Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite Review

Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite Review

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All you really need to know is that I nicknamed my Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 Elite pellet grill the Ultra Mega Elite because it’s one of the best box store pits I’ve ever used.

Keep reading for my Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite review, where I list all its “elite” features. You’ll also find a video below where I put it to the test, smoking a brisket for my first cook.

Pit Boss® Pro Series 1600 Elite | Pit Boss® Grills
Pros:
  • Variable smoke technology
  • Large cooking surface
  • Storage
Cons:
  • Front rack hanger
  • App experience
CHECK PRICE AT PIT BOSS
Pit Boss 1600 Elite First Cook | Smoked Brisket

Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite overview and first impressions

Pit Boss is one of the best-known brands in the pellet grill market, alongside other big names like Traeger.

I’m focusing on the Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite, an update on the Pit Boss Pro 1600. I break down the main differences between these two models below and in this video.

The Elite’s top features include a sizeable 3-tiered cooking area, digital controls, app connectivity, and Variable Smoke Technology. If you want an impressive smoke profile, this is a great pellet grill for you.

Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 Elite pellet grill specifications:

Cooking area1,597 sq. in.
Pellet hopper capacity32 lbs
Temp range150°F to 500°F​
Shelves & storageBottom shelf
Folding front and side shelves​
ConstructionStainless Steel
Warranty5 years

What I like:

  • Variable Smoke Technology: This includes PID mode and Smoke Mode, which I was most impressed with. It allows you to expertly control the level of smoke so you get the smoke flavor you want.
  • Cooking surface: 3 levels of stainless steel grates are my kind of pit setup.
  • Digital control panel: I do love the ease of the digital control panel with in-built meat probes and app connectivity.
  • Storage: You get a foldable front shelf, a sturdy bottom shelf, and a folding side shelf with space for your tools.

What I don’t like:

  • The rack hanger: Located in the front, I always struggle hanging both racks on the Elite. It’s my biggest complaint. I’d like to see Pit Boss just place two heavy hooks on the back instead of a front handle.
  • The price: It’s expensive for a Pit Boss, but for the amount of size it’s not the worst-value grill on the market.

Let’s break it down and put the Elite to the test to see how it stacks up.

Build quality

The Elite is very solid and sturdy. It includes a stainless steel lid and accents, which I know isn’t everyone’s favorite. It does take a little more effort to keep it looking good. But in the long run, I know you’ll thank me.

Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 Elite pellet grill stainless steel lid

You also get 4 locking wheeled casters, which makes moving around a breeze. Another update from the previous model is the internal brushless motor. It’s so quiet I had to check that it was working initially!

Digital technology

One thing Pit Boss pellet grills are known for is their digital technology. With the Pro Series 1600 Elite, you can connect the easy-to-read digital control panel to the Pit Boss Grills app thanks to WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The app allows you to control the temperature from afar.

Unfortunately, the Pit Boss app is one of the worst on the market, with low average rankings in both the Google and Apple app stores. I don’t really use the app when I cook, but if that’s important to you, maybe look at a Traeger. We have a Pit Boss VS Traeger article if you want to see a detailed comparison.

Cooking setup

This Pit Boss Elite pellet grill includes 1597 square inches of cooking space, stainless steel grates, and 2 cook racks. If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of stainless steel cooking surfaces because they provide superior sear marks.

Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 Elite stainless steel grill grates

What else do you get? Serious temperature control. First, it goes from 150 to 500°F in 5-degree increments. Second, there’s an adjustable rear damper.

Third, there’s the Flame Broiler lever, which allows you to cook on both indirect and direct heat. With the flick of a switch, you create an open flame grill for ultimate sear marks.

Finally, keep an eye on the temp with the 4 meat probe ports and 2 included meat probes.

Smoking setup

You start with a 32-pound wood pellet hopper with a viewing window, perfect for an overnight cook.

But the star of the show for me is the new Variable Smoke Technology. It equals 2 cooking modes you can toggle between for a smoother and more satisfying smoking experience.

Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite pellet grill digital controller

Incorporating cycle cooking, the PID mode reads the pellet grill and responds accordingly, providing a consistent temperature. Meanwhile, the Smoke Mode enhances the amount of smoke for maximum smoke flavor.

With Smoke Mode, you can control how much smoke you want on your meat. Raise the P setting for less smoke and decrease for more smoke. Here’s everything you need to know about mastering Pit Boss’s P setting.

The first cook: smoking brisket

The first time I put the Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite to the test was smoking a brisket.

smoked brisket with two meat probes on a Pit Boss 1600 elite pellet smoker

If you’re new to a pellet grill, the big thing to learn is rotating your meat during the cook. I set up 2 probes on either side of this grill during the first cook, and the temperature difference was about 50 degrees.

This is thanks to the pellet grill’s design. The fan on the hotter left side next to the hopper pushes to the “cooler” right side. But because the Elite includes an adjustable damper or air vent in the back, I set it partially closed about 2 hours into the cook.

The Smoke Mode was one feature this first cook made me fall in love with. I was really impressed with how much smoke it produced. The end result after 8 hours was a perfectly tender beef brisket with a great smoke profile.

Storage

The Elite has a folding front shelf, a solid bottom shelf, and a side shelf with a built-in tool rack. I know some people don’t love the front shelf’s size. But it did comfortably fit a pan holding that large beef brisket.

Cleaning the Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite

Pit Boss has tried to make cleaning this pellet grill as simple as possible. You’ve got easy hopper cleanout, the Burn Pot Ash Management System, and the Integrated Grease Management System​​.

a man cleaning the Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite pellet grill with a vacuum cleaner

Now, this could be a me problem, but I always have trouble with the handle getting stuck underneath when I re-insert the flame broiler. So I have to take off the knob and replace the handle in the right direction. But that’s my only complaint with cleaning up this grill.

Alternatives to consider

We’ve tried and tested quite a few different Pit Boss pellet grills over the years, so here are two great alternatives to the Pit Boss Pro Series 1600 Elite.

Pit Boss Pro Series 1600

The Elite is the updated model of the Pit Boss Pro Series 1600. They have similar features, including digital technology, a 3-tiered cooking area, and grease management/ash cleanout systems. But here are the main differences:

  • This is about $300 cheaper.
  • It has a crosshatch porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grid  on the bottom instead of stainless steel.
  • There’s no Smoke Mode, and the temperature increases in 10-degree increments.
  • It includes an interchangeable griddle insert.
  • It’s exclusive to Lowes.

Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000

Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000 pellet grill

The Platinum Laredo 1000 wood pellet grill is also a very similar alternative. It features the same digital technology, ash cleanout/grease management system, and 3 cooking levels with coated rods.

But you do get a smaller hopper and cooking space at 1006 square inches. The 26-pound hopper is still big enough for an overnight cook, though.

While the temperature range is the same, it increases in 25-degree increments instead. I also found I had to add a smoke tube to achieve the same smoke flavor as either Pro 1600.

One feature that sets the Laredo model apart is the direct component access, which makes it really easy to clean out an auger jam. I’ve never had a problem with jams in my Pit Boss pellet grills. But if you live in a high-humidity area and frequently experience jams, this might be the model for you.

A great entry-level pellet grill option, it’s exclusive to Walmart and even more affordable than the Pro Series 1600.

Check out the video below to see these wood pellet grill alternatives head-to-head.

Which Pit Boss Pellet Grill Should You Buy

Final thoughts

In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m very impressed with the Pit Boss Pro 1600 Elite. It combines advanced technology and connectivity with an expansive cooking surface, Smoke Mode, and easy clean-up. But you really can’t go wrong with any Pit Boss when it comes to wood pellet grills.

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