Three ways to reignite a Yoder Smokers pellet grill if you run out of pellets
A low and slow cook such as a pork shoulder or a brisket is usually a well-planned event. You pick your seasonings, know your cooking temperature, and calculate the time needed to ensure your food comes off the smoker and is rested before your guests arrive.
But what happens if the fire has died because you forgot to refill the pellets and your grill ran out of fuel? Fortunately, if you can catch it soon enough, you can save your food and get back to cooking quickly so your gathering does not have to be postponed. Below are three methods to help you get cooking again.
Safety Tip: If your grill is still hot, please use heavy gloves for removing and replacing all interior parts.
Method One: The Hard Reset
Time Required: 20 –30 minutes
Temporarily move food from your smoker into an indoor oven set at the same temperature.
Remove the cooking grates to access your heat diffuser, remove the heat diffuser or two-piece diffuser access door, and empty the ash from the burn grate.
Turn off the power and unplug the grill for 60 seconds. Plug in the power cord again and turn on the power button.
Fill the pellet hopper, then press and hold the Prime button until you hear pellets dropping into the burn grate. Insert diffuser and grates. Press Start and set the desired temperature. Place your food on the grill as soon as it reaches set temperature.
This is a certain method of restarting a grill made before mid-2019 that has not been upgraded to the ACS controller.
Method Two: The Soft Reset (The Hack)
Time Required: 15-20 minutes
Verify that the grill is still showing that it is in Heat Up Mode and the fans are running. Heat Up Mode is indicated on the control panel by three rising dashes on non-ACS grills and by an up arrow next to the set point temperature on grills with ACS controllers.
Temporarily move food from your smoker into an indoor oven set at same temperature as your desired smoking temperature.
Remove the cooking grates to gain access to your heat diffuser and remove the heat diffuser or two-piece diffuser access door and empty the ash from the burn grate.
Refill hopper with pellets and place a small handful of wood pellets in the far back of the burn grate. Use a torch or fire starter to ignite. Once ignited, replace diffuser and cooking grates, and close the door to allow the grill to come back up to operating temperature.
Once the grill is back at operating temperature, place food back on grill and continue cooking.
Important to note: This method is quicker, but it does require the use of a torch or fire starter. Be careful to only use the torch to heat pellets and try not to damage the igniter or the wiring connected to it. By setting the handful of pellets in the far back corner of the burn grate to start the fire, you are preventing the fire from being extinguished by the pellets falling from the auger.
Method Three: The ACS Controller Reignite Button (The Easiest Method)
Time Required: 10 Minutes
One of the lesser-known benefits of the newer ACS controller is that if your igniter is clear of ash to ignite pellets, you can reignite your grill without opening the door using a simple Reignite process from the controller.
When you notice the fire has gone out, do not turn your grill off or unplug it. Instead, simply refill the hopper with pellets, push any of the three buttons on the left to activate the LCD screen choices, then press and hold the Prime button (located at the bottom of the three buttons on the left side of the LCD screen) until you hear pellets dropping into the burn grate.
Press the Menu button, scroll down using the selector knob until you see Reignite. Highlight the Reignite button and then press the rotary selector dial once. You will see a notice asking if you want to reignite the grill. Press the Ignite button and your grill will now reignite and bring itself back up to operating temperature.
Get an Assist from the ACS
A Yoder Smokers pellet grill with the ACS controller is feature rich and will assist you in navigating a variety of situations.
The controller is designed to remember your set temperature and come back to it in many cases. As shown above, if you lose your fire and use the reignite button it will bring itself back up to temperature. It will also remember the set temperature for several minutes during a short power outage (or when the power cord is kicked loose).
Another memory feature of the ACS controller: If you put the grill in Power Off Mode and then suddenly remember something else you wanted to cook, just push the power button again and the grill will come back up to temperature as if nothing happened.
Equipped with this knowledge, a mishap such as running out of pellets or tripping over the power cord does not have to ruin your cook. Simply select the method best suited for your situation and you will be up and running in no time.