Why Pit Boss Not Holding Temperature/Temp Swings [Solved]

Your Pit Boss not holding temperature or temperature swinging mainly due to inadequate airflow, low-quality pellets, dirty grill, and improper start-up. 

The other causes are defective temperature probe, bad PID controller, heat concentration due to heat reflector, improper “P” setting, not adjusted chimney cap, and pellet voids.

pit boss not holding temperature

Again, outside temperature, opening the lid frequently, insufficient fuel supply, and using heavy-duty foil cause this issue. 

However, ensure sufficient airflow and use high-quality fuel to fix your Pit boss temp swings problem. Also, cleaning your grill with a temperature probe, and right starting up your grill will keep your grill temp stable. Besides, adjust the “P” setting and chimney cap to get rid of this temp fluctuation issue. 

Anyway, to know the reasons behind this temperature issue and their simple solution, go through our comprehensive guide and fix it yourself. So, let’s start…

Why My Pit Boss Temperature Swings [2 Situation]

Pit boss not holding temp or fluctuating temperature means your grill’s temperature keeps rising and your grill is overheating, or your pit boss keeps losing the temperature. 

The grill fails to hold the temperature at the set level, which means the temperature is fluctuating. Swinging temperature results in two situations, and those are:

Note: You can also read our ultimate guide on how to fix all Pit Boss Temperature Problems by yourself.

1. Grill’s Temperature Keeps Rising

Pit Boss Grill temperature fluctuation’s one aspect is a sudden huge rise in temperature. For example, you set your grill’s temperature at 250 degrees F, but suddenly it shoots to 350 to 450 degrees.

If your grill fails to hold its temperature at 250, the sudden temperature rise will lead to overheating. 

Dirty grease tray, rusty grill grates, firepots, and wrongly installed or damaged heat baffle cause this temperature rise and overheating issues.

You can solve it by properly cleaning the grease tray, grill grates, and firepot’s dirt. Also, replace the damaged heat baffle and properly install the new one. 

2. Pit Boss Keeps Losing the Temperature

Your Pit Boss fails to hold temperature, and its reason is the grill’s temperature is dropping continuously. For example, you set the temperature at 225 degrees, but suddenly the temp starts fluctuating and dropping to 150-180 degrees F. 

Your Pit Boss grill temperature keeps dropping mainly because of frequently opening the lid, poor air circulation, dirty temp probe, and using low-quality pellets.

You can solve these issues by avoiding the lid opening too often, ensuring sufficient air circulation, cleaning the temp probe, and using high-quality pellets. 

Let’s discuss the detailed causes and solutions for which your pit boss grill temperature keeps rising and losing instead of maintaining a balanced temp. 

Why Pit Boss Not Holding Temperature [Reasons + Solutions]

If your Pit Boss Grill temperature deviates from the set temperature by a +/- 25 degree due to the auger motor turning on and off, then it’s okay.

But at a specific interval, if your Pit Boss grill’s temperature fluctuates more than this level, it’s a serious problem. So, the major factors responsible for it are: 

1. Insufficient Air Flow

Flowing inadequate air through the burn pot is one of the main reasons why your Pit Boss grill fails to maintain a stable temperature. The leading causes of it are: 

  • Obstructions or ash build-up in the burn pot 
  • The grill fan stops working and creates the air intake blockage 
  • Damaged hopper 
  • Blocked auger tube 


Sufficient airflow is extremely important for ensuring your grill’s proper functioning. So do the following to solve all these above problems: 

  • Remove the burn pot’s ash build-up and obstructions 
  • Make sure your grill’s fan is functioning properly and replace the damaged fan 
  • Replace the damaged hopper
  • Remove the auger tube’s blockage 

2. Poor Quality Pellets

Using low-quality pellets in the grill produces too much ash and causes auger jam. As a result, your pit boss not keeping temp.

The poor quality wood pellet burning results in inefficient combustion, producing huge ash, and it affects the temperature probe. The causes of it are: 

  • Wet or moisture or old wood pellet 
  • Using cheap company pellets 
  • Pellets are not made from the fully dried hardwood sawdust 
  • Lower durability pellets and excessive ash content 


For your Pit Boss grill, you should use pellets from Pit Boss or Lumberjack Company because they produce amazing wood pellets. Also, the other solutions are: 

  • Use dry and properly seasoned pellets 
  • Make sure the pellets are made of fully dried hardwood sawdust 
  • Ensure the pellet’s durability is higher and ash content is lower 

3. Dirty Grill

The filthy grill creates uneven airflow. As a result, the cooking surface fails to receive even and sufficient airflow from the firepot.

Moreover, dirty substances affect the convection air’s uniform flow inside the grill and lead to the grill’s temperature fluctuations. The factors responsible for it are: 

  • Grill covered with carbon soot, food stains, and ash 
  • Grease and ash build up on the grilling grate and heating deflector 
  • Jammed-auger 
  • Lack of proper maintenance 
  • Grease stains and rodent 


Ensuring a clean grill is the first step to avoiding pit boss temp issues. The other solving ways are: 

  • Clean and remove the carbon soot, ash, and food stains from the grill 
  • Properly clean the grilling grate and heating deflectors grease and ash build-up 
  • Remove the auger’s jam, grease stains, and rodent 
  • Follow a regular maintenance routine 

4. Pellet Grill’s Improper Start-up

Sometimes without maintaining any preheating process, you set the desired temperature at your Pit Boss grill. It causes the firepot to overfeed the wood pellets, leading to a sudden temperature rise. Ultimately your Pit Boss smoker not keeping the temperature. 

Again, placing the food directly on the grill inside boosts your pellet grill’s temperature swings. 


Read your Pit Boss grill’s instruction manual and follow your grill’s initial start-up procedure. Ensure optimized preheating by following your grill’s initial burning process.

To stabilize your grill’s internal temperature at 350 F, preheat the grill for at least 30 minutes. And follow Manual’s other instructions. 

5. Noting Grill’s Temperature Too Early

Your Pit Boss grill temperature stabilization requires some time. After starting the burning, you will see frequent temperature fluctuations when the heat deflector’s hot air starts rising.

Before stabilizing the temperature, you will experience frequent temp fluctuations if you check it. 


After starting up your Pit Boss grill, wait 5-8 minutes to stabilize the grill’s temperature, and you will see fewer fluctuations. 

6. Faulty Temperature Probe

Your Pit Boss grill shows a huge temperature deviation from its set level because of the defective temperature probe. The lousy probe shows incorrect temp and causes pit boss temperature problems. The main factors that lead to it are: 

  • Temperature probe expose to extreme conditions or heat stress 
  • Damaged or defective probe
  • The dirty probe or grime accumulation on the RTD sensor 


First, check whether the temperature probe is defective or not. Take ice water and boiling water and dip the probe in this water.

If your temperature probe shows any temperature other than 312F and 32F, then it means the probe is defective. Follow the solutions below to fix it 

  • Make sure your temperature probe is not exposed to heat stress or any extreme condition 
  • Replace the defective and damaged probe 
  • Properly clean the dirty probe 
  • To determine the correct temperature, you can set multiple temperatures on the grill’s inside 

7. Defective PID Controller

Some Pro Series Pit Boss grills don’t have the P-setting. Instead, they have the PID controller. With minimum +/- degrees of deviation, the PID controller precisely controls the pellet grill’s temperature.

The faulty PID controller is another cause for which your pit boss pro series not holding temperatureThe causes of it are: 

  • Damaged PID controller 
  • A power surge or excessive heat exposure 
  • PID controller fails to restrict fuel to reach the set temperature 


Check the PID controller and replace the damaged or defective controller by watching the video if needed. Ensure your grill is not facing a power surge issue and save it from excessive heat exposure.

Also, ensure that your grill PID controller effectively restricts fuel to reach the set temperature. Again check whether the Pit Boss temp is higher than the setting or not. 

8. Heat Concentration Due To Heat Reflector

The aluminum-looking shield of your Pit Boss grill has a hole that goes over the grill’s firepot. Instead of spreading the heat out, the heat reflector pushes the heat.

As a result, at certain points, your pellet grill’s temperature rises more than the set temp due to more heat build-up. 


Check your grill, and you will see a hole in a plate. This plate’s hole directs the grill’s heat upward. First, remove your grill’s heat-deflecting plate.

And then ensure uniform heat distribution throughout the grill by placing a heat distribution plate. Remove your grill’s frame broiler during the heat distribution plate installation. 

9. Improper P-Setting

Improper P-setting is one of the main reasons why your pit boss temp swings, and the temperature increases far more than the set temperature. However, only in Smoke Mode the P-Setting works in a Pit Boss grill. 


When you see your grill’s temperature rising suddenly, you should check your grill’s P-setting to see if it is in Smoke mode.

If the temperature rises more than the set temperature, you should adjust your grill P-setting from P-4 to P-5. Change this P-setting only when you are grilling in summer under direct sunlight. 

10. Not Adjusted Chimney Cap

Your Pit Boss pellet grill’s chimney cap prevents the water from entering the grill. Also, it adjusts the airflow to control the grill’s temperature. The not-adjusted chimney cap is another reason your pit boss fails to hold the temperature. 

With the heating up of air, the chimney cap expands, and from your grill’s enclosed space, it tries to escape with the grill’s high air pressure.

When the pellet grill’s inside air expands, the pressure rises, and the grill’s temperature rises due to facilitated combustion. Improperly adjusted chimney caps at a certain height cause this.


Properly adjust your Pit Boss chimney & its cap by rising it to 1.5-2 inches to control your pit boss pellet grill temperature fluctuations.

The chimney cap adjustment will allow your grill’s hot air to exhaust. The exhaust air will lower the temperature through the cold ambient air. 

11. Pellet Voids

When the hopper’s pellets get out of order, the pellet void space created in the hopper or auger causes a sudden temperature drop. 

Again when the burn pot catches back the pellet, your grill’s temperature spikes suddenly above the set temperature. Thus the pellet void is another responsible factor for pit boss temperature problems. 


Ensure your grill hopper’s pellet is functioning or burning in order and take steps to avoid the pellet voids. Avoid using too many pellets at a time or replace the faulty hopper. 

12. Outside Temperature

Grilling in cold weather is another culprit for which your grill’s temperature fluctuates to the colder side. The temperature drops then the set temperature when you grill on windy, cold, or rainy days. 

On the other hand, if you grill in hotter temperatures, on summer days, or under direct sunlight, then the cooking temperature rises more suddenly than the set temperature.

Thus the outside temperature is one of the important factors for which your pit boss not keeping temp


The weather is one of the biggest culprits for your Pit Boss grill’s abnormal temperature fluctuations. So cook wisely to avoid this trouble.

Don’t put your grill in direct sunlight or in extremely hot weather on summer days. And ensure your grill’s shelter from the extreme wind if you are grilling on a windy day. 

13. Frequently Opening The Lid

Opening your grill’s lid frequently causes a sudden temperature rise. While cooking, opening the grill’s door will not hurt the cook. But your grill’s temperature will spike more than the set temperature. And your grill will fail to hold the temp. 


While you are grilling, don’t open your Pit Boss grill’s lid frequently. The closed lid means your food is cooking, so you don’t need to open the lid frequently. 

14. Insufficient Fuel Supply

You could experience a sudden temperature dip due to the insufficient fuel supply in your grill. During the long grilling time, you should frequently check the hopper to ensure enough fuel supply in it. 

Ran out of pellets caused a dropping temperature. Fuel supply mainly runs out due to excessive consumption of pellets or inadequate supply of them. 


If you experience a sudden dip in the temperature in your grill, you should check your grill’s hopper to inspect the fuel condition. Add additional and sufficient pellets if you see the pellets running out. Ensure adequate fuel supply so that your grill functions properly. 

15. Using Heavy-Duty Foil

You may use the heavy-duty foil in your Pit Boss grill to protect the flame broiler plate from grease and grime and for lining it.

Grill cleaning after a long cooking session becomes easier due to the use of foil. But using the heavy-duty foil causes pit boss temp problems

If the foil is lined loosely around your grill’s edges, it will prevent airflow. Due to the hanging or loose foil, the air will fail to circulate into the grill inside. Ultimately the blocked airflow will cause temperature swings. 


If you use heavy-duty foil for a long cooking session, make sure you line it tightly around the edges. Ensure it is not hanging and it is not preventing the airflow in the grill inside. Make sure sufficient air is circulating around your grill while using the foil. 

How To Maintain Your Pit Boss Grill’s Better Temperature

To maintain better temperature control in your Pit Boss Grill, you can follow the three methods below: 

Method 1: Lower The “P” Setting

For reducing temp swings, one of the effective ways is to lower your grill’s “P” setting. Lowering the P setting is the best way to improve your grill’s temperature control. 

If your Pit Boss grill is experiencing a sudden temperature drop or losing its flame, you should reduce its “P” setting. 

Method 2: Clean Your Grill & Temperature Probe

To maintain better temperature control, you must ensure your grill and its temperature probe are functioning perfectly. Thus you need to clean your Pit Boss grill frequently. The easy cleaning steps are: 

  • Unplug your grill’s temperature probe from the outlet and cut off its connection with other electrical components 
  • Use warm water and soap to wash the temp probe 
  • Check whether it has any physical visual damage or not
  • Using cold water, rinse the probe properly 
  • Now, wait to dry it. Don’t put the probe in sunlight for drying.

Method 3: Contact Pit Boss Customer Service

If you fail to get your job done and your grill’s temperature still fluctuates, you can contact Pit Boss grill customer service. Their expert team will give you the necessary solutions. 

Pit Boss P Setting

Your Pit Boss grill’s Pause feature is called the “P” setting. This feature pauses your grill’s pellets’ cycling timing. By using this setting, you can get more control over your grill’s produced smoke and its temperature. 

P setting has a greater influence on your grill’s temperature setting. However, the “P” setting is not available in all Pit Boss grills. It is available in newer models. 

Pit Boss “P” Setting Temperature Chart

During different P settings, how long the auger remains on and off, you will get to know this through the following “P” setting chart. 

“P” Setting Auger On (Cycle)Auger Off (Cycle)
P018 Seconds 55 Seconds 
P118 Seconds 70 Seconds 
P218 Seconds 85 Seconds 
P318 Seconds100 Seconds 
P418 Seconds115 Seconds 
P518 Seconds130 Seconds 
P618 Seconds140 Seconds 
P718 Seconds150 Seconds 

How Does Lower “P” Setting Work

P1 and P2 settings will less frequently create a Pause in your grill’s auger. As a result, the auger will feed more pellets. This will result in less smoke and a higher temperature on your grill. Set your Pit Boss grill at a lower P1 or P2 setting if the grill’s temperature drops suddenly. 

What will be your Pit Boss grill’s temperature or how hot it will run depends on several factors, including the wood pellets types, temperature, and P setting. However, if you set the “P” setting at a lower level, also ensure that your grill is not getting too hot. 

3 Other Pit Boss Temperature Issues

Other temperatures problems that you may encounter in your Pit Boss grill are:

i) Frequent Flare-Ups

Higher cooking temperatures cause frequent flare-ups in your grill while you are cooking highly greasy food. Fast and high cooking temperatures cause it. 


Cook the highly greasy food at slow and low temperatures to avoid flare-ups. And maintain your cooking temperature under 350 degrees F. 

ii) Grill Displayed Unexpected Temperature

If you keep your Pit Boss grill under direct sun or the grill goes through high ambient temperature, then your grill will display unexpected temperatures than the set temp. 


To solve this issue, keep your Pit Boss grill in a shaded area or away from direct sunlight. And To reduce the inside temperature, prop the lid open. 

iii) Temperature Blinking on LCD Screen

The Pit boss temperature blinking mainly occurs when your grill is in “Smoke” mode, but its temperature is below 110 degrees F, or the temperature is below 150 degrees F in “Cook” mode. The main causes of it are: 

  • Insufficient fuel in the hopper 
  • Ash build-up in burn grate and pot 
  • Faulty fan and auger motor 


To fix the temperature flashing problem follow the ways below: 

  • Make sure the hopper has sufficient fuel 
  • Clean and remove the burn pot and grate’s ash build-up 
  • Replace the defective auger motor and fan 

Here you can read our comprehensive guide on why Pit Boss temperature is blinking & how to fix it by yourself.


Do digital thermometers lose accuracy over time?

NO! Digital thermometers don’t lose accuracy over time. All the time, it will provide an accurate reading. The digital thermometer will provide the correct temperature whether you are using it for cooking, measuring atmospheric temperature, or for any other use. 

What does the Prime button do on Pit Boss?

By holding the Prime button, you can prevent your Pit Boss grill’s auger from pausing. Preventing the auger’s pausing means the more quickly the pellets will arrive. However, the auger doesn’t turn faster by holding this button. 

What does ErH mean on a Pit Boss?

Pit Boss grill’s common error code ErH means the grill is overheating. Excess grease fire or fuel and temperature probe wire failing to make a connection are two main reasons for this error code. 


So, after going through the above-detailed guide, now you know the major causes of why your pit boss not holding temperature. Hopefully, if you experience your pit boss temperature swings issue, from now you can fix it by yourself. 

If you have any other things to ask, comment in the comment section. We will surely back to you ASAP with a possible solution. 

Note: Following the above guide you can easily solve the temp hitches of any model of your Pit Boss grill like Lexington, Auxtin XL, Pit Boss 1150, etc. 

” You can also read the comprehensive Pit Boss Troubleshooting guide to fix any issue with your grill.”

About William

William is the founder of Fireplacehubs.com. He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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