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Camp Chef Pellet Grill Not Heating Up? Why and How to Fix

Anything that involves technology, including your Camp Chef Pellet Grill, will develop issues at some point. As the years pass and you continue using your trusty grill, you will likely learn about how they function; however; you may still encounter issues from time to time. One of the most common problems is a unit that will not heat up. 

To figure out why your Camp Chef Pellet Grill is not heating up, look for a jam in the auger, ash build-up causing the grill not to ignite, a bad hot rod igniter, a dirty temperature sensor, low-quality pellets, improperly stored pellets, or a malfunctioning fan. 

Here, you can learn more about some of the most common issues that can keep your pellet grill from heating up and how to fix them. When you know what the most common problems are, you can get things running again quickly. Continue reading to find out more about these problems and how you can get things heated up again. 

A Jam in the Pellet Grill Auger

If you own a pellet grill, you may have learned the hard way about this issue. It often occurs when the pellets are left in the hopper too long. Some grill users will leave pellets in place for several weeks or longer. 

If the hopper’s pellets get moisture in them from sitting in the hopper, when they are fed through the auger, they begin to get “munched together,” which causes the auger to jam and other issues. If moisture is not the culprit, it could be an issue with a faulty or broken component. Usually, you need to contact the supplier to get the problem repaired. 

How to Fix It

  • Remove all pellets from the hopper
  • Clean out the hopper well
  • Ensure the hopper’s interior is completely dry
  • Remove pellets regularly to prevent this issue from occurring again

Ash Buildup

A common reason that your pellet grill will not ignite is because of the build-up of ash. Sometimes, this is just a maintenance issue. While the pellet grill does not create that much ash, it is still smart to clean it out every time you cook. If you don’t do this, you may choke out the fire, and as a result, the grill won’t heat up. 

How to Fix It

  • Clean ash out of your grill after cooking 
  • Inspect the grill well before cooking to ensure ash build-up is not a problem

A Bad Hot Rod Igniter

Sometimes, this will happen with a pellet grill after a few years. Usually, if the issue is a bad or broken igniter/hot rod, the pellets will still be fed into the fire burn pot, but no ignition will occur. 

If your grill is still under warranty, you can easily get the replacement part you need and replace it on your own in just 10 minutes. Once replaced, the rod will last between one and three years, depending on how often you use your Camp Chef grill. 

How to Fix It

  • Remove the grill and the other components (heat diffuser, etc.)
  • Locate the firepot
  • Replace the broken hot rod with the new one
  • Replace all removed components
  • Begin using your grill again

A Dirty Temperature Sensor 

Maintenance is critical to keep your Camp Chef Pellet Grill working correctly. The RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) or temperature sensor inside your cooking area may be covered with grease and smoke vapor. If this happens, the temperature reading may be inaccurate. If this happens, it means that fewer pellets will be fed into the grill to keep things going. This means the fire will eventually go out altogether. 

Unfortunately, the Camp Chef Pellet Grill does not have the smart features that some others do that let you know if things are not working correctly. This means you have to watch for this issue on your own. 

How to Fix It

  • Remove the temperature sensor.
  • Clean it with warm, soapy water (use a mild detergent)
  • Dry well
  • Return the temperature sensor to the grill
  • Take it for a test run to ensure it measures the proper temperature. 

Low-Quality Wood Pellets

If you invest in low-quality wood pellets, it may result in issues with the heat. Some people have stated that the harder and stronger woods, such as Alder, will not burn as well; however, not everyone experiences these same issues. 

If necessary, you can check out the manufacturer’s instructions to see what pellets they recommend. 

How to Fix It

  • Find out what pellets are recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Stop using any low-quality pellets that do not provide the desired results.
  • Research the pellet options to find new, high-quality ones to try
  • Use trial and error to find the right pellets for your grill.

Improperly Stored Pellets

You may not realize it, but there is a right and wrong way to store the pellets you plan to use for your grill. A common belief is that you should keep the pellets that are not being used in an airtight container. However, this is not a good idea. Most pellet suppliers have advised that pellets require some air, or they could condense in a closed box or bag. The key here is to store your pellets in a dry location. 

Usually, the pellet’s issues are more about how they are stored than the brand you choose (although this can make a difference). If moisture gets into your pellets, they are ruined. When this happens, your only option is to get rid of the affected pellets and replace them. You can also use ruined pellets in your garden as compost. 

How to Fix It

  • Store your pellets in a dry, safe area
  • Avoid any moisture in your pellets.

The Fan Is Not Working

This problem may occur after you have been using your Camp Chef Pellet Grill for a while. However, it can also happen if you do not correctly maintain the grill. 

If grease begins to build upon the grill’s fan, it can restrict its movement. This occurs simply because the fan is not as clean as it should be. Remember, fire requires oxygen to burn. If the fan is not working, the fire will not burn, and the grill will not heat up. 

How to Fix It

  • Turn everything off
  • Try turning the fan with your hand a few times.
  • Wipe the blades (if needed) to remove grease and debris
  • Remove the fan and wash thoroughly. 
  • Replace the fan if it is broken or beyond repair

In Summary

In this article, you learned an overview of some of the most common reasons why your Camp Chef Pellet Grill is not heating up and some tips to help you resolve the issue and get things cooking once again. 

To carefully inspect your grill and to consider the issues mentioned above before you attempt to make any repairs, remove any components, or take any other action. Also, ensure that you are only replacing or repairing the part of the grill with the issue. Good luck in fixing your Camp Chef Pellet Grill; we hope things are heating up again quickly. 

Additional Grilling Resources

If you ever have grill problems in the future, our other grill troubleshooting articles may be able to help you.


  • Vincent Steele

    Vincent is a freelance writer based in Santa Ana, California. When he isn't writing articles for Temperature Master, he can be found biking or hanging out with his cat, Shelly.

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