The Pit Boss P Setting-Full Explanation With Settings Chart

Pelleted grilling is a fantastic experience, and learning how to make the most of the grill’s settings and capabilities will help you enjoy and make the most of your cooking time.

The Pit Boss P Setting-Full Explanation With Settings Chart

The most important step in any cooking experience is mastering the temperature settings. After all, you can’t cook delicious steak if the temperature is too high or too low.

Knowing how to use a grill and having mastered the temperature settings on a grill is the best way to cook tastier foods and get greater flavor results.

With that in mind, we will be covering everything you need to know about the P function found on a lot of Pit Boss smoking and grilling products.

This one setting is able to control a whole variety of things when it comes to cooking but is especially useful for precise temperature control.

Here is how to make use of the P function to make the best BBQ foods possible.

The P Function – What Is It?

The P function (also known as P SET) function on a Pit Boss allows you to fine-tune the grill’s temperature through the management of pellet feeding cycles. The P function is a pause button that stops the pellet feeding cycle for a brief period.

This feature is helpful when cooking in cold weather, excessively humid environments, or windy conditions, as well as when using low-quality pellets or while the grill is in “smoking” mode.

In other words, the P Set on your Pit Boss enables you to manually modify the frequency of auger feeding cycles and the number of pellets fed to the firebox to account for external influences affecting the grill’s firebox operation.

On a Pit Boss Pellet barbecue, the P Set is equivalent to the fuel adjustment needles on a carburetor. You may change the frequency of pellet feeding by changing this setting.

On Pit Boss Grills, the P function feature is accessed by pressing the P Set button with a pointed tool such as the tip of a pen, a thin screwdriver, or a toothpick.

If you are going to use a pen for this, we recommend using one with a ballpoint rather than one with a pointier tip, as this gives you a bit more control.

Avoid pushing the button too hard, since this may result in the plastic splitting and the button becoming damaged.

The P Set – How It Works

The P function is a manual override mechanism that enables you to alter the frequency of the auger system to fine-tune the heat output determined by the temperature dial.

Additionally, in Smoke Mode, the P function may be utilized to alter the amount of smoke created.

Although the default setting for the smoke function on your Pit Boss is P4, you may use the P Set to raise the grill’s temperature in windy or chilly situations.

For instance, suppose you put the grill on the lowest temperature setting to smoke some pork butt, but the outside weather is 30 degrees and a little windy, and the grill is struggling to maintain heat.

Rather than increasing the grill’s temperature via the temperature dial and ruining the meat, you reduce the P function to P3, which activates the auger for 18 seconds and then turns off for 100 seconds, as opposed to P4, which activates the auger for 18 seconds and then turns off for a longer 155 seconds.

In general, the lower the P Set value, the more frequent or shorter the auger cycle pauses; the higher the P Set value, for example, 5 or 6, the longer and less frequent the auger pellet feeding cycle pauses.

The P Setting Chart

Below we have the setting chart for you to take a look at. Later in the article, we will explain these different settings to help you understand them better.

P SET SettingAuger is On ( Cycle )Auger is Off ( Cycle )
P018 seconds55 seconds
P118 seconds70 seconds
P218 seconds85 seconds
P318 seconds100 seconds
P418 seconds115 seconds
P518 seconds130 seconds
P618 seconds140 seconds
P718 seconds150 seconds

Now that we have taken a look at the chart, let’s move on and look at how you can use the P function!

How To Use The P Function When Smoking

On a Pit Boss Pellet grill, you may smoke meats, and the grill features preset settings for low cooking temperature and smoke output. Smoke also functions as the grill’s ignition cycling mode.

Owners of Pit Boss grills and smokers can start their grills and smokers safely by utilizing the smoke created, which gives the correct settings and temperature to light the firepot.

The smoke mode in Pit Boss grills converts the auger system to manual mode and resets the factory default value of the P Set to four. P4 cycles the auger pellets on and off for 18 seconds.

The P SET – Less Heat But More Smoke

If you want a stronger smoke flavor, you have to cook the meat longer in the smoke. This requires additional smoke while keeping a reasonable temperature to prevent the meat from overcooking.

This may be achieved by setting the grill to smoke mode but raising the P function, which results in a longer gap between pellet cycles.

This helps to maintain a low temperature, a hot grill, and more smoke exposure on the meat. Increase the P function if the grill’s temperature suddenly drops.

In simple terms, by doing this you are extending the time between pellet feeding cycles, which helps maintain a low temperature and causes the meat to rest longer on the grill, absorbing more smoke.

If temperature swings occur, this indicates that the P function on your smoker is set too high.

Top 2 Pit Boss Pellet Grill Best Sellers That People Love!

Bestseller No. 1
PIT BOSS 10537 PB0820SP Wood Pellet Grill, 820 Square Inches, Black
  • Sportsman 820SP Wood Pellet Grill
  • Hardwood Pellet Fuel
  • 180°F to 500°F temperature range
  • 8-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, roast, bake, braise, barbecue, char-grill, and sear
  • 849 of cooking capacity
Bestseller No. 2
PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES, Black
  • Pit Boss 440 Deluxe Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
  • Premium Gauge Stainless Steel Construction
  • Removable Side Shelf/Serving Tray
  • Two large Wheels
  • Digital Control Board w/ LED Readout

If you go with either one of these pellet grills you will not be disappointed. Time to get an upgrade now! It’s been proven over and over again that having the right equipment is the only way to bring out that juicy taste that we all crave.

The P Set – More Heat But Less Smoke

The Pit Boss P option allows for a range of different effects, such as reducing smoke and flavor while increasing heat.

As a consequence, we know that the P function determines the time between pellet feeding cycles for the auger.

As a result, decreasing the P Set enables the auger tube to make more contact, feed more pellets, raising the temperature, which cooks the meat more quickly.

The less time the meat is smoked, the less delicious the smoke taste will be though. You have to decide whether this sacrifice of flavor is worth having your dinner a bit quicker.

The P Set With Temperature Control – How To Use It

When grilling at greater temperatures with your Pit Boss, the P function remains relevant, but in a somewhat different manner.

The Pit Boss P Setting-Full Explanation With Settings Chart (1)

When the temperature dial is set to a grilling temperature (between 200 – 400 degrees F), the auger continues to feed pellets until the desired temperature is reached.

After reaching the preset temperature, the Pit Boss is designed to default to the P function to maintain the preset temperature.

This is the point at which the P Set is useful. Once the grill reaches 350 degrees it will begin cycling pellets depending on the P function selected.

So, if the grill is set to P4, it will feed for 18 seconds before ceasing to feed for 115 seconds.

When cooking over direct heat and maintaining a constant fire is necessary, a lower P setting is recommended, as your grill will regularly feed pellets to the burn pot.

A constant or more regular pellet flow will aid in the grill’s temperature maintenance.

When grilling at a higher temperature, however, a higher P Setting may cause temperature oscillations as the grill waits longer to feed pellets and re-heat.

Therefore, if you want to cook with fewer pellets and are alright with temperature fluctuations, a higher P Set will be fine.

However, if you are after a more consistent and constant grilling temperature, you should use a lower setting, albeit at the expense of using more pellets.

How To Change This Setting

When the P Set function is enabled, Pit Boss models will have a button on the PID controller, and the P function will be shown on the LCD control board screen.

If everything is functioning properly, this option provides comprehensive control and can aid in the regulation of cooking time as well.

Slowly going through the settings is suggested because it takes time to learn each one, and you may not need to change the P Set in all of your cookers if you do it gradually.

Make use of a pen or other non-sharp instrument to adjust the P function, and then push and hold down the button until the proper P setting is shown on the LCD panel.

How To Change These Settings

The Pit Boss P’s parameters can be altered.

In order to get the most out of a Pit Boss grill, it’s important to fine-tune the temperature control, which should be done in small increments to avoid huge temperature changes or alterations.

As you have found out above, when you change the P Set, what you are actually doing is altering the speed at which pellets are introduced into the hopper, which in turn changes the temperature of the grill.

As a result of this, you should avoid making any significant modifications to your P configuration as doing too much too soon could not only result in overcooked meat but also damage the grill in general.

One step at a time, make modifications to the P function and wait 30 minutes before making the next alteration.

Keep an eye on the burn pot, as well as the temperature of the grill, to ensure that everything is running well.

Reduce the amount of time you spend making adjustments and experiment with alternate settings if you see a rapid drop in temperature. This will ensure that the temperature remains as constant as possible.

For the most part, avoid making too many alterations at the same time because this may cause an auger to jam or the grill to undergo extreme temperature fluctuations.

Are There Any Risks With This?

When raising the P function, extreme caution should be used. When your Pit Boss is set to the smoke setting, it is conceivable that the temperature of the unit may begin to drop and the unit will shut down.

As explained above, the best way to avoid this happening is by very slowly increasing the P Set to give your grill time to adjust to this new, higher temperature.

Low P Set – What Does It Do?

In combination with a lower P setting, the grill will feed pellets more often, resulting in faster cooking and reduced smoke exposure to the meat while cooking at higher temps.

For example, suppose you want to smoke a rack of ribs but do not want a large smoke ring or too much flavor on the ribs after cooking them.

Set the grill to smoke mode and lower the P function to increase the frequency with which pellets are fed.

This enables you to cook at a higher temperature for a shorter length of time while exposing the meat to smoke for longer periods of time.

What about if you want to cook a juicy steak? When put on the grill this meat can trigger flare-ups due to the fat in the meat. As a result, the temperature of the grill continues to rise.

To lower the temperature while simultaneously limiting the spread of the fire, you can increase the P function on your stovetop.

As a result, the grill will feed pellets at a slower pace, which helps to keep the overall temperature more consistent.

The Best Time To Use The P Set

Cooking on a chilly or windy day should be done with the P function turned on because of the substantial temperature swings that will occur during cooking.

It is possible that your grill will struggle to sustain or achieve high temperatures on a cold day. In this instance, the P function may be a massive help to you.

Alternative Temperature Control Tips

Pit Boss grills have a P setting, which is a useful tool, but it is not the only technique of achieving and maintaining temperature control on these barbecues.

The following are a few more helpful ideas to help you keep the temperature of your Pit Boss under control.

Invest In High-Quality Wood Pellets

You may think that once you have seen one wood pellet, you’ve seen them all. After all, they’re all made of wood so how much difference can there really be between a cheap and expensive brand?

The Pit Boss P Setting-Full Explanation With Settings Chart (2)

Well, it turns out there are a lot of differences actually. Every single wood pellet manufacturer has made its own unique product, so you have a whole variety of pellets to choose from.

In fact, even if you buy two pellet bags from the same brand, you may notice some slight differences between the two, making each bag unique.

Tree cuttings are different from one another, and wood may come from a number of different sources, which are just some of the ways to account for these differences.

In order to ensure that you are giving your grill high-quality fuel, it is vital that you purchase high-quality pellets from a reputable source.

The poor burn quality of low-cost pellets makes it difficult for your grill to maintain a steady temperature during the cooking period.

Buy A Smoker Blanket

For people living in hotter states, the thought of getting a grill blanket has probably never even crossed your mind. And given where you live, you won’t need one to protect your equipment.

It is recommended that grill blankets be used in colder locations, such as the northern hemisphere or other areas where temperatures drop substantially.

A grill blanket will help to thermally insulate your grill, enabling it to lose less heat and allow less cold to penetrate your cooking chamber.

Stop Opening The Door

While smoking your food, it can be very tempting to keep opening the lid to have a peek at how the meat is coming along.

However, if you keep opening the door or lid of your pellet grill on a frequent basis, the heat will be lost via the door. Maintain your composure and resist the urge to check on the meat every 5 seconds.

Take note that if the temperature falls below the temperature that you set for the grill, the device grill will begin feeding pellets, burning more fuel, and working harder to maintain the correct level of heat.

Open/Close The Smoke Cap

The inclusion of the adjustable exhaust cap is very helpful to maintain a steady temperature.

It helps to circulate air about, and changing the cap can help to improve the flow of air while also helping to regulate the temperature of the room.

Always Clean The Ashes Away, And Make Sure The Burn Pot Is Clean

Because you are burning wood, it is unavoidable that there will be ashes in the cup.

This is not a healthy thing for your grill, as this ash in the cup might cause the fire to extinguish and the grill to overfeed pellets, causing the fire to die out.

It is possible that the grill may shut down and error codes will appear on the screen in these rare instances.

The Best Pit Boss Smokers

Here are a few of the best Pit Boss BBQs and smokers that have the P Set.

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 SP

No matter what time of year it is, if you have a decent grill, you can enjoy your family bonding experience or have some mates round for a firepit and dinner.

Choosing the highest-quality grill available is essential if you want to eat nutritious and tasty cuisine that is free of excess fat and oils.

The Pit Boss 820 can fulfill all of these needs and more.

You may use the Pit Boss 820 grill to easily and quickly make your favorite all-time recipes at your BBQ picnic or party if you want to keep things simple.

It is possible to cook delicious grilled food that is just as tasty as any made using charcoal grills. This is all thanks to the 820’s amazing automatic temperature adjustments and other features that make your food super tasty.

This smoker is incredibly stable, so you won’t have to worry about it falling over if knocked or put out in high winds. The 820 is also incredibly durable so there will be no worry about accidental dents being made.


  • Relatively Cheap – given the size of this grill, the 820 comes in at a very low cost
  • Porcelain grates – these are the best performing grates that a grill can have
  • Side and front shelves – gives you plenty of cooking space


  • Does not have WiFi – unlike a lot of Pit Boss Grills, this one has no Wi-Fi capabilities

Pit Boss PB440D2

A grill that is perfect for searing and grilling, the Pit Boss PB440 Deluxe Grill is designed to be used as a smoker at low and moderate temperatures, but it may also be used as a smoker at higher temperatures as well.

The PB440 Grill may also be used as a grill for searing and grilling meats and vegetables.

The Pit Boss PB440D2 Grill is an excellent choice for novices or small families that want to get started with pellet cooking.

It is both versatile and fairly priced for the quality of the grill it provides. It eliminates the need for a separate smoker and grill for the preparation of food.


  • Very versatile – As this grill can support several different cooking styles, from grilling to smoking to searing, the PB440 is incredibly versatile
  • Portable – Thanks to the two wheels on two of the legs on the grill, you can easily move it to any spot in your yard
  • Easy to ignite – you won’t have to fiddle with ard to reach buttons to turn on the PB440


  • Temperature is difficult to control – this grill suffers from temperature fluctuations often. However, using the P Set mentioned above, you may be able to fix this
  • Cooks food unevenly – this is due to the temperature fluctuations in the grill
  • Small Hopper – you will have to refill this often if you are cooking for a long time

PIT BOSS PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill, 440 SERIES

For more than a decade, Pit Boss has built a reputation for offering high-quality pellet grills that are also quite affordable. The PB440D2 is one of their most popular models.

When it comes to smokers, the Pit Boss PB440D2 is the ultimate set-and-forget device, with nearly 1,000 square inches of cooking surface that can be used for both smoking and flame grilling.

It is intended to make it simple and consistent for anybody and everyone to experience the delectable rewards of wood-smoked excellence regularly.

The fact that it is made of durable materials, has a wide temperature range, has a huge capacity, and can cook over an open flame are only a few advantages.

You also can’t go wrong with this buy because it comes with a 5-year warranty.

If you are pleased with basic operations that are accomplished efficiently, the Pit Boss PB440D2 is a good choice for you. In addition to being versatile and trustworthy, it is also simple to run.


  • Very high quality- this grill is made of very durable and high-quality materials, so the device will last you for years even with constant use
  • Huge hopper – this hopper can fit so many pellets in it that you may need to only fill it once per party
  • Included temperature accessories – this grill lets you see the temperature from the LCD touchscreen panel at the front, as well as with the meat probes that are included in the purchase


  • Manual ash cleanout – considering how high-tech this grill is, it’s very surprising that there is no automatic way to clear out the ash
  • No Wi-Fi – again, this grill is packed with features, but not having Wi-Fi is a bit of a downside


Using the P function on your Pit Boss Grill or vertical smoker to adjust the pause duration may help you optimize your grill to cook more effectively.

Using this also allows you to modify the quantity of smoke it creates to add or remove the smoke flavor from your food when grilling or smoking.

John Rinder
Latest posts by John Rinder (see all)