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Plastic smell? Any advice appreciated.

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    Plastic smell? Any advice appreciated.

    Hi. I've had a PK 360 in silver since the spring, and I love almost everything about it. The 2 zone cooking, temp control, looks, simplicity, and durability are all amazing. The only issue I have is that there is a plastic smell, and it seems to get stronger when I shut the lid and let the whole capsule warm up.

    I've tried different charcoal, different starters, and even going back to a chimney with just plain paper as a starter. I've pulled everything possible off the grill to narrow it down (side trays, front handle, side handles, intake tubes, even the knob to secure the capsule to the post). They've sent me new tubes, a new bottom capsule, and a whole new top and bottom capsule. I've done three high heat (650+) long burns with the new capsule trying to burn it off. No matter what, the smell is still there.

    Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, what did you do to resolve it? Any help is greatly appreciated. I really want to be able to keep this grill, but I can't take the smell.

    Note for potential buyers: If you're thinking of buying a PK grill, please don't let this post turn you off. I've only been able to find one other mention of the smell, and they said it burned off in a couple cooks. In addition, PK have been incredible to work with and fully stand behind their product. If asked by friends or family, I would mention my issue, but still highly recommend the grill, as I believe it is extremely rare, and possibly operator error.
    Attached Files

    #2
    Wow, that is strange. Anyone else smell this also? Wife? Neighbor? What are you cleaning it with?

    Comment


      #3
      Fiancée smells it too. When I got the new capsule, I even asked her if she noticed it in a neutral way to make sure I wasn’t swaying her.

      I noticed it before I ever cleaned it the first time. Tried washing it with soap and water to no avail. Three burns on the new capsule with no washing and it’s still there.

      Comment


        #4
        If they have replaced all of the parts, this suggests it is something you may be using.

        What kind of charcoal are you using? Are you using any plastic-type grill brushes? Spatulas? Grill mats? What kind of cleaners?
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 28, 2021, 02:51 PM.

        Comment


        • hexidecimate
          hexidecimate commented
          Editing a comment
          damn, I guess I need to stop using plastic shopping bags as fuel

        #5
        Typically use royal oak lump, but it has happened with Kingsford 100% hardwood briquettes and regular kingsford (without the embedded lighter fluid). My normal method of lighting is with wood products fatwood, but have tried others, including plain white paper in a charcoal chimney. I use a wire brush and mostly a grill floss tool to clean. No plastic utensils, and the only thing close to plastic I can think that I’ve used is a silicone oven mitt, and that was only to open and close it after I took the front handle off. Only time I’ve washed it was with soap and water to try to help the smell, but it has done it on the unwashed new capsule.

        I’m open to trying just about anything.

        Comment


        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Kingsford charcoal is known to sometimes put out an off-putting smell for some folks and RO lump can also have low quality ingredients that could contribute. If you are not cleaning out the grill between cooks then any remaining Kingsford could make the RO smell weird.

          I would recommend cleaning the grill, then using something like B&B lump or FOGO lump or some other high-quality lump that you can find locally (Kamado Joe or even Masterbuilt lump even) so you are starting from a clean slate.

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          The Kingsford smell is also primarily during the startup phase as you note. I would definitely not use it in your case.

          Another thread:

          http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=140308
          Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 28, 2021, 03:48 PM.

        • Debra
          Debra commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe you might have a problem using Fatwood as a starter. Isn't Fatwood pine heart> a type of pine high in sap content so it starts easily? I have always noticed an off smell when I use it to start a chiminea outside.
          You might consider lighting a few sticks in the grill and give it a smell test.
          Last edited by Debra; August 28, 2021, 11:21 PM.

        #6
        Another thread on charcoal smells that may help. Problem was fixed with deep clean and use of good lump.

        https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...hb-gourmet-256
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 28, 2021, 03:45 PM.

        Comment


          #7
          I will give that a shot, but am a bit skeptical about that being the issue. It has been the same smell across both brands and multiple bags, and the rep at PK says he uses Royal Oak.

          Will try it, but if you’ve got other ideas, I’m interested in hearing them.

          Comment


            #8
            Also, it doesn’t seem to start smelling until I shut the lid. Seems like the charcoal would smell worse with the lid open?

            Comment


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              If you shut the lid, more charcoal is going to ignite, creating a stronger smell in an enclosed space.

              My guess is that you are unusually sensitive to the smell of charcoal lighting so we should eliminate that variable and then see if the intensity decreases or is gone.

              If you are able to, you might want to burn the Kingsford charcoal separately from the grill (another grill?) and see what happens.

            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              Wood chunks only might be another testing option

            #9
            So procedure is:
            - sweep out ash
            - pressure wash
            - let dry
            - use one of the brands you recommended
            ​​​​​​- start in a charcoal chimney with plain printer paper? I don’t have newspaper, but can try to find one


            Does that sound right?

            Comment


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me.

            #10
            I am looking for a cheap grill on Facebook to try that out. Used to use royal oak in a Weber and never had trouble, but I will try cleaning this out and a better charcoal.

            Comment


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              If you have the chimney, you can light the Kingsford charcoal far away from the grill in a safe area too and see it smells. Once it smells, you know it is the charcoal.

            #11
            I mostly use RO, and even sitting in the grill, it doesn’t smell bad even when the whole chimney is red hot. That’s what makes me think it’s not the charcoal.

            Comment


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, that tends to point towards the Kingsford as I have been saying or RO mixed with Kingsford after not cleaning.

              Either way, try isolating and testing the Kingsford by itself and / or cleaning the grill and trying with better lump.

              Marine grade aluminum by itself is not going to smell, so something you are introducing is causing the smell. You need to look at all of the things you are using, test each individually for the smell, and eliminate them away from the grill or with a clean one.

            #12
            Like I said, If it is not the Kingsford charcoal, it is something else you are introducing. So you’d need to test each item you are using on the grill away from the grill and see if it creates the smell. A new cheapo marketplace deal isn’t needed if you can find a safe place to light the chimney.

            The good news is it is not the grill that is the problem. So you just need to play scientist for a bit and it will be clearer I expect.
            Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 28, 2021, 05:23 PM.

            Comment


              #13
              Please be sure to let us all know what you find.

              Comment


                #14
                So, I don't have a PK but if it's sunny and hot there, try this. Clean it as you usually do. Close it. Walk away for 30 mins or more. Come back, crack the lid and see if you smell anything. That would eliminate charcoal etc etc

                Comment


                • johntarr
                  johntarr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've done that, no smell on the grill when it's cold.

                  Edit: cold meaning no fire inside, 93F outside
                  Last edited by johntarr; August 28, 2021, 07:26 PM.

                #15
                I'll report back after cleaning & better charcoal tomorrow, but if anyone has other ideas, please keep them coming.

                Given that I don't get the smell from the chimney, I'm not convinced it's the charcoal.

                Comment

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