VST Explained: What it is and how it works

Gone are the days of sacrificing smoky flavor in favor of temperature control. Pit Boss gives you the best of both worlds with an innovative approach to wood pellet grilling.

Pit Boss Pro Series grills are outfitted with a premium feature we call Variable Smoke Technology, or VST.

VST originated to bring an even more enhanced smoke profile to your own backyard cooking without the need to babysit a traditional smoker or grill. We wanted to give you the ability to conveniently customize your cooking all while enjoying wood-fired flavor.

VST is the perfect combination of PID and Cycle cooking – providing temperature management along with a Smoke Mode option for a robust wood-fired smoke flavor.

Users can toggle between Smoke Mode and PID mode, offering consistent temperatures in PID mode, and Smoke Mode, which allows you to enhance the amount of smoke for maximum wood-fired flavor. You can engage Smoke mode with the simple push of a button.

Simply put, you have the option for more smoke at any temperature. To accomplish this, we brought together two prominent technologies, PID and Cycle-based programming.

Let’s take a closer look.

What does PID mean, anyway?

Where a standard controller times the fuel feed to the burn pot to reach desired temperatures, a PID controller adds in Proportional, Integral, and Derivative variables to control the timing of the feed more precisely.

These variables are determined with an algorithm (yes, lots of math) to adjust and adapt to not only variances in the set temperature and the desired temperature, but it also anticipates and adjusts to external influences such as environmental factors like heat and wind.

The PID controller senses and adapts to these influences with more speed and precision than a standard temperature controller can, which then helps stabilize the internal temperature of the grill.

What is Cycle-based programming?

Cycle based programming was the originator in pellet grills and smokers, using a common target temperature with a static on/off cycle timer for feeding pellets. While this created more peaks and valleys, resulting in more smoke, it did not consider environmental factors.

To combat this, programs were designed to adjust the smoke levels (P0-P7) at the lowest set temp. The higher the P setting, the longer pause (off) the auger takes from feeding pellets. Colder climates and temperatures would utilize lower P settings to battle the elements whereas higher P settings would allow cooking in warmer temperatures without larger temp swings at a targeted cook temp.

Pit Boss has combined the benefits of each to deliver more smoke and more flavor to your cooking. We also realize not every cook needs to be heavy on the smoke, so with VST you have the ability to adjust to your liking and keep cooking delicious foods – just how you like them.

VST Equipped Grills:

  • Pro Series 1600 Elite & Elite PSE
  • Pro Series 6-Series Elite Vertical
  • Pit Boss Titan