I spotted the Outdoor Gourmet Triton XL pellet grill at Academy the other day and got sucked in by its huge size and cheap price tag. I did a quick review of all the information I could find and wanted to share it here.
Triton XL Pellet Grill Specifications
This smoker looks like a beast.
- Main cooking grate: 800 square inches
- Warming tray: 428 square inches
- Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds with locking lid
- Grease Tray: Stainless steel
- Grate Construction: Porcelain coated steel
- Temperature Range: 180-400F
- Tilt Down Front Working Tray
- Warranty: One Year
The temperature controller is the heart of this grill and it LOOKS like an upgraded product. The controller lets you digitally adjust the temperature in 5 degree increments like you can on a high end Rec Tec (the Triton contoller is NOT a PID). The controller also has a programmable meat thermometer that will automatically take the grill into a “warming mode” after your meat reaches its target temperature.
The grease tray is a solid sloping tray like a Traeger or its cheap knock off the Z pellet grill. The sloped tray makes clean up a breeze but it does not have the “slide aside” open flame searing ability that you get on a Pit Boss. The upper temperature range of this grill lower than what you will get on a Camp Chef pellet smoker and just lacks an overall ability to perform any searing.
The steel wagon wheels on this guy make it look a little like an Old Country BBQ Pit which is a nice touch on the styling front.
I checked out the customer reviews on the Academy website and was not encouraged. There were not many reviews (28 as of September, 2018) but 28% of them were negative. The issue has to do with the controller. When it works it works great. When it doesn’t work there is little to no support, the error codes are not obvious and folks can’t even find manuals to try to fix on their own.
I read the comments on various bbq forum threads, YouTube videos, etc. and came away with the same impression that reliability and support for the Triton XL is sub-par.
Should You Buy This Grill?
If you want a budget pellet smoker then let me suggest you go with the Pit Boss, While I am not a fan of the one year warranty on either of these grills I am going to let that slide here because we are talking about budget smokers.
Triton XL vs Pit Boss
I like the Pit Boss smokers better than the Triton because the Outdoor Gourmet brand is a faceless private label brand owned by Academy that has just about zero level of support. The Outdoor Gourmet products are designed to look great using CHEAP materials and construction so they can be sold at CHEAP prices.
I have picked on Pit Boss in the past for being a cheaply made product (see Traeger vs Pit Boss) but at least Pit Boss has a solid company standing behind it (Dansons) that focuses on customer support.
Pit Boss smokers also have a longer history. There are more reviews available for these grills so you can get a better feel for reliability and have a stronger tool kit for trouble shooting if need be.
I know the size of the Triton is seductive but don’t let that suck you in to making the wrong decision. The reality is that you will probably never actually need that much cooking space.
But what if you do need that much space? Let’s say that you need to smoke eight pork butts for a church event. Do you really want to put a massive cook like that in the hands of a low end budget smoker with a history of the controller going wanky?