How Often Should I Clean My Pit Boss Pellet Grill? [& Why]

You’ve been using your Pit Boss every weekend cooking hamburgers, chicken, and a Boston butt. Now you’re noticing the black gunk on the grates and the pileup of ash. You’ve likely wondered “how often should I clean my Pit Boss?”

How Often Should I Clean My Pit Boss Grill?

The Pit Boss is an easy grill to maintain. Clean the grease out after each cook, the firepot after every few uses, a deep cleaning 1-2 times per season, and before putting the grill away for the season. 

how often should I clean my Pit Boss pellet grill

Cleaning the grill isn’t near as fun as cooking on it. However, it’s an essential part of owning a Pit Boss. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of cleaning and how often it should be implemented.

But first, let’s take a look at the importance of keeping your Pit Boss clean. Then we’ll discuss the different types of cleaning and what they entail. 

Check out this article for a step-by-step guide on how to clean a Pit Boss pellet grill. 

Why Cleaning Your Pit Boss Pellet Grill Is Important

Every time you cook in the Pit Boss, it collects grease and ash. As you continue using the grill without cleaning, the ash and grease will affect how your grill functions and can even shorten your grill’s lifespan. 

Most people choose to neglect cleaning their grill, but below are some of the reasons you shouldn’t ignore it. 

Proper Grill Function

An improperly maintained grill can lead to error codes, igniter problems, clogged auger issues, and other problems. Implementing a regular cleaning routine can keep your grill functioning properly.

Better Airflow

Keeping your grill clean inside will allow for better airflow, which in turn provides better temperature control. A buildup of ash can cause the fans to blow the ash around inside the barrel, causing the sensors to work improperly. 

The buildup of ash in the firepot can lead to incorrect readings from the RTD temperature probe. Ashe buildup can restrict the airflow (oxygen) necessary for the fire to burn in the firepot, resulting in the fire burning out. 

Fewer Chances of Grease Fires

Grease fires occur when the fire in the firepot comes into close contact with grease. It’s vital to keep your grill free of grease, especially in the grease trap on the grill. 

Like any grill, pellet grills can catch fire caused by too much grease in the drip tray or too many pellets in the firepot. 

Keeps Your Food Clean

When your grill is clean, you won’t have to worry about ash getting on your food while cooking. The ashes and the black residue inside the chimney can ruin your food. If you’re doing a low and slow cook with some ribs or a Boston butt, you don’t want the ashes or black residue to become a part of your cook. 

According to Pit Boss, their grill is supposed to be low maintenance. This doesn’t mean that you don’t ever have to clean it. But it does mean that you shouldn’t have to do a deep cleaning every time you use it.

According to their instruction manual, they recommend cleaning your grill out every so often.

Here’s a table of the cleaning recommendations, but it’s your grill and you know when it’s dirty and needs to be cleaned.

So use this table as a reference only.

ItemCleaning Frequency
Main BarrelEvery 5-8 grilling sessions
Fire PotEvery 3-4 grilling sessions
Porcelain GratesAfter every use
Flame BroilerAfter 4-6 grilling sessions
Front ShelfAfter every grill, especially, if you spill something on it
Grease BucketWhenever you’re done grilling
Auger Feed SystemWhen you empty the pellets or change them out
Hopper Electric ComponentsOnce a year
Air Intake VentAfter 4-6 grilling sessions
Temperature ProbeWhenever you clean out the main barrel or after 2-4 grills

Pit Boss Grill Cleaning

The Pit Boss cleaning schedule will vary depending on how often you use the grill. Below are the pellet cleaning procedures required of every pellet grill owner. 

Cleaning Your Pit Boss After Each Use

After each use, go through the natural burn-off process, which helps remove the buildup that accumulates while cooking. The natural burn-off process is optional, but Pit Boss recommends going through the burn-off process during the shutdown procedure. 

It is different than the first burn-offalso known as seasoning a grill. The natural burn-off process is meant to keep your smoker in tip-top shape and functioning properly.

After every cook, turn the temperature dial to the highest setting and close the lid. It will burn off any excess residue from the grates and any unused pellets in the firepot. 

The natural burn-off procedure will help keep your Pit Boss grill cleaner in between cooking sessions. 

Vacuuming the Ashes

A pellet grill ash clean-out is required when ashes start building up inside the firepot. How often you have to vacuum the ashes will depend on how often you use the grill and the type of cooking you do. 

If you’re grilling hamburgers on high, ashes won’t buildup as quickly as they do on low and slow cooks. 

After a long cook, you will want to vacuum out the ashes from the firepot. Long cooks burn more pellets, resulting in more ash residue left behind in the grill.

Deep Cleaning

The great thing about a pellet grill is you can cook all kinds of meats, from fatty meats to fish and vegetables. This versatility is what makes them so popular. The downside is after several cooks, the inside of the grill can become a safety hazard if not cleaned properly. 

A deep cleaning entails removing the grates, flame broiler, cleaning the shelves, RTD temperature probe, grease trap, chimney, probes, heat shield, and grease bucket. 

Deep cleaning the Pit Boss means you clean the interior and exterior to remove all the dirt, grime, grease, and anything left behind from the cooks.

If you’re a low and slow cooker, you should do a deep cleaning about once every two weeks. For those of you who prefer grilling on high, you should do deep cleanings at least once every two months.

That said, you know your grill. If you notice it becoming dirty with ashes and grease, it’s time to pull out the vacuum, cloths, and degreaser and do a deep cleaning. 

End of Season Cleaning

You can use it year-round. However, some people prefer not to use it year-round because they don’t want the pellets to get wet. If you’re going to cover your grill and store it in the Winter, you should do an end-of-season cleaning. 

It entails a deep cleaning of both the interior and exterior or deep cleaning. Don’t forget to empty the grease bucket and clean out the grease chute. 

You can leave the pellets in the hopper if you don’t think they will get wet or exposed to moisture. However, if you don’t plan on using the Pit Boss for several months, you may want to remove them from the hopper. 

Don’t forget to put the grill inside the garage or cover it with a cover to keep it dry. 

Spring Cleaning Before Summer

When the Pit Boss grill has sat without use for several months, it’s likely gathered dust. Depending on where it was stored, you’ll want to check for dampness inside the grill, ensure the electronics work properly, and check the airflow on the chimney.

After cleaning the dust off the grill, fill the hopper with pellets and do a test run to ensure the grill works properly. Make sure all the fans are running, and probes are working, as well as the auger is functioning correctly.

You’re just making sure the grill functions correctly before the first cook for the season. 

Think of the spring cleaning your electrical appliances as you do for your house. Every year, you deep clean your home to clean away the Winter’s mess. This type of cleaning will help you catch any problems before you start using the grill, so you can fix them before using the grill. 

Cleaning the Pellet Hopper

Most people don’t realize that the pellet hopper needs cleaning at least once a year. The hopper and electrical components are continually exposed to pellet ash. 

When I replaced the control board and installed the SMOKE IT Wi-Fi control board on my Pit Boss 820, I noticed the pellet ash on the top of the control board. 

pellet ash on hopper electric components

Your Pit Boss has a clean-out feature that makes it easy to change out or remove the pellets from the hopper. You can use this feature to change out the pellets’ flavor, but it can also be used to remove the pellets and do a deep cleaning of the hopper. 

Final Word

A Pit Boss grill needs to be cleaned whenever you notice it getting dirty from grease or ash to ensure it functions properly. Waiting too long between cleaning sessions will cause grease fires, temperature fluctuations, contaminated food, and better airflow. 

Cleaning the grill isn’t as fun as cooking on it, but a clean grill means your grill will cook the best food possible!

Related Articles

Skip to content