Why is My Pit Boss Overheating? (Explained)

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Matt Richard

Are you struggling to cook food at the right temperature because your Pit Boss keeps overheating? Or are you seeing an ErH error code (heat warning) on the display screen?

While the smoker grill itself could be the issue, there are also other reasons it could be overheating.

In this troubleshooting guide, you’ll learn how to fix this temperature control issue to get back to cooking delicious BBQ meals.

Key Takeaway

If your Pit Boss grill is overheating, ensure it’s out of direct sunlight, confirm there aren’t too many pellets burning, and clean the thermometer probe and control board to ensure accurate readings.

How to Fix a Pit Boss Overheating

Before attempting to troubleshoot, turn off your grill and allow it to cool down before touching anything inside.

Remove Your Grill From Direct Sunlight and Relocate It to a Shaded Area

One of the simplest reasons for your Pit Boss overheating is the weather conditions. For example, if it’s a hot day and your grill is in direct sunlight, it’ll most likely be hot before you even turn it on.

Don’t forget that it’s a large black piece of metal. As a result, it can get hot rather quickly.

In this case, simply move your Pit Boss out of the sun and into the shade. However, remember that you should always turn the grill off before moving it to prevent a fire in case it falls over.

Let it cool down before you use it to regulate the temperature better.

Ensure the Fire Pot Doesn’t Have Excess Wood Pellets

The fire pot is where wood pellets burn. On the other hand, the hopper is where the pellets are stored before the auger moves them to the fire pot.

Therefore, you should ensure the fire pot is clean before firing up your grill. If too many pellets are in the fire pot, the cooking chamber’s temperature will rise.

To clean the fire pot, you can vacuum out ashes and pellets with a shop vac.

You may also notice pellets in the auger. You don’t need to remove those because they’re supposed to be there. Otherwise, you’d have to prime the grill again before cooking.

Clean the Grease and Grime off the Grill Grates and Temperature Probe

Excess grease on your grill grate or in the grease tray can cause your Pit Boss to overheat because grease is flammable.

To keep your grill in top shape, take the time to scrub away any grease and grime build-up.

  1. Use a wire brush on the grill grate
  2. Wipe the grate down with a damp cloth
  3. Use a special-purpose grill cleaner if food residue won’t come off

You’ll also want to clean the RTD temperature probe, as a filthy one won’t provide accurate readings. To clean the RTD temperature probe:

  1. Remove the bracket to access the probe
  2. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away residue or build-up
  3. Use soapy water on a cloth to wipe away grime
  4. Dry the sensor with a different cloth
  5. Screw the bracket cover back on

You’ll know the sensor is clean once it’s silver again (not black). Of course, it won’t look new, but it should look considerably cleaner.

If you notice damage to the sensor, you may need to replace it. You can find the replacement part on the Pit Boss website.

Stop Opening the Lid Unnecessarily to Keep a Consistent Temperature

It’s always tempting to peek at your meat to see how it’s doing, especially when you smell it.


When you open the grill’s lid, the temperature drops quickly. This means your grill has to increase the temperature to compensate, which could cause it to become too hot.

So keep the top of your grill closed and open it only when necessary to avoid temperature swings.

Better yet, purchase a meat temperature probe to monitor the temp of your meat without having to open your grill.

Inspect the Control Board to See if It’s Damaged and Consider Replacing It

The control panel is one of the essential components of your grill, so if it’s not working correctly, it’ll significantly impact your grill’s ability to function.

However, it’s not always broken. So, look at the circuit board first to see if it needs cleaning.

Follow these steps to clean the circuit board:

  1. Unplug your Pit Boss grill from the outlet to ensure there’s no electricity flowing.
  2. Use a rag or a soft brush to remove grease or grime covering the circuit board.
  3. If necessary, use compressed air to blow away dust or lightweight debris.

Unfortunately, if cleaning the control board doesn’t work, then it may be damaged. In that case, you may need to replace it.

Luckily, you can order a replacement control board from Pit Boss and install it. Just ensure that you order the correct one for your specific model.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have a few questions about your Pit Boss grill getting too hot? Check out the FAQs below!

Where Is the Temperature Sensor on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

Every grill (Pit Boss or virtually any other brand) has an RTD (resistance temperature detector) temperature probe that’s often located in the cooking chamber on the left-hand side near the pellet hopper.

Why Is My Pit Boss Flaming Up?

Your Pit Boss grill may catch fire because there’s a build-up of grease or too many wood pellets in the firepot. Routine cleaning is the best way to avoid this problem.

How Do I Reset My Pit Boss?

To reset your Pit Boss grill, unplug it from the electrical outlet. Then wait a few minutes before plugging it back in. While you’re waiting, you can wipe down the temperature sensor.

Final Thoughts

The answer to why your Pit Boss is overheating isn’t always cut-and-dry. But with these tips, you can get it operating normally again and eliminate the ErH error code.

Additionally, regular maintenance can go a long way towards preserving the condition of your pellet grill, so remember to routinely clean and maintain it.

You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to fire up your Pit Boss again.

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Hey, I'm Matt Hollingshead, a BBQ enthusiast, beer connoisseur, and the founder of Grill Mentor. When I'm not trying new recipes with my Traeger or sampling a craft beer, I'm publishing articles for this site.

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