Pit Boss Troubleshooting (2024)

Pit Boss Troubleshooting (1)

Commercial smokers are an essential piece of equipment, and even the most trustworthy brands can encounter problems from time to time. No matter what type of meat you plan to smoke, it's essential to keep your unit functioning properly. We've compiled this troubleshooting guide to diagnose common Pit Boss smoker issues and walk you through the process of fixing them.

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Use the following links to skip to the Pit Boss maintenance tip that most interests you:

  1. Pit Boss Temperature Problems
  2. Pit Boss Not Smoking
  3. Pit Boss Igniter Not Working
  4. Pit Boss Display Not Working
  5. Pit Boss Auger Not Turning
  6. Pit Boss Not Turning On
  7. Pit Boss Fan Not Working

Pit Boss Temperature Problems

Temperature-related issues can significantly impact the performance of your Pit Boss smoker. If these issues aren't resolved, they can adversely affect the quality of your foods. We've outlined some of the most common issues below:

Pit Boss Temperature Blinking

Pit Boss Troubleshooting (2)

A blinking temperature on your Pit Boss smoker's display signifies that the temperature is significantly dropping. If you notice the temperature dropping, check the following components:

  • Wood pellets: Verify that your grill is supplied with enough wood pellets to maintain your desired temperature. Using too few will cause the fire to die and force you to restart the cooking process.
  • Smoker settings: Verify that your smoker is set to the correct mode. Setting the smoker to "cook" mode will cause the light to start flashing if the temperature falls below 150 degrees Fahrenheit while setting the smoker to "smoke" mode will cause it to start flashing if it falls below 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Temperature probe: Confirm that your temperature probe is working correctly. Without a functional temperature probe, you will not get accurate temperature readings. Clean the probe and remove any dirt or grease buildups for the best results.
  • Auger blockage: If your smoker's auger is blocked, it will not receive the fuel it needs. Check for ash buildup or grease around the auger to alleviate the blockage.
  • Auger motor failure: If the auger motor fails, pellets will not be fed into the burn pot, causing temperatures inside the unit to fall. If the auger motor isn't working correctly, call a service technician.
  • Temperature dial: Temperature dial issues are caused by several factors. These include what kind of fuel you use and environmental factors such as wind, humidity, and outdoor temperature. Verify that you are using your smoker in the proper conditions for the best results.

Pit Boss Getting Too Hot

An overheating smoker can affect the smoking process and force you to start over. The factors listed below may be responsible if your smoker is overheating:

  • Poor location: Do not to place your smoker in direct sunlight or in an area with high outdoor temperatures. These conditions can cause the temperature of the smoker to rise higher than desired.
  • Excess wood pellets: Using too many wood pellets in the hopper can cause the smoker's temperature to rise. Verify that you are using the correct amount of wood pellets and check that there are no leftover wood pellets in the hopper before smoking.
  • Grease buildup: If you allow grease to build up in your smoker, it can ignite and contribute to rising internal temperatures. Clean the smoker's grates with a wire brush and wipe them down with a damp cloth to reduce grease buildup.
  • Faulty control board: A malfunctioning control board can impact your smoker's ability to regulate temperature. To alleviate the issue, clean the circuit board with a rag or soft brush and use compressed air to blow away excess dust. Before cleaning your control board, verify that the smoker is not connected to power.

Pit Boss Smoker Not Heating Up

Whether you're new to using a smoker or have been smoking meats for years, reaching your desired temperature can be difficult. If your Pit Boss smoker is not heating up, the firepot likely isn't receiving enough oxygen. Inspect the following components to fix the issue:

  • Airway: Observe the firepot airway to see if there are any obstructions. Obstructions restrict oxygen flow and should be removed promptly.
  • Fan: Electrical issues and blockages can restrict your fan from spinning, impacting the smoker's ability to heat up.
  • Burn pot: Damage and erosion can lead to holes in the burn pot. If the burn pot is in poor condition, replace it or call a service technician.
  • Pellets: Verify that there are enough pellets in the smoker and add more if needed. Also, confirm that you are not using wet pellets.

Pit Boss Not Smoking

Pit Boss Troubleshooting (3)

There are several reasons why your Pit Boss smoker won't produce smoke. We've outlined some of the most common below:

  • Wood pellets: Check the condition and quality of your wood pellets. Damp wood pellets produce less smoke, while low-quality wood pellets take longer to ignite.
  • Temperature: Verify that you are running your smoker at an optimum temperature. If your smoker is too hot, it will produce less smoke. In general, you should smoke meat between 220 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Jammed auger: Wet wood and debris can clog your auger, hampering smoke production. Removing the auger and chipping away at the jam can alleviate the issue, but some clogs can be difficult to remove. Call a service technician if you cannot remove the clog yourself.
  • Dirty fire pot: If your fire pot is dirty or filled with debris, fresh pellets may not ignite. Clean the firepot before each use to ensure the best results.

Pit Boss Igniter Not Working

Pit Boss Troubleshooting (4)

A smoker's igniter is responsible for creating heat. If it stops working, the following components may be to blame:

  • Extension cord: Check your extension cord for cracks or open wires to see if the connection is poor. If you find evidence of damage, you should replace the cord.
  • Outlet: Verify that the outlet works correctly. You can check if an outlet is working by plugging another appliance or household item into it. If the appliance doesn't turn on, contact an electrician.
  • Connections: Inspect your unit for loose wiring and faulty connections. These are especially prominent if you recently performed maintenance or replaced a smoker component.
  • Combustion fan: Grease buildup can impact your combustion fan's ability to spin, reducing the smoker's heating capacity. Shut the unit off and clean the combustion fan if you notice a grease buildup.
  • Igniter: If no other methods work, there may be a problem with the igniter itself. Check the igniter for damage and consider replacing it. If you want to repair the igniter, contact a service technician.

Pit Boss Display Not Working

Most Pit Boss smokers come with a digital display screen that allows you to set temperatures and cooking preferences. If your display isn't working, the following factors may be causing the issue:

  • Outlet: Verify that your unit is connected to an outlet and that the outlet is working.
  • Circuit board: A bad circuit board fuse can cause your smoker's display to remain blank. Replace the fuse or call a service technician to fix the problem.
  • GFCI outlet: If too many appliances are plugged into a GFCI outlet, it can break or trip. Unplug all appliances and plug your smoker in to fix the issue. If your display still won't appear, call a service technician.
  • Extension cord: Check your extension cord for any cracks or damage and replace it if needed.

Pit Boss Auger Not Turning

Pit Boss Troubleshooting (5)

Augers feed wood pellets into the firepot, and if they stop turning they can disrupt the smoking process. Auger jams and faulty connections are the most common reasons for this issue. We'll walk you through troubleshooting each of them below.

Auger Jam

Wet wood pellets are the main cause of auger jams. If the air is too humid or the wood pellets are damp, they can swell and create a large mass that clogs the auger. To alleviate an auger jam, follow these steps:

  1. Clear auger: Remove any excess wood pellets from the auger until you find the source of the jam.

  2. Remove auger: Detach the auger from your grill by removing the auger shell, disconnecting the motor, and using a screwdriver to unscrew the unit. Use vice grips or pliers to pull it out.

  3. Clean auger: Using tools like a screwdriver or sandpaper, chip away at the clog. Once it is broken up, remove the pieces.

  4. Attach auger: Reinstall the clog-free auger. Verify that it works before you begin using your smoker again.

Auger Connection Issues

If your auger isn't turning and a jam isn't present, it may be the result of an improper connection to the control board. A set of red wires connects the auger and the control board, and you can follow these steps to fix the issue:

  1. Unplug unit: Disconnect the unit from its power source.

  2. Remove access panel: Detach the hopper access panel. For vertical smokers, you may have to remove a wire guard first.

  3. Disconnect and reconnect wires: Disconnect the red wires from the control board and then reconnect them.

  4. Test: Run a test to see if the auger turns.

Pit Boss Not Turning On

There are several reasons why your Pit Boss smoker isn't turning on. Before troubleshooting the issue, remember to disconnect the grill from the power source. To get your smoker running again, inspect the following components:

  • Electrical outlet: Verify that the smoker is plugged into an outlet and that the outlet is working correctly. Plug the grill into another power source or plug another appliance into the outlet to find the source of the issue.
  • Power cord: Check the unit's power cord for visible damage, like cracks or exposed wires. If the cord is damaged, contact a service professional for assistance.
  • Control board: Check that power is running to the control board. Do this by removing the hopper access panel, disconnecting the power, and then reconnecting it.
  • Fuse: Verify that there are no blown fuses in the control board. If a fuse is blown, contact a service technician.

Pit Boss Fan Not Working

Your smoker's fan circulates air through the cook chamber, which keeps the fire burning. If your fan isn't working, the following components may be responsible:

  • Wire connections: Yellow wires connect a Pit Boss fan to the control board. With the grill unplugged, remove the hopper to view the control board and verify the wires are connected. If they aren't, detach and then reattach them.
  • Fan: If you haven't used your smoker in a significant amount of time or are using it in cold weather, you may need to kickstart it by manually spinning the fan. For safety reasons, disconnect the smoker from power before touching the fan.
  • Obstructions: Wires, brackets, and other debris can sometimes obstruct your fan and prevent it from spinning. Keep all wires and brackets in place and clean your smoker regularly for the best results.

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Pit Boss Troubleshooting (2024)


Why is my Pit Boss not heating up? ›

Pit Boss Smoker Not Heating Up

Airway: Observe the firepot airway to see if there are any obstructions. Obstructions restrict oxygen flow and should be removed promptly. Fan: Electrical issues and blockages can restrict your fan from spinning, impacting the smoker's ability to heat up.

What are the blinking dots on Pit Boss temperature? ›

Some units have a relight feature where the igniter will turn back on if the grill drops below 130° F/55° degrees C. If the igniter comes back on, the flashing dots will reappear. If the temperature is flashing on your control board screen, this means the temperature of the unit is below 150° F/65° C.

Why will my Pit Boss not ignite? ›

Try the grill in another outlet, or something else in this outlet to ensure that is not the issue. - Inspect the power cord for visible damage that could be causing the issue. If the cord is damaged, then you can contact our Pit Boss Customer Care Team for further assistance.

Why does my Pit Boss keep shutting off? ›

Power supply: Check if the pellet smoker is properly plugged in and if the outlet is working. Also, check if the circuit breaker or fuse has tripped. 2. Pellet hopper: If the pellet hopper is empty or if the pellets are jammed, the smoker may not function.

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