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8 Reasons Why Your Traeger Fills Up With Pellets

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Traeger fills up with pellets

The Trager grill is designed to burn wood pellets at a very precise, measured rate to deliver an even, steady temperature over a long period of time.

For the grill to function properly, it needs a steady supply of good, quality pellets, and attention to several mechanical processes.

If either of these is lacking, the grill will either move pellets too quickly, too slowly, or not have enough pellets to burn.

Fortunately, these are easy processes to observe and fix.

Is it bad if my Traeger is filling up with pellets?

The Traeger grill is designed to create a steady temperature by delivering a steady flow of pellets from the fuel supply bin to the fire box by means of an augur.

If the Traeger fire box is filling up with pellets, something is going wrong and it is always a bad sign when the fire box has more pellets than can be burned. Fortunately, there are only a few typical causes, and the problem is usually easily fixed.

Why is my Traeger filling up with pellets?

There are three basic causes for the Traeger firebox filling up with pellets.

First, the augur could be jammed or clogged.

The augur is designed to deliver a certain number of pellets to the firebox with each turn. As a practical matter, the augur is supposed to deliver approximately the same number of pellets with each turn.

The total number of pellets delivered to the firebox is determined by the speed at which the augur turns. When the augur is clogged or jammed, the number delivered with each turn is thrown off, and the augur could deliver too many.

You can find detailed instructions for clearing a jammed augur in the owner’s manual that came with your grill.

Second, the firebox itself could be slow in burning the pellets, and they could be piling up.

The excess will eventually overflow into the grill itself. In this case, using a spoon or spatula, simply take the extra pellets out of the firebox, and put them back in the fuel supply bin.

If clearing the augur and the firebox fails to resolve the issue, something more fundamental may be wrong with your grill.

The best solution in this case is to contact Traeger customer service, and ask them for help in diagnosing the problem. Their customer service is very skilled, and usually able to help.

Why does my Traeger keep feeding pellets?

The augur on the Traeger is designed to deliver a steady supply of pellets with each turn.

Ideally, it will deliver just enough pellets for the firebox to continue to burn at a steady temperature, and neither more nor less.

However, the augur will continue to deliver pellets whether the firebox completely burns the earlier supply or not.

If the firebox is not burning pellets completely, it may have ash built up in it, or it may need to be set to a higher temperature.

How many pellets to put in a Traeger?

The pellet hopper on a Traeger is designed to take up to 18 pounds of pellets.

Trager pellets are sold in bags ranging from 18 pounds, for specialized types, to 20 pounds, for the more common hardwood, fruit wood and blended types. A few types of economy sized 33 pound bags are also sold by some retailers.

So, simple mathematics tells us that a bag will completely fill a hopper with some pellets left over.

How long does a full box of pellets last in a Traeger?

The use of pellets by the grill is governed by the temperature at which the grill operates. A hotter grill needs to burn more pellets than one set at a lower temperature.

If the grill is set at 225 degrees F, you should anticipate that it will burn 2 pounds of pellets per hour. The 18 pound hopper should take 9 hours to be used completely.

This is probably enough time for most grilling or cooking projects.

If the grill is set at 350 degrees F, it will burn through 3 pounds of pellets an hour. The 18 pound hopper is now good for only 6 hours of grilling or smoking, and you may need to refill it.

If there are pellets left over in the hopper when you have finished and the grill has shut down, you can either empty them back out for reuse, or leave them where they are until the next grilling session.

They need to be stored in a dry place to be good, but if the grill is kept covered or in a sheltered place, they should be perfectly fine.

How often do you add pellets to Traeger?

If your Traeger is running low on pellets, it will flash a warning light. The grill is designed to give this signal when there is about an hour or two of burn time left.

That is plenty of time to refill the pellet hopper, or, if you need to find more pellets, to run out to a nearby store and buy some.

Final thoughts

The Traeger grill needs a steady supply of pellets to function. It is designed to deliver a steady flow of pellets from the supply box to the fire box by means of an augur.

Like any mechanical process, the flow can sometimes be interrupted or defective, owing to a jammed or clogged augur, or an oversupply of pellets to the fire box.

These problems are easily solved. Conversely, the grill does need pellets to function, and over time during a cooking session the firebox may need to be refilled.

With careful planning and attention to detail, you can have an excellent grill session every time.