Can You Leave Pellets in a Pellet Grill? (Solved)

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Do you have a pellet grill? If so, you may be wondering if it’s okay to leave pellets in the grill between uses.

Pellets aren’t the same as regular wood, and they react differently when exposed to moisture.

In this article, we will go over whether or not you can leave pellets in your pellet grill and what to do if they get wet.

We will also cover what a pellet grill is, how it works, common uses, and tips for regular maintenance and cleaning.

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What Is a Pellet Grill?

A pellet grill is a type of barbecue that uses compressed sawdust pellets as fuel. The pellets are made from recycled wood, so they are a sustainable source of heat.

They are also environmentally friendly because they produce little ash.

Pellet grills are easy to use and come with a variety of built-in features. They are perfect for cooking everything from burgers to ribs to pizza. 

Pellet grills combine elements of charcoal grills and gas grills. They have a hopper that holds the pellets, and they use an electric igniter to start the fire.

The heat is regulated with a thermostat, so you can cook your food at different temperatures. Pellet grills are also equipped with a drip pan to catch any juices or fat from your food. 

One of the great things about pellet grills is that they are versatile. You can use them for smoking, baking, roasting, and searing.

They come in both portable and stationary models, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Pellet grills are also easy to clean — all you need is a damp cloth to wipe down the cooking grate and the inside of the grill housing.

Occasionally, it’s good to clean the internal parts as well, but we’ll cover that more in depth later.

How Does a Pellet Grill Work?

A pellet grill works pretty intuitively. There is a hopper, which you fill with pellets (the fuel).

From there, an auger transfers them into a burn pot, where they’re ignited, and stoked using an electrically powered fan.

The fan and thermostat work in conjunction to regulate the temperature of the grill, so you can cook your food at different temperatures. 

Pellet grills are also equipped with a drip pan to catch any juices or fat from your food. They come in both portable and stationary models, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Pellet grills are also easy to clean — all you need is a damp cloth to wipe down the cooking grate and the inside of the grill housing.

Occasionally, it’s good to clean the internal parts as well, but we’ll cover that more in depth later.

What Are Some Common Uses for Pellet Grills?

Pellet grills are extremely versatile, so there isn’t much you can’t cook in them.

You can use it as a standard grill, making burgers and hotdogs, a slow-smoker for summer barbecues, or even as an oven for baked goods (though it might leave a smoky flavor).

Here is a good breakdown of the great grill vs a griddle battle.

Can You Leave Pellets in a Pellet Grill?

Yes, you can leave pellets in a pellet grill, however, this is not a good idea. The dangers outlined below will help you understand when you can (and when you cant) leave pellets in your pellet grill.

Here’s the deal, pellets turn back into sawdust when they get wet, so it’s important to ensure they stay dry if you leave them in the hopper.

If you live in an area with high humidity or precipitation, you may want to avoid leaving pellets in the grill between uses.

If rain gets into the hopper while it’s not being used (or even just during heavy fog), you run the risk of losing all of those pellets, as well as clogging up your hopper and auger.

After a rainy day, they might still appear to be intact, they may start to crumble as soon as you turn the auger on.

The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is by moving the pellets out of harm’s way before any weather event occurs, or storing your grill out of weather’s reach and inside a shelter. 

What to Do with Wet Pellets

If your pellets get wet inside the grill, there are a couple things you can do. The first thing to do is avoid grilling.

The electronics in your pellet grill are sensitive, and trying to ignite wet pellets risks damaging them.

Wet pellets will struggle to ignite, produce more smoke, and less heat, so it’s best to pull them from the grill and wait for them to dry out, or replace them entirely. 

How Do I Store My Pellets?

There are several ways you can store your pellets so that they don’t get wet.

You can keep them in a sealed container or bag, you can store them in a bin with a lid, or you can put them in an airtight food storage container.

If you live in an area with high humidity or precipitation, it’s important to take these precautions to ensure your pellets stay dry —otherwise you might be disappointed with your next barbecue. 

Pellets may come in vastly different quantities, so make sure the container you choose is big enough.

If you absolutely have to store them outside, try to find a spot that is out of direct sunlight, covered from the weather, and away from areas at risk of flooding. 

Tips for Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

It’s important to clean your grill after every use. This will help prevent food buildup and grease from accumulating on the cooking surface.

Grease and food buildup always results in too much smoke, as well as grease fires, which affect your ability to regulate the temperature. 

If there is any food or grease residue on the cooking surface, use a stiff brush or scraper to remove it before wiping it with a cloth.

It’s also helpful to allow the grill to cook off residue in between sessions — whether at the end of one, or at the beginning of the next. 

Cleaning the internal parts of your pellet grill is also important, from inside the hopper, to the auger, to the burn pot.

You’ll need to remove dust, ash, and residue buildup to keep your pellet grill working in prime condition.

Conclusion

It may seem like a good idea to leave pellets in your pellet grill, but it can cause you a headache down the road.

If you do, make sure you keep your entire grill stored in a dry place.