Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Link Index

Camp Chef Pellet Grills

Do you need to use pellets all the time? Even if you are not wanting to smoke the food?

Yes, the pellets are the only source of fuel for the pellet grill. Without them, you would not get any heat.

Can I use other brands of pellets?

Yes, however some flavors and brands of pellets burn differently than others. You will want to use 100% all nature wood pellets with no additives, binders, glue, corn, or any other oils.

How long do you want to run the smoker before you can cook on it?

You will want to start up the smoker and go through the startup process with the lid up. You can put the lid down once there is a temperature displayed on the controller. From there, wait until it gets up to the desired temperature and then you are good to put your food in and start your cook.

How long does it take the grill to start up?

The startup process for the grill is about 8 minutes for the grill to ignite the pellets. From there it will take 10-20 minutes to get up to the desired temperature. The hotter the temperature, the longer it can take. Please note that colder temperatures outside, this can affect the time as well.

What does PRERR mean?

PRERR is an error code that occurs with the meat probe. Check to see if you have your meat probe inserted into the port on the controller. If there is not a meat probe, then you will want to press the meat probe button. This will toggle the controller back to the grill temperature. If you have your meat probe inserted, try unplugging the probe and then plugging it back in. If the error code persists, then you may need a new meat probe. To get that, you would just need to call customer service for a new one.

Do I need to empty the ashes every time?

Yes, this will start you off with a fresh burn cup. If you do not empty the ashes, you can have temperature swings, flameouts, and\or burn back into the hopper.

My Ash Cleanout is stuck, what do I do?

There is a protectant we use on the raw steel, and when it heats up, it all goes down to the bottom of the grill, causing the two to stick together. Try hitting the bottom of the grill, with a rubber mallet, in an upward motion or from the inside of the grill, downward. This should free the two pieces.

Why is there extra ash on the bottom of the grill?

Ash at the bottom of the grill is normal due to the blower fan that keeps the pellets burning. Make sure that the ash pull out is pushed in all the way, and straight. If it is at an angle, then it will allow extra air to get through, blowing the ash out of the burn cup. Also, you can lift up on the hopper, and tighten the screws on the inside, left, of the grill. You will need to remove the cooking grate and grease tray, to do this.

Why have the ash clean out, if all the ash doesn’t go into the cup?

The ash clean out system is to help start out with a fresh burn cup each time you cook, without vacuuming it out. You want an empty burn cup each time because this helps the pellets burn better and more efficient without temp swings. We have cut the vacuuming down to only after 50 hours of use, like the manual suggests, instead of each cook.

How close to a structure can the grill be, while operating?

We suggest the grill be 10 feet away from any structure

There is a gap around my lid, and smoke is escaping around the lid. Can I add a gasket or sealant around my lid?

The gap around the lid is normal and was designed to allow smoke to escape, resulting in better air flow and circulation, for a superior cook.

What does a FLAME error mean?

This happens when the fire in the grill goes out or falls below a certain temperature and does not go back up. This happens more so in the winter months. In colder weather, close the chimney down almost all the way down, to keep the heat in the grill. Also, make sure the pellets are dry and do not have any moisture in them. If they crumble easy, then they have moisture in them.

Is it normal for my grill to put off a lot of smoke at first?

Yes. This is due to the igniting of the pellets.

Is it normal for my grill to produce little to no smoke?

At higher temp settings, there will be less smoke, due to the burning of pellets. On the lower settings, the pellets are smoldering, so there will be more smoke, however the smoke comes in spurts throughout cooking.

What temps are considered high smoke?

220 degrees, which can fluctuate between 200 – 240 degrees. 20 degree +/-, of the set temp, is normal, depending on weather.

What temps are considered low smoke?

160 degrees, which can fluctuate between 140 – 180 degrees. 20 degree +/-, of the set temp, is normal, depending on weather. Outside temperatures can have an effect on these temperatures as well. On hot days, your grill will run hotter due to it being made of all steel.

Why is my grill fluctuating in temperature?

Temperature variation is normal. Your grill will not have the same temperature readout like an oven (even though your oven at home has a similar temperature fluctuation.) In both High & Low Smoke, it is programmed to let the flame go out & give more smoke. That is done intentionally by design, for more smoke. If it never did this, there would be very little smoke. This will create a little temperature swing on both of those settings, but the cooking results are great.

Why won't my grill get below 180-220 on low smoke?

Due to the grill being made from all steel, you will want to make sure it's in the shade, and not in direct sunlight, especially when it's hot outside. Think of how hot your car can get during the summer months. Kinda the same thing. Therefore it's normal to not be able to get lower temps on hot days.

Why is my auger not turning?

You may have wet pellets, if this is the case see, “Free Auger from wet pellets” PDF or watch this video,

Why is my grill not feeding pellets, but my auger is turning?

Check to see if there are pellets in the hopper, or if there is something blocking the pellets from going into the auger chamber.

What is the fuse dial for?

This houses the fuse for the controller. To check the fuse, you would just twist that cap off and the fuse is on the other side.

Why am I blowing the fuse?

It’s most likely the Hot Rod, however you will want to check the blower and auger motor also. To check the Hot Rod and motors: disconnect the Hot Rod wires (Purple, A) from the controller, turn the dial to any of the temperature settings. If you don’t blow a fuse, then it’s most likely the Hot Rod. Repeat with the other wires. Make sure to replace with the correct fuse. 4 AMP 125 or 250 V, Fast Blow Fuse.

Why is there smoke coming out of the hopper, through my pellets?

This is normal. This happens because the blower fan is always moving.

How many pounds of pellets will I go through, per hour, on a 36-inch pellet grill?

There are many variables that play into this, however in good weather, on high setting, the grill will burn about 4 lbs. of pellets per hour.

How many pounds of pellets will I go through per hour on a 24-inch pellet grill?

There are many variables that play into this, however in good weather, on high setting, the grill will burn about 3 lbs. of pellets per hour.

During winter/colder months, how do I ensure my grill stays up to temperature?

A few tips are to make sure meat is at room temperature, not straight from fridge; use a Pellet Grill Blanket; make sure that the lid is not open for very long when putting food in; when using lower settings, turn knob to 350, then once temperature gets to desired setting, turn down to the desired setting (Low or Hi Smoke).

What is the Bypass Startup for?

Bypass has 2 functions: to use FEED setting (hold in for 3-6 seconds) and to bypass Start Up if the grill is still hot. For example, if there is a power outage and the grill accidentally shuts off, or if you need to restart the grill and it is still hot, then you would use Bypass Mode. This mode is to be used only if the grill has been shut off momentarily and the pellets in the burn cup are still hot enough to ignite the pellets.

Should I worry about my pellets catching on fire in my auger chamber?

The pellets in the auger can catch on fire if you do not use the Shutdown mode and just unplug it or turn it off. Also, the grease drain, chimney and back air vent need to be cleaned. The manual suggests inspecting every 50 hours of use, and thoroughly clean after 200 hours of use. Ash, grease, and smoke can build up in those areas making it difficult for the smoke to escape from the grill, creating back burn.

How often should I clean my chimney?

When wood pellets burn, they produce tar and other organic vapor that combine and expelled moisture to form a substance called creosote. As a result, creosote residue accumulates on the chimney. We recommend that you inspect every 50 hours of use, and thoroughly cleaned after 200 hours of use. If you don’t, air cannot flow, and this can cause burn back.

Why can’t I get my grease tray out?

Try moving the heat deflector, underneath the grease tray (either right, left, or back) you should be able to maneuver it out. Due to the weight, sometimes this can happen in shipping.

Are there different heat zones in my pellet grill?

Yes. Due to heat rising and the fan blowing to keep the pellets burning, there are heat zones throughout the pellet grill.

Can I line my drip pan in foil?

Yes, you can line your drip pan in foil for easy cleanup. We would just recommend double checking the foil and make sure there are no paths for the oil to go into the bottom of the pellet grill. If you have a louvered drip pan, the only time we would not recommend foil is when you are using the direct heat option. The foil would deflect the heat making it indirect heat where it cannot flow up through the louvers.

Can you use the louvered drip pan in the non-Slide Grills?

We do not recommend using them in the non-Slide Grills. The reason being is you would have no control over any possible flare ups, and it could be a potential fire hazard

Can you use the flat drip pan in the Slide Grills, eliminating the louvers?

No, they are not compatible and will not fit.

Can I convert my pellet grill into a slide grill?

No, we do not have any kits or directions to do so. You would have to drill out the grill and this would void out any warranties on grill.

Why won’t my pellet grill reach 500 degrees?

Check to see how far open the chimney is and try closing the chimney down. If it is a windy/breezy day that can also affect the temperature. We also recommend that you only use Camp Chef pellets as that can vary the temperature. Finally, make sure the thermocouple inside the grill is not leaning left—it needs to be standing straight up. On colder days, that is a lot of steel to heat up, therefore we suggest a pellet blanket, close chimney down and keep out of wind.

Why is my grill not heating up?

Try checking a couple things. Check to make sure you have pellets in the hopper. Check the burn cup for pellets. Pull the Ash Cleanout lever then remove the cup from the bottom of the grill and check for pellets there.

What if there are un-burnt pellets in my burn cup?

First turn to a temp setting, then using a piece of paper, check the Hot Rod to see if it’s hot—do not touch it. Next check the wire connections. If that fails, you will need to call customer service and replace your Heating rod.

Why is my control screen flashing on and off?

Untwist and check the fuse. If the fuse is okay, then call customer service to order a new controller (PG24-43)

Why is my control knob loose/sliding?

Retighten. Turn the knob all the way to the left (past shut down,) loosen the small screw on the top, turn the knob to Shut down, so the white line latches up to Shut down. Simply tighten the crew again.

How many AMPS does the pellet grill use for car batteries?

300 watts – 110 Volts just 3AMPS.

What is Smart Smoke Technology?

All Camp Chef pellet grills come equipped with Smart Smoke Technology. The Smart Smoke Technology means that our controllers are programmed so that on Low and High smoke settings it feeds pellets into the burn cup less often—leading to shorter burns and lots of smoke. Check out this blog post,What is Smart Smoke Technology.

What is Slide and Grill Technology?

Slide and Grill Technology is an added feature on some Camp Chef pellet grills, which allows you to slide open the grill knob and grill over direct flame, then slide the grill knob back and use as a traditional smoker. Check out this blog post,What is Slide and Grill Technology.

What kind of wood do you use for your pellets? Do you use any additives in your pellets?

We use 100% all-natural, virgin hardwood that comes from trees in the US to make our pellets. We DO NOT use any type of wood that may contain any chemicals, glue, or anything at all added. Our pellets are not comprised of any recycled wood or wood that may contain construction material by-products or waste such as particle board, sheeting or any construction grade material. Only 100% all-natural, virgin hardwood. We do not add any additional flavoring additives either, so your food is left with the flavor you intended. That delicious, pure, natural wood smoked flavor.

Why won’t the inside grill temperature read?

Be sure to check the internal thermocouple/thermometer. Make sure it straight up and down. Wipe it down clean. If it still does not read, call customer service to get a replacement internal temperature probe. (PG24-44.)

Why is black stuff peeling from inside my grill?

Don't be concerned. We can assure you it is not paint (we do not paint our grill lids internally—100% natural palm oil/FDA standards.) This is a deposit of grease and smoke collecting from normal use. Peeling is easy to remove. Brush off all loose particles with a stainless-steel brush before grilling. To prevent: after every grill session, while the lid is still warm (not hot,) wipe with paper towels or a mild degreaser solution.

My bottom shelf isn’t fitting, what should I do?

All bottom shelves are made and assembled the same. Try loosening all four screws on the legs, put the bottom shelf at an angle, and press down until the holes line up. Try aligning the holes with a screw driver from the inside.

Camp Chef Cast Iron

How long has Camp Chef been manufacturing cast iron?

25 years.

What is True Seasoned Finish?

As a premium cast iron manufacturer, we only use all-natural iron and test our products for toxins to ensure quality in every piece. All Camp Chef cast iron comes pre-seasoned with an all-natural seasoning made from 100% plant oils, giving our cast iron a dark finish that is ready use right out of the box.

What is Prop 65?

Prop 65 is placed on all our cast iron. It has nothing to do with where the item was manufactured but rather a precautionary label we add to protect ourselves from the many lawsuits that are going on in California. We are not aware of any certain chemical, which is above any Prop 65 minimum level.

Is there lead in Camp Chef cast iron?


What is True Seasoned Finish?

As a premium cast iron manufacturer, we only use all-natural iron and test our products for toxins to ensure quality in every piece. All Camp Chef cast iron comes pre-seasoned with an all-natural seasoning made from 100% plant oils, giving our cast iron a dark finish that is ready use right out of the box.

How do I get rid of rust in my cast iron?

There are a few ways to do this. The easiest way is to pour a can Coca-Cola and let the soda break down the rust. The time will depend on the severity of rust. After the rust is removed be sure to wash and re-season the cast iron.

What is your Cast Iron Condition made out of?

100% natural plant product that will not go rancid. Pal, coconut, sunflower seed, Vitamin E, citric acid.

The Cast Iron Conditioner is liquid in warmer/hot climates and solid in colder temperatures—both are normal. Some of the natural oils used to make this conditioner have a melting point of 76 degrees. If it is solid, put the conditioner in a glass of warm/hot water and it will soften enough to be able to squeeze for use.

Where is your cast iron made?

All products are created in the United States and manufactured in China.

Camp Chef Accessories

Why doesn’t my RV HOSE fit?

There are many different torques that are used with each brand, that they are a possibility the fitting you have, and our RVHOSE is no sitting correctly. Take your hose to an RV store or hardware store and try to find another fitting for your RV.

How long are the accessory warranty’s?

90 days. This does not protect against normal wear of parts.

Do the patio covers have a built-in pocket?


What are the patio covers made out of?

Most Camp Chef covers are made out of 600 Denier-coated nylon.

What are the carry bags made out of?

Most Camp Chef carry bags are made out of Black 600 Denier.

What are accessory warranty times?

90 days. This does not protect against normal wear of parts.

What grill is the Sear Box not compatible with?

The Sear Box is compatible with all current pellet grills.

Is it normal for my Sear Box to rub on my lid?

Yes. A little rubbing is normal. You can loosen the top two screws and lighten the bottom two screws and that should help.