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posted April 01, 2022

Pit Boss 820D3 Review

Hey Backyard BBQ Heroes! It’s review time once again! This week I’m taking a look at the Pit Boss 820D3 Mahogany. Pit Boss is a well-known player in the game, producing pellet grills and smokers alike with an emphasis on high-quality, innovative products at a superb value. Will this Pit Boss 820D3 hold to that? Let’s take a look.

Dansons Inc/Pit Boss sent us this grill for testing and review purposes; however, all opinions are our own.  

Please note: Hey Grill Hey is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page.

Pit Boss 820D3 Grill on a porch with text overlay - Pit Boss 820D3 Review.

Pit Boss 820D3 Features

Check out the great features of the Pit Boss 820D3 Mahogany pellet grill:

  • 849 square inches of cooking surface
  • 180℉ to 500℉ temperature range
  • 2-in-1 removable stainless steel side shelf and serving tray
  • Slide plate flame broiler for direct and indirect heat
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates
  • Grease management system
  • Solid bottom shelf
  • Two in-line style wheels
  • Mahogany finish
  • 21 LB Hopper capacity

The Pit Boss 820D3 Mahogany

Let’s get right into it. Pit Boss has built its reputation on providing heavy-duty, feature-rich grills and smokers at a value price point. This grill is no exception with the $579.00 price point at the time of writing this article.

I’ve tested similar grills in this price range and every one felt thin, light, and a little flimsy. That is not the case here. Pit Boss uses thick steel construction with a heavy-duty powder coating which makes it feel like an absolute tank! Coupled together with 849 square inches of cooking space, porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, gobs of built-in shelving, and a 21 lb hopper, what’s not to love?

view of the inside of the hopper

Built right into that 21 lb hopper is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular on pellet grills these days; the hopper cleanout. Switching pellets on the fly is a trick every backyard pitmaster should have up their sleeve. Side note: bottle opener! Who doesn’t need an extra one of those around?

Pit Boss 820D3 Controller

The controller on the Pit Boss 820D3 is fantastically easy to use and has all the standard features you’ll find on pellet grills across the board. One notable feature I’d like to point out is the “P Setting” Essentially what this does is increase the amount of time between the pellet cycles on the grill, allowing greater control for fine-tuning the amount of smoke or consistent heat the grill will achieve when the controller is set to “Smoke.” Check out the owner’s manual to learn more.

pit boss 820D3 hopper on the side of the grill

Grill Internals

Let’s talk about the heat diverter/drip pan. I like to cover the drip pans in my pellet grills with aluminum foil to make for easy cleanup, and the round shape featured in the Pit Boss 820D3 makes this difficult.

fire burning below grill grates

The flame broiler feature is built right into that heat diverter as well. While it works and can produce a high-quality sear or some great direct heat food, sometimes the implementation just doesn’t hold up. There are better tools for the job. It works by sliding a plate on the heat diverter out of the way, providing access to the fire pot below.

Not only is the direct heat area small, but the feature also has some risks. Dripping grease straight into the fire pot of a pellet grill is just asking for a grease fire. This risk is less if you’re one of the few who keep their grills spotless, but it is still there.

front picture of the pit boss 820d3 with smoke rolling out

Cooking on the Pit Boss 820D3

Cooking on the Pit Boss 820D3 was an absolute delight! For the latest cook, I smoked a pork shoulder for about 14 hours and the smoke flavor was on par with every other pellet grill I’ve used. My guests were just as impressed as I was!

The grill didn’t have a single hiccup during the entire 14-hour cook and managed to keep an extremely stable temperature. At the price point, it has absolutely no business performing as well as grills that cost double or triple the amount, but it pulls it off!

wrapped meat with thermometers in it on a grill

What We Like

Here are some of our favorite things about the Pit Boss 820D3:

  • Build Quality – This thing is built well and built to last! The powder coating adds to the durable feeling and provides an awesome-looking finish.
  • Built-in Shelving – Not many manufacturers these days ship their grills with a side shelf AND a folding front shelf without charging you extra. Way to go Pit Boss!
  • Large Cooking Area

What Could be Improved

Even though this is a great grill, there are a few things that could be improved with the Pit Boss 820D3:

  • Weight – The grill is heavy. That could be either a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. Well built = heavy, but heavy = more difficult to move around.
  • The Heat Diverter – The rounded shape is not my favorite. It makes it harder to use a sheet of foil for easier cleanup. If your grill isn’t perfectly level it causes the grease to build up and run over the edge into the main grill body.
pulled pork slider on a plate

Recipes for the Pit Boss 820D3 Mahogany

Do you have the Pit Boss 820D3 in your backyard, or are you planning on buying one in the future? If so, I recommend trying these awesome recipes with your pellet grill.

Pit Boss 820D3 Mahogany Review: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Pit Boss hit the nail on the head, providing a killer grill at a very palatable price point. The Pit Boss 820D3 provides much higher build quality than similarly priced pellet grills while performing as well as grills 2 to 3 times the price. Therefore, if you’re a beginner or someone looking to get into their very first pellet grill, this Pit Boss 820D3 is a great choice! It’s sure to provide reliable service year after year on your back patio!

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