Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker Review

Deciding to start smoking meats means that you’ve considered a few things. You thought about why you want to start doing it. You thought about your interest in smoking meat and if you have the time for it. You explored your home to see if you have space for it.

Whether or not you have space, getting a vertical smoker is one of the best decisions you can make. And if you found this article, that means that you have your sights set on Pit Boss’ 5 Series, which is an even better decision to make beyond deciding to go with vertical smokers.

In this article, we are going to review a specific Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker, particularly the Series 5 smoker.  We hope that with this smoker review, you’ll be a step closer to experiencing what the fuss is all about when it comes to vertical pellet smokers.

Pit Boss Vertical Smokers Overview

Pit Boss

Pit Boss has always been known to be the creator of excellent smokers. The company aims to offer the unique benefits of vertical smokers, which include ample cooking space, even with a small surface requirement.

Unlike horizontal smokers, vertical pellet smokers do not require as much space. That means that from small porches to tiny gardens, vertical smokers have no problem fitting in. This feature is what makes it advantageous.

Pit Boss recognizes the benefits of a vertical smoker, and they have dedicated a lot of time and effort to create some of the best in the market. All their smokers feature ample cooking space, impressive smoking times, porcelain-coated cooking racks, a maximum 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and a hopper capacity of 40 pounds of pellets.

The company offers many types of vertical smokers. Here’s a full list of what you can get:

  • 2-Series Digital Vertical Smoker with Cover
  • 2-Series Gas Vertical Smoker
  • 2-Series Analog Vertical Smoker
  • 3-Series Digital Vertical Smoker
  • 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
  • 3-Series Gas Vertical Smoker
  • 3-Series Analog Vertical Smoker
  • Pro Series 4-Series Vertical Wood Pellet Smoker
  • 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
  • 7-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
  • Whiskey Still Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker

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Pit Boss also produces several gas, charcoal, and electric smokers. But it is in the vertical designs that they shine the most. And with good reason.

Each of the smokers’ series refers to their cooking rack levels. For instance, the 2-Series refers to their line of smokers with two heights and significantly small cooking capacity. On the other hand, the 5-Series features five levels and bigger cooking space.

The smoker series are targeted to different types of people, but if you’re on this article, we’re assuming that you’re especially interested in the 5-Series.

This smoker review will focus on the 5-Series Copperhead Vertical Pellet Smoker – the unit that lands right in the middle of small and large smoker thanks to its series. It is also the latest model in the lineup.

In the next sections, we’ll be discussing the features, build quality, and pros and cons of the Copperhead pellet smoker.

5- Series Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker Review

Pit Boss 5 Series

The dimensions of the Copperhead 5-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker is 28.2 x 27.83 x 52.76 inches

These dimensions mean that it is big enough to handle your meat but small enough in space requirements that you can place it anywhere in your home.

The unit’s weight at 127 pounds also informs you that it’s hefty enough to battle strong winds and bad weather without sacrificing portability.

There other vital information to be known about the smoker. It has a BTU value of 40,000, a cooking area of 1,657 square inches, and a hopper capacity of 55 pounds.

The Features

pit boss digital control

One of the most striking features of this pellet smoker is its ability to marry the elements of a pellet and an electric smoker.

For one, the smoker utilizes a control board that uses digital features to monitor internal temperatures. The results are indicated on a digital LED readout that can also be used to set the desired temperature ranges from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

For another, the smoker’s hopper that uses wood pellets for fuel features a unique system. This hopper is equipped with Pit Boss’ patented pellet purge system. This feature refers to how the hopper will get rid of the pellets whenever you decide to swap them out for a different type of pellet.

Combined with its 55-pound capacity, this hopper is one of the best we’ve seen, especially since it’s below the $1,000 price point. It’s perfect for those who want to cook low and slow, even boasting more than 24 hours of continued use.

Together, these features allow users to take advantage of the benefits of an electric smoker and the taste that results from pellet smokers.

Another crucial digital feature of the Copperhead pellet smoker is the automatic start-up and cool-down cycles.

It is also capable of automatically igniting the pellets at 300 watts. Before you worry about burning the pellets too much, the smoker automatically turns it off when it reaches your desired temperature.

When it comes to the internal elements, the smoker features a heat deflector, which helps in equalizing the temperature while cooking.

There are two probes within the smoker: the temperature and meat probes. The former is located inside the cabinet and along the bottom part. It is used by the control board to determine the temperature inside the unit, which is useful in temperature control.

The meat probe is connected through a dedicated port and located in the smoke cabinet. Built with stainless steel, the meat probe determines the temperature and displays it on the control panel, which saves you the hassle of having to go in and measure it yourself.

The final feature that we thought it necessary to mention is the user guide, which includes comprehensive cooking guidelines.

It details the cooking time for different types of meat and according to its size. It also indicates the optimal temperature for hot smoking, roasting, baking, and grilling. This comprehensive cooking guideline makes it easy to use, even for beginners.

The Build Quality

build quality

Pit Boss’ Copperhead Vertical Smoker also showcases good build quality. Considering how it doesn’t break the bank, being able to achieve this type of build quality is laudable.

The smoker comes with multiple square inches of porcelain. First, it offers five porcelain-coated cooking racks that can be spaced out depending on your needs. The porcelain coating makes it easy to distribute the heat for even cooking even if you want to cook multiple types of meat.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the smoker is the porcelain-coated water pan. This means that its build quality can resist rusting, making it more durable compared to standard steel water pans.

Though not porcelain-coated, the grease tray is also no less durable. You will have to take special care of it to make sure that you prevent any rust from developing and spreading through the smoker.

Beyond the cooking racks, water pan, and grease tray, the smoker also comes with effective sealing to keep the smoke in.

The doors make contact with rubber, which helps in keeping the smoke where it’s supposed to be. If you choose to spend a little bit of money, its cover is made of heavy-duty polyester with PVC support. This means that it’s basically weatherproof. It also offers draw-string locks, which helps in tightening the lock.

The temperature and meat probes are made of stainless steel, which helps in reducing the possibility that using it will break it. Of course, you’ll have to take care with using it because no matter the build quality when used and abused, it will break.

Overall, we think that the build quality of Pit Boss’ vertical smoker is top-notch, especially if you consider its price. You can’t go wrong with the Copperhead 5-Series Vertical Smoker, thanks to its durability.

Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve discussed the main features and build quality of this particular Pit Boss vertical smoker, it’s time to get down to the pros and cons that you should consider before you buy it. These pros and cons are based on our own experience as well as that of others. That way, you don’t have to look for another smoker review for this particular model.

Pros
  • Build quality is superb thanks to the porcelain-coating used for the cooking racks and the water pan
  • Digital controls are mostly accurate
  • Perfect for both hot and cold smoking
  • Included temperature and meat probes
  • Easy-to-access water pan and grease tray
  • Height adjustable cooking racks, which offer versatile cooking options
  • Impressive hopper capacity at 55 pounds
  • Large cooking capacity for something that can fit small spaces
  • Auto-igniter
  • Auto start-up and cool-down cycles
Cons
  • Temperature and meat probes aren’t 100 percent accurate, may need checking intervals
  • Pellet purge system comes with a disclaimer that you don’t leave the pellets in there for too long
  • The internal temperature may still be affected by ambient outside temperature depending on where you live (icy places)
  • Temperature chart swings may be experienced during long smoking periods
  • Not for regular smokers considering the number of pellets it needs to operate continuously is incompatible with an extended smoking time
  • Small water pan capacity

Who Should Buy the Pit Boss 5-Series Copperhead Vertical Pellet Smoker?

Pit Boss 5-Series Copperhead

The smoking experience offered by Pit Boss’ 5-Series Copperhead Vertical Smoker makes it perfect for beginners and hobbyists.

Being able to set the temperature in the range you want without having to measure it yourself means that you’re saving time, effort, and money. Furthermore, it also means that the smoking experience isn’t so complicated, given that you only need to key in your desired temperature.

Moreover, Pit Boss provides all the features you need to clean and maintain the vertical smoker. For example, the doors and trays and the smoker itself feature handles that make it easy to pull out. The pellet purge system also helps in maintaining the impressive hopper.

While the digital and electric features represent the beginner-friendly parts of the system, the elements that constitute the pellet smoker makes it perfect for those who’d like units that produce great taste and value.

We’ve complemented the hopper multiple times, and in our opinion, it deserves an award.

Being able to use more pellets means that you’ll be able to get the great smoked taste you’re going for. It also means that you’ll be able to achieve it even if you use the low and slow smoking process. It’s perfect for someone who prefers slow smoking.

The cooking capacity of the vertical smoker also means that it can be offered to people who are aiming to cook a lot of meat and for a large crowd. With more than 1,000 square inches of cooking space, you’ll be able to fit in anything from beef ribs to pork loins.

In sum, the Pit Boss 5-Series Copperhead Vertical Smoker should be bought by beginners, hobbyists, and slow smoking enthusiasts. It’s also perfect for guest hosts and large family breadwinners.

The Alternatives

If you’re unsatisfied with what you see and what you get with the Pit Boss vertical smoker we’ve reviewed, there are other alternatives you may want to consider. The Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker is one.

This alternative may be something you’d like to consider if you want a unit that’s more digital than anything else. It’s also a bit smaller, which means that it’s the best alternative for those with small spaces for their smokers.

If you aren’t afraid to go for an offset smoker, Dyna-Glo’s Charcoal Offset Smoker is also a good alternative. It features the same vertical design but is significantly smaller and less durable than Pit Boss’ vertical smoker.

The upside is that it’s so much cheaper than the smoker reviewed here.

Meanwhile if you’re looking for a more legitimate and heavy-duty wood pellet smoker, then it might be best for you to look at the Pit Boss 820FB. It’s way bigger, less portable, more versatile.

The smoke rings you get from the Pit Boss 820FB is perfect for the more experienced smoker. It features a horizontal offset design. It’s also more expensive but not by much compared to the Pit Boss vertical smoker.

No matter what smoker you choose, there are other things you should think about beyond the price point.

From the cooking capacity to the cleaning requirements, we’re sure that if the Pit Boss vertical smoker isn’t for you, the perfect smoker is just out there waiting for you to find it.

Verdict

Given the features, build quality, and pros and cons of the Pit Boss 5-Series Copperhead Vertical Pellet Smoker, the bottom-lines of this review are that it’s one of the best budget options we’ve seen. It doesn’t cost you more than $600, and yet it offers porcelain-coating where it’s possible.

Sure, there may be other alternatives that are less pricey. But we think that you’d be hard-pressed to find another vertical smoker with the same level of value for your money.

If you’re looking for something sturdy, vertically designed, inexpensive, and feature-laden, then this Pit Boss vertical smoker is perfect for you. Needless to say that this particular Pit Boss unit is one of our most recommended vertical pellet smokers.

We hope that with this smoker review, you’ve found the one that fits your needs the best. Otherwise, we hope you keep looking. Smoking meat is an experience of a lifetime. You shouldn’t give up on it, knowing that the perfect smoker is waiting for you.

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