Pit Boss Auger Not Turning: How to Revive Your Pellet Grill?

May 11, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

If you’re like me, there’s nothing quite like firing up the Pit Boss grill and cooking some tasty, smoky ribs or a whole turkey. But what do you do when your pellet grill’s auger isn’t turning? Well, I found that troubleshooting the clogs, replacing the wet wood pellets for dry ones, checking the auger motor, and maintaining the pellet grill can help get it running again. 

But how do you do each of these things and can you fix them on your own? In this article, we’ll get down and dirty on the pellet grill with some troubleshooting tips to revive your Pit Boss.

Together, we’ll explore quick fixes for your Pit Boss auger not turning problem and get your grill up and running again. Also, we’ll tell you when to do it yourself or call a professional. So let’s get to it! 

pit boss auger not turning

Pit Boss Auger Not Turning: Common Reasons and How to Fix Them?

If your Pit Boss auger isn’t turning, it could be due to some clogs, wet wood pellets, a faulty motor, or a broken auger screw. Let’s check them out one after the other:

1. Clogs in the Auger

A few things can cause a Pit Boss auger jam, including the buildup of sawdust and ash, pellets with high moisture content, and lower-quality pellets

These sneaky factors can cause the pellets to clump together and ultimately clog the auger screw. Fortunately, a jammed auger is also one of the easiest issues to fix with some DIY troubleshooting. 

How to Unclog a Jammed Auger?

Now comes the fun part! Start by turning off your Pit Boss pellet grill and unplugging it from the power source. Then, remove the pellet hopper and the auger cover. 

Now, grab a long grill brush to clean out any debris or sawdust in the auger tube. You can even give it a quick vacuum with your trusty ash vacuum cleaner to suck out any loose pellets or sawdust.

If you still have a stubbornly jammed auger, you may need to disassemble the auger and manually remove the pellets. 

Fear not, my friend – this is totally doable. Simply turn the auger counterclockwise and pull out the pellets as they come out of the tube.

How to Prevent a Recurrence?

To prevent clogs in the auger, it’s essential to use high-quality pellets with low moisture content and to clean the auger properly and regularly. 

A premium wood pellet fuel must have less than 8% moisture. However, higher-quality pellets will have 6.5% or less.

Signs You Have a Clogged Auger

The signs of a jammed auger can range from a lack of pellets feeding into the firepot to an unusual humming sound. You can also notice your Pit Boss pellet grill shutting off unexpectedly.

2. Wet Pellets 

If your smoker could clog up due to high moisture, imagine what happens if the pellets are wet! It’s like starting a car with a flooded engine – it just won’t work.

You can have wet pellets if the Pit Boss has been exposed to moisture, such as rain or high humidity.  And this can cause an auger jam.

Some Pit Boss pellet grills are prone to this problem because they don’t have a cover. So you have to find something to cover the smoker with when not used. If you own an extra large Pit Boss grill like the Austin series or anything similar, this heavy-duty grill cover should work for you. For smaller grills like the Pit Boss 820 or 850, then the SHINESTAR Upgraded Pellet Grill Cover will be just fine. 

If you’re located in a humid environment, it’s also essential to store your pellets in a dry place to avoid this issue.

How to Fix a Pit Boss Auger With Wet Pellets?

  • The first step is to remove all the pellets from the hopper. 
  • Dispose of the wet pellets and replace them with dry pellets.
  • Before adding wood pellets, clean out the hopper and the auger tube with a dry or damp (not wet) paper towel. This is to ensure that there are no wet pellets or debris left inside. 
  • Wipe everything down to remove any remaining moisture. 
  • When you’re sure the hopper and auger shaft are dry, dump new dry pellets


  • Rather than throw the wet pellets away, it is possible to dry them. One way to do this is to spread them on a flat and steady surface and leave them in a warm, dry area with good ventilation. You can also use a dehydrator or an oven set at a low temperature to dry pellets more quickly. 

How to Prevent a Recurrence? 

In the case of the Pro Series 1100 or models with no cover, get a high-quality waterproof cover such as the Premium heavy-duty Pit Boss cover to protect it from rain and moisture.  

Also, check the hopper lid to ensure that it’s properly sealed. If the lid is damaged or not sealing correctly, it may be allowing moisture to enter the pellet hopper and affect the pellets. Replace the lid if necessary.

Finally, make sure to store your pellets in a cool and dry place to prevent them from absorbing moisture. Consider using a stay-dry pellet bin which has a locking lid and an automatic dispenser or pellet bags to keep them dry and fresh.

Signs the Smoker Has Wet Pellets

If you’re already experiencing issues with your auger, it’s important to inspect your pellets for any signs of moisture. Discolored pellets that feel damp are a clear sign they’re wet. 

Juicy and Crusty Meat on the Pellet Grill

3. Auger Motor Screws Being Too Tight

Another common reason why your pellet smoker auger might not be turning is due to very tight Pit Boss auger motor screws. This is a known issue in the Pit Boss 850 model. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy fix that can be done at home with just a few basic tools.

The issue arises when the screws on top of the auger motor are tightened too much. This can cause the pellet grill auger to bind and prevent it from turning. This in turn can lead to a lack of pellets feeding into the firepot and ultimately affect the performance of your Pit Boss pellet grill.

How to Fix? 

  • The first step is to unplug your grill. 
  • Then remove the screws on top of the auger motor. 
  • Once you’ve removed the screws, use a flathead screwdriver to gently remove the auger motor by prying it up and loosening the screws slightly. Be careful not to loosen the screws too much, as this can cause them to come off. 
  • Once the screws are loosened, reattach the motor and screws, and test your Pit Boss to see if the auger shaft is now turning correctly.

Tips: If you don’t trust your DIY repair skill or the issue persists after you’ve loosened the screws, it may be time to call a professional technician.

Signs Your Pit Boss Has Tight Screws

Signs of tight screws can include a humming noise or a complete lack of movement from the auger motor. 

If you suspect this is the issue with your Pit Boss grill model, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent further damage to the motor or auger.

4. Faulty or Broken Auger

Is your Pit Boss Auger still not turning after checking it out for all of the above? The problem could also be a faulty or broken auger. 

And the reason could be due to wear and tear from regular use, rust or corrosion, or even damage during transport. That’s why it’s important to inspect your auger regularly and address any issues as soon as they arise.

How to Troubleshoot a Broken Auger?

If you suspect a broken auger, the first step is to unplug your Pit Boss and inspect the auger visually for any signs of damage or wear. Look for rust or corrosion, loose components, or any other visible signs of damage. If you see any damage, it’s best to replace the auger entirely to ensure proper functioning.

If you don’t see any visible signs of damage, the next step is to test the motor to see if it’s the source of the problem. Remove the motor from the Pit Boss grill and connect it to a power source to see if it’s working correctly. If the motor is faulty, you’ll need to replace it.

If the motor is working correctly, the next step is to test the wiring to determine if there’s an issue there. Check the wiring for any loose connections or damage, and replace any damaged wires or connectors. 

Tips and warning: Fixing a faulty or broken auger can be done either by the DIY method or by a technician. It depends on the extent of the damage and your level of expertise. If you have experience with the repair of pellet grills and have the necessary tools, you may be able to fix the issue yourself by following the troubleshooting steps mentioned earlier. 

Signs You Have a Broken Auger

A broken auger shaft can cause a range of issues. First, it may not feed pellets into the firepot. You may also observe unusual noises from the Pit Boss or even the grill shutting off unexpectedly. 

These signs are like your grill telling you something is wrong and it’s time to investigate.

Big Cuts of Meat on the Pellet Grill

Understanding the Auger on Your Pit Boss

The auger is a vital component responsible for feeding pellets into the firepot. It’s essential to have a basic understanding of it to know what you’re dealing with. 

What is It?

Think of the auger in the Pit Boss as the grill’s digestive system. It’s a big screw that draws in and feeds pellets into the fire pot to keep your grill running smoothly. 

An auger plays an important role in delivering the wood pellets to the firepot to produce heat and smoke. It’s like the conveyor belt at your favorite sushi restaurant, constantly delivering fresh pellets to keep the fire going. If it’s overloaded or the motor isn’t working as it should be, it either jams or stops turning. 

How It Works?

The auger works by rotating inside a tube or hopper, pulling pellets along with it until they drop into the firepot. The speed of the auger determines how many pellets are delivered to the firepot and, ultimately how hot and smoky your grill will be.

Without an auger, you’d be left with a pile of wood pellets and no way to get them into the firepot. 


1. Why is My Pit Boss Auger Making Noise?

A noisy Pit Boss auger might be a sign of pellets getting stuck in the auger tube. This can cause the auger to work harder, which can result in increased noise levels. Another reason for a noisy auger could be a worn or damaged auger motor. Loose or damaged components can also contribute to a noisy auger. Check the auger and surrounding components for any signs of damage or looseness. 

2. When Should You Replace Your Auger?

You should replace your auger if you notice any signs of damage or wear and tear, such as rust or corrosion, loose components, or unusual noises. 

3. Why is My Pit Boss Auger Fan Not Spinning?

The Pit Boss auger fan not spinning could be caused by a malfunctioning fan motor or a loose or damaged fan blade. Another possible cause could be an issue with the wiring or control board.

Final Thoughts 

If you’re experiencing issues with your Pit Boss auger, there are several potential causes to narrow down to. The most common causes are loose screws, occasional auger jams, faulty motors, or bad pellets. It’s essential to troubleshoot the problem promptly to prevent any further damage to your Pit Boss.

Remember, your Pit Boss grill is like a trusty companion that helps you create delicious meals for your friends and family. Regular maintenance and inspections can go a long way in preventing problems. But when issues do arise, follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article to diagnose and fix the problem. Your trusty Pit Boss grill will thank you for it!

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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