I have had my PG500 for about 3-1/2 years now and use 3-5 times per week, usually at low (225* -275*) temps for smoking followed by brief 300* or so temps for finishing meats. Lately the inside top has started flaking off small pieces of soot/creosote onto the food. I have scraped top off and then wiped down with a damp paper towel which helped stop this issue temporarily. My question is how to keep this from coming back?? My old Amerique and my FEC 100 have also experienced this to a much, much lesser degree. Wondering if I crank it up to 400* or so once in a while, or when starting it up should I heat it up to 300* degrees or so (like the manual said which I don't do), or what??
I have also had this happen sometimes with my Amerique, but also frequently with my gas and charcoal grills. From what I've read, it is apparently cooking grease that coats the inside top surface during a cook, then burns in subsequent cooks, until it flakes off onto your food which is unpleasant, although not harmful. I haven't found a way to prevent it, although I guess a good cleaning after every cook might do it, if I were that motivated. I'm not, so I just wipe it off when I see it with a damp rag or paper towel. I wonder if you only did low temp cooking in your FEC (as I guess you did with your AQ) it would occur much less often. Just my $.02.
Jay, Thanks for your reply. It seems that once this flaking occurred in my old Amerique and FEC 100, and after scraping and then cleaning with damp paper towel that I do not have the problem much anymore. It almost seemed like it was that original good blackened "seasoning" that had built up on surfaces that was then flaking off. I agree no one wants to be that motivated to clean the whole insides of their pellet grille each time it gets used, and that maybe those flakes aren't harmful, but I don't have a good answer to the question when someone asks "what seasoning those big flakes are"??
Very rare and hard to obtain malabar black flake pepper?
Jay, Think I can bottle those flakes of "pepper" and then sell them ?? LOL Thanks for your reply!
I use a wide plastic paint scraper (or body putty applicator) to scrape the top of lid (PG1000/FEC100) at startup. Then I wire brush the grates before putting meat on to knock off the startup ash/residue. Takes 10 seconds.