You are ready to fire up your grill, and rain clouds begin populating overhead. Do you go ahead and resume as planned, or should you take cover while grilling? It is likely at this moment, you will bring forth the question, “can I use my Pit Boss in rainy conditions?”
Can I Use My Pit Boss Pellet Grill In The Rain?
In short, it depends. According to the Pit Boss manual, you should avoid using the grill around any water source or in the rain. That being said, many members of several BBQ forums talk about using the grill when there is a light drizzle and you take steps to protect both the hopper and the wood pellets from getting wet.
So really, it’s up to you as long as you take every precaution you can to keep the hopper dry and avoid the wood pellets from becoming soaked. You should also know how to restart your grill if you experience a power outage to prevent a possible grill explosion.
Don’t worry, I’m going to share some tips to help keep both you and your grill safe should you decide to use it in the rain.
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But first let’s take a look at what to look at when buying an outdoor extension cord for your Pit Boss.
What Happens If The Pellet Smoker Gets Wet?
Pellet grills and smokers use electricity to cause the auger to feed pellets and power the temperature controls and famns.
It’s not likely your electronics will be damaged if exposed, however, the moisture can cause the wood pellets to become damp, which can wreak havoc on the auger. This article will show you how to store your wood pellets safely.
Wet pellets will clog the auger. Fixing a clogged auger is a process requiring disassembly, cleaning, and possibly monetary investment.
Check out this video below on how to clean out or replace a damaged auger.
If your Pit Boss gets wet, it won’t rust right away. However, you should take every precaution to protect it from the rain like storing it under a covered awning, patio, or keep it covered with a grill cover when not in use.
9 Tips for Grilling In The Rain Safely
Now that you know how to choose the right outdoor electrical cord, let’s take a look at how to keep your wood pellet smoker safe in the rain.
While I haven’t personally cooked in the rain yet, here are some tips that I found online to protect the wood pellets from getting wet.
#1 Buy A Cheap Canopy or Umbrella
I realize not everyone lives in a house with a garage or covered driveway, I don’t. If you plan on using your pellet smoker in the rain you may want to consider buying a cheap rainproof canopy or a sturdy umbrella.
Maybe you already have one that you use at the beach? If so, then you can use that to keep your pellet smoker grill dry while you’re cooking.
#2 Watch Out For The Wind
The downside is that many of them only provide top shelter, and the sides are exposed to the elements.
This means that you won’t want to use your pellet smoker if there are high winds with the rain because it will just knock over your shelter.
Make sure you have some heavy-duty zip ties and metal stakes to properly secure canopy, umbrella, or makeshift canopy.
The strong gusts probably won’t knock over your smoker, but it can destroy your umbrella, canopy, or pop-up tent leaving your smoker exposed to the elements.
Be sure to check the weather app on your phone before grilling in the rain.
#3 Use The Right Outdoor Extension Cord
For safety measures, you do not want to expose electrical cords to liquids or rainy conditions. The Pit Boss requires 110 volts, 60hz, 250w, 5-amp service, and it has a 3 grounded plug.
Take this into consideration when shopping for an outdoor electrical extension cord. This all-purpose extension cord is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
It’s water-resistant and the vinyl jacket provides protection against sunlight, abrasion, and moisture. The male component of the Pit Boss cord will easily fit the 3-prong socket without having to purchase an adapter.
Always inspect the cord before using it in the rain!
#4 Opt For A Well-Ventilated Area
Pellet smokers are popular because of the smoke they put out that gives food that smoky flavor a lot of people love. Never use your grill in an enclosed area such as a garage.
While running your pellet smoker in an enclosed garage is not as dangerous as running a vehicle in a closed garage.
You should only grill in areas that provide good ventilation to prevent any accidents. Make sure smoke and fumes can escape.
Smoke contains components such as carbon monoxide, which can quickly turn fatal.
If you do cook in your garage make sure you pull the grill as close to the opened door as possible without exposing the hopper to the rain.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in case of an accident!
#5 Don’t Leave The Smoker Unattended
People are attracted to pellet smokers because they act like a convection oven, meaning they heat food to a specific temperature without a lot of effort on your part.
The cold weather can affect the temperature of the grill, so make sure you check it periodically to ensure that the heat is still on. You never want to leave a pellet grill unattended without monitoring it every so often.
#6 Take The Pellets Out
If you’ve cooked in the rain and you believe that the rain or moisture may have affected your wood pellets, you may want to empty the auger just to be safe.
Store those wood pellets apart from the ones that haven’t been exposed to the moisture. After a couple of days, do a wood pellet test on them to see if they are still good.
A healthy wood pellet will “snap” when you break it in half. If it still has a shiny coating and you can hear it snap, that means it’s still good to use.
#7 Keep The Lid Closed As Much As Possible
Humidity reduces evaporation, making your food moisture and juicier. This is why so many people put water or apple juice when doing a long slow cook because it helps keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
Not only will leaving the lid closed to keep out unwanted rain, but this also traps the heat in and lessens the temperature fluctuation.
#8 Cook Things Together
Most pellet grills come with a top and bottom shelf, which makes it easy to cook meat, vegetables, and etc at once.
Using foil to wrap vegetables causes moisture and heat retention, enabling you to cook them quickly at the same time with your meat.
During a rainy cook, it’s best to cook everything at once so your pellet smoker isn’t exposed to the weather all day.
#9 Pre-Cooking Inside
If nature is calling for a rainy afternoon, but you have to cook the meat you pulled out of the freezer before it spoils, then consider precooking your meat inside and finishing it off on the grill.
While you won’t get that smoky flavor, your pellet smoker won’t have to sit out in the elements for hours.
What If You’re Caught In The Rain?
We can’t always predict what Mother Nature is going to do. Hopefully, it just rolls through so you can continue cooking without a hiccup.
If not, then you want to do everything you can to protect the wood pellets. The action you take will depend on how far along you are with the cooking process.
You never want to use your smoker if you hear thunder or lightening.
You don’t have to cook lunch on your stovetop, just because it’s drizzly outside. With a little planning, you can use your pellet grill in the rain.
If rain does land on your grill, be sure to dry it off and cover it after use.
Remember, to take all the precautions you can to keep those wood pellets dry!
References and Further Reading
Nodak Angler – Pellet Grills In The Rain