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AC Grill Running Too Hot

Is your grill running hotter than the set temperature? We've got some tips to help you grill at your desired temperature.

Traegers Cook on an Average

Before troubleshooting, it is important to note that Traeger grills, like conventional ovens, cook on average. The difference is that your Traeger will give you a real-time reading throughout the entirety of your cook, whereas conventional ovens will show you a real-time reading while it pre-heats but then show you the set temperature. Your grill is functioning properly if the average temperature is within 15 degrees of your set temperature.


Check the internal pieces (grease tray, the heat baffle, grill grates, fire pot) are placed correctly inside the grill and undamaged.

  • Note, any severe damage, such as rusted or burnt holes through the heat baffle or drip trays, will increase direct heat and affect/increase the internal heat of the grill.
  • This would NOT include general wear and tear such as minor discoloring or warping.

Before starting your grill, check that the firepot is empty or only has a few pellets in it. Excess pellets in the firepot during startup will cause a flare-up at the beginning of the cook. The temperature should even out over time, but a flareup occasionally affects the remainder of your cook.

Proper Startup

An improper start-up can affect the temperature of a cook even hours in. Visit Grill Startup & Shutdown Guides to find your proper start-up.

Smoke Setting

Is your controller set to SMOKE? The SMOKE setting maintains a temperature range between 160°F and 225°F. As long as the temperature is in or close to that range, the grill is operating correctly.


If you are trying to grill during the heat of Summer, you may find that your grill runs hotter than normal. Higher temperatures outside may cause the grill to run a little hotter than expected. See P-Setting below to understand how to account for higher ambient temperatures. For additional weather-related troubleshooting, check out our Weather Effects on Grilling ​​​​​​​ article.


Some grills have P-setting functionality. If your grill has this function, you will notice a small hole, a blank black sticker, or a sticker that reads “Call Service” on the controller to the LED screen's right.

You can adjust the p-setting by using a paper clip to press the button in the small hole. Adjust until the controller flashes “P-3.” If the grill continues to run too hot, adjust to “P-4.”

  • We do not recommend adjusting past “p-4” as this can cause the flame to go out during the cook.

Check out P-Setting for more information.

Check the RTD

With the grill cooled down, complete the following:

Checking for Damage

Verify that your RTD temperature sensor is not damaged.

  • Check to see if it is bent or touching anything inside the grill.
  • If your RTD or thermocouple is bent, chipped, or seemingly broken, test it to see if it accurately reads the ambient grill temperature.
  • If it is reading the ambient grill temperature correctly, there is no problem, and you can continue grilling.

Testing RTD/Thermocouple

The best way to test your thermocouple is by comparing the ambient temperature of the grill to the external temperature. With the grill cooled down, complete the following:

  • Turn on your grill and take note of what temperature shows up on the controller.
  • Compare this to the outside temperature, either using a third-party thermometer or the current daily temperature.
    • Acceptable temperature variation is within 20°F/10°C.
  • The temperature variation may be larger when the grill is sitting in the sun.
  • If the readings are more than 20°F/10°C off, contact Customer Service.