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Smoke Meat Like a Podcaster with the Pit Boss Austin XL

Pitt Boss

Three things Joe Rogan talks about: Mixed martial arts, psychedelics, and smoking elk meat. Well, you might get choked out by your own gi and the closest you come to mushrooms is the produce aisle, that doesn’t mean you can’t smoke a brisket with the best of them. With the Pit Boss Austin XL, which is on sale right now at Walmart, you can aspire to elite podcaster level one wood pellet at a time.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the Austin XL. Its two-tiered porcelain-coated cooking surface features 1,000-square inches of usable space, and the whole unit weighs more than 175 pounds. While its capacity may be enough to cook an entire cow, it can certainly handle the average wiener roast for you and a few friends with ease. Just add meat to the grate and a beer in your hand, and you’re on your way.

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Controlled via an LED panel for start-up and shut-off, you can also use its handy interface and the internal probe to precisely control the smoking temperature between 150 and 500 degrees. Low and slow? Fast and damn-near briquet-level char? Both are easily achieved, and while the Austin XL excels as a smoker, its high-end heat via a flame broiler for direct flame grilling means that it can also accurately be described as a grill. If it’s versatility you’re looking for, this unit makes a strong case.

Like other smokers, Pitt Boss’s machine achieves that smoky goodness through the feeding of wood pellets. The company brands its own, but most others on the market are compatible with its 31-pound hopper. (Certainly check compatibility prior to grill day or risk the shame of takeout.) The hopper also features a purge system, allowing you to finish one piece of meat, flush the remaining pellets for reuse, and switch to a different wood type for the next cut of meat. Indeed, with enough time, you can really taste your way around the forest.

For that mise en place, the grill includes a steel side table with a removable serving tray for everything you need to elevate your meat. All your tools are nearby and your secret sauce ready for application. After the last bite, take the whole thing in for a deep wash in preparation for the next use.

We admit that, at more than five feet wide and four feet tall, the Austin XL covers a substantial footprint. But then again, so does freedom. If you’re moving on from that rusty hibachi and have the space, it’s time to sidle up to the Austin XL and say, “How are you.” Your backyard barbecues, dude hangs, and pool parties will never be the same, and you’ll never evaluate red meat or Texas-based podcasts the same.

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Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
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