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Unread 10-27-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
kevine
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Default Grease fires in UDS and mini-UDS

Okay, so I'm having issues with occasional grease fires in both my UDS and mini-UDS. I'm not using a diffuser in my UDS and my mini has holes drilled in the bottom of the tamale pot.

I've tried a large foil pan of water in the UDS and it took forever to cook the ribs, but I think it was because I put it on the second rack, right below the meat. Should I just use the foil covered clay saucer? Suggestions?
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Unread 10-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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I've never had a grease fire in the UDS. I have on another smoker i made. The UDS seems to burn the grease away.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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I have been cooking on My UDS for 6 yrs. basket and rack with meat never had a grease fire. Keep the lid on get in & out fast. I've been cooking on my mini for almost 2 yrs I cut the bottom out and use the steamer tray as a baffle. Same deal no fires.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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I haven't had this problem but I do clean it out after every cook.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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Yep no help here either.. Mini's imo need the bottom cut out so the grease never builds up anywhere and burns in the fire. My UDS either uses no diffuser or a holy pizza pan where grease still get's through the holes and drips to the fire.

It's defeating purpose of UDS and mini's using bowls etc...to catch grease
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Unread 10-27-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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Thanks. I think I may be using too many lit coals when I start my cooks.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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Might be related to your cooking temp?. Bludawg has no such problem with his but he cooks up at 300F typically. I cook hot too with no problems.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Hmmm....I'm going to try going back to when I first made my UDS and only start with a certain number of red hot coals. Hopefully that keeps it from starting a fire inside
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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I like to start with about a dozen hot coals, then let the fire catch and roll up as needed. No more, or the heat gets too hard to control. I have also never had a grease fire, and I do use a cast iron diffuser on some cooks. I take a shovel and mix the coals around the bottom of the cold cooker then tip it over and remove the ashes and stray charcoal chunks. Not much else is done and it works fine. I cook between 275°F and 350°F with no issues.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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I'm starting with about six lit briquets poured over two small chucks of lump. I put divider in my basket. It's just a piece of expanded metal that creates a pie shaped hole in the basket so the coals will burn in one counter-clockwise direction, rather than poured over the top like I've always done. I've always just poured it on top in the past, and it usually works. But the last couple cooks spiked the temp from small grease fires in the bottom of the smoker. Then again, I may just need new therms... This is just giving me a good reason to go shopping for more bbq stuff!

Just curious, if I spread some ash in the bottom before the cook, I'm wondering everyone's thoughts if this would take care of the occasional grease fire?
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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I clean my uds out after maybe 10 or 12 cooks, just cooked a pork butt yesterday and its getting close to needing dumped. I have never had a fire, and I have loaded it with charcoal and wood way more then needed, never have bothered, to count anything, then used what was left for the next cook. So I don't think you can load to much if you are maintaining good vent control, and not letting the fire get to big before hand, its much harder to control if you do. As already mentioned get in and out of the uds fast or the fire can flare up and maybe catch grease on fire, I have never had it happen, in fact I sometimes leave it off longer than normal just to get the fire up a bit. I don't use water pan or diffuser, just the basket of fuel, and I cook around 250/300. I know nothing about the mini.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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When are you getting the fire? If it when you have the lid open, try shutting off the intakes for a few minutes prior to opening.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Might be related to your cooking temp?. Bludawg has no such problem with his but he cooks up at 300F typically. I cook hot too with no problems.
At 275-300° you shouldn't need a water pan. I don't even use a pan under...
A UDS has a moist environment, so it's hard to dry out meat.
Can't say that about my Offset... Benefits from a water pan.

I kind of like to smoke in that range, except for Chicken, then I run
325-350°. Just my personal preference.

The higher smoking temps also generally reduces the smoke times,
and reduces stall times.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevine View Post
I'm starting with about six lit briquets poured over two small chucks of lump. I put divider in my basket. It's just a piece of expanded metal that creates a pie shaped hole in the basket so the coals will burn in one counter-clockwise direction, rather than poured over the top like I've always done. I've always just poured it on top in the past, and it usually works. But the last couple cooks spiked the temp from small grease fires in the bottom of the smoker. Then again, I may just need new therms... This is just giving me a good reason to go shopping for more bbq stuff!

Just curious, if I spread some ash in the bottom before the cook, I'm wondering everyone's thoughts if this would take care of the occasional grease fire?

I don't bother to pre light coals just wad up three news paper sections, place under some coals, drizzle some used cooking oil over that, add some wood, and its good to go. As for the layer of ash, I guess it may help with some of the grease but the reason I do it is two fold, I think it helps inslnulate the bottom, and may also act as a sort of a passive heat sink, it also will close up some air leaks if any, which the last time I dumped it there was daylight showing in the bottom. Well as it turns out I have three reasons, the last being I am just lazy.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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Air flow is the issue. If there is enough air, the grease will flame up. I see this frequently on my kettle when I'm not using a drip pan. As soon as I open the lid, the flare ups start. As soon as the lid is back on, the flames go out. If you have flare ups while the UDS is closed up, you have too many openings that allow air in. If you have flare ups while the lid is open, close the lid!
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