Firebox Buildup

mhugger

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Old Traeger
Hello,

I am new to the forum but needed some advice. I have an older model Traeger that I’ve used for some time. Recently, I have been having smoke backup problems out of the hopper, which I found was because of unused pellet and dust buildup in the firebox. It has gradually gotten worse. Yesterday, I dissembled and cleaned the entire smoker, including removing all pellets in the hopper and vacuuming empty. Today I smoked a brisket, and for 10 hours she was right on point. Great temp control and good smoke. At the eleven hour mark, I noticed smoke coming out of the hopper again, And it was a lot of smoke. I shut her down, finished the brisket in the oven, and checked the fire box. Sure enough…. Choked with unspent pellet pieces and dust. It’s not whole pellets…. More towards the ground pellet/dust side. I give up. Any thoughts?
 
What type of pellets are you using?

Some pellets, especially Applewood, contain significant levels of silica, calcium or magnesium. When the pellets burn, they leave behind a vitrified waste called a clinker.

I once tried smoking a large ham using Applewood and got the clinker buildup in the fire pot. I decided never to use Applewood again. I do not get that issue with Cherry or most other pellets.
 
What type of pellets are you using?

Some pellets, especially Applewood, contain significant levels of silica, calcium or magnesium. When the pellets burn, they leave behind a vitrified waste called a clinker.

I once tried smoking a large ham using Applewood and got the clinker buildup in the fire pot. I decided never to use Applewood again. I do not get that issue with Cherry or most other pellets.
Bear Mountain Bourbon BBQ pellets. I think I got them from Costco. But attached are a couple photos of the fire box after my cook yesterday.
 

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you can remove that fire pot and scrap all the rust off... and make sure your HOT ROD is sticking out at the recommended length... also make sure your FAN path is no clogged by something. With your fire pot out, you can look inside that long chamber area and see if there's an obstruction around the outside of the auger tube. This is the path your fan takes
 

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