You should try your best to avoid getting your pellet smoker wet. Certain brands have no problem with water, while others can stop working altogether if they get wet. Whether your pellet smoker can get wet or not depends on several factors.
Before we move further, let’s just get the most important part out of the way: an electric pellet smoker can stop working or lose certain functions if it gets wet. Do you have to plug it in to get it started? You probably should keep it away from water.
Now, getting your electric pellet smoker wet is not a catastrophe. You should take extra precautions because, as you probably know, water and electricity shouldn’t mix.
The circuits inside your pellet smoker are protected, so don’t worry if something bad happened. Then again, try not to risk it and cook under the rain with an electric pellet smoker.
Be advised: most pellet smokers are electric. The Z Grills, Traeger, Pit Boss, and other well-known brands produce nothing but electric ones.
Certain brands, like Grilla Grills, have non-electric pellet smokers. The Kong is a perfect example of this.
As a final note, the all-too-real consequence of a having a wet pellet smoker is losing the wood pellets you’re storing there. Wet wood pellets are no good, and you need to dispose of them once they touch water or become damp.
What should I do if my pellet smoker gets wet?
The first thing you should do is not panic. Your pellet smoker probably suffered no damage unless someone threw it into the pool or something similar happened. A glass of water, a little rain, and other small splashes are no reason to worry.
As we have discussed above, you probably will have to dispose of all your wood pellets. Or, at least, the ones you were storing inside your pellet smoker. No exceptions.
Wet pellets can and will cause a lot of trouble inside your smoker (and it’ll be for nothing – because you will never get them to light up!)
Other than that, you will have to wait for a couple of days before you use your pellet smoker after it gets wet – if we’re talking about an electric one.
For non-electric pellet smokers, you have nothing to worry about. Replace the wood pellets, dry the smoker with a towel, and get ready to cook.
Can I use my pellet smoker in the rain?
It’d be better if you postpone any barbecues you schedule during a rainy day. You can use a pellet grill while it’s raining – but you need to take several precautions to do so. Past a certain point, you may consider it’s not worth the effort.
So, you’ve read that you can use your pellet smoker even if it gets wet and you’re ready to tempt fate and grill under the rain. Are you sure it’s a good idea?
We would recommend that you avoid it entirely unless you can place the grill somewhere under a roof – but not inside your house. Remember, airflow is important – and you need oxygen to live!
We will tell you how to protect both yourself and your smoker under the rain down below.
Now, before you move forward, grilling under the rain (or even on a rainy day) could void the warranty of your pellet smoker. Make sure you thoroughly read it when thinking about grilling under the rain!
How can I protect my pellet smoker from the rain?
The best way to grill under the rain is to do so using a gazebo or canopy of sorts; that way, you will be protected from the rain coming from above.
That will keep you safe from a light drizzle, but not from an all-out storm (and, more likely than not, nothing can help you at that point).
If you’re going down the gazebo route, make sure it’s tall enough not to cause trouble with the smoke and fumes coming from your pellet smoke (it can all become one big fire risk unless everything is far apart from each other).
What can I do if I want to use my pellet smoker when it’s raining?
You can either order takeout to satisfy your ever-growing cravings or try to cook somewhere with a roof, plenty of ventilation, and absolutely no rain coming from any direction.
Grilling is extremely fun – but grilling against nature, not so much.
After all, it’s up to you whether you can wait until the dark clouds disappear or not. We want to remember you what’s at stake when you grill under the rain:
That big bag of wood pellets can get wet
The warranty of your pellet smoker can be void
The fire will take longer than usual (and require more wood than normal)
Your pellet smoker may get wet (and so may you)
What can go wrong if my pellet smoker has water inside?
Having water inside your pellet smoker can destroy the electric circuits you have in there. And it’s no small problem: most modern pellet smokers tend to rely heavily on these things to get started, light a fire, keep the flames going, and more. You don’t want them to go bad.
Does that mean your pellet smoker will stop working the minute it touches water? Absolutely not! In fact, your modern grill will leave to see another day after a small splash.
What we’re saying is that you should always be cautious when it comes to water and smokers. Just in case. Or, at least, for the warranty’s sake.
On a semi-related note, you should also care about not mixing your pellet smoker and water because of what you have outside of your grill.
Stainless steel and similar materials often fall victim to rust and other nasty things when water is involved – and you don’t want that to happen.
Can I use wet wood pellets?
You can use wood pellets for anything you want other than grilling. Unfortunately, wet wood pellets cause nothing but trouble inside your pellet smoker. You need to check and double-check your pellets if you suspect your smoker got wet.
We cannot stress enough how bad of an idea it is to use wet wood pellets to try and grill. You’re not going to make it happen – and you can take out your entire pellet smoker in the process.
You might be wondering, “What about damp wood pellets?” Well, when it comes to your pellet smoker, there’s not much of a difference between wet and damp.
Simply put, your wood pellets are no good if they have moisture inside of them.
Grilling is out of the question with such a thing, but we can help you find a purpose for those wet wood pellets if you love your garden or have a backyard in need of a fix-me-up.
What can I do with wet wood pellets?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to hold a wet or damp bag of wood pellets, you can choose between throwing them out to the trash or try to use them as fertilizer.
Wet or damp wood pellets are useless for all things grilling, other than to make you mad because you can’t use them to grill.
Once wood pellets get wet, they start to disintegrate, and it’s close to impossible to light them on fire.
So, you can put them in a bag and throw them out, or you can use them as fertilizer. Other than that, there’s not much you can do with wet wood pellets.
Are you considering trying your luck and grill using wet pellets? Well, we advise you to think again.
You can ruin your pellet stove by blocking the auger (the device that transports wood pellets from storage into the burn pot) – lose that, and you lose the smoker until you repair it.
Does cold weather affect pellet smokers?
Cold weather will affect how you use your pellet smoker. You can probably guess why. When temperatures drop, starting and maintaining a fire becomes more taxing than usual. That’s no reason not to cook, though.
It would be pretty weird if your pellet smoker would act the same in the winter and the summer.
Fortunately, even though you will notice a difference, there’s nothing to worry about when the cold weather comes around.
With a bit of practice, you will learn to adapt to the winter ways of using the smoke pellet and cook as if it were the summer.
Will my pellet smoker work when it’s too cold?
Pellet smokers can and will work in the cold. Theoretically speaking, temperatures should be freezing for you to have trouble starting a fire using a pellet smoker – and, at that point, you probably don’t want to be cooking out in the open anyway.
There’s a bit of a caveat when it comes to pellet smokers and cold temperatures, though. Don’t worry! Yours will work!
Unfortunately, making your pellet smoker work in the cold comes with a price.
You will need to be more diligent, be willing to use more wood, have more patience, and change your cooking habits. We’ll discuss it a little more in-depth down below.
The great thing about getting used to cooking in the winter is that, when summer comes around, you won’t believe how easy things will be.
How to use a pellet smoker throughout winter
Use more pellets: Unfortunately, it’s going to cost you a little more money to grill during the winter. No, don’t worry. The government has no grill in the winter tax, but you will need more to burn wood pellets than usual. Your grill is colder than usual, the temperatures are lower than usual, and everything needs more energy than usual. Fortunately, the end result will be the same as usual – if you’re patient enough to finish cooking your ribs.
Be more patient: You will have to use more wood during the winter – and you will have to be willing to wait a little more as well. The thing is, you’re going to use more pellets to get the same heat you did during the summer, but your meat is colder, your grill takes longer to heat, and everything simply happens slower in the cold. The good news is the food will taste twice as delicious in the winter – because you will be waiting for it for twice as long.
Keep it closed: You know it’ll take more time and energy to get your BBQ just the way you like it when the winter hits. And it’ll take even longer if you decide to open and close your smoker every five minutes! That’s right: you need to trust your grill to do everything right because you will be cooking (sort of) blind. Why is that? Because you need to avoid opening the grill as often as you usually do – so the heat won’t escape that often. During the summer there’s no issue with you doing that. During the winter, though, it can be taxing for your smoker.
Can I leave my pellet smoker outside?
You can leave your pellet smoker outside – as long as the temperatures don’t drop too much. These machines can survive out in the open throughout summer, spring, and fall with no problem.
When winter hits, you should store it in your garage and take it out when you want to cook something delicious.
Did you leave your pellet smoker outside throughout winter? Don’t panic! You probably can have your BBQ cookout without having to pay a hefty repair fee (or worse, buy a new pellet smoker).
When we advise you to store your pellet smoker during the winter, we do so to prevent a worst-case scenario from happening. These machines can stand the heat, the rain, and most things nature can throw at it – but that’s no reason to leave it out in the open to take a hit.
So, yes, you can leave your pellet smoker outside. You should store it in your garage when temperatures start to drop, though – so your pellet smoker can survive as many winters as possible.