Smoke coming from hopper?

nyyyankees87

Member
Messages
11
I finally got around to using the grill for the first time and decided to do Chicken thighs at 400 for about 45 minutes. Once they were done, I lowered the temperature to 250, let it sit for a few minutes, threw some food on and went inside. When I came back out, there was a bit of smoke coming from the hopper. I opened the lid to the hopper and it stopped smoking after about a minute. Was this an auger fire? I've only used it for the initial burn in, and to cook chicken thighs today. The pellets aren't warm it was just thick white smoke coming from the hopper.
 

Mozekian

Well-known member
Messages
167
Grill(s) owned
  1. Bull
  2. Matador
  3. RT-1250
Its called back burn. RecTeq will say its from either too much dust with the pellets, bad pellets, dirty fire pot.

For me, a different brand of pellets stopped the issue. Not saying it "fixed" the issue, but the issue stopped when I switched brands, so who knows?
 

Pacman

Well-known member
Lifetime Premium!
Premium Member
Messages
531
Grill(s) owned
  1. RT-1250
Well add me to the club as of yesterday. I was cooking a bunch of pizzas at 500+ for a couple hours of elapsed heat up and cook time. I throttled down to 250 when I was done, but even at 250 I started to see smoke coming out of everywhere. I probably should've been more gradual on the temperature drop.

Today I cleaned out the firepot which was actually pretty clean. I ran test mode to push out the partially burned pellets. The charred pellets extended back over a full rotation of the auger (quarter cup+ of pellets) before I started seeing virgin pellets. I cleaned everything up and am back to normal. Same pellets I've always used and while I've got some pellet dust in the hopper it wasn't excessive.

I've only cooked at high heat a couple of times, but another quirky lesson learned. These things have been very predictable for me in the 200 - 375 range, but get a little goofy at high heats.
 

Pacman

Well-known member
Lifetime Premium!
Premium Member
Messages
531
Grill(s) owned
  1. RT-1250
At least on the 1250, if you press and hold the Settings button (the gear) for 3 seconds and then hit the power button, there are a series of self tests including the auger, igniter, fan, and probes. I'm not sure I did everything right as I just glanced at the instructions and went out and tried it. All I really wanted was the auger "test" to cycle it and push out the junk.
 

WhereThereIsSmoke

New member
Messages
1
Grill(s) owned
  1. Bullseye
Any other solutions to this? I cleaned it all out, put fresh pellets (lumberjack) in and had this happen while I was preparing some pork chops to go on the grill at 500 degrees. Smoke just pouring out of the hopper… last time had burnt pellets in the auger as well… waiting for it to cool off before I check… will call recteq Monday…

0BE3D9EA-8241-43C7-91EB-AA00474B2840.jpeg
 

Buckeye1

Well-known member
Messages
557
Grill(s) owned
  1. Trailblazer
  2. Bullseye
Clean the edge of the lid on the Bullseye and then clean the exhaust vents. I had the same problem. I think the dirty vents cause back pressure and gets the pellets burning in the auger and pushes smoke into the hopper.
 

okie

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Military Veteran
Messages
365
Grill(s) owned
  1. Stampede
  2. Bullseye
Well add me to the club as of yesterday. I was cooking a bunch of pizzas at 500+ for a couple hours of elapsed heat up and cook time. I throttled down to 250 when I was done, but even at 250 I started to see smoke coming out of everywhere. I probably should've been more gradual on the temperature drop.

Today I cleaned out the firepot which was actually pretty clean. I ran test mode to push out the partially burned pellets. The charred pellets extended back over a full rotation of the auger (quarter cup+ of pellets) before I started seeing virgin pellets. I cleaned everything up and am back to normal. Same pellets I've always used and while I've got some pellet dust in the hopper it wasn't excessive.

I've only cooked at high heat a couple of times, but another quirky lesson learned. These things have been very predictable for me in the 200 - 375 range, but get a little goofy at high heats.
 

okie

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Military Veteran
Messages
365
Grill(s) owned
  1. Stampede
  2. Bullseye
If you had the lid open for a while just before turning it down, it might have overloaded with pellets (catching up) just before you turned it down. And so had a raging fire as it cooled down. Next time when it reaches 250*, just let it set there another 10-15 minutes before turnoff. I have not had an auger burn since doing that. It gives the auger time to poop out the smoldering pellets. Let us know if that solves it for you.
 

okie

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Military Veteran
Messages
365
Grill(s) owned
  1. Stampede
  2. Bullseye
Make a seal around your hopper lid? I am running that experiment on another thread. No air flow, no back burn!. Is working so far for me and does not alter the dynamics of the smoker exhaust. I figure if there is impeded exhaust in the smoker, it is better that it not be corrected by the auger. I plan several more attempts before I am confident. Check my note today.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top