Traeger Ran Out of Pellets (What to Do + Easy Fix)

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Keeping an eye on your hopper and pellet level while cooking on your Traeger is critical; you can’t cook without pellets!

Understanding and troubleshooting issues like this is essential because sometimes it might not be that your pellets are low. Below, you’ll find out exactly how to diagnose and fix this problem so you can pump out epic BBQ food!


What Happens When You Run Out of Pellets?

Wooden pellets are the main fuel source for your pellet grill/smoker. Without pellets in your hopper, you won’t have any heat.

To put it simply, you can’t cook your food. This can range from a drop in temperature to completely stopping mid-cook.

But running out of pellets doesn’t just affect the temperatures; it can also be a symptom of another issue, as your Traeger has many components.

See below for my simple steps on how to troubleshoot.


No Pellet Supply in Your Traeger? – The Common Causes

Why has this happened? It could be from low-grade pellets to a faulty pellet sensor. Let’s see how to diagnose and fix this problem.

Not Enough Pellets for the Cooking Time

Cooking for a long period? The simplest answer is that you didn’t fill the pellet grill hopper with enough pellets.

It can be different for each model; however, I have estimated that I need 1 pound per hour cooking low and slow and three(pounds per hour going hot and fast. In really cold temperatures, that will increase, of course

Bad Quality Pellets

When selecting pellets, go for a reputable brand, so using a cheaper imitation brand will likely be low quality.

Low-quality pellets aren’t pressed enough and can crumble in the auger tube, they also don’t burn as hot or even at all

The pellets should be hard, dry, and shiny.

Tip: Buy Traeger pellets as they were tried and tested on Traeger Grills.

Troubleshooting Bad Quality Pellets

– Buy from reputable sources.

– Check the pellet quality as above.

– Look for excess pellet dust in the bag.

Swollen Pellets

Storing your pellets is very important; when exposed to the environment, they begin to deteriorate. Don’t just keep them in the pellet hopper when you aren’t cooking or leave bags of pellets open; they will absorb moisture and expand, causing blockages and ignition problems.

Troubleshooting Swollen Pellets

– Don’t leave your hopper with wood pellets in if not grilling.

– Seal the pellet bag after opening.

– Do not store in wet conditions.

– Check if they are enlarged or damp.

– Safely remove the remainder of swollen pellets from your Traeger.


Faulty Traeger Pellet Sensor

If you have a Traeger Grills WiFIRE range, a sensor probe is installed. This monitors the flow and level of pellets.

You can even monitor remotely via a digital display or phone app. If the sensor is damaged or faulty, it can cause pellets’ buildup.

Building up pellets in the Traeger is one of the top issues that disrupt the flow. This causes you to run out of pellets as they block or fail to ignite.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Sensor

The app indicates a low fuel error, but your hopper is full.

Temperature swings or an error message.

– Clear your Traeger of pellets.

– Refill, prime the Traeger, and set it to a low temperature.

– Monitor your app and pellet flow in the Traeger.

– Calibrate the sensor according to the instructions in your manual.

– Check warranty if faulty.

– Order a new sensor and replace it as per instructions.

Faulty Auger Motor

The motor in your auger will rotate and move them into the ignition chamber; the speed is based on your p setting.

A faulty auger means that your pellets will not be fed through your heat baffle, disrupting the flow and causing blockages.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Auger Motor

Blockage, temp error code, and hopper level not decreasing.

– Listen for the motor.

– Turn off your Traeger and safely remove the heat baffle.

– Turn on your Traeger and see if the auger rotates.

– If your Auger doesn’t rotate, then contact Traeger customer service.


How an Error Code Can Indicate a Low Level of Pellets

Do you have a LEr error code on the control panel screen? The LEr stands for ‘Low-Temperature Error Code.’ This occurs if your Traeger turns off due to an internal temperature stalemate or if it goes lower than 125°F.

Maintaining Your Traeger to Avoid Blockage

General maintenance will drastically reduce the chance of your pellets running out. Examples of this would be regular inspection and cleaning after use, like preventing grease buildup or looking for unburnt pellets.

Ensure you follow the below to avoid any build-up or pellet flow disruption.

– Emptying the grease trap.

– Changing the drip tray liners.

– Check and clear the auger shaft or auger motor for jammed pellets.

– Brushing down the hopper to remove dust.


What Should I Do if I Run Out of Pellets During a Cook?

Running out of pellets mid-cook is not a massive deal; it will just momentarily slow the cooking process.

Follow the below to get back to cooking!

– Check the temperature of your Traeger.

– If still at the right temp, refill the hopper. (The might drop for 5 minutes because of pellet flow)


My Traeger Is Dropping in Temp or Has Turned Off

– Safely remove and store your food in a heated oven to keep warm.

– Wait until it cools.

– Check the fire pot, auger, and under the heat baffle for blockage.

– Turn on the Traeger and set it to a high temp.

– Fill the hopper and wait until the auger is full with pellets.

– Turn off the Traeger.

– Re-install any parts you removed.

– Turn back on and continue cooking!

Traeger Warranty Policy Notes

– Check your warranty policy and warranty claims.

– There is a three-year warranty period for all Traeger models.

– Contact Traeger’s customer service department if you have questions.

– Be aware of how consequential damages may affect your warranty coverage.

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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