The Pit Boss grills with a flame broiler option are the best way to have the best of both worlds. At first, it will be confusing, especially, if you’ve never cooked on a pellet grill. Do you leave the flame broiler open or closed? We’re going to take a look at what the Pit Boss flame broiler is on a Pit Boss and how to use it.
What Is The Flame Broiler On A Pit Boss?
The Flame broiler is a plate with a slider that allows you to cook with indirect heat (flame broiler “closed”) or direct heat (flame broiler “open”). It also acts as a protective barrier to channel grease towards the grease bucket and keeps it out of the fire pot.
I know this sounds confusing, especially, if you’ve only ever cooked on your kitchen stove. That’s what I thought when I first started cooking on my Pit Boss grill.
Here’s everything I’ve learned about using the flame broiler to help you out.
Indirect Heat vs Direct Heat
Direct and indirect heat are terms used when cooking over open heat or backyard grilling. Indirect heat means you’re cooking adjacent to the heat source (similar to how you cook on the stove).
Direct heat means you’re cooking the food directly over the heat source (open fire cooking). This type of cooking works on most grills such as charcoal, wood, and gas.
Where Is The Flame Broiler Located?
The flame broiler is located under the cooking racks and has a sliding plate that easily slides to an open or closed position.
Before using the grill, it’s important to make sure the plate is sitting properly in the grill. There are notches in the grill that will hold the plate in place.
The notches are located on the grease catch tray.
How The Pit Boss Flame Broiler Works
The smaller plate is used to slide over the openings of the longer arched steel broiler. When the holes are covered, the grill cooks with indirect heat.
If you look closely at the flame broiler plate, it has a catch tray on the backside. It prevents grease from escaping and falling into the firepot, which would cause a grease fire.
If you plan on using the flame broiler during your cooks, you’ll want to use a fork or utensil of some type to slide the plate open or closed.
Also, don’t wrap the flame broiler in aluminum foil, otherwise, it will make it harder to use. Of course, that means the flame broiler will get dirtier than it would if you had it covered.
Here’s how to clean the flame broiler plate without rusting it.
Pit Boss Flame Broiler Open or Closed?
There’s no one answer for every situation. Some people will want to cook using indirect heating (flame broiler closed). While others will want to experiment and cook over direct heat (flame broiler open).
For the best results, here are some instances you would want to leave it open or closed.
Grilling With Indirect Heat
Indirect heat means you’re cooking adjacent to the heat source (like the stovetop). Your food is still going over the flame, but the flame broiler is closed, blocking the flame from coming into contact with the food.
This method is best for long cooks such as cooking brisket, Boston Butts, ribs, and etc. Indirect heat gives you more control over temperature control, so your food comes out the way you want it to.
Grilling With Direct Heat
If you can see the holes, you will be cooking over direct heat. Meaning you’re cooking over the flame. The direct heat is what is responsible for those beautiful grill marks, crispy grilled vegetables, and juicy steaks and burgers.
It also how you sear meat to give it crispy skin with that beautiful color.
When cooking over direct heat, never leave the grill unattended.
The Pit Boss smoker makes it easy to use a combination of indirect and direct heat (combo heat) during the same cook.
Combination cooking is useful when grilling steaks, burgers, or other pieces of meat. You start out with the flame broiler close.
Then before taking them off the grill, cook them over an open flame to get the grill marks and caramelization over direct heat with the lid closed.
For example, if you’re cooking burgers on the grill, you can start out with the plate closed (indirect heat). Before removing them from the grill, you can sear them by opening the plate (direct heat) over an open flame.
How to Use The Pit Boss Flame Broiler
Using the flame broiler plate is not hard. Here’s how to get started using it. You can tweak these steps depending on your grilling methods.
- Close the slider plate to start. (unless you’re doing a fast cook)
- Use indirect heat to smoke or cook your food.
- Before pulling the food off the grill, open the plate.
- Use a long utensil to slide the plate open. (you don’t have to remove your food from the grill)
- Close the lid and let the flame do its job.
- Open the lid and remove the food from the flame.
- You should see nice sear marks from the open flame.
Before doing the Pit Boss shut down procedure, make sure you close the flame broiler slide.
Can You Use The Pit Boss Without The Flame Broiler?
Even if you don’t plan on using the flame broiler, it should always be in the grill. The flame broiler is a protective barrier against the open flame.
A missing or incorrectly installed flame broiler plate will cause the Pit Boss to not function properly.
The Pit Boss flame broiler makes it easy to use a combination of direct and indirect heat, which is often referred to as combination cooking or combo heat.
Whenever you’re doing any type of slow cooking, leave the flame broiler plate closed. It will give you better temperature control so the food won’t cook too fast.
For those days you’re in a hurry, opt for direct heat. You’ll cook your food over an open flame in minutes.
As you get more comfortable using your smoker, you’ll start experimenting with combination cooking.
Now that you know how to use the Pit Boss flame broiler. It’s time to experiment with it and see why so many people love using this smoker, because of the way it cooks the foods!