Is Your Pit Boss Not Smoking? Here’s How to Fix It

Are you worried your Pit Boss is not smoking enough? Many factors contribute to the smoke produced by your Pit Boss. So, it’s best not to panic if you find that there’s not enough smoke being emitted.

Below I have listed some of the factors and how to fix it.

  • The quality of the wood pellets you’re using
  • The Pit Boss grill temperature
  • A jammed auger
  • The internal temperature of your meat
  • The situation of the firepot

Many new pellet grill users face this sort of issue. So, there’s nothing to worry about. Just keep reading this article. We’ll teach you why this may be happening and how you can fix it.

The Reason Why Your Pit Boss Isn’t Producing Smoke

The most common cause of the lack of smoke produced by your Pit Boss pellet smoker is the temperature or the types of pellets you are using. We dive further into the reasons below.

Just remember that when a Pit Boss starts up, it will produce a heavy white smoke as the pellets are smoldering, but then it should turn to a thin bluish smoke, which is nearly invisible. This is normal.

The Quality of Your Pellets

Look at the state of your hardwood pellets, are they wet? Low quality? You don’t need to fork out a lot of money on high-quality wood pellets. There’s nothing wrong with cheaper pellets, but they will take longer to ignite, so you’ll not see smoke yet.

You also have to ensure the wood pellets aren’t wet! It’s more difficult to produce good smoke from damp pellets. Instead, they should be absolutely dry and not all clustered together.

Temperature of Your Smoker

Check the temperature. If the smoker is set at a high temperature, it will produce less smoke. I usually run mine at around 200°F —250°F unless I smoke cheese, which I do much lower.

You should also check if the “Smoke Setting” is on. This is usually for between temperatures of 180°F – 190°F, you also can change the P setting when you’re using the “Smoke Setting”. The higher the P setting, the longer the pause between the auger feeding more pellets to the fire; it will lower the temperature, and the pellets will smolder more, creating more smoke. Lowering the P setting has the opposite effect.

The Fire Pot Needs a Clean

If your fire pot is full of debris, you might find that the pellets won’t ignite. You should clean the firepot between each cook.

The Auger Might be Jammed

The auger feeds pellets into the firepot, and debris and wet pellets can clog it. You can try removing the auger and cleaning out what has clogged it; however, some debris may be difficult to remove, so it might be worth calling a technician or Pit Boss customer service for advice.

Is Your Pit Boss Producing Too Much Smoke?

Do you have the opposite problem, and your grill is producing too much smoke? Don’t worry. Have a read of the resource for Pit Boss producing too much smoke. It will help you fix the problem.

Should A Smoker Be Producing Smoke All the Time?

If you’re not very familiar with the smoking process, you may think that it’s normal for wood pellet grills to produce smoke all the time.

Well, that’s not how pellet grills and smokers work. They shouldn’t smoke all the time. Your Pit Boss will produce the most smoke at the beginning of the cook. The smoke will usually be white and look like white clouds. However, this smoke won’t give your food a smokey flavor.

Instead, it’ll add a slightly bitter taste to your foods. This white smoke is also often referred to as “start-up smoke.” You should look out for the generation of clear, thin blue smoke, which will give your foods the best smoke flavor.

Is It Showing Any Codes?

We have discussed all the error codes that Pit Boss units show, such as the ER1 and ERH; if your unit is showing one of those, see these resources: ERI Error Code ERH Error Code

Did You Prime Your Smoker

Before you use your smoker for the first time or anything the pellets run out, you must be priming your Pit Boss. This is a process of making sure the pellets travel along the entire length of the auger to the burn pot and fill it. If you don’t prime the igniter, it may time out before the pellets you put in ignite.

See the guide to priming your Pit Boss here

Is There A Way For My Pit Boss Pellet Smoker to Produce More Smoke?

Our top three tips for getting more smoke output out of a Pit Boss is to …

  • Set the smoker’s temperature dial to 200°F – 250°F
  • Try out different wood pellets to see which ones work best with the pellet grill you’re cooking with
  • Refrain from opening the grill lid
  • Check the auger for jams
  • Clean the firepot

How Much Smoke Should Be Coming Out Of My Pit Boss Pellet Smoker?

Your pellet grill will produce different levels of smoke throughout the entire smoking session. This is perfectly normal. For example, you might notice a lot of white billowy smoke at the very beginning of the cook. And there will even be moments when your smoker won’t produce any smoke. 

What Is the Exact Temperature Setting For Producing Smoke On A Pit Boss?

All temperatures will produce smoke; however, some settings can produce more smoke. If you turn on the Smoke Setting, you can adjust the P Setting. The default P Setting is 4. When you are not using the Smoke Setting, the P Setting is at 4. But you can turn that up and down when the Smoke Setting is on. Turning it up increases the pause time for the auger. It will also lower the temperature of the SMOKE setting as the pellets will smolder for longer before more pellets are fed in from the auger. If you raise the P Setting too high, it can cause the fire to burn out.

If you don’t want to use the Smoke Setting, just set the temperature to your preferred level. It will produce smoke as long as the other components of the grill aren’t in conflict.

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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1 thought on “Is Your Pit Boss Not Smoking? Here’s How to Fix It”

  1. thanks for the tip on not using moist pellets, we just realized the whole bag was left out and that is why we were having trouble getting the right amount of smoke

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