Camp Chef Error Codes & Fixes: For All Camp Chef Pellet BBQs


Hi, I’m Chris I started PelHeat.com back in 2007.

No one wants to see an error code on their pellet grill/smoker. However, as pellet grills are electric with several electrical moving components, things can fail. Sometimes its user error (wet pellets blocking the auger), but sometimes components just fail of their own accord. Either way, it will often lead to an error code on the display. With this article, I’ll discuss what error codes your Camp Chef pellet grill/smoker may display and how to correct the issue. The information below applies to all current Camp Chef models.

Camp Chef Error Codes
If you have an older Camp Chef model, your control panel will look like the one on the left, more modern versions feature the control panels center and on the right: Images – CampChef.com

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Introduction To Camp Chef Error Codes

Camp Chef has been making pellet grills/smokers for many years now. From their budget SmokePro range to their more premium models of the Woodwind, Woodwind Pro and Apex. They also produce the Camp Chef Vertical XXL pellet smoker.

Whichever Camp Chef model you own, your control panel will resemble one of the three as seen in the image above. Now, if you’re an Apex owner, granted your control panel won’t look exactly like the full-color display controller on the right of the image above, but its the same panel technology.

Some Camp Chef control panels are based on time-based temperature control others use PID temperature control, and some feature WiFi where others do not, when it comes to error codes, they are all actually very similar.

The exact wording of the error may change, but they are very similar. What I will note is that compared to Traeger error codes and Pit Boss error codes, there are a lot fewer Camp Chef error codes.

That’s good in one sense as there is less to troubleshoot but its not so good when it comes to tracking down an issue. Right, let’s get into this…

FLAME, FLAME OUT & FLAME ERROR

If you own a Camp Chef product with their first generation control panel, as seen on the left in the image above, your panel will display FLAME. If your model is fitted with a Gen 2 PID controller, it will display FLAME OUT for this issue.

Finally, if you have one of the latest versions of the Camp Chef Woodwind or you own an Apex pellet/gas grill, then your control panel will display FLAME ERROR for this issue, but what exactly is the issue?

Well, as the name implies, a flame out is where the pellet grill smoker knows the fire has either not been established, or the fire has gone out. But why could this happen?

The first thing to check and the most likely reason for this issue is the hopper ran out of pellets. However, there are a couple of other scenarios you may need to investigate to resolve this issue.

The Risks Of Cooking On The Smoke/Lowest Temp Setting

I’ve previously written about the potential complications of cooking on the Smoke setting of pellet grills/smokers, but I’ll run through the potential issue here quickly.

Take a previous generation Camp Chef control panel (the one on the left in the image above), you can set the dial to Lo Smoke or Hi Smoke. Well, to maintain these relatively low temperatures, very little fuel (pellets) is being added to the burn pot, and only a small fire is been maintained.

With such a small fire, if your pellet grill/smoker becomes exposed to higher wind speeds/sudden gusts of wind, the fire could be extinguished. Hence, you could return to your Camp Chef to find a hopper with pellets still inside but a FLAME OUT error etc displayed.

This is not to say never to use Smoke settings or very low-temperature settings on your Camp Chef pellet grill/smoker. Just be aware that when running at those settings, the fire is more sensitive to going out.

Blocked Auger And/Or Sheared Auger Pin

Another potential cause of the FLAME Out error is the auger has become blocked. Foreign objects such as stones/nails are maybe a culprit, but in most cases, its due to pellets getting wet in the auger tube, typically from rain getting into the hopper.

Once wet, the pellets will expand and block the auger tube up pretty good. If you have the flame-out error on your Camp Chef on startup, you can easily and quickly check if a blocked auger is the issue, remove the ash cup under the burn pot to see if there are unburnt pellets in it.

Camp Chef Ash Cup
Another advantage of the ash cup on Camp Chef pellet grills/smokers is you can quickly check if the auger is working properly and able to feed the burn pot with pellets: Image – CampChef.com

Now, if there are no pellets in the ash cup, you may remove the access panel under the hopper to see if the auger motor is moving. You may see the fan on the auger motor spinning away. However, that doesn’t mean the auger itself isn’t blocked, the pin between the motor and auger could have snapped.

When I get around to it, I’ll write a dedicated article on replacing the auger motor/fixing and auger jam on Camp Chef pellet grills/smokers. Luckily its easy to source replacement parts from Amazon etc.

Camp Chef Auger motor
Just because you can see the white fan spinning on your auger motor, it doesn’t mean the auger isn’t blocked. The shear pin could have failed, and the motor is just spinning on its own: Image – Amazon.com

Failed Hot Rod Igniter

Ok, so if you have pellets dropping into the burn pot, hence you know the auger isn’t blocked, and the auger motor is working correctly, but you still get the FLAME OUT error what’s going on!?

Well, in that case, you have a failed hot rod igniter. At the base of the burn pot, there is an electrically heated element that starts the fire. However, the elements inside them can burn through, or corrosion/rust can take its course and be the cause of failure.

Whatever the cause, to get going again, you are going to need to replace the hot rod igniter. It’s not a difficult task, and I’ll have a dedicated article on how to do it soon. In the meantime, learn how to manually ignite a pellet grill/smoker.

Camp Chef Hot Rod Igniter
Some Camp Chef hot rod igniter replacements sometimes come with a spare fuse for the back of the control panel as shown in the image above: Image – Amazon.com

SENSR, RTD ERROR & SENSOR ERROR

Depending on your particular Camp Chef model, you will get one of the error codes above for this particular issue. The first generation panel will display SENSR, and the more modern WiFi/PID panels will display either RTD ERROR or SENSOR ERROR. So what’s going on!?

This is an issue with the temperature probe that sits inside the cooking chamber of your Camp Chef, which tells the control panel the actual temperature the pellet grill/smoker is at. However, these sensors, known as RTD probes, are pretty sensitive and fragile.

There is a very fine wire within the RTD probe, as it gets hot, the electrical resistance through the wire increases and the control panel can interpret this electrical resistance as a temperature reading.

The problem is when moving a pellet grill/smoker around, if its not moved carefully, this can damage the RTD probe. However, they can also get damaged by getting hit accidentally by a cooking utensil etc.

Camp Chef RTD Probe
RTD probe replacements are pretty cheap (under $15) and they don’t take long to replace: Image – Amazon.com

PRERR & – – –

This is an issue related to the meat probe thermometer, which can be plugged into a Camp Chef control panel. Older Camp Chef control panels will display the PRERR error, whereas the more modern WiFi/PID control panels will simply display – – –.

Does this error code mean the meat probe/probes are broken? Potentially, but before you order replacements, check the probe is fully inserted into the control panel. If the connector is only half in, a full connection is not being made, and the control panel cannot read the meat probes temperature.

Camp Chef Meat Probes
Camp Chef meat probe replacements typically come as a pair: Image – Amazon.com

OVER TEMP

The more modern Camp Chef control panels can display an ‘OVER TEMP’ error code. Within the various Camp Chef manuals for this error code, it simply states ‘the grill exceeds a normal operating temperature‘. The manuals do not, however, explain why this error code may have occurred.

There are two likely scenarios that can lead to an over temp error. Either following a restart after a flameout situation where the burn pot was not cleaned of excess pellets or as the result of a grease fire.

Flameout Prior To Over Temp Error

Ok, so following on from my comments above on the causes of the flame-out error code, let’s discuss a scenario that could lead to an over temp error following on from a flameout situation.

Let’s say a flameout occurred due to a strong gust of wind blowing out the fire. Well, up until the point where the Flame Out error was displayed, the control panel kept feeding the fire pot with pellets as it didn’t yet know the fire was going out.

As a result, by the time the Flame Out error displays, there is now a burn pot full of unburnt pellets. Let’s say you didn’t clean the burn pot of these pellets and just turned the Camp Chef off and on again and set a temp.

Well, as the burn pot is full of pellets, there is more fuel present than there should be, this can lead not only to an Over Temp error once the fire is established it can even lead to a pellet grill explosion.

Grease Fire Prior To Over Temp Error

Now, the likely hood of a grease fire occurring on your Camp Chef really comes down to one question, does your Camp Chef have direct-flame access, also known as ‘Slide ‘N Grill’?

All Camp Chef Woodwind models feature direct flame access, and a few of the more premium SmokePro models feature Slide ‘N Grill as well. The Camp Chef Apex doesn’t provide direct flame access from the pellet fire, but a grease fire is possible due to the gas burners.

Camp Chef Slide 'N Grill
Slide ‘N Grill is a great feature to have on your Camp Chef, but using it does come with a higher risk of a grease fire: Image – CampChef.com

When using Slide ‘N Grill functionality, you need to be aware that if your grease tray is not cleaned frequently enough, it could lead to a grease fire. A grease fire can lead to the Over Temp Error and your Camp Chef entering shut down mode.

Therefore, when using Slide ‘N Grill, you not only need to know how to clean your pellet grill, but you need to also carefully consider when to clean your pellet grill.

My Final Thoughts On Camp Chef Error Codes…

Hopefully, the information above has helped you to troubleshoot the error code you have displayed on your Camp Chef pellet grill/smoker. The thing is, as pellet grills are electric, error codes and component failures are not to be unexpected, but they can usually be fairly easily resolved.

Soon I will be producing articles on how to replace any potentially damaged components in your Camp Chef, the auger motor, hot rod igniter etc.

That’s it for now! If you would like to learn about the latest and greatest pellet grill/smokers now on the market, then please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.

Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.

A to Z List of The Best BBQ Wood Pellets

A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.

In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.

Chris - PelHeat.com

Hi, I’m Chris. I started PelHeat.com back in 2007. This website is intended to be an educational resource on BBQ pellets, pellet grills & smokers. I hope you find the information useful.

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