Can I Leave My Pellet Grill Unattended? (And For How Long?)

Are you a proud owner of a pellet grill, but also a little worried about leaving it unattended? Well, you’re not alone! Many of us have had that nagging question in the back of our minds while we’re away from the grill. But fear not! In this article, we’ll explore whether it’s safe to leave your pellet grill unattended, so you can focus on more important things, like perfecting your signature barbecue sauce.

Can I Leave My Pellet Grill Unattended?

Pellet grills are excellent inventions that have gained popularity over the last few years. They can be used for both grilling and smoking meats. But since smoking takes a while, you may be wondering if you can leave your pellet grill unattended. 

The amazing thing about pellet grills is that you CAN leave them unattended. Pellet grills have many safety features which will prevent them from causing issues when they are left unattended. All pellet grills are different, however, and how long you can leave yours unattended will depend on several factors. 

Wondering just how long you can leave your pellet grill alone? Read on to learn more about cooking on your pellet grill. 

How Long Can You Leave a Pellet Grill Alone For?

Pellet grills are unique in that they hold their temperature without user interference. They also have a few fail-safes in place, which will cause them to turn off if something goes wrong (like they run out of pellets).

Because pellet grills hold temperature on their own, there is no real reason to stand by them as they cook. You can set a timer for your cook time and walk away. The only reason you even need to check on a pellet grill as it cooks is to check on your dinner or to fill the hopper. 

In fact, your hopper size will tell you exactly how long you can leave your pellet grill unattended. You need to only check on your pellet grill when the pellets are about to run out.

The way you can calculate this is by taking your hopper size and knowing how fast your pellet grills burns pellets for both high and low temperatures. 

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Most pellet grills burn about 1.5 lbs of pellets per hour. While yours will differ, this amount can be used to make a rough estimation. So if you have a 9lb pellet hopper, you can expect to leave your pellet grill unattended for no more than 6 hours. 

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Obviously, this isn’t exact math, so you should probably check in around the 5-hour mark just to be sure. But if you have a large pellet hopper of 22 or 24 pounds, as you can imagine, it’s easy to leave your pellet grill for quite a few hours at a time!

Additionally, if your pellet grill is equipped with WIFI, you can leave it unattended for quite some time and simply check in on it remotely! 

Editor’s Note: Remember that pellet grills do require electricity, so if the power goes out at any time while they are smoking, they will not turn back on automatically. 

Can You Leave Your Pellet Grill Running Overnight?

If you have a pellet grill with at least a 20lb hopper, then it is possible to leave it running overnight when it is cooking at lower temperatures. Just ensure you top up the pellets before bed and ensure you’ve got an alarm set to go off when the food is finished or when the pellets will run out–whichever is sooner!

There are a few safety tips you should keep in mind before you set your pellet grill to run while you sleep. Remember to set the pellet grill up at least 1 meter away from the house and ensure it is plugged in securely. 

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Also, keep in mind that if the weather outside is really windy, rainy, or snowing, it may be difficult for your pellet grill to continue to hold temperature during this weather. It might be a good idea to invest cover for your patio or other enclosure to keep your pellet grill protected from inclement weather. 

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Tips For Leaving Your Pellet Grill Unattended

While it is convenient to leave your pellet grill unattended, there are a few precautions you should take before you do so. 

  • Keep your pellet grill at least 1 meter or 4 feet from your home. 
  • Check that your pellet grill is plugged in securely.
  • Set an alarm on your phone for 1 hour before you expect the pellets to run out.
  • Turn on wifi monitoring if your grill is equipped.
  • Check back in the middle of the night to replenish pellets/prevent tunneling. 
  • Clean your grill regularly between smoke sessions. 

Cleaning your grill regularly might be an odd precaution to take, but other than running out of pellets, the number one issue pellet grills experience is a build-up of ash in the firepot. Regular cleaning will prevent this from occurring.

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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