Pit Boss Grills are a popular type of grill because they offer both gas and charcoal grilling benefits. However, you might be wondering if you need electricity to use a Pit Boss Grill or whether it is possible to use an extension cord? This blog post will answer all your questions about using electric grills.
Is The Pit Boss Grill Electric?
The Pit Boss pellet grill is a 3-prong electrical appliance that uses 110-120V, 60HZ, 250 Watts, and 3.1 Amps to operate various components such as combustion fans, digital control board, auger, and thermometer probes.
In addition, they can be operated on various electrical sources such as; portable, inverter, gas, solar generator utilizing an extension cord.
That said, every grill is different. For example, combo grills will require more electricity, wattage, and amps than a regular wood pellet-fueled grill. This article is based on a regular wood pellet grill like the Pit Boss Pro Series 820, which is the exact model I own.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
How Are Pit Boss Grills Powered?
A Pit Boss pellet grill (or any pellet grill) functions similar to a convection oven. Anything you can cook in your kitchen oven can be prepared in the pellet grill. It utilizes wood pellets as fuel and gives food a smoky, flavored taste that cannot be easily accomplished with traditional gas and charcoal grills.
When connected to an electrical outlet and powered on, the combustion fans begin working, while the auger slowly feeds pellets into the firebox, where they will ignite and burn. The fan will push heat and smoke into the main chamber where the food is, and the food will cook evenly without much effort on your part.
How Much Electricity Does A Pit Boss Pellet Grill Use?
Similar to most appliances in your home, the Pit Boss requires a standard 3-pronged 120V electrical outlet. The most common electrical outlet in any home is 110V, the same as the 120V required for most pellet grills.
During the startup phase, the igniter draws 200-700 watts of electricity. The startup procedure is when the grills require the most electricity because everything starts up for the first time.
The auger doesn’t run continuously, only when it needs to feed more pellets. When more pellets are fed into the firepot, there will be spikes in the consumption of electricity.
The required amount of wattage at startup can be too much power for a GFCI outlet and can cause power outages.
If your GFCI outlet keeps tripping, replace it with a non-GFCI outlet.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Pellet Grill?
As for how much electricity the pellet grill uses will take some basic math skills to determine. For most appliances, the wattage being uses is listed on the back. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on the back of my grill, but after researching online, I discovered that most pellet grills require about 30 watts (30W) of electrical power to function properly.
Most will use about 300 watts for the first 4 minutes, and once the hot rod ignitor is hot and the flame is going, it will pull about 50 watts of power continuously.
This formula will help you determine how much electricity your grill uses. You can then determine how much it will cost you based on your utility company’s price per kWh used.
Watts * hours used per day * days used per year = Kilowatts/hour consumption (kWh)
Multiply this number by your local utilities rate per kWh consumed (North Carolina averages 11.24 cents / kWh. Here’s a chart of electricity prices with prices for different states throughout the United States.
How Many Amps Does A Pit Boss Use?
Every Pit Boss grill is different, so you’ll want to refer to the owner’s manual for your particular make and model. For example, my Pit Boss Pro 820 uses 3.1 AMPs. The control board uses a 5 amp, 120V, fast blow fuse, and you can read more about the Pit Boss fuse and why it blows often.
Similar to how the grill uses the most electricity at the startup, it also requires more amps during the startup procedure.
Can You Use An Extension Cord With A Pit Boss Pellet Grill?
Yes, as long as the cord is rated for at least the same total amps as the appliance, you’re using for outdoor use. So how do you know if the extension cord is for outdoor use?
- It will have the letter “W” on the packaging.
- Outside chords have rubber, vinyl, or plastic covers to protect against rain and moisture.
- It will have 3-prongs (the third prong serves as a grounding wire to help reduce the risk of electrical shocks and fire)
- Outdoor extension chords will have a higher amperage rating than indoor cords.
I use my Pit Boss pellet grill almost every weekend in the Spring and Summer. I’ve even used it before in the winter, and this is the same extension cord I use for my grill.
Can You Use A Backup Generator With A Pit Boss?
A backup generator can be used to power a Pit Boss pellet grill, especially if you’ve lost power during a cook. If the power does go out while using the grill, you’ll see an “ErP” error code, which triggers a safety feature preventing an automatic restart.
That said, you don’t want the grill to go out during a cook. The great thing is that you can use several options to cook even when you lose electricity in your home, tailgating at the football game, camping, or just spending time outdoors.
Below are some of the suitable options for your home or anywhere you spend your time grilling.
Portable Power Stations for Pit Boss Smokers
There are several different brands of portable power stations on the market. However, the most popular brand on Amazon is the Jackery Portable Power Station.
Jackery Portable Battery Power Station
It weighs 6.6 pounds and comes with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, making it perfect for hunting, camping, or traveling outdoors. This versatile power source consists of 1 USB-A port, 110V, 200W, a 400W peak, and a 12V DC car input.
As mentioned above, most pellet grills will use about 300 watts for the first 4 minutes, then 50 watts for the remainder of the cook. Therefore, the Jackery power station will easily power the Pit Boss pellet grill, even if you have a combo grill, a wood pellet grill, a smoker, a gas grill, and a side burner.
Here’s a closer look at the Specifications:
- Capacity: 240 Wh (16.8Ah, 14.4V)
- Weight: 3kg/6.6lbs
- Dimensions: 231mm x 199mm x 132mm (9.0″ x 7.8″ x 5.2″)
- Regarching Temperature: -10 to 40°C
- Battery: Lithium-ion
- Input: 8mm 12V-30V 42W Max
- Management System: Temperature control, Surge protection, and Short circuit protection
- Warranty: 24 Months
- Technical Support: Lifetime
- Run Time: 4 Hours
As mentioned, this is the most popular model on Amazon and at the time of this writing, has over 9,500 5 star reviews.
It also comes in more powerful options, but the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is more than sufficient to power a pellet grill.
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: The Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station has been featured as the "Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors" by Digital Trends. A classic choice for your pick.
- EASY TO CARRY: This entry-level portable power station is equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, weighing only at 6.6 pounds. The solid handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trip, Backyard Camping, etc.
- VERSATILE POWER SOURCE: 1* Pure Sine Wave AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), 2* USB-A ports (5V, 2.4A), and 1* 12V DC car port to charge your road trip essentials such as smartphones, laptops, cameras, fans, lights and so on. Pass-through charging is supported.
- GREEN POWER SUPPLY: The power station can be recharged by the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel or SolarSaga 100 solar panel. Its built-in MPPT controller enables the solar panel to operate at its max power point for the power station to be recharged at its highest efficiency. TWO alternative ways to recharge: through the wall outlet or the car outlet.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station, 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1* user guide.
Small Portable Gas Generators
Many different options are available on the market from Westinghouse, Honda, WEN, Pulsar, Yamaha, etc. So how do you choose one that will power your pellet grill?
Any small gas generator can power a Pit Boss pellet smoker, even when it uses the most amps during the startup process. It will be challenging to find a portable gas generator that is less than 1000 Watts, in fact, most start out with a minimum of 2,000 watts.
The biggest problem with gas generators is the fuel cost (especially with the high gas prices) and the noise. Most gas generators are marketed as ‘quiet operation.’ However, expect to hear some noise.
The Champion 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator features quiet operation with a 58dBa noise level. So how loud is it?
Well, the decibel scale starts at 0, which is the lowest decibel a human can ear can hear.
Below is a chart of some common sounds and the decibel levels to help you understand how loud the Champion Portable Inverter Generator is.
|Live Music||100 – 115 dB|
|Normal conversation||60 dB|
|Dog Barking (4 feet)||95 dB|
|Vacuum cleaner||70 dB|
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT: At only 39 pounds, this inverter is one of the lightest 2000-watt inverters in the industry
- QUIET OPERATION: 58 dBA from 23 feet is perfect for camping, tailgating or to backup a few home essentials, featuring 2000 starting watts, 1700 running watts and up to 11.5 hours run time
- PARALLEL READY: The optional clip-on parallel kit enables this inverter to connect with another 2000-watt Champion inverter to double your output power
- CLEAN POWER FOR SENSITIVE ELECTRONICS: Includes two covered 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD)
- CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
This quiet generator is perfect for camping, tailgating, or home use. The best part is it isn’t too loud to bother your neighbors!
Car Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V
The last option for those getaways is to utilize a car, truck, or RV power DC 110 V AC converter. The Ampeak 1100 Watt Power Inverter provides 1100 watts of continuous power, perfect for a Pit Boss smoker.
It is compatible with most vehicles, and the O-ring extension makes it easy to run an extension cord inside the home. In addition, the temperature-controlled cooling fans and audible alarm prevent it from short circuits, low voltage, overheating, overloading.
- ▶1100W High Power Inverter◀: Provides 1100 watts continuous power, 2200 watts peak power, Ampeak 1000watt inverter converts DC power from a battery into conventional AC power that you can use to operate all kinds of devices, such as light, electric lights, kitchen appliances, microwaves, power tools, TVs, computers and other electronics
- ▶Perfect for Emergency Home Backup Power ◀: Equipped with 2 AC outlets and 2.1A USB port. A very simple way to use this 1100 watt power inverter for emergency power (such as during a power outage), is to use a car battery (with the vehicle running), and an O-ring extension cord running into the house, where you can then plug in electrical appliances
- ▶Overall Safety Protection◀: ●Soft start to minimize start-up current shock and power your device stably and safely; ●Built-in 4*40A Fuses & Dual Temperature-controlled Cooling Fans & Audible Alarm & Intuitive LED against Over Voltage / Low Voltage / Overload / Short Circuit / Over Heat; ●Energy-saving: no-load power consumption < 8W (at a 12.5V input)
- ▶Widely Use◀: This 1100W inverter will solve your charging problems on the road, or where is power outage, power your devices in home or outdoors for Emergency, Hurricane, Storm, Outage. Ideal Christmas gift for father, boyfriend or husband
- ▶What You Will Get◀: 1*Ampeak Power Inverter, 2*O-ring Terminal Cables, 1*Screwdriver, 1*User Manual; All our products are backed-up 18-month warranty, 24-hour friendly customer service and 100% customer satisfaction
Pit Boss pellet grills will work when plugged into any standard electrical outlet in the United States. It can conveniently be powered by using an extension cord, inverter, gas, or solar-powered generator.
This convenience makes it great for tailgating, camping, or just spending time away from home.
Even though this article is based on the Pit Boss pellet grill, all pellet grills function the same way. I’ve done my best to provide you solutions and options for powering your electric smoker while spending time away from home or looking for ways to use your grill when there’s a power outage in your area.