Hello It is covered with what looks like oil! See 1st pic below. Black burnt pellets with oily goo! The hopper, and auger and fire box is covered with it! It was even dripping down to the floor in the front! Eeewww! To do the stove cleaning I sent out for a can of Acetone! Like the comercial says. This gives stove cleaning a new meaning! Jeezzz! This is a 2009 St. Croix Ashby-P insert purchase 2 months ago and only used 2 months! Here are the oily details! The stove ran great using cubex wood pellets for most of the 2 months. The other day a bag and a half or these new pellets called HearthSide Premium Wood Pellets made made by Bay State Wood Pellets in Fitchburg MA. Now there is no cleanout T on the back of the insert and the ash piles up and chokes the exhaust. So since these pellets do produce more ash quickly that is what happened. The stove and room got real smokey when the stove shut down. The only noticeable difference in looking at the pellets was that one bag used here had ALOT of fines in the bag! Has anyone seen such oily goo in the hopper and around the auger? ? ? See pics below! Has anyone tried these HearthSide wood pellets made in Fitchburg MA? Any luck with them? Click pic to enlarge - Finally after 10 hours of cleaning it is up and running!