From time to time this will happen.
There are lots of reasons why your pellets run out.
But one thing is for sure.
You can’t cook without plenty of pellets!
So it’s essential to understand and troubleshoot the issues.
Below you’ll find out exactly how to fix this problem so you can pump out EPIC BBQ food!
What Happens When You Run Out of Pellets?
If there are no pellets in your hopper you won’t have any heat!
Wooden pellets are the main source of fuel for your pellet grill/smoker.
To put it simply, you can’t cook your food.
This can range from a drop in temperature to it completely stopping mid-cook.
But running out of pellets doesn’t just affect the temperatures.
It can be a symptom of another issue.
As there are many components in your Traeger.
See below for my simple steps on how to troubleshoot.
No Pellet Supply in Your Traeger? – The Common Causes
Why has this happened?
From low-grade pellets to a faulty pellet sensor…
Not Enough Pellets for the Cooking Time
Cooking for a long period of time?
The most simple answer is that you simply didn’t fill the pellet grill hopper with enough pellets.
Work out the estimated cooking time and fill accordingly.
It might mean you have to refill during the cooking process.
So get a pellet alarm!
Bad Quality Pellets
Hardwood BBQ pellets are mass-produced.
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!
When selecting pellets go for a reputable brand.
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.
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 then there is a sensor probe installed.
This monitors the flow and level of pellets.
You can even monitor remotely via a digital display or on the phone app.
If the sensor is damaged or faulty then it can cause a buildup of pellets.
A build of up pellets in the Traeger is one of the top issues for disrupting the flow.
Causing you to ‘run out of pellets as they block or fail to ignite.
Troubleshooting a Faulty Sensor
– 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.
This will cause a disrupted flow and 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
The LEr stands for ‘Low-Temperature Error Code’.
This occurs if your Traeger turns off from an internal temperature stalemate..
Or precisely if it goes lower than 125°F.
This happens when you run out of pellets.
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.
Make sure you follow the below to avoid any build-up or pellet flow disruption.
– Emptying the grease trap.
– Changing the drip tray liners.
– Checking and clearing 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.
Although you will momentarily stop the cooking process.
While also adding extra cooking time.
Follow the below to get back to cooking!
– Check the temperature of your Traeger.
– If still at the right temp, just 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 are unsure.
– Be aware of how consequential damages may affect your warranty coverage.
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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