Here in the rainy pacific northwest, I wanted to use my Traeger pellet grill more often but it feels like it’s raining 99% of the time. If you’re like me then a little rain isn’t going to stop you from grilling and smoking so I started wondering if I could use my traeger while it rained.
So can electrical pellet grills be used in the rain?
Pellet grills can be used in the rain as long as the wood pellets and any electrical connections are protected from water. Rain can cause damage to exposed electrical connections and accelerate rust so avoid using an uncovered pellet grill in heavy rain.
Pellet grills can be safely used under covered porches, patios, and decks as long as there’s enough ventilation so try to keep the pellet grill protected from the rain if possible.
Knowing that you can use a pellet grill while it rains, let’s cover some things you should do to protect your pellet grill as much as possible. It’s best to keep the pellet grill covered or away from water as much as possible but sometimes the weather just won’t agree with your BBQ plans!
Safely Powering Pellet Grills In The Rain
Pellet grills need electricity to power the control panel and auger (mechanism that feeds the pellets). Without electricity, the pellet grill will simply not work.
So the most important step when using a pellet grill in the rain is to safely power it.
Outdoor Rated Extension Cord
The safest way to power a pellet grill in the rain is to use an outdoor rated extension cord. These outdoor rated extension chords can be purchased on Amazon.
The difference between outdoor and indoor extension chords is that outdoor ones have better insulation and can withstand moisture, temperature changes, and sunlight.
So make sure not to use a regular “indoor” extension cord outdoors especially in the rain since you can cause a short circuit.
Shelter Pellet Grills From Rain
Although traegers can be used while being rained on – it’s better to insulate or cover the pellet grill from being directly hit by the rain.
Rain and water can cause long term issues with pellet grills since they’re made out of metal. If the paint is chipped or there’s exposed metal then rust will start to develop.
More importantly to your smoking, rain water is cold and when it hits the grill it can cause the temperature of the grill to drop. So if there is heavy downpour then the grill will have trouble keeping temp.
The best solutions are to shelter or insulate the pellet grill.
Use A Canopy To Shelter Pellet Grills From Rain
The most versatile and easy solution to using a pellet grill in the rain is to place it underneath a canopy or EZ up. Canopies or EZ ups can be purchased on Amazon.
I highly recommend getting a canopy that is at least 10×10 feet and has at least 1 wall.
The canopy wall can be placed in the direction the wind is blowing to prevent rain from falling underneath the canopy. 10×10 feet may sound like a lot of space but it quickly fills up when a traeger is blowing smoke everywhere.
These canopys are great for places that do not have any outdoor shelter such as tailgating at a sports game. Now you and the pellet grill are protected from the rain!
Use An Insulated Blanket To Block Rain And Keep Temp
Traeger has released insulated blankets that are ideal for raining or snowing occasions. These blankets are intended to help maintain the temperature of the grill.
Not only are these insulated blankets great for overnight cooking, when the temperature is sure to drop, but also when its raining or snowing. These are sold on Traeger’s website and on Amazon.
Keep in mind that these will only help protect your grill or cooking cylinder from colder temperatures and getting hit directly by the rain.
However, the pellet hopper and control panel is still exposed to the weather so make sure to take the necessary steps to protect the electronics and pellets from water.
Cover Hopper And Control Panel From Rain
Even if the control panel or electronics are weather proof on pellet grills and can withstand the rain, the wood pellets cannot be soaked.
Below is a photo of wood pellets that were soaked in water for only 3 minutes.
Wood pellets that are soaked or exposed to too much moisture will expand which will clog the pellet grill. A clogged pellet grill is a very time consuming fix in order to remove all the wet pellets.
Not to mention wet pellets will put out the fire which means the pellet grill will shut down. This can ruin a multi-hour smoke.
A simple solution is to cover the hopper with a towel or cover so that water cannot drip into the hopper. Typically the electronic control panel is on the hopper so it’s best to cover that from the water as well.
Rain And Water May Cause Rust On Pellet Grills
Pellet grills are expensive pieces of machinery that should be protected as much as possible. Although these are not fragile, they still have electrical components and are made of metal.
So water does not mix well with pellet grills.
If the pellet grill has any unpainted or exposed metal then the rain water will quickly accelerate rust in those spots.
The best solution is to always cover the pellet grill when it is not in use and to place it underneath a covering or shelter when using it outdoors while it rains.
Pellet grills can be used in the rain but it’s good to keep in mind what long term damage might be caused by using it while it’s raining.
Knowing how expensive these pellet grills are, it’s best to take simple preventative steps to keep it out of the rain and water as much as possible.
Here’s a quick video of a person using a Traeger pellet grill in light rain.
Pellet grills can be used in the rain. However, the pellets, electrical connection, and any electrical controllers should be covered as much as possible. Rain can cause damage to exposed electrical connections or circuits so it is not recommended to use a pellet grill in heavy rain. Keep in mind any rain or water will cause rust to accelerate so any exposed, unpainted metal will be at risk for rust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a pellet grill get wet?
A: Pellet grills can get wet as long as the pellets and electrical connections stay dry. Wood pellets will expand and become unusable when exposed to water so the hopper must be closed and protected from water. Pellet grills also run off electricity so the electrical connection must remain dry. Similar to charcoal and propane grills, a pellet grill will work in the rain so it can get wet.
Q: What happens to my food if the pellet grill can’t maintain temperature?
A: Typically what happens when a pellet grill has trouble keeping temp is that the auger will keep feeding in pellets to try and maintain temp. The more pellets being fed in leads to a hotter fire which means your food will be getting cooked faster instead of smoked. If you’re not watching your food, the food will likely come out dryer and have a less smoky flavor then if the traeger was able to comfortably maintain temperature.
Q: Can I use my pit boss pellet grill in the rain?
A: Pit boss pellet grills can be used in the rain as long as the electrical components and wood pellets are kept dry. All pellet grills use electricity so the electrical connection should be kept out of water in order to prevent a short circuit. Using a canopy will help keep the electrical connection, wood pellets, and grill dry when being used in the rain.