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Pellet grills suck!

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    Pellet grills suck!

    2nd cook. Set at 180 trying to get some smoke flavor. Temp dropped to 110 started blinking low temp shut off zone, so i shut it down letting it do its shut down deal. Had food on this whole time. Turn back on bumped temp to 225 and this crap happens. I tell u in just dis appointed in myself for buying some electronic china crap. Click image for larger version

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ID:	905631 had to dump water on it and it burnt my arm when i lift lid. So glad i waited a month for this
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    #2
    There are a lot of great pellet grills on the market, and Grilla is one of the more popular ones around here. On some models burnback is a possibility. Generally happens when you have a flame out and restart it without emptying the burn pot or stopping the pellet feed until the pellets in the pot burn down. There are other things that can lead to this too that vary by model, but it's definitely not the norm.

    I would guess your manual has procedures for that model when there's a flameout?
    Last edited by ItsAllGoneToTheDogs; September 4, 2020, 06:06 PM.

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    • marshall
      marshall commented
      Editing a comment
      Is it possible its because i didn't have the lid open until the fire started?

    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      I dunno, some say lid up until lit others are lid down as much as possible. My guess would be that you had a flameout (happens with some pellets randomly) and then you double fed the pot when restarting it. On my grill if there is a flame out I can restart and then open the hopper lid which stops the auger as a safety feature until things get going. Others you are supposed to empty the firepot before restarting after a flameout.

    #3
    Man you got some stuff going on there, get a hold of Grilla. I heard They stand behind there product. once you get this worked out you will like it, and keep it out of the dumpster.

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      #4
      This is not normal. You have a very good pellet grill, but things can always happen. How many cooks have you done with it?

      Comment


      • marshall
        marshall commented
        Editing a comment
        This is my 2nd cook, i even vacuumed out the ashes from the first cook

      • marshall
        marshall commented
        Editing a comment
        Just saw this in manual....i did not have lid open until fire started....could this be the culprit?

      • tstalafuse
        tstalafuse commented
        Editing a comment
        Manuals?.. You don't need no stinkin manuals!... Dose her good with lighter fluid and toss the match!..

      #5
      Really sorry to hear/see this. A real bummer. Knock on wood I have had my Recteq for 1.5 years plus with no issues. Of course now that I said that...
      Talk with Grilla. Give them a chance to make it right. That’s what warranties are for. Best of luck.
      Last edited by Jfrosty27; September 4, 2020, 07:14 PM.

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      • marshall
        marshall commented
        Editing a comment
        Think i because i didn't have lid open when starting before it lit?

      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        I always have the lid closed when starting on mine

      • Cheef
        Cheef commented
        Editing a comment
        If I understand my pellet grills right the lids HAVE to be closed to start. If not the probe will not register the heat climbing, and the brain says DUMP MORE PELLETS GOT TO GET TO TEMP!

      #6
      I did just have to replace a fan in my Yoder 640. Other than that I am happy with it

      Comment


        #7
        I never open my lid while starting. Plop the meat on the cold grate, close lid, turn on, walk away. I had a big poof of thick smoke mid-cook followed by a fire couple weeks back but it was my own fault for being lazy and not cleaning it, lot of grease had built up and ash too. I think they recommend cleaning the ash after running 40lbs through it, which is a lot of cooking. There's a chance your auger feed rate might be too high. You can adjust that down.

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          #8
          I know when I had my traeger you were supposed to leave the lid up for the first 15 minutes. The rec tec I used to have you never had to do that. They were both of similar design. I'm not sure why there was a starting difference.

          Looks to me as someone has already said, if you lose your fire (and that will happen from time to time for various reasons) you need to close the lid and shut it down and when it cools clean out the fire pot and all the excess pellets. In my experience the igniter rod comes on only for the first minute or two. After that it just assumes there's a live fire and dumps pellets based off temperature readings. So it smothers it with pellets which causes major smoldering and of course no heat.

          I would always shop vac out the ash after every long cook or roughly 10 hours total cook time.

          I understand Grilla makes fine pellet grills. There is probably a bit of a learning curve you may be in. Between their customer support and the resources here you'll come out clean on the other side. ​​​​​​​

          Comment


          • marshall
            marshall commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks.

          #9
          My Mak one star never did anything like that. Leaving the lid open will will confuse the sensors into thinking the fire is not started and keep shoveling pellets. They'll back up into the hopper, ignite, and you get a hopper fire. I am surprised your manual says to leave the lid open until the fire starts. My does not.

          I did have something similar happen to me with a pellet stove heater. The igniter was going bad. After replacing it, we never had any other issues like that.

          I am pretty sure what happened to you is called flash over. Partially lit pellets smoldered until the gases ignited, sort of exploded I'll bet.
          Last edited by lostclusters; September 4, 2020, 09:39 PM.

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          #10
          marshall Please don't give up on this. I think you have a quality cooker and need some more cooks on it to figure out what works and what doesn't. I've had all three of these same issues occur.

          Flame Out - It's hard to keep a fire going, even in a pellet grill, at 180. I had two bags of pellets that I ended up saving for burn offs and chicken cooking only because they would just not maintain a fire below about 250. Until you get some more time on this new cooker I'd suggest running at a minimum of 225 and use a good quality pellet.

          Billowing smoke - Ever toss a bunch of kindling or paper on a bed of campfire coals after the flame went out? It smokes like hell until the flame finally catches. Then the whoosh comes. Same thing happened here. Your grill was dumping pellets on a snuffed out flame to try to get the temp to come up. There was enough heat to smolder the pellets but not quite enough for flame. Although with that fan running, like blowing on a campfire, the whoosh was coming soon. Again - run a little higher temp for several cooks and keep an eye on your temps. Pellet grills aren't really set and forget. If you do get a flame out run your shutdown cycle. Empty your firepot and restart the cooker.

          Burn back - Uncontrolled burning like your picture with the unit unplugged can cause this, or a pile of smoldering pellets that are up to your auger. If this is happening, turn the grill off, dump the contents of the firepot into a fireproof container. Use the feed function, if you have one, to run the smoldering pellets out of the auger and lower portion of the hopper. After 10 or 20 seconds check to see if the hopper is still smoking and repeat if needed.

          My pellet cooker has a trap door on the fire pot which makes it easy to empty. I'm no familiar with your cooker, and don't know if you have this capability.

          Take some time to master this thing and you won't regret having it.
          Last edited by jerrybell; September 4, 2020, 09:45 PM.

          Comment


          • marshall
            marshall commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks i appreciate the support, ill give it some more time. Might try my ribs on it today!

          #11
          WOW! That's a bad day right there.
          I'll share a couple of things I learned in my early days of learning to work my pellet pooper.

          1) The brand of pellets you use matters. In my DLX24, Lumberjack pellets give me decent smoke, and reliable temp control. That does not make them the best, or mean they will work well for you. I tried 3 different brands (Trager, Pit Boss, and oddly Camp Chef) before finding Lumberjack, and each of them gave me issues similar to what you had there. Burn out, wild spikes, and a whole lot of cussing about how I got swindled into some crazy fad that can't actually cook food. So if you are using brand "X" of pellets, try brand "Y or Z". Finding the right pellet for my smoker got rid of 95% of the cussing.

          2) A smoke tube like this is a great add on for any pellet pooper. I specifically got the 6" version so that I can stand it vertically near the back of the grate and not have it eat up too much cooking space. After a lot of trial and error, I found that standing the tube vertically gave me a much more consistent burn and got rid of the problem of the pellets or chip going out before reaching the other end of the tube. Once you have the basics down, you will find you can create a wide range of smoke profiles to match your taste and the food. For example, my ribs get cherry and pecan wood chips, but my meatloaf gets hickory pellets. Each one is tailored to what I'm looking for in the finished product. This also frees me of having to empty the hopper and change out species of pellets to get a different flavor.

          Honestly, those two things were the key to get me to quit hollering at my smoker, and get me on the path to enjoying it. Now, I love that I can run a meatloaf at 350 degrees, get a good crust on it, still have a pleasant smoke flavor, and keep the cook time down enough that it's an easy work day meal. I can also put pork shoulder on, run it low and slow, and cram as much or as little smoke flavor into it as I care to. And chicken! Don't get me started on whole chicken stood up on the beer can holder minus the can. The PBC crowd think they make the best chicken, and I'm happy to let them enjoy their dreams, but I know the truth. Pellet poopers beat flaming garbage cans hands down. *For those of you getting ready to tag the Initial Chanting Crowd, step away from the keyboard. We don't need none of that.*
          As for lid up or down for starting, I regularly do it either way, and have never found one to be better than the other. It usually just comes down to what gear my A.D.D. cycle is in when it's time to get the fire going.

          Keep at it, and you'll be cranking out the best pork, beef, and chicken on the planet in no time.

          Comment


          • marshall
            marshall commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks so much, gona clean it out and try again!

          • tdimond
            tdimond commented
            Editing a comment
            PBC! PBC! PBC!

            :-D

          #12
          Great photos - thanks for posting . But seriously, sorry you had such an experience. Like all those before me have said, don't give up on it. I have a pellet grill and love it; we have many many pitmasters here that use pellet poopers without issue. I'm sure, with the help of the members here, and the manufacturer, you can make it work. Best of luck with it. I have a Rec Tec, so won't offer any advice here now, but there are many with Grilla brand that can help you.

          Comment


            #13
            Thanks for the input and support everyone. !

            Comment


              #14
              Wow. What an awful experience with your brand new pellet cooker. Was there any damage--besides your burned arm, that is?

              You're getting some great advice here from some seasoned pelleteers. And you have a great product. Have faith and hop back on that learning curve. Best wishes for tasty (and less dramatic) cooks in the future. Let us know how your upcoming cooks turn out.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • marshall
                marshall commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks. Dont think there was any damage
                Going out right now to vacuum it up and try some ribs on it i think. Meanwhile i have a brisket smokin on my tried and true wsm!

              #15
              My Traeger started going out on me last year after a few years operation, I never found a reason for this and Traeger was no help when I contacted them. The problem seems to have gone away this year but I still do not trust it. I have not changed pellets or how I operate it except I check it more often now. I keep the smoker in the garage year round. If it goes out you have to shut it down and clean up the excess pellets as it will be over fueled.
              My concern with all pellets grills is they have moving parts that can stop moving for various reasons.

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