was to get better air circulation next to the probe. I never used that top rack anyway. Next, I got one of those SD heat diffusers and had to cut 1 inch off the bottom and round the top corners to get it to fit. I also installed a rail system in the bottom of the barrel because as I moved the diffuser back and forth it would go out of level. I slotted the original PB heat diffuser so that the new SD diffuser could be moved back and forth. I wanted to keep the dead air space in the grill as I cook in below freezing conditions. I then ran a test at 2 different temperatures with probe 1 next to the hopper and probe 4 next to the smoke stack. I am pleased with the results but I may try a test with the air gap mod removed to see if probe 1 temperature levels out a bit.
 

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RCAlan

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Thank You RCAlan.

So, I did a few more modification to the old Pit Boss. I first removed the upper shelf bracket so that it didn’t interfere with the longer CC RTD. My thinking was to get better air circulation next to the probe. I never used that top rack anyway. Next, I got one of those SD heat diffusers and had to cut 1 inch off the bottom and round the top corners to get it to fit. I also installed a rail system in the bottom of the barrel because as I moved the diffuser back and forth it would go out of level. I slotted the original PB heat diffuser so that the new SD diffuser could be moved back and forth. I wanted to keep the dead air space in the grill as I cook in below freezing conditions. I then ran a test at 2 different temperatures with probe 1 next to the hopper and probe 4 next to the smoke stack. I am pleased with the results but I may try a test with the air gap mod removed to see if probe 1 temperature levels out a bit.

Your Mods on your PB Austin XL looks Great Camp Boss, very nice work!! FYI.. When I did that mod of cutting the groves into the stock heat diffuser so that the SD Heat Diffuser could fit in and slide back and forth, over time, the stock heat diffuser started to warp to the point that it became useless. I now just use the SmokeDaddy heat diffuser only and I have it sitting on Metal Rails to protect the base of the Main Cooking Chamber. When sliding the SD Heat Diffuser back and forth, it will start cutting a grove into the base of the cooking chamber and you don’t want that to happen. Both metal rails are about 34 inches in length and I bought them at the “Home Depot” Home improvement store for about $10.00. It was one rail and I had them cut it in half at the store. I used JB Weld Metal adhesive to secure the rails to the base of the cooking chamber and so far 1 year, no problems. One of my other mods, was that I installed a Smoke Daddy Magnum P.I.G. Cold Smoke Generator Canister to my Austin XL. They’re not cheap... So if you’re always looking for some extra smoke flavor profile on your bbq, start with using a Pellet Smoke Tube first and see how you like that. But if you really miss that True Hardwood, Lump Charcoal smoke flavor profile that your standard Pellet Grills on the market simply can not produce, then the Smoke Daddy P.I.G. Smoke Gen. may be an option for you to consider in the future. Good luck, I know you’re going to definitely see an improvement using the SmokeDaddy heat diffuser in your Austin XL.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

RCAlan

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Camp Boss, here’s a few pics of how the rails look in my Austin XL that supports the heat diffuser and allows the heat diffuser to slide back and forth. It’s about a $10.00 upgrade and will definitely help protect the lower portion of the cooking chamber from getting damaged over time.
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Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

Camp Boss

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Camp Boss, here’s a few pics of how the rails look in my Austin XL that supports the heat diffuser and allows the heat diffuser to slide back and forth. It’s about a $10.00 upgrade and will definitely help protect the lower portion of the cooking chamber from getting damaged over time.
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Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
Thank You RCAlan.

I appreciate your guidance on the modifications that I have done. I did see that the new diffuser was cutting into the bottom of the grill and this was only after moving it back and forth a few times. I took your advice and installed texturized stainless steel under the guides that I had previously installed in the bottom of the grill. Thank you for all of your help. Camp Boss

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Detrader67

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I see you have some firebricks in the bottom of the grill. What purpose do they serve and have them helped stabilize temps for you? Thanks for sharing pictures of the mods.


Camp Boss, here’s a few pics of how the rails look in my Austin XL that supports the heat diffuser and allows the heat diffuser to slide back and forth. It’s about a $10.00 upgrade and will definitely help protect the lower portion of the cooking chamber from getting damaged over time.

View attachment 564





Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

RCAlan

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I see you have some firebricks in the bottom of the grill. What purpose do they serve and have them helped stabilize temps for you? Thanks for sharing pictures of the mods.

The Fire Bricks do help.. I had originally used them when I was using the original Pit Boss Non-PID Controller, to help with the temp swings and to help even out the heat from the left side of the grill, to the right. Now, they are used also to elevate the Smoke Basket off the bottom of the cooking chamber and to help stabilize the rails used to support the Heat Diffuser that slides back and forth over the burn pot as well... I don’t expect the temps to be perfect when I’m using the Smoke Basket, because it’s like having two heat sources going on at the same time, but they do help in stabilizing the temps...
1609870175397.jpeg


1609870434100.jpeg

So yes, they can be helpful in many ways.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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RCAlan

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Camp Boss, thanks for posting your detailed journey of modifying your PB Austin XL. Anyone with a PB Austin XL Pellet Grill or a Classic PB Pellet Grill and want to make it better should definitely give this thread a good reading.

Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

david_ski

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I was just wondering what modifications other members have done to there Pit Boss Austin XL. I have had the grill since they first came out and was ok with it's overall performance but it could be a lot better. I understand that these grills are at the low end/affordable range of pellet grills. The most frustrating issues with the grill are the drastic temperature swings (15 deg. +/-) and that hot spot right above the burn pot. Not to mention there heat distribution across the grill is also horrible at best. The top rack I have never used because it just seems to be always in the way. Other than that I actually like the grill. So I think it's time to tear this thing apart and do some much needed upgrades.

1st Upgrade:

This is a very nice front shelf upgrade that is easy to install and is a wonderful product. Shipping was very fast and the product came with all items to attach to the grill. I give it a solid 5 stars.View attachment 501

2nd Upgrade:

I don't have a picture of mine so I used there image. This was extremely easy to install and reduced temperature fluctuations.

View attachment 503

3rd Upgrade:

I wanted to upgrade the controller in the grill to something better with more accurate temperature control and have a better temperature selection. At first I was trying to get a Rec Teq controller but ran into issues. They wouldn't sell me one unless I had a serial number and prof of purchase. So I went on a search and found a Camp Chef Woodwind WIFI Bluetooth controller that had a 3 inch color display and could monitor 4 meat probes. Did some research and found that this controller would work on the Pit Boss with a few modifications to the mounting location and installing a new RTD. The RTD is longer so I had to drill a hole in the upper shelf mount. I might just remove it because I have never used that shelf. It just always seems to be in the way. The new adapter plate is 1/16" anodized aluminum plate that is attached with 8/32 stainless steel cap screws.

View attachment 504View attachment 505
It is unfortunate that one has to spend an additional $300 to make Pit Boss a great pellet grill. I factored In those costs on my grill decision. I like Pit Boss’s mechanical build quality expecting to fix the uneven temps and controller shortcomings. Right now I am leaning towards a new Camp Chef
 

MonnieRock

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It is unfortunate that one has to spend an additional $300 to make Pit Boss a great pellet grill. I factored In those costs on my grill decision. I like Pit Boss’s mechanical build quality expecting to fix the uneven temps and controller shortcomings. Right now I am leaning towards a new Camp Chef
David,
Which Pit Boss grill do you have / had ?
 

david_ski

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David,
Which Pit Boss grill do you have / had ?
I was going to buy the Pit Boss Pro 850 from Lowe’s. I like the mechanical build of Pit Boss products. However after seeing the issues with their PID controllers and no way for the customer to do a firmware upgrade I decided to not buy a Pit Boss product. I even looked at getting the Pit Boss Pro850 and swapping out the controller with one that really worked that had 5 degree temp increments. However $500 grill plus $200 controller made me look at other options. $500 was a good deal. $700 was not a deal for a build it yourself Frankenstein pellet smoker.

Costco Traeger Silverton 820 is going for $699 in warehouse, and Camp Chef Windwood 24 from Sportsman’s is $799 -10% (for first purchase).

I decided on the CampChef WW24. The ash clean out system and super easy pellet change gate were the clinchers. CampChef’s PID controller seemed reliable and they support over the air firmware updates. CampChef also has happy customers with great customer service.
 

david_ski

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David,
Which Pit Boss grill do you have / had ?
My sister bought a PB 700fb when they were $335 at Walmart. I was also looking at going to go down that path, but the price jumped back up to $499 at walmart. You can find it at $400 elsewhere. $400 for grill plus $200 for PID controller made it a $600 grill. The $335 price plus $200 for $550 was a great deal. I didn’t act quick enough on that one.
 

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