Pit Boss Onyx Edition Range – The Best Pit Boss Grills?

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Pit Boss has a huge range of pellet grills/smokers under various different names from the Sportsman, Platinum Series, Pro Series, Competition Series, and now Onyx Edition. The Onyx Edition range is a Walmart exclusive and is an updated range of existing Pit Boss models (Lexington and Austin XL) along with a new larger model, the Savannah. Below we’ll discuss why these Onyx Edition models may very well be the best Pit Boss pellet grills to date.

A short promotional video from Pit Boss on the Onyx Edition range, which is exclusive to Walmart

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Introduction To The Pit Boss Onyx Edition Range

Those of you familiar with the Pit Boss brand and who have browsed the aisle a Walmart will be familiar with the product names of the Lexington and the Austin XL, some of their best-selling pellet grills to date.

Well, the Lexington and Austin XL have now been updated and incorporated into a wider line-up of products under the Onyx Edition branding, joined by a larger grill, the Savannah, and a vertical pellet smoker, the Copperhead.

While the Lexington and Austin XL are structurally very similar to the previous generation, the improvements with the Onyx Edition is more than just a new coat of paint.

The significant improvement with the Onyx Edition is the control panel, and there is also the new removable burn pot for easy ash cleanout which is a nice touch.

The price point of these Onyx Edition products is very competitive, not only against products from other brands but against other Pit Boss product ranges (Plantium, Pro Series, and Competition Series).

Therefore, an argument could be made that these Onyx Edition products are the best Pit Boss grills to date when you consider their features and price point.

Before we discuss that more, I’ve provided the key specs of these new Onyx Edition models.


Pit Boss Lexington Onyx Edition

Pit Boss Lexington Onyx Edition

  • Total Cooking Area = 543 sq.in (373 sq.in main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 15 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $327

Pit Boss Austin XL Onyx Edition

Pit Boss Austin XL Onyx Edition

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,008 sq.in (720 sq.in main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 30 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $483

Pit Boss Savannah Onyx Edition

Pit Boss Savannah Onyx Edition

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,507 sq.in (633 sq.in main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 28 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $597

Pit Boss Copperhead Onyx Edition

Pit Boss Copperhead Onyx Edition

  • Total Cooking Area = 1,300 sq.in (5 Racks)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 65 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 130 to 420 degrees
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = No
  • Typical Price = $474

Onyx Edition Controller – The Return Of The P-Setting

Previous generations of Pit Boss pellet grills/smokers, such as the original Lexington and Austin XL, featured time-based control panels with a temperature accuracy of around 25 degrees.

Pit Boss on the Gen 2 Pro Series and the Platinum Series started to introduce PID control panels for more accurate temperature management within 5 degrees of the set temperature.

However, the hardware/software Pit Boss fitted to those first-generation PID pellet grills didn’t take advantage of the full capabilities of PID technology for 5-degree temperature adjustment.

The latest Pro Series Gen 3 models do feature temperature adjustment in 5-degree increments, and that capability is also found on these Onyx Edition pellet grills/smokers.

Pit Boss Onyx Edition Controller
I would argue the control panel fitted to these Onyx Edition models is the best Pit Boss control panel to date

While tighter temperature control within a pellet grill/smoker is desirable in many instances, its not always what you’ll actually want, which may sound a bit odd, but I’ll explain.

Let’s say you are reverse-searing some burgers or steaks. The whole purpose of reverse-searing is you are trying to get some smoke flavor into the meat before you finally sear them up to temperature.

Well, on any pellet grill/smoker, you get more smoke produced when the pellets smolder. However, smoldering pellets come with wider fluctuations in temperature, its just the way it goes.

Therefore, some pellet grills have a Smoke Setting, which will allow the pellets to smoke. However, you’ll ideally have some control over the smoke produced/temperature swings.

That’s where the P-Setting comes in, a feature found on many earlier generation Pit Boss products which disappeared on some of the later models and has now returned on these Onyx Edition models.

The Benefits Of The P-Setting

The P-Setting stands for Pause Setting, and it can be adjusted at lower temperature settings to create more smoke when desired, for instance, when cooking smoked turkey or brisket.

Only small incremental adjustments should be made to the P-Setting to avoid a flameout situation. However, once you get the hang of it, you can maximize smoke production from a pellet grill.

With more smoke, there will be wider temperature swings, as discussed above, but you would use this feature just at the start of a cook and use higher temperature settings with more accurate temperature control to finish a cook.

The key point here is these Onyx Edition models give you that level of control over how the pellet grill/smoker performs, which is missing on several other more expensive Pit Boss models.

What About WiFi/SmokeIT?

As standard, the Onyx Edition models do not come with WiFi/SmokeIT functionality. However, if you really want WiFi/SmokeIT functionality on the Austin Xl and Savannah they can be upgraded.

The upgraded control panel with WiFi/SmokeIT functionality was $160 last time I checked, but you can use the link below to double-check.


The Value Proposition Of These Onyx Edition Models

Along with the fact I believe these Onyx Edition pellet grills/smokers are fitted with the best Pit Boss control panel to date, I actually think they are also the best value Pit Boss models.

I’ve produced three separate comparison articles comparing the Onyx Edition models vs other exclusive product ranges from Pit Boss:

Within those articles, I argue that I think the Pit Boss Austin XL Onyx Edition is one of the best-value Pit Boss pellet grills currently on the market.

FeaturesAustin XL Onyx EditionPro 1150 V3Competition Series 1250
Total Cooking Area1,008 sq.in1,150 sq.in1,315 sq.in
Main Grate720 sq.in711 sq.in540 sq.in
Cooking Surfaces223
Hopper Size28 lbs32 lbs26 lbs
Temp Range180-500 F180-500 F180-500 F
Direct Flame Access?YesYesYes
Smoke/P-Setting?YesNoYes
WiFi/SmokeITNoYesYes
Typical Price$483$699$699

While the Austin XL is indeed missing WiFi/SmokeIT as standard, if its a feature you really want, it can be added as an upgrade and still cost less in total than the Pro Series/Competition Series models.

Final Thoughts On The Pit Boss Onyx Edition Grills

I’m going to be updating my Pit Boss Pro Series vs Onyx Edition article and producing a new comparison article for the Competition Series vs Onyx Edition.

But as you can see from the quick table above comparing the Austin XL Onyx Edition vs its Pro and Competition Series siblings, the Austin XL is great value.

To the point where of the current Onyx Edition models, I think the Austin XL is the best value overall, as it actually has a larger main grate and larger hopper than the Savannah model.

Therefore, unless you want to smoke a lot of food for family and friends at the same time, I don’t think the Savannah is worth the additional $200 over the cost of the Austin XL.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. As always, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more about all your current options in the world of pellet BBQs.


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