Camp Chef Pellet Grill Problems: how to diagnose and fix

There’s no perfect grill without issues. Whether it’s the popular Rec-Tec Grills, they all have their fair share of problems. However, it shouldn’t be so difficult to fix.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill comes equipped with some technological functions and is therefore bound to develop faults with time. Though it may take years before it begins to malfunction, it is better to know how to maintain and fix it before it goes faulty.

While different problems might be a result of bad management, it is not out of order for your Camp Chef Pellet Grill to develop little faults, especially if it is used regularly. This read will help you know when it has issues and how to fix them.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill Problems

One of the major problems of Camp Chef Pellet Grill is the heat or fire ignition. This affects the grill’s productivity and usage. There are many reasons why this happens. Knowing these problems and how to fix them will get your grill working properly again.

How to Diagnose

Diagnosing your Camp Grill will help you figure out the exact problem that makes the heat go off or is very slow. To do this you need to check for abnormal activities in the grill. Heating problems can be caused by;

  • Bad Hot Rod Igniter
  • Mess in the Auger
  • Fan Malfunction
  • Pile of Ash
  • Wrong Pellet Storage
  • Inferior Wood Pellet Quality
  • RTD problems

Bad Hot Rod Igniter

This often occurs after some years of using the Camp Grill. It makes the grill not ignite properly, especially if it involves the hot rod or if the igniter is bad or broken. In this case, the pellets will still go into the fire burn but will not ignite.

A good warranty will save you in a situation like this. You can simply get the parts replaced with a new one from the company and fix it to the grill. The newly fixed part can last up to two years or more, depending on how often the grill is used.

Fixing the Hot Rod Igniter

  • Pull out the grill, heat diffuser, and other components.
  • Find the firepot.
  • Remove the bad or broken hot rod and place the new one.
  • Reassemble all the components removed.
  • Use the grill and check for changes.

Mess in the Auger

This mostly happens when you leave pellets in the hopper for a long time. This makes the issue more difficult especially if you leave it in for months. You have to get in touch with the supplier to get this problem fixed.

The major cause of this problem is moisture getting into the pellets from their long stay in the hopper. The moisture goes through the auger and causes a mess and other damages. Sometimes it could be caused by bad or faulty components.

Fixing the mess in the Auger

  1. Take out pellets from the hopper.
  2. Clean the hopper thoroughly.
  3. Dry the interior of the hopper completely.
  4. Always remove the pellets from the hopper.

Fan Malfunction

If you use your Camp Chef Grill regularly and you notice this, do not fret, it is not a bad sign. It comes with long steady usage. Though if your grill is not well maintained this might happen more often.

The fan blows energy to the fire so it burns, therefore if the fan is not working there will be no fire to heat the grill. Grease gets into the fan while cooking and when it is not cleaned regularly it may cause stiffness.

Fixing the Fan

  1. Turn off the grill.
  2. Turn the fan with your hand to make it rotate slowly.
  3. Remove junk and grease from the fan blades.
  4. Take out the fan and wash until very clean.
  5. If the fan is broken or roughly damaged, replace it before using the grill

Pile of Ash

When ash piles up in the grill, it will not ignite. This occurs mostly in grills not well maintained or cleaned. The pile of ash may give the fire no space to breathe and the grill won’t heat up as it should.

Though pellet grills do not produce so much ash, it is best for grill users to clean and remove the little ash made after cooking, so it does not pile up and become a problem.

Fixing a Pile of Ash

  1. Remove ash and clean the grill a few hours after cooking.
  2. Before making meals, check and make sure there is no pile of ash in the grill.

Wrong Pellet Storage

Yes, there are right and wrong ways to store your pellet, and if you store them wrongly there would be problems. Some grill users put pellets in air-tight cans to keep them away from the air when not in use.

However, pellet suppliers recommend that pellets should get some air and should be compressed in well-closed bags or boxes. The major point here is that the pellets should be stored in dry areas.

The efficiency of a pellet is not always in the brand but the storage and maintenance. Moisture damages pellets and when it gets in, there is no remedy. You’ll have to dispose of it and get a new one.

Right ways to store Pellets

  1. The pellet storage area should be very dry.
  2. Pellets must not be exposed to moisture.

Inferior Wood Pellet Quality

When you buy inferior Wood pellets, you will have a lot of problems, especially with the heating system. Harder and stronger woods do not burn so well. Though some grill users do not experience the same problems.

Whichever be the case the best thing to do is check the instructions from the manufacturer and buy the pellets as recommended to avoid issues.

Fixing an Inferior Wood Pellet

  1. Check the recommended wood pellet from the manufacturer’s guide.
  2. Avoid using inferior wood pellets that do not get the job done.
  3. Find the best quality pellets and use them.
  4. Change the pellets if they do not work perfectly.

RTD Problems

The Resistance Temperature Detector is also known as the temperature sensor that helps with reading the temperature of the grill. However, if it is stained with grease, the readings might be wrong and the fire might go off unexpectedly.

With Camp Chef Pellet Grill you have to be cautious of this issue because, unlike other grills, it does not have a technology signal when the temperature sensor is malfunctioning because of dirt.

How to clean the Temperature Sensor

  1. Remove the RTD.
  2. Use warm water with a little detergent and wipe gently.
  3. Let it dry completely.
  4. Fix the sensor back in the grill.
  5. Start the grill and see if it reads properly.

Cleaning the Grill’s Exterior

Before commencing this process make sure the grill is very cool. This should be done after two days of no use. Then you must unplug it from the power before you get down with cleaning. Here’s how it’s done;

  1. Remove all pellets from the hopper so they do not get wet when you are cleaning.
  2. Spray a good amount of stainless steel cleaner or hot soapy water on the steel or painted surface. Leave it in for about a minute to soften the grease.
  3. Use a rag to wipe it off in a circular motion.
  4. Repeat this to clean any grease stain left.
  5. Rinse with a rag (when soapy water is used).
  6. Let it dry for a day, check carefully to make sure there is no water in the hopper before putting back the pellets.

How to Clean the Grill’s Interior

Like in the exterior, allow the grill to cool down completely and unplug from the power. Remove all pellets from the hopper, so it does not get wet, then start cleaning following the steps below; 

  1. Remove the grate and extra racks, heat diffuser plate, and drip tray from the grill – make sure you memorize the installation pattern so you can put it back correctly after cleaning.
  2. Attach a hose to a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, use it to remove junk and ash from the grill.
  3. Use an object with a flat edge like a pan scraper to remove the grease pile-up inside the grill.
  4. Put a rag you can condemn in hot soapy water and wash the grill’s interior and all the components you removed.
  5. Repeat one more time until the remaining grease is cleaned off.
  6. Let it dry for a day and check carefully to make sure there is no water in the hopper before putting back the pellets.

A quick bonus tip for easy cleaning; wrap the drip tray and heat diffuser with aluminum foil, so you can easily dispose of the foil rather than scrub hard to get the grease off.


Camp Chef Pellet Grill problems might look huge but aren’t. Some can even be avoided by following certain steps and cleaning regularly as explained above. Just follow the tips carefully to fix any problem.

Do not repair based on assumptions. Make sure your diagnosis is right before attempting repairs. Carefully take out components before fixing or replacing them accordingly to avoid further complications.

Ensure that parts repaired or replaced are faulty. Do not repair parts of the grill that functions properly. Fixing your Camp Chef grill is not so difficult, you might even have a good time if you do it right.