5 Easy Solution; Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking?

The Camp Chef Pellet Grill is an excellent outdoor cooking tool. It automatically feeds wood pellets into a fire pot, where they are ignited by a hot rod/igniter. But sometimes you notice and ask yourself “Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking?”

There is no single reason for “smoke coming out of hopper camp chef”. This guidepost is for those who encounter problems with smoke or fire coming from the hopper of their pellet grill.

Camp Chef Pellet Hopper typically does not generate smoke and fire. But it has the potential for backburn i.e. the fire can spread from the pellet grill’s firepot to the hopper through the wood pellets. A malfunctioning induction fan can cause smoke to escape from the pellet hopper.

  • Pellet hopper overheating.
  • Ventilation system blockage.
  • A bad blower or a clogged flue.
  • Used are of poor quality or have been stored improperly.

Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking [Problem & Solution]

If you are facing smoke coming out of your pellet hopper with Camp Chef pellet grill or other brands (Pit Boss, Traeger, Green Mountain, and more), it is important to find the “Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking troubleshooting”.

There are four main reasons why your Camp Chef grill’s pellet hopper smokes out.

1. Air Flow

The fire pot has an induction fan to keep the fire burning and to distribute the heat and smoke throughout the cooking chamber.

What if the blower stops for some reason? In such a situation, smoke and fire will increase in the fireplace. Because carbon dioxide is light, it will look for a way out.

The easiest way is to exit through the auger tube where the smoke will enter the pellet hopper and you will see smoke or fire coming out of the pellet hopper.

Solution – Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking Problem

Caution is very important as it can cause a lot of damage so you must try to extinguish the fire and switch off the machine immediately.

  • Remove wood pellets from the hopper.
  • Check if there is a possibility of the fan being stuck or stopped.
  • Clean fan, fire pot, and Camp Chef pellet hopper.
  • Restock with quality wood pellets and test everything properly.

2. Ventilation Blockage

If you find that the Camp Chef pellet grill’s hopper is smoking, it is likely that your pellet grill unit is not clean. It could also mean that there is too much ash and sawdust in the fire pot.

Everyone knows that ash accumulation in a fire pot will result in inefficient combustion resulting in smoke coming out of the Camp Chef’s hopper. Which one is better Camp Chef or Blackstone?

The ash blocks the airflow but this is not sensed by the auger system and continues to feed wood pellets into the fire pot which will increase the fire and create smoke.

Now the hot smoke will not reach the cooking area as all the vents are closed then the smoke will go towards the hopper through the auger pellet tube and after some time you will see the smoke coming out of the hopper.

Solution – Smoke Coming Out of Hopper Camp Chef

The only way to avoid this type of problem is to clean your pellet grill, clean it after every 3 cooks.

Although pellets do not produce much ash, excess dust, and buildup of ash can quickly reduce the life of your pellet grill if not properly cared for.

There are many ways to clean it but for deep cleaning, you should use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to remove all the residual and ash.

3. Cooking On High Temperature

When you cook at high temperatures on a pellet grill, the wood pellets and auger get quite hot. This situation is usually critical as the hot wood pellets and auger ignite even after the induction fan is turned off.

In this case, another major reason for the smoke coming out of the pellet hopper of your Camp Chef grill would be that the wood you used moist wood pellets.

Since both the auger and the pellets have been heated by high-heat cooking, smoke from the moist pellets will certainly be seen coming out of the hopper.

Solution – Why is My Camp Chef Pellet Box Smoking Problem

Monitoring is the best precaution in such a situation, as soon as you notice smoke coming out of the pellet hopper, immediately check the hopper.

  • Camp Chef Pellet Grill unplug and turn off.
  • Remove wood pellets.
  • The hopper should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Wait until your pellet grill has cooled down.
  • Restart and double-check for quality wood pellets.

4. Bad Quality Wood Pellets

As we mentioned above wood pellets do not produce much ash, which means only high-quality wood pellets. There isn’t a huge difference in price between low-quality and high-quality wood pellets, but the quality has to be compromised in order to save a few dollars.

The low-quality wood pellet works for less time and produces more ash causing problems like temperature fluctuations, heating problems, auger jams, smoke, and fires out of the Camp Chef pellet hopper.

You need to more about the Camp Chef pellet grill problems!


The only solution is not to get greedy and invest in good wood pellets (Pit Boss or Traeger) that can extend the life of your pellet grill.

5. Flare-Up

The accumulation of meat grease often causes flare-ups in the cooking chamber, which can cause sudden fires that can back-feed into the hopper.

In such a situation, first smoke will come out of the hopper, then suddenly it will turn into fire.

Fixing Smoke Coming Out of Hopper Camp Chef

You may know a few reasons for smoke coming out of the hopper of your pellet grill, but let’s take a closer look at how to do it.

  • Your biggest goal is to keep the fire pot, cooking area, and auger tube of your Camp Chef Pellet Grill clean. You must use a vacuum cleaner to remove ash, burn pellets, sawdust, and residue.
  • Make sure all vents on your pellet grill are open so no carbon soot builds up as it blocks airflow. Also, see to it that the chimney cap is at a certain height so that excess smoke and temperature can escape. Read the manual carefully for more details.
  • Check that your pellet grill induction fan is spinning at the proper speed and in the correct direction. If there is dirt or buildup on it, clean it.
  • It sounds a bit strange to think that even if your Camp Chef pellet grill isn’t level, smoke will come out of the hopper, but it’s a fact. You have to make sure that the surface of the pellet grill is flat.

What to do when fire or smoke starts coming out of the hopper?

Whenever smoke or fire comes out of the hopper of your Camp Chef pellet grill, the first thing you should do is unplug and switch off the pellet grill. After that, all work will be done.

If only smoke is coming out of the hopper, remove the lid and carefully remove the wood pellet from a non-flammable container. Before doing all these things make sure that you have put on heat-resistant gloves on your hands.

If there is a fire coming out of the hopper, close the hopper and by doing so the air supply will be cut off which will extinguish the fire and release the smoke. Then clean thoroughly and check if the damage is done.

FAQs – Smoke Coming Out of Hopper Camp Chef

Why is smoke coming out of my pit boss hopper?

There could be many reasons for this; Such as if the pellets are dirty, there is too much dust in the auger tube, the grill is not straight, use a dirty pellet grill, or it has passed through the initial starting stage.

Can a pellet stove hopper catch fire?

Yes, the hopper can catch fire as it contains fuel that burns in the fire pot. This fire enters inside the hopper through the fire pot and auger tube.

Should I wet my pellets before smoking?

No, never soak wood pellets before smoking them with your pellet grill. How many times have I said that wet pellets can ruin your grill unit?

The result of wet pellets will be bad enough for your pellet grill which can cause major problems and brake parts.

Do you empty pellets after every use?

It is best practice you clean your pellet grill hopper after use. This is because wood pellets left in your hopper can get moisture which can cause problems with your pellet grill.

Do all pellet grill brands hopper smoke?

Yes, since all pellet grills work on the same technology, they all have the same cause and the same solution to smoke coming out of a hopper.

Final Verdict – Why is my pellet grill smoking?

Why is my pellet grill smoking? Almost all the reasons for this must have been answered. You have to follow all these steps as there is no particular reason for it.

Do you know your Camp Chef error code, if not then read the article and become knowledgeable.

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