The Pit Boss KC Combo Pellet Grill and Griddle is part of the new Platinum series of grills that will be exclusively available at Walmart in 2020. The grill is a combination unit that has a standard pellet grill on one side and a standard propane gas grill on the other. The gas grill section comes with a nice griddle that can be used in place of the grill grates.
KC Combo Platinum Series Overview
The KC Combo is a “two in one” grill that offers enhanced cooking flexibility compared to standard pellet grills. You can slow smoke ribs on the pellet fired side of the grill while cooking smashburgers and toasting buns on the griddle of the propane fired section. Although the drop in griddle is a major feature of the propane side of the grill you can skip the griddle and use that side as a standard propane grill.
Take a look at this walk through video that Pit Boss put together for the KC Combo and then we can talk about some of the big features.
The combined grilling area between the two sections is just over 1,000 square inches. Here is how the cooking area is distributed through the grill:
- Pellet Grill Body: Primary Grill Grate = 439 square inches
- Pellet Grill Body: Secondary Grill Grate = 123 square inches
- Propane Grill Body: Primary Grill Grate = 439 square inches
The temperature in the pellet fueled side of the grill is maintained through an advanced PID controller that should provide precise and steady temperatures. A PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) controller is extremely responsive to any changes in temperature in the grill and is constantly adjusting the auger pellet feed rate and the air flow produced by the blower fan to maintain the desired set temperature. In general, PID controllers can maintain a target temperature in the +/- 5 degree range.
The introduction of a PID controller on a Pit Boss is a significant step forward for the brand steady temperature control has been one of the common complaints on previous generation Pit Boss pellet grills. According to the Pit Boss website this PID controller is only available for the Platinum series grills and cannot be retrofitted onto other models such as the Copperhead, Austin XL, etc.
The user manual indicates a temperature range of 180-500F is possible for the pellet grill.
The gas grill side of the KC Combo is fired by three independent burners each rated for 9,000 BTU/he for a combined output of 27,000 BTU/hr. This heat is spread across 439 square inches of cooking surface which results in a specific heating value of 61 BTU/hr per square inch. The value of 61 BTU/hr per square inch is hot enough for most applications but will come up short for serious searing use.
The temperature for the gas grill side is controlled manually through the three burner control knobs and not through the PID controller.
The KC Combo is a Bluetooth enabled cooker that can be monitored and controlled through your phone. Pit Boss is calling the wireless connectivity their “Smoke IT” technology. Using the Smoke It connectivity Pit Boss says you will be able to use your phone to adjust the temperature of the grill, monitor the temperature of the meat probes, turn the lights in the vertical smoking chamber on and off and monitor pellet usage.
While the inclusion of the Smoke IT connectivity looks like a nice upgrade we will need to wait and see to understand the full functionality and reliability. Some concern has been raised about why Pit Boss went with Bluetooth instead of WiFi. Bluetooth limits the distance you can be from the grill to still have wireless connection which means you won’t be able to monitor or control the grill from your phone if you are away from your house.
From the literature I have seen so far it also appears that the ability to control the grill is limited to raising and lowering the temperature. Other manufactures allow you to set programs where once the meat probe reaches a set target temperature the grill will automatically go into a “Warming Mode”. Some apps offer set point alarms on internal meat temperatures as well. Again, no pros and cons here…just a few unanswered questions that we will need to look at as the grill is formally introduced.
Pellet Hopper and Ash Management
There are different values reported for the pellet hopper capacity on the KC Combo. The Pit Boss website says the hopper holds 40 pounds of pellets but Walmart and the introductory video above both say it holds 26 pounds of pellets. Some nice features of the hopper is that it comes with a removable panel for dumping pellets if you want to change smoke woods and a sight glass for visual monitoring of your pellet level.
You can monitor pellet usage with the Bluetooth app and I believe the app comes with a low pellet alarm. Both of these features indicate there is also an automatic pellet monitoring system in place for this grill but I haven’t figured out what it entails.
Pit Boss has included an upgraded ash cleanout system on the Platinum Series.
This system functions by having a perforated burn pot that allows ash to fall below the burner. There is an integrated brush that you pull to sweep the ashes into a removable ash pan.
While the ash cleanout system is a nice feature it is not a substitute for cleaning out the grill on a regular basis. Pit Boss recommends using a Shop Vac to clean out the fire pot after every 2-3 cooks and cleaning out the bottom of the main grill after every 5-6 grilling sessions.
There are a bunch of other features on the KC Combo that are worth noting.
The main grill body has a heat deflector that can be slid to an open position to allow you to flame broil and sear steaks, pork chops and burgers.
The gas grill portion of the product is for use with liquid propane only. You cannot use the grill with natural gas. Pit Boss does not offer any natural gas conversion kits.
Two meat probes are included with the grill and there is a nice storage compartment where you can stash them when not in use..
The grill is massive with a footprint of 51 x 27 x 69 inches and a weight of 256 pounds. You will need two people to put this guy together.
The KC Combo comes with a five year warranty on all components and currently retails at $747 at Walmart.
Share Your Experience!
Here are a few videos of he KC Combo in action.
Smoked Tots and Smashburgers!
I like this video because it shows how to use the smoker and griddle at the same time. He is smoking tater tots with the pellet grill and making smash burgers on the griddle.
Smoked Chuck Roast
I like this video because it gives you a nice look at the controller as well as the functionality of the Bluetooth app. He doesn’t use the gas grill/griddle in this video but he does a great job showing how he uses the pellet side as a smoker and talking about temperature gradients inside the pit.
If you have first hand experience with this grill, either positive or negative, then please leave a comment!