Buying a Pit Boss pellet grill is an investment that you will not regret.
It’s a big step up if you’ve only ever used a charcoal smoker grill.
With that being said, you can’t just switch the appliance on, stick your marinated food inside, close the grill lid and start cooking.
At least, not for your first cook!
Before you begin enjoying all that your new electric smoker grill has to offer, you will need to prime it.
Don’t worry if you have no idea where to begin.
Just keep reading on and you’ll know exactly how to prep and prime pellet grills!
Learn How to Prime Your Pit Boss For the First Time
Priming your Pit Boss smoker grill is important.
It gets rid of any chemicals, dirt, debris, and even smells that might be lingering on your appliance.
During the manufacturing phase, the pellet smoker may be covered or exposed to chemicals or dirt.
If you don’t prime grill properly before cooking your food in it, then you could end up consuming these chemicals and debris.
This will be damaging to your health and you’ll end up ruining the food you cook inside the smoker too.
The process of priming your pellet grill involves letting it run on high heat without placing any food in the cooking chamber.
This will allow all of the electrical components to run for the very first time and just prep your grill nicely for future cooks.
There are also other benefits of priming your Pit Boss cooker.
These include the fact that it’ll prevent rust from forming and even prolongs the lifespan of your appliance.
What Is A Hopper and How Do You Fill It With Pellets?
If you look at your pellet grill, you will see that there’s a large metal box on the side.
This is referred to as the hopper and it holds all of the unused pellets.
You can think of it as a metal storage unit for the many pounds of hardwood pellets that your grill will be burning up.
To prime your hopper you will first want to plug your grill into an electrical outlet and turn on the power button.
After that, just turn the temperature control dial to ‘Smoke’ Setting.
You will not need to remove all of the cooking components if you’re starting it up for the very first time.
It’s good to leave all of the cooking components in there so that they can get cleaned during the burn-off procedure too.
Then you’ll want to listen out for a loud engine sound. It should make a sound that is reminiscent of a plane engine.
This is a sign that the auger motor is starting up.
Next, you should just place your hand over the little pot a the end of the auger tube.
This is the fire pot and you’ll know if it’s ready if you can feel some air movement.
Now it’s time for you to fill the hopper with wood pellets. Your pellet supply must be sufficient.
It’s not as easy to refill your hopper with pellets in the middle of a cook.
Be careful though, you do not want to overfill your hopper.
Make sure to leave about an inch of space between the unused pellets and the hopper access panel.
Why Is Priming the Pellet Grill’s Hopper Important?
It is very important to prime your hopper properly.
This is because it not only affects the hopper but also your auger feed control system. As well as the grill’s fire burn pot.
Essentially, priming the hopper ensures that everything in your grill runs smoothly.
Your auger must be working as it should because it controls the internal temperature of the appliance.
Once you’ve set the cooking temperature using the grill’s temperature dial, the auger starts to work.
It will control the speed and amount of pellets that go into the fire pot.
The auger helps ensure that your pellet smoker maintains a consistent temperature.
If there’s an auger jam or an issue with the auger feed then a lot of temperature issues will begin to arise.
So, if you don’t want to deal with a lot of temperature fluctuations then be sure to prime the hopper of your grill properly!
Switch On the ‘Prime’ Function
Next, you will need to hold down the ‘Prime’ function.
This function speeds up the rate of the auger motor.
This means that the auger feeding system will push more pellets into the fire pot.
Once the fire pot sounds like it’s been filled with enough pellets, stop pressing the ‘Prime’ button.
After that, you will need to just wait for a couple of minutes and you should hear the fire rod begin to burn up the pellets.
You will be able to hear it as it ignites the wood pellets.
You will also be able to tell that everything is working normally once you see thick white smoke begins to come out of the grill.
The smoke will start to dissipate after around 10- 15 minutes.
Running Out of Pellets While Grilling — What Should You Do?
If you’ve run out of pellets while your grill is running, then you will need to refill the hopper with unused pellets.
If there are a whole bunch of broken-down pellets in the way, then you might need to switch off the appliance
After that, you’ll need to take to time to clean the pellets in the way and you’ll need to remove the cooking components.
Once you’ve done that, then you can pour more quality wood pellets into the hopper and let it run as per usual.
Issues to Look Out For — Grill Not Heating Up and Strange Noises
If your grill is not turning on then there might be an issue with the power connection.
Make sure that your power outlet is working properly and that your power cord isn’t damaged.
But what if your grill is turning on properly but it does not seem to be heating up?
Then there is most likely an issue with the pellets that you are using.
You have to make sure that you are using high-quality wood pellets.
And you want to ensure that you’ve got plenty of it.
Poor quality pellets or insufficient pellets will result in temperature swings and the flame might just go out entirely.
It is very important to prime your smoker grill because it ensures the appliance’s longevity in the long run.
It will also guarantee that none of the food that you end up cooking on the grill with have any nasty manufacturing dirt or odors on it.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
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 adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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