Slicking up the hopper

depends

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Has anyone that was having pellet bridging/feeding issues tried doing anything to slick up the hopper? I've read that several other manufacturers (like Yoder) recommend using car wax on the hopper surfaces and polishing. I have also seen in some forums where folks have had luck putting down foil tape (like is used in HVAC applications). I'm curious if anyone has tried these with the Smokefires yet? Mine is coming tomorrow and I will probably try the wax idea.
 

Billybo

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Oddly enough in an earlier post I was wondering that as well. Assuming that don’t cancel my grill, I was thinking about cleaning the hopper with a really good degreaser to remove any oils or contaminants then applying Maguires hybrid ceramic wax that I use on my car. That product left a super slick and slippery finish.
 
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depends

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Oddly enough in an earlier post I was wondering that as well. Assuming that don’t cancel my grill, I was thinking about cleaning the hopper with a really good degreaser to remove any oils or contaminants then applying Maguires hybrid ceramic was that I use on my car.. That product left a super slick and slippery finish.
Thanks for the note. I like the idea of a ceramic wax - but looking at Maguire's web page, it looks like the hybrid is rinse off? Not sure how well that would work inside a hopper (maybe you could just use a spray bottle to "rinse")? I'm mentally picturing myself explaining to Weber why I used the garden hose inside the hopper.

Mother's makes a spray on / wipe off product that might be easier to apply in this situation - I might try that. Of course I may be over thinking it.
 
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I considered this. Something bugs me about putting a chemical in the hopper where there's a chance it could affect the burning and potentially end up as a flavor in my food. I foresee weber having to swap hoppers with something a little taller with more slope.
 

topkatt4518

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I did a 9 hr burn yesterday on a pork butt. Went very well I must say. Couple of things I did to the hopper. Cleaned it of all debris. Thoroughly sifted the pellets (cookin pellets competition blend) with a sieve purchased from Amazon, looks like a pan for gold miners. A lot of debris came off the pellets and broke up some chunks as well. Waxed the interior of the hopper with food grade wax used for counter tops. It helped to some extent to move the pellets down. I am thinking of lining the interior of the hopper with Expel clear bra I used on my truck. Once that stuff is waxed it is very slick, nothing stick to it. Instead of Weber boasting 22# of pellets in the hopper. They need to make an insert with a steeper incline and loose a couple of pounds of capacity to make it work. Who cares it it holds 2 more pounds than the competition, that is not going to make or break a burn.
 

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Thanks for the note. I like the idea of a ceramic wax - but looking at Maguire's web page, it looks like the hybrid is rinse off? Not sure how well that would work inside a hopper (maybe you could just use a spray bottle to "rinse")? I'm mentally picturing myself explaining to Weber why I used the garden hose inside the hopper.

Mother's makes a spray on / wipe off product that might be easier to apply in this situation - I might try that. Of course I may be over thinking it.
I was thinking that I'd try that hybrid wax because I have some already. True you need a bit of water, but I was just figuring I'd use a spray bottle. There are other spray-on then wipe off products that may do the trick. I'm sure that someone else will come up with a better idea...I'm no genius, just thinking out loud. 😊
 

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I considered this. Something bugs me about putting a chemical in the hopper where there's a chance it could affect the burning and potentially end up as a flavor in my food. I foresee weber having to swap hoppers with something a little taller with more slope.
Yeah, I thought about that too. I would be shocked if it would be enough to affect the favour or the cook, but who knows? Just throwing ideas out there. I agree with topkatt4518, that was it probably needs is a reengineered hopper with a steeper incline. I'm not overly worried about losing a couple of pounds of pellet capacity.

I am surprised and disappointed that this hopper issue made it into final production. Weber really promotes the engineering and careful thought that went into this grill, how did they not catch this?
 
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I am surprised and disappointed that this hopper issue made it into final production. Weber really promotes the engineering and careful thought that went into this grill, how did they not catch this?
I‘ll cut Weber a little slack here. This seems to be a somewhat common issue with other manufacturers including Yoder, Mak, etc. I hope a solution can be found.
 

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I‘ll cut Weber a little slack here. This seems to be a somewhat common issue with other manufacturers including Yoder, Mak, etc. I hope a solution can be found.
I wasn't aware that this is a common issue with other cookers. To be clear, I'm not super upset, but I am a bit disappointed. They apparently spent loads of hours using other cookers documenting what worked well and what didn't. I am surprised that this problem made its way into the final production run. With that said, I pre-ordered my grill from a local distributor back before Christmas and am still waiting for it to arrive. I thought about cancelling my order, but I think I'll carry on. I'm confident that things will be fine.
 

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I am curious if the hopper issue is limited to the EX6, or is it being seen on the EX4 as well?
The analytical side of me expects the hopper on the EX4 to be 6” shorter (half the added width) and taller to hold the 22 lbs of pellets, thus requiring a steeper slope.
 

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I am curious if the hopper issue is limited to the EX6, or is it being seen on the EX4 as well?
The analytical side of me expects the hopper on the EX4 to be 6” shorter (half the added width) and taller to hold the 22 lbs of pellets, thus requiring a steeper slope.
🤔 Good thought.
 

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I have an EX4 and have and didn't have any issues on my burn-in and a 3 hour cook, but those didn't use a lot of pellets. Before I started an 8 hour cook at 250 for a pork shoulder I had seen some of the posts about flame-outs and pellets getting stuck so I was watching it closely. I went out every hours or so and pushed the pellets into the hole that forms over the auger to be safe. I added more pellets to keep the hopper pretty full thinking the added weight might help prevent issues too.

One time the grill temp dropped to 215 and I thought maybe was clogged but when I went out I could hear pellets dropping and it started climbing without any interaction. I went ahead and stirred the pellets to be safe. Don’t know if had a partial clog or if was just a fluctuation in temp that the controller took care of.

I've thought about just setting it to 225 with no food and less than half hopper and let it run without touching the pellets to see what happens but don't really want to waste the pellets. maybe I'll grab a bag of cheaper pellets if decide to do that.

I sent an email to Weber support this morning to see what they say since I don't want to have to keep stirring pellets all through a cook. I'll always be monitoring the grill and temps but shouldn't have to keep checking the pellets other than making sure there are enough.

Sorry long way to say I'm not completely sure if the EX4 is exhibiting the same issue or not :)
 

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Abmet, thanks for the insight. I saw the trend that all the auger feed issues on YouTube and on the forums seem to be EX6 related. Don’t know if it’ll be an easy fix but one could chalk this up as a manufacturer’s defect which is covered under warranty.
 

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Abmet, thanks for the insight. I saw the trend that all the auger feed issues on YouTube and on the forums seem to be EX6 related. Don’t know if it’ll be an easy fix but one could chalk this up as a manufacturer’s defect which is covered under warranty.
You're welcome. Hopefully they can come up with an easy fix. I've been tempted to remove the safety wire guard on mine but haven't done that yet.
 

topkatt4518

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Afternoon All. Here is my other thought. I used cook-in pellets on my 9 hr burn with no clogging issue. I just received my Weber pellets and WOW what a difference in size. See the pic. The pellets at the top are the larger of the Weber Pellets (hickory, cherry, apple) and the ones on the bottom are the larger of the cook-in pellets. I could see the Weber ones jamming on the fence they installed on the entry to the chute. I am wondering if some of the issues were from the Weber pellets? Weber's primary wood is oak as the cook-in pellets are all the specified hardwoods. Just adding my 2 cents.
 

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Well, wax didn’t stop it from happening. On my initial burn it the hole developed and while pellets were still getting in, it didn’t seem to be enough to keep at 600. This was after an hour + at 600 starting with the hopper 1/2 full.

the grill is also sitting on a patio with a slight (5 degree) decline that should have also helped gravity.

its almost like the way the hole forms, the pellets end up stacking up and Preventing anything from sliding down the chute.

Anyway, I’ll keep trying.
 

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Afternoon All. Here is my other thought. I used cook-in pellets on my 9 hr burn with no clogging issue. I just received my Weber pellets and WOW what a difference in size. See the pic. The pellets at the top are the larger of the Weber Pellets (hickory, cherry, apple) and the ones on the bottom are the larger of the cook-in pellets. I could see the Weber ones jamming on the fence they installed on the entry to the chute. I am wondering if some of the issues were from the Weber pellets? Weber's primary wood is oak as the cook-in pellets are all the specified hardwoods. Just adding my 2 cents.
What you are saying here does make sense. Thanks for sharing.

Did you say that you were running with the wire guard over the auger or not? With the wire installed I can definitely imagine a pellet-jam at the auger entrance.
 
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