How to Use Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker

Pellet smokers have been a household name in the recent past. On this note, Pit Boss pellet smokers are among the top brands offering excellent barbeque results without ruining users' pockets.

Further on, Pit Boss offers different models of smokers. One of this company's product offerings is the vertical pellet smokers, dearly loved by many due to their ease of use and maintenance.

That said, if you just got yourself a new wood pellet vertical smoker or are contemplating getting one, I am right here to guide you on how to use it.

Hereunder, I will take you through the basics and steps on how to use pit boss vertical Pellet smoker. Also, I will give you several tips and recipes to use with this backyard king.

how to use pit boss vertical pellet smoker

Simply put, a Pit boss pellet smoker is a smoker manufactured by the Pit Boss company and is used to prepare barbecue. 

As I mentioned above, the Pit Boss company manufactures different grill smoker designs, assigning them different brand names. Additionally, these smokers feature different technologies. 

But, in our topic today, we shall focus on vertical pellet grills. And in particular, we shall refer to the Pit Boss 5-series wood pellet vertical smoker.

One amazing thing about this 5-series vertical smoker is its versatility; you can use it to roast, grill, bake or smoke your food. This means you can play around with many recipes with this grill.

How a Pellet Smoker Works

If it is your first time using the pit boss pellet grill, you might find it complex, but I assure you that you will master it within no time.

Now, pellet grills are different from charcoal and gas grills.

For the 5-series wood pellet smoker, you will fill its hopper with hardwood pellets hickory. 

The auger will then automatically move the pellets to the firebox. This firebox features a fan that helps keep the pellets well-lit.

pit boss 5-series vertical pellet smoker

A Wood Pellet Grill Requires Electricity

Pellet grills and smokers need electricity to perform the following key functions:

● Metal igniter to ignite the wood pellets sitting in the firebox

● Auger to move lbs. of pellets to the fireplace

● Fun to blow air in the firebox to keep the pellets burning

● Digital controller board to monitor and control cooking temperatures

How to Use a Wood Pellet Grill

Here are several steps you can follow when using your smoker:

1. Prepare your food and know the required temperature and smoke time for perfect doneness

2. For a new wood pellet smoker, check if the firebox is empty and ensure there is no debris before use. 

But if yours is a used smoker, check if the firebox has pellets or ashes, then clean out the ashes and top up the wood pellet levels in the hopper

3. Ensure the porcelain-coated cooking racks are clean before placing your food on them. You wouldn't want previous content to contaminate your current cook.

4. Spray the grill grates with some non-stick cooking spray

5. Connect or plug your Pit Boss vertical digital pellet electric smoker to the power source

6. Turn the temperature knob to the lowest smoke setting.

pit boss grill won't turn on

7. Leave the wood pellet grill door open, then switch on the grill. 

At this time, you will hear the fun running and the auger feeding the firebox with pellets. 

Then, the igniter rod will turn red hot and ignite the pellets.

After around five minutes, you will see white smoke as if inspecting every corner of the cook chamber.

With the smoker door still open, allow the pellets to burn for about five more minutes until the 1st smoke is gone and you now have a clean blue smoke.

8. For low and slow smoking, place a water pan with hot water on the grill; this helps to keep your meat cuts moist

9. Close the grill door and set your desired cooking temperature

10. Allow the grill to run for around ten minutes at 225 degrees; this will help burn up any debris or impurities in the cooking chamber.

11. With your barbecue gloves on, open the grill door, place your food in there and leave the smoker to do what it knows best at the preset temps and cook time.

Additionally, if you are grilling steaks, you will need to stay nearby to monitor your cook.

On the other hand, if you are doing a low and slow cook, you can go on with your other errands as the smoker does wonders on your food. However, remember that human hands made this grill, so check the going now and then.

How to Shut Down the Electric Pit Boss Pellet Smoker

Now that your nicely flavored meat is ready for eating and you have removed it from the grill, it's time to shut down the grill before heading to the dining area with forks and knives.

So, remember not to leave the smoker burning itself!

1. First, you will need to stop the auger from feeding the firebox with the wood pellets. How do you do this? Just switch the temperature control knob to the least temp setting while leaving the smoker door pen.

2. Allow the grill to burn whatever is remaining in the firebox for around five minutes.

3. Turn off the grill – the lights on the digital LED readout should turn off too at this point.

4. You can run your grill brush over the cooking grates when the grill is still hot to clear off any meat bits left behind.

5. The fun will keep running for a few more minutes before finally agreeing to go for the break. At this point, you can unplug the grill from the power source.

6. Check the pellet grills grease bucket; empty it, clean it and dry it

7. Allow the outdoor barbecue digital electric smoker to cool down completely, then shut its door and dress it with a pellet grill cover until the next cooking session.

Vertical Smoker Snippets of Wisdom

Here are several tips to ensure you get a smooth smoking experience when using your Pit Boss's smoker:

● As we have said earlier, remember to prepare your smoker before placing food in there

● For low and slow cooks, avoid opening the wood pellet grill too often since it can interfere with the cooking process leading to temp swings and poorly cooked food.

● Placing the water pan in the correct location can positively affect your meals. As a rule of thumb, keep the water pan that you filled with hot water, apple juice, or wine a ¼ inch below your cuts of meat.

● Invest in a good digital thermometer or meat probe; this will help you know when your meat is perfectly cooked.

● Know your wood pellets; learn to pair pellet types with the different types of meat, vegetables, and other foods you are preparing on your grill

● Avoid overloading your pit boss 5-series vertical pellet smoker. 

Yes, I know you want to grill food that will last a week or more, but you will need to consider the recommended cooking capacity for the cooking space in your grill.

So, kick off that urge to overload your grill since you will only end up with poorly cooked food or a damaged grill.

But if you insist on massive grilling, then you can check out for a grill with a huge cooking capacity.

● If grilling different types of foods at a go, for example, fish and vegetables, remember that the aroma in fish can move to the vegetables and vice versa

Pit Boss's Wood Pellet Grill Recipes

There are dozens of recipes you can prepare using the wood pellet grill. Let's see two of these recipes in detail.

Basic smoked racks of ribs

What you will need:

● Two racks of baby back rib

● Sweet rib rub

● Aluminum foil


1. Preheat your vertical grill to 225°F

2. Peel off the skin beneath the ribs

3. Season both sides of the ribs using the rib rub

4. Place the ribs in the grill with their meaty parts facing upwards

5. Smoke for around 4 ½ hours 

6. Pick the ribs and cover them with aluminum foil. Place them back on the grill for another 45 minutes at 350°F

7. Take your ribs from the grill and give them a ten-minute break to rest

8. Slice and serve hot

Texas-style turkey

What you will need:

● 1Lb butter

● ½ a cup smoked salt and pepper

● One brined turkey

● Roasting pan


1. Preheat your vertical pellet smoker pit boss to 300°F

2. Season turkey with smoked salt and pepper

3. Cook in the wood pellet grill until the internal temperature of the turkey reads 145°F

4. Place the cooked turkey in a roast pan, top it with a pound of chopped butter and place a lid on the pan

5. Return the pan with its content to the steel barbecue smoker until the internal temperature of the turkey reads 165°F

6. Remove the turkey from the smoker and leave it to rest for about thirty minutes

7. Carve, serve and enjoy!


I hope the above guide on how to use pit boss vertical Pellet smoker has been of great help to you as a barbecue beginner. So, drop that fear and try out some recipes on your grill, and within no time, you will perfect your barbecue skills.

However, if you still get a control system issue with your pellet grill, you can consult the manual it came with or reach out to Pit Boss's customer service. And, until next time, happy grilling!

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