Pit Boss Lockhart Platinum Series Pellet Smoker Review

It's large, in charge and it's the newest thing from Pit Boss! Introducing the Pit Boss Lockhart, one of the platinum series pellet smokers just released and carried exclusively by Walmart.

I will tell you up front that I really like this pellet smoker for a number of reasons which I will detail below but here are the main features:

  • Holds a really good temperature (+/- 5 °F)
  • It's HUGE and has lots of cooking space (more than 2000 in.²)
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Easy ash cleanout
  • Capable of direct heat grilling
  • Cool smoking capability in the upper chamber
  • Holds a whopping 40 lbs of pellets
  • Comes with (2) meat probes but has (4) probe inputs if you need it
  • Bluetooth connectivity to your phone (I'm not a big fan of bluetooth connectivity as I prefer WiFi however, this seems to be a strong signal and it was connecting fine more than 50 feet away and through several walls)
  • The finish on the outside is tough, durable and extremely easy to wipe clean.
  • Light in the main chamber and light in the smoke chamber as well.
  • Touch screen controller
  • Built in probe storage

Assembly

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My son in law helped me get everything out of the box and I jumped right into putting it together. I ended up finishing it myself since he had other places to be but I do recommend having some help if you can wrangle it.

It took me about 3 hours to put the entire thing together following the instructions in the manual which, for the most part, where well written and easy to understand.

Cooking Areas/Space

The amount of cooking area on this thing is something that's going to appeal to a lot of people and I want to talk about that right off the bat.

The area right over the burn pot is the main cooking area. This area is covered by two cast iron grates side by side. Each of the grates is 14-¼” x 18″ giving you a total cooking area of 28-½” x 18″.

There is also a smaller upper grate in this main cooking area which is 28″ x 6″.

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The top smoke box has four grates with about 3-1/4″ of vertical space between each one. These grates are 28″ x 12-½” each.

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The Lockhart also ships with six sausage hooks in case you want to smoke some sausage in the upper smoke box area.

Total combined cooking space is more than 2000 in.²

The Controller

The controller has PID technology which just means that it has the capability of learning how you operate the pellet smoker and to make adjustments to better control things like lid opens.

The screen is touch sensitive so things like sending more pellets to the burn pot or even turning on the internal lights are controlled by a simple touch.

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The controller also connects to the Pit Boss app on your phone via bluetooth  and you are able to control all functions on the pellet smoker except for powering on the smoker which must be done on the smoker itself.

There are four probe inputs on the underside of the controller but the smoker ships with two probes. You can add two more probes if you need them.

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Ash Cleanout

On the front of the Lockhart is an ash drawer with a pull handle. The pull handle releases the ashes to fall down into the ash drawer and then the drawer can be pulled out and emptied. Easy peasy!

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This does not negate the need to clean out the inside of your pellet smoker once in a while but it does mean you can be less frequent about it.

“More Smoke” Knobs

On the right side of the unit you will see two parallel knobs.. these open up chambers inside of the grill area to allow more smoke and heat into the upper smoke area.

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I have not played with these enough to tell you how much it affects the smoke and heat when one or both of these are activated but once I do, I will update this review.

The Hopper

As with most pellet smokers, the hopper is on the side but this one is larger than most with a 40 lb capacity. Enough to keep you going for several days if need be.

The front of the hopper also doubles as a storage area for the probes and storage hooks.

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On the back of the hopper, you will find cord storage and an easy access cleanout in case you want to empty the hopper of pellets for cleaning or changing out the pellets for a different flavor. This is a feature that I really enjoy!

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Flame Broiler

With a knob located on the outside of the unit, you can go from indirect heat to direct flame broiling heat and this is really nice if you are cooking something that needs a little sear in it's life.

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I have used this on several steaks and some chicken and it works like a charm.

The only problem I have had is it sometimes gets grease dripped onto it and then it sticks and is hard to move. I have learned to make sure it is moving back and forth freely before beginning my cook. If necessary you can use a screwdriver to pry between the two pieces of metal to break it free and then you are ready to go.

Closed–

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Open–

Allows the fire to shoot up between the slots to the grates so it can flame broil whatever is sitting on the grate above.

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Storage

There is a large side shelf on the unit and of course the top of the hopper lid is also great for sitting things on as well.

The heavy duty shelf underneath is great for storage extra grates not being used or extra bags of pellets.

What I Like

I love this smoker and I've logged at least 40 hours on it so far with no issues. I get plenty of smoke flavor at low temperatures  and around 60 feet of range on the bluetooth controller to the app on my phone through several walls.

The finish on the smoker is easy to wipe clean and I love that the grates in the main area of the grill are cast iron.

What I Don't Like

I do wish they'd went ahead and installed Wifi capability since bluetooth lacks so much in range. Maybe they will do this in future models.

The handle on the main lid runs into the door handles for the smoke box above. Seems like the handles could have been split or installed so the main door could open fully. A mild irritation but I think this would have been an easy thing to correct.

The Price

I received the Lockhart pre-production and due to it's size and all of the great features it contains, I fully expected this thing to be priced a lot higher than it it. In my opinion, at only $747 (as of 1/16,2020), it is priced at a steal and if you are in the market for a new smoker, you can't go wrong with this one.

With the flame broiling capability, it could definitely be a really decent replacement for a grill AND give you a ton of hot smoking capability as well as some cooler smoking capability up top.

This thing is heavy at 275 lbs without any pellets in the hopper so I recommend you order it online for direct delivery instead of trying to haul it home from Walmart but that choice is entirely up to you.

Sold exclusively by Walmart, here's a link to check it out

38 Comments

  1. Matthew August 10, 2021 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet, but I just bought this grill and it does indeed have the WiFi now. Great grill, definitely a beast to get home and out of the truck but I was able to do it solo without damaging the grill. I don’t suggest it, I fully accept I was a lucky idiot. Definitely try and get help through the first few steps of installation. Once it is on it’s feet, things get way easier.

    • Lane March 8, 2022 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      I bought this grill/smoker in summer of 2021. By March of 2022 the black coating around the outside of the grill is peeling off and the outside of the grill is starting to rust. I always keep the grill under cover and I use the accompanying grill cover when not in use. IVery disappointed in the quality of this grill.

      • Jeff Phillips March 9, 2022 at 10:48 pm - Reply

        Matthew, thank you for letting us know

  2. Robert February 6, 2021 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    I got my lockhart for Christmas in 2020. I love this unit as a grill and smoker. I came from an offset, and had to get used to not seeing the constant smoke coming from the grill, but when I smoked my pork loin, ribs, or anything. So far I have had an amazing smoke ring in the meat while not seeing the smoke. I do agree with the other post about the upper cabinet being 30-40°s off from what the panel says, but as said in earlier post if you put one of your probes in the upper cabinet you will read a much more accurate temp. Also if using the grill in the lower temp setting (225 or lower) you will see the smoke coming from the stacks. It is just much more faint than a traditional offset. This (in my opinion) does not affect the smoke in the meat though. I feel that you get just as much in moderation as opposed to a thick constant rolling smoke. I am also a huge fan of the sear feature on this unit. I have made steaks unlike any that I have ever made before. When I make my stuffed peppers I also use the sear after smoking them for an hr or so. I have no complaint with this grill so far, and look forward to using it for years to come.

  3. Keith Thompson November 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I typically don't leave comments on what I purchase, but I felt I have to based on all the pros and cons about this grill/smoker from the reviews. I am not a novice by no means so I am going to give you my take on this product. This may be lengthy, but hopefully it helps you make a decision before purchasing.
    I have multiple smokers I have used from Master built vertical, offset horizontal and a Rec Tec with a cold smoke box attached.
    First I must say that even with my Rec Tec that I spent a fortune on, the higher the temperature, the least amount of smoke you will get. This is because the pellets are used for fuel as well as smoke. This unit produces less smoke than my Rec Tec, but I believe it is due to the capability of having a pellet smoker that is also phenomenal grill.
    (For those of you who are new to smoking, blue smoke is what you are looking for. In smaller smokers, this is not bellowing out the smoke stack so I wanted to clarify that).
    If you want a large amount of smoke, a pellet smoker may not be for you, unless you know that you may need to improvise to acquire the amount of smoke you want. I use a smoke tube or just a pan that I cover with foil and poke holes in to get the additional smoke and can use a variety of wood chips to compliment the smoker pellets. If you do not look at it as a negative adding a tube or pan, you may enjoy all the qualities this smoker/grill has to offer.
    Someone had stated that due to location of the temperature probe in the top smoker, the temperature is about 100 degrees difference. They are correct. But if you put a probe on the rack you are smoking your meat on, you will see a significant increase in the temperature. The closer the rack to the bottom of the top smoker unit the closer to the lower box temperature it is. I have no issues taking the average temperature of the upper box to smoke meat.
    Another advantage of the upper smoker is the ability to smoke at lower temperature for cheese, salmon, jerky and such. I spent an additional $199.00 on my Rec Tec to have this capability. So a sure bonus.
    The lower grill I have used more for grilling or more direct heat on what I am smoking. (Again, I still use a smoke tube or pan even if it was any other smoker except my vertical smoker)
    My Rec Tec would not sear a steak even when I purchased the sear grates. This unit, when you open up the center section sears Amazingly!!!!You get a sear as if this were over a campfire or open pit charcoal grill. This is a feature that as far as I know, is not comparable in other pellet smokers. I have a Weber grill with sear, but does not add the additional flavor you get from the wood pellets.
    The 4 temperature probe ports is an absolute bonus as well. I have connected to my Samsung Note with no problems and have tested it from 30 miles away wi-fi while someone watched the grill to see the changes. This has been beneficial when I have a long smoke on brisket and pork butt.
    So, all and all, if you are a novice or a full fledged enthusiast, I give this product an absolute thumbs up as long as you know what you are getting. I have tried to be as non biased and honest as I can with my years of experience and use of multiple smokers.
    Good luck and hope this helps

    • Dane October 31, 2021 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Keith, I am replying to your detailed review of the Lockhart smoker grill quite a time after your review so I hope you actually get to see this a reply. Y question about cold smoking. I am a huge fan of cold smoked salmon. The kind you buy in delis for at least $25 a pound. I am talking about temperatures under 100 degrees. Can you do this with this grill?

  4. Cathy October 23, 2020 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    I love this grill. So easy to use. I have used the smoker part and the nsin grill. Everything turned out awesome? Just live it’nn

  5. JESSE I ALLEN August 31, 2020 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Where can I get a new board

  6. Bill H. August 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    In my unprofessional opinion, this is not a smoker. There is little to no smoke to the upper chamber in smoke mode. The 40 pound pellet chamber is needed because you have to be at least 100 degree's higher in the lower chamber to get the upper chamber to a desired temperature. I will still work with this product to try and get this to be what it was sold to me as, but this is just a great grill for now. If it produced more smoke for the upper smoke chamber it would be great. A “cold smoke chamber” is not what it is advertising.

  7. Clinton Birchfield August 19, 2020 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Hello,

    I am seeing that several people are in the same boat as me. For the price of this product i feel like i merely purchased an overcompensated grill. You can't adjust the “P” settings like in other models and i can't create smoke. Customer service didn't help at all either, they just said to add a smoke box and sent me a website to shop from. However, i feel like a $700+ smoker should produce smoke on its own. After 3 hours of smoking ribs it barely compared to my fathers after one hour of smoking (his is an older pit boss). At this point i feel like both this product, customer service, and the brand have failed me.

  8. Andrew August 1, 2020 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I have had my lockhart for 3 weeks and all 3 times I tried using it i have had nothing but problems. Turn it on and it will run for 4 seconds then say error. Shut it off and start it over and over and only one time was i able to cook dinner on it. Tried calling customer service with no success. Been 3 weeks and still waiting for them to call me back!

  9. Christine Jenkins June 9, 2020 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Anyone know what dimensions the box it comes in is. My store will not deliver only pick up offered

    • Jeff Phillips June 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Anyone know what dimensions the box it comes in is. My store will not deliver only pick up offered

  10. Kenny Smith April 20, 2020 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Jeff, you can not go by the Smoker Temp for the top, it is because of where the thermocouple is located it is about 30 Degrees hotter in the cabinet than the temp shows. Place a thermocouple in the top of the smoker box, and you will see a big difference

  11. Tim April 19, 2020 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff, I just got my Lockhart last week and I'm VERY disappointed in this piece of equipment. So far I have attempted to smoke ribs, chicken, and a pork butt and there was NO smoke flavor at all. I tried to prime the machine to get more smoke like the directions say, but nothing. The ambient temperature outside was 70 degrees and I was struggling to get the smoke cabin up to 225 with all the dampers open. I had to set e temp to 375-400 degrees to get the smoker up to 225. At that temperature, no smoke is produced at all. The food was basically baked at 225 until it was done. Worked excellent as a grill, but other than that for almost $800 I expected it to produce even a little bit of smoke. Very disappointed. I think what would be good is if you could divert the heat straight to the smoker cabinet that way you could set to 225 and actually smoke with it.

    • Tim April 21, 2020 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Update: I called PitBoss customer service and they informed me that from what they can tell and what they have seen most people use the top cabinet for cold smoking (even though they say you should be able to hot smoke it in just fine.). Maybe I picked up a defective unit?

  12. Ryan brookman April 18, 2020 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    The first time I used the Lockhart was to grill a steak smoke billowed out and I even had to duck down when opening the lid to flip the steak. I have not been able to get it to smoke again except in the first few minutes. It cooks great and I really like it but am I doing something wrong? I’ve tried different pellets but no smoke.

    • Jeff Phillips April 20, 2020 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Ryan, I really like the Pit Boss pellets and use them in most of my pellet smokers. My Lockhart produces plenty of smoke as long as I keep it low and slow.. preferably a temperature lower than 225. It doesn't smoke constantly but you should definitely be seeing smoke off every few minutes while the pellet smolder. Once the smoldering pellets catch fire, the smoke is burned up in the fire pot until more pellets are dropped in again and the process begins again.

      If you are getting no smoke at lower temperatures or in the smoke setting, then you should contact Pit Boss at 1-877-942-2246 and let them help you with this.

  13. Paul April 14, 2020 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    How hot does it get for searing? Was looking at the Masterbuilt 560 until I saw this. The 560 gets up to 700 degrees for searing

    • Jeff Phillips April 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Paul, the Lockhart can reach 500°F with indirect heat but if you open the flame broiler to let the flames leap up to the grate, you can get some searing that way. I don't know what kind of temperature that is but it does a pretty decent job in my opinion as long as you are relatively close to the center of the grate over the burn pot.

  14. John Nelson March 29, 2020 at 9:29 am - Reply

    I like the grill but a few notes:
    The ash dump clean out is a joke. I doesn't come close to fully dumping the pot. Still have to get out out the shop vac to fully clean.
    The paint peeled above the main lid on the first attempt at smoking. I had to crank up the grill to high on a cool day to get the smoker box to the temp I needed. Installed a gasket for the lid, sanded and repainted the top of the main box and looks ok now. Hopefully that will take care of the problem. The lid was not tight when new.

  15. Randy February 29, 2020 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hopefully they drop the price for the holidays.

  16. Terry February 23, 2020 at 6:30 am - Reply

    I cannot get the upper cabinet to smoke. I’m pretty sure I tried everything.

  17. Dick February 14, 2020 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff, thanks for all the great recipes you send to everyone! That is truly very nice of you. Do you know if their is any pellet smokers out that will give me plenty of smoke like a gas smoker or a stick Burner?

    • Jeff Phillips February 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Dick, In my opinion, the REC TEC brand of pellet smokers produces the most smoke flavor of any pellet smoker out there. Even at that, if you are accustomed to a strong, in-your-face smoke flavor, then pellet smoking may not be for you. I enjoy using a pellet smoker and I'm ok with the amount of smoke flavor that I get from the REC TEC, the Camp Chef Woodwind and the Pit Boss pellet smokers but because they burn so much cleaner and more efficiently than regular smokers.

  18. Cindy February 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I got mine a couple weeks ago and love it. Hold temperature very well, lots of room. I do agree with your cons, I still havent been able to connect the smoke it to my phone and no one will call me back. Ityer than that my husband is making me a smoke box for added smoke flavor when smoking meats. But all pellets dont produce the smoke flavor as an offset. Wouldn't trade it tho..

  19. Jeff February 11, 2020 at 6:27 am - Reply

    Well that sounds like a design flaw to me. Not sure how the vents are set up, but maybe they could be modified?

    • Mike Acord July 11, 2020 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      So how do u set the p settings?

  20. Bill Crawford February 10, 2020 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I picked on up last night and found the manuel to be pretty vague. How do you connect your phone to the grill I tried searching for bluetooth but nothing ever came up

  21. Jeffrey February 3, 2020 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    So you can't smoke in both the lower and upper at the same time. In order to get the upper to 225 the lower will be 325 or more.
    I really like the look. Just trying to figure out what the top could be used for besides a warming cabinet.

    • Cindy February 12, 2020 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Yes you can. I have mine. Although the bottom does stay warmer than the top but once you adjust the vents on the sides and top the temperature is more even

  22. Justin January 19, 2020 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Absolutely horrible design, you're not gonna fit a full size Texas Brisket in that little opening on the bottom. Probably should change the name to Kansas city or something other than a Texas town, Known for its brisket.

    • Jeff Phillips January 20, 2020 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Justin, have you seen this thing up close? I'm not sure what you are referring to but that bottom area is quite large. Not only is it large enough to hold a huge packer style, untrimmed brisket, there would be room left over for other things around it.

  23. tboltmike January 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    how well did it control temp

    • Jeff Phillips January 20, 2020 at 11:29 am - Reply

      The one they sent me is holding +/- 5°F most of the time.. very good temperature control.

  24. Doc January 18, 2020 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Thnx for all the recipes, and rubs Jeff. I have a question about the Lockhart upper chamber box, does it have the same heat range as the lower grill, does it have the same heating range as the lower grill… Thnx

    • Jeff Phillips January 20, 2020 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Doc, the upper area stays quite a bit cooler than the lower area. I'm still testing this part of it however, while running at about 225°F on the main part of the cooker, the upper area is maintaining around 110°F.

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