how often to prime auger

caplanner

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purchased a Ironwood 650 two weeks ago. Cooked a brisket and pork loin first week. Cleaned the firepot and wiped down the inside of the grill afterwards - I was surprised to see a lot of dust. Because it was new, I used Traeger apple for the pork and Traeger hickory for the brisket. Do I need to prime the auger each time I clean out the firepot? I did this time - cooking leg quarters - and wonder if that's the reason the temp initially jumped to 272 even though I had it set for 180. I did eventually go down to 180.
 

BobbyQ

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I never prime the auger. Even after vacuuming the barrel, fire pot and hopper there’s always some pellets left in the auger. It just might take a little longer to ignite.
 

MidwestSmoker

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After the first time, the auger will already have pellets in it and there is no need to prime. In fact, it is dangerous. The firepot will fill with pellets and can explode when ignited.
 

Slimpicker

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Do I need to prime the auger each time I clean out the firepot? I did this time - cooking leg quarters - and wonder if that's the reason the temp initially jumped to 272 even though I had it set for 180. I did eventually go down to 180.

Probably, here's the thing, if you vacuum the firepot, a let's say you sucked out a bunch of pellets in the auger tube, you can either start your grill next time and it'll just take a little longer to ignite. OR, since you can STOP the prime function anytime you want, maybe prime till 5-10 pellets fall into the firepot then stop it, and cook.

I've never primed unless I've emptied the auger, but you have the option to if you stop it at the right time
 

Don C

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After cleaning, I just manually drop a few new pellets into the firepot & skip the priming altogether at the next cook.

I have never had a problem with the cleaning sucking pellets out of the auger.
I use a "crevice tool" to suck the ash out of the firepot.
 

RayClem

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I do not know if I am right or wrong, but I always prime the auger before every cook, even if I have not cleaned out the fire pot. I always leave the lid open until the pellets start to smoke to prevent pressure from building up in the chamber. The auger priming does not fill the pot with pellets, but does insure the hot rod is covered.

That procedure seems to work well for me. I plan to continue doing it that way unless I start to see a problem.
 

patstock11

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i run my auger out till empty, and prime everytime i cook. Only bc it is so humid up here on long island
 
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caplanner

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Thank you all for the replies. I don't completely empty the firepot each time I grab a hand full of dust and pellets so I guess I don't need to prime it every time. I do like the idea of dropping a couple of pellets in it if I do completely clean it out.
 

RayClem

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Leave the lid open until the firepot starts to smoulder. That prevents gases from building up, avoiding a potential explosion.

Priming the auger opnly adds a small amount of pellets to the firepot. It does not come close to filling the pot unless the pot is nearly filled with ash, clinkers, and partially burned pellets.

The only time there is a danger of explosion is if the grill did not shut down properly after a cook. That can happen if you have a power failure during a cook. If the fire pot is nearly full of partially burned chips and you try to reignite the fire without cleaning out the fire pot, an explosion is possible, especially if the lid is closed. Never reignite a grill after a fameout or improper shutdown without cleaning out the firepot.

If the grill shuts down properly, there will only be a dozen or so pellets remaining in the firepot. Adding a few more by priming the auger is not a problem.
 

GrillMeister

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Been Traegering for over a decade. Never primed the auger except for the first cook on a new Traeger and I don't bother changing pellets anymore as I buy 40# blends. I do use smoke tubes filled with pellets & wood chips (hickory & mesquite ).
 

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