Flame Broiler on a Pit Boss (Should the Slider Be Opened or Closed During Cook?)

Not all pellet grills come with a flame broiler.

So, if you’re still shopping around for a wood pellet grill, you might want to take a look at the models that come with flame broiler options.

Because this option is still relatively new, not all grills actually include it.

However, if you’re serious about barbecuing, it could be worth looking at grills with a flame broiler.

After all, there are some very cool things you can do with this feature.

That is why, in this article, we will go over what it is, how to use it, and why you would want it on your pellet smoker grill.

What Is a Flame Broiler and What Does It Do?

The flame broiler slider on pellet grills might vary slightly in appearance from model to model.

However, their functions are fundamentally the same.

The slider is actually a simple curved plate.

Which you can slide back to reveal these tiny openings that allow for the flames from the fire pot to peek through.

This isn’t a standard feature on all pellet grills. But it’s really handy because it allows for direct flame broiling to be done.

 When Should You Open the Flame Broiler on Your Pellet Smoker Grill?

The answer is simple. It really depends on what kind of recipe you’re working with.

When the slider plate is open, you’ll be able to cook your food with a direct flame.

This is excellent if you’re looking to use direct heat to char grill your meats.

A lot of pellet smokers and grills come with sear plates and other similar features. But those don’t really allow for the direct flame to come into contact with your foods.

So, if you’re looking for a grill model that comes with this direct flame broiler feature, then we’d highly suggest the Austin XL Pellet Smoker Grill.

So, ultimately, you should open the broiler slider plate when you wish to cook your food via direct grilling.

When Would You Want to Cook With the Slider Closed?

If you’re looking to cook your foods with indirect heat, then you’d have the slide plate closed during your cook. 

The metal slider will act as a barrier preventing your meats from coming into direct contact with the heat.

Some cuts are better cooked with indirect heat, such as brisket, smoked tri-tip, and pork shoulder.

These are mainly cuts with a lot of connective tissue. They need to be cooked low and slow to give the connective tissue time to break down.

If you were to cook these cuts over direct heat they would end up tough and dry.

There’s also another great reason why you would want to keep the slider closed.

When it’s closed, all of the grease will flow properly into the grease bucket and not drip down into the fire pot. 

Tips on How to Use the Flame Broiler Slider

So, under which conditions would you have the flame broiler slide open or closed during your backyard grilling sessions?

Typically, if you’re smoking something like beef brisket, you’ll want to have the slider closed during most of the cook.

This is because you’ll be smoking the brisket over the course of several hours and won’t be constantly monitoring the meat the entire time.

In this case, once you’ve got your grill going, you can simply close the grill lid and leave the meat to smoke.

Just make sure to return to check on the brisket from time to time.

If you want to sear your meats, you should slide that flame broiler plate open while you’re cooking. For example, we enjoy exposing chicken to the direct open flame.

After all, this helps to create those wonderful chargrill lines on the surface of the cooked meat.

Just as a quick guide, for grilling meats and searing steaks, we would recommend setting the cooking temperature to around 225 ℉ or 250 ℉. And you should definitely keep the flame broiler slide cover open, with the hopper lid wide open too.

Method for Cleaning the Flame Broiler Slider

It’s especially important that you make an effort to clean the flame broiler slide cover at the end of each cooking session. 

A dirty broiler plate will undoubtedly affect the flavor of your foods the next time you cook. But it’ll also make it a lot more difficult for you to slide the plate open and close.

Due to all of the hardened grease or food bits that might have accumulated there during your backyard grilling session.

Step by Step Cleaning Guide

Step 1: Empty the Grill

You’ll want to make sure that there aren’t any large food bits still inside the grill body. Pick them up and make sure to throw them out before you begin the cleaning process.

If there are any bits trapped between the slider and the base, then you might want to take the plate off. It’s quite easy to separate it.

Step 2: Scratch Away Stubborn Stuck-on Food

We would recommend using something like a plastic disposable knife to accomplish this task. However, you also want to make sure that you’re not exerting too much force.

The last thing you want to do is scratch and damage the metal surface of your grill.

Step 3: Go In With a Sponge

Next, you’ll want to remove all of the grease. For this step, you’ll need to make a soapy solution with some dishwashing detergent and water.

Scrub away at the interior surface of your grill. If there are any food bits that are stuck on the grill grates, try soaking the grates in a soapy solution for a few hours.

Step 4: Let It Dry

After you’ve finished soaping the surface, you’ll need to get rid of the soap suds with clean water and a soft wash cloth.

Make sure that your flame broiler is also completely dry before you reattach the slider plate and close the grill lid.

Flame broilers are great if you’re looking for a pellet grill that allows you to cook with both indirect and direct heat.

So, if you’re on the hunt for a new pellet grill, you might want to look at models that include this function.

We hope you found this article to be useful in learning more about flame broilers.

Happy cooking!

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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