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71-South
01-06-2012, 10:03 AM
Is an electric smoker (say an MES40) safe to use in a closed garage? If not, how about in a nearly closed garage? Thoughts?
Thanks,
Bret

Smoked
01-06-2012, 10:12 AM
The only way I would run a smoker (electric or charcoal) in a closed or nearly closed garage, would be if it was directly vented to the outside and if I had the time to sit there and watch it with a loaded garden hose and fire extinguisher in hand.

Might not be a bad thing if you had a tv with some sports on and cold beer on hand...:thumb:

Mornin' Wood
01-06-2012, 10:15 AM
Not a good idea. Aside from the fire hazard, I'd worry about CO. Plenty of CO given off, even with incomplete combustion (ie smoke but no flame).

Just my $0.02


...unless the smoker is designed to work indoors (like in a restaurant or trailer) and properly vented.

Midnight Smoke
01-06-2012, 10:15 AM
I think any Smoke produced could be very harmful to your health. As mentioned it needs to be vented to the outside.

daninnewjersey
01-06-2012, 10:17 AM
I'd agree with the others.....sounds like a recipe for you know what.

Jason TQ
01-06-2012, 10:41 AM
You can't open the garage door and put the smoker by the open door? Not an option at all??

thirdeye
01-06-2012, 10:43 AM
About 30 years ago, Thanksgiving Day was a brutally cold day here in Wyoming. Temperatures were dipping into the single digits. I had started a brisket very early in the morning and about 11AM had put on a ham. A bunch of us migrated to a local watering hole for beers and burgers.

We grabbed a table next to a couple that still had their parka’s on, and were definitely feeling no pain. They overheard us talking about smoking this brisket and politely introduced themselves, adding that they just moved to Wyoming and this was their first Thanksgiving together. They bought an electric smoker and a turkey the day before. That morning, they loaded the bird, plugged it in and came to the bar. We shared a few tips, the most important one was that the cold temperatures will knock the heat out of their electric smoker, so the cook may take longer than expected.

After a few more rounds, I mentioned this again to the wife and also reminding her that an oven finish may be the way to go. She informed me the instruction book mentioned that fact and since they had a spare bedroom in the house, they set up the smoker in there.

Hozman
01-06-2012, 10:43 AM
I can say from a firefighter that is the craziest thing I ever heard. I would categorize that decision as job security for me.

71-South
01-06-2012, 10:48 AM
Yikes! I haven't done it. I'm just trying to edumacate myself and see what my options are. This is why I'm asking a group of knowledgeable folks. :)

Didn't mean to start a butt chewin'. :)

71-South
01-06-2012, 10:49 AM
I don't have a spare bedroom, so that option is out. :)

Leaving the garage door open is an option as well. Just exploring here.

Boshizzle
01-06-2012, 10:59 AM
Make sure the smoker is outside. Just opening the door isn't enough. Also, if using it in the garage and your garage is attached to your house, the toxic fumes will make their way inside the house.

LM600
01-06-2012, 11:07 AM
Sorry, couldn't resist...

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/x4E2nFXaeMA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

viper1
01-06-2012, 11:24 AM
Well I have been smoking in the garage ever since I got the electric Bradley. Now just for the record! I don't recommend it or say it is safe. But My garage is detached so If it would burn it won't burn us up. And I carry good insurance.I also take all safety precautions. I use a Auber PID as a controller. It keeps temps within 1-2 degrees. Bradley also have a sensor that shuts it off at a certain temp. I use a Maverick 732 to monitor cabinet temps and meat temps indoors. It also has an alarm for high and low. I set the high 10 degrees above my highest cook temp. This will warn of over heating or fire. I set the low 10 degrees below lowest cooking temp. In case the heat quits for any reason,this is so the meat dont sit and ruin. And I don't sleep while smoking. If my pork butts don't reach temp in time I finish in oven. Going to do ham soon and will probably have to break the rule on sleeping. I also keep fire extinguisher handy. I have a chimney on my garage. I vent thru it. Its only a 4 inch pipe. There is absolutely no smoke in the garage or smell unless you open the door. Then it's gone in soon after. I have been know to check meat just to put smell in garage. With the maverick I don't need to open door because I know meat temps. I also don't mop meat. I only rotate usually once or twice. I installed a fan in my smoker so the heat stay even so rotation is really not needed. Also when your looking your not smoking. I love my set up and have had no problems. Hers some pics. As you can see it's a work in progress.

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_16-28-17_180.jpg

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_16-28-57_30.jpg

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_15-05-01_567.jpg

71-South
01-06-2012, 01:09 PM
Pretty neat, Viper. I'm friends w/ the Fire Chief where I live. I'm going to discuss this with him as well. If I can get his buy-off on anything I can pull off, I'll report back w/ the results.

Midnight Smoke
01-06-2012, 01:16 PM
Yikes! I haven't done it. I'm just trying to edumacate myself and see what my options are. This is why I'm asking a group of knowledgeable folks. :)

Didn't mean to start a butt chewin'. :)

Don't take it as a Butt Chewin', we are just looking out for you. Would hate to see you get the wrong idea about your question, we just want everybody to be safe.

71-South
01-06-2012, 03:00 PM
I didn't mean that bad. I should have typed more 'tongue in cheek'. :)
b...

colonel00
01-06-2012, 03:09 PM
Here is how a buddy setup his smoker in his garage. Just a bathroom fan that routes the smoke outside.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/29655_1412388386019_1121811608_31234066_2547122_n. jpg

viper1
01-06-2012, 03:29 PM
Well guys Don't worry I can take a butt chewing and go on smiling. There is a lot of Bradley owners who smoke in a garage. So far have never heard of a fire in side yet. Did hear of one out side the garage though. I have been called a genius, a moron, stupid and a lot of names I won't say on here. LOL But I have it in a detached garage. I also moved the smoke generator from the smoker to a box on the lower shelf. There is a hose that takes the smoke up. So no wood burning in smoker.Just electric element shielded from grease. No CO or carbon dioxide since their is very little but 1 smoldering puck that is well ventilated. With alarm set I believe very little risk. After all the way I'm set up is the same way most BBQ smoking Restaurants are today. It's a basic appliance right now. Also The Bradley is insulated and cold makes little difference. Wind is their down fall. I smoked the other day at 4 degrees. It came to 225 in no time. But I also did a double element mod and it has 1000 watts now instead of 500. That's the nice thing about it. You can personalize it any way you want with simple mods. Did two 8 lb whole pork buts and two 8 lb. Hams the other day in about 10 hours. But thats another post. LOL

southernstyle
01-06-2012, 03:54 PM
About 30 years ago, Thanksgiving Day was a brutally cold day here in Wyoming. Temperatures were dipping into the single digits. I had started a brisket very early in the morning and about 11AM had put on a ham. A bunch of us migrated to a local watering hole for beers and burgers.

We grabbed a table next to a couple that still had their parka’s on, and were definitely feeling no pain. They overheard us talking about smoking this brisket and politely introduced themselves, adding that they just moved to Wyoming and this was their first Thanksgiving together. They bought an electric smoker and a turkey the day before. That morning, they loaded the bird, plugged it in and came to the bar. We shared a few tips, the most important one was that the cold temperatures will knock the heat out of their electric smoker, so the cook may take longer than expected.

After a few more rounds, I mentioned this again to the wife and also reminding her that an oven finish may be the way to go. She informed me the instruction book mentioned that fact and since they had a spare bedroom in the house, they set up the smoker in there.

:shocked:

Pappy
01-06-2012, 04:40 PM
I have been smoking with my UDS in garage for the last couple of months. I have a unattached garage in my back yard. I built a ventilation system to remove the smoke. I also have a window type exhaust fan that I run on low to help keep the air fresh while smoking or opening the lid. My garage is far from air tight, but my UDS is. The only think that might get affected by the smoke is that mice that live in there. Some people thought I was crazy but, it works fine. The drum never gets hot enough that you can't touch it.
I also us it with a Pitmaster IQ 110 & a Maverick ET-732.
No wind, rain or snow.

kurtsara
01-06-2012, 05:40 PM
i use my MES in the garage all the time with the overhead door opened about a foot and a box fan blowing the smoke to the opening, although I am not suggesting it is safe.

When we had the FEC100 we always used that in the garage also until we had a fire in the smoker.

caseydog
01-06-2012, 05:48 PM
I use my WSM in the garage in bad weather, but only with the door open. I'm not worried about a fire starting, although I keep a water hose handy when I do this. My concern with even a mostly closed door would be CO accumulation. My garage is detached, so CO wouldn't get into the house, but I'd still have to go to the garage to tend the cooking.

CD

btcg
01-06-2012, 07:03 PM
Well I have been smoking in the garage ever since I got the electric Bradley. Now just for the record! I don't recommend it or say it is safe. But My garage is detached so If it would burn it won't burn us up. And I carry good insurance.I also take all safety precautions. I use a Auber PID as a controller. It keeps temps within 1-2 degrees. Bradley also have a sensor that shuts it off at a certain temp. I use a Maverick 732 to monitor cabinet temps and meat temps indoors. It also has an alarm for high and low. I set the high 10 degrees above my highest cook temp. This will warn of over heating or fire. I set the low 10 degrees below lowest cooking temp. In case the heat quits for any reason,this is so the meat dont sit and ruin. And I don't sleep while smoking. If my pork butts don't reach temp in time I finish in oven. Going to do ham soon and will probably have to break the rule on sleeping. I also keep fire extinguisher handy. I have a chimney on my garage. I vent thru it. Its only a 4 inch pipe. There is absolutely no smoke in the garage or smell unless you open the door. Then it's gone in soon after. I have been know to check meat just to put smell in garage. With the maverick I don't need to open door because I know meat temps. I also don't mop meat. I only rotate usually once or twice. I installed a fan in my smoker so the heat stay even so rotation is really not needed. Also when your looking your not smoking. I love my set up and have had no problems. Hers some pics. As you can see it's a work in progress.

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_16-28-17_180.jpg

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_16-28-57_30.jpg

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee470/viper1233/2011-11-01_15-05-01_567.jpg

Viper:

One major problem. If you were to burn down your house, the insurance will refuse to pay. Rightly so. It says right on the box "For Outdoor Use ONLY."

Hate to see that happen to you, but that's the size of it.

viper1
01-06-2012, 07:11 PM
Viper:

One major problem. If you were to burn down your house, the insurance will refuse to pay. Rightly so. It says right on the box "For Outdoor Use ONLY."

Hate to see that happen to you, but that's the size of it.


LOL I said it is an unattached garage. Which means it is not on the house but 50 ft away. So I guess I'm not worried about it. I also talked to my agent and she looked at it and approved it. Fully covered. If it was propane or wood it would not of been. As far as outdoor use only. I would do the same thing. To many morons today that will not use common sense. Greasy things not set up right or falling on a ignited puck might mean a big fire. But with the pucks not burning in smoker and the elements covered very little chance of fire. But thanks for being concerned.

NorthwestBBQ
01-06-2012, 07:29 PM
Does it, in fact say, "For Outdoor Use ONLY." on the box?

jestridge
01-06-2012, 07:32 PM
BBQ is for the outside!!! You just asking for trouble when you do it inside, BTW no matter how safe you think your equiptment is , it can and will mess up sooner or later.

expatpig
01-06-2012, 07:52 PM
If I had a garage, I'd be smoking in it.

caseydog
01-06-2012, 08:10 PM
LOL I said it is an unattached garage. Which means it is not on the house but 50 ft away. So I guess I'm not worried about it. I also talked to my agent and she looked at it and approved it. Fully covered. If it was propane or wood it would not of been. As far as outdoor use only. I would do the same thing. To many morons today that will not use common sense. Greasy things not set up right or falling on a ignited puck might mean a big fire. But with the pucks not burning in smoker and the elements covered very little chance of fire. But thanks for being concerned.

So, are you saying I shouldn't deep fry a turkey in my kitchen? :confused:

That would seriously change my weekend plans. :doh:

CD

thirdeye
01-06-2012, 08:11 PM
LOL I said it is an unattached garage. Which means it is not on the house but 50 ft away. So I guess I'm not worried about it. I also talked to my agent and she looked at it and approved it. Fully covered. If it was propane or wood it would not of been. As far as outdoor use only. I would do the same thing. To many morons today that will not use common sense. Greasy things not set up right or falling on a ignited puck might mean a big fire. But with the pucks not burning in smoker and the elements covered very little chance of fire. But thanks for being concerned.

Viper1....I'm afraid I'd have to agree with btcg and here's why. It's the Underwriter that determines the risk, calculates the premium, and writes the policy of behalf of the carrier. The Agent is the middleman (or middle woman) between you and the Underwriter. In fact the Agent could actually deal with several Underwriters (and several carriers) to try and package the best deal for you.

Now I'm not suggesting that Agents are only salesmen, if fact many Agents are quite knowledgeable in understanding risk, because they work closely in making sure the underwriter understands exactly what you need for coverage. My poiint is.... if your Agent gives you the okay to do something that does not mean that the Underwriter and the Carrier is also okay with it.

On the bright side, in looking at your photo it appears that your garage is paneled with FRP (fiberglass reinforced panels) and those panels have various fire ratings. It's possible you have a little more fire resistance going for you.

bbqbull
01-06-2012, 10:46 PM
I use my electric Cookshack smoker outside my garage underneath the overhang most of the time.

Other times I use the smoker in the garage, keep both overhead doors open and the man door open on the opposite of the overhead doors.

I also use my gas grill that way when we are in whiteout conditions. I have dual CO detecters in the house and never had a problem.

Oh, I was a firefighter from 1972 to 1999.

kurtsara
01-08-2012, 10:13 PM
Viper:

One major problem. If you were to burn down your house, the insurance will refuse to pay. Rightly so. It says right on the box "For Outdoor Use ONLY."

Hate to see that happen to you, but that's the size of it.

So, are you saying I shouldn't deep fry a turkey in my kitchen? :confused:

That would seriously change my weekend plans. :doh:

CD

After 20 years on the fire department, I have seen a lot of stupid accidental fires, some burned there house down, one accidental fire burnt up 4 houses and 350 acres of pine trees, insurance covered everything, it usually does unless it is arson started by the owner.

viper1
01-08-2012, 10:36 PM
BBQ is for the outside!!! You just asking for trouble when you do it inside, BTW no matter how safe you think your equiptment is , it can and will mess up sooner or later.

Let me ask you this. Why do you find a insulated electric smoker more dangerous then my electric oven? Every one bbqs in them too. And a lot of restraints do bbq in electric smokers. No fire, no smoke, thermo cutoff, alarms. So why are you worried. I think its as safe as any appliance if properly done. What could cause a fire in it that couldn't in your oven?

NorthwestBBQ
01-08-2012, 10:50 PM
Let me ask you this. Why do you find a insulated electric smoker more dangerous then my electric oven? Every one bbqs in them too. And a lot of restraints do bbq in electric smokers. No fire, no smoke, thermo cutoff, alarms. So why are you worried. I think its as safe as any appliance if properly done. What could cause a fire in it that couldn't in your oven?

Walking away from it.

jeffboyette
01-08-2012, 10:55 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61JrDTYauVL.jpg

captndan
01-09-2012, 06:54 AM
I hope you're kidding about frying a turkey in the kitchen.

viper1
01-09-2012, 08:30 AM
Well I'm never more then probably 50 ft away. I don't go to bed with it smoking. Electric doesn't give off CO. And I wouldn't do a turkey in a kitchen either. But not because of a fire. I would be scared to have that much boiling grease in there. Although their are indoor turkey cooks approved now. Also I slow smoke at below 225 degrees. mostly below 160 degrees.
Do not misunderstand me. I do realize you guys are just concerned with my safety. But I do believe what and how I do it is safe. I don't burn wood or coal or any thing for that matter. My smoke generator is a metal box removed from the smoker and it never has a flame. My smoker is a electric element just like your oven. Grease doesn't get to it. But it does in your oven. And if on the outside chance it burns down the garage it is a safe distance from the house. And I have three huge garages anyway. LOL

viper1
01-09-2012, 08:32 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61JrDTYauVL.jpg

I do believe this is caused my the grease contacting the smoldering wood and making it burn. This is the main reason for removing the smoke generator on it's own.

btcg
01-09-2012, 09:22 AM
I'll share one incident:

Couple years ago, I was grilling outside next to my lattice fence/separator, when the phone rang inside, so I stepped inside to answer: it was the wife calling me, as she does every night to tell me that she's leaving her office to come home. And just the same as every night, the call was less than 60 seconds.

I immediately went back outside (no more than 40 seconds had passed) and found a raging grease fire with flames so high that it scared the beejeebers outta me.

But I'm on the ball: I always have a fire extinguisher handy. I put the fire out, thankfully.

Forty bucks worth of meat ruined, a white mess beyond belief (from the extinguisher), but I was lucky: the black coating of soot from the fire power washed (I own a power washer) off the lattice, and because I caught it in time, no fire damage to the deck, lattice, or house. WHEW!

I power washed the grill (a Vermont Castings), and was chided by my neighbor and wife about not keeping a cleaner grill.

But as I told them that night: I DO keep a clean grill. It wasn't grease that started that. I told them both that while I was putting it out, I heard eruptions.

Nether one believed me.

When I cleaned the bottom, I inspected the rubber hose that leads from the propane tank to the igniter area, and found a hole in the hose. A quick trip to Lowes and a little wrenching fixed it.

When I showed the wife and neighbor the hose, and hole, the neighbor said:

"You know Bill, the last few weeks when I went outside, I smelled propane. I meant to say something to you, but I forgot."

If he'd told me, I'd have fixed it before the fire happened. Oh well, spilled milk.

But this goes to show you, and I realize yours is an electric smoker, but the lesson is the same: it only takes seconds for a fire to get out of control.

Anything could happen: an animal smells the meat and wanders in and knocks it over, a bum/burglar/kid happens into the open door, and electrical short (they do occur), and you're toast.

As to the insurance people: they are NOT your friends.

They are in that business to make money, and the list is endless of people who have had to sue them to collect LEGIT claims... not even the type caused by someone using an outdoor product indoors.

In the end, the choice is yours, but you are not alone in this:

The others here who claimed that the "insurance" paid are WRONG:

WE ALL PAID: in the form of higher rates to cover people who do this.

Kack
01-09-2012, 11:11 AM
I don't see how it's any different than a woodstove.

nucornhusker
01-09-2012, 11:48 AM
I hope you're kidding about frying a turkey in the kitchen.Clearly you don't know CD!

btcg
01-09-2012, 11:59 AM
I don't see how it's any different than a woodstove.

Gotta love that one... says the guy from 'Hazzard' county! :becky:

btcg
01-09-2012, 12:03 PM
I don't see how it's any different than a woodstove.

Does 'grease fire' ring any bells of warning?

An animal smells that, comes in & knocks it over, and that's all it'll take.