Gravity 980 Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Ready

I just got my grill and I have questions about assembly / missing or damaged parts in the box.

Please contact us via our Contact Form.

Why do I need to season my new grill?

Seasoning your grill helps to burn off any protective oils / dust / etc., left over from the manufacturing process. More importantly, this process helps to protect your grill from the elements and allows for easier / quicker cleanup after each cook.

I assembled my grill and it has protective natural oils etc., on its surfaces, how do I get it ready for my first cook?

Before you use your grill, you must burn off any factory applied natural oils, dust, leftover packaging debris etc. This important step is normal for all new grills and will help ensure you avoid unnatural flavors and promote a clean cooking area.
Note: Make sure to remove all the packaging materials before the first burn in. Check inside the grill and inside the hopper to ensure that all Styrofoam and other packaging materials have been removed. There is a protective covering on the hopper fire bricks that will disintegrate / burn off during the seasoning process and there is no need to remove it.
1. Add charcoal to the hopper so that it is ¼ full (approximately 4 pounds of briquettes).
2. Follow the lighting instructions found in your Owner's Manual and then set the temperature to 350°F.
3. Once up to temperature, keep set temperature for 60 minutes.
4. After holding temperature for 60 minutes, turn grill off and allow to completely cool.
5. Season your grill (see "How and when do I season my grill?"").

How and when do I season my grill?

After the initial burn, it is time to season your grill. This will help protect your grill surfaces over time.
1. Once your grill has cooled, use a paper towel to apply a light coat of your favorite high smoke point oil like grapeseed oil to the cooking grates, warming rack and the inside of the lid and body.
2. Fill the hopper ¼ full with charcoal (approximately 4 pounds of briquettes).
3. Follow the lighting instructions, set the temperature to 350°F and run your grill for 20 minutes.
4. Turn the grill off and allow to completely cool.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.
6. To protect your grill, Char-Griller recommends re-seasoning your grill twice per year.

I ordered my grill from Lowe's and it arrived damaged. What do I do?

First, contact us via our Contact Form. In most cases, we can provide the needed replacement parts. If the grill is damaged to the point of being unusable, follow the steps below. These steps also apply in the case of any damage that happens during shipping. In most cases, you will get a discount from Lowe's.
1. Grill is received damaged after ordering from to home
2. Have your order number ready and call 1-800-445-6937, the Lowe's customer care number.
3. Explain to Lowe's that you received a damaged grill.
4. Lowe's will begin the process of determining what to do, which is on a case by case basis.
5. If there is a possibility for a reship, it normally takes 28 days total to process. 14 days for Lowe's and 14 days for the financial institution to process refund.


How much charcoal should I use?

Char-Griller recommends you only use enough charcoal for the expected cook time. This will depend on cook temperature, type of fuel, outdoor temperature / humidity and other factors. A good rule of thumb is that the grill consumes approximately 1 pound of briquettes per hour of operation at 250°F and approximately 4 pounds per hour at 600°F.

Can I use lighter fluid to start the charcoal?

Do not use gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid or alcohol for lighting charcoal. Use of any of these or similar products could cause an explosion leading to severe injury.
Do not use instant or match-light style of charcoal briquettes. Use of these ignition accelerants voids the warranty.
For best performance, Char-Griller recommends hardwood charcoal briquettes, standard charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal.

What kind of firestarter should I use?

Char-Griller recommends a tumbleweed or fire cube style of fire starter for igniting your grill.
NOTE: Do not use gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, alcohol for lighting charcoal. Use of any of these or similar products could cause an explosion leading to severe injury. Do not use instant or match-light style of charcoal briquettes. Use of these ignition accelerants voids the warranty.

Can I use a charcoal chimney to ignite the charcoal in my hopper?

No, using a charcoal chimney will alter the performance of your grill. The gravity grill is designed to work from the start using charcoal, lit by a fire starter in the hopper charcoal grate. Please follow the ignition instructions included in your owner's manual.
1. Start with a firestarter in the hopper charcoal grate and allow the open flame to activate the charcoal for 3-5 minutes.
2. Power on the controller and allow grill to reach temperature. You will typically reach operating temperature within 15 minutes.

Why is my fire going out?

Ignition first requires 3-5 minutes of charcoal activation from the open flame of a firestarter. After charcoal activation, ensure the fire shutter is removed, the fan cover is open, and the hopper and ash doors are closed. Finally, power on the controller and set your desired temperature.
NOTE: Do not use gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, alcohol for lighting charcoal. Use of any of these or similar products could cause an explosion leading to severe injury. Do not use instant or match-light style of charcoal briquettes. Use of these ignition accelerants voids the warranty.

Why is the controller not working / fan not turning on / grill not starting?

Check the following:
1. The power supply connection is plugged securely into the controller.
2. The power supply is plugged into a working outlet.
3. The controller is powered ON.
4. The hopper lid and ash pan door are closed and latched.
5. The fan door is open and the fire shutter is completely removed.
6. Ensure you are allowing 3-5 minutes of charcoal activation from the open flame of a firestarter before powering on the controller.

Why is my grill not warming up even when the fan is on?

If the controller is powered on and the charcoal is ignited, ensure the fire shutter has been removed and the fan cover has been opened.

How long does my grill take to get to temperature?

Your grill will typically reach the desired temperature within 15 minutes. But many factors affect how long the grill grates and other metal surfaces will reach your desired temperature. This includes outside temperature / humidity, fuel type, fuel moisture content, among others.
When preparing your meal, Char-Griller recommends allowing 20-30 minutes before beginning your cook. As you learn your product, your prep time will adapt to your preferred fuel type and local climate.

Why is there so much smoke during start up?

Any time you cook with charcoal, it is normal for heavy smoke when first ignited. After fuel activation, the smoke will change to a light thin smoke, indicating your grill is ready to cook.

Can I use the fire shutter like a damper to control the air flow / temperature?

No, you should always completely remove the fire shutter from your grill during use. Using the fire shutter like a damper will keep the heat/fire in the hopper and cause overheating and damage.

Using Your Gravity Grill

How do I cook with wood chunks?

Char-Griller recommends using dry wood chunks (no larger than a clenched fist). Add 1-2 chunks in the center of the ash pan. As embers from the charcoal fall into the pan, the chunks will ignite and smoke. Add extra chunks only once previous chunks are consumed. Do not add more than 1-2 chunks at a time or it may result in excess heat.

Why is my grill temp slightly higher / lower than the set temp?

The controller powers the fan to add air to the charcoal and increase the temperature of the grill. Due to natural heating and cooling cycles, the grill will slowly alternate between higher and lower temperatures. These cycles typically exhibit less than 5% variance at any time and will not affect the long-term cook performance.
For comparison, the oven in your home runs on this same cycle. As you learn your product, you'll become familiar with its cooking characteristics.

My grill is getting much hotter than the set temperature. What is going on?

First, to make sure the fan door is completely open and that the hopper and ash doors are closed.
Then, check the back damper to make sure it's open completely. The back damper should only be used in cold weather or if extra smoke is needed.
Finally, check that the rubber flap is straight up and down and not curled.

Why doesn't the temperature readout on the controller match a particular point being measured inside the grill?

The controller uses algorithmic logic to estimate the average temperature in the middle of the cooking area, not any specific temperature probe point.

What happens to my grill temperature when I open the lid?

When you open the lid, the cooking surface will cool, and the controller will attempt to maintain your set temperature.
Note: When the controller is set to a temperature greater than 500°F and the lid is open, the grill will default to a max temperature of 500°F for safety. Once you close the lid, the grill will return to the set temperature. The more you keep the lid closed, the better the cooking performance.

Why does the grill burn through charcoal faster than expected?

One of the largest factors in burn performance is outdoor temperature, colder outdoor temperatures will result in faster fuel consumption. Cooking at higher temperatures and frequent opening of the lid will also increase charcoal usage. Do not use accelerants or match lit charcoal. Finally, brands of charcoal vary in quality, density and material make up, resulting in differences of performance. For optimal performance, we recommend a natural hardwood briquette from a trusted fuel brand.

How to control temperature on gas grill

1. To preheat the grill, we recommend turning one to two burners on medium. This will typically maintain a temperature around 325 to 350 degrees.
2. For indirect heat, we recommend turning one burner to medium and cooking on the opposite side of the ignited burner.
3. Leaving all three burners on high can cause the grill to overheat so do so with caution.

Can I leave my unused charcoal in my hopper between cooks?

Char-Griller recommends that you only use the amount of charcoal that you need for each cook so that there isn't any left when you shut the grill down but you can leave unused charcoal in the hopper.

How long will my grill take to cool down?

To extinguish the fire after a cook, it's important to eliminate all sources of oxygen that your fuel can use to burn. First, turn the controller OFF and unplug your grill. Next, close the grill body lid. Then, close and latch the hopper lid, ash door the fan door and close the rear damper. Finally, fully insert the fire shutter into the fire shutter channel. Do not store or cover the grill until it has completely cooled. Depending on your earlier set temperature, this could take a couple to several hours.

How do I use the turbo fan setting?

The turbo fan setting can be activated by pressing the Turbo Fan button on the controller. Using the turbo button will increase the fan performance by blowing more air into the hopper. This feature is best used for reaching temperatures faster during high temperature cooks.

Can I adjust the cook temperature during operation?

Yes, first press the Grill Temperature button. Then rotate the Control Dial to the desired temperature. Finally, press the center of the Control Dial to set the new temperature.

Can I line my porcelain coated cast iron grates with aluminum foil?

This product is engineered for optimal performance with free air flow. Constricting air flow will trap heat in the hopper, potentially causing damage. If using aluminum foil to reduce clean up, do not cover more than 1/3 of the cooking surface.

Cleaning Up

How often should I empty the hopper ash pan?

Ash absorbs moisture which causes corrosion. Char-Griller highly recommends you empty your hopper ash pan after every cook.

How often should I clean my grill?

When finished cooking, clean your grates and lightly coat with the high smoke point oil of your choice like grapeseed oil. This helps to both prolong the life of the grill and ensure it is ready to use the next time you fire it up. Once your grill is completely cool, empty your ash pan and grease pan, recommended after every use. Only empty your ashes into a metal container and cover with water to ensure there are no lit coals.

How do I store my grill?

Extend the life of your grill by using a custom Char-Griller cover to protect your grill from dust, wind and rain. Between use, Char-Griller recommends storing your grill in a covered location to protect from sun and water. Find grill covers and accessories.

Other Gravity Questions

Does my grill have a warranty?

Yes, all Char-Griller grills come with a 1-year warranty on defective parts as well as a 5-year rust through / burn through warranty on the grill lid and body. Grill registration is required for warranty service. You can register your grill at Please be prepared to provide a copy of your receipt and the serial number located on the back of your grill body.

I have followed the instructions and FAQ and I still have questions, where can I get more help?

Please contact Char-Griller customer service at Contact Us form.

I still have questions about operating my grill.

Please review the Operating Instructions in your Owner's Manual for detailed pictures, instructions and warnings on how to use your grill. If you still have questions, please contact Char-Griller customer service via our Contact Form.

General Troubleshooting

Why is my grill not turning on?

Press the power buttonon the controller to verify. If controller will not turn on go to next step.
Verify controller is plugged into an outlet and that the power cord is securely plugged into the digital controller wiring harness.
Verify power at the electrical outlet. If the power cord is connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), check and reset if necessary.
If power is working at the outlet, please contact Char-Griller customer service via our Contact Form

Why is the fan not running?

The grill temperature has reached its temperature goal.
The fan has been disconnected from the controller.
The fan has been disconnected from the wiring harness.

Why is the controller temperature not reading correctly?

Check if the main heat sensor inside the grill is dirty. Clean if necessary.
Check that the main heat sensor is fully plugged in.
Digital controller has a built-in algorithm that will approximate the grill temperature at the center of the grill grates, not at heat sensor. This may vary due to various conditions such as using the heat deflector, fuel type, weather conditions, etc.

Why is the temperature of my grill fluctuating?

Temperature fluctuations are normal. Any significant fluctuation could be the result of wind, air temperatures, improper use, or lack of grill maintenance.
If temperature overshoots the desired setting, pause the controller and open the grill lid to allow temperature to decrease.

Why is my grill slow to heat up?

Allow 20-30 minutes for temperature to equalize.
Weather conditions are humid or wet.
Charcoal has been used before.
Check if grill lid is open.
Check if fan is running. If fan is not running see "Why is the fan not running?"

Why is there excessive smoke leaking from the lid?

Check if the lid is full closed and the latch is locked.
Check the lid gasket for any damage.

Why is the app constantly showing "Connection lost!" or "Offline"?

Wi-Fi signal could be weak. Try moving the grill closer to the router or the router closer to the grill, extending your wireless network, or connect to Bluetooth.
Angle the antenna on the back of the controller to point at the ground.
Try turning your grill controller off and on.
Try re-pairing your grill with your Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device.

Technical Troubleshooting - Error Codes

Err: Main Temp Probe Malfunction

1. Unplug the grill power supply.
2. Unplug and reconnect the main temperature probe connection.
3. Plug the grill power supply back in.
4. Clean the probe if dirty.
5. If error code persists, contact Char-Griller customer service</a> to replace main temp probe.

ErH: Grill Temperature Exceeded 750°F
  1. Unplug the grill power supply and open the lid to cool down.
  2. Check for causes of the overheat.
  • Grease Fire: Empty grease cup after each use.
  • Fan Malfunction: See fan troubleshooting.
  • Probe malfunction: Clean dirty probe.

3. Once grill has cooled, plug back in to clear message.

ErF: Fan Malfunction

1. Unplug the grill power supply.
2. Check the connection of the fan unit at both the controller and fan.
3. Check to make sure no ashes or debris are blocking the fan / stuck in the fan.
4. Plug the grill power supply back in.
5. If error persists, contact Char-Griller customer service to replace fan.

ErU: Incorrect Voltage or Power Supply Failure

1. Only use the original included power supply or one of equal power (voltage and current output).
2. If error persists, contact Char-Griller customer service to replace power supply.

OPEN: Ash Door and/or Hopper Door are Open

1. Verify that OPEN goes away when both doors are completely shut and latched.
2. If OPEN persists, unplug the grill power supply.
3. Check the connection on the back of the hopper to verify the door switches are fully plugged in and not reversed.
4. Plug the grill power supply back in.
5. If error persists, contact Char-Griller customer service to replace door switches.

Gravity App

Can I control my grill using a mobile device and Bluetooth?

1. Download and install the Char-Griller app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
2. Go to your grill and press and hold the power button for 2 seconds to turn on the controller.
NOTE: For safety, you may not use the Char-Griller app to turn on your grill.
3. Open the Char-Griller App.
NOTE: If using Android, select "Allow only while using the App" when requested for background location services.
4. Go to Settings and select Bluetooth.
5. On the Bluetooth list, select the Gravity980_XXXX option.
6. A code will appear on the controller display screen, enter the code when requested by the Char-Griller App.
7. On the controller, the flashing phone icon will change to solid, verifying mobile device pairing with the controller.

How do I add Wi-Fi Backup?Please follow the procedure below:

NOTE: You must pair your grill via Bluetooth before connecting to Wi-Fi.
NOTE: When Wi-Fi is enabled, the grill will automatically switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth depending on which signal is strongest.
1. Ensure your home Wi-Fi router is broadcasting in 2.4 GHz mode.
NOTE: If your wireless router broadcasts in a dual band 2.4/5 GHz mode, the controller will not connect. The controller will not work on 5 GHz networks.
2. Select the Wi-Fi option on the settings page and select your Wi-Fi network (enter your local Wi-Fi password if required).

Can multiple devices connect to the controller at the same time?

No, only one device can connect at a time. If you set up multiple devices to connect to the controller, only one will be allowed.

I have multiple devices paired to my controller; how can I make the grill select the device I want to use today?

If you want to use a specific mobile device, you may:
1. Unpair the device you don't want to use,
2. Turn the Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth radio off,
3. OR move it out of range.
Once the device you want to use is paired, it will continue to operate the grill as long as it remains in range. If the device you want to use becomes unpaired, the grill may attempt to pair to a previously used device if one is found within range.

Can I reset my session for the day, in the session tab?

No, at this time the app cannot reset sessions for the day.

Why does the app keep disconnecting?

1. Verify if you have enabled Wi-Fi backup, if not, follow the steps to enable.
2. If app is currently using Wi-Fi, the signal maybe weak, try switching over to Bluetooth.
3. If Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both connected, verify if the controller antenna is fully seated on the controller and pointed towards the ground. The antenna is located on the back of the controller and visible from under the side shelf.

How do I disconnect or unpair my device from the Gravity Grill?

You must unpair from Bluetooth by going in to Settings and pressing the X next to Bluetooth to unpair. To verify, the phone icon on the controller should returning to flashing. Refer to your device manufacturer's instructions for further information for unpairing the device.

How do I set the timer?

Press the Set timer button. Use the dial to set the temperature OR press the 00:00 number to bring up the keyboard to manually set timer. To clear the timer or reset it, press the Timer icon on the center of the dial.

How do I set the Main temperature?

Press the Set Temp button. Slide the dot around the dial until the desired temperature is displayed. Press confirm.

How do I set the target temperature for my meat probe?

Press Set Temp on the Temp Probe location that the meat probe is plugged into.
Top port is Probe 1, bottom port is Probe 2.
Slide the dot around the dial until the desired temperature is displayed. Press confirm.

What does the green check mark next to the door mean?

This shows the hopper and ash doors are closed and the grill is ready to use.

What does the "X" mark next to the door mean?

The door switch on the hopper door or ash pan door is disengaged. Check the doors to make sure they are firmly closed and latched.

What is the "A" next to the fan mean?

The fan is set to Automatic.