Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate Smoking Grill$600
- Smoke can be vented into gas or charcoal cooking chambers
- Features every outdoor cooking option
- Good cooking grates
- Failure of one cooker ruins the product
- Lightweight construction
- Each cooker is simple
- Small smoking space
- Awkward access to the smoker
- 36,000 maximum BTU output in the gas grill section
- Three 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
- 1,500-watt electric heating element in the smoker section
- Cast iron cooking grates in the gas and charcoal sections
- Porcelain-coated steel cooking grates in the smoker section
- Stainless and enameled steel construction
- Total cooking area of 2,100 square inches
- 840 square inches of smoking space
- Total weight 215 pounds
- More than six feet long
- Baffles allow smoke generated in the smoker to be vented into either the gas or charcoal grill space
- Made in China by Pit Boss Grills, a division of Dansons
Full Review - Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate Smoking Grill
I should start by saying that I don't like these combo cookers. Basically, they are a pair of grills mounted into a single cart. The Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate Smoking Grill adds an electric smoker into the mix. Now you have three completely different cookers on a 6 foot cart. What if one of them fails? Also, no single cooker on this cart is very good, so the cooking is okay, but not great. This model does, however, have one stand out feature. I'll get to that after we break this model down.
The gas grill on this grill from Pit Boss is a basic three burner unit. It can produce 36,000 BTUs from those burner. It has a standard configuration. The burners are lightweight, though the cooking grates are pretty heavy. This gas grill will get the job done, but there is nothing about it to stand out.
The charcoal portion isn't bad. The coal grate can be adjusted into one of seven positions (a little much) so you can change the intensity of the heat at the cooking surface. It has front and top vents for temperature control. While the body is thin, the cooking grates are heavy. Between the vents and the adjustable coal grate it can perform a pretty good range of charcoal cooking. It can even be used for some smoking, though building an indirect fire keeps the space a limited.
This is a pretty standard little electric smoker. It has a 1,500-watt heating element and a removable wood chip tray. Access is easy. It big enough for a whole turkey and a few racks of ribs. One problem is that it is mounted on the bottom so access is awkward. You can typically find a comparable smoker for around $100 to $150.
The Good Part
In an inspired bit of thinking, Pit Boss has added something interesting to this grill. The smoke from the electric cooking in the bottom can be vented into either or both of the top cookers. You can put food in either the gas or charcoal chamber and add smoke generated by the electric smoker. You can actually cold smoke on this unit, particularly if the outside air temperature is low. You can add smoke to your gas grill cooking with little effort. It's like having an external smoke generator for your gas or charcoal grill.
The Bad Part
Pit Boss promised that this unit is unlike other combination cookers. They say that it is heavy and solidly constructed. They brag about the 215 pound total weight of the product. But think about that for a minute. This is three cookers in a single cart. It is more than 6 feet across. The gas and charcoal grills both have heavy cast iron cooking grates. 215 pounds isn't a lot when you think about everything loaded onto this cart. The truth is that most of the metals are thin. They don't hold heat and they are not built to last.
Many features on this unit are as lightweight as you can get away with. This means that the likelihood of failure of any one of the three cookers is pretty high. What do you do when the gas burners corrode? Or the heating element on the smoker fails? You have to replace parts to keep it running or you end up with a really big cooker that only partly works. This isn't a high quality product. It has some nice features, but in general, I recommend buying these cookers separately. You can get a great charcoal grill for $120, a good gas grill for $200 and an electric smoker for around $150. This cooker costs $600.