Initial Start Up and Burn in Process for a Pellet Smoker

The Z Grills Initial Startup and Burn-in process must be performed before your first cook on your new pellet smoker. Like any pellet smoker, your grill needs to be seasoned before you can use it. The whole process roughly takes about an hour to complete and you’ll need enough wood pellets to run the grill on HIGH for at least 45 minutes. You will also need to ensure that you perform this outside or somewhere with good air ventilation.

If reading isn’t your forte, here’s a helpful video!

1. Everything Out

Open the hopper and grill lids.

Remove the grill racks, grease tray and baffle plate that sits over the fire-pot

2. Turn ON

With the controller dial in the Shut Down Cycle position, turn the switch ON.

If you see Er2 on the display it is because it is not on Shut Down Cycle.

3. Turn to SMOKE

Turn controller dial to Smoke. Listen for the fan to start up.

4. Check Auger Operation

Check to confirm that the auger is very slowly rotating. You will be able to hear a “whirring” sound when the auger motor is on.

It will only rotate for a few seconds when your first turn the controller to Smoke, then rest for 30-40 seconds. Over the following 5 minutes it will turn on/off periodically.

5. Check Fire-pot

Put your hand over the top of the fire-pot to see if air is blowing out confirming that the fan is working. You would have also clearly heard the fan operating as soon as you turned the controller to Smoke.

Look to see if the ignition rod at the bottom of the fire-pot is getting hot (do not touch it). It will get a dull red hot color about 4 minutes after turning to Smoke setting. Some smoke may appear as some surface oil is burnt off, that is normal.

Once confirmed that the auger is slowly rotating (periodically), fan is blowing and ignition rod is getting hot, proceed to the next step.

6. Add Wood Pellets

Pour enough wood pellets into the hopper to reach the safety grate. You don’t need to fill the hopper up. About 4lbs is sufficient for this first burn-in.

Shut the hopper lid.

Only add lots of pellets if doing a long cook. Always store the wood pellets in a closed bag or sealed bucket to avoid them getting moist.

7. Turn to High

Turn controller dial to High which will run the auger for longer to feed the wood pellets from the hopper through the auger tube into the fire-pot

8. Pellet Dropping

About 7-8 minutes after adding the wood pellets into the hopper they will begin to drop into the fire-pot. As soon as this happens proceed to the next step.

9. Fire it up!

Turn the controller to Shut Down Cycle and immediately to Smoke to start the ignition rod up again.

10. Fire Up Your Beauty!

After 3-5 minutes you should have lots of smoke and then fire!

Awesome job, your grill is alive and ready to burn-in.

Place the baffle plate over the fire-pot, grease tray in (no foil), and grill racks back in place and close the grill lid.

11. Burning In

Turn the controller to High to run the grill at maximum temperature to burn off any oil from the manufacturing process. This won’t smell too great, so don’t do it close to an open window. The smell will disappear after about 10-15 minutes.

Run the grill on this High setting for at least 45min then turn the grill to Smoke for 10 minutes to let the fire die down, then turn to Shut Down Cycle. Leave the power switched ON.

During the shut down cycle process the fan will continue to run for 10 minutes to ensure all the pellets are burnt out, before it automatically turns off.

Once the grill has turned itself off you can switch the power off and unplug the power cable or start your first cook!

12. Time to Cook!

Once the grill has turned itself off, open the grill lid, remove the grill racks and give them a wipe down with a moist cloth.

Cover the grease tray with a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Start the grill by turning to Smoke with the grill lid open. After about 4-5min you will see lots of smoke. Wait until you hear the roaring sound of the fire and less smoke, then shut the lid and turn to the desired temperature.

Wait until the temperature is reached before putting your food in.

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