Pit Boss P Setting: What It Means And How To Use It

Pit Boss Pellet grills are some of the best grills on the market, but they won’t be much use if you don’t know how to navigate their settings. In order to get the most out of your Pit Boss Pellet Grill, it’s vital to get familiar with its various settings. One of the most beneficial of these settings is the P setting. 

The P setting allows for automated temperature control, meaning that it’s no longer a hassle trying to get your grill to the right amount of heat. It’s most useful if you find your grill is experiencing severe temperature swings throughout the smoking process. 

The following guide will explain how the P setting works, and what its benefits actually are. 

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What Does The P Setting Do?

The purpose of the P setting (or ‘P set’) on a Pit Boss Pellet grill is to allow you to adjust the temperature of the grill by taking control of the pellet feeding cycles. Essentially it’s a pause button, which adds a gap between said cycles.

The higher you set the P number, the longer the pause between cycles will be, but the default number will be 4. The feature is most useful if you’re cooking in cold weather, windy weather, humid conditions, or if you’re using pellets of poor quality.

Not only does the P setting allow you to control the temperature, but it also allows you to control the amount of smoke that the grill is producing. 

It’s a manual way to adjust the frequency of the auger feeding cycles, either accelerating or slowing the rate at which pellets are fed to the firebox. 

How To Adjust The P Setting

While the P setting on some pellet grills may just be a simple button, it may instead be indented. This is to prevent people from accidentally pushing it during the cooking process.

If your P setting button is indented, you’ll just need a toothpick (or something equally as small) to stick it through the hole. You won’t need to push hard, either- just a gentle poke should cause the P number to start climbing. 

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How Do Pellet Grills Work?

Pellet grills are unique in that the wood pellets are transferred into the main unit from the hopper. Once the pellets have been fed to the firebox via the auger, they’re ignited, allowing the grill to rise to the temperature the user desires. 

At the point when the grill has reached the right temperature, the fuel supply of the grill is cut off. As soon as the temperature starts to drop again, the auger automatically resumes, thus increasing the temperature.

Minor swings in temperature are inevitable by nature when it comes to pellet grills, which is why the P setting is so useful. 

The Differences Between P Settings 

It’s important to be aware of all the differences between the various P settings. While the auger is on for 18 seconds regardless of the P setting, the time that the auger is off differs. 

If the P number is set to 0 (‘P0’), the auger will be off for 55 seconds. If it’s set to P1, the auger will be off for 70 seconds.

The length of time that the auger is off increases incrementally as the P number rises; at P2 it’s off for 85 seconds, at P3 it’s 100 seconds, at P4 it’s 115 seconds, at P5 it’s 130 seconds, at P6 it’s 140 seconds, and at P7 the auger will remain off for 150 seconds.

Risks Of A High P Setting

With the P setting higher, the pellets are paused from being fed into the auger for longer periods of time, which will naturally result in a lower output of heat. This will increase the chance that the flame will go out altogether, or that the grill will have more severe fluctuations in temperature.

Some have even reported that having the P set too high causes the grill to shut down. If this occurs during the cooking process, an abundance of wood pellets will be left within the fire pot.

This could lead to some serious consequences, like an explosion, once you turn the grill back on. This would be due to the grill having too much fuel and restricting the airflow. 

If you’ve shut down your grill the right way, you should see no unburnt pellets left in the fire pot. All that’ll be left in the fire pot is some ash. If you experience an incorrect shutdown, be sure to remove any unburnt pellets from the fire pot before restarting the grill. 

There are ways to ensure that your pellet grill doesn’t shut down incorrectly. If you’re cooking in particularly bad weather, it could be worth using a generator. This would mean that if your power goes out, your grill won’t go out too.

If you don’t own a generator, it’s probably best just to avoid using the grill in bad weather, or if power outages have been reported in your area. Pellet grills are perfectly safe, if you’re following the right safety precautions. 

Do All Pit Boss Grills Come With The P Setting?

Not every Pit Boss Grill will have a P setting, but quite a few do. Be sure to check the specs for it prior to purchasing one.

Some of the most notable Pit Boss grills that feature the P setting include the Pit Boss Navigator Series, the Pit Boss Sportsman Series, the Pit Boss Mahogany 440D, the Original Pro Series, the Pit Boss Classic, the Austin XL, and the original models of the Pit Boss (700FB, 820 FB, and 1000SC). 

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Do I Need To Use The P Setting?

The P setting isn’t essential in controlling the temperature of the grill, evidenced by the fact that not all Pit Boss grills even have the feature. If adjusting the P setting sounds a bit too complicated, you can instead rely on the grill’s temperature dial presets.

Once you’ve preheated the grill and set it to ‘smoke’, simply set the dial to the temperature you desire. This will maintain said temperature after the grill is preheated. 

More Tips For Temperature Control

There are various ways to control the temperature of your grill, and thus the temperature of whatever you’re cooking. 

Using A Meat Probe

A meat probe is a surefire way to get an exact read on the temperature of your meat, rather than just the temperature of the grill itself. This will help you in knowing when exactly to adjust the fire. Meat thermometers are generally cheap, so it’s worth having one around.

They’re not ideal for every kind of meat, though- you shouldn’t rely on a meat probe if you’re cooking ribs, for example, because the meat is rarely thick enough to get an accurate temperature. 

Using A Dome Thermometer

A dome thermometer tells you the temperature of the air above whatever you’re cooking. The readings won’t be completely accurate, especially since it’s not telling you the temperature of the meat itself, but if you’re just looking for an approximate temperature then there’s no harm in using this device.

The reading should be accurate enough, at least, to indicate whether you should be adjusting the grill’s settings. 

Using Quality Pellets

If you’re using a Pit Boss Grill, it’s recommended that you buy pellets of the Pit Boss brand to go with. These are designed specifically for Pit Boss Grills, meaning they’re the best possible option, especially when working in conjunction with the P setting.

Pit Boss also recommends Louisiana Grills brand pellets as an alternative. If you don’t have access to either brand’s pellets, other brands should work fine, as long as they’re not low quality. 

Using A Grill Blanket

Insulated grill blankets help protect your pellet grill from the elements, which will in turn help the grill to maintain temperatures consistently. It could also end up saving you some money in the long term, because if a grill is running at its utmost efficiency, it’ll burn through less pellets. 

Keeping The Smoker Door Closed

It’s easy to forget to keep the smoker door closed- even the most experienced pit masters get complacent sometimes. The smoker door should remain shut at all points when it’s not completely necessary to open it.

If you open it too many times during the cooking process, you risk messing with the grill’s internal temperature, which even the P setting might struggle to correct. 

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Checking The Burn Pot

Be sure to keep an eye on the burn pot. Look out for any holes, as these could allow heat to escape, just like if you forget to close the smoker door. 

Adjusting The Smoke Cap

The smoke cap is responsible for the amount of airflow being provided to the grill’s interior. It’s important to adjust the smoke cap whenever you need to, because if the airflow isn’t sufficient, it might make the grill’s temperature increase either very slowly or not at all.

On the other hand, too much airflow might cause the temperature to be too high. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Pit Boss Grill Not Lighting?

There are a number of factors that might be preventing your grill from lighting, and a number of things to check before contacting customer service.

These include: ensuring that proper startup procedures are being followed, checking that there are pellets inside the unit and that they’re in good condition, using a small object to check if the fan is stuck, and ensuring that the pellets are being fed into the fire pot. 

Can I Use My Pit Boss Grill In The Rain? 

While you can use your grill in light rain, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s an electric appliance, so you should be taking precautions to ensure that the grill won’t get too wet. 

Are Pit Boss Grills Easy To Clean Out?

Cleaning out the ash of Pit Boss grills is generally as easy as with any other brand. Most of them require you to remove the cooking grates, heat deflector, and grease tray, in order to get to the base of the pellet grill with a shop vac.

There are some models that allow for an even easier way to clean out the grill’s ash, like the Platinum Series and the Gen 2 Pro Series. 

Do Pit Boss Grills Allow For Direct Flame Access? 

Most Pit Boss models allow for direct flame access, which allows you to raise the temperatures of the grate over the maximum of 500 degrees that can be set using the control panel. Pit Boss claims that 1,000 degrees is achievable, but in the average smoking session you should expect lower temperatures. 

Conclusion: Pit Boss P Setting

If you’re being careful and following safety precautions, the P setting is very useful in having full control over the temperature of your grill throughout the cooking process.

Not every Pit Boss grill features this setting, so be sure to check the specs before you purchase one if it sounds like something you’d be interested in. 

Now that you’re familiar with all the benefits of the P setting, you should be all set to smoke meats to your heart’s content. 

Mick Rogers