Every person has their own preference when it comes to cleaning their pellet grill. Some people may want a quick clean now and again, while others may prefer to deep-clean it every once in a while.
Do you own a pellet grill and want to use it to the maximum and wondering How often do you vacuum your pellet grill?
In this article, I will show you how to clean ash out of pellet grill, the best ash vacuum, and the optimized cleaning routine for your pellet grill.
How often do you Vacuum your pellet grill?
As a pellet grill owner, you want it to last a long time but you don’t want to ruin it by cleaning it out all the time. It is best to clean ash out of pellet grill after every 3-4 runs by vacuuming out the ash from the bottom of the fire pot and cooking chamber. Invest in a good ash vacuum to clean your pellet grill. Burning out ash is a great method to clean the pellet grill without any damage from over-cleaning it.
Why should I clean my pellet grill regularly?
Pellet grills use wood pellets to create smoke and heat. Their ash is collected in the firepot and the bottom of the grill. For the grill to work correctly, it is of utmost importance that you clean out that ash after every 2-3 cooks.
Otherwise, grates get black build-up as well as ash overflow within the grill. Ash build-up can either be cleaned with the help of a pellet smoker vacuum or some pellet grills have in-built ashtrays for easier removal.
I agree it is not a lot of fun to clean pellet grill, however, it can
- Effect grill function like error codes, auger issues, etc.
- Restrict airflow which can cause bad temperature control as well as faulty readings which can lead to damaging fires.
- Get ash on your food which is not essentially healthy, flavorful, or good-looking.
- Covering the ignitor rod with ash will inhibit it from starting a fire. This can cause a lot of smoke and build-up of carbon monoxide. When the fire does start, it can mix with that build-up and cause an explosion.
How to clean ash out of pellet grill?
Your best bet is to use a vacuum to clean pellet grill. You may use a common household vacuum; however, it may not be perfect for properly removing the ash build-up.
A specialized pellet grill vacuum is ergonomically built to efficiently clean ash from any pellet grill as well as flexible enough to reach into a grill’s nooks and crannies.
Step-by-step instructions to vacuum Pellet grill:
Let’s find out how to clean pellet grill. Make sure to not clean pellet grill right after use as it can be extremely dangerous.
1. Remove all parts and locate the fire pot
After removing the grates and drip tray, you will find the heat deflector beneath which the fire pot or burn pot resides with ash build up. Here lies the hot rod that ignites a fire in the wood pellet within the fire pot.
2. Assess ash residue
Check behind the auger for any ash build-up. Make sure you assess the location of all ash to remove it efficiently and completely. Also, look out for any moisture or grease at the bottom of the pot or around the auger. Remove that moisture build up with paper towels or a scraper and remove all wet ash. This is so that your pellet smoker vacuum does not become faulty with sticky ash build up.
3. Vacuum the grill
If you don’t have an ashtray at the base of the fire pot, use a pellet grill vacuum to clean ash from pellet grill. Make sure your vacuum reaches all nooks and crannies, including around and behind the auger and the hot rod. Go through the whole fire pot several times for a satisfying cleanup.
4. Put the pellet grill back and restart
Put your pellet grill back together and spray it with canola oil. Before you reuse it, make sure to preheat for 15-20 minutes after firing it up for the fire pot to burn up excess pellets as well as reach the cooking temperature.
This preheat wait is essential for a good cooking experience after the pellet grill cleaning steps.
Ash Burn-out method for a long-lasting pellet grill
Through my extensive research, I have uncovered the Ash Burn-out method so you do not have to clean the pellet grill every so often.
What this method entails is that you pre-heat as well as post-heat your pellet grill. What I do is that I heat up the grill to 300-350 after the cooking is done.
This not only burns off any grease but also helps in cleaning out pellets and drying up the ash. Keep an eye on the temperature to avoid any fires and you can successfully use your pellet grill for 3-4 cooks at least.
Top 3 best ash vacuum for pellet grill
1. Snow Joe 4.8-Gallon Ash Vacuum for Pellet Grill
- A flexible hose that even cleans out hard to reach areas within your pellet grill.
- It has dual filters for efficient cleaning of a pellet grill.
- It can clean up cold ash from all kinds of pellet grills and even your fireplace.
- Its 4-amp suction power is extremely strong to suck up all ash.
- It is a more expensive solution for cleaning ash out of pellet grill.
- It can have multiple uses around the house, so only invest in it if its usage will be all around for you.
- Many Amazon users have reported the ash clean out stuck issue, wherein, small embers and pellets are easily stuck in the vacuum’s hose after just one use.
2. PowerSmith Amp Ash Vacuum for Pellet Grill:
- It is an all-around vacuum for the house, capable of vacuuming hot as well as cold ash from around the most difficult of places.
- It has a washable and very fine fire-resistant filter system for removing even the smallest ash particles.
- It is lightweight with extremely high suction power.
- It is an extremely expensive tool for cleaning pellet grills.
- Although marketed as fireproof, the hose is not and may burn when sucking hot ashes.
- This pellet grill vacuum has immense ash clean-out stuck issues with even smaller particles jamming its pipe easily after a few uses.
- Even with 10 amp, its suction power is not at par with its utility.
3. Ash Vacuum Cleaner 5.3 Gallon, 1200W with Blow Function
- This pellet grill vacuum provides powerful suction at 1200W power.
- It is suitable for cold ash suction.
- It can be used not only for ash removal but also as a blower for your garden.
- It consists of a reusable and washable HEPA filter along with another filter to keep the vacuum safe.
- It is not usable for hot ash or right after a smoking hot grill cook.
- It can be a bit heavy for easy maneuverability.
Why should I not vacuum my pellet grill after every cook?
Pellet grill users unanimously agree that, although manuals tell you to clean pellet grill after every use, it is best not to do that.
It not only reduces the lifespan of your pellet grill but also removes the seasoning flavors from the pellet grill which are essential for a flavorful cook. Clean ash out of pellet grill is a painstaking process but also may lead to its ruin.
Important Tip: Remember to sieve your pellet grills before putting them in the auger so as to make sure any small pellets don’t get stuck in the auger or the pellet hopper and are hard to remove later on.