Pellet grills have become an incredibly popular kind of grill in the past few years, becoming a new contender to propane and charcoal grills. Thanks to their versatility and the ability to both grill and smoke on them, many more homeowners are choosing to invest in a pellet grill for their new outdoor kitchen and barbecue parties. However, as the issue eventually happens with many appliances and machines, there comes a time when your pellet grill seems to malfunction, and you don’t know how to fix it just like you can’t fix toilet swirling.

Most of the time, these kinds of problems are vastly different from each other. In some cases, the problem is as simple as your pellets not seeming to move to the fire pot. In others, you might be getting oddly coloured smoke from your grill. Whatever the reason, finding the solution to it can be quite vital, especially since many of these problems are only really noticed when you need to use the pellet grill immediately.

For tips on troubleshooting what’s the problem with your pellet grill and how to solve them, continue reading this article. If you’re interested in getting your own pellet grill, rubs or other accessories, check out one of the best places for all things BBQ Canada has to offer.

The grill isn’t smoking

When it comes to getting a pellet grill, smoking is one of the main features that everyone seems to love. However, it can become a major problem when your pellet grill just isn’t creating any smoke to begin with. There can be quite a few causes and solutions that vary depending on how you use it and what condition your pellets are in.

The Fix

Fixing the lack of smoke can be fairly simple, despite the different possible reasons. If you use a decent quality bag of relatively new pellets, you store the unused ones properly and you clean out your fire pot regularly, the cause can be one of two things. The most common cause is that your pellet grill’s temperature is too high. However, if you’re more experienced with barbecuing and pellet grills, you might also be dealing with a clogged auger. If your grill’s temperature is low, remove the heat shield and turn the grill off completely before trying to safely unclog the auger.

The fire keeps going out

More often than not, you might find that your pellet grill’s fire goes out right in the middle of a smoking or cooking session after you have enjoyed the fireplace. If your food isn’t already cooked, this can be a major problem since any meat you put into the grill might develop bacteria if it isn’t cooked through yet.

The Fix

This problem again has multiple possible causes. One of the main and most common causes is that your fire pot’s air holes and the grill’s vents are either blocked or shut. In order to properly burn, fire needs oxygen and your pellets need the fire. Opening them back up should allow enough oxygen in to keep the fire going.

Some grills also have a fan built into it to further direct air and oxygen into the fire to keep it running. If that fan isn’t running, your pellet grill’s flames aren’t getting stoked and eventually went out. If you don’t hear the hum of the fan, you will likely need to call the grill’s manufacturer for a replacement.

The pellets aren’t going through

Even though your grill is working as it should, you don’t seem to be getting any smoke. While you did check to see what the reason is, a quick look into the pellet hopper told you everything you need to know. For whatever reason, none of the pellets you’ve put in have seemed to go through to be burned in the first place. It looks to be at the same level from the start.

The Fix

Considering the fact that your pellets aren’t seeming to go through to your fire pot, the reason why is very clear. A pellet grill uses an auger to move the wood pellets you pour into the hopper to the fire pot, essentially acting as a spiral tunnel to move them. If the auger is jammed, it won’t be moving any pellets. Much like when fixing a lack of smoke, all you need to do is remove the heat shield to unclog it.

On the other hand, though, if the auger isn’t jammed with pellets, there’s a chance that the motor used to move it is either defective or damaged. In that case, you’ll need to call your grill’s manufacturer to get a replacement part.

The grill’s screen shows a flashing temperature

In some situations you might find that, in the middle of cooking or smoking, the numbers that show you the grill’s internal temperature are flashing. Since your pellet grill runs on electricity, is it a problem with your power or is the grill malfunctioning?

The Fix

This is one of the few cases when the problem isn’t actually a problem. Regardless of what mode your pellet grill is on, the flashing temperature is actually a good sign. If you notice that the temperature is flashing while you’re smoking, it’s your grill’s way of telling you that the internal temperature dropped past 110 degrees fahrenheit. In the same way, the flashing temperature while in cook mode lets you know it dropped past 150 degrees.

In both cases, the fix is simple. Since the flashing is a sign of a low temperature for that mode, check the pellet grill’s hopper to see if you need to add more. It’s also the best time to check for any blockages or lingering ash.


There are many possible problems that can happen when you have a pellet grill. Sometimes, the problem can be with the pellets you use, either with them being too old or too damp. However, take into consideration the fact that pellet grills are typically electrical and may short out and need new parts. Whatever the cause is, be sure to keep your pellet grill’s operation and owner’s manual on hand since many other possible causes and error codes can be explained in it.

Ayush Bhansin

Ayush Bhansin has a degree in General Studies focusing on Interdisciplinary Sciences from Harvard University and has been a versatile contributor and analyst for 12 years. He offers a broad perspective on topics ranging from technology to lifestyle. His previous experience includes roles in market research and as a freelance journalist. He has brought his broad knowledge to various general content, providing insightful analysis and commentary. He is an emerging technology enthusiast and actively participates in various intellectual forums. He is also a classical music aficionado and enjoys exploring different culinary traditions.

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