I’m sure you’ve heard of Pit Boss by now. Pit Boss has been making affordable pellet grills for many, many years. Not only do they make pellet grills, but they also offer other types of smokers, including verticals.
In recent years, Pit Boss has been working on improving the quality of its grills and matching up with other grill vendors who are offering modern features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000 is one example of that.
Pit Boss is evolving
Pit Boss is better known for making affordable smokers and grills than for making the strongest, highest-quality grills. Their older grills were not bad; they were simply a step behind companies like Trager and others. However, affordable grills were and continue to be Pit Boss’ strongest selling point.
It’s fair to say that poor quality, particularly in technology and features, hurt Pit Boss’s name a few years ago, but their newer models are vastly improved.
Pit Boss’ new line of grills is changing that, with consumers looking for and willing to pay more for a higher-quality pellet grill than the most common brands and different models.
The Pit Boss Platinum Laredo Pellet Grill
The Pit Boss Laredo is a higher-quality grill with lots of space and features. This is a very large grill, offering 1000 square inches of cooking space with three cooking racks. Pit Boss’ “Smoked It” tech and app allows you to control your grill’s temperature and monitor other aspects using your smartphone.
The Big Bus lot of Laredo 1000 also offers higher quality, lots of space, a better-insulated cooking chamber, multiple cooking racks, and other nice modern features.
This Pit Boss Platinum grill has a nice powder-coated finish commonly found in higher-end grills. It features four caster wheels with locks, a shelf for food prep, a cooking chamber light, a front ash clean out tray, a pellet clean out door, a prep side table, and a digital temperature (PID) controller.
First Impressions of the Laredo 1000
Pit Boss definitely paid a lot of attention to customer feedback and improving quality when they were building the Laredo 1000. Right away, you can see and notice the heavy-duty steel used to construct this grill.
Also noticeable is the bottom shelf, which not only helps with storage but also makes the legs and frame itself stronger.
The Laredo 1000 has a large 26-pound pellet hopper and a large-screen PID controller, both of which are easy to notice. The hopper also has a clean-out door, which allows for quick pellet swaps or to simply empty the hopper for storage.
The PID controller has a large digital screen that displays temperatures and other functions of the grill. I will get more into this display screen topic later; there are a few things I didn’t quite enjoy about it.
Overall, the look of this grill feels solid, and it is one heavy piece of metal. The grill comes almost fully assembled. Unlike other grills I have put together, the Laredo 1000’s hopper, auger, and cooking chamber are all assembled at the factory. Mainly, you need to install the legs, shelves, and racks.
A Walkthrough of the Laredo 1000
The Laredo 1000 will greet you with a large 1000-square-foot cooking area, large enough to cook large briskets, pork shoulders, or multiple racks of ribs. This grill is WiFi and Bluetooth ready and works with Pit Boss’ Smoke It app.
This is not to be confused with WiFi-only grills. A Wi-Fi and Bluetooth grill means that the grill can connect to your home wireless network, where you can access its features and temperature controls from anywhere as long as you have Internet access.
If you happen to be in a place where you do not have a wireless network, you can connect directly to the grill using its Bluetooth antenna and create an ad-hoc connection between your phone and the grill.
The Pit Boss Laredo 1000 can operate at temperatures between 180 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, this might not seem much different than most grills, but here’s one feature that most will enjoy: the “grill” configuration.
The Laredo 1000 can be used as a regular grill or smoker, which means operating temperatures of 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Pit Boss has a feature called the Flame Broiler, which is, in simple terms, a shield that you can remove by pulling a lever. The flame from the burning pot goes straight into the cooking chamber, which can get up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is an excellent grill and smoker. You can set it up to cook low and slow, but you can also pull a lever and set the grill for direct flame to sear the perfect steak.
Many manufacturers say that their grills are very versatile, but the Laredo 1000 truly is. Because it can operate at temperatures between 180 and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, it can grill, smoke, roast, bake, and sear a steak.
Another nice feature of this grill is its built-in lighting for night grilling. Many of us enjoy cooking at night, where lighting isn’t as good as in our backyards. Having a light not only allows you to see where you’re putting your hands and how close you’re getting your hands to the grates, but it is also easier to see how well food is cooking, check for burn spots, and move food around.
Another feature that I came to appreciate in many pellet grills was the built-in, front-mounted ash cleanout tray. Ash buildup is the nemesis of a pellet grill’s performance. That is, the more ashes accumulate in the bottom of the grill and inside the burn pot, the less air flows, which means poorer performance.
The burn pot and bottom of the grill can be difficult to clean at times. With the Laredo 1000, simply pull the tray out and empty the ashes. With other grills, a shop vac needs to be used to clean out the ashes.
Pit Boss The Laredo offers two ways of cooking
One distinct feature of the Pit Boss Laredo 1000 is its ability to “switch” from grill to smoker. You might think that the majority of pellet grills can do the same thing, and you’d be right; however, smoking and grilling functionality is assumed in some grills. By this, I mean that it is assumed that the grill can smoke because it can operate at temperatures anywhere from 180 to about 300 degrees, and it is expected to also be able to grill because the grill can operate at temperatures above 300 degrees.
This grill’s “Flame Broil” feature, on the other hand, can heat up to 1,000 degrees because the heat shield can be moved out of the way to let the fire cup flame into the cooking chamber, which heats the chamber to more than 800 degrees.
There are other pellet grills that can do this; some Z Grills models and the Oklahoma Joe’s Rider DLX can do this as well. This feature is offered by a shack in Seattle, but with limited success.
Using the Pit Boss Laredo 1000 as a smoker
To use the Pit Boss Laredo 1000 smoker, the setup is quite simple. Set the lever on the grill’s side to the “smoke” position and set the desired smoking temperature. Normally, if you want to smoke pork ribs, a pork shoulder, or a brisket, you will be operating at temperatures anywhere from 225 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using the Pit Boss Laredo 1000 as a grill
It’s also a simple idea to use the Laredo 1000 grill too. Slide the lever to the grill possession to open the heat shield. With the Laredo set up to grill, you can maximize its heat output, and this grill can reach temperatures of upwards of 800 degrees.
One thing I’m hesitant to do is place very greasy foods, such as steaks or pork belly, directly over the burning pot because it will cause flare-ups.
How the Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000 Stacks Up
Pit Boss has done a great job in recent years of adding new technology to their grills. A grill that can get hotter than 800 degrees is a great example of this.
Pit Boss has added Bluetooth capability, wireless connectivity, and a digital PID controller to most of their grills, and these new features can be found in high-end grills such as Tragers, Rec Tecs, and Z Grills.
Pti Boss is definitely a bit late to the game, but it seems their focus is still on building affordable grills for everyone to enjoy.
The Laredo 1000 definitely feels stronger than older people’s models. The build quality is stronger; the chamber is solid, and its legs are strong. We enjoy the fact that the grill has three cooking racks, which is enough to fit large cuts of meat but also cook vegetables and keep food warm during a long day of cooking.
The large display on the temperature controller (PID) It’s nice to have but lacks the resolution of high-end grill controller displays. The display is not as easy to read in direct sunlight as it is with other grills. It looks like a 1980s Casio calculator display, but it is not something that many will find troubling.
However, it would be nice to be able to see the display better when cooking outside in direct sunlight.
What we like:
We loved how simple it is to pull the lever and unleash the full fury and power of this grill. Being able to cook at temperatures of 700–800 degrees is Kamado grill territory. This cooker offers another level of versatility that many pellet grill companies claim to offer.
Cooking at 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, means you can drop a pizza stone on this grill and bake your favorite pizza recipe. This also means you can get a nice big rib-eye steak or Tomahawk steak, nicely seared, for dinner.
We also enjoy the fact that the grill has both Bluetooth and wireless capability because not everyone will be at a place where wireless is available. The difference between Bluetooth connectivity and wireless connectivity is that Bluetooth allows you to create a direct connection between your smartphone, whereas with a wireless connection you need a wireless router and Internet access.
One thing worth noting is that Pit Boss has designed this grill so it can actually work with a 12-volt battery. That is, if you take this grill on the road, which will require some assistance because it is large, you can use it with your car’s battery.
The catch is that you must unplug the built-in pellet igniter and manually light the pellets, as specified in the owner’s manual. But the point is that the grill can work with a car battery, and it is beneficial that this grill supports a Bluetooth connection. If you’re in the middle of nowhere but have a 12-volt battery nearby, such as your pickup truck’s and a Bluetooth-capable smartphone, you can control this grill.
The Laredo 1000 also has a very intuitive control display. The display in the temperature controller, or PID, shows you the basics, including cooking chamber temperature, meat probe temperature, and, of course, your “set” temperature.
You also get a couple nice little treats, including a pellet sensor that tells you when you run out of pallets. Now, this is not as useful as the pellet level sensors found in newer Traeger models, which actually tell the actual level of pellets in the hopper. The Pit Boss just tells you when you run out of pallets, and my friends, with pellet grills, you know when you run out of pallets because, well, the temperature drops like a ball and you stop cooking.
Another option is to send the display when the fan is running, which I don’t see the point of because you can hear the fan running.
This grill also supports two meat probes, and you can see the temperature of each of those probes and the internal temperature of the meat displayed on the main display.
Another nice thing about the Laredo 1000 is that there is a door on the side of the hopper that allows you easy access to the internal components, including the fan and other connections, so if you do have to replace a part, you should be able to get in there very quickly.
Things to consider
There are a few things we did not enjoy about the Pit Boss Platinum Laredo. The first is that, for some reason, people choose to offer this grill through only select retailers, and I think that is going to deter some customers, as people might just want to have the option of ordering the grill online or simply going to a store where they have a membership or they like.
I’m sure they have reasons, but in my opinion, this is something I don’t like.
One thing that concerns me about the Loredo 1000 is how flat it is and where the temperature controller display sits. The LCD display is almost flat on top of the hopper lid, and I am concerned that it will be damaged over time as people place tools on it, drop food on it, or do anything else on it.
This grill will not win any beauty or quality contests, but it will surely come in second. But for less than $600, you get a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable grill built with decent quality materials, lots of tacky features, and plenty of space.
This grill is ideal for someone looking for a capable yet affordable option. If you are looking for higher-quality better technology and have the budget that I suggest looking at Brands like Traeger Rec Tec and Z grills.