What happened with my tube?

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Navy Dog

Original poster
Jan 4, 2024
I used a tube of pellets and was very happy with the results. Two days later, I used the same tube and the same pellets. The weather was about the same. The tube would not stay lit and when I tried to clean it out it was a solid mass of what appeared to be ash. I am using a screwdriver to work on getting the stuff out. I used a propane smoker and thought I did everything the same. Any ideas what I changed? What to avoid next time?
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That is weird. Are you sure it was ash or pellets that were unburned and got wet somehow? Every time I have used my tube when it burns good the ash just falls out of the holes and the tube is basically empty. Not sure why that would happen unless the pellets got wet or were slightly damp and would not burn. When I use my tube I really get that thing going with my propane torch. I light the whole first inch of pellets till they are lit up and let it burn in a vertical position till they go out on there own and I have never had a whole tube not burn all the way. Hopefully someone else might have a better answer for you.
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Just to eliminate... The top vent was wide open, correct ?

Was the tubed (all the little holes) clean from the previous use before filling with new pellets ?
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Sounds like the pellets got wet somehow, but if it would not stay lit, where'd the ash come from? Was it actually ash, or sawdust from the pellets getting wet and disintegrating?
^^^^^Yep. My bet is moisture in the pellets... was this a new bag you opened the first time, and used them again couple days later? Try drying them in the microwave ahead of time. 1 minute at a time until they get warm to dry them out a little.
I am not sure if the stuff left in the tube was ash but looked like it. I did not clean the tube after its first use. I did not notice any of the holes plugged but may not have noticed. Yes, I opened a new bag and used the same 2 days later. The bag was kept in the garage. Cleaning and microwaving will be done next time. Thanks!!
Another option is to put the full unlit tube in the smoker when your preheating it... This helps dry and it heats the pellets up for easier lighing...
Don't forget to wear gloves if you do this as the tube will be hot...
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