The Pit Boss makes it easy for anyone to grill, thanks to how easy it is to use a pellet grill. That said, temperature swings are very common in pellet grills and can affect your cook. If you’ve ever wondered “why does my Pit Boss keep dropping and what can I do?”
Why Does My Pit Boss Keep Dropping Temp?
The reasons the temperature fluctuates on a pellet grill are due to the temperature, sunlight or humidity, foil, air circulation, opening the lid, pellet quality, or a dirty temp probe.
Similar to how oven temperature swings vary by model and each individual unit, so can pellet grills. That said, it doesn’t make it easier when you’re cooking a Boston Butt and the temperature should be set at 250℉ and you notice it’s running hotter or colder.
The first thing people assume is that it’s a mechanical issue. However, it’s usually something a lot easier that we can control.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the causes it can be happening and what to look for. Read this article if your Pit Boss is overheating continually, to find out what to do.
I’ll also share some solutions that may help you get the grill back to the right temperature.
7 Reasons Pit Boss Is Losing Temperature
Some of the reasons below will cause your grill to become hotter or colder, depending what’s happening.
So it’s important to know what can cause the temperature to fluctuate either way.
The outside temperatures, especially cold weather, will have an enormous impact on the grills temperature. If you’re grilling on a cold, windy, or rainy day, expect to see the temperatures swing to the colder side.
If cooking in direct sunlight or humidity, the temperature of the grill will become hotter.
Weather is one of the biggest culprits to abnormal fluctuations. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is keep your grill out of direct sunlight. If you’re grilling on a cold windy day, ensure the grill is sheltered from the wind or you’re using an insulated grill blanket.
An insulated blanket will help maintain a consistent temperature year-round. It’s especially useful for use in the snow, rain, or windy days.
- Year around protection to help maintain a consistent temperature
- Great for rain, snow, or shine
- Eliminates excessive pellet waste do to outside temperatures
- This blanket will fit: 820FB, 820S, 820SC, Pro Series 820
We’ve used the one above in the past when we pull the grill out on cold days, and it worked great. We haven’t tested it for sunny or hot days.
Some people (myself included) use foil to line the flame broiler plate to protect it from grease and grime. Using foil makes the process of cleaning up after a long cook a lot easier.
That said, ensure you use heavy duty foil to prevent it from tearing easily. Make sure the foil is lined tightly around the edges, so it doesn’t prevent any airflow issues.
If it’s loose or hanging, the air won’t be able to circulate around the inside of the grill, and cause temperature swings.
Opening the Lid Too Much
Opening the door while you’re cooking won’t hurt the cook. But whenever you open the lid, the temperature is going to spike.
Avoid opening the lid while you’re cooking. It’s easy to want to see if the food is cooking, but as long as the lid is closed, it’s cooking.
There’s a saying in the grilling world, “if you’re looking, it’s not cooking”!
According to Amazing Ribs, they say if you’re slow cooking ribs or anything else, you automatically add 15 minutes of cook time every time you open the lid.
Dirty Temperature Probe
Every pellet grill has an RTD temperature probe that senses or reads the internal grill temperature and relays the info to the control board.
If the RTD sensor hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it could the culprit. It’s important to clean the RTD probe on a regular basis.
It’s easy to miss as it’s a small sensor that is on the hopper side of the inside of the barrel.
Poor Quality Pellets
One of the biggest culprits of a pellet grill’s temperature swings or losing their fire during a cook is the quality of pellets.
If you’re using cheap inferior quality pellets that produce excessive ash, they can interfere with the sensors that help regulate the temperatures inside the barrel.
High quality burn cleaner and hotter and can help reduce the temperature swings.
A dirty grill can be responsible for auger jams, flame-outs, and grease fires. Ensure you’re cleaning you’re doing a burn-off during the shutdown procedure to help remove residue and grease from the cook.
Also, it’s important to use a shop vac to clean out your firepot and prevent ash from building up. I’ve written a step-by-step tutorial on how to clean the Pit Boss pellet grill, so be sure to check it out.
A pellet grill that is clean inside will have much better airflow, which results in better temperature control.
It Ran out of Pellets
If you’re doing a long cook, check the hopper. You could experience a dip in temperature if the pellets ran out. Don’t worry, it’s bound to happen at some point, especially if you use your Pit Boss a lot.
If your Pit Boss runs out of pellet during a cook, don’t worry, you can get it running again. Here are the steps to take when your grill runs out of pellets.
How To Maintain Better Temperature Control?
According to the Pit Boss manual, one of the best ways to get better temperature control is to lower the “P” setting to reduce the temperature swings.
For a grill that is losing its flame or experiencing large temperature drops, go down in the P-setting, not up.
I’ve talked about the P setting before, so be sure to read our blog post that explains what is the Pit Boss P setting.
Temperature swings are a part of using a Pit Boss or any pellet grill. That said, the temperature should never swing too much either way.
If you use your Pit Boss long enough, you’ll notice that the temperature usually swings throughout, especially on long cooks.
It’s normal and there’s usually nothing to worry about. If you notice fluctuations, you’ll want to see if it’s any of the reasons listed above.
Remember, you’re using hardwood pellets as fuel and it’s not unusual to see temp swings, as big as ones of 50℉ or more. Depending on what you’re cooking, you can also experience flare-ups that can cause the temperature to rise.
If you’re maintaining and caring for the grill according to the Pit Boss manual, there’s probably nothing to worry about, just let the grill do its job!