It’s the answer to all your barbecue & grilling needs. This one unit contains a smoker, charcoal grill, and gas grill in a ‘first of its kind’ configuration. You would think that the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate is pellet powered, but no, it has everything but the pellets.
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Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4 in 1 Smoking Grill Review
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 4 in 1 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 Pit Boss has a basic three-burner gas grill. It can produce 36,000 BTUs from those burners. 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 of the Pit Boss Memphis 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 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 is 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 smoker in the bottom can be vented into either or both of the top cookers. You can put food in either the gas or the charcoal cooking chamber and add smoke generated by the electric smoker. This unit can actually cold smoke cheese, 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 of the Pit Boss Memphis
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 Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 Smoking Grill. 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 metal is 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 $300, and an electric smoker for around $150. This cooker costs nearly $1,000.
Specifications – Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate
- 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
- Six tool hooks
- 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
The Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4 in 1 Smoking Grill
There are always those products that promise to do it all. What to grill? Want to smoke? Can’t decide between gas or charcoal? Why choose? The Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 Gas & Charcoal Combo Grill with Smoker has it all. This monster seems like it answers all your needs, but doesn’t have a side burner, which is odd. Ultimately, the downfall of this grill, like so many combination grills, is that the individual pieces are neither versatile in usage nor very well built. I know you don’t want to load your patio with grills and smokers, but you would do better to pick a separate grill and a separate smoker. You will be able to get better quality and if one goes bad, you are not stuck with a giant piece of cooking equipment that only partly works.
I have been writing about Barbecue & Grilling for 25 years. I have cooked on almost every grill or smoker ever built. In that time, I have endeavored to match people with the grill or smoker that is right for them. I believe that the right product is the one that you find easy to use, capable of doing everything you want, and is reliable. If you have a good first experience, you will be back for more. In this way, we grow barbecue for the next generation. I want you to make the memories that your children will cherish.
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