Pit Boss Austin XL Review: Is It Any Good?

There has always been something impressive about owning a smoker. They are the topic of conversation at most family gatherings and parties.

Thanks to their ability to maintain a low, steady temperature we can slow-cook juicy tender meat without drying the food and flame grill all our favorite barbecue foods.

One of the big hitters in the smoker, grill market is Pit Boss. Pit Boss has built an exceptional reputation for selling quality cooking grills that provide incredible value for money. The Austin XL is one of Pit Boss’ most popular grills in a long list of potential choices.

With almost 1,000 square inches of smoking and grilling space, this grill is set up for anyone and everyone to use, reaping the benefits of mouthwatering wood smoked meat every time.

If you’re looking for a good grill that fills your smoking needs or simply want to know how good the Austin XL is then you’ve come to the right place.

At such a reasonable price you may wonder if the Pit Boss Austin XL is actually that good. In this review, we want to find that out. In the review we look at what it can do, the specs, and some user reviews to see if this is the best smoker for you. 

OUR TOP PICK

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Pit Boss Austin XL Specs

  • Type: Wood pellet grill and smoker
  • Smoker materials: Powder-coated steel
  • Cooking capacity: 930sq inches
  • Pellet hopper capacity: 31lbs
  • Heat range: 150-500°F
  • Fuel: Wood pellet
  • Dimensions: 62.4”(W) x 25.8”(D) x 28.23”(H)
  • Weight: 181lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years

Pros Of The Austin XL

  • High-quality: This smoker is built to last and is very high in quality for its price range.
  • Large cooking capacity: You have all the space you need on this grill to host an awesome party or thanksgiving dinner.
  • Large pallet hopper: The 31lbs pellet hopper lets you cook for long periods of time without having to add more.
  • Extra’s included: Added extras are a nice touch. 
  • Range of temperatures: This allows you to grill, smoke, roast, or bake almost anything
  • Auto start and stop: This means you can leave the smoker to it, even if an early morning start is required. 
  • Long warranty: The 5 years warranty is industry-leading.

Cons Of The Austin XL

  • Manual clean out: Though the grill is easy to wipe clean, the need for a vacuum to clean out the ash after every use is a pain.
  • No WiFi: This isn’t a problem but some other grills do have WiFi features. This doesn’t affect the smoker’s performance.

Features Of The Pitt Boss Austin XL Pellet Smoker

The Austin XL has a variety of interesting features and design specifications that make it an excellent smoker choice. Here are some of those features.

Size And Build

The high quality of this affordable smoker is rather impressive. The powder-coated steel design looks smart and stylish. It feels nice and sturdy and fits together well ensuring the smoker is sealed properly to avoid any smoke leaking out.

When putting the grill together for the first time you will need some help. This heavy-duty smoker weighs 181 pounds and is approximately 62 inches tall. Thankfully, the grill has wheels that make it mobile, saving you plenty of time when moving it.

The Austin XL has preferred porcelain-coated cooking racks which are excellent because of their durability and how easy they are to clean after cooking. The removable stainless steel serving tray is also an added bonus.

Despite being one of the most durable Pit Boss grills around its design does have one downside. The Austin XL’s hood is quite thin. The manufacturer designed it this way so they could offer a more reasonably priced grill.

This can cause a few issues with cooking though. The hood doesn’t insulate the cooking area as well as other smokers. External cold air and winds can alter the internal temperature of the grill which in turn can increase cooking time.

With the pellet grills 1,000 square inches of cooking space, you can cook up to 52 burgers at once. That would be more than enough for your next family barbecue.

Austin XL Cooking Performance

The most important feature of any smoker or grill is its ability to cook. It’s fair to say the Pit Boss Austin XL doesn’t disappoint on this score. In fact, the Austin XL is one of the best on the market.

This grill can do it all. It can do things low and slow, it can sear over an open flame, it can roast, bake, and even wood fire a pizza. With so much space to cook on it is the ideal smoker for larger families, entertainers, or those who love to cook in bulk.

The Austin XL has two removable cooking racks, one above and one below but thanks to the convection fans the heat is spread pretty evenly so that the food on the top rack smokes as well as the food on the bottom.

The smoker’s hopper does a brilliant job of feeding the fire pot with pellets. The temperature you set the grill to determines how quickly the pellets are fed into the pot. Once the Austin XL has got going you’ll get clear smoke coming out of the smokestack.

From the 31lbs hopper, you can expect to accommodate up to eight hours worth of cooking pellets, depending on how hot the fire is.

You can use the adjustable temperature dial on the control unit to select your predefined cooking temperature and adjust the flame in the fire pit. The one problem with the control unit is its lack of midway temperature settings.

The dial goes up from 250°F to 300°F but not to 275°F. Also, many smoking recipes recommend a temperature of 375°F as the best cooking temperature and this grill doesn’t have that setting.

This means you will have to do calculations to accommodate recipes that require that temperature. Besides this small downside, the Austin XL offers impressive cooking features.

Ease Of Use

The Austin XL is perfect for people who have never cooked with a wood fire grill before. The automatic wood pellet delivery and easy-to-use temperature settings make it easy for you to set it up and let it get on with the cooking.

Once you have finished using the pellet smoker the pellet purge system makes it easy to empty any unused pellets. The porcelain-coated racks are also super easy to clean.

Digital Controller

This grill comes with a handy master digital controller that sits in front of the pellet grill hopper. It features an LCD screen that gives an accurate reading of the temperature inside the grill, a power button, and temperature control knobs.

Putting all of the controls in one place makes the smoker even easier to use. This is also a pretty neat design feature that adds to the overall look of the grill.

Durability

The Pit Boss Austin XL is built to last. With proper maintenance, this smoker should last you year after year after year. A lot of thought has gone into the design of the smoker to ensure long-term use.

The chimney hood and smoker lid are coated with a high-temperature copper finish. This makes them resistant to rust, corrosion, and flames.

A smoker needs to be sturdy and made with high-quality materials. Pit Boss has done wonderfully well with the Austin XL by using solid and durable materials such as stainless steel and porcelain coating. It is a grilling champion.

If anything does go wrong with your smoker, you can rest assured thanks to the Pit Boss 5 year warranty your pellet grill comes with. Pit Boss will send you any replacement parts if something isn’t working.

They don’t however cover rust or oxidation unless it is as a result of the grill’s structural integrity.

Extra’s Included

Extras are always a nice touch. Let’s be honest we all look for them no matter what we are buying. It is worth noting that the Austin XL comes with a couple of extras when you make a purchase.

The smoker comes with two meat probes, a slide-out sear plate for open-flame grilling, a stainless steel shelf, a removable serving tray, and the 5-year warranty we mentioned earlier.

Cleaning Your Pit Boss Austin XL

The smoker has a good clean-out door to remove any remaining pellets. It works well to empty the hopper so you can store the unused pellets correctly, reducing the chances of them absorbing moisture.

The only downside to the cleaning of the smoker is the need to use a shop vacuum cleaner to clean out the firepit after every use. To do so you’ve got to remove the center grate and the cover before vacuuming the ash out once it has cooled down.

This doesn’t take too long but it is a bit harder than other grills. Some grills have ash clean-out systems instead which are a lot easier to use.

Pit Boss Austin XL Review Is It Any Good

Takeaway

So is the Pit Boss Austin XL any good? To put it simply yes it most definitely is. Pit Boss has helped make pellet smoking affordable with the Austin XL. There’s no denying that the Austin XL is an excellent smoker which offers amazing value for money.

The solid, heavy-duty grill has a wide temperature range, large capacity, and the ability to not only smoke but also grill, bake, and roast. It ticks a lot of boxes! We don’t think you can go wrong with this choice of smoker.

The only complaint we have with the grill is the need to clean it out after every use with a vacuum. Aside from that this grill is an awesome choice and one you should strongly consider when looking to buy your next or first smoker.

With its sturdy design and large cooking space, this grill is perfect for beginners or more expert smokers who want to cook a lot of consistently delicious food.

Your grill will be the talk of every family gathering or party with friends thanks to its stylish look, versatility, reliability, and ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can You Smoke On The Pit Boss Austin XL?

The length of time you can cook on your Austin XL depends on how hot you are cooking. The general guide is a full 31lbs pellet hopper should last for roughly 12-14 hours at 225°F. This will vary depending on the temperature you set your grill to.

Are Pit Boss Smokers Any Good?

Pit Boss are one of the most popular pellet grill manufacturers. Their wide range of grills are known to be great value for money. Despite not always having as many features they are a solid option for simple, yet effective wood pellet smoking and grilling.

How Do You Empty The Hopper On The Pit Boss Austin XL?

The Austin XL has an easy-to-use pellet clean-out door that effectively removes all the unused pellets from the grill. You don’t require a vacuum for this part of the cleaning process.

You will however require a vacuum when cleaning out the rest of the ash from the smoker. This can take a little longer but isn’t too much hassle.

Mick Rogers