When we reviewed the Pit Boss Sportsman 820 a few years ago we were impressed with the size and features for the price.
When we got the chance to try out the vertical version, we jumped at the chance.
While the design has a lot in common with the 820, the 7-Series Sportsman is a great option for anyone that’s short on space that still wants a smoker with great capacity.
Pit Boss sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Overview & first impressions of the Sportsman 7-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker
Once I managed to get everything assembled I could tell that the smoker was built well and is very easy to roll around.
I think the smoker control board would be more user-friendly if it was located at the top of the smoker instead of the bottom, It would be easier to see and use.
The smoker holds a lot of pellets which is really nice because you can smoke for a very long period of time without having to reload.
Pit Boss Sportsman 7-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker specifications:
|Cooking area||1,815 square inches|
|Pellet cooking temperature range||150° to 450°F|
|Hopper capacity||55 lbs|
|Construction||Heavy-gauge stainless steel|
|Price||Check Latest Price|
What I like:
- Flavor/Taste – While I don’t have any way of checking the accuracy of the smoker, the finished foods taste amazing. They were smoky and juicy.
- Hopper capacity – I really like that this smoker holds so many pellets. I was able to have long smokes without ever filling up the hopper.
- User friendly – Turn the power button on and follow the startup process, very simple This smoker doesn’t get much easier to use.
- Clean up – is very simple, there are a lot of racks to clean when used.
- Food capacity – This vertical smoker holds tons of food!
What I don’t like:
- Assembly – The smoker did not come with any instructions or paperwork for use. Requested, and got from
Pit Bosscustomer service. Screws did not thread well and parts were not labeled so you just had to figure some of it out. Instructions were decent but could be much, much better.
- Night visibility – I wish there was a light inside the smoker because when you have to check on it in the dark you can not see. What’s the point of a glass door if you can’t see through it?
Unboxing and setup
Pit Boss did a great job with the packaging of these smoker parts and pieces. There was plenty of protective wrap and foam to prevent damage. All the parts were damage free.
This smoker took me 1 hr 30 minutes to assemble. This time also accounts for stopping to take a few pictures along the way.
Some of the screws did not thread into mounting locations easily at all. The screws didn’t look damaged. I think there may have been random debris in the threaded holes left during manufacturing.
The smoker legs and bracing seem fairly sturdy. Because of the weight of the machine when full of pellets and meat I think they could have put a little bigger wheels and legs.
The latch in the back of the smoker at the bottom for draining the pellets could have been done much better, poor design and quality of that. Overall the quality of the smoker is nice and solid.
Pit Boss Sportsman 7-Series Vertical Smoker
While I didn’t have any way of testing this smoker with external temperature probes, the smoker seemed to stay pretty close (within 20°ish F) from what I set it at.
I also tried out the meat probes. The temps I got from them seem to line up pretty well when I checked the meats to what I was expecting.
Should you buy Sportsman 7-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker?
This is an all-around solid choice for a pellet smoker. Sure, the quality could be a little better, but the structural strength of the smoker is more than adequate.
This smoker is capable of smoking a lot of meat at a time so could be used for commercial smoking as well the quality of the smoking is easily commercial quality.
If you don’t think you need quite as much space, you could go for the otherwise identical 5-Series Vertical Sportsman.