Pit Boss Chimney Adjustment (Cleaning, Smokestack and Modifying Your Chimney)

Many new Pit Boss Grill users never consider the function of the chimney.

It’s simply a cap that twists to loosen or tighten. But, much debate has been centered around the chimney. 

For example, should you keep it open? Also, when should you adjust it? setting

A chimney or a smokestack is positioned on top of vertical smokers or on the side of a barrel for horizontal smokers.

Once properly adjusted, the chimney allows sufficient airflow to ensure accurate cooking. setting

We’ll discuss how to adjust your chimney and grill settings to achieve optimal cooking temperatures

pellet grill chimney adjustment

Should You Keep the Chimney Open? 

Yes, the chimney should always be open.

Opening the chimney allows proper airflow into the Pit Boss Grill.

By closing the cap, you restrict the airflow and, thus, cannot generate enough heat. 

Check the chimney cap and adjust as needed to let in the proper ventilation needed. If the cap is open too wide, the temperature may climb too high.

Conversely, the grill won’t heat to the right cooking temperature if the cap is closed due to poor airflow. 

Cold weather can affect the pellet grill from achieving consistent temperatures for cooking.

Thus, it may be beneficial to leave a smaller opening during the winter months to prevent these fluctuations in temperatures. 

If you notice your Pit Boss grill overheating, that’s a good sign you’ll need to open up the cap more.

This more airflow into the burn pot and grill, preventing overheating. 

How to Adjust the Chimney on Pit Boss? 

You won’t need to adjust the cap on your Pit Boss grill often.

We recommend twisting the cap until there’s a 1-2 inch gap, leaving sufficient airflow for your pellet grill.

You’ll want to adjust the chimney by turning it left to increase the airflow.

In contrast, turn the cap to the right to tighten and restrict airflow to the grill. 

How to Clean the Chimney? 

Cleaning the chimney ensures it can draw maximum ventilation in and out of the appliance.

Ideally, the chimney should be cleaned every six months.

  1. Unplug the pellet grill, and wait until it’s cool to touch.
  2. Uncover the chimney cap and clean the chimney’s interior using an old rag.
  3. Don’t forget to clean out the residue on the back of the barrel. 
  4. Avoid using water to clean since it can lead to rust. 
  5. Once you’ve finished cleaning, you can re-attach the smokestack cover onto the pipe. 

Where to Find a Smoke Stake for Pit Boss? 

The easiest way to find a smokestack that can replace your existing smokestack on the pellet grill is through the Pit Boss website.

You’ll want to look for a pellet grill chimney & cap kit that easily fits the size of your grill.

This means you should know the diameter of the opening and the mounting bolt distance of your Pit Boss. 

pit boss chimney cap adjustment

5 Tips for Improving Temperature Control on the Pit Boss Grill 

Getting a consistent internal temperature in the cooking chamber is key to delivering rich and savory meat.

Whether you’re cooking pork ribs or pork butt, you want to maximize the smoke flavor from the pellets.

Contact the Pit Boss customer service if the grill experiences severe temperature swings.

They can diagnose to see if there’s an issue with the system.

1. Adjusting the Pause Time 

Every Pit Boss pellet grill has a “P” button, which stands for pause time. Dialing up the P setting will increase the time between every pellet cycle.

As a result, the pellet supply is reduced, thus causing the firebox to generate more smoke. 

These broken-down pellets will smolder and cook at a lower temperature. By increasing the P setting, you increase the cooking time as well. 

Conversely, lowering the P setting means you supply the firebox

with more pellets, thereby igniting at a more rapid rate.

Consequently, the temperature of the pellet grill increases. 

pit boss smoke setting(1)

Pit Boss recommends starting the Pause at the P4 setting, also the factory default setting. At this level, the auger pellet cycles are run at 18-second intervals.

In between each cycle, it breaks for 115 seconds. Additionally, adjusting the P setting affects the flavor as well.

Increasing the P setting allows the barbecue to extract the most wood and smokey flavor.

But, decreasing the P setting will increase the grill temperature and provide maximum direct heat.  

You should only switch the P setting one notch at a time.

And only wait half an hour before making another adjustment. Rapid changes mean a quick change in pellet flow, which can damage the components in your grill. 

2. Use an Insulated Grill Blanket 

In hot weather times, pellet consumption isn’t a problem. However, when it gets colder, pellet usage significantly increases.

An insulated grill blanket serves as a buffer between the grill and the outside elements. Thus, it ensures a consistent temperature.

The optimal temperature while cooking results in lower pellet consumption and better-tasting barbecue. 

3. Use a Dome Thermometer or Meat Probe to Determine the Internal Temperature 

A dome thermometer provides an accurate reading of the highest point on the grill.

It’s a good tool to keep your eye out for the temperature of your barbecue. 

However, many consider meat probes to have a more accurate reading since they can directly measure the internal temp of the meat.

The meat probe measures the ambient temp so that you can cook confidently. 

This eliminates the constant guesswork of having to taste your food before it’s done. The meat probe ensures it reaches the internal temp target resulting in a perfectly cooked barbecue. 

Knowing the temperature ensures that your food won’t dip or spike adversely that affects your food. 

4. Be Picky About Pellets 

A quality pellet will last longer and not burn through quickly. Before use, it’s best to store the wood pellets in a cool and dry place. 

5. Keep the Door Shut 

Avoid opening and closing the door often. The pellet grill will leak out heat, and the smoke flavor from your barbecue may be lost. Have patience, and you’ll be rewarded with a more delicious cut of meat. 

Pit Boss pellet smokers aren’t cheap. The convenience of using an electric grill may also come with greater complexity.

However, if you follow these tips, such as adjusting the chimney and using the proper settings, you can ensure accurate cooking.

Smoke On!


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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