How To Add Pellets To A Pit Boss Hopper For The First Time

After assembling the Pit Boss Smoker grill, you’ll be anxious to add pellets and start cooking. However, before you can start using your new electric smoker, you have to learn how to add pellets to a Pit Boss Hopper for the first time.

How To Add Pellets To A Pit Boss Hopper

Open the hopper lid and make sure there are no foreign objects blocking the auger feed system. Grab your wood smoking pellets and start filling it up.

Pit Boss auger feed system

Related: Can You Use A Pit Boss Without Pellets

Now it’s time to prime the hopper and get it ready for the first use. This is totally different than seasoning your Pit Boss aka grill burn off, which cleans the grill and gets it ready for the first use. If you’ve already used our grill a few times, then find out how often should you clean it.

Let’s take a close look at the hopper priming procedure. Be sure to read this post if you still need to season your pellet grill.

What Is The Hopper Priming Procedure?

This procedure ensures that your auger feed system is working properly. The auger feed system must be primed to allow the wood pellets to pass through the auger, and fill the burn pot.

The hopper priming system is vital to allow the ignitor to function properly and avoid timeouts before the pellets are ignited.

When To Run The Hopper Priming Procedure?

The hopper priming procedure should be performed when you get the grill and turn it on for the very first time., and each time the electric smoker runs out of pellets in the hopper.

Before First Use

After assembling your grill or turning it on for the first time, you will want to run through the steps of priming the hopper.

This helps you inspect that the auger feed system and firepot are functioning properly.

Pit Boss Ran Out Of Pellets While Cooking

fill the hopper with pellets
Evenetually, your electric smoker grill will run out of pellets while cooking.

Anyone who has a wood pellet grill will eventually run out of pellets, especially, if you use it a lot.

When your smoker grill runs out of pellets while cooking, you will need to prime the hopper again before you can resume cooking.

Related: Can You Leave Pellets In A Pit Boss?

This process takes about 5-10 minutes for first-time users. If you run out of pellets while cooking, it may take a little longer.

How to Prime Your Hopper To Start Using Pellets?

You will follow these steps if you're starting your Pit Boss for the first time or if you run out of pellets while using your grill.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • Wood Pellets to fill your grill.


  • Shop Vac (to clean your Pit Boss if you've used it already)


How to Prime Your Hopper To Start Using Pellets?

  1. Before priming the hopper, you will want to remove all the cooking components. This is only necessary if you run out of pellets while grilling.
  2. It's also a good time to clean your Pit Boss grill, especially, since you're going to be down inside the barrel.

Plug The Grill In

  1. If you've never used your Pit Boss grill before, you'll want to ensure that it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Remove The Cooking Components

  1. This step is only necessary if you run out of pellets while using your smoker grill.

Turn On Your Electric Smoker Grill

  1. Press the Power Button to turn on the unit and turn the temperature control dial until it is on the Smoke position.
  2. If this is your first time using the smoker, you'll want to make sure that you can hear the auger turning. It's going to be a loud sound kind of like a jet engine.
  3. Place your hand above the fire pot, without touching it. You're feeling for air movement to ensure that everything is working properly.
  4. Once you've verified that all the electrical components are working properly, it's time to prime the hopper.

Add More Pellets In The Hopper

open the hopper lid

  1. It's time to add pellets in the hopper. Go ahead and open up the hopper lid and fill it up completely so you won't run out, especially, if you plan on cooking a lot of food.
  2. Fill the hopper with Pit Boss wood pellets or any other high quality authentic natural wood pellets.

Power The Pit Boss Back On

  1. Once the hopper is filled with wood pellets, turn the unit back on. Keep the Temperature Control Dial in the smoke position.
  2. Press and keep holding the "Prime Button" until you see the pellets start falling into the firepot.
  3. Once you see the pellets falling into the firepot, you can release the Prime Button.

Turn Off The Smoker Grill

  1. You're done priming the hopper and you can turn off the smoker and re-install the cooking components.
  2. If you ran out of pellets while cooking, you can resume grilling your meal. For first time Pit Boss users, you will want to continue to the next step, which is the seasoning the grill aka the Grill Burn Off Procedure.

Final Word On Pit Boss Hopper Priming Procedure

Priming the hopper may seem like a waste of time, however, it is an important part of using the smoker grill without experiencing any issues.

I know you’re excited about cooking your first meal on your Pit Boss, but don’t try to start using it before you season the hopper and run the first grill off.

Articles You May Be Interested In:

Skip to Instructions Skip to content