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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 08-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #1
Saiko
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Default Question about grease fires

Haven't had one yet, but now that I'm playing around with high heat smokes more and more, I'm starting to get a little worried.
Is it possible for grease that has accumlated on top of a foiled water trap to just ignite, or does it need to come in contact with the fire/charcoal bed? I use a water trap filled with sand, then a layer of foil over the sand. The grease/drippings will start to bubble and boil pretty loud, but to me that is no different than the drippings in an oven when doing a turkey. I am assuming that as long as my temps don't go over 350, I should be O.K? Don't know what the flash point would be for brisket or pork shoulder drippings.
Someone posted yesterday about a grease fire in their UDS and it kind of got me thunkin.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 04:57 PM   #2
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I've had a grease fire in my Chargriller. Scared the chit out of me. That was old built up grease, caused by my lack of cleaning (lot's of old drippings=fuel). That was a couple of years ago. I pay more attention to cleaning now.

The little on top of your foil from 1 cook shouldn't be a problem, I think.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
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Yeah, just change your foil. Now a month or so ago, my wife was cooking 100 chicken wings on our gas grill, and the accumulated grease caught the grill on fire. Toasted the grill, and warped the vinyl siding by the grill. It is a good thing that the grill was 10 years old!
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #4
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I don't think that would be an issue. The grease fires I've witnessed were due to pooling grease in an offset right next to the firebox. Keep your pit tilted correctly with the drain open. If you're right there next to the pit just shut her down. If not, that's the end of your efforts for that day. Never!, Ever!, open the door!Shut the chimney and air dampers and let it all die down.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Here is an image of what I am talking about. I probably ended up with about a quart of grease / drippings in that foiled waterpan underneath the butts. The sound I hear is similar to the sound that drippings make when a big ol turkey is roasting in the oven, a lot of crackling and popping.

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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Grease fires add flavor.

Gives a nice crust to a prime rib roast on a fully grease loaded Klose BYC.

Don't ask how I know this.

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Unread 08-03-2009, 09:35 AM   #7
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I saw this info on another board and wanted to post for your situation:

"My technique for using sand is a little different than most: I fill a Brinkman* 2-gallon charcoal pan 3/4s full of sand, cover the sand with foil, and fill the remainder with water. The foil/water cover cuts down on dripping fat burning and creating off flavors in the meat, particularly in the initial stages of the cook."

Hope this helps.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
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Well I've had several on the old chargriller..First couple were from not cleaning, but the others were from dripings missing the pans and collecting in the coal tray....Usually only igniting from the coals being real close to the grease....All pretty minor events, but after a few it's takin it's toll on the grill....
Never expeienced anything on the Diamonplate 60, and wasn't really sure that it could happen the way that it's contructed...But grease does collect and I guess I'd better be more carefull...I'll tip the grill towards the drain, and keep her clean...

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Unread 08-03-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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i haven't had grease fires yet in my box smokers but when the waterpan gets too low & the grease starts cooking it's a less than desireable smell..
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Unread 08-03-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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I had a grease fire in my Lang 60 once. It scared the hell out of me.
Before i use any of the off sets, I make sure they are clean and that the grease channel is clear
from any possible obstruction. This way all the grease can run out of the drain.
I usually take one other step that may not be necessary, but, I do it for my own peace of mind.
After the Lang runs for a while I will lower the front end all the way for a few seconds to ensure that
all the grease is out. I do this several time throughout the cook. Because it is done quickly, there
is no real change to the temp to be concerned about.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 05:08 PM   #11
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I run my WSM's dry so I always make a foil drip pan and dump it when I'm done.
Also saw JD's foiled claypot base catch fire from the grease of 2 racks full of chicken thighs in his drum smoker-it was farked!
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Unread 08-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #12
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never a grease fire on a smoker but we did have one on the charbroiler one day cooking burgers, nearly set off the ansul. We hit it with about 5lbs of salt and it went down.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 05:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
I run my WSM's dry so I always make a foil drip pan and dump it when I'm done.
Also saw JD's foiled claypot base catch fire from the grease of 2 racks full of chicken thighs in his drum smoker-it was farked!
You mean this one...the one YOU left the lid off of...

before...



after...



yep...it got so hot it even scorched the asphalt...
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Unread 08-03-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
Grease fires add flavor.

Gives a nice crust to a prime rib roast on a fully grease loaded Klose BYC.

Don't ask how I know this.


hehehe....I've tasted that "grease fire flavor" you speak of on a smoker full of chicken quarters......it didn't taste very good. It did however, teach me to pay attention to leveling on my smoker trailer.
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