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Pellets in the hopper?


New member
Feb 13, 2019
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Do you all leave pellets in your hoppers when you are not grilling?
I have so far with my Ironwood 650. I store the grill in the garage though, so it's not exposed to any of the outside elements.
I clean my hopper after every cook. I do this for several reasons; I'm always switching out flavors, my smoker is covered but outside all year long (live in Chicago area), once I didn't cover and pellets got soaked and took some time to unjam the auger and lastly, it takes 2 minutes max to clean out.
I leave mine in all the time covered sitting on deck. Never had any issues w/ pellet jams or etc.
I've been dumping the pellets into a home depot bucket i seal up which takes literally 30 seconds with the nice change out drawer on the Ironwood. i tend to vacuum after every cook including the firebox (for ash) but here is my question...

At first I was vacuuming into the auger on both ends, ie. my hopper had ZERO visible pellets. This meant I would "re-prime" the auger before each cook which got a bit annoying. I now dump all the pellets EXCEPT the tiny amount in the final shoot with the auger visible in it in the hoper. That means my auger is filled with pellets even if the hoper is empty and I have no need to reprime before starting... however all these stories of moisture and pellets locking an auger solid is scaring me. For those who "remove" all the pellets... are you trying to get ALL the pellets out of the Traeger including the auger itself?
I keep mine mostly uncovered and with pellets in the hopper. No issues from rain getting in or moisture etc.
I leave mine in the hopper. It's stored outside, but under a Traeger cover. I also go through a lot and cook on it almost every day I am home (which is Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

If I will not cook for an extended time, I will transfer the pellets to a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma seal till the next cook.