How Long Does it Take a Pellet Grill to Heat Up (And Tips to Make it Faster!)

Did you just buy a pellet grill and are wondering how long it should take it to heat up? You’ve come to the right place! 

In this article, you will learn:

  • How long it takes a pellet grill to heat up
  • Tips for using your pellet grill
  • And much more!

How Long Does it Take a Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

Pellet grills are a newer invention, and therefore, many people are unfamiliar with how they work. If this is you, not to worry, you’ll get the hang of it soon! 

In general, it takes a pellet grill about 10 to 15 minutes to heat up, but this estimate can be affected by several real-world factors, like the weather and temperature you are trying to heat the grill to. 

If you want to become a pro at using your pellet grill, then keep reading, as we will discuss all aspects of how long it takes to heat up a pellet grill. 

Factors that Affect a Pellet Grill Preheating

Although the owner’s manual of your pellet grill will probably say it only takes 10-15 minutes to heat, there are some factors you need to consider. These factors can make it take longer for your pellet grill to reach the desired temperature. 

The Desired Temperature

This should be a given, but if you are heating up your pellet grill for a low and slow smoke session, then 10-15 minutes is probably a fair estimate for a heat-up time. But, if you are trying to get your pellet grill up to the top temperatures for some searing, then you may want to plan 20 or maybe even 25 minutes for it to get there. 

The Ambient Temperature

When it is really cold outside, your pellet grill will have to work harder to come to temperature. In these cases, it is best to leave the lid on, and if you are going for really high temperatures, allow at least 20 or 25 minutes for your grill to reach them. 

Related >> Can You Use A Pellet Grill In The Rain?

The Age of Your Pellet Grill

As your pellet grill gets older, it will likely not work as well as it did when it was new. In these cases, prepare for your aged pellet grill to take a little longer to heat up. This doesn’t mean you need to add a lot of time to the preheat time, probably just 5 minutes, but it is something to keep in mind. 

The Brand of Your Pellet Grill

Of course, not all pellet grills are made the same. Some brands heat up more quickly than others. We’ve got the full run-through below, or you can look up your specific brand’s preheat time in the owner’s manual. 

wood fired pellet grill with ribs and chicken

Do Pellet Grills Heat Up Fast?

In general, it takes a gas grill about 15 minutes to reach temperature, and a charcoal grill takes about 30 minutes. Therefore, of the three main grilling types, a pellet grill is considered to preheat the quickest. 

Of course, there is some room for argument between a pellet grill and a gas grill depending on your brand of pellet grill, but the bottom line is that a pellet grill does heat up much faster than a charcoal grill.

Related >> Pellet Grills vs Gas Grills

How Long Does it Take a Traeger Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

Traeger is a well-known name in the pellet grill game, and therefore it should come as no surprise that their pellet grills heat up right on par with the officially recommended times. 

Traeger pellet grills take about 10-15 minutes to reach their full temperature, but these grills are highly affected by the elements, so if it’s really cold outside, allow 20 minutes for the grill to reach its full temperature. 

Unless you have the twin-wall insulated Timberline models, as these should preheat in the cold just fine. 

Related >> Traeger Ironwood 885 Review

How Long Does it Take a Pit Boss Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

After Traeger, Pit Boss is the next most popular pellet grill on the market, and unlike Traeger, they are known for their ability to preheat fast. 

The newer models of Pit Boss should reach their full temperatures in just 5-6 minutes once the fire pot is lit. 

It takes 3 minutes in total to light the firepot, so when you add this to the above estimate, you should plan for 8-11 minutes for your Pit Boss pellet grill to be ready to cook.

Related >> Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker Review

How Long Does it Take a Camp Chef Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

Camp Chef is the third most popular brand of pellet grills, and unlike the aforementioned two brands, it has a wide variety of heat-up times depending on the model. 

Therefore if you have a Camp Chef pellet grill, you will want to grab your owner’s manual to see how long it will take it to reach the desired temperature. The manufacturer states that the general heat-up times for their grills can be anywhere from 10-28 minutes. 

Camp Chef preheat times vary widely depending on the temperature you are trying to achieve. For lower temp grilling sessions, 10 is a better estimate. But if you want to sear, then be prepared to wait 28 minutes to begin.

Related >> Camp Chef Woodwind Review

How Long Does it Take a Z Grills Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

Z Grills pellet grills are well known for their ease of use and flashy look. As for preheating times, they are the same as the industry norm.

Related >> Z Grills: Which is Best? (Complete Guide)

As long as you preheat with the lid on, it will only take 10-15 minutes for a Z Grill to reach the desired temperature. Based on customer reviews, most say that it does take the full 15 minutes whether you plan to sear or smoke. 

So if you’ve got a Z Grill at home, pencil in 15 minutes of preheat time before you make your meats! 

Related >> Z Grills 700D3 Review

pellet grill fact

Tips For Speeding Up Preheating Times

Unfortunately, when it comes to preheating times, there is little you can do to speed them up. We do have a few tips, however, to help your grill to preheat to the best of its ability. 

Keep the Lid Closed

Your grill will never preheat properly with the lid open. So once you press the start button, close the lid and watch for smoke to come through the edges of the grill. Don’t stand there with it open. 

Grill Location

If you can, keep your pellet grill somewhere where it won’t get snow and rain on it (such as under a covered porch awning) because when you allow snow to rest on and around your grill, it will take it longer to heat up. 

Even if you don’t have a covered awning as an option, just removing the snow from around your grill before you start can make a huge difference. 

Related >> Can You Leave Your Pellet Grill Outside? Tips for Proper Storage

Cover Your Grill

If you don’t have an awning, then you definitely need a cover for your grill. This will help keep the snow from touching the metal and cooling it down. This will lower your preheat time significantly during the winter months. 

Choose Your Pellets Carefully

Yes, the pellets you use in your pellet grill actually impact the preheat time. Hardwood pellets, like oak, tend to burn more hotly and thus preheat the grill faster than other types of wood pellets. 

Additionally, charcoal pellets heat up more quickly than wood pellets. So if you really want to grill in a speedy manner, consider seeing if your pellet grill is compatible with charcoal pellets. 

Related >> How Long Do Pellets Last

Purchase a Twin-Wall Grill

If you already have a pellet grill, this tip isn’t going to be much use, but for those looking at a pellet grill that live in cold climates, a twin wall pellet grill is your best friend. These pellet girls heat up much faster than any other type of grill and tend to hold temperature better too. 

Related >> Types of Grills (Gas, Charcoal, Pellet and More!)

What Pellet Grill Heats Up the Fastest?

Are you the impatient person that wants the best grill that gets hot the quickest?

Then the WeberSmokeFire is the pellet grill that you need. Under rigorous testing, this grill regularly reached temperatures of 300°F in just 8 minutes. For higher temps, like 600°F, it took just 12 minutes. 

As you can see, there is no other pellet grill on the market that gets hot that fast…so if you are wanting to cook quickly on a regular basis, this is the grill for you!

Weber SmokeFire EX6 (2nd Gen)
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02/18/2024 04:27 am GMT

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Final Thoughts on the Time it Takes a Pellet Grill to Heat Up

Overall, no matter what brand of pellet grill you have, you should plan at least 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to heat up. But, it is a good idea to take a look at the owner’s manual to see if your grill might reach temperature quicker or need more time. Just be sure to remember to allow extra time in those cold winter months! 

Photo of author

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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