Firebox Problem!

DaCubFan

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
 

JpsBBQ

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The only thing I’ve seen like that was due to a dirty grill. The unit was so full of ash that it wouldnt start properly and did as you described. Because the grill didn’t quite fire well enough, it kept pushing pellets. It smoke like crazy and snuffed out the fire but smoldered a lot.

Shut down, thoroughly clean it up and restart. Never happened again. I’ve also seen this plenty on other brands of pellet smokers. They aren’t maintenance free unfortunately.

frustrating for sure, but I think it will straighten itself out with familiarity with the unit. Good luck.
 

Captainmike

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
Yes I have had the exact same issue I brought up last weekend on the forum. I have a welded chute.

I determined it was a combination of a bad bag of pellets and ash buildup. When you are going to start up slow, go into the fire pot and knock out any build up of coke ash In the center of the grate even if you only did one cook beforehand. If you watch the fire pot with the shields out when at 200 degrees or SB mode, it is a very small smoldering fire right in that area where the buildup occurs. A high heat cook beforehand seems to cause a larger buildup. That buildup will prevent proper airflow underneath; with the fan running at low speed along with continual flow of pellets it will snuff itself out.

Fresh pellets and clean pot working for me now (went right to SB mode yesterday and now this morning). Yes it will dump a bunch of pellets in (part of rapid start up) but it will settle back down. I kind of like that because it gets the entire grill up to temp and warm.

I just pop the middle grate, remove two shields, and knock the ash buildup through the fire pot grate with the included plastic scraper. Takes me 30-60 seconds tops. Weber made it very easy and quick to get to the fire pot. Then at the end of weekend I’ll give the entire grill a good vacuum with my shop vac.

Hope that helps..
 

RanchKettle Greg

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I saw this "SmokeFire Pellets Gone Wild - Pellet Overflow" on youtube. It's from Feburary and didn't have a resolution. I have the new welded chute assembly but I'm still having pellet flow issues. In my case pellets don't slide down the chute, and gill starts rapid temperature decline after about 30 minutes or so. I found a video on the hopper insert, and I'm hopping this resolves my problem. My grill arrived in February, and I'm curious if you ever had this happen.
 

JpsBBQ

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I saw this "SmokeFire Pellets Gone Wild - Pellet Overflow" on youtube. It's from Feburary and didn't have a resolution. I have the new welded chute assembly but I'm still having pellet flow issues. In my case pellets don't slide down the chute, and gill starts rapid temperature decline after about 30 minutes or so. I found a video on the hopper insert, and I'm hopping this resolves my problem. My grill arrived in February, and I'm curious if you ever had this happen.
Have you removed the three wires that are a “safety” device against sticking your hand un the auger? I did and it resolved my issues. You still have to move the pellets over the pit occasionally but it’s not an issue on low and slow cooks. Again, all pellet cookers have cavitation issues as the pellets tend to intertwine and hang up just like corn does in a grain bin. It’s part of the game. If you haven’t removed the wire guard, I would do so.
 

RanchKettle Greg

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Have you removed the three wires that are a “safety” device against sticking your hand un the auger? I did and it resolved my issues. You still have to move the pellets over the pit occasionally but it’s not an issue on low and slow cooks. Again, all pellet cookers have cavitation issues as the pellets tend to intertwine and hang up just like corn does in a grain bin. It’s part of the game. If you haven’t removed the wire guard, I would do so.
THANKS!!!! I'm calling in the morning to ask for the hopper insert, but will try this & hope I can grill today.
 

JpsBBQ

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FWIW, I never installed an insert. I have used a lot of pellet grills and you have to pay attention to the pellets on higher heat cooks as the burn rate is much greater. Once I removed the wire guard and employed very modest care such as making sure my pellets were pushed down the ramp at the start of a low and slow cook, I have no complaints. They all require some modest attention. My buddy and I have long talked about developing a hopper agitator to help keep the pellets from bridging.
 

Captainmike

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Have you removed the three wires that are a “safety” device against sticking your hand un the auger? I did and it resolved my issues. You still have to move the pellets over the pit occasionally but it’s not an issue on low and slow cooks. Again, all pellet cookers have cavitation issues as the pellets tend to intertwine and hang up just like corn does in a grain bin. It’s part of the game. If you haven’t removed the wire guard, I would do so.
Agreed. Now when I had my first flameout issue as described above, I did have a fire pot filling so it could look similar to that video mentioned above if I let it go longer. But my issue was only on start up, I caught it early on and corrected.

I will also add I have had zero post start-up flame-outs since owning my SF. Removed my finger guard early in February after the burn-in. I can start a cook at 10 or 11 PM with a full hopper, wake up at 8, and no feed/flameout issues. Plenty of pellets to go until about 12 or so next day before any intervention needed.
 

Bruno

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FWIW, I never installed an insert. I have used a lot of pellet grills and you have to pay attention to the pellets on higher heat cooks as the burn rate is much greater. Once I removed the wire guard and employed very modest care such as making sure my pellets were pushed down the ramp at the start of a low and slow cook, I have no complaints. They all require some modest attention. My buddy and I have long talked about developing a hopper agitator to help keep the pellets from bridging.
I took out the hopper ramp insert as well. I like thE 22 Pound capacity
 

Pjacobs

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
i had that happen at the last phase of my long all day cook on friday. and then all those pellets caught on fire. not a good situation but we recovered. As i noticed it happening i went to shut down the grill and it wasn't responding to the app. I pulled the food off the grill and just unplugged the thing. let it cool down and i cleaned it all out (i had cleaned it before the session as well) we re-started it which was a process as the electronics made it a full re-boot since the power was abruptly stopped. we re- started it and it worked well for the last hour of the cook. The food was still good and the ribs were pretty good.
earlier in the day there was a couple of flame out issues and they sort of worked themselves out. I was looking back and the end of the day and i realized there was one common thin with each of these problems-- i was fiddling around with my phone and doing it all through the app each time this occured.
so-- i got up Saturday morning, completely cleaned up the smoke fire ( which takes all about of ten minutes with a shop vac and a damp rag) i used it to make a pizza and some breakfast sausages while only making one temp change via the app, no problems...
 

Pjacobs

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Yes I have had the exact same issue I brought up last weekend on the forum. I have a welded chute.

I determined it was a combination of a bad bag of pellets and ash buildup. When you are going to start up slow, go into the fire pot and knock out any build up of coke ash In the center of the grate even if you only did one cook beforehand. If you watch the fire pot with the shields out when at 200 degrees or SB mode, it is a very small smoldering fire right in that area where the buildup occurs. A high heat cook beforehand seems to cause a larger buildup. That buildup will prevent proper airflow underneath; with the fan running at low speed along with continual flow of pellets it will snuff itself out.

Fresh pellets and clean pot working for me now (went right to SB mode yesterday and now this morning). Yes it will dump a bunch of pellets in (part of rapid start up) but it will settle back down. I kind of like that because it gets the entire grill up to temp and warm.

I just pop the middle grate, remove two shields, and knock the ash buildup through the fire pot grate with the included plastic scraper. Takes me 30-60 seconds tops. Weber made it very easy and quick to get to the fire pot. Then at the end of weekend I’ll give the entire grill a good vacuum with my shop vac.

Hope that helps..
Great post and very good advice
 

Craig Lares

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?

I had a lot of issues with cheap pellets I used to use with no problem in my Green Mountain grill. I switched to the weber pellets and also removed the 3 wire safety guard above the auger intake and its been smooth sailing ever since. I also had a similar problem after some rain exposure- this grill MUST sleep with its cover on it every night!
 

GillMarx

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
I have had this issue.
they sent me a replacement glow plug and it’s been great ever since.
 

BigIronjak

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
Yes, I had the same issue on my 2nd & 3rd cook. I solved the issue by removing the smoke fire from my patio & replacing it with a Yoder...have not had any problems since!
 

RanchKettle Greg

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THANKS!!!! I'm calling in the morning to ask for the hopper insert, but will try this & hope I can grill today.
Just to follow up, I pulled the wire safety device, fired up, reached 400 degrees, and in then in 10-15 minutes a "sink hole" from lack of pellet flow was already developing. I kept checking every 15 minutes & the "sink hole" was always underway. I pushed the pellets over each time and the grill held 400 degrees for 2 hours. This in itself was encouraging as I have more faith the grill will hold temperature for a longer, lower temp cook, once pellet flow is resolved.

I did call at exactly 8:00 am central time, and my hopper insert shipped shipped today (Tues 7/28).
 

Rickyjk619

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Bottom line they have to be cleaned out on the regular. Like any other pellet grill their not perfect. I have owned all types of smokers including pellet and this is the best one so far. Once you learn the tricks of the trade there is none better. I have smoked pounds of meat in this SF and I am pleased every time. Takes patience and practice.
 

JpsBBQ

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Just to follow up, I pulled the wire safety device, fired up, reached 400 degrees, and in then in 10-15 minutes a "sink hole" from lack of pellet flow was already developing. I kept checking every 15 minutes & the "sink hole" was always underway. I pushed the pellets over each time and the grill held 400 degrees for 2 hours. This in itself was encouraging as I have more faith the grill will hold temperature for a longer, lower temp cook, once pellet flow is resolved.

I did call at exactly 8:00 am central time, and my hopper insert shipped shipped today (Tues 7/28).
A sink hole is common and a characteristic of pellets flowing into the auger. Problems arise when there appears to be no sink hole because the pellets are bridging and creating a cavity below the surface which is undetectable. All pellet smoker create a sink hole. With the wire guard removed, there is no reason there should be any issues. Also, 400 for two hours is not a normal or realistic cooking environment. Every pellet grill requires a bit more attention to the pellets when cooking at high temps because the burn rate is much greater. IMO, the insert is also a total red herring and not needed. However, it’s not gonna hurt you either, so if it makes you garner some peace of mind, go ahead. It does reduce hopper capacity but you will still have to agitate the pellets occasionally either way.
 

MikeM

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This has been an issue for the past 3-4 cooks. Today, I started up at 200 degrees to smoke chickens. The glow plug fired up and the pellets began feeding, and feeding, and feeding, and feeding. So many pellets that the fire snuffed out! I pulled out over 2 cups of pellets, and in desperation was able to start by babysitting the damn thing.

I contacted Weber, and they are sending me a replacement hopper pellet slide and welded chute assembly. I don't know how that is going to solve my problem. At startup, the brain apparently keeps calling for pellets and overfills the pot. I will replace what they send me, but I am $1200 pissed. Has anybody else had this happen?
Yes this happen to me the day after they updated. I set for 200 then hit smoke boost. This happened again a few days later. The next time I turned it on it told me to replace my igniter soon. Yet it restarted and worked fine. So I call them they had me use the reinstall igniter button. I did that and it cleared the problem. I also told them about the failure tho keep running. She said she would report it.
 

Dassman5

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Just to follow up, I pulled the wire safety device, fired up, reached 400 degrees, and in then in 10-15 minutes a "sink hole" from lack of pellet flow was already developing. I kept checking every 15 minutes & the "sink hole" was always underway. I pushed the pellets over each time and the grill held 400 degrees for 2 hours. This in itself was encouraging as I have more faith the grill will hold temperature for a longer, lower temp cook, once pellet flow is resolved.

I did call at exactly 8:00 am central time, and my hopper insert shipped shipped today (Tues 7/28).
Just finished a 21 1/2 hour smoke of a very large brisket with no issues other than a low pellet warning after I forgot to refill the hopper after checking at 3am. I did notice a small “sink-hole” or depression on several occasions, but it never became an issue, even with the wire guard in place. However I will probably remove it as added “protection”.
 

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