Best Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker 2023

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While I have my main article on the best vertical pellet smokers, that article covers all brands. Pit Boss themselves actually produce several different vertical pellet smokers. Therefore, I thought I would create an article to discuss and compare just Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers. While the construction of their cooking chambers may be very similar, there are several different control panels used. So which is the best value? Well, let’s try and work that out…

Best Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker
Of these five Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers, which model offers the best features/value? Images – PitBoss-Grills.com

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

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Introduction To The Best Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker

As you may know, Pit Boss has the largest product range of pellet-based BBQs on the market. As such, they also have the largest product range of vertical pellet smokers.

Below I’ve provided details on vertical smokers from the Copperhead, Sportsman, Competition Series, Pro Series and Platinum range.


1st Contender – Pit Boss Copperhead 5-Series

The Copperhead range of vertical pellet smokers are some of the oldest Pit Boss models still on sale. As such, they use a previous-generation control panel.

Therefore, that means no PID temperature control or WiFi (SmokeIT). While there is a Smoke Setting, you do not get a P-Setting adjustment for more precise smoke control.

Pit Boss Copperhead 5-Series Vertical Smoker

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,513 sq.in (over 5 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 60 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $497
  • Availability = PitBoss-Grills.com & Walmart.com

2nd Contender – Pit Boss Sportsman 5-Series

The Sportsman 5-Series vertical pellet smoker is very similar to the Copperhead model above, with the same cooking area, temperature range, control panel etc.

The only slightly odd thing is the product description states the hopper holds 55 lbs of pellets (the Copperhead is 60 lbs). I’m not sure if this is a typo/rounding error.

Pit Boss Sportsman 5-Series Vertical Smoker

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,513 sq.in (over 5 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 55 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = No
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $659
  • Availability = PitBoss-Grills.com

3rd Contender – Pit Boss Competition 5-Series (Gen 2)

The Competition Series is a range of Pit Boss products that are sold exclusively at Academy Sports. This range includes several horizontal grills/smokers and the vertical smoker below.

The Competition Series vertical smoker differs from the other two Pit Boss models above as its fitted with a PID temperature control for 5-degree temperature adjustment and WiFi (SmokeIT).

Pit Boss Competiton 5-Series Vertical Smoker

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,679 sq.in (over 5 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 60 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $549
  • Availability = Academy.com

4th Contender – Pit Boss Platinum Brunswick

The Pit Boss Platinum Series is a Walmart exclusive, and there are several models included in the range, including the Brunswick, which is the vertical pellet smoker.

The Platinum Brunswick was the first Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker to feature a PID control panel and Bluetooth/WiFi integration. I also quite like the double split door design.

Pit Boss Platinum Brunswick Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,164 sq.in (over 4 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 98 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 150 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $597
  • Availability = Walmart.com

5th Contender – Pit Boss Pro Series Elite

Below we have the vertical pellet smoker from the latest Gen 3 Pro Series model range. Like the previous Gen 2 Pro Series model, it features a PID/WiFi control panel.

However, this Gen 3 Pro Series vertical pellet smoker has an additional feature called VST (Variable Smoke Technology) that gives more control over smoke production than the other Pit Boss models above.

Pit Boss Pro Series Elite Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,529 sq.in (over 5 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 70 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 130 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $899
  • Availability = Lowes.com

6th Contender – Pit Boss Copperhead Onyx Edition

The Pit Boss Onyx Edition range is exclusive to Walmart and features a range of horizontal pellet grills along with a new vertical pellet smoker called the Copperhead.

While in my Onyx Edition vs Pro Series and Onyx Edition vs Competition Series comparison articles, I praise models such as the Lexington and Austin XL, unfortunately, the Copperhead is missing some features.

Pit Boss Onyx Edition Copperhead

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,300 sq.in (over 5 racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 65 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 130 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $474
  • Availability = Walmart.com

Round 1 – Temperature Control & Cooking Performance

There are some differences in the type of technology/temperature control found on the various Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers above.

For instance, the Copperhead and the Sportsman both feature previous-generation time-based control panels with 25-degree temperature adjustment/accuracy.

The Competition Series, Platinum Brunswick, Copperhead Onyx Edition, and the Pro Series Elite all feature PID control panels where more accurate 5-degree temperature control is possible.

However, while PID temperature control is more accurate, it will result in less smoke production as a result. Therefore, when it comes to vertical pellet smokers, PID temperature control is not always preferable.

This is where the Pro Series Elite vertical pellet smoker is superior to all of the other Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers above, as its touchscreen control panel features both Time-based/Cycle temperature control and PID temperature control.

On the Pro Series Elite, its possible to switch between PID and Smoke Mode. In smoke mode, its possible to adjust the P-Setting for maximum control over smoke production.

Round 2 – Cooking Area & Hopper Capacity

By far the smallest vertical pellet smoker of the above contenders in the Copperhead Onyx Edition with a total cooking area of just 1,300 sq.in.

Several of the Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers above share the same cooking chamber dimensions and have the same cooking area/capacity.

For instance, both the Copperhead, Sportsman and Competition Series offer the same overall cooking area of 1,513 sq.in over five cooking racks.

The Pro Series Elite offers a little more at 1,529 sq.in over five racks, but in reality, it offers the same cooking area. The Plantium Brunswick only has four racks with 1,164 sq.in.

However, when it comes to the hopper capacity, the roles are reversed. The Platinum Brunswick offers the most with a frankly bonkers 98 lb hopper. Followed by the Pro Series Elite at 70 lbs.

The Copperhead provides a hopper capacity of 60 lbs, whereas Competition Series and Sportsman have the smallest hoppers at 55 lbs each.

The reality is that any of these pellet hoppers is easily capable of sustaining an overnight smoking session without running out of pellets mid-cook.

Round 3 – Pricing & Value

So first off, we need to acknowledge that different control panel technologies are being fitted to the various Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers above with different capabilities.

The Copperhead Onyx Edition is the cheapest of the contenders, and its 5-degree temperature control is a nice feature to have, but its also notably the smallest smoker of the contenders.

The Pro Series Elite unquestionably features the best controller with the best functionality. However, its also notably more expensive than the other Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers.

When it comes to price per sq/in of cooking area, the Copperhead works out at 32 Cents per sq.in. The Sportsman with identical features/specs works out a lot more at 43 Cents per sq.in.

The Competiton Series is only 26 Cents per sq.in, the Platinum Brunswick is 51 Cents per sq.in, and the Pro Series Elite works out at 59 Cents per sq.in.

So the best value for cooking area is provided by the Competition Series vertical pellet smoker. While the Pro Series Elite is the most expensive per sq.in, its also the most advanced product.

Conclusion On The Best Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker

When it comes to technology and functionality, the best Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker currently on the market is the new Pro Series Elite.

Then again, its also the most expensive by a notable margin. For instance, the Pro Series Elite is more than double the price of the Competition Series vertical pellet smoker for more or less the same cooking area.

Therefore, when it comes to value, I think the Competition Series vertical pellet smoker is currently the best deal overall. However, its not without its flaws.

While the Competition Series offers PID temperature control and WiFi/SmokeIT functionality, it does not have a Smoke Mode. Which I do find disappointing, as it is found on the Competition Series horizontal pellet grills/smokers.

That’s it! I hope you found the information/comparison above of the various Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers useful/informative.

As always, if you would like to learn more about all your options on the market today, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂

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