Pros & Cons – Pit Boss Tailgater

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There are many portable pellet grills on the market. However, one of the first such models was the Pit Boss Tailgater. While you obviously don’t get a lot of cooking area on such a small pellet grill/smoker, that’s the Con to the Pro of portability. Right, let’s review its Pros and Cons.

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While I often write about the latest and greatest pellet grills/smokers, they also tend to be quite expensive. Therefore, low-cost models such as the Pit Boss Tailgater serve an important sector of the market.

The Pit Boss Tailgater is one of the cheapest pellet grills/smokers currently on the market.
If you’re looking to purchase a pellet grill/smoker but money is tight, the Pit Boss Tailgater is worth considering

With a typical price point of around $300 (sometimes lower at certain times of year), the Pit Boss Tailgater is easily one of the cheapest models currently on the market.

The Pit Boss Tailgater has been on the market for over five years at this point; as such, it doesn’t feature the latest tech. Don’t expect WiFi connectivity and an App to go with it.

The controller on the Pit Boss Tailgater is getting pretty old at this point.
The controller is pretty basic by modern standards

The controller offers a temperature range of 180 to 500 degrees. However, as per the older tech, you can only adjust the temperature in 25-degree increments.

What the Pit Boss Tailgater is great for is searing up some steaks and burgers when out and about as it features direct-flame access, marketed by Pit Boss as a Flame Broiler.

The Flame Broiler on the Pit Boss Tailgater is a feature not found on many portable pellet grills.
Open up the flame broiler and let the flames roll over the grate for high-temperature grilling

With a flame broiler, always respect the increased risk of a grease fire. Therefore, its vital to keep the grill clean enough to reduce the chances of that happening.

While the cooking functionality of the flame broiler is a Pro, how you actually have to use it on the Pit Boss Tailgater is less than ideal.

To use the flame broiler on the Pit Boss Tailgater you have remove the cooking grates to slide it open and closed.
You have to remove the cooking grates to open/close the flame broiler

On more modern Pit Boss pellet grills, they include a lever mounted on the outside of the grill that you can pull and push to open the flame broiler. Unfortunately, the Tailgater does not have this feature.

While most people, most of the time, just want to cook in their backyard, there are times when having a portable pellet grill can be really handy, for tailgating parties and RV/camping trips.

The small weight/size of the Tailgater along with its easy folding legs make it well suited as a portable pellet grill.
The Tailgater is a well-tried and tested portable pellet grill design, with good/sturdy folding legs

The folding legs on the Pit Boss Tailgater with their spring-loaded pins to lock them into position are well designed. There are some portable models (Traeger Tailgater cough cough), that don’t have legs as well designed.

Now, being a small portable pellet grill, the Pit Boss Tailgater was never going to have a large pellet hopper. However, the 5lb pellet hopper needs to be acknowledged.

The 5lb pellet hopper on the Tailgater is very small, and would only last a couple of hours while griling.
When high-temperature grilling/searing, a 5lb pellet hopper might not last long

When grilling/searing, the pellet consumption could be around 2 lbs per hour, potentially more if the weather is cold. Therefore, with such a small pellet hopper, it needs close attention.

My Final Thoughts On The Pit Boss Tailgater

As pellet grills/smokers go in general, the Pit Boss Tailgater is one of the cheapest models you can purchase as of this moment.

Yes, it’s not the most sophisticated model on the market, or even part of the Pit Boss range, far from it. However, for its price point, it’s actually not a bad model to consider at all.

If you would like to learn more about the specs of the Pit Boss Tailgater and any pellet grill/smoker for that matter, I encourage you to click the link below to explore our database.

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