When it comes to advanced grills, there is only one option for pellet grills, but there are many brands in the market that make pellet grills. Of course, Pit Boss is a great manufacturer that provides an excellent alternative to your backyard chef. Pit Boss pellet grill temperature fluctuations are common problems, it has temperature swing issues.
Fluctuations in pellet grill temperature ruin your food and time. We know that as things get old, the problem gets worse or you don’t use it properly.
What Says Pit Boss About Temperature Fluctuations
According to Pit Boss, turning the auger motor on and off at specific intervals can cause a +/- 25-degree deviation from the set temperature.
If the temperature of your pellet grill exceeds that standard deviation, there are some serious issues you should be on the lookout for.
Such temperature fluctuations and swings in pellet grills have different causes.
Reasons include ambient temperature, quality of wood pellets, humidity, air circulation, and poor temperature checks.
There is no way to eliminate the swing temperature of a pellet grill because this problem is new to you for the first time.
Understand the Function of Pit Boss Pellet Grill P-Setting
All pellet grills operate on the same principle but Pit Boss pellet grills and Traeger pellet grills operate on an advanced principle that optimally affects the temperature at the only smoke setting.
I have an article on the Traeger Pellet Grill Temperature problem that you should read. The auger motor transfers the wood pellets from the hopper to the firepot for combustion.
The auger system is designed in such a way that the auger motor runs at the speed you set. Upon setting the desired temperature, the temperature sensor communicates with the auger system to deliver the wood pellets needed to maintain the desired temperature.
Pit Boss Pellet Grills operate on a time-based controller called the P-setting. The P-setting is used to increase or decrease the pause time between feeding cycles of wood pellets.
An auger motor is automatically turned on for a specified period of time to feed pellets to the firepot. Thereafter, when enough fuel is supplied to maintain the temperature, the auger automatically shuts down. This cycle is repeated over and over to maintain the desired temperature.
At this time-based p-setting can cause temperature fluctuations as it is extremely difficult to control the temperature due to the auger turning on/off frequently.
The temperature inside the pellet grill is likely to rise above the set temperature because the wood pellets are being fed continuously as the auger is rotating.
Conversely, there is the possibility that when the auger is turned off for a specified period, the temperature may drop below the set temperature.
For you, we have attached the Pit Boss P-Settings chart, in which you can understand where the breakout interval of the auger increases.
|P-Setting||Auger On||Auger Off|
|P0||18 seconds||55 seconds|
|P1||18 seconds||70 seconds|
|P2||18 seconds||85 seconds|
|P3||18 seconds||100 seconds|
|*P4||18 seconds||115 seconds|
|P5||18 seconds||130 seconds|
|P6||18 seconds||140 seconds|
|P7||18 seconds||150 seconds|
We recommended P-4 settings for the early startup of the Pit Boss pellet grill. Which is better Read the comparison of Pit Boss Austin XL vs Traeger Pro-34.
Cause of Pit Boss Pellet Grill Temperature Fluctuations
Let’s say you’ve done all the preparations for the guests and the temperature of your Pit Boss Pellet Grill is fluctuating in no time, it means your cooked food is bound to go bad.
If you set the temperature of the Pit Boss Pellet Grill to 275 degrees, but the temperature inside rises goes up to 400 Fahrenheit, in that case, what will you do, and what are the key factors?
Let us discuss the various causes of temperature fluctuations and swings that you can easily fix with your Pit Boss running hotter than setting.
Low Quality Wood Pellets
This is the biggest factor in temperature fluctuations of any pellet grill because they use low-quality wood pellets that break under the pressure of the auger or use moist wood pellets. It becomes very difficult to burn such defective pellets, and eventually, the fire is extinguished.
The same finest quality wood pellets make firepots burn easily without producing a lot of ash. Finding high-quality wood pellets is not a very difficult task, choose the best brand. Top-quality wood pellets are always made from completely dried hardwood sawdust. As the owner of Pit Boss Pellet Grill, you must opt for Pit Boss Wood Pellet which is highly recommended.
When we buy wood pellets we consider them cheap and good and invest in them, but these adulterated wood pellets do a lot of damage.
This affects the performance of your grill and it can damage the auger, temperature sensor, and igniter hot rod, after which you will need to replace it.
Pellet Grill Is Not Clean
I think it would have surprised you to learn that cleanliness can also be a factor in the temperature fluctuations of the Pit Boss Pellet Grill, but it is true. This being so is the engineering behind the distinctive design of the grille.
If significant parts of your Pit Boss pellet grill are covered with vapor, stains, carbon soot, and ash. So due to this, the transfer of heat from the fire pot to the cooking surface will be badly affected.
If cleaning is not done in time, the accumulation of vapors, grease, and ash on the heating deflector, temperature sensor, and grilling grate of the pellet grill increases. All of these subsequently cause temperature fluctuations and affect the uniform flow of convection air, which can lead to hot spots inside specific areas of the grill.
Lack of cleanliness causes the auger to jammed and the wood pellets do not reach the firefox for combustion, causing intermittent fires.
The closed cooking area should have good airflow for cooking, but a lack of cleanliness can also jam the induction fan, affecting airflow and causing temperature fluctuations.
Auger Not Turning
It is not difficult to understand that the Pit Boss pellet grill auger is not rotating. Often the reason behind this is the cleanliness of the pellet hopper and the use of low-quality pellets.
If you use wood pellets that have been in the hopper for a long time, moisture may have gotten into them. As the auger pushes the pellet into the firepot, it shatters and the grill hot rod ignitor is not successful in igniting it.
Now the auger gets clogged due to the moist pellets in the firepot. This puts out the burning fire and is also one of the reasons why you see temperature fluctuations in your pellet grill.
A Bad Hot Rod Igniter
If your Pit Boss pellet grill has a bad hot rod igniter, that means knowing how to light a wooden pellet without it. This could be one reason why your pellet grill is having temperature problems.
Because the igniter/hot rod used in your pellet smoker grill is faulty or broken. Such a problem often occurs after a few years of use. Which one is better Pit Boss Classic 700 vs 700FB?
The Induction Fan Is Not Working
Parts that wear out over time are more annoying if they are not repaired in a timely manner. Do you know how an induction fan works?
There are many complaints about the induction fan clogging due to the special attention to cleanliness. When grease builds up in an induction fan, it can affect speed.
If the fan is not working the fire will not get the air it needs, eventually, the fire will go out as it does not get the required amount of oxygen. There is another reason for temperature fluctuations in Pit Boss pellet grills.
The ambient temperature may cause the temperature to deviate from the set temperature on your pellet grill. The completeness of the laws of combustion of wood pellets depends on the ambient air temperature.
The higher the ambient temperature, the faster the combustion process. As a result, your grill will overheat and deviate from the set temperature. If your pellet grill is exposed to direct sun, it can also cause temperature fluctuations, which are possible to rise above the set temperature.
Improper Startup of Pit Boss Pellet Grill
Often people start a pellet grill without following the manufacturer’s instructions, we want to tell you that it is really important to read and follow the initial startup process of a pellet grill from the instruction manual.
You need to know the specific time interval during which optimal preheating of your pellet grill needs to be done before setting the required temperature.
If you set the desired temperature directly without going through the preheating process, it will overfeed the firepot by the auger system and result in a rise in temperature.
In addition, if you place food inside the grill immediately without preheating process of the pellet grill, it will also promote temperature swings in the Pit Boss pellet grill. If you want to convert your Pit Boss propane gas grill into natural gas grill here is the complete guide.
Moist Air Flow
If vapor builds up during the heat or there may already be some moisture left in the hopper during cleaning. Wood pellets have the ability to absorb moisture more easily. The moist air and environment will soften the wood pellets and the slight pressure of the auger will break them up.
The fire will be difficult to burn because of the moisture. This circumstance will result in high-temperature fluctuations in your Pit Boss pellet grill.
Faulty RTD Temperature Probe Sensor
The Pit Boss temp probe is installed on the side of the pellet grill’s cooking area, providing internal temperature information about the grill. The temperature sensor gives incorrect information for two reasons.
Firstly, if your temperature sensor is faulty, then, in addition, vapor or ash has accumulated on it. In both cases, you have to check it.
To verify that the Pit Boss temp probe is not faulty, you just need to check that the temperature probe wire is not broken, if not clean the RTD probe.
PID Controller Malfunction
If your Pit Boss pellet grill has a PID controller, it means it delivers instead of P-setting. The PID controlling system can help to optimally control the temperature of the pellet grill with minimum temperature deviation.
The problem is if you have set the pellet grill temperature to 225 degrees and at the same time the inside temperature is exceeding 300 degrees, it means that the PID controller is not working properly.
Because of this, you are getting a flare-up in the pellet grill, which will lead to a rise in temperature.
Constantly Changing Temperature
It takes some time for a pellet grill to stabilize its temperature. The grill hasn’t started to burn yet and you begin to change the temperature setting in the pellet grill, you’ll notice a fluctuating temperature as the heat from the temperature setting repeatedly change which will affect the hot air from the deflector.
So your pellet grill will sometimes indicate a high temperature and sometimes a low temperature, which affects the flavor of the food being cooked.
Chimney Cap Not Adjusted
The purpose of a chimney cap is not only to prevent water from entering, its second largest function is to regulate temperature by allowing smoke and heat to flow through.
As the density of the hot air increases, the hot air continues to expand over the cooking area and tries to escape from an enclosed space under high pressure.
Understand this, the enclosed space is the Pit Boss Pellet Grill. As the hot air inside the pellet grill expands, its pressure continues to increase, which facilitates further combustion and results in a rise in temperature.
This is only possible if you haven’t adjusted the chimney cap to a specific height.
Heat Reflector Issues
Your pellet grill has an aluminum-like shield that has a few holes in it and goes over the top of the firepot. This wastes heat instead of pushing it out, which will cause overheating at certain points inside your Pit Boss Pellet Grill.
If the heat deflector is damaged lodge your Pit Boss temp lower than setting.
How To Fix Pit Boss Pellet Grill Temperature Fluctuations
Your visit means that your Pit Boss Pellet grill temp fluctuation is bothering you. If you have read all the above points carefully then you must have got an idea of it to a great extent. Let us go ahead and learn how to fix the Pit Boss temperature problem.
Use High-Quality Wood Pellets
The main reason for the temperature swing in the Pit Boss pellet grill is the use of a bad wood pellet which has been explained to you above. Here you can read what is the best wood for brisket.
Make sure you are using high-quality wood pellets for your Pit Boss grill before you start grilling or smoking. Traeger Grill & Pit Boss is one of the biggest names in making the best wood pellets. I suggest you should only use them.
Pellet Grill Must Be Clean
The best way to avoid temperature fluctuations in a Pit Boss pellet grill is to clean it properly. It is best to do this after every 3 smoking sessions or after the use of a 40-60 lbs wood pellet.
Your maximum focus should be on all kinds of parts related to wood pellets. First, clean the hopper, and make sure the hopper is completely dry. It is very important to pay attention to how to clean the auger, the maintenance of the induction fan, and the cleaning of the temperature sensor.
You will need to remove the ash from anywhere that can cause temperature fluctuations. We recommend using a high-pressure vacuum cleaner for cleaning.
We highly recommend to you watch the video on how to clean the auger.
Follow the step on how to clean the induction fan.
- Turn off the pellet grill and remove the plug.
- Remove the fan and clean all grease and debris.
- Rotate the fan several times with your hands.
- Before fixing make sure the fan running well.
- Make sure their no grease remaining on the fan.
- Remove the induction fan and wash.
- If the fan is broken or beyond repair, replace it
Wood Pellets Must Be Dry
Often here the mistake is made by the griller whether he/she is new or an expert.
As you step into the new smoking season, you use old wood pellets, which cost you a high because you didn’t thoroughly test the wood pellets.
You didn’t choose the right location while storing the wooden pallets due to which some moisture gets into the wood pallets causing auger jam and temperature fluctuations in your pit boss grill but you don’t understand what you did wrong.
Mash the wood pellet with your fingers, if moisture gets in it, use it as a fertilizer in your backyard garden.
It’s also the perfect way to store leftover wood pellets so nothing goes to waste. When it comes to storing wood pellets, choose a covered and dry place.
Must Preheat Your Pellet Grill
The initial preheat process is really important to ensure the optimum temperature for the optimum use of the Pit Boss Manual. First, set the pellet grill to the smoke setting until all the white smoke is gone out. It takes between 5 to 10 minutes.
Preheat your Pit Boss pellet grill to 275 °F for 30 minutes to stabilize the internal temperature. The pit boss pellet grill preheating process will take time, depending on the model. Therefore, always follow the manual instruction before proceeding.
Highly recommended Watch the video below on how to preheat and start your Pit Boss Pellet Grill.
Do Right P-Setting
The P setting on Pit Boss is the time-based controller system that is mentioned above, you can also make some adjustments to the P-Settings if you wish. Some models of Pit Boss pellet grill come with a PID controller that doesn’t have a P-setting feature because the PID controller works great.
If the temperature of your pellet grill suddenly begins to fluctuate at the set temperature, you can change the P setting from P-4 to P-5.
If you’re grilling in direct sunlight in the summer, it’s recommended that the P-setting be changed from P-4 to P-5. When you change the p-setting, you should wait about 30 minutes for the temperature to stabilize.
However, most Pit Boss owners say that the P-setting doesn’t solve the temperature fluctuation problem that much. This is because the P setting on Pit Boss only works for the “Smoke setting”.
You should definitely watch the video below regarding P-Settings
Use Multiple Thermometers
Whenever you prepare for a smoking session, make sure you have multiple thermometers, which is a good idea to use in different places on the grill. There is always the possibility of different temperatures in the cooking area of a pellet grill, this gives you accurate temperature information about the inside of the grill.
You may notice the temperature of your pellet grill fluctuates several times during long hours of cooking. Often this is because the auger does not continuously feed wood pellets to the firepot; there is some lag. With this, the fluctuations in the temperature probe are recorded.
Therefore, we would recommend you buy the best and most reliable temperature sensors like Pit Boss, and Thermoworks or read our best meat probe thermometer article.
Of course, you should play with the results reported by the digital thermometer to see what the best tool you’ve invested in, is and use the results to your advantage. Check out the best digital thermometer.
Use Frame Broiler Plate In Right Way
What is the best way to use a frame broiler plate? Some grillers didn’t use it in the right direction. The function of the frame broiler plate is to transfer heat in direct and indirect ways.
When you want to sear your favorite meat that requires high heat, over 450 °F, then you need to open the frame broiler.
Use Correct Adjustment Of Chimney Cap
If the temperature of your Pit Boss pellet grill is too hot, raise the chimney lid by 1.5 to 2 inches. This will allow hot air to exit the cooking area and balance the pellet grill temperature.
There is a science behind this that only hot air will come out. Because cold air is heavier than hot air, the hot air inside the pellet grill will move out of it and cool ambient air can replace it and lower the temperature.
Remove Heat Deflector Plate
When you remove a frame-boiler plate, you can see a heat-deflecting plate that directs the heat upward.
Remove this heat deflector plate and place a heat distribution plate that evenly distributes heat throughout the grill.
Also, consider removing the frame broiler when installing the distribution plate.
Replace PID Controller
If all the above suggestions do not work, you are left with an option to replace the PID controller. This will only happen if the PID controller of your Pit Boss Pellet Grill is not working.
We would recommend you buy Pellet Grill PID Controller from the official site where all is available models-wise. If looking for an affordable price then I would recommend Stanbroil PID Controller System.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read some of the questions our readers asked us about Pit Boss pellet grills, which you can find answers to below.
How should I start my Pit Boss Grill?
Start your Pit Boss pellet grill with the lid open on the smoke setting for 10 minutes. (The smoke setting temperature range is 180-210Â°F).
After that close the lid and adjust your temperature to the desired setpoint.
Why doesn’t my Pit Boss Grill power on?
If you don’t have a pellet grill turned on, there could be several reasons. You should make sure that it is connected to electricity when you are working on your grill.
If you will need power troubleshooting for a pellet grill. Make sure the grill is not plugged into electricity. You will need to remove the hopper access panels from the bottom of the hoppers which are attached to the panel with eight screws.
1. Check the outlet to make sure it is working properly.
2. Try another outlet.
3. If the GFCI doesn’t trip, you need to replace the igniter.
Why won’t my Pit Boss Grill light?
There are many reasons why your pit boss grill may not burn. There are a few things you can check before contacting Pit Boss customer care.
1. Confirm that there are pellets in the grill hopper.
2. The pellet should be in good condition, shiny, and crisp.
3. Make sure proper startup was followed for your grill.
5. Check that your fan is running without stopping. If it’s not running, that’s the problem.
6. If your grill is smoking but not making a fire, it means that the airflow through the induction fan is decreasing.
7. Make sure the igniter is turning hot or bright orange.
8. Make sure the pellet is feeding to the firepot and the auger turning.
Why is my Pit Boss Grill running so hot in smoke?
The grill can get very hot on the smoke setting due to a number of factors, including the outside temperature. This usually happens when the grill lid closes shortly after startup.
You should also leave your Pit Boss grill with the lid open to smoke for 10 minutes, which will help burn off any excess fuel built up during the startup process.
If your smoke temperature does not drop below 180-210°F, when the lid is left open during startup, please contact Pit Boss Customer Care for further assistance.
Why isn’t my Pit Boss Grill getting hot enough?
If your Pit Boss pellet grill is not heating up, it could be due to several factors.
Outside temperature and wind are common factors that can prevent a grill from reaching its upper-end temperature.
Make sure your Pit Boss grill is in a location as protected from the elements as possible.
There are other reasons such as the fuel and airflow may not reach the top temperature of the grill.
Pellets should always be stored in an airtight bag or container to avoid being affected by moisture.
For better airflow, make sure your grill is at least 36” away from combustible constructions, and that all back vents are unobstructed.
There should be a gap of at least 1.5 inches in the grill chimney cap and the fan is clean.
Why don’t I see smoke coming from my Pit Boss Grill?
A high-quality wood pellet has the ability to burn extremely cleanly. If you’re cooking at a lower temperature, more smoke will come out.
The smoke produced by wood pellets is very thin and blue smoke that is almost completely invisible. When the pellets begin to smolder just before the grill ignites, you may see some white smoke.
Over time, as you cook, you’ll also see white smoke because as the broiler gets more seasoned, the flame gets more and more intense. Drippings will enhance the flavor and color of the smoke.
How do I use the flame broiler?
The flame broiler is used for cooking in an open flame and grease pan.
During normal cooking, the best practice is to turn off the flame broiler to properly remove grease and prevent fires.
Sharing requires a high temperature, so you should use the top slider of the flame broiler and let it cook directly over the fire.
Keep in mind that while cooking in an open flame, always open the main grill lid while the flame broiler is in the open position.
Is it normal for my flame broiler to rust or warp?
Yes, it is normal for the flame broiler to rust and deform slightly due to the high heat and oxidation applied to it.
You should not use water to clean a flame broiler, otherwise, it will cause rust to grow rapidly.
We put a lot of emphasis on cleaning the grill but the flame broiler plate is a bit low. Grease and smoke build up on the flame broiler plate over time, which protects it from rust, so we don’t tell it to be super clean.
The best way to clean a flame broiler is to either scrape it with a putty knife or use a slide cover to move the debris back and forth.
Can I use my Pit Boss Grill in the rain?
You can use your Pit Boss pellet grill in light rain, but you know it’s an electronic device, so you have to be more careful to protect any connections from being exposed to rain.
Important; if you live in North America your Pit Boss pellet grill must be plugged into a 110v outlet for it to function.
You must have got the answer to questions like Why does my pellet grill temperature fluctuate? Is it normal for a Pit Boss temp to fluctuate?, How do I fix Pit Boss temperature swings?, Why is my Pit Boss not holding temperature?
We can’t tell what’s the exact cause of your pellet grill’s temperature fluctuations, but you have a solutions list.
Follow them one by one according to your problem, you will definitely get the solution. If you are looking for the best Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker, you can read the review.