Pit Boss Smoke Coming Out of Hopper? Fix It Now!

Every product is independently reviewed and selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Picture this: you’re prepping a perfect barbecue on your Pit Boss grill, and suddenly, you notice wisps of smoke billowing from the hopper. Don’t hit the panic button just yet! Understanding why this happens and what steps to take can ensure your grilling experience stays smooth.

Let’s delve into the reasons, solutions, and preventive measures for smoke emanating from the Pit Boss hopper.

Why Is Smoke Coming Out Of My Pit Boss Pellet Hopper?

The smoke escaping from the hopper is typically a result of insufficient pressure created by the fan, which fails to vacuum out the exhaust effectively.

In this section, we will explore the various reasons behind this smoke and how to address and prevent it.

Incorrect Pellet Placement

One possible reason for smoke coming out of the hopper is incorrect pellet placement.

If the pellets are not placed properly inside the hopper, they may obstruct the airflow or cause the hopper to overfill, resulting in smoke leakage.

It is essential to ensure that the pellets are evenly distributed and not overflowing the hopper.

Excessive Feeding Of Pellets

Another potential cause of smoke coming from the hopper is excessive feeding of pellets. If the pellet feeder or auger is dispensing too many pellets at once, it can overwhelm the firepot, resulting in excessive smoke.

It is crucial to ensure that the pellet feeding mechanism is working correctly and not overfeeding.

Ignition Issues

Smoke coming out of the hopper can also be a sign of ignition issues. If the pellets fail to ignite properly, they may smolder and produce more smoke than usual.

Check the ignition system, including the igniter, flame sensor, and wiring, to ensure they are functioning correctly.

Damp Or Moist Pellets

Damp or moist pellets can also contribute to smoke coming out of the hopper. If the pellets have absorbed moisture, they will burn less efficiently and produce more smoke.

It is crucial to store the pellets in a dry location and avoid exposing them to humidity or moisture.

Airflow Restrictions

Smoke leakage from the hopper can also occur due to airflow restrictions. If the airflow within the grill is limited or obstructed, it can lead to an increase in pressure, causing smoke to escape from the hopper.

Make sure the vents are clear and free from any blockages to ensure proper airflow.

High Temperature Setting At Shutdown

Setting the grill at a high temperature during shutdown can also lead to smoke coming out of the hopper. The residual heat can cause the pellets to smolder and produce excess smoke.

It is essential to lower the temperature gradually before shutting down the grill to minimize the chances of smoke leakage.

Auger Jam Or Blockage

An auger jam or blockage can also be a reason behind smoke coming out of the hopper. If the auger, which feeds the pellets into the firepot, gets jammed or obstructed, it can disrupt the pellet flow and result in smoke leakage.

Regularly inspect and clean the auger to prevent any potential jams or blockages.

Improper Shutdown Procedure

Not following the proper shutdown procedure can also contribute to smoke coming out of the hopper.

If the grill is not properly turned off, embers may continue to burn, causing smoke. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shutting down the grill correctly to avoid this issue.

Poor Quality Or Contaminated Pellets

Poor quality or contaminated pellets can also be a factor in smoke coming from the hopper.

Low-quality pellets or those contaminated with debris can affect combustion and lead to excessive smoke. Always use high-quality, clean pellets from reputable sources to prevent this issue.

Excessive Grill Temperature

Finally, an excessively high grill temperature can result in smoke coming out of the hopper. If the grill is set to a higher temperature than necessary, it can cause the pellets to burn inefficiently and produce more smoke.

Adjust the temperature settings according to your cooking needs to avoid excessive smoke.

How To Fix Pit Boss Smoke Coming Out Of Hopper

If you’ve noticed smoke coming out of your Pit Boss pellet hopper, don’t panic. This is usually a sign of an airflow issue, rather than a fire hazard.

The smoke escaping from the hopper indicates that the fan is not creating enough pressure to vacuum out the exhaust properly.

Here are a few simple solutions to address this problem:

Cleaning And Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance can help ensure proper airflow and prevent smoke from escaping the hopper.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Clean the hopper thoroughly using a soft brush to remove any dust or debris that might be blocking the airflow.
  2. Inspect the fan and motor for any signs of damage or obstruction. Clean or replace them if necessary.
  3. Check the air vents and make sure they are clear of any blockages.
  4. Empty the hopper and clean it before each use to prevent any buildup of residue that could hinder airflow.

Correcting Pellet Placement

Incorrect pellet placement can also contribute to smoke coming out of the hopper. Follow these steps to ensure the pellets are properly aligned:

  1. Check the pellet hopper and make sure the pellets are not piled too high or overflowing, as this can disrupt airflow.
  2. Ensure that the pellets are distributed evenly throughout the hopper to prevent them from blocking the pellet chute or causing an imbalance.
  3. Regularly inspect the auger system and make sure it is not clogged or jammed. Clean or repair it if necessary.

Adjusting Pellet Feeding

Proper adjustment of the pellet feeding can help regulate the amount of smoke generated.

Follow these steps:

  1. Check the hopper’s control panel or settings and adjust the pellet feeding rate if available.
  2. Monitor the smoke levels during cooking and make adjustments as needed.
  3. Consider using high-quality pellets that are less likely to produce excessive smoke.

By following these solutions, you should be able to effectively address the issue of smoke coming out of your Pit Boss pellet hopper.

Regular cleaning and maintenance, proper pellet placement, and adjusting the pellet feeding rate will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable grilling experience without any unwanted smoke.

How can I prevent smoke from escaping the hopper on my Pit Boss grill?

To prevent this, ensure proper airflow and ventilation.

Regular Cleaning and Inspection:

To prevent smoke from coming out of your Pit Boss hopper, regular cleaning and inspection are essential.

Cleaning the hopper regularly helps remove any built-up dust and debris that can block airflow.

Make sure to empty the hopper completely before cleaning to ensure a thorough cleaning process.

Inspect the hopper for any signs of damage or clogs, such as pellet clumps or obstructions in the auger tube.

Following Manufacturer Guidelines Following the manufacturer’s guidelines is crucial for preventing smoke from escaping the hopper.

Check the user manual or visit the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on how to properly operate and maintain your Pit Boss pellet grill.

Pay close attention to recommended pellet types, loading capacity, and cleaning procedures. Following these guidelines will ensure optimal airflow and prevent smoke from coming out of the hopper.

Proper Pellet Storage:

Proper pellet storage plays a significant role in preventing smoke from escaping the hopper. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to pellets, as it can cause them to burn less efficiently, resulting in excess smoke.

Store your pellets in a dry, airtight container to keep them fresh and free from moisture. Avoid exposing the pellets to extreme humidity or direct sunlight, as these can impact their quality.

Additionally, always use high-quality pellets that are free from sawdust or any other contaminants.

Regular maintenance, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, and proper pellet storage are the key steps to prevent smoke from coming out of your Pit Boss hopper.

By following these practices, you can ensure consistent performance and efficient cooking on your pellet grill.

Is it normal for smoke to come out of the hopper?

No, it’s not considered normal for smoke to come out of the hopper in a Pit Boss grill or any pellet grill. The hopper is designed to store pellets and should not generate smoke under regular operating conditions.

Smoke escaping from the hopper could indicate an issue with the grill that might need attention. It’s advisable to investigate the cause to ensure safe and proper operation of the grill.

Can using different types of pellets affect smoke production from the hopper?

Yes, the type of pellets used in a pellet grill can affect smoke production, including the potential for smoke to emanate from the hopper.

Different types of pellets, such as those made from various woods like oak, hickory, apple, or mesquite, have distinct compositions and moisture levels.

Moisture Content:

Pellets with higher moisture content can smolder rather than burn cleanly when exposed to heat. This incomplete combustion can lead to excess smoke production, potentially causing smoke to escape from the hopper.

Composition and Quality:

The quality and composition of pellets can impact their combustion efficiency. Some low-quality pellets or those containing contaminants might produce more smoke or residue, which could affect the hopper area if not properly combusted.

While it’s not typical for smoke to come out of the hopper, using different types of pellets can influence smoke production.

It’s recommended to use high-quality pellets suitable for your grill and ensure proper storage to maintain their integrity and minimize issues related to smoke production.

Does weather or temperature impact smoke production in the hopper?

Weather conditions and ambient temperature can indirectly affect smoke production in a pellet grill’s hopper:


High humidity can increase the moisture content of pellets, making them harder to ignite and potentially causing smoldering rather than clean combustion. This can lead to excess smoke production, affecting the hopper area.


Extremely low temperatures might impact the efficiency of the grill’s combustion process, especially during startup. Cold temperatures could potentially hinder the pellets from igniting promptly, causing them to smolder and produce more smoke.

Wind and Ventilation:

Strong winds or inadequate ventilation can disrupt the airflow within the grill, affecting the combustion process. This disruption might cause inefficient burning of pellets and, consequently, excess smoke generation.

While weather and temperature can indirectly impact smoke production in the hopper, it’s important to note that a properly functioning pellet grill should not emit smoke from the hopper under normal operating conditions.

If you notice smoke coming from the hopper, it’s advisable to investigate and address the issue to ensure the grill’s safe and efficient operation.

Can smoke in the hopper affect the food’s flavor during grilling?

Smoke coming from the hopper generally shouldn’t directly affect the flavor of the food being grilled. The hopper is primarily for storing pellets and isn’t directly involved in the cooking process.

However, excessive smoke or smoldering pellets in the hopper might indicate issues with pellet quality, combustion, or grill functionality, which could indirectly impact the grilling process and potentially affect the food’s flavor.

If there are issues causing smoke in the hopper, it’s crucial to address them promptly.

While the direct impact on food flavor might be minimal, ensuring proper pellet quality, clean combustion, and consistent temperature control helps maintain the intended flavor profile and cooking performance of your grill.


While smoke from the Pit Boss hopper might initially cause concern, understanding the reasons behind it empowers you to tackle the issue effectively. By addressing pellet quality, storage, and grill maintenance, you can significantly reduce the chances of smoke escaping the hopper during your grilling sessions.

Remember, a well-maintained grill, proper pellet storage, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines not only prevent smoke issues but also ensure your Pit Boss delivers exceptional grilling results every time you fire it up.

Leave a Comment