What would you do? Pb 440d


New member
Hello all

I’m new to pellet smoking/grilling. I bought I new PB 440d about a month ago.

My current issue is that my pb was set to smoke for starting up as directed by the instructions. After that, I set it to 225 degrees for my smoking of a 4.5 lb pork butt/shoulder. Time wise it should take about 6-9 hrs? This is what I found on the net and here also. So, I put it on and go to it. I came out about 1 hr later only to find that my pb was hitting 330 degrees on the digital controller and holding for approx. 8 mins til it dropped to 280 degrees. So now I feel the need to sit and watch for a
few. This continued all day long. Although this happened, it still took 8 hrs to complete. What’s actually happening?
My digital thermometer on the pb hit 350 a lot. And held a bit. But my cheap gauge on the hood only read between 200-250. 200 ish when the smoker wasn’t firing up on new pellets. It only hit 250 (hood)when the pb was burning new pellets. So I’m a bit lost. The pork butt was a success!! Tender, juicy and very tasty.
Temp outside was about 85 for the high. I started it in the am and temps outside were 76.
What thermometer would you actually go by? PB lady ( Mandy ) says to use the digital temp on the control panel.
I did clean out the crucible before firing up the grill. I can get use to ignoring it all if the times needed to cook are accurate. But to be honest, it’s bothering me that the swings are so very high! I’m used to accuracy of my equipment I use to house all my boa constrictors and inside garden . So with 100+ degree swings, it’s annoying for now.

I did ribs the first time and the temp swings were around 70 degrees. Ribs took 5 hrs though. Next up
were whole chickens and temp swings were still around 70 degrees. Took I think 5 hrs also.
Smoking time are pretty close to what they should be, but temps are all over the place.

Any ideas? I’m doing a 10-12 lb brisket next weekend. Pb company is trying to help,I guess. It’s a slow go.
She (Mandy) has asked all the basic questions, like how I start it up. Is it clean? That ones funny since I told her it was brand new. That was when I did the ribs for my first smoke session. Yesterday she asked me to turn on to make sure when I first start that it says 80 and it’s within 5-10 degrees of outside temps. I guess to make sure temp gauge is accurate.

Thank you in advance to any and all recommendations.
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New member
I've got a MAK 2 with new Pellet Boss and Flash Fire. I can't tell you exactly what's going on. My very experience with the new parts has been somewhat similar to you, although a bit different. When I fire up or crank up to a hotter temp, I get over by 15*+. MAK DADDY said that it's just an initial pellet dump burning off and I can either wait for while for the temp to come down or just open the lid for a few seconds, then close. It worked. Oh...one more thing...my MAK hold temps much better in the shade, rather than in the sun, when outside temps are high.
As far as the digital therm goes, don't worry about that. The MAK's PB averages temps, so you may get some swings, but it has no effect on the cook. Just as a reference, one of my best brisket cooks was when I was having major trouble and temps were going from 300*, to fire out and everywhere in between. Logging digital probes will drive you crazy, so now, I don't bother and mind the MAK.
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I think the OP is referring to a Pit Boss 440 smoker. Now a 100º swing is NOT supposed to happen regardless of manufacturer. At this point I would ask if the built in probe that is connected to your controller is clean, ie rub it with some steel wool, however I really doubt this is the problem. You should (if you don't already) have a verified therm you can use to check grate temps. There area number out there, I personally recommend those from Thermoworks and make sure you are using a grate temp probe that connects to a grate clip, not a meat probe. Compare the results. If they are way off (confirming your 100º variance above) then there is something wrong somewhere in the PB 400 controller & built in probe (not the lid thermometer). IMO, the company needs to replace either the controller and/or the probe. If not I would ask for a complete refund.
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New member
Slowgoin, I read some of the reviews about the PB 440D and a lot of the complaints are the same as what you're experiencing. If your budget can handle it, you may want to return that unit and buy something else. I researched pellet smokers for about 4 years(some of it was the recession as it didn't take me that long to decide) and decided on the MAK 2-Star and have never looked back. The MAK 1-star might be another option if in your budget.
I used the "cry once" theory. The pellet boss controller is the best on the market. There are other good units on the market, but I don't know a lot about them. TentHunter knows more about these other pellet smokers, and perhaps he'll chime in.


New member
Thank you everybody. And good morning. Pit Boss is sending me a new controller you’re right mcschlotz, it’s a pit boss 440d.
I am still doing the briskets. As I write they have been on the smoker since 4:00 am. They are 2- 7.75 lbs eac. Maybe 1 lb trim ccame off each one . I’m thinking they will take about 10 hrs or so. If the true temp is running around the 225-250 range, the briskets should be done in that time frame,right? If the temp is really running 100+ swings, the briskets will be done a lot earlier, right? I’m just guessing here. This morning I’m a only going over 70 degrees sometimes and 40 others . It’s set at 225 and P4. It is dropping to 205 before going back up to 265-295. Good thing today is that it’s cool out this morning and no humidity, so it’s cooling quicker.
We did do a 4.5 lb pork shoulder/butt and with the 100+ degree swings on the digital temp and the anolog one ran 225/260. it still took 8 hrs and it was really good.

Everything I’ve cooked so far has been in the time frames that’s suggested. I’m really happy with the out come of the few things I’ve smoked. The pulled pork had a nice smoke ring and was juicy. I did wrap in foil at 165 and pulled out at 198 because I ran out of pellets in hopper lol whole chickens were great. So I’m not going to give up on this one yet.
Reason I did go with this one, it was my first smoker and for $350 it was a good choice. Maybe? I’ll let you know after these briskets. I can and will ignore the digital temp if everything keeps smoking in the suggested time frames. Not thrilled about it, but can deal with it since the food has been good. Plus I don’t have to keep an eye on it if grilling or using charcoal.

Oh yea, I’m in total shade. But it’s been in the 90’s with high humidity and dew points So brutal out. It’s much cooler out this morning and no humidity with low dew points.

I’ll update after smoke with pics, if I can figure that out. Thanks everyone for the help and advise.

Update! Pulled briskets out at 1:15 pm at 201 degrees. So 9 hrs 15 mins on 2-7.75 lbs each
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