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Tunneling vs Running out of pellets

Running Out of Pellets
Running out of pellets is something that can happen to all of us from time to time. This differs from tunneling as the hopper will be, for the most part, completely empty. Bellow are a few tips to help you get back up and grilling in no time.
  • If you run out of pellets during a cook, it is important to think about how long your smoker has been out of pellets. If your hopper is out of pellets, there may still be some in the auger. This will be easy to identify as the temp should have remained at the set temp. Depending on how long the grill had been out of pellets, there may be a pocket of empty pellets in the auger. This can cause the grill to drop in temp while the auger feeds through the empty space in the auger. After which the grill should get back up to temp.
  • If you ran out and the auger is completely empty, you would have most likely notice a drop in temp and possibly the grill shut itself off completely. If this is the case, wait for the grill to cool and put your food in the oven to keep it warm. Once the grill has cooled, pull out the grate, drip tray, and heat baffle. Look in the firepot to ensure it is not full of pellets. If it is, clean out the firepot. After the firepot is empty, put the grill on high and wait for the auger to become filled with pellets. Once you start to see pellets fall into the firepot again, turn the grill off and place the internal pieces back into the grill. At this point you will be able to restart your cook.
  • It is always a good habit to check the pellet level in the hopper whenever you go out to check your meat.

Tunneling
Tunneling happens when the grill has fed all the pellets in the middle of the hopper but left a large collection of pellets on the sides of the grills hopper. While the new grills have been improved to reduce this from happening, it is still possible in small cavity grills, such as the Junior, Tailgater or Bronson models. If this happens, please follow the following steps:
  • If this issue only occurs occasionally, always check the pellets when you go out to check your meat. Stir around the pellets in the hopper.
  • Check the inside of the hopper for any damage. Damage can increase the chance of tunneling.
  • Clean out the hopper. If you have a lot of saw dust or blockage in the hopper, this can also increase the chance of tunneling.
  • If you have tried all the above solutions and still continue to get the same issue, please contact customer service.