Keep Hopper Ramp?

ftank47

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Hey new member here just purchased my SmokeFire EX6 Gen 2 and have it all put together and about to do my burn in. I've been reading this forum and the FAQ on the facebook group which has been super helpful. Thank you.

What's the consensus on the hopper ramp? Take it off or keep it on? If it works fine without it then I'd rather have the extra space.

Also is the finger guard a must remove?

In case anyone is interested I ended up getting 5" wheels and love 'em. I also got the side table and can't say the same. Seems really flimsy and might actually cheapen the look and feel of this grill. At least comparing it to what I'm coming from which is a 15 year old Weber Genesis gasser. That had a corian/plastic side table and they are much sturdier.
 

AHoneyman

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Hopper depends upon the pellets that you use. Larger diameter pellets may get a benefit from the steeper angle. Removing the finger guard will help but do not take out all three screws at once and replace them after removing the finger guard.
 

stef_s

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A serviceman from weber told me, that the finger guard also is to prevent that the pellets will stock...
So I'm not sure if I should remove it
 

Bruno

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A serviceman from weber told me, that the finger guard also is to prevent that the pellets will stock...
So I'm not sure if I should remove it
Stock?

if it makes you more comfortable keep it on.
 

JpsBBQ

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The wire guard is a huge impediment to the flow of pellets IMO. It is the single most important thing to modify IMO. Do what you feel comfortable with but I would remove ASAP and without hesitation. The pellets take very little to get bridging and those few wires are ample enough obstruction to cause a bridge and fire failure. Just think about corn grain bins. There is no obstruction and the corn gets bridged all the time. People die every year climbing into a grain bin to attempt to unbridge the corn.
 

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Hopper depends upon the pellets that you use. Larger diameter pellets may get a benefit from the steeper angle. Removing the finger guard will help but do not take out all three screws at once and replace them after removing the finger guard.

When I took my wire guard off, I hadn't yet come across the "don't remove all screws at once" tip. I can't recall if I took them all off, or just two before replacing. But I certainly didn't do them one by one. Is there something I can visually inspect to make sure they're still holding together what they're supposed to ? Thanks.
 

abmet

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I’ve left it in my EX4 but really doens’t seem to make much difference. As others have said removing the wire guard made much more difference for me. I’ve been planning to take it back out to gain the volume back. I also get pellets stuck under it at times when emptying the hopper.
 

bbqking

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Just my 2 cents, I don’t think the ramp makes a difference. I have it on and I still get the cave in above the auger. I also have the finger guard still attached. I’m good with checking the pellets every so often to push over or add to. All in all it’s still way simpler than charcoal. ( can’t believe I just said that) I still like charcoal.
 

JpsBBQ

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Just my 2 cents, I don’t think the ramp makes a difference. I have it on and I still get the cave in above the auger. I also have the finger guard still attached. I’m good with checking the pellets every so often to push over or add to. All in all it’s still way simpler than charcoal. ( can’t believe I just said that) I still like charcoal.
All pellet cookers have some bridging of the pellets. It’s just the nature of the beast. I agree about the ramp. Take it or leave it. It take quite a while for the pellets to bridge on a low and slow cook, if it ever does. Happened much easier at high heat because of the rate of flow. Luckily if you are high heat cooking you should be pretty close by the grill.
 

Dassman5

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A serviceman from weber told me, that the finger guard also is to prevent that the pellets will stock...
So I'm not sure if I should remove it
Mine is long gone and never had a problem with sticking pellets, bridging or otherwise plugging the feed to the auger.
 
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ftank47

ftank47

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I have it on and I still get the cave in above the auger.
I just did a 2 hour cook and received a warning that I was low on pellets. I think it was the caving issue bc there was a ton in there, it was just the one side above the auger that was low. No problem bc I just pushed them around but I’m wondering about an overnight pork butt cook. I would prefer to not have to babysit it. What should I expect? Ramp and finger guard are removed.
 

Dassman5

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I just did a 2 hour cook and received a warning that I was low on pellets. I think it was the caving issue bc there was a ton in there, it was just the one side above the auger that was low. No problem bc I just pushed them around but I’m wondering about an overnight pork butt cook. I would prefer to not have to babysit it. What should I expect? Ramp and finger guard are removed.
I have left my ex4 unattended smoking overnight at 210-215F for up to 8 hours on several occasions with only one early morning check around 3 am. The only time I had an issue was the single time I forgot to fill the hopper before retiring for the evening and received a low pellet warning🤪😜👎...my bad. My ex 4 uses about 1# to 1.5# per hour at this low temperature.

Having said that, all bets are off if the pellets are damp, which is why mine are always stored in my garage in tightly sealed charcoal hoppers.
 

AHoneyman

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What should I expect? Ramp and finger guard are removed.
I am going back to beat an old dead horse. All pellets will bridge (at times). However, larger diameter pellets do not flow as well as the smaller pellets (Weber, Cabelas, Lumber Jack). Yes, I have used all of the larger ones also. But since Lowe's half price sale, I have had much better runs using the smaller pellets. Check your pellet size and see if it makes a difference.
 

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