All Fired Up: How to Start a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

November 2, 2022
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Technically, starting your Pit Boss grill should be as easy as plugging it in, powering it up, setting it to Smoke, and then allowing it to preheat. However, you are going to need more detail if you want to get this process right.

One of my first pellet grills was a Pit Boss, allowing me to get very familiar with the startup process. Now it is my turn to show you, my fellow BBQ lover, how to do it!

In this post I will show you how to start a Pit Boss pellet grill for the first time, give you a seasoning lesson, and offer up any tips you will need. Let’s begin!

How to Start a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

An Important Note

Before showing you how to start up your Pit Boss pellet grill, I do want to mention that there are several models to choose from this brand. The start up process can differ based on the model.

This is why it is important to always read through your owner’s manual the first time. This will give you a clear idea of which steps you should be following.

burger patties on a pellete grill

If you can’t find your manual, contact Pit Boss directly with your model number. They will send one to you.

How to Start a Pit Boss Pellet Grill for the First Time?

Here are the steps to follow when starting your Pit Boss pellet grill – these can be followed for a vertical smoker as well:

Step 1

Fill the hopper with enough pellets to last you the duration of the smoke. As a rule of thumb, a Pit Boss pellet grill will use up 2lbs of wood pellets for low and slow cooking.

If you are grilling on high heat, then you can estimate that you will use about 4lbs of hardwood pellets per hour.

It is important to calculate properly and to add as many pellets as you need. If you run out of pellets halfway through, then your cook will need to stop for a bit while you prime the grill again.

Step 2

Plug the Pit Boss pellet grill into the outlet and open the grill.

Set the temperature setting to Smoke. Then, press the power button so that the pellet grill will turn on.

Step 3

As this is the first time that you are turning your Pit Boss pellet grill on, there are no wood pellets in the fire pot yet.

Due to this, you need to press the Prime button. Hold it until you hear the wood pellets falling into the fire pot. Then, you can let go off the button.

Step 4

You will need to wait for between 5 to 7 minutes. Remember to keep the lid open this entire time.

After this period is up, you should hear an ignition sound. This means that the fire rod has come up to the proper temperature and that the pellets are catching fire.

You will notice thick smoky clouds at this point.

Step 5

Close the lid and set to your desired temperature setting.

If you are using the grill function for rib eye steaks or a bavette steak, then you can first set the temperature dial to 350 degrees F.

Then, let the pellet grill preheat for 10 to 15 minutes.

After this, you can set to your chosen temperature. Next, start grilling.

In case you are smoking food, then set the temperature dial to 225 degrees F.

Let the grill preheat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, add the food and continue smoking at this temperature.

How to Start a Pre-Used Pellet Grill?

Here is what you need to know if your Pit Boss pellet grill has been used on other occasions:

Step 1

Check the hopper to ensure that there are enough pellets. If not, fill pellets in the hopper according to the rate and length of your cook.

It is a good idea to clear out the fire pot of any ashes before you get started as well.

Step 2

Leave the lid of the pellet grill open.

Plug the grill in, turn the temperature to Smoke and press the Power button.

cooking eggs on a grill

Step 3

When you hear the fan turn on and the auger begin to move, this is your sign to wait for 5 to 7 minutes.

After this, the fire pot catches fire and ignites. You will notice thick clouds of smoke at this time.

Step 4

Close the lid and preheat.

If you are grilling the perfect steak, then initially set the temperature to 350 degrees F.

Once the grill has preheated for 10 to 15 minutes, then set to your grilling temperature to what the recipe indicates.

In case you are smoking meat, then set the grill to 225 degrees F to preheat. Keep it on this temperature as you smoke the food.

How to Season Your Pit Boss Grill?

When using Pit Boss grills for the first ever time, it is important to season it before cooking or grilling any food on it.

See, during the manufacturing process, your Pit Boss gets coated with grime, weird odors, and gunk. Seasoning your grill involves coating it with a layer of oil and then heating it.

In doing so, you are able to get rid of this build up, preventing it from infusing your food. Not to mention, this process is also great for ensuring that your grill doesn’t rust later on.

Here is what you need to do to season your Pit Boss for the first time:

Step 1

Fill the hopper, turn the grill on, and Prime it.

Step 2

Close the lid and turn the temperature as high as it will go. Leave it like this for up to half an hour.

Step 3

Turn off the pellet grill but keep it plugged in. This way, the fan continues to run, getting rid of any odors that have built up.

Let the grill cool completely.

Step 4

You will need a cooking oil with a very high smoke point – avocado oil or grapeseed oil should do.

Use a new and clean paintbrush to dip into the oil. Let the excess drip off.

Paint a thin layer of oil on the inside of the cooking chamber – this includes the grates and the inside of the lid.

Steer clear of the auger, firepot, and the hopper.

Make sure that there is enough wood pellets in the hopper for another high temperature cook.

Step 5

Begin the startup process.

Then, turn the temperature to the highest temperature and close the lid.

Let the pellet grill cook for up to 30 minutes.

Turn off the grill and allow to cool down.

Guidelines for Starting Your Pit Boss

Here are some of the tips that you should follow when starting up your Pit Boss pellet grill:

Clean Out the Grill Before Using

I always advise people to clean their grill out after every cookout. It is usually easier to get rid of grease and grime while the grates are still warm. Also, the grime hasn’t had time to set yet and makes for a quicker cleanup.

It is also a good idea to sweep out the ash too. If you don’t do this after each cook, at least do it before you start up the grill again. This can prevent a number of issues.

Empty Out the Hopper and Store Pellets Properly

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to leave the pellets in the hopper in between cooks. If you aren’t going to be using the grill within a week of your last cooking session, then you need to empty out the hopper and store the pellets elsewhere.

Pellets left inside the hopper are at greater risk of becoming moist. When this happens, the grill can’t process or burn them properly, causing a blockage. As a side note, it doesn’t matter if the pellets dry out once again – they won’t function the same.

grilling sweetcorn and kebabs

It is just as important to store the pellets when they are not in the grill too. I would suggest using an airtight bag. Keep it in a dry place where it is unlikely to get damp. Always follow the use by date provided by the manufacturer for the best results.

Always Follow the Same Process

Yes, it doesn’t matter how many times you use your Pit Boss, you still have to follow the same start up routine. If you don’t an issue with your grill can occur later on in the cook.

It is especially important to follow the same procedure with newer, more updated models. The rest of the functioning of these grills can depend on a proper start up process. Skip it and you may not be able to use the other settings as needed.

Shut Down the Pit Boss Grill Properly

If you don’t follow the proper shut down process, then something may go wrong with your pellet grill. In turn, powering it up may not going as smoothly as you want it to.

To shut off your Pit Boss pellet grill, press the Power button until it turns off. However, do not unplug the grill at this point. The fan will continue to turn and it should. When it is done, it will come to a stop by itself.

Only once this happens should you unplug the pellet grill.

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it – an ultimate guide on how to start a Pit Boss pellet grill the right way. All that is left for you to do is to fire up your favorite steak or cut of meat alongside a miso marinade or balsamic vinegar glaze!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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