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Pit Boss FAQ

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How should I start my Pit Boss Grill?

Start the grill with the lid open on the smoke setting for 10 minutes. (Smoke setting temperature range is 180-210° F/ 80-100° C). Then close the lid and adjust your temperature to the desired setpoint.

- Starting the grill on the smoke setting ensures that the firepot is not overloaded with pellets.

- Leaving the lid open prevents overloading the barrel with smoke and helps prevent a backdraft in the unit.

- Once your grill reaches the desired cooking temperature, then food can be added to the grill.

Many of our Pit Boss Grills have a Prime Button. If your grill has never been used or has run completely out of pellets, it will need to be Primed to get pellets to the fire pot while the igniter is still hot.

- The igniter stays hot for the first five minutes and then shuts itself off.

- Usually, it takes longer than this for the pellets to travel from the hopper to the firepot on the first use.

- Holding the Prime button prevents the auger from pausing, so the pellets arrive more quickly. (Holding the Prime button does not cause the auger to turn faster).

- Even with priming, once the pellets reach the fire pot, your grill will most likely need to be turned off and then back on again, to restart the igniter for the first five minutes.

Why doesn't my Pit Boss Grill power on?

There are several reasons why your grill may not be powering on. Please make sure when you are working on your grill that it is not plugged into power. To access the areas needed to troubleshoot for power, you will also need to remove the hopper access panel from the bottom of the hopper. There are eight screws that hold this panel in place.

- Check the Outlet the grill is plugged into to make sure that it is working properly. This includes making sure the GFCI or Breaker box is not being tripped.

- Try the grill in another outlet, or something else in this outlet to ensure that is not the issue.

- If the GFCI is tripping, then many times it is the igniter that needs to be replaced. To test this, please follow these steps:

- With the hopper access panel removed, disconnect the igniter wires (purple/white).

- Plug in the unit and run it for about 10 minutes.

- If the GFCI does not trip, then we will need to replace the igniter.

- Contact our Customer Care team to get a new igniter ordered and shipped out to you.

-Inspect the power cord for visible damage that could be causing the issue. If the cord is damaged, then you can contact our Customer Care team to get a new power cord ordered and shipped out to you.

- Check the power connection on the back of the control board. To do this, please follow these steps:

- With the hopper access panel removed, disconnect and then reconnect these wires (black/white).

- Plug in the unit and turn on to see if that resolved the issue.

- Check to see if you have blown a fuse. The fuse is on the back of the control board in a little green box. Follow these directions to check the fuse:

-If your control board has two screws on the front of it, remove them, then take the control board out the front of the hopper or feed it back inside the hopper and out the bottom of the hopper.

-If your control board does not have screws on the front, it will have tiny plastic tabs on the back of it that need to be compressed for the control board to pop out the front of the hopper.

-There are usually three tabs on the top of the control board and three on the bottom (on the back). You can reach up into the bottom of the hopper and press firmly on these tabs and push the control board out of the front of the hopper.

- Once the control board is out of the hopper, you may have to cut a tiny zip tie and remove the top of the fuse box.

- If the fuse wire is intact, then please contact our Customer Care Team to get a new control board ordered and shipped out to you.

- If the fuse is blown, then you can purchase a 5-amp, 250-volt, fast acting fuse at many local retailers.

Why won't my Pit Boss Grill light?

Many factors can cause your Pit Boss Grill not to light. Some things you can check before contacting Pit Boss Customer Care:

- Confirm that there are pellets in the unit and that they are in good condition. They should look a bit shiny on the outside and snap crisply instead of crumbling.

- Ensure that the proper startup was followed for your grill.

- Your fan should start up when you power on the unit and should run without stopping. If it is not running, it could be one of the following things.

- If your grill is smoking, but not igniting it means there is a lack of airflow from the induction fan. The induction fan not running can be from the fan seizing over time, no power being delivered to the fan, or a not functioning fan.

- A small object can be used to loosen the fan by spinning it, while the grill is in the off position.

- Ensure the igniter is getting hot or glowing orange and that you can feel heat coming from the fire pot after a couple of minutes.

- Ensure that pellets are feeding into the fire pot and that the auger is turning.

Why is my Pit Boss Grill running so hot in smoke?

Many factors can cause a grill to run too hot on the smoke setting, including outside temperature. Usually this happens when the grill lid is shut too soon after startup. You should start your Pit Boss Grill on smoke with the lid open for 10 minutes, which will help burn off any additional fuel built up during the startup process. (Do not lift your lid to regulate temperature on any setting other than smoke, this will cause your controller to react to the outside temperature and can produce further issues.)If leaving the lid open during startup does not reduce your smoke temperature to a range of 180-210° F/ 80-100° C, please contact Pit Boss Customer Care for further assistance.

Why isn't my Pit Boss Grill getting hot enough?

A grill that is not getting to temp can be caused by many factors. Outside temperature and wind are common issues that can prevent a grill from reaching its top end temperatures. Ensure your Pit Boss Grill is in a location protected from the elements as much as possible.

Fuel and airflow are other reasons for a grill to not reach its highest temperatures. Pellets should always be stored in an airtight container to prevent them from being affected by moisture. To ensure proper airflow, make sure that your Pit Boss Grill is at least 36” away from combustible constructions, all back vents are unobstructed, that the chimney cap has at least a 1” gap, and that the fan is clean.

Why don't I see smoke coming from my Pit Boss Grill?

Cooking at lower temperatures will produce more smoke in your cook. Wood pellet grills burn extremely clean. The smoke they produce is a thin, bluish smoke that is almost fully invisible. The reason you may see some white smoke on startup is due to the pellets smoldering just before they ignite. Over time, you will also begin to see white smoke during a cook as the flame broiler becomes more and more seasoned. Becoming seasoned with drippings will enhance the flavor and color of the smoke.

Why does my Pit Boss Grill temperature swing from its set temp?

Your Pit Boss Grill controls temperature by turning off and on the auger at specific intervals, which will cause a swing in temperatures of +/- 25 degrees and is completely normal. Some other things you can check that may help regulate your temperature:

- Raise the chimney cap up as high as it can go. The only time to lower the chimney cap is if the outside temperature is extremely cold and the grill is having trouble staying up to temperature. The chimney cap can be lowered just about an inch in this case.

- Check to make sure the flame broiler is installed properly.
- It should be resting on the bracket on the left side of the grill, as well as resting on top of the grease drain channel on the right side.

- If the flame broiler is placed properly you should see it at an angle, higher on the left side and lower on the right.

- If this is not how it is placed, it can cause many different temperature issues and even damage the finish on the bottom of the barrel.

- You will also want to make sure that the flame boiler slide cover is all the way closed. If it is open it will allow a lot of extra heat to escape, which will cause the grill to overheat.

- The fresher the pellets are, the better they will perform. If the pellets have absorbed any moisture due to humidity, they will not burn as efficiently as they would if they were in good condition. You can test their condition by taking one and seeing if it will snap in half crisply and not crumble. If the pellets are not in good condition, replace them.

Why doesn't my auger move?

If your auger is not moving, it can be due to an auger jam, insecure connections to the control board, or insecure connections between the auger and the motor.

-Check for an auger jam. An auger jam will occur if the pellets inside the auger tube absorb enough humidity to swell and re-solidify. This creates a solid mass of broken-down pellets that surrounds the auger and will lock it in place. If the auger is jammed, the auger motor will not be able to spin the auger at all. To see if the pellets have solidified, look into the bottom of the hopper. (You may need to remove the top layer of pellets in the hopper first). If you see a solid mass of sawdust in the auger at the bottom of the hopper, that’s an auger jam. The auger will need to be removed from the grill and cleaned out. You can remove the auger by first removing the hopper shell, disconnecting the auger motor from the auger, removing the set screw from the nylon bushing, and using vice grips or pliers to pull the auger out. Depending on how bad the jam is, it may take some force to pull the auger all the way out. You can clean up the auger using a tool (such as a screwdriver) to chip away the pellets and some sandpaper to remove remaining bits of debris. Once it is cleaned, reinsert the auger and motor, and this may solve the issue.

-If it isn’t an auger jam, it could be the connection. Check the auger motor connection to the control board (red wires) and make sure it is secure. Disconnect and reconnect the red wires. Remove the hopper access panel from the bottom of the hopper to access these wires.  

-If it is not an auger jam, and the wires are connected securely to the control board, and the auger is connected securely to the auger motor, yet the auger is still not turning, contact Pit Boss Customer Care for assistance.  

Why isn't my fan turning?

-Check the wire connections from the fan to the control board. These are yellow wires. To access them (on a barrel grill) remove the hopper access panel from the bottom of the hopper. (On a vertical smoker, remove the wire guard underneath the unit). Disconnect and reconnect them to see if this gets the fan running.  

-Manually spin the fan. Sometimes if it has been a long time since the grill has been used, if it is cold enough outside, or if it is a new grill and the fan motor has never turned on before, it may need a bit of a "kickstart" to get going. Make sure the grill is unplugged, then remove the hopper access panel (from a barrel grill) from the bottom of the hopper. (On a vertical smoker you would need to remove the metal fan housing). Manually spin the fan blades. This might allow the fan to start spinning on its own, and to prevent it from happening again you can use either machine oil or WD-40 to be sprayed lightly right where the center of the motor spins.  

-If the fan blade is physically not able to spin even by assisting it, it may be either caught on a wire or possibly the bracket around the fan is bent. Check to see if either is the case. Move wires that are in the way. If fan brackets are bent, contact Pit Boss Customer Care.  

-If the metal fan housing (on a vertical smoker) is bent, contact Pit Boss Customer Care.  

-If none of these things successfully get the fan to run, contact Pit Boss Customer Care for assistance.  

How do I use the flame broiler?

The flame broiler is used as both a grease pan and for an open flame cook.

During normal cooks the flame broiler should remain closed, both to prevent fires and ensure proper grease draining.

To cook with an open flame, the top slider of the flame broiler can be opened and cooking directly over the fire is allowed. Always leave the main grill lid open while the flame broiler is in the open position.

Is it normal for my flame broiler to rust or warp?

It is normal for your flame broiler to rust and slightly warp due to the high heat and oxidization applied to it. You should not use water to clean the flame broiler because it accelerates rusting. Over time the flame broiler gets seasoned with grease and smoke, which protects it from rust, so it does not need to be super clean. The best way to clean the flame broiler is to scrape it, either with a putty knife or by using the slide cover to slide back and forth over it to scrape off debris. If the flame broiler for your Pit Boss Grill does not drain grease to the grease bucket or shows holes that are not from manufacturing, please contact Pit Boss Customer Care.

What is the P-Setting?

The P-setting only impacts temperatures when you are using the SMOKE setting on the grill. If cooking at any other set point besides SMOKE, the P-setting has no impact on temperature. To determine whether a particular grill has P-settings, you can go to the manual for that unit and look at the image of the control board. It will say “P” SET on the control board.

The default P-setting is P-4. On this setting, while using the SMOKE setting, the grill will feed pellets for 18 seconds and pause for 115 seconds. In most instances, you will want to keep the P-setting on the default.

Raising the P-setting to P-5, P-6, or P-7 increases the pause time for the auger. It will lower the temperature of the SMOKE setting and can create more smoke since the pellets will smolder longer before another batch of pellets feeds in and the fire reignites. BE CAUTIOUS: raising the P-setting too high can cause the fire to die out completely. The pellets will continue to feed but with no flame the pellets will pile up in the firepot. On a grill that has the igniter relighting feature, this would most likely cause a large fire when the igniter comes back on.

Lowering the P-setting to P-3, P-2, P-1, or P-0 will decrease the pause time for the auger and raise the temperature in the SMOKE setting. Lowering the P-setting can also minimize temperature swings in the SMOKE setting.

Error Codes

Error codes can pop up on your grill from time to time. Please refer to the owner’s manual for your grill for what may be causing the error codes.

If you see L01 or L02 on your grill, these are simply just programming codes, not error codes. They will show at startup and then disappear quickly and the grill is still functioning properly.

Flashing dots/flashing temperature on control board

If you see flashing dots on your control board screen, it just means the igniter is on. The igniter will turn off five minutes after startup. Once the flashing dots disappear, the unit will begin to adjust to the desired temperature selected, which for startup on these units is the smoke setting for barrel style grills. Some units have a relight feature where the igniter will turn back on if the grill drops below 130° F/55° degrees C. If the igniter comes back on, the flashing dots will reappear.

If the temperature is flashing on your control board screen, this means the temperature of the unit is below 150° F/65° C. It will flash like this upon startup until it is hot enough. It may also flash like this if the temperature has an extreme drop, indicating the fire is at risk of going out.

Is it okay to use my Pit Boss Grill in the rain?

In North America, all Pit Boss Pellet Grills must be plugged into a 110v outlet to function. Your grill can be used in a light rain, but since it is an electronic appliance, care must be taken to prevent any connections from being exposed to rain.

What pellets should I use in my Pit Boss Grill?

To ensure proper performance, we always recommend using Pit Boss or Louisiana Grills brand pellets in your grill, however, you can use other brands of pellets in the grill.

How often should I clean my Pit Boss Grill?

We recommend cleaning your grill after running 40-60 lbs of pellets through your Pit Boss Grill. To clean your grill, you can use a vacuum to remove the ash from the fire pot and bottom of the grill, scrape any grease from your flame broiler, and wipe down the grill with a light degreaser.