How Long Does Pit Boss Usually Take to Reach Temp?

Are you wondering long it takes a Pit Boss Smoker to heat up? You want to know this before you start cooking so you know exactly when you need to turn it before you start cooking.

Plus estimating preheating times gives you more control and helps with troubleshooting (if things go wrong)!

After we look at how long it takes to reach your temperature, we will dive into how to preheat your smoker correctly as well as factors that may affect the internal temperature when smoking.

How Long Does Pit Boss Usually Take to Reach Temp?

Generally speaking, a Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grill takes roughly 8 to 10 minutes to heat up. I advise allowing 15 minutes for heating as a rule of thumb and to give wiggle room.

Note the above timings are with a presumption that your Pit Boss is in complete working order.

So read further to understand better the factors that can cause a slow start.

How to Know the Pit Boss Is at a Desired & Steady Temperature

The best way to know is when your Pit Boss tells you so! Pretty simple, right? There are lots of temperature probes built into your smoker. I find this really helpful when I am doing my smoked brisket recipe Pit Boss as you want to keep the temperature consistent when smoking brisket.

You can just check the internal temp on the LCD screen or dials. The second way to know is from the smoke output from your selected smoke setting.

Does the Type of Pit Boss Smoker Effect the Start-up Time?

Pit Boss Grills manufacture a range of grills, varying in size as well as technology and components.

I am not going to list detailed heating instructions for each of these grills… As it is impossible to give a conclusive time due to all the factors.

Just note that every Pit Boss (no matter the range or size) should take between 8-20 minutes to heat.

Note: We aren’t discussing vertical smokers or charcoal grills.

Igniting charcoal is very different from wood pellets and takes a lot longer!

Tips for Reaching Desired Temperature Quickly and Efficiently

I have highlighted below some tips and tricks to help with heating the Pit Boss. As well as some factors that could increase the time it takes to reach temp.

Considerations for Ambient Temperature

A Pit Boss Pellet Smoker should be used in an outside cooking space. So good news for you outdoor cooking enthusiasts!

One thing to note is the outside temp and conditions may impact the time it takes to heat. The pellets absorb excess moisture in humid environments, which can give a longer ignition time.

The cold is also your worst enemy. So don’t attempt smoking if the temperature is below zero, as it may not start at all!

Keeping the Temperature Consistent

Igniting your Pit Boss is only the start! You need to keep a consistent temperature when smoking so you don’t reignite.

Keep the pellet level consistent for your smoking process, especially through prolonged cooking.

You can also monitor the internal cooking temperature via the probes.

Temperature Swings and Fluctuations

Keeping a stable internal temperature can be more complex than you think. Especially if you’re cooking more significant cuts such as pork butts or brisket. Adjust the temperature if the range falls or raises more by 20°F. Failing to adjust correctly can result in a ruined recipe. Or having to reignite your Pit Boss pellet grill and wasting more time.

Utilizing a Grill Cover or Lid to Maintain Heat

We mentioned you should keep the grill lid open when pre-heating. This adds oxygen into the ignition chamber, to speed up the ignition time! So keep that lid closed during cooking to help retain a proper temperature.

A Guide for Preheating a Pit Boss

Below is my complete checklist when heating a Pit Boss and mastering the basics.

Leaving more critical questions…Such as what smoke function is required for your delicious Pit Boss pork butts recipe?

Prepare With the Right Amount of Fuel When Pre-heating a Pit Boss

Without fuel, there is no fire! A pellet smoker needs charcoal pellets as fuel for ignition. So before even hitting that power switch, make sure there are at least 2 lbs of pellets in the hopper.

Tip: Low-quality pellets may create high-temperature ranges and uneven cooking. They might not even ignite properly which will impact the time it takes to heat your grill.

Temperature Dial Settings on a Pit Boss

Now your pellets are sorted, let’s focus on understanding the temperature settings.

Your Pit Boss comes with an LCD screen or dials with a wide variety of settings. Open the lid and select ‘start-up smoke’.

The wood pellets will be steadily fed through by the auger to the ignition chamber.

Select the ‘smoke’ setting to not overload the chamber on the first ignition. Overloading this chamber with pellets can cause smothering and a longer ignition time.

My Pit Boss Doesn’t Ignite at All

Well, that’s no good… Let me bring to your attention some common issues and fixes!

No Power to the Pit Boss

A Pit Boss Pellet Grill needs electricity for it to work and start smoking!

Make sure you have plugged it into a suitable outlet before heating.

Check for a Error Message

Think of your Pit Boss as a computer that can report a specific issue.

An error message will appear on the digital display or LCD screen. Here are is a comprehensive list of error codes you might see come up on your Pit Boss

The one to look for ignition issues is the ‘Er2 – Fire Not Established’. There is a set timeframe programmed for the Pit Boss to fire up.

This error message indicates that your Pit Boss has gone past the time! Triggering the warning and bringing the ignition issue to your attention.

Below is a list of the issues that might affect your Pit Boss heating.

– Not enough wooden pellets

– A blockage has happened in the Auger pellet feeding cycle

– The heating Rod is faulty

There isn’t always a quick and easy fix for ignition issues as lots can go wrong! So it is always best to troubleshoot the issue based on the error message.

Then you can contact Pit Boss customer service to assist with the fix.

Note: A Pit Boss Grill comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Please follow basic safety procedures as per the instruction manual. Do not attempt a fix you are unfamiliar with or without guidance from the manufacturer.

A Simple Trick to Check Your Pit Boss Is Heating

– Preheat your Pit Boss based on the above instructions.

– Wait 20 minutes.

– Hold your hand above the grill grates and check for heat.

Tips for Making Your Pit Boss Heat up Faster

– Do not smoke in cold temperatures.

– Use a thermal blanket for better insulation and heat retention.

– Clean and maintain your Pit Boss after every use.

– Understand the components and what can go wrong.

– Know how to troubleshoot heating issues via the instruction manual.

– Set the grill to ‘smoke’ and leave the lid open when heating.

My Favorite Pit Boss Recipes

Below is just a short list of my favorite Pit Boss recipes to try!

Smoked Rack of Lamb on a Pit Boss

How To Cook Filet Mignon On Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Baked Potato

Pit Boss Chicken Wings

Pit Boss Ribs Recipe

Pit Boss Smoked Mac And Cheese

Pit Boss Smoked Turkey

Pit Boss Smoker Corn On The Cob

Smoked Baby Back Ribs On Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Smoked Picanha On Pit Boss

Smoked Pork Loin On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Smoked Prime Rib On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Smoked Sweet Potatoes Pit Boss

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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