The first time I was hit with the lower temperature warning I was certainly a little taken back. It wasn’t even necessarily too cold, although there was a fair bit of wind. But, after seeing the LEr warning on the digital display I knew something was up.
Often when you receive the low temperature code on your pellet grill it can indicate more than it just being a little too cold outside.
Here is what the low temperature code on a pellet grill really means, what it looks like for each brand of pellet grill, and what you can do about it — so you can get back to uninterrupted smoking.
A low temperature warning will display when the temperature has dropped below 150-125°F for 10-20 minutes depending on the model and brand of your pellet grill.
The low temperature warning is really telling you that it’s not hot enough to ignite the wood pellets properly to generate sufficient temperature and smoke to continue smoking. You’ll normally face the low temperature code on your pellet grill when you’re trying to start it up, as once it gets going properly the insulation is usually able to keep the temperature above the threshold.
The low temperature warning error appears slightly differently between major brands and models of pellet grills. But, the main two ways it will display is either by having the temperature on the display flashing, or lit up with the term “LEr” meaning Low Temperature Error.
This warning will be triggered whenever the ambient temperature of the pellet girl stays too low for too long but is most often caused by a combination of low outside temperatures and strong winds.
How To Fix Low Temperature Issues With Pellet Grills
Depending on the model of pellet grill when you turn on the pellet grill you’ll have between 10 and 20 minutes to get the temperature above the threshold to avoid the grill shutting down and displaying the low temperature error.
Normally if you can get the temperature above the threshold, which is usually 125°F or 150°F, your pellet grill will run smoothly for the remainder of the cook. It’s more about getting it up to temp correctly.
Luckily, there are more than a few easy ways you can get your pellet grill up to temperature through harsh cold and windy weather conditions and avoid any low temperature warnings. These are:
Move Your Pellet Grill Somewhere Sheltered
Surprisingly it’s not simply the cold temperatures outside that cause your pellet grill to become too cold to operate, it’s also the wind. The wind not only quickly drains the temperature from the exterior of the smoker as it passes over it, but it can also blow through the unit and disturb the hot rod and induction fan.
If the wind is causing you some grief, then you can also get an extension cord for your pellet grill, this way you can choose exactly where to set it up in your backyard, patio, or porch to become as sheltered as possible. (Note: it’s not safe setting up your pellet grill in your garage or indoors, so always ensure there is plenty of ventilation and airflow where you are setting up).
So, you can smoke meat in cold, wet, or windy conditions, but you just have to have it set up in a sheltered, but ventilated space.
Use An Insulated Blanket On Your Pellet Grill
Using an insulated blanket on your pellet grill is a sure fire way to avoid any low temperature issues. Insulated blankets are specifically designed to keep heat in, no matter how small. This makes it much easier for your pellet grill to stay at the right temperature, and will reduce temperatures fluctuating/temperature swings which can be an issue even when the weather is fine!
Luckily the pellet grill companies know insulated blankets are a necessity for some users, so they all tend to have their own insulated blankets for each model and type. Similarly, you can enquire with your pellet grill provider, or check amazon to see your options.
Clear Out The Fire Pot
Keeping your fit pot clear at the beginning of every smoking session is essential for a smooth start-up and smoking process. If your fire pot is full of wood dust and ash then it may prevent pellets from properly entering and igniting. This can often cause your pellet grill to remain at too low temperatures, as they aren’t igniting properly.
Simply vacuum your pellet grill before each use and you’ll never have a problem in the fire pot and you’ll prevent potential auger fires.
Check To See If The Auger Is Operating
An issue you might not think could be causing a low temperature warning is actually a problem with the auger motor, that is, the mechanical instrument that feeds the wood pellets into the fire pot to ignite.
To check your auger, give your firepot a good clean-out so you can see clearly into it. Turn on your pellet grill and keep all the other internal parts out. Watch to see if your pellets are being slowly fed into the fire pot, and the rate they are coming through. If pellets aren’t being regularly pushed through the auger, you may need to do some further investigation.
It can even be as simple as running out of wood pellets in the pellet hopper!
Depending on your pellet grill brand and model, you may even get a separate error code flashing on the display which indicates a problem with your auger or fan.
Adjust The P-Setting
The “P” setting, which refers to “Pause”, is a semi-universal setting that appears on most major pellet grills. Adjusting the p setting controls how frequently wood pellets are fed through the auger. The higher the p setting, the slower the wood pellets flow through. So, if your pellet grill is getting too hot you can adjust the p-setting up to P-3 or P-4. If you’re struggling to get the temperature up, you can adjust the p-setting down to P-1 or P-2.
To adjust your p-setting on your pellet grill, use a pin or paper clip and poke into the small black hole next to the main digital display. The display will light up with the current P-setting, and you can cycle through to which setting suits your external temperature. Usually, P-2 is standard, but it will depend on your environment.
What Does The Low Temperature Error Sign Look Like On My Pellet Grill?
Although it can differ depending on what brand of pellet grill you have, it will usually be represented by a flashing of the current temperature on the digital display, or it will be lit up with LEr. Let’s look at what the error code looks like on each major pellet grill brand. If you’re seeing an unknown code coming up, always refer to your manual.
LEr Error Code On Pellet Grill
The LEr error code you see on the digital display on your pellet grill simply means your smoker isn’t able to get up to temperature quickly enough. This usually means it’s either too cold, there’s too much wind, or there’s an internal problem causing it.
The LEr error code is the most common signal that your pellet grill is too cold, and not hot enough to produce enough heat or smoke. You’ll see the LEr code shown on Traeger Pellet Grills, Z Grills pellet grills, and more.
Low Temperature Warning On Pit Boss
Instead of the classic LEr error code coming up on the digital display, Pit Boss pellet grills will indicate a lower temperature warning by flashing the current temperature on the digital display. This is to alert you to the low temperature, and the grill will begin a shut-down cycle.
If you’re using the “smoke” mode, this will begin to flash when the temperature drops below 110°F. If it’s on any other modes and set to any other temperatures, the temperature will begin flashing when it drops below 150°F.
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett SEN error
Green Mountain Grills don’t have a specific code for low temperature issues, but they do have an error that shows up as SEN, which refers to Thermal Sensor Issue. This indicates there is an issue with the thermal sensor, which usually sends data to the display to report the temperature 10 times a second.
If your green mountain grill isn’t able to get up to temperature you may be hit with the SEN error, indicating the thermal sensor isn’t picking up signals.
Low Temperature Warning On Weber SmokeFire
The Weber SmokeFire has several specific error codes that can be caused by low temperatures and strong winds.
If you see an E3 error code flash up on the display, it means the flame has actually gone out completely, often caused by strong winds flowing through the smoker.
The second error you might see is the error code: E6. This refers to general start-up failure when the pellet grill isn’t able to produce heat and smoke sufficient to being the cooking process. This can be caused by extremely cold weather, wind, or may indicate a problem in the fire pot or auger.
So, LEr is the most common error code you will receive that indicates your pellet grill is running at too low temperatures to continue. But, you may also see various other signals and displays depending on your exact grill brand and model. Always refer to your manual to check exactly what has happened and the best ways to fix it.
When it comes to fighting cold temperatures or wind, the best action you can take is to move your pellet grill out of the wind and to a somewhat sheltered location. You can also use an insulated blanket to completely combat any low temperature risks and temperature fluctuation and is perfect for the colder winter months.
Don’t let the cold weather dictate how you will smoke your meat!