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Traeger Pellets Piling Up? Try These Tips

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Traeger pellets piling up

Though the Traeger grill is designed to work steadily with a minimum of fuss, it does need careful maintenance to work properly.

If you are experiencing pellets overflowing and piling up in the grill, you may need to clean the fire box, the grill and the augur to keep the grill working properly.

Why is my Traeger putting out too many pellets?

Pellets overflow in a Traeger grill for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are little or no flame in the firebox, and a clogged augur.

Little or no flame is usually the first cause of pellet overflow. If the grill isn’t burning with enough heat, the pellets aren’t burnt properly, and the extra pellets will eventually overflow out of the fire box and into the grill.

This can eventually create a fire hazard. You can fix this problem by setting the grill to a higher heat setting to burn the pellets, and by inspecting the grill to make sure the pellets flow correctly.

If the grill still has too many pellets, the augur is most likely the culprit.

The augur should send a steady flow of pellets from the fuel supply to the fire box. It can become dirty from ash and grease, and stop functioning properly.

To clean the augur, you will have to remove the grill cover and open the augur housing.

Since these parts will be hot, you will need to wear gloves in order to clean the hot ash and grease inside. After you have cleaned the augur, you will also want to check and clean the baffles, which govern the airflow inside the grill. These can also become dirty with ash and grease, and can cause pellets to overflow. They can be easily cleaned with a brush once the grill cover is removed.

Finally, you may want to look at the pellets you are using. Hardwood and fruit wood pellets are best for Traeger grills. The Traeger can also burn softwood pellets.

If you have bad or wet pellets, they may not burn correctly or completely, and the grill may overflow.

If, after troubleshooting the firebox, the augur, and the pellets, the grill still overflows with pellets, you may wish to call Traeger customer service for assistance.

More serious repairs may be needed, and they can advise you on some other possible causes.

Why does my pellet grill keep clogging up?

There are four basic and common reasons why your pellet grill keeps getting clogged. 

1. The pellets aren’t flowing into the grill properly. This is probably the most likely reason the grill is clogged. You need to make certain that you have the correct number of pellets in the supply bin, and that the augur is delivering them to the fire box at the correct rate.

2. Ash has accumulated in the grill. Over time, ash will fall onto the bottom of the grill, and this may cause trouble with pellet feed into the firebox. This is easily fixed by cleaning the grill thoroughly on a regular basis and removing all ash and debris.

3. The exhaust is clogged. The vent or smokestack on the grill also needs to be cleaned thoroughly and on a regular basis. This can affect the burning of pellets, which can cause a backlog of pellets to be burned. Make sure the exhaust is clean and free of blockage to solve the problem.

4. Low quality or wet pellets. Bad quality or wet pellets won’t burn properly, and the backlog will clog the grill. If you suspect this may be the cause of the problem, try a fresh bag of pellets or a different brand of pellets to see if you have better results.

Do you need to prime Traeger auger every time?

You shouldn’t have to prime the Traeger augur every time, or even very often, if the grill is well-supplied with pellets.

The augur is designed to deliver a steady flow of pellets to the fire box with each turn, and the speed of the augur determines the total number of pellets based on the temperature setting.

Priming the augur is unnecessary, and may cause problems by sending too many pellets to the fire box.

However, if the augur is sending too many or too few pellets to the fire box, it may be jammed or clogged, or it may need to be cleaned of extra pellets, ash or grease.

Cleaning the rest of the grill may help the overall function of the Traeger as well.

The augur delivers a set number of pellets, whether they are properly burned or not, so if the pellets are building up, it may be that there is low flame or no flame in the fire box.

How do I stop my Traeger from flaring up?

If a Traeger has a flare up, it is either due to too many pellets in the firebox, or to too much grease on the drip tray.

In either case, make sure the lid is closed on the grill. Eventually, the fire will run short of oxygen and go out. Never use water to put out the fire.

Water should never be used on a grease fire to begin with, as the burning oil will spatter, and this will only spread the fire.

However, the Traeger is also an electrical device, and pouring water on it may short the grill out and damage it permanently.

Keeping an eye on the pellets going to the fire box should minimize the risk of a pellet fire caused by too many pellets.

Cleaning out any ash and unburned pellets after each grill session will also help reduce the risk of a fire.

To minimize the chance of a grease fire, clean the drip tray on a regular basis.

You can also cover the drip tray with aluminum foil, which you can change on a regular basis to keep the drip tray clean. Grease that doesn’t build up to begin with cannot burn in a flare-up.

Final thoughts

The Traeger grill is designed to deliver a steady flow of pellets to the fire box. With careful attention and regular cleaning, the design should work well to give you an excellent grill session every time. Lack of care and cleaning can lead to bad results and increased safety risk from flare-ups.