Smoke coming from hopper (KC COMBO)

Tescahua90

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Just got this for my bday. And did everything according to the book. When I turned it off fan stayed on (yes I know stays on for few minutes)
So I went inside for about 30 minutes and came to see the hooper smoking fan still on!!!! Took apart the flame cover and notice some pellets inside the auger. I need help grill looks nice but don’t want it if I already have problems and it’s brand new!!!SOMEONE HELP!!
 

Hybridkowboy

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Just got this myself as a belated bday gift and having the same problem. I cleaned it out, ran it dry till there was ash and noticed the ash building up instead of sifting through to the ash tray.
 

jiven

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If u have smoke coming from the hopper it's caused by dirty pellets. Saw dust collect in the bottom of the augar tube and catches fire. I always run my pellets through a sift.
 

Hybridkowboy

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If u have smoke coming from the hopper it's caused by dirty pellets. Saw dust collect in the bottom of the augar tube and catches fire. I always run my pellets through a sift.
Thank you for the advice. Didn’t even think about that. What sort of soft do you use? Would screen from a sliding screen door work?
 

DaveXDm9

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Thank you for the advice. Didn’t even think about that. What sort of soft do you use? Would screen from a sliding screen door work?
So that is interesting there always will be pellets in your Auger do you mean there we pellets in your fire pot? It depends on how high your temp was if you were grilling at 400 - 450 the fan will stay until it hits 120 then it will shut off. At high temps it does take about 15 - 20 minutes so something strange happen if it went past 20 minutes. If this was your first time using the odds of dust catching fire is like zero chance I mean it would take a lot of saw dust to do that and I never sift mine not once had a blow back fire.

Remove the pellets and vacuum the pellets out of the auger tube and see if 95% are burnt and if so you did have a blow back fire in your auger.
 

Hybridkowboy

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So that is interesting there always will be pellets in your Auger do you mean there we pellets in your fire pot? It depends on how high your temp was if you were grilling at 400 - 450 the fan will stay until it hits 120 then it will shut off. At high temps it does take about 15 - 20 minutes so something strange happen if it went past 20 minutes. If this was your first time using the odds of dust catching fire is like zero chance I mean it would take a lot of saw dust to do that and I never sift mine not once had a blow back fire.

Remove the pellets and vacuum the pellets out of the auger tube and see if 95% are burnt and if so you did have a blow back fire in your auger.
So the first time I had smoke coming out of the pellet box/auger was during my third or fourth cook. I hadn’t been cleaning out the fire pot after/before each cook (KC Combo has an ash removal tray, but it doesn’t work for shit) so the ash would build up and cause the fire to burn back. Each of those cooks were less than 2 hours. After doing some research and talking to a friend that has an Austin XL, which doesn’t have an ash removal tray, I realized that I needed to be vacuuming out the fire cup before each new cook to avoid the smoke in the pellet box. Since doing that I didn’t have any issues until I smoked a pork butt and about 4 hours in I was getting smoke in the pellet box and fire out of the auger tube. The ash from a long cook like that caused the same problem. I had to remove everything mid cook and clean out the fire cup in order to continue smoking. So the conclusion I’ve come to is;
1. Cleaning out the fire cup before every cook
2. Prepare for a mid cook cleaning for anything over 3-4 hours
3. Don’t trust the ash removal tray/system

The KC Combo was expensive and I love it, but it requires more attention than I think it should for what Pitboss claims it is capable of.
With that being said, sifting the pellets to possibly help avoid buildup and/or fire is something I will be doing from now on.
Pitboss has been no help in the matter. I’ve submitted a claim and it took them about 3 weeks to respond and the response was no help whatsoever.
 

DaveXDm9

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So the first time I had smoke coming out of the pellet box/auger was during my third or fourth cook. I hadn’t been cleaning out the fire pot after/before each cook (KC Combo has an ash removal tray, but it doesn’t work for shit) so the ash would build up and cause the fire to burn back. Each of those cooks were less than 2 hours. After doing some research and talking to a friend that has an Austin XL, which doesn’t have an ash removal tray, I realized that I needed to be vacuuming out the fire cup before each new cook to avoid the smoke in the pellet box. Since doing that I didn’t have any issues until I smoked a pork butt and about 4 hours in I was getting smoke in the pellet box and fire out of the auger tube. The ash from a long cook like that caused the same problem. I had to remove everything mid cook and clean out the fire cup in order to continue smoking. So the conclusion I’ve come to is;
1. Cleaning out the fire cup before every cook
2. Prepare for a mid cook cleaning for anything over 3-4 hours
3. Don’t trust the ash removal tray/system

The KC Combo was expensive and I love it, but it requires more attention than I think it should for what Pitboss claims it is capable of.
With that being said, sifting the pellets to possibly help avoid buildup and/or fire is something I will be doing from now on.
Pitboss has been no help in the matter. I’ve submitted a claim and it took them about 3 weeks to respond and the response was no help whatsoever.
You are 100% right on and I have been preaching this forever to clean out your pot after every cook it will save so many headaches.
 

Sparky

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I understand stand what you all are saying now. Cleaned out my KC Como this evening after smoking ribs on Sunday. I will now put aluminum foil on the flame broiler plate. Looked at the burning cup to see the ash build up on the side. Tried the ash handle while looking and can see the brush hardly making contact. Going to do a brisket this weekend. Any suggestions on not letting it too high in the burn pot on a long cook?
 

Hybridkowboy

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I understand stand what you all are saying now. Cleaned out my KC Como this evening after smoking ribs on Sunday. I will now put aluminum foil on the flame broiler plate. Looked at the burning cup to see the ash build up on the side. Tried the ash handle while looking and can see the brush hardly making contact. Going to do a brisket this weekend. Any suggestions on not letting it too high in the burn pot on a long cook?
The only thing I can suggest is either stopping the cook as needed to clean it out or force the ash through the mesh, or finding something small and long enough to reach through the grill and broiler plate to kind of stir the ash so it will fall through.
 
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The only thing I can suggest is either stopping the cook as needed to clean it out or force the ash through the mesh, or finding something small and long enough to reach through the grill and broiler plate to kind of stir the ash so it will fall through.
a wooden paint stick you get for free from home depot will work with punish the ash down without stopping your cook....
 
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