Traeger Firebox

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firewater joe

Original poster
Aug 25, 2017
SoCal - making smoke rings!
I see a lot of questions about problems with heat generation. Certainly the shutdown cycle is important to ensure it's working; to facilitate 'as advertised' operation next time. I've had my smoker for about 4 mos now. I've had some intermittent issues with start up, but once it's going, it's going! I checked the instructions that came with it and it says to check the firebox " . . . once in a while." Really?? If you're 6, 'once in a while' means tomorrow. If you're 70, it might mean once a year.

I called Traeger to seek their recommendation and sure enough, their "once in a while" means about every 15-20 hrs. I asked the lady, "Why not just say that?" She agreed!

Bottom Line: If the ash in the firebox covers the heating rod, you can have less than advertised operation. If humidity has swollen your pellets, this turns into a guarantee.

I'm pretty sure I cover the heating rod with ash every time I use it, but haven't checked. I will begin a more thorough observation now that I know it's a 15-20 hr ( 3 to 5 uses ) recommendation. I've got a brisket, pork butt, and some wings through that machine since the last time I vacuumed it. I'm thinking I've got another item on the 'to-do' list today.

Hope this helps. ;)
I was having problems with mine. It used to get to 450 no problem then a couple of months ago it would only heat up to 330 maybe 350. I cleaned it out. Not much ash in the fire pot. Still no help so I dumped the pellets put cleaned out the hopper and ran all the pellets out of the auger. Everything looked ok except for a lot of dust in the bottom of the hopper just to be sure I put new pellets in it fired it up I’m getting 455 now like it’s supposed to do. And I cleaned the temp probe as well. I guess I got some bad traeger pellets and didn’t know. I hope this helps someone out is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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