Can You Leave Pellets in a Pit Boss (This Might Surprise You!)

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Cooking up a feast on your pellet grill? Maybe you finished before all the pellets in the hopper were used?

Then you might be wondering, can you leave pellets in the hopper? You can leave pellets in the hopper of your pellet grill. However, there are a few things below you need to do so that your grill works well the next time you go to use it!

Wondering If You Can You Leave Pellets In A Pit Boss?

You can leave pellets in the hopper of your pellet grill, as long as they aren’t moist. Also, make sure your grill is in a covered location.

What Are the Best Pellets for Smoking?

All-natural hardwood pellets are a good pick, as they have a long burn time compared to softwood pellets. 

See the Pit Boss Pellets Guide here.

Is Moisture Bad for Wood Pellets?

Moisture is bad for wood pellets. It causes them to warp and they can jam your auger.

Would Your Wood Pellets Go Bad if You Don’t Use Them Often?

It depends on where your smoker or grill is stored. As long as you keep your grill in a garage, or overcover away from moisture, rain, or snow, your wood pellets will be fine for 6 weeks.

However, your wood pellets shouldn’t be expected to work as they did the day you bought them if you leave them sitting in the hopper for too long.

How to Test Your Wood Pellets                   

Suppose you had left your wood pellets sitting in your hopper for a long time. You can perform two easy tests to check if they are still good before grilling or smoking.

Test 1: Physical Examination

A bad batch of pellets will appear dull when you look at them, while a good one will appear shiny.

Test 2: Snap Test (Break Pellets in Two)

Now, pick one of the pellets and break it into two. A healthy pellet would snap when you break it in half, while an unhealthy pellet would crumble and scatter in your hand.

Note: never use bad pellets in your hopper with pellets as it could cause your auger mechanism to jam.

Ways to Protect Your Pellets in the Hopper

It’s always wise to protect your pellet grill smoker from the outdoor elements by storing it in a garage, storage building, etc., especially during the winter months.It’s also understandable if you do not have any of these, as not everyone owns a garage.

However, there are other ways to store your wood pellet grill to keep it dry and safe.

How to Store Your Pellet Grill Outside

What if you don’t have a storage building or a garage and wish to store your grill outside? You could use a quality vinyl trampoline to cover your grill against those outdoor elements.

Just ensure the grill cools off completely before covering it.

Storing Your Wood Pellets

Well according to the pit boss user manual, unused pellets should never be stored in the bag they came in. Instead, empty bags of pellets in an airtight container or any other sealable container/secure device, preferably an airtight 5-gallon bucket. As long as you cover your grill when you store it outside, your pellets won’t be damaged.

Used All Your Pellets? You Need to Prime Your Smoker

You need to prime your Pit Boss every time you run out of pellets. Here are the exact steps of how to prime a Pit Boss; you need to turn it on, set it to SMOKE, and listen for the auger motor. Check for air movement in the fire pot, then turn off. Fill the hopper, press the ‘Prime’ button until pellets drop, wait for ignition, then cool off.

It’s nice knowing we don’t have to empty the leftover pellets after each cook. That would be a heck of a job!

I hope you find this useful!    

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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