Unless you have a newer Gen 2 Pit Boss grill, you can’t use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to control the grill. That is until Pit Boss created the SMOKE IT dashboard, which allows you to control the grill via your phone using the free downloadable app. In this review, we will take a closer look at what this application does, and what to expect when start using it.
What Is The Smoke IT App?
The Smoke IT application is a free downloadable app for both Android and IOS users. It allows Pit Boss grill owners to control their grills via Wi-Fi or bluetooth. You will need a Gen 2 Pro Series grill or a compatible Generation 1 model, to upgrade to Wi-Fi.
Now that you know what the Smoke IT app is, you may want to know is it actually worth it? After all, to purchase a new Gen 2 grill with the Smoke IT pre-installed, prices start at around $399 for the Pro Series 600 horizontal grills, $550 for the Pro Series 850, and as much as $650 for the Pit Boss Pro Series Gas Combo Grill.
I’ve been using the Smoke IT app for over a year now after installing it on my Pit Boss Pro Series 820 and wanted to share some of my personal opinions about the product. In this review I’ll go over:
- Easy to Install
- The Different Interfaces of the app
- Accuracy of the app
- The Different Controls (and what you can control with your phone)
- Updates, Help and Notifications
As I’ve mentioned I’ve been using this app for a over a year now. Whenever I use my Pit Boss, I always find myself turning on the app. It has made monitoring my grill so much easier from the comfort of my couch, than having to constantly running out to my grill.
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That said, it does come with several problems you should be aware of, you can read about the biggest complaints here.
Pit Boss Smoke IT APP Review
#1 Easy to Install
If you have an older compatible grill, Pit Boss makes it easy to order the Smoke IT off their website or on Amazon. The installation process is extremely easy, even if you’re not a tech savy person. I’ve created a video that walks you through the entire process.
#2 The Different Interfaces
Anyone can download the free app for your phone, iPad or multiple devices, even if you don’t have access to the Smoke IT dashboard. That said, you won’t be able to control the grill. The app by itself gives you access to:
- The Pit Boss website (you can make purchases)
- Grill manuals for several different models
- The grill tab at the bottom is how you’ll connect your grill to the app.
Once the grill is connected you’ll see an interface with your grills name. I named my grill Smoker Grill Girl as you can see below. It has a very easy to read interface with everything you need to know about.
On the grill screen you will get a quick glimpse of the grill temperature, and the temperature of the probe (if you’re using one). When you click on the orange button at the bottom that says Grill Controls, you’ll be taken to a different screen.
This screen allows you to see the current temperature at the top left hand corner. There’s an option to show the temperature in both Celcius and Farenheit, although I haven’t figured out how to switch between them.
If you want to increase or decrease the temperature, you’ll do that by moving the black dot on the middle where you see that big circle in the middle. That function seems to work most of the time, however there have been some instances where I’ve changed the temperature on the app, and it didn’t change on the grill.
So you may want to double check that by checking the temperature on the grill. I know it defeats the purpose of using a wireless control, but it’s better safe than sorry.
With the new updated version, you now get a notification when the grill has reached the desired temperature. With the older version, I never received any type of notifications.
Those are the only two tabs I use when I am using the app during a cook.
#3 Accuracy of the App
I’ve found the app to be pretty accurate, and usually off by a few degrees when I check the internal temperature using my ThermoWorks Thermapen. That said, I don’t believe the inaccuracy of the internal temperature has anything to do with the app, it’s likely due to the Pit Boss probes.
When the app is connected to Wi-Fi, it works without hiccups for the most part. The other day, I was doing a burn off and the grill got an ERL code and I had no clue it happened till I went out there to put it away.
I thought I had turned off the grill via the app, only to see the grill was still on. So, I had to turn the grill off manually. So, while the app works most of the time, it’s important to remember that it is an app and you can’t or shouldn’t rely on it 100% of the time.
#4 What You Can Control With Your Phone
Both Android and IOS users have the capabilities of controlling the following with their phones:
- Turning off the grill (safety features prevent turning it on)
- Changing the temperature (up or down)
It may not seem like a lot, but that’s really all you need to control while using the app.
#5 Smoke IT App Help, Updates and Notifications
This is where the app struggles, when it comes to any type of issues. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get any kind of help with the app. I’ve been fortunate to resolve any issues that I’ve had, but many users have complained about the lack of help.
If you try reaching out to Pit Boss support, they’ll refer you to the developer of the app, as they don’t have anything to do with the app itself. Good luck on trying to get help from the developer, I’ve heard a lot of stories about people who don’t get their problems resolved. I guess that’s one of the reasons the app has a 2.4 star review on both Google Play Store and the Apple Store.
I’ve owned the app for over a year and the app has been updated once. It was a pretty big update and changed the interface and layout. Here’s an image of the first version I had when I first installed the app to my phone.
There’s not a huge difference in the features. The biggest difference is now the app sends you a notification when the grill reaches the set temperature.
Unfortunately, you still can’t set a timer that alerts you when the food has reached the desired internal temperature, or a timer that alerts you when the food has been cooking for so long.
I’ve found a workaround to this by setting the alarm on my phone. It’s not ideal, but it works.
Personally, I like the brighter colored version I currently have installed on my phone. Maybe it’s just easier on my eyes? At the time of this writing, you can download 3.1.14 to your phone.
You can enable or disable notifications in the app settings. I have them turned on and I get a notification when the grill has reached the set temperature.
The only issue is that you don’t get any type of notification if there’s an error on the grill, such as an ERL code or any of the other error codes.
I would love to see some type of notification that pops up on my phone whenever there’s an issue with the grill. That way, I can take care of it right away and not have to worry about it.
All in all, I think the app is decent and does what it’s supposed to do.
The Pit Boss smoke IT app makes it easy to control your grill without you constantly having to monitor it or opening the lid. That said, it’s a fairly new app that has its issues.
I’m assuming the app will only continue to get better with updates, especially since the Generation 2 models come with the SMOKE IT control board pre-installed. If you have an older compatible grill, you can easily change out your old dashboard instead of purchasing a new grill.
I’ve been using it for over a year now and I love the Wi-Fi capabilities that the app gives me. I can be inside, doing work or taking care of the kids and know that I can still monitor my grill.
If you’re looking for an app to give you complete control of your grill, this may not be the one for you. However, if you want an app that makes it easy to monitor, or change the temperature from your phone , then I would recommend giving it a try.