Restarting A Pit Boss Pellet Grill After Running Out Of Pellets [With Pics]

Running out of pellets for the first time can be a scary experience. When it first happened to me, I had no clue how to restart my Pit Boss. That’s why I wanted to create this step-by-step tutorial to show you how easy restarting the Pit Boss Pellet after it runs out of pellets is extremely easy.

Restarting the Pit Boss After Running Out of Pellets

Follow these simple steps to restart the grill after running out of pellets.

restarting a Pit Boss pellet grill after running out of pellets
  1. Check the hopper, to make sure you’re out of pellets.
  2. Remove the Food
  3. Turn off the grill if it hasn’t shut down and wait till it cools.
  4. Remove the grates and broiler.
  5. Make sure there is no buildup of pellets and vaccum any ash.
  6. Load the hopper with your favorite pellets.
  7. Turn the Pit Boss on high and wait for the auger feed the pellets into the hopper.
  8. When the pellets drop into the firepot, shut off the grill.
  9. As soon as the grill is cool, put the internal pieces back in the grill.
  10. Turn the grill on and continue grilling.

This may sound a little confusing, especially, if it’s your first time running out of pellets. That’s why I created a visual step-by-step tutorial to help you out.

So Let’s get started so you can get back to grilling.

Step #1 Check the Hopper

empty Pit Boss hopper

First things first, check the hopper to ensure the grill is out of pellets and there are no error codes that are causing any issues.

The Er1 error code (also known as ERL) is a known that can cause the temperature to drop making it seem like the grill ran out of pellets. So it’s best to check the hopper and the control board on the pellet grill.

Step #2: Remove The Food

remove the brisket to keep warm

Remove any food and put it in the oven to keep it warm. Set your oven temperature to the lowest temperature (which is probably 200°F) and cover the food with foil.

This will prevent the food from drying out while you get the smoker working properly again.

Step #3: Turn Off The Grill & Wait Till It’s Cool

turn off the power on Pit Boss

Power off the grill, if it’s not already off. When the grill has shut off, it means all the pellets in the auger have been fed to the firepot. If the grill is still on, but the temperature is low, it means there are still some pellets left in the auger.

If the grill is still running, but the temperature has dropped, just add new pellets. Eventually, the grill will return to the set temperature and you can start grilling again.

When the grill has shut down completely, you’ll need to continue to step #4.

Step #4 Remove the Grates and Flame Broiler

remove the flame broiler

Once the grill has cooled enough to touch, remove the grates and the flame broiler. This is an important step as you’ll need to watch the pellets fall into the firepot.

Step #5 Vacuum The Ashes

vacuum the ashes in the firepot

Grab your shop vac and clean up the ash. Most people don’t clean their Pit Boss often enough, because it’s a tedious chore. Having too much ash can ruin your cooks and cause the Pit Boss to have other issues.

Step #6 Fill the Hopper With Pellets

After vacuuming the grill, load the hopper with your favorite pellets. This is a great time to change out the pellets, especially if you run out of the pellets early into the cook.

What if you don’t have the same flavored pellets? It’s fine, you won’t be able to taste a difference in the flavor.

Step #7 Power on the Pit Boss Grill

turn the Pit Boss on high

Once the pellets are added, power on the grill to the highest temperature which is 500°F on the Pit Boss. This will allow the auger to begin funneling the pellets into the firepot.

Step #7 Feed the Pellets Through the Auger

pellets feeding into auger

If the Pit Boss smoker was completely out of the pellets, it will take some time for the auger to start feeding the pellets into the hopper. So give it some time.

You’re waiting for about 5-7 pellets to fall into the firepot. If too many pellets fall into the firepot, as it adds too much fuel at startup which can cause the flames to smother.

Too many pellets in the firepot are one of the main reasons for pellet grill fires and explosions.

Once the pellets start dropping into the firepot, turn off the grill.

Step #9 Put the Internal Pieces Back

Wait for the grill to cool and then replace the internal pieces. Make sure the flame broiler is inserted properly, otherwise the grill won’t operate properly.

Check this post on the Pit Boss flame broiler to find out everything you need to know about it.

Step #10 Let the Grill Heat Up

restarting a Pit Boss pellet grill after running out of pellets

Give the grill enough time to reheat and return to its normal cooking temperature before putting the food back on. If you put the food on too early, the grates won’t be hot enough to transfer the heat to the food.

In addition, putting the food on cool grates can cause the food to stick. I recommend waiting 10-15 minutes before putting the meat back on the grill.

Final Word

It’s never fun running out of pellets during a cook, but it happens to the best of us. The best way to prevent this from happening is to make it a habit to check the pellets before each cook and check the hopper throughout the cook.

Hopefully, this guide has shown you how easy it is to restart the Pit Boss after it has run out of pellets.

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