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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
caseydog
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Default Weird OTG fire...

It was a fantastic weather day, so I decided to grill some shrimps and scallops for dinner.

I lit a chimney of charcoal, and poured it into the 18.5 OTG, like I have done many times before.

I brought the shrimps and scallops out, and I had big flames and black smoke rising from the OTG. WTF?

The flames were not coming from the coals. They were coming from the bowl, and the smoke smelled really bad. It was like I dumped diesel on the fire.

I used the one-touch mechanism to clean out the bowl, and that set the ash catcher on fire. The ash catcher burned for a good 15 minutes. BTW, I used the OT mechanism to clean the bowl before I started, and emptied the ash catcher, too.

I ended up cooking my dinner on the stove. I wasn't about to cook anything I was going to eat on THAT fire.

Has anyone seen this happen before?

I did get a couple of pictures. The first one kind of shows the flames coming from the bowl, but before I got the camera, the flames under the coals were WAY bigger, with thick, black smoke.



And here is a shot of the flaming ash catcher. I've NEVER seen that happen before.



WTF?
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
Midnight Smoke
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What was the last thing you cooked on it?
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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Hmmm. Last time cleaned/what was last cook?
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Matchlight snuck in there.....
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Yes, that happened on an OTS that I have. Over time, drippings on the ash in the bottom of the bowl built up, and it was hard to tell it had built up so thick when scraping the bowl using the one touch system blades. The blades "seemed" to scrape everything off leaving behind a thin layer of ash on the bottom of the bowl, but the truth is that over time that ash layer was about 1/4" thick. Once it reached about that thickness I got a grease fire from the drippings in the ashes on the bottom of the bowl.

The fire was just as you described and can see in the photo, coming from the bowl, and had a thick black and smelly smoke. I tried to let it burn itself out, but it outlived my charcoal. So I suffocated it and the next day went to checking out what was on the bottom of the bowl.

I used a plastic putty scraper to scrape out the ash build up. I found that over time, my blades had slowly bent upwards and after cleaning they were no longer flush with the bowl. I could have simply removed them and bent them back and re-installed making them fit as I tightened it up, but I decided to just go out and get some new blades, new handles and new grid to look like a new kettle. You don't have to do that of course.

Every so often I hit it with the scraper again, because it will build up liek that if you don't clean out down there. The one touch blades just can't "dig down" into that stuff, and will instead just start sliding over the ash causing the build up.

This could probably be translated into an single sentence comprised of perhaps no more than approximately 15 words or some other such amount, but I do not have a translator yet.
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Duh.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
Yes, that happened on an OTS that I have. Over time, drippings on the ash in the bottom of the bowl built up, and it was hard to tell it had built up so thick when scraping the bowl using the one touch system blades. The blades "seemed" to scrape everything off leaving behind a thin layer of ash on the bottom of the bowl, but the truth is that over time that ash layer was about 1/4" thick. Once it reached about that thickness I got a grease fire from the drippings in the ashes on the bottom of the bowl.

The fire was just as you described and can see in the photo, coming from the bowl, and had a thick black and smelly smoke. I tried to let it burn itself out, but it outlived my charcoal. So I suffocated it and the next day went to checking out what was on the bottom of the bowl.

I used a plastic putty scraper to scrape out the ash build up. I found that over time, my blades had slowly bent upwards and after cleaning they were no longer flush with the bowl. I could have simply removed them and bent them back and re-installed making them fit as I tightened it up, but I decided to just go out and get some new blades, new handles and new grid to look like a new kettle. You don't have to do that of course.

Every so often I hit it with the scraper again, because it will build up liek that if you don't clean out down there. The one touch blades just can't "dig down" into that stuff, and will instead just start sliding over the ash causing the build up.

This could probably be translated into an single sentence comprised of perhaps no more than approximately 15 words or some other such amount, but I do not have a translator yet.
Yes, it was a bigabyte answer, but it was also helpful.

My OT blades on this Weber are pretty tight, but they may be leaving something highly flammable behind.

I let it burn without the lid, full heat. I'm hoping that will burn off whatever residue may have caused this fire and smoke. Maybe it was like a chimney fire -- burning creosote.

It was so weird to see fire coming from BELOW the coals. The coals were perfect -- the farking grill was on fire.

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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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Well, nice pictures anyway.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Nice handles btw.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:40 PM   #9
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yup, Biggles had it right
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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Chems leaching out of the briqs into the grill?!? I've never had lump do that!
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterChrister View Post
Chems leaching out of the briqs into the grill?!? I've never had lump do that!
I have been cooking on the same charcoal for 15 years, so I don't think that is the cause.

Lump snob.

CD
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Unread 03-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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I'd offer help, but you ignore me.....
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Unread 03-14-2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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Just a old grease fire, need to scrape the grease build up on the inside of the bowl.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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Bigabyte is 100% correct! Although gunk will build up above the blades where they cant scrape it off. So I made a tool for that, a garden hoe ground to about the same diameter as the kettle.



My Damper blades werent scraping either so heres my fix for that. A ring tack welded to the blades.

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Unread 03-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #15
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I've had that happen on an old cheap offset. It had quite a bit of grease/oil build up from bacon grease to salmon fat drippings. Once I left the cooking chamber lid open while I brought some finished food inside. As I stepped back onto my deck a gust of wind charged the lump I was burning and a hot ember landed inthe cooking chamber. The fire started small, I was a bit intrigued by it so i watched it grow, and grow. I watched a little too long because it got too hot to approach and put the lid down. It lasted about 10 min then burnt itself out. The scary part was when I realized the burning oil dripping into the oil catch can that was on fire. I grabbed the fire extinguisher right away, but didn't need to use it. The good news was the cooking chamber was now clean.
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