How To Turn On A Pellet Grill Tutorial (With Pics)

So you just got a new pellet grill and you’re ready to grill some burgers, but how do you turn it on? In this post, you’re going to learn how to turn on a pellet grill the right way.

How To Turn On A Pellet Grill

Plug the grill into an electrical outlet, check the pellets, open the lid, and press the on/off button. Sounds simple right, well, it is. But there are some things you should pay attention to when you’re turning on/off a pellet grill.

how to turn on a pellet grill

This process will work whether you have a Traeger, Camp Chef, or any other type of pellet grill. The only difference will be the settings on the temperature dial.

We’ll explain some of the settings on the temperature dial below, so be sure to scroll to the bottom to get familiar with what they mean.

We’re assuming that you’ve already seasoned your pellet grill and are now wanting to do start cooking on it. Read this post, if you need to season your pellet grill.

How To Turn On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

Follow these steps and before you know it, you’ll be ready throw your hamburgers or whatever you’re planning on cooking in the next 20-30 minutes.

Step 1: Plug The Grill Into An Electrical Outlet

plug the pellet grill into an electrical outlet

First things first, you’ll want to use an outdoor extension cord to plug the pellet grill into an electrical outlet. The Pit Boss has a 3 prong cord, so make sure you’re using the right type of cord or get an adapter.

The electrical chord will most likely be on the back of the unit.

Step 2: Check The Hopper

Now that the pellet grill is plugged in, check the hopper and make sure that it has enough pellets to burn for your cook. Don’t worry about adding too many, as it’s really easy to change and remove pellets later if you decide to use a different flavor.

The last thing you want to do is run out of pellets while you’re cooking.

Step 3: Check The FireBox

check the fire pot before starting
Always check the fire pot before starting your pellet grill after an incorrect shut down.

Check to make sure that the firebox is clean and does not have any unburnt fresh pellets in it before lighting it. Trying to start a pellet grill with unused pellets in the firebox, can cause an explosion.

There will be ashes in it after you’ve used it.

This step is only necessary to do if your grill was turned off incorrectly. Here’s a post that will walk you through on how to shut off a pellet grill.

Step 4: Open The Lid

Always open the lid before starting any type of grill, whether it’s gas, propane, wood pellet and etc.

You’ll want to leave it open during the initial start up phase.

Step 5: Press The Power Button

pellet grill power button

Now, it’s time to press the power button. As soon as you do, you’ll hear a loud engine like sound coming from the grill.

The sound will get louder as you increase the cooking temperature. This is totally normal and it’s just the auger working to load the pellet into the firepot.

Step 6: Turn Temperature Dial

Turn the dial to the temperature you’ll be cooking at.

Step 7: Close The Lid

Once the wood pellets ignite and the smoke clears you can shut the lid.

Step 8: Give It Time To Preheat

Now, go back into the house and finish prepping the prep work. It’s going to take about 5-15 minutes to preheat depending on the temperature you set it at.

Keep the lid closed while it’s preheating, otherwise it will take forever for the grill to preheat.

Step 9: Now You’re Ready To Cook

Once the grill has reached the proper temperature, it’s time to open the lid, spray the grates, and put your food on it.

Don’t forget to insert the meat probe or grab your thermometer to keep an eye on the internal temperatures.

Other than that, the grill does all the work. You just have to monitor the meat temperature!

That sounds easy, right?

It is, if I can do it, then so can you. This is my first time using a pellet grill, and I’m learning as I go. Be sure to read about why this site was started.

A Look At The Temperature Dial

Now, let’s take a look at the settings on the temperature dials of both a Traeger and a Pit Boss, so you can see how they differ and what they mean.

You’ll also notice that they are very similar with some unique distinctions. Both of them will give you that great smoky flavor you’re looking for.

Pit Boss Temperature Dial

Pit Boss temperature settings
The settings on the Pit Boss Pro 820

You’ll notice that the the Pit Boss has 10 preset temperatures from Smoke – High.

Smoke is the lowest temperature it can operate at, without cutting off, I have no clue what the temperature is when set at the smoke position.

The temperatures range from 200° – 475° and high, which is 500°.

The LCD screen will light up and display the desired cook time, actual cook times, and the meat probe temperature if it is connected. (it comes with one meat probe)

Traeger Temperature

You’ll notice that the temperature dial differs from that of the Pit Boss. The biggest difference is the temperature settings.

Traeger Temperature Settings

You can see that it starts at Smoke and goes up to 375° and also has a high preset setting.

According to what I read online, the High on a Traeger is about 450°.

The Traeger also has two slots for a meat probe and allows you to select which slot you’re using like the Pit Boss.

You’ll notice that the Traeger has a shutdown cycle, which allows the internal fan to run for about 10 minutes for the grill to cool down.

Bottom Line

It’s so easy to turn on a pellet grill, you don’t have to worry about needing matches, charcoal, propane, gas or anything else. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to cook on it every day.

Here’s our tutorial on how to shut down the grill after every cook.

Now get the grill started and let’s see what you cook!

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