As a backyard grilling enthusiast, one of the most frustrating issues I’ve encountered is when my Pit Boss pellet grill fails to reach or maintain proper cooking temperatures.
There’s nothing more disappointing than anticipating juicy, flame-kissed steaks or chicken, only to end up with lackluster results from a pellet grill that won’t get hot.
In this post, I’ll leverage my extensive experience troubleshooting and repairing pellet grills to provide the inside scoop on why your Pit Boss may not be heating up properly.
You’ll learn why pellet grills have temperature issues and how to diagnose problems, from faulty grill components to user error codes in operation and maintenance.
I’ll also share tips to get your Pit Boss pellet smoker heating up quickly so you can return to barbecue bliss.
Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll find solutions to ensure your next cook hits the hot temps needed for mouthwatering, perfectly cooked meats.
How Does A Pellet Grill Generate Heat?
Pellet grills use small compressed wood pellets as fuel to generate heat and smoke for cooking. Using an auger, the pellets are fed from a storage hopper into a firepot.
The auger is an electrically powered screw that rotates to push the pellets into the firepot.
The pellets are ignited in the firepot using an electric heating rod or a small propane flame. As the pellets burn, they produce heat and smoke. The white smoke infuses smoke flavor into the food while the heat cooks it.
The rate at which the auger feeds pellets into the firepot controls the temperature. More pellets result in higher heat, while fewer pellets lower the temperature.
The speed of the auger is controlled automatically by a thermostat or PID controller. This allows pellet grills to maintain temperatures ranging from 180°F to 500°F precisely.
The PID controller monitors the temperature sensor and adjusts the pellet feed rate to keep the temperature within +/- 5-10 degrees of the set point.
This makes pellet grills function much like traditional kitchen ovens. Also, avoid grilling in windy situations, hot weather, or direct sunlight.
The combustion of wood pellets generates all the heat needed for low and slow smoking to high heat searing. This gives pellet grills tremendous versatility as both smokers and outdoor grills.
Their precise temperature control mimics oven cooking for exceptionally convenient outdoor cooking.
Pit Boss Grill Not Heating Up? Here’s Why (And How To Fix)
Common Reasons A Pit Boss Grill Won’t Heat Up
There are a few typical culprits when a Pit Boss grill suddenly stops heating up:
- Clogged Firepot – The firepot is where the wood pellets burn to produce heat. Ash and debris can build up here over time, restricting airflow and preventing the pellets from lighting efficiently. Regular cleaning is required.
- Bad Auger Motor – The auger motor is critical for transporting new pellets from the hopper into the firepot. If this motor fails, no new fuel enters the firepot, producing no heat.
- Faulty Hot Rod Igniter – Most Pit Boss grills use an electric hot rod to ignite the wood pellets. If this rod stops working properly, the pellets won’t light.
- Bad Temperature Probe – A temperature probe inside the grill tells the controller how hot the grill is. If this probe fails, the controller can’t properly regulate temperature.
- Bad Control Board – The control board is the brains of the operation, controlling the auger, igniter and monitoring the temperature probe. If it malfunctions, heat production suffers.
Troubleshooting and Fixing Your Pit Boss Grill
- Examine the firepot and remove any built-up ash or debris inside.
- Verify the auger motor is functioning and test the hot rod igniter by turning it on manually.
- Check that the temperature probe is still intact and hasn’t been damaged.
- If those components check out, try resetting the control board to the factory default setting button.
- Beyond that, replacement parts like the auger motor, hot rod igniter, or control panel may need to be ordered from Pit Boss.
With elimination and component testing, you can properly diagnose and fix what’s preventing your Pit Boss grill from heating up. Proper maintenance and cleaning will help maximize its lifespan. But Pit Boss grills are fairly modular, so replacement parts are readily available when needed.
How Do I Make My Pellet Grill Hotter?
Pellet grills are designed to maintain temperatures precisely. Still, sometimes you may need more heat for searing or other high-temp cooking. There are a few ways to increase the maximum temperature on your pellet grill.
First, ensure the firepot and grill interior are clean and free of ash buildup and grease bucket. This allows proper airflow for better combustion.
Use a higher-quality hardwood pellet, like hickory, oak or maple. Avoid blends with high filler content. The premium pellets will burn hotter.
Open the exhaust vent fully and remove the heat diffusers inside the grill body. This reduces airflow restriction and lets temperatures climb higher.
Use the direct grilling mode if your pellet grill offers it. This focuses heat from the firepot directly under the food for searing rather than circulating heat everywhere.
Finally, preheat the grill with the grill lid closed for 10-15 minutes before cooking. This allows it to fully heat soak and achieve the highest possible temperature throughout the cooking chamber.
You can push many pellet grills to reach 600°F+ for excellent steaks and other foods needing high heat with the right techniques and quality pellets. Consult your grill manual for its safe maximum operating temperature.
How Often To Clean Pit Boss To Avoid Temperature Issues
Proper cleaning and maintenance are key to avoiding temperature problems with your Pit Boss dirty grill. Here are some tips on cleaning frequency:
- Clean the firepot after every cook or at least every 2-3 uses. Removal of ash buildup helps maintain proper airflow and combustion.
- Check and clear the jammed auger tube periodically. Leftover pellet dust can clog the auger and prevent fuel from feeding.
- Vacuum out the interior and underside of the grill every 5-10 cooks. This removes grease, drippings and other debris.
- After each cook, brush or scrape the grill grates to prevent food particles and grease accumulation.
- Replace the foil on the heat diffuser and grease tray as needed. Heavy soiling can block heat transfer.
- Deep clean the interior with a degreaser every 1-2 months. This prevents grease fires and white smoke flare-ups.
- Check the condition of key components like the hot rod, temperature probe wire and fans. Replace if worn.
- The best way to clean the flame broiler is to scrape it with a putty knife.
This cleaning routine will minimize ash and grease buildup that can disrupt airflow and heat production. Keeping your Pit Boss grill clean is the best way to maintain proper heating function.
Pit Boss Igniter Troubleshooting: Learn To Repair Or Replacement – Simply Meat Smoking
The hot rod igniter is crucial for lighting the wood pellets in a Pit Boss grill. If it fails, the pellets won’t ignite, and the grill won’t heat up. Here are some igniter troubleshooting tips:
- Check that the igniter is getting power by looking for a red glow when the grill is turned on. No glow means no electricity.
- Examine the igniter rod for any cracks or damage preventing it from heating properly.
- Ensure the tip of the rod is directly in contact with the pellets in the firepot.
- Remove any ash buildup on the igniter and around the firepot that could block contact.
- Listen for the igniter to click on and off rapidly. This clicking should stop once ignition occurs.
- Replacement is needed if the igniter wires get power but don’t heat up. New igniter rods are inexpensive and screw in place easily.
- Also, inspect the wire connections from the igniter to the control board. Any corrosion or loose wiring can prevent ignition.
You can troubleshoot Pit Boss grill igniter issues with some basic tests and component examination. Replacement igniter rods are an easy and inexpensive repair to get your grill heating again.
Pit Boss Heating Element Not Working- Causes And Solutions
Why Is the Heating Element In My Pit Boss Grill Not Working?
There are a few common issues that can cause the heating element or hot rod igniter in a Pit Boss grill to stop functioning properly:
- Accumulated ash or grease buildup prevents the hot rod from heating up sufficiently.
- Physical damage to the hot rod element causes it to short or fail.
- Loss of power to the heating element due to electrical issues.
- Failed components like fuses or the control board not delivering power.
- Faulty wiring connections between the heating element, fuse, and control board.
Troubleshooting and Fixing the Heating Element
- Remove any excess ash or grease around the hot rod that could impede heat transfer or cause short-circuit breaker.
- Inspect the hot rod for any cracks, corrosion, or melted areas that indicate a damaged part.
- Use a multimeter to check if the heating element is getting the expected power when turned on.
- If there is no power, trace the wiring back to the fuse and control panel.
- Check for loose white wire connections, blown fuses, or faulty boards not supplying electrical outlets.
- If the heating element tests fine electrically but still doesn’t heat up appropriately, replacement is likely needed.
- Only use a compatible replacement part recommended for your Pit Boss grill model. Follow all warnings in the user manual.
With some electrical testing and visual inspection, you can determine why your Pit Boss grill’s heating element is malfunctioning. In most cases, a replacement part will provide an easy fix.
What Temperature Should A Pit Boss Grill Be?
Pit Boss grills are capable of reaching temperatures between 180°F to 500°F. The ideal temperature depends on what you are cooking:
- 180°F to 220°F – Best for smoking delicate foods like fish at low heat for a long time.
- 225°F to 250°F – The typical range for low and slow smoking of tougher cuts of meat like brisket, ribs and pork shoulders.
- 300°F to 350°F – Cooking Grates chicken wings, legs and bone-in chicken pieces.
- 375°F to 425°F – Ideal for burgers, hot dogs, sausages, steaks and chops that need high heat.
- 450°F to 500°F – Best for searing steaks, creating grill marks and crisping chicken skin.
Pit Boss grill temperature control uses a knob or buttons to adjust the pellet feed rate. More pellets burn hotter, while fewer pellets produce less heat.
Monitor your temperature closely, as significant flare-ups can occur above 400°F. Keep the grill clean to minimize high temp grease fires.
Aim for the proper cooking temperature based on what you are making. Pit Boss grills provide a wide range of adjustable heat for smoking and grilling versatility.
Additional Information On Safety Concerns And Risks
Pellet grills like Pit Boss are convenient and easy to use, but there are some important safety issues to remember.
Regularly clean out the wet pellet hopper to avoid the buildup of flammable sawdust. Overfilled hoppers can ignite pellets. Properly maintain electrical appliances. Faulty wiring can short and spark fires.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Never use in enclosed spaces like garages or under patios. Pellet grills emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Place the grill away from combustible materials like wood decks and siding. Have proper clearance to prevent fires.
The grill and drip tray get extremely hot. Use caution around surfaces and beware of grease splatter or flare-ups.
By being aware of these risks, using proper precautions, and following the manufacturer’s instructions, pellet grills like the Pit Boss can be used safely for a convenient backyard barbeque. Proper maintenance and ventilation are key.
Conclusion: (Pellet Grill Won’t Get Hot)
In summary, here are a few common reasons a Pit Boss pellet grill may fail to reach or maintain proper cooking temperatures.
The most likely culprits are airflow obstructions, lack of fuel, auger jams, broken temperature sensors or control board screens, and failing hot rod igniters.
Thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your Pit Boss regularly, replacing damaged parts, using good quality pellets, and protecting electronic components from water/grease damage are all best practices that can help prevent heating issues.
The manufacturer’s troubleshooting and maintenance tips can get your Pit Boss grill back to properly searing.
This blog post gave you some helpful insights into diagnosing and fixing loss of heat problems with your Pit Boss pellet grill.
You’ll know it’s time to replace the fuse in your Pit Boss grill when some or all components suddenly stop working. Fuses help protect the electrical system. If the fuse is blown, you’ll have no power cord. Simple fuse replacement can get your grill heating again.
The best way to clean your wood pellet grill is to remove the grates and thoroughly vacuum the firepot, grease tray, and interior after each use. Also, brush the grates clean. Every few months, do a deep clean by scrubbing down the interior with a degreaser to remove the sticky buildup that routine cleaning misses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance.
If the fan in your grill stops spinning, test its power with a multimeter. If powered, the motor may be stuck or worn out. Try cleaning around the fan of any debris or built-up grease. If the fan still doesn’t spin freely, replacement of the fan motor will likely be needed to restore proper airflow in your grill.