Every Pit Boss grill uses a control panel to operate the pellet auger, combustion fan, and hot rod ignitor. That said, not all Pit Boss control boards offer WiFi abilities. In fact, just recently only the new Pro Series 850 and 1150 offer wireless connectivity. That said, if you’ve ever wondered can I upgrade my Pit Boss to WiFi, you’re in the right place.
Can I Upgrade My Pit Boss to WiFi?
Yes, if your grill is one of the compatible grills on the list below, you can upgrade from the old control board to the new Smoke IT WiFi and Bluetooth controller. I recently replaced my old control board and wanted to share my experience as well as the step-by-step method of replacing it.
But First, Should You Upgrade To The Smoke IT Controller?
It depends, the control board is not cheap. If you’re happy with your grill as is, then there’s no reason to upgrade. However, if you want to use your smartphone to control your grill, then you might want to consider it.
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I upgraded to the WiFi controller because I wanted to be able to control the grill using my smartphone. Since having the new controller, I can now monitor it from anywhere, as long as I am within 30ft (9m) of the grill.
I’ve now had the new WiFi controller for over a month and I’ll share what I think about it below. First let’s look at some reasons you may want to consider upgrading.
The Smoke controller connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and WiFi. You’ll have to download and connect the grill to the Smoke IT app to your Android or iOS device.
Once connected you’ll be able to do the following with your phone:
- Turn off (not on)
- Increase/decrease the temperature
- Use the meat probes to monitor your cook
This means you won’t have to continually go outside to keep an eye on your grill. You can tend to other things around your home while you cook.
That said, it’s not perfect. there are some faults with the app. For instance, when I purchased it I thought there would be some type of internal alarm that would alert you when your meat reached the proper internal temperature.
Unfortunately, there’s not. I was actually disappointed in that as I thought it would be a cool feature. It would also mean you wouldn’t have to constantly be looking at your phone to monitor the temperature.
An alarm would alert you so you know when your food was done. I did reach out to Pit Boss about this and they haven’t responded. Hopefully, the app developer has something in the works for this.
My way around this is I set the alarm on my phone, because I tend to know how long something takes.
Faulty Control Board
Eventually, as your grill becomes older, you may end up with a faulty control. At this point you’ll have to decide whether you want to upgrade to WiFi or not.
Of course, before you replace your controller, you want to ensure it is indeed faulty. After all, they are not cheap and you don’t want to replace it if it’s not time.
Controller Compatible With The Following Models
The Pit Boss Smoke IT is NOT compatible with every model. In fact, there are only a limited variety of hoppers that can be upgraded to the new WiFi controller.
Here’s a list of the compatible models according to the Pit Boss website. If your model is on the list, it means you can upgrade to the Smoke IT controller.
I have the Pro Series PB820PSI model and I was able to upgrade to the smoke IT without issues.
These model numbers belong to the Navigator Series, Sportsman Series, Pro Series, and NASCAR series. If you’re not sure if your grill falls under these categories check out this website for a complete list of compatible grills.
Where to Buy Smoke IT WiFi controller?
You can purchase the controller on the Pit Boss website, Lowes or Amazon. I purchased mine from the Pit Boss website, but that was before I realized that I could purchase it anywhere.
Overall the purchasing experience was smooth and I didn’t encounter any issues. Below you’ll find the SMOKE IT controller on Amazon, to help make the process of buying easier.
Don’t worry, even if you’re not a techy person, you’ll be able to get it installed. I’ll share how to do it step-by-step below.
How to Install Pit Boss Wireless Controller
I’ve created a video that walks you through installing the new WiFi control board. This is the same process you would take whether you’re upgrading to the WiFi controller or just replacing it with another non-WiFi controller.
Here’s the video of me changing out the old control board with the new one.
Of course, I’ve also transcribed the video below for those of you that don’t like watching videos.
Tools You Need
- Wire Cutters
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Wire cutting pliers
- Electric screwdriver
- Wire Ties
Step #1 Unplug and Tilt the Grill
Ensure the grill is unplugged and turned off before doing any type of electrical work. Use a piece of wood to lean the grill over slightly. You’ll want enough room so you can crawl underneath the bottom of the hopper.
You don’t have to worry about removing the pellets from the hopper.
Step #1 Remove the Bottom Panel
Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the eight screws underneath the control panel. Push up on the screw to help loosen it without stripping it.
You might want to take a picture of how the cover fits, to make sure you put it back on correctly.
Put the screws somewhere you won’t lose them as you’ll need them to reattach the cover after installing the new controller.
Step #2 Cut the Wire Ties
Next take the wire cutters and cut the ties that are holding the wires together. Make sure you don’t accidentally cut any of the wires.
Once you’ve cut the ties, separate the wires so you can see them better. You’re going to disconnect the following four white connectors and one black connector.
|Connector||Hopper Wire||Controller Wire|
Just grab both ends of the connector and pull it apart. Let the disconnected wires hang loosely out of your way.
Step #3 Remove the Old Control Board
Look for the six plastic clips on the top and the bottom of the old controller and press them with your finger. This will loosen the old controller from the hopper.
Next use the flathead screwdriver to slide the tip behind the outside of the control board. Once the bottom clips are lose, reach behind the control board to loosen the top clips.
Make sure to hold onto the old control board, so it doesn’t fall after loosening the top clips.
Pull the old control board away from the hopper. Pull the wires outside of the opening to make it easier to attach to the new control board.
Step #4 Install the Smoke IT WiFi Controller
Attach the new control board to the wires above. Make sure the clips are attached firmly, you should hear a small click. The connectors are keyed, so make sure you’re connecting them the proper way.
Once the clips are connected, stick the controller in the slot, and push the wires to the back. The controller should fit without any issues or you having to make any cuts.
When all the wires are connected, gently push on the control board, until you hear the plastic clips on the top and bottom are properly secured.
Use the wire ties to secure the wires, so the wires don’t get caught in the auger or combustion fan when running the grill.
Step #5 Turn The Grill on to Make Sure It’s Working
Before replacing the hopper bottom cover, plug the grill in and turn it on. You want to make sure everything is working properly.
The auger should start feeding pellets into the firepot. At this point, I recommend testing out the probes to make sure they are reading properly.
After testing everything, disconnect the grill from the power. Reattach the cover.
That’s it, you’ve installed your new control board and the grill is ready to start using.
Downloading the Smoke IT App
Now it’s time to download the app, if you have an Android phone, you can download it from Google Play. For iOS users, you download it via the App Store.
The app is free and you will want to follow the step-by-step instructions to get it installed.
You’ll have to enter you Wi/Fi Name, Password, and your Grill name. I named my grill “Smoker Grill Girl” which is the name of my website and YouTube video.
You can name your grill anything you want. The app just needs a name for the grill to start using the app.
When the Smoke IT app is connected properly, you can it will look like the image below.
All the important settings are at your fingertips. Just glance down at your phone to see how your cook is coming along.
My Thoughts On The Smoke IT WiFi Controller
I’ve had my WiFi controller for a few months now. Here’s what I personally think about it. As mentioned above, I hate that it doesn’t have an alarm to alert you when your foods reach the proper internal temperature.
Other than that, the controller works great. I haven’t had any issues with losing connection or not working properly.
It did take some time for me to get used to turning up the temperature using the phone instead of the grill.
However, I’m very happy with my new WiFi controller. Now when I’m grilling, I find myself opening up the lid less often. Be sure to read my updated SMOKE IT Review, after using it for the past year.
This means my foods cook faster because the grill isn’t constantly losing heat.
At one point you didn’t have the option to buy a Pit Boss WiFi grill. Today, you can easily upgrade your old control board and replace it with a WiFi grill.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to install the Smoke IT WiFi controller. This is the same process you would use to install a new digital controller on the Pit Boss, regardless of what type you buy.