How To Shut Down A Pellet Grill (The Right Way)

You’re ready to sink your teeth into the freshly cooked ribs, so you take them off the grill and power off the grill. Without even questioning, how do I shut off the grill? Below you’ll find the exact steps on how to shut down a pellet grill the right way.

How To Shut Down Pellet Grill?

Remove the food, implement the natural burn-off procedure, turn the temperature to 500°F to burn any remaining pellets, turn off, open the lid to cool, unplug, cover and store the grill.

how to shut down a pellet grill

In this article, I’ll walk you through step by step how to turn off the pellet grill. The steps will vary somewhat, depending on which brand of grill you have.  

The process is the same regardless of which type of grill you have. The only difference will be the range of temperature the manual will recommend. 

Be sure to check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to shut down a Pit Boss Pellet Grill with pictures.

Turning off A Pellet Grill

At the end of this article, you’ll know how to shut off a pellet grill the right way and why it’s an important procedure to follow.

Step 1: Remove The Food

Once the food you’re cooking has reached the proper internal temperature, remove it and take it inside. While the food is resting, you can go back outside and start the shutdown process. 

Don’t worry. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal while the grill is cooling down. It’s important to go through the shutdown procedure every time you finish grilling on a pellet grill. 

Step 2: Let It Run For 5 Minutes

Every pellet grill manufacturer recommends letting the grill run for about five minutes after every cook. Their shutdown procedure will vary a little bit, but the process is the same regardless of what type of grill you own.

Pit Boss calls this the natural burn-off. Both Traeger and Tec Rec call it the shutdown cycle or mode.

Depending on which type of grill you have, it may be referred to as something different.

Pit Boss recommends turning the temperature dial to 177°C / 350°F and keep the barrel lid shut for five minutes. 

This allows the grill to go through a natural cleaning process to rid it of any excess food, grease, and debris.

Here’s a quick summary of the most popular grills and the recommended times, and the name they refer to the process to make it easier to understand.

BrandShut Down CycleRecommended Minutes
Pit BossBurn Off5 – 10 minutes
TraegerShutdown Cycle10 minutes
CampChefShutdown Cycle10 minutes
Memphis GrillsShutdown Cycle5-10 minutes
Z-GrillsShutdown Cycle10 minutes or until fan has stopped running.
Green MountainPower Down15 minutes

Some of the grill manufacturers have a preset setting on the temperature dial, while the Pit Boss doesn’t.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want any unused pellets left in the firepot, as this has been known to cause some pellet grills to explode.

Step 3: Open the Lid

Once the burn-off process has been completed, you can then turn the temperature dial to the “Off” position. Open the lid closed and allow the grill to cool down. 

It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes for the grill to cool completely. If the grill is sitting in direct sunlight, you may want to move it to a shadier place, as the sun will prevent it from cooling down.

Be sure not to touch any part of the barrel as they will be hot to the touch. Use the handle on the side to roll the grill out of the hot sun to the shade. 

Step 4: Unplug the Grill

After the grill has run through the burn-off procedure and cooled down, make sure the fan isn’t running anymore. Once the fan has stopped completely, you can unplug the grill and turn the temperature dial to the off position.

Roll up the extension cord and the pellet grill cord neatly so they don’t get damaged. Store the extension cord in a safe place away from the elements. 

Step 5: Cover and Store

Now, you can put the cover on it and store it in its proper place. Remember, keep your grill out of the elements to protect it from rusting, and keep the pellets in good condition. 

That’s it, now you’ve shut the pellet grill off properly, and you don’t have to worry about it the next time you turn it back on.

Bottom Line

Turning off your grill the right way is as important as properly cooking the meat to the proper internal temperatures.

Once you get familiar with the shutdown cycle on your grill, it will become second nature to run through the process. All you’ll have to focus on is what type of seasoning you want to use for your meat or vegetables.

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