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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 01-26-2011, 06:30 PM   #1
kurtsara
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Default FEC100 advise

We use a FEC100 for vending and we have had 2 fires in it so far, has not wrecked anything yet but it has me almost scared to look away from it when it is running.

Should I smoke the meat in foil pans so there is no mess on the bottom?

Do I have to clean it spotless after using it every time?

What else can I do to avoid a fire?
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Unread 01-26-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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is your fire box getting to full and causeing it to back burn mine is 4 years old never had that problem it is a 100 had 36 slabs of ribs on it.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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How do you have it vented? I had one once, and it seemed to fire up and actually burn up the auger chute with strong gust of wind. Don't like the wide open flue on the side. Just my opinion.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtsara View Post
We use a FEC100 for vending and we have had 2 fires in it so far, has not wrecked anything yet but it has me almost scared to look away from it when it is running.

Should I smoke the meat in foil pans so there is no mess on the bottom?

Do I have to clean it spotless after using it every time?

What else can I do to avoid a fire?
You need to call Cookshack. Ask for Bill Vice. He's the man.

What does your ash build up look like in the pot. I've seen FEC's with FULL pots before. That isn't right. If you are burning good pellets (BBQr's Delight or the Cookshack/FE pellets) you shouldn't get a lot of ash build up. If you are, then there is an airflow issue. I'd make sure to vac that fire pot out really well and maybe even put an airhose in it to blow the holes out.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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Is your smoker level so the grease doesn't pool. I use foil on the drip/heat shield and on the bottom and change after every cook. Have you cleaned out the grease catch and checked to make sure its free flowing.

Also you can check out the cookshack forum. They have a couple threads on fires.
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Unread 01-26-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
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What are you cooking and how often do you clean it? Also how hot are are you cooking?

It could be several things, clue us in a little more on your process and what you are cooking.

I foil mine and change it after weekend of cooking. I know Todd goes longer than that without any problems.... but I would say it depends on what you are cooking.

You do need to keep it somewhat clean. For example, I used Eddy's in FL, after he done several days worth of demo pork cooks on it.... so it was very dirty. The drip rail caught on fire where there was grease build up. It was definately due to it being dirty....

There are some folks that have had other issues, but I have not. Bill is the man, but do you think it is just a maintenance issue?

1. What temps are you cooking at, and do you use the hold feature at all?
2. What volume of food are you cooking, and how often do you clean out the grease?
3. What kind of pellets are you using?
4. What software version pops up when you flip the IQ4 controller on?
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Unread 01-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #7
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I have to ask a couple of stupid questions

What is catching fire? Is it grease? Do you foil the bottom of the cooker? When you do, do you poke a hole in the foil for the drip hole? Also, the deflector shield leads to a trough that then leads to a chute that goes down into the drip pan. It that through clean and is the chute open all the way down to the drip pan?
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Unread 01-27-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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What is the outside temperature (air temperature) when you cook. I attended an evening BBQ Class once put on by a Pitmaster who used a FEC100. The class was only a six hour class and he had cooked the meat the night before and just warmed it up for the class. It was snowing the night he cooked and the temperature was below freezing. He said he put the meat on the FEC 100 and was letting it cook and then later he decided to go and eat at one of the local restaurants, he was from out of town, and as he walked by his enclosed trailer (huge, over 40 feet long) where he had the smoker cooking he could hear some cracking noise. Went to check and fire was bellowing out of the FEC and it was burned up. What he found was that the outside temperature being so cold the grease would coagulate in the chute before dropping down in the pan and caused the grease to back up in the firebox area thus starting the fire. Do not know if this has anything to do with your situation but thought I would pass it on to you.
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Unread 01-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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I am normally smoking at 275°, I have done 40 racks of ribs with no problems, i do pork butts and brisket and ribs all bought from restaurant depot.

I have had two fires, one in the summer on this winter, the first fire everything was actually wrapped in foil and just keeping warm for vending

I am using these pellets

I change the foil from the bottom and the drip tray after every use and also the foil pan in the bottom pan

it's cold out now, I don't remember the software but I have not had it a year yet and I bought it new

I have called and talked with Bill at cookshack but I wanted real guys using the smokers opinions

the only vent change I have used but not during either fire was a tee on the outlet so the wind does not blow in
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Unread 01-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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I have also had a fire in my Cookshack.. enough to total it.. I was also following the "rules" and actually had the unit piped to the roof of my garage. The fire nearly burning my house down, has me really gun-shy to cook with her again. I have since basically re-constructed it from this point...


That was a waygu brisket also...
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Unread 01-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #11
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When the smoker is up to temp, watch the temp readout and see if it fluctuates 10 or more degrees each time it flashes or if it reads a constant temp.

I was told the thermometer wires should be twisted and kept away from any power wires.

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Unread 01-27-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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Was any of you around when it caught fire and notice what heat it was at when it caught? Don't know anything about a auger feed smoker , but I have known stoker heater feed by an auger would over feed and overheat, been lot of house burn down from this.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 05:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabeb25 View Post
I have also had a fire in my Cookshack.. enough to total it.. I was also following the "rules" and actually had the unit piped to the roof of my garage. The fire nearly burning my house down, has me really gun-shy to cook with her again. I have since basically re-constructed it from this point...
I see what may have caused the fire in this particular case. Look at my markup of your picture below. You have the drip shield/deflector plate sitting where the white arrow shows. It should be on the lip where the black arrow shows. The way it is in the picture will not drain the grease off towards the channel that leads to the drip pan below.
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File Type: jpg DSC_2837-1.jpg (45.0 KB, 235 views)
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Unread 01-28-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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No, Actually that's not the cause... it's the effect of the fire being sprayed with water, becuase I ran out of fire extinguisher. It warped the cookshack so bad everything popped(like at the right side of the smoker about 1/3 of the way down, you can see the warped shell). Not much you can do when your smoker and garage is on fire.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:36 AM   #15
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Another reason to use an off set
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