Best answer: What temperature do you cook chicken on a Pit Boss pellet grill?

Pellet grills have been gaining popularity in recent years, with Pit Boss being one of the most trusted brands in the market. These grills are unique as they use compressed wood pellets as fuel instead of charcoal or gas. As a result, they offer a different flavor and versatility for cooking. One of the best meats to cook on a pellet grill is chicken, but getting it right can be tricky. So what temperature do you cook chicken on a Pit Boss pellet grill?


Before we dive into temperature settings, it’s important to understand why chicken must be cooked thoroughly. Chicken carries strains of bacteria that can pose health risks to humans when not cooked properly. Therefore, it is essential to take precautions when handling raw chicken and ensuring that you follow recommended temperatures for cooking.

Preparing for Cooking

Before setting up the grill, you need to take care of some preparations first. Proper cleanliness and safety considerations should always be observed when handling raw chicken to avoid food poisoning.

Choosing an appropriate cut is also crucial for ensuring your meat cooks evenly while retaining its juices efficiently. Some popular cuts perfect for grilling include boneless thighs, wings, breasts or drumsticks. Seasoning options are vast and customizable based on your preference.

Temperature Basics

The science behind cooking temperatures lies in understanding how heat affects proteins’ structural change at various points during the cooking process. For instance, if you undercook chicken breasts, this could leave harmful bacteria active inside the meat.

Different parts of chicken require varied internal temperatures for safe consumption; thigh meat should reach 165°F while breast meat must achieve 160°F internal temperature using a meat thermometer.

Controlling Temperature on a Pellet Grill

Controlling temperature levels in a pellet grill operates differently compared to traditional grilling systems. Despite this difference in approach, achieving your perfect grilling recipe shouldn’t take any longer than usual.

Using direct heating methods requires placing seasoned chicken pieces directly on grill grates placed above an open flame in the pellet grill. However, this method could lead to flare-ups if care is not exercised. Alternatively, indirect smoking works well with most chicken cuts by using metal deflector plates of your family size pellet grill.

Setting the Temperature: Low vs. High Heat Cooking Methods

The type of cooking technique you choose to depend on the cut and desired flavor profile you want to achieve. Typically, there are two main methods used; low heat cooking method that uses indirect smoke while high-temperature searing prepares chicken initial crust before continuing onto indirect smoking.

Low Heat Cooking Method: Direct Heat to Indirect Smoke Techniques

This technique usually heralds juicy and succulent results when cooking bone-in meats like chicken drumsticks or thighs. It involves initially searing the meat on direct heat before lowering the temperature then allows for gentle and even indirect smoking for optimal tenderness.

When setting up a low heat cooking environment, ensure that your pellet grill has been preheated with enough time to reach the intended temperature level while placing your seasoned chicken ¼ inch apart from each other rather than layering.

High Heat Cooking Method: Searing at high temperatures then lowering the temperature for Indirect Smoke Technique

The key point in employing this technique is salt seasoning generously then sear on high heat initially ensures umami flavor in each bite before ultimately cook on indirect smoke satisfaction achieving results in all cuts – wings, drumstick breasts.

To proceed with high heat techniques, set your pellet grill’s highest temperature as per manufacturer recommendation aiming (484°F), place your meat 8cm apart from one another directly overfirst allowing almost 10 min sear after which lower temp half, eventually transferring it to an indirect-smoking zone maintaining its flavor to perfection.

Tips for Achieving Perfectly Cooked Chicken Every Time

Getting optimal results is easy once you understand why following timelines while handling raw chicken is crucial are important. You can leverage the following tips to help you achieve mouth-watering, juicy results for your perfect grilled chicken recipe.

  • Checking the temperature regularly with a meat thermometer helps prevent overcooking or undercooking resulting in great tasting chicken every time.
  • Using basting techniques by brushing olive oil mixture on the surface retaining moisture as necessary before putting it back onto grill grates.
  • Employing browning techniques varies wing tips or legs; which allows wrapping of seasoned drumstick pieces in foil and placing them on pellet grills for its color.


Pellet grills come with different features that ensure superior performance cooking range of meats including chicken. Cooking food could be done intuitively given attention paid to cleanliness, selecting appropriate cuts, varying heat levels to offer a rich smoky flavor profile unique taste exploiting ways most advanced pit masters often overlook. However, if you’re ever unsure about how to go about setting your pellet grill’s temperature correctly, it’s always better to consult with professionals than improvise.


A: The recommended temperature to cook chicken on a Pit Boss pellet grill is between 375°F to 400°F. At this temperature range, you can achieve perfectly cooked chicken with a crispy skin.

Q2) Can I cook chicken at a lower temperature on my Pit Boss pellet grill?

A: Although it is possible to cook chicken at a lower temperature, it is not recommended as it may result in undercooked or dry chicken. You should always aim for the optimal temperature range for best results.

Q3) How do I ensure that my chicken is thoroughly cooked on the Pit Boss pellet grill?

A: To ensure your chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F before it’s safe to eat. Additionally, allow the chicken to rest for five minutes after removing it from the grill to allow the juices to redistribute and its cooking process to finish.

Q4) Can I use direct heat or indirect heat when cooking chicken on a Pit Boss pellet grill?

A: It depends on your preference and the recipe you’re following. Direct heat is ideal for searing and creating grill marks, while indirect heat works best for slow-cooking and smoking meat. Experiment with both methods on your Pit Boss pellet grill and see which one gives you the desired result.

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