AutoIgnite™ Maintenance & Care Guide

AutoIgnite™ Maintenance & Care Guide

The AutoIgnite Digital Charcoal Grill & Smoker combines technology and innovation to bring all the ease of gas grilling with the flavor of charcoal grilling. With this step-by-step guide you can keep your charcoal grill in top shape and ready to grill delicious meals.

Bread & Butter of Grill Maintenance

When you get your new grill, there are a few steps you will always need to take. You will always need to season your grill, clean after grilling, and store properly. For detailed setup and instructions about the AutoIgnite please download the Instruction Manual or visit this playlist of videos.

Season Your Grill

You need to season your grill to get rid of the chemicals and oils left over by the manufacturing process. You will also need to season your grill regularly throughout the life of the grill. Steps for seasoning the AutoIgnite are below: 

  1. Fill the hopper with charcoal 1/4 to 1/2 full.
  2. Start grill following the START-UP instructions and set the temperature to 250°F (121°C) for 60 minutes.
  3. After 60 minutes set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) for 30 minutes.
  4. Shut down the grill following the SHUTDOWN instructions.
  5. Allow grill to cool COMPLETELY.
  6. Using a napkin or cloth, rub a light coat of cooking oil on grates, sear plate, warming racks, and the inside of the grill lid and body. Use caution, the grill will be HOT to the touch.
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 at 350°F (175°C)

Start-Up Instructions for the AutoIgnite

You are ready to start grilling. Setting up your grill should be simple. Watch the video below or read the instructions listed below:

  1. Plug the grill in and power ON the controller.
  3. Press the auto ignite button to preheat the ignitor:
    1. Ignite button should now be flashing.
    2. Controller display should be flashing 450F (232C).
  4. Scroll controller knob to change desired temperature.
    1. Temperature Selection Options:
      1. Press the set temp button to select the temperature shown on the display.
      2. If you do not scroll the knob, the controller will auto select the temp on display (default temp 450F / 232C).
  5. Fill the MiniHopper with charcoal (no more than 7lbs/3kgs of briquette or 5lbs/2.25kgs of lump).
  6. Close the hopper lid and grill lid.
  7. Wait for the auto ignite button to stop flashing (this should take approximately 45 seconds).
  8. Place 1 fire starter in the fire starter holder
  9. Slide the fire starter tray into the lower hopper until it stops and close the door.
  10. The grill will need to run a startup sequence; it may take a few moments for the fan to turn on.

Read the Auto Ignite Instruction Manual for more information on setting up meet probes, troubleshooting, manual set up and more.

Clean After Grilling

  1. Once ashes have completely cooled, empty the charcoal hopper of ash after each use. This will help prolong the life of the charcoal hopper.
  2. Dispose of cold ashes by placing them in aluminum foil, soaking with water and discarding in a non-combustible container.
  3. Remove the charcoal grate and clean.
  4. Remove the cooking grates and manifold to clean.
  5. Remove grease cup and heat tent to clean.
  6. Remove hopper lid (sear plate) and clean. The hopper lid is coated cast iron, please wipe clean with a damp rag, for stuck on debris you may need to rub with a non-abrasive scrub brush. Once clean, apply a light coating of oil to the sear plate to prevent rust. If rust occurs on the sear plate, clean with a steel brush, apply vegetable shortening and heat the grill as noted in the seasoning instructions.
  7. Inspect hardware and assembled parts regularly to ensure grill is in safe working condition.
  8. Clean grill and cooking grates with mild dish detergent.
  9. Wipe the outside of the grill with a damp rag. DO NOT use oven cleaner or other cleaning agents. Make sure to dry thoroughly.
  10. Wipe it down with cooking oil to avoid rusting.


Shutting Down and Cooling the Grill


Cooling down and shutting down the grill is simple but a necessity to maintaining the grill. After cooking is complete, turn the controller off and unplug.  Close the hopper lid and grill lid. Allow grill to cool to the touch before storing. Once the grill is cool to the touch, empty the ash cup, cover, and store your grill in a dry location. 


Store Your Grill

  • Always cover and store your grill in a protected DRY AREA. Store only when the fire is out, and all surfaces are cold.
  • When grill is not in frequent use, even when using a grill cover, remember to check your grill periodically to avoid rust and corrosion due to moisture buildup
  • Note: do not store combustible materials under the grill or in the grill cabinet

A covered Masterbuilt digital charcoal grill and smoker sits on a paved patio in front of a lawn and trees

Be sure to pick up a properly fitted grill cover for your AutoIgnite. Shop the Masterbuilt Small Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Cover on our website.

Ongoing Care for your AutoIgnite

We recommended frequent seasoning to prevent rusting. You'll want to season your grates regularly during the first six months of owning your grill and then re-season them twice a year after that.

A close-up of the charcoal hopper. The hopper is on the right side of the area covered by the grill lid. To its left are the cooking grate and warming rack. The right side shelf is to the right, outside of the covered area.

If rusting occurs, clean with a steel brush, apply vegetable shortening and heat as indicated above. >

Another great tip to keep your grill working its best is to wipe or spray down the grill with vegetable oil regularly to protect the inside against rust.>

Continued cleaning and care are key to ensuring a long life for your AutoIgnite Charcoal Grill and Smoker. Have questions? Email or chat online with Masterbuilt customer service!