Traeger Ran Out of Pellets While Cooking – 5 Points Checklist You Should Follow

traeger running out of pellets
(Earning Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn commissions from qualifying purchases at NO additional cost to the customer.)

Cooking on an electric grill is a different experience altogether, till you run out of pellets in the middle of the grilling!

It is only then that you wish you knew more about the grill.

But fret not!

Read this article to know more about what to do when your grill has run out of pellets.

Pellet grills by Traeger are electric grills that make use of wooden pellets to fuel them.

These pellets help provide the much-needed fire and warmth for the delicious steaks and meat.

But you must have faced this crisis called “I ran out of pellets while cooking!”.

Wondering how to get back to grilling the food again?

Here are my most important recommendations for you to learn how to restart your Traeger grill once the pellets are totally consumed.

Table of Contents

How Does a Pellet Grill Function?

There are different parts and accessories that come with a pellet grill.

You must understand what happens when a pellet grill runs out of pellets.

If you want to be able to restart your grill once the pellets are finished, then you should know the basic functioning of a pellet grill too.

5 Important Parts of a Traeger Pellet Grill

1. The Pellets and the Hopper

A pellet grill uses wood pellets as a fuel to grill the food.

The user generally adds wood pellets available in the local as well as digital markets in a variety of flavours.

You have to add these pellets in a container within the grill which is known as a “hopper”.

2. The Fire Pot

The wood pellets then move to the Traeger grill auger that finally transfers them to place called as a “fire pot”.

The fire pot runs on an electricity.

A heated rod is present inside the fire pot.

This rod heats the wood pellets and ignites them thereby causing them to produce smoke as well as heat.

3. The Ignition Fan

Once the wood pellets start producing smoke, an “ignition fan” is powered on to help in the process of combustion.

A heat baffle is placed directly overhead the fire pot.

One of its most important functions is to distribute the smoke produced by the pellets evenly through the grill.

This not only infuses the earthy aroma of the wood in the food being cooked but also helps to cook the food evenly.

4. The Heat Baffle

This heat baffle evenly distributes the heat throughout the grill.

This prevents the food from burning.

It also helps to get the delicious flavor and taste to your cooked food.

5. The Drip Tray

Right above the heat baffle is a “drip tray”.

The function of the drip tray is to trap excess grease that tends to drip from the food overhead.

It also aids in evenly distributing the heat further.

What Happens When You Run out of Pellets While Cooking on Traeger Grill?

Running out of pellets while cooking is more common than you can even imagine.

This is what might happen once your pellet grill starts running out of pellets.

A, The temperature of the grill starts dropping slowly but steadily.

B, The fire starts burning out and then dies out completely.

Recommended Articles for You:

Get to Know About The Right Temperature Settings to Smoke Your Traeger at 225 F

Is It Ok to Use Any Types of Pellets in Your Traeger Grill? Here is My Answer

10 Simple Steps to Remove Old Worn out Pellets from Traeger Auger

Can You Cook in a Traeger without Pellets?

The Traeger pellet grill uses wood pellets as a fuel to cook.

The wooden pellets are crucial for the basic functioning of a pellet grill.

Without the wood pellets, the grill will not work.

When the Traeger Grill runs out of pellets, it gradually cools down and eventually powers off all by itself.

The only way to get it back working is to fill the auger with the pellets once again.

Moreover, it might be hazardous to cook in an electric grill that has run out of pellets.

An empty auger may set fire to the firepot of the grill and is therefore not recommended at all.

What makes the Traeger grill even better is that the pellets are available in a variety of flavours.

Therefore, when you run out of pellets you can always try a different flavour.

You will find wide variety of pellet flavors available from the Traeger brand such as hickory, maple, apple, oak, pecan, cherry, gourmet, etc.

You can get all these flavors easily online too.

Click Here to Find Your Favourite Flavor of Traeger Pellets.

5 Points Checklist to Follow When You Run out of Traeger Pellets While Cooking

Cooking with Traeger grill is an adventure of sorts and one of kind experience for many users.

At least once in your life, you will face an incident whereby you will run out of wood pellets while cooking on a Traeger pellet grill.

Wondering what to do in such a case?

You don’t have to panic at all when you find yourself in this situation.

Here is what you can do to get back to grilling your steaks in no time.

Step 1:

To begin with, check the temperature that your grill has been set in.

If your grill is still at the very temperature that you had set, simply check the hopper and refill it.

However, if you realise that the temperature has dipped a little.

This is mainly caused by an empty space created in the Traeger auger.

However, the temperature will get back to normal within a few moments.

Step 2:

Sometimes your grill dips its temperature gradually, or even switches off by itself.

In this situation, you should start by transferring the food dishes from the grill to an oven to prevent it from cooling down.

Now, wait for your grill to return to its room temperature.

Step 3:

Once it has returned to room temperature, remove the grill grates, the heat battle as well as the drip tray.

Once removed, check the fire pot to make sure that there are no pellets inside.

Step 4: If there are a few pellets inside, then clean the fire pot properly.

If it is empty, then power on the grill.

Set the grill to a pretty high temperature.

Step 5:

Now, fill the auger with wooden pellets.

Then power off the grill.

Put the grill grates, the heat battle as well as the drip tray back in place.

Now your grill is ready to resume your cooking.

How Do I Reset or Restart My Traeger Grill After I Run out of Pellets?

Running out of pellets in the midst of a cooking session is an absolute nightmare.

If you face this situation at your home,  then here are 3 important steps that can smoothly get you through the entire process without any professional help whatsoever.

Step 1:

Power off the grill and let it return to room temperature.

Remove the grill grates as well as the drip tray.

Uncover the fire pot by sliding the heat baffle over.

Clean the firepot after running a vacuum over it to make sure there are no pellets inside.

I highly recommend to use a quality Wet-Dry vacuum cleaner such as Vacmaster for better cleaning results.

It will help you clean the firepot and other parts of your grill pretty comfortably.

Click Here to Get Vacmaster Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner.

Step 2:

Fill the hopper with wood pellets.

Switch on the Traeger Grill.

And wait for the auger to collect all the pellets.

Let a few wood pellets drop into the firepot.

Step 3:

Reassemble all the pieces once again.

Power on the grill and set the desired temperature as you normally do.

3 Key Points to Remember When You Restart Your Traeger Grill

1. Remember that restarting a grill is a complicated procedure.

Filling the auger with pellets without properly cleaning and vacuuming the firepot is not at all recommended.

It can cause performance issues with the grill in the long run. 

This is why, it is highly advisable not to skip the steps mentioned above while restarting the grill.

2. Once the pellets fall into the fire pot, the grill will start emitting the smoke.

Do not set the temperature yet before the emission starts.

3. The temperature of the grill might start rising steadily and go almost 50° F more than the originally set temperature.

This is a common phenomenon that happens when a lot of wood pellets drop into the fire pot at once.

In such cases, the fire pot will take time to burn the extra few pellets.

Give your grill some time to cool down and reach the temperature you have set.

Do not panic at this time.

The entire process might take about 15 minutes or more to complete.

What are the Best Pellets for a Traeger Grill that Last Longer?

It is undoubtedly difficult to find wood pellets that last long enough if they are not certified by Traeger.

So, for the best results, you should go for a Traeger Grills Signature Hardwood Pellets Bag.

They provide clean burn and generates less amount of ash.

Plus, these pellets are made from all-natural material and offers variety of flavors for your cooking.

From a long lasting quality to a hardwood aroma, what more can food lovers ask for in quality hardwood pellets?

5 Features to Look for When Finding Best Traeger Grill Pellets

1. The Perfect Smoking

These wood pellets provide the best smoke for your grill.

It can be easily spread throughout the grill to cook the meat perfectly and to infuse the flavour in the best way possible.

2. Variety of Flavours

Traeger Signature Blend wood pellets are infused with the aroma of the best hardwood trees.

You will find wide variety of flavors such as maple, hickory and cherry, apple, pecan, etc.

This helps to provide a signature smoking to all sorts of foods cooked, be it steaks or fish.

3. Low Ash Residue

The wood pellets have been designed to produce low amount of ash.

This ash is very low when you compare it with other brands wood pellets.  

Hence, it becomes safe to use for one and all.

4. High Durability

One bag of Traeger all natural pellets contains 20 lbs of hardwood pellets.

This quantity is sufficient to cook your food for about 35 hours straight.

It can also last up to 3-4 weeks if you grill the food for few minutes everyday.

5. Clean Burn

The unique and compact cell structure of these pellets provides clean and balanced burn.

These pellets have right amount of moisture level which results in achieving near perfect burn to smoke ratio.

Click Here to Try Traeger Signature Blend Hardwood Pellets for Your Grill.


Finally, we are at the end of the article.

So far, you have now learned what to do when you run out of pellets for your Traeger grill.

You should panic at all when this happens.

Always make sure you have enough pellets at home stored for cooking.

Also, remember to follow all the above mentioned 3 steps since the best functioning of your grill depends on it.

And don’t forget to purchase only the premium and multiple flavored Traeger wood pellets to ensure their long lasting performance.


Janice Williams

Mother of 2 Sweet kids, A Writer, A Full Time Stay at Home Mom and Loves Preparing Delicious Barbecue Recipes to Serve My Family a Belly Full of Joy.

Recent Posts