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Z Grills – Smoky Hopper

If you have smoke coming from the hopper, start by:
1. Opening the grill and hopper lids
2. Turning the grill to SMOKE setting
3. Watch the video below and read this article

Why a Smoky Hopper Occurs

Smoke coming out from the hopper is a problem that many pellets smoker grills can sometimes experience.

Here are the main reasons why this can happen:

  • Operating at a high temperature and turning directly to Shut Down Cycle
  • Lots of wood dust in the auger feed tube
  • Lots of ash build up in the fire-pot

What to do

Grill already turn to Shut Down Cycle

If the grill is already in Shut Down Cycle (you have finished cooking) follow these steps:

  1. Open the hopper and grill lids.
  2. Turn the controller dial to SMOKE setting.
  3. If after another 10-15 minutes there is no more smoke coming from the hopper turn the grill to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.
  4. If the smoke does not stop coming from the hopper after 10 minutes, remove all the pellets from the hopper right down to the auger (use vacuum if necessary) and run the controller on High until ALL pellets have cleared from the auger tube.  
  5. Turn the unit to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.  Once the unit has shut-down and is cold, do a thorough clean, vacuuming out all pellets and ash, including in the auger tube (put vacuum suction to the hopper end and then fire pot end).  
  6. Complete initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation. 

In the middle of a cook

  1. Open the hopper and grill lids. 
  2. Turn the controller dial to SMOKE setting.
  3. You may want to remove your food, wrap in foil, or put in your oven on a low temperature setting to maintain the temperature.
  4. If after another 10-15 minutes there is no more (or very little) smoke coming from the hopper, turn the grill back to the target temperature and continue cooking.
  5. If the smoke does not stop coming from the hopper, remove all the pellets from the hopper right down to the auger (use vacuum if necessary) and run the controller on High until ALL pellets have cleared from the auger tube.  
  6. Turn the unit to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.  Once the unit has shut-down and is cold, do a thorough clean, vacuuming out all pellets and ash, including in the auger tube (put vacuum suction to the hopper end and then fire pot end).  
  7. Complete initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation. 
Updated on October 18, 2020

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