The Pit Boss pellet grill works wonderfully when everything functions like it’s supposed to. It is fueled by wood pellets that feed into the fire pot, to help regulate the airflow of the grill and maintain consistent cooking temperatures. If you’ve ever wondered why is my Pit Boss overheating, you’re in the right place.
Why Is My Pit Boss Overheating?
If your Pit Boss is continually overheating, it could be due to the grease tray, grill grates, fire pot, or heat baffle are not placed correctly in the grill or are damaged. Other possible reasons could be the ambient weather, RTD probe, improper start-up, or the smoker settings themselves.
Since I’ve had my Pit Boss for a little over a year, I’ve only experienced one overheating issue. It was when I was making beef jerky for the first time.
I wasn’t getting the dreaded ErH overheating error code, yet the grill was running almost 60°F hotter than the set temperature.
Thankfully, the fix was so simple. all I did was move the grill from the heat to the shade.
However, after doing a lot of research, I realized there are so many people who struggle with this issue.
That’s why I wanted to share what I found after spending hours online research forums, websites, etc. Hopefully, if you find yourself in this issue, this article will help you understand what causes it and how to fix it.
This article only discusses overheating issues. Read this article if your grill keeps dropping temperature and won’t stay hot.
10 Reasons Pit Keeps Keeps Overheating
#1 Hot Weather
If it’s hot and humid outside and the grill is sitting in the direct sun, this is likely the reason your grill is overheating.
Consider rolling the grill to the shade. If you’re going a short distance, you don’t have to turn the grill off. Just grab the handle on the side and lift the grill slightly to roll it into the shade.
On the other hand, if you need to move the grill further, you may want to turn the grill off and let it cool before moving it. Whatever you do, don’t touch the barrel, as it will be extremely hot.
#2 Improperly Installed or Damaged Components
Improper installation or using a damaged heat baffle, fire pot, RTD temperature sensor, and grill grates can cause the grill to run hotter.
If your grill is brand new, this likely won’t be the issue. However, you still want to ensure the grill grates are installed properly, especially, if you just assembled it.
For those of you with older grills, ensure there are no rusted or burnt through holes on the heat baffle. According to this forum, Traeger grills also have issues with the grease tray becoming rusty, so you may want to consider that as well regardless of which pellet grill brand you own.
Normal wear and tear of the grill shouldn’t affect the temperature.
If you’ve recently replaced the RTD sensor, auger, or any electrical components, ensure they are secured properly.
Always refer to the owners manual for the proper wiring diagram.
#3 Too Many Pellets in the Firepot
An excess number of pellets in the firepot at startup can cause a flare-up, which can affect the temperature for the rest of the cook.
Always check the firepot before starting, especially if the grill did not shut down properly or you experienced a power outage during the cook.
After every 3-5 cooks, ensure you’re vacuuming the ashes from the firepot. It’s also critical to clean the Pit Boss regularly to prevent flareups and grease fires.
#4 Damaged Control Board
The control board monitors everything on the pellet grill. If you are continually having issues with your Pit Boss not operating properly, it may be an issue with the control panel.
A Pit Boss control board is extremely easy to replace. That said, it’s not cheap, so it’s important to make sure that the culprit is the control board before changing it.
#5 Dirty RTD Temperature Probe
The RTD temperature probe sits on the same side as the hopper. It’s job is to monitor the temperature flow in the pellet grill, to ensure the food cooks evenly.
If it’s too dirty, it can cause the grill to become too hot or not hot enough. I’ve written a step-by-step tutorial on how to clean the RTD sensor.
Check the Sensor to ensure is not bent, dirty, or anything is touching it.
#6 Improper P-Setting
The P-Setting makes it easy for you to produce more smoke and control the temperatures in cold weather. A lower P-Setting such as P2 will cause the grill to run hotter.
If you’re new to owning a grill, I highly recommend learning everything you can about the Pit Boss P Setting.
#7 Dulling Paint on Outside of the Grill
Pit Boss grills are made of steel or cast iron, and coated with a paint and a wax to keep it protected from the elements. The grill’s wax also acts as a barrier in the cold to prevent it from losing heat.
It also protects the grill in the summer and can prevent it from becoming too hot. If you notice the paint is dulling or cracking, then it’s time to apply a protective layer of wax.
Many people paint their pellet grills, especially, if they’ve been stored outside. After all, after a few years of sitting in the sun, cold winter days, and normal wear and tear, it will start to look bad.
#8 Opening the Lid too Often
Repeated opening of the lid can cause the temperature to fluctuate. As soon as you open the lid, the temperature drops quickly.
The grill then has to work harder to get back to the desired temperature setting. Opening the lid too much can cause the grill to become too hot as it continually tries to compensate for the lost heat whenever the lid is opened.
Instead of opening the lid, use the Pit Boss meat probes to monitor the cook.
#9 Damaged Meat Probes
It could be something as simple as your meat probes need to be replaced. For instance, the other day I was cooking a Ribeye. Just three minutes after putting the meat on the grill, the probe said the internal temperature was already 90°F.
I thought that my Pit Boss was overheating, but it turned out to be that the meat probe wasn’t working properly. Ensure you probes are working properly before each cook.
If you’re not sure, you can always use two probes at the same time during the cook. This way you can tell which probe is working properly.
It’s never fun when you experience overheating issues with the grill. If you do face this problem, you at least know what the causes could be and what to do.
If it continues to happen, I recommend contacting Pit Boss support.
They’ll be able to tell you whether the grill you got was defective, especially, if it’s still new. If not, they will be able to point you in the right direction of what the cause could be and help you get the issue resolved.
As long as you follow the recommended care and maintenance. You’ll be less likely to deal with these types of problems.