How To Clean Your Wood Pellet Grill
Taking the time to clean your pellet grill or smoker is necessary to get the best, most flavorful food. You don’t want accumulated grease, rust, or debris to stand in the way of your dinner plans.
If you carve out some time for maintenance, the process won’t take as long as it would if you put off cleaning. Plus, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you out and make the process quick and easy.

Before you start:

Before cleaning your pellet grill, it is important to remove your pellets from the hopper and burn off any pellets that are left over in the auger. Wet pellets can cause an auger jam, so doing this step is crucial. Simply remove the pellets from your hopper, turn on the grill to 400°F and the remaining pellets should burn off in about 15 minutes. Shut down the grill and let it cool down before starting your clean.

>How to clean a pellet grill:

  • Before removing your grates from the grill, give them a scrub with a brush to remove any excess, stuck on particles or grease.
  • Take the grates out and spray them down with a cleaning solution, such as our cleaner and degreaser, or wash with warm, soapy water. If you use a cleaning solution, be sure to wipe the grates down and rinse thoroughly.
  • Next, scrub any visible debris from the heat shield with a scraper or grill brush before removing it from the grill.
  • Then, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove all the debris from inside the grill.
  • Grease can also accumulate inside the barrel, so we recommend inspecting and spraying that part of the grill with a cleaning solution and use a brush or cloth to wipe it out.
  • Be sure to clean any grease that has built up in the grease bucket and wash with warm, soapy water. Use a grease bucket liner while cooking to make discarding that grease buildup even easier.
  • Then, replace the heat shield and grates back into the grill and you’re good to go!

>Should I season my pellet grill after cleaning?

We do recommend seasoning your pellet grill after cleaning. Seasoning your grill is not only great for protecting it against rust, but also for preventing your food from sticking while you cook.
While your grill is still off and cooled down, you will first remove each of your grates and then brush the Flame Broiler plate lightly with a high temperature oil, like canola or avocado oil. Then, return the grates to the grill.
Turn your grill on, set the temperature to 350°F, and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes before powering down. Always let your grill run through the entire shut down process, and as the surface cools, it will seal the oil.

    >How to clean a vertical smoker:>

    The process for cleaning a vertical pellet smoker is similar to cleaning a pellet grill.
    1. You’ll start by scrubbing the cooking racks while they’re still in the smoker, then remove them to clean with warm, soapy water or spray with cleaning solution, wipe, and rinse thoroughly.
    2. Same process goes for the grease tray and water pan.
    3. Then, you should remove the firebox housing to vacuum out any ash that might have accumulated during a long cook with a wet/dry vacuum before replacing the cooking racks, grease tray, and water pan.
    4. You can also use our degreaser to clean the sight glass on your vertical smoker, and wipe down with paper towels or a cloth. It’s recommended to follow this step up with a glass cleaner to eliminate streaks and smudges.

    How often should I clean my pellet grill or smoker?

    We recommend thoroughly cleaning your grill or smoker after about 18 to 20 hours of cooking time to prevent any build up. It’s also a good idea to empty the removable ash tray (applicable on certain models) after each cook and inspect grill. A quick cleanout of the firepot is always recommended to keep your cooking efficient as possible.

    Recommended tools for pellet grill cleaning and maintenance:


    Pro Series Drill Attachment Cleaning Kit

    This grill cleaning kit takes the work out of the process by making your drill do the heavy lifting, or scrubbing, for you. It comes with three brush head drill attachments that are compatible with all major power drill brands, plus a post extender to easily reach every corner of your grill.pit boss pro series drill attachment cleaning kit lifestyle
    • Each of the three brush attachments is designed specifically for various parts of your pellet grill.
    • The 3” round nose brush is a great all-around cleaning brush but excels at deep cleaning the interior of the grill. Its shape and size makes it perfect for reaching tight corners of the grill. When paired with the post extender, it’s just right for cleaning the grill grates without removing them from the grill.
    • The 2” flat brush features more tightly packed heavy-duty nylon bristles. Its small profile and firm bristles make it the ideal option for spot cleaning those areas that need a little extra effort to scrub.
    • The 4” flat brush makes cleaning grill grates quick and easy.
    • And when you’re done, cleaning the brushes is a breeze too since this set comes with a storage bucket and lid that do the work for you. All you have to do is fill the bucket with warm soapy water, drop in brush attachments, and shake for quick cleaning. 


    Eliminate the need for any heavy duty scrubbing with a powerful, fast-acting cleaning formula. We have both liquid and foaming cleaner and degreaser options that are designed to remove, dissolve, and lift tough stains, burnt on grease, and stubborn charred debris.
    These cleaning solutions work on both the interior and exterior of the grill or smoker. Just spray the surface, give it a few minutes for the formula to soak in, then wipe and rise. Easy!

    Bucket Liners

    Grease bucket liners make it easy to keep your grease bucket clean. We recommend changing out your liners when they’re about two-thirds to three-quarters full so that you can remove them without spilling.

    All-Weather Cover

    After all that, just one simple, extra step can make all the difference: using a grill cover.
    pit boss grill cover photo in snow all-weather heavy-duty bbq cover
    Pit Boss covers are made with a heavy-duty polyester with PVC backing to help protect your Pit Boss from the elements. This is important no matter what climate you live in, since most of our covers offer UV protection and help keep out the rain.
    Always wait until your grill has completely shut down and cooled off before covering.