Has Your Pit Boss Ran Out Of Pellets While Cooking? (Easy Solution)

Sharing is caring!

You are in the middle of cooking a delicious steak but uh-oh, you get a low pellet level alert. You quickly open the hopper and you discover that it’s still nearly full but has formed a funnel in the middle.

If you have ever run out of pellets during a cook, you know how much of a frustrating issue it can be. So, in this article, I’ll walk you through the things you should do if you run out of pellets.

But first, let me introduce you to the concept of “tunneling”.

What is Tunneling?

When pellets in the hopper produce a funnel-shaped void while being fed into the grill, this is referred to as tunneling. The grill puts all of the pellets into the hopper’s center but leaves a considerable pile of pellets on the hopper’s sidewalls.

While contemporary grills have a superior design to prevent this, it still happens on occasion.

If your pellets seem to be tunneling, try these tips:

  • If this only happens once in a while, check the pellets every time you go out to check your food. With a long spoon or spatula, stir the pellets in the hopper while keeping your hand away from the hopper’s bottom.
  • Look inside of the hopper for any damage if this happens frequently. Tunneling is more likely when there is damage.
  • Remove the hopper and clean it out. Tunneling frequency can also be increased if there is a lot of sawdust or blockage in the hopper.

If you’ve tried all of the above and your leftover pellets are still tunneling, please contact Customer Service.

What Happens When Pit Boss Grills Run Out of Pellets?

When a Pit Boss grill runs out of hardwood pellets, it will cease creating smoke, which will put an end to the cooking process. To get the grill cooking, unused pellets or excess pellets must be reloaded into the hopper and fed through the auger.

When you light up the grill, be sure to follow the required restarting method below.

When You Run Out of Pellets While Cooking

While tunneling is a bit of a red herring, it’s still conceivable that you’ll run out of pellets during cooking. Don’t worry if you run out of pellets in the course of cooking; getting back to grilling is simple.

Take the steps below:

Step 1: Check the temperature of your grill first.

Step 2: Refill the hopper if the grill is still at the desired internal temperature.

Due to a probable empty pocket inside the auger, you may notice a temperature drop in the following few minutes.

But the grill will quickly return to your desired temperature.

Step 3: Take off the grill lid and remove your food from the grill if the cooking temperature has begun to decrease, or if it has already shut off. Place it in the oven to stay warm while you wait for the grill to cool.

Step 4: Turn off the grill when the auger has filled with pellets.

Step 5: Remove the grate, drip tray, and heat baffle after they have cooled. 

Step 6: Clean and empty the firepot if there’s a buildup of pellets.

Step 7: Turn on the grill and set the internal temperature to high with the temperature dial.

Step 8: Replace the heat baffle, drip tray, and grates and replace them.

Step 9: Replace the grill lid, turn on the grill, and continue to cook.

How Long Do Pellets Last In A Pit Boss?

Wondering how long your pellets will last in your Pit Boss? Well, it depends on what temperature you are cooking at as well as the ambient temperature along with a whole slew of others.

Read More: See exactly how your pellets will last in your Pit Boss here.

What To Do When the Pit Boss Grill Won’t Start

Worst case scenario – your Pit Boss grill runs out of pellets and suddenly stops working. It can happen.

What are you supposed to do now? Well, any of the grill’s components might be to blame for this aggravating problem. Firstly, check that the unit is connected and that the outlet is working.

After that, unplug the grill as well as everything else connected to the GFI circuit. Reconnect the grill and observe if the GFI trips again. If this is the case, you should call customer support and explain the situation.

If not, the GFI may have been tripped by another device on the circuit. Continue to plug them in one by one to check if any of them cause the outlet to trip.

Remember that a GFI can trip due to a problem with the electrical system, so your grill may not be to blame. Check the circuit breakers if the GFI fails to reset. Without enough power, the system will not reset. 

After that, turn the temperature dial to the OFF position and then to the SMOKE setting. The LCD panel should light up, showing that everything is in working order.

If it doesn’t work, remove the frying grates and grease tray to inspect the igniter closely. Change the 5 amp fuse on the back of the panel if nothing happens when you switch it on. You’ll need to contact customer care for a new part if the igniter continues to fail.

Check the auger while the grates and grease tray are out of the way. This is the part that has to be replaced if it isn’t putting pellets into the firebox.

After all other possibilities have been checked out, the panel is most likely to blame. Contact Pit Boss and describe the circumstances and see if they can help.

There are some things we can’t prevent from happening while cooking, but you now know what to do when your pellet smoker runs out of pellet supply. You will also get to save pounds of pellets.

Priming Your Pit Boss

Are you meant to prime your Pit Boss each time it runs out of pellets but if you are in the middle of cooking you can leave this to after you’re done. The steps to priming your Pit Boss are simple; I have a full guide on Priming but to wrap it quickly, 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.

More Recipes For a Pit Boss

How To Cook Filet Mignon On Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Baked Beans

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.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *