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Smoke Fire.. Clearing the auger

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    Smoke Fire.. Clearing the auger

    I feel certain this has been posted and answered, but I couldn't find it so please indulge me... I had an opportunity to cook a brisket on the Smoke Fire this weekend and was pleased with how it turned out since I have never used a pellet grill before. Nice bark, nice smoke flavor, tender, and in all ways just about perfect (I am certain being a prime brisket didn't hurt the effort).. Now to the question, the owner cooked on it a couple of times, left the hopper half full, didn't cover it, it snowed, it rained, and basically turned the auger into a steel re-enforced concrete post.. After picking at it for a couple of hours with a flat head screw driver I was finally able to bang the auger out of the shoot using a hammer and a punch, get it cleaned up, reassembled, and working... I figured he hadn't read the manual (he hadn't), but was somewhat surprised there isn't a way to get the auger to rotate to clear out the last of the pellets after cleaning out the hopper other than just letting them burn off. Did I miss something? Is there a hidden trick? Or, is it just letting the last of the pellets burn off before it goes into the shutdown sequence?

    #2
    First, I will agree that SmokeFire's smoky results are excellent. Everything I smoke on it has great flavor, aroma and finish. Regarding clearing out the auger after each cook - that shouldn't be necessary of you fixed the jam and it's operating properly. You can find instruction on Weber's site on how to remove the auger and thoroughly clean it. But that's a pain and it sounds like you successfully cleared the jam and did some great smoking. Be that as it may, the SmokeFire controller is pretty sophisticated and getting more so with Weber upgrades. I have a call into them to see if there's a way of clearing the auger through the controller. Stay tuned.

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    • zinfella
      zinfella commented
      Editing a comment
      Any pellet recommendations?

    • Max Good
      Max Good commented
      Editing a comment
      zinfella SmokeFire likes to use Weber brand pellets that have a smaller diameter than most other brands. I had problems using Traeger pellets with SmokeFire.

    • zinfella
      zinfella commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Max!

    #3
    In my experience, I've never had problems leaving pellets in any pellet grill. I always keep the grills covered when not in use. However, for an extended time of non use, I could see the desire to prevent the issue you had again. Aside from waiting for more feedback from Weber via Max, I see a couple options. First, as you described, burning them off. I'd throw the bucket under the drain, drain all I could, then crank it up to high until they ran out. Second option is to use a shop vac after draining the pellets. You'd probably miss a some still in the middle part of the auger, but should be able to get quite a few from the back and maybe some more close to the front from inside the grill.

    My Memphis and a couple others had a 'prime' function that could be activated before startup, I don't recall seeing that on the SmokeFire but I honestly haven't looked. With that you could empty the hopper then 'prime' what was left into the burn pot.

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