What Is The Pit Boss P Setting? A Full Explanation

You just got your new Pit Boss grill and are ready to throw some hamburgers on the grill. But, one look at the temperature control and your first thought is “what is the Pit Boss P Setting, and how do I use it”?

What Is The Pit Boss P Setting?

The ‘P’ Setting is actually a PAUSE feature. This feature pauses the timing of the cycling of the pellets. The higher the P number the longer pause. This setting gives you more control over the temperature and smoke that the grill produces.

what is the pit boss p setting

This may sound a little confusing, especially, if you’ve never had a pellet grill. Don’t worry, we’ll be discussing the Pit Boss ‘P’ setting in greater detail below.

The next time you cook, you’ll know exactly when and how to use it. Watch this video to see how a Pit Boss pellet grill works.

Do All Pit Boss Grills Have A P Setting?

No, Pit Boss has slowly been doing away with this setting on the newer models. I read in the Pit Boss forum, stopped putting the P setting on the newer pellet grills about two years ago.

How Does The P Setting Work?

The ‘P’ Setting only works when you are using the Pit Boss on the smoke setting, when the grill is operating at the lowest temperature of about 180℉.

As soon as you turn the temperature control to the ‘smoke setting’ the default factory P setting is P4.

You can leave it on the factory settings for all your cooks, if you want. When you want more or less smoke, you can start tweaking it.

While I’ve never really used this setting as I was confused by it. I did do a lot of research to find out what other Pit Boss owners have figured out from experimenting with the P setting.

Here’s everything I know from owning a Pit Boss and reading everything I could get my hands on about it.

Pit Boss P Temperature Chart

Here’s a P setting chart to help you understand how long the auger is on/off during the different settings.

‘P’ SettingAuger OnAuger Off
P018 seconds55 seconds
P118 seconds70 seconds
P218 seconds85 seconds
P318 seconds100 seconds
P418 seconds115 seconds
P518 seconds130 seconds
P618 seconds140 seconds
P718 seconds150 seconds

What Does A Lower P Setting Do?

A P1 or P2 setting will pause less frequently resulting in more pellets being fed through the auger. This results in higher temperature and less smoke.

How hot your grill runs will depend on several different factors such as temperature, type of wood pellets, and the P-Setting it is set on.

When using it on a lower P setting, make sure your grill doesn’t get too hot.

What P Setting Gives You More Smoke?

Setting your grill to a P5 or P6 pauses the auger longer allowing the pellets to burn more, which results in more smoke to enter the pit.

Risks With A High P-Setting

A higher P pauses the pellets from being fed through the auger for longer periods, resulting in less heat output.

Just know that the longer the auger is paused, the bigger chance your flame will go out or your grill will experience massive temperature swings.

Some people have even said that a higher P setting has caused the pellet grill to shut down unexpectedly. You might think that all you need to do is turn your grill back on.

But, when your pellet grill turns off during a cook, it leaves significant amounts of wood pellets in the firepot. Turning the grill on incorrectly can cause an explosion.

If the grill goes out because of a higher P setting or for any other reason during a cook, you will want to clean out the burn pot before starting the grill back up.

When grilling outside in the cold or you notice temperature swings in your grill, you should turn the P setting down. I’ve written a tutorial to help you understand what P setting is best for cold weather.

How Do You Change The P Setting On A Pit Boss Grill?

The P setting only works on the smoke setting. You can use it when you want more control over the temperature and smoke output.

Turn on the grill like normal, and set the temperature control to smoke. The P setting will show as the default P4 setting.

You can leave it on that setting or press the ‘P’ setting button to regulate the temperature and smoke of your pellet grill.

If you’ve never used this setting before, it’s recommended that you increase the settings 1 number at a time. It will take some experimenting, until you learn how the P-Setting alters the performance of your grill.

To change the P setting, you will press the P-Setting button with your finger. The LCD screen will show what the setting is as well as all the other information such as your desired cook temperature, actual cook temperature, and meat probe temperatures if you’re using them.

When You Should Use The P Setting?

You’ll want to use adjust the grills P-setting, if you’re cooking outdoors when it is extremely hot or cold. Finding the right P setting will help stabilize your grills temperature and smoke output resulting in a better cooking experience.

For colder temperatures, you will want to turn the P setting to a lower setting. This will ensure the grill pellets burn hotter, which can be beneficial when cooking in colder weather.

When cooking in hot or humid climates, you may not want your grill to get too hot. Consider increasing the P setting to a higher number to prevent the grill from becoming overheated.

Pit Boss P-Setting Examples

I tested out the P settings on my grill and ran the P4 settings on an 80 degree day for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the grill was running at about 195℉.

At 10 minutes set on a P7 the temperature dropped to about 175℉.

When I tested it out for about 10 minutes at P1, the temperature went up to 215℉. Next time I use the grill, I will have to make you a video to see so you can see for yourself how the P-setting works.

My results and temperatures will be different than yours. As mentioned, the P-Setting is influenced by several different factors.


In summary, the P setting is a Pause setting that gives you more controlling the temperature in your Pit Boss pellet grill.

When using it make sure you monitor the temperature, as turning the P setting the lowest setting can cause your grill to shut off aka flame out.

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