First long smoke on EX4 - 21 hours with 1 concerning issue


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May 15, 2020
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Regina, Saskatchewan
I confess I am not using Weber Pellets and I did NOT remove the pellet guard.

It was a good thing that I was close by as I was just waiting to pull off the 12 lb pork shoulder to wrap when I noticed the temperature was starting to drop significantly from 225 all the way down to 100. I wasn't sure if that was part of the weber app as I was using the guided recipe process found in the app and I it was saying I was 3 mins from moving to step 3 which was to pull it from the smoker and wrap in foil. I checked the hopper just to be sure and just used my hands to move the pellets around and I notices a very sudden surge of pellets fall down right above where the auger is. I realized there may have been a bit of a log jam (the hopper was 3/4 full)

The weird part is and I am hoping someone here can explain this is about 2 mins after there was ALOT of smoke being generated and the fan kicked in on high and the temperature soared to 450 like it was searing???? I opened the lid and took the shoulder off and waited for the temperature to reduce back down to 225 which took maybe 5 mins. Pork saved from being seared and it finished off perfectly to the end with a gorgeous bark (see pics)

Has anyone seen this before, can explain what happened and a way to possibly mitigate ? I would call my first long smoke a tremendous success. Probably the BEST pork shoulder I have smoked. I am a Weber fan and based on my first 4 smokes I am VERY impressed.

Thanks for your feedback.


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It does sound like a log jam of pellets and then the sudden flow downwards, which fills the firebox suddenly because the auger is running fast, which causes sudden high temps. Do you have the modified pellet hopper? Are the pellets dusty? Are the pellets dry (low humidity conditions)? As I have stated before, I believe that many of my problems were self-induced by using larger pellets. Once I installed the new hopper insert and switched pellets, I have not had major problems. Yes, I have had little PITA things occur but generally I am happy with my SF.
Hard to say but does seem like the log jam and then the grill trying to keep temp from continuing to drop probably caused it. I removed the finger guard from mine pretty early on and haven’t had issues with pellet jam since.
On several other posts I have stated the the auger jam causes a lot of issues. My first attempt at seasoning kept setting error codes until I got rid of the cheap and dusty pellets and switched to Weber pellets. You still need to vac out the auger on occasion as the jam can still happen. DO NOT empty the bag into the hopper. Sift or use a bucket and scoop and allow the dust to settle. Do not put dusty pellets in the hopper. The auger reverses on shutdown often causing a jam.
And do not use "damp" pellets, which crumble to dust.

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