SmokeFire Grease Fire: Who Has Had One? What Is One?

JpsBBQ

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I had been searching for people who have been having this issue as well. I've had my SmokeFire EX4 since April 2021. My first 5 cooks were perfect. The last 3 have had grease fires! I always scrape it out before each cook and change the ash pan. Each time, the temperature will drop 50+ degrees then when it is heating back up, the fire starts. After the first fire, I had to replace the glow plug. I cleaned the entire inside with the Weber cleaner from the site. The next cook was 2 racks of St Louis style ribs. About 3 hours in I saw the temperature had shot up. I went outside, opened the lid and I'll be damned if there wasn't another fire. Before today's fire, I had scraped out the ash and everything else. Wiped it up with paper towels and brought it up to temp. Put on what was going to be some pork belly bunt ends. 30 minutes in, the temp drops 60 degrees. I checked and the pellets had clogged in the hopper. I pushed them around and it fired up again. Made it to 250 and I noticed way too much smoke. Opened the lid and you guessed it. A legit fire. I'm not sure what to think anymore.
Good luck.
 

Dassman5

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Sorry, I can offer no insights. After 16 months and well over 100 smokes/cooks — mostly below 409F,, — I have yet to experience this problem. Having said that, one of the keys is making sure that you are using dry, Weber pellets, checking the firebox cover to make sure it completely covers it both front and rear, and using a separate ambient air probe to keep a check on what itps happening. IMO
 
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JpsBBQ

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I’m sorry but there is no way this story is true. It’s ridiculous. Hell you could cook two pounds of bacon in there and not get a grease fire under the conditions you describe. Something is wrong or something else is at play. Move on everyone.
 

Goneincognito

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Sounds more like you have a pellet void that starves the fire causing the temp to drop then the void clears and a heap of pellets are dumped to bring the temp up and hey presto.. A large pellet fire.
 

bbqking

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I’m not an expert my any means, but almost alway use drip pans for just about everything. I have done steak right on the grill, and the side I do them on is noticeably greasier underneath. The only conclusion is there has to be grease to have a grease fire. Therefore its not getting clean enough. Maybe youre letting the drippings fall right into the fire pot? There should be at least 2 things over the fire pot so that doesn’t happen.you have pictures?
 

Daren

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I had first grease fire today but I know it was definitely lack of cleaning. I don’t use any drip pans. Never had an issue before but I usually scraped the ash and inside the next day.

This time I went couple of cooks without cleaning. Beef ribs, spare ribs, couple packs of bacon, and a butt. Then today reverse seared a couple of rib eyes and when I cranked the temp up to 550-600 to sear the grease fire started. So all the leftover fats blocked by the ash build up ignited when I cranked the temp.
 

JpsBBQ

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I had first grease fire today but I know it was definitely lack of cleaning. I don’t use any drip pans. Never had an issue before but I usually scraped the ash and inside the next day.

This time I went couple of cooks without cleaning. Beef ribs, spare ribs, couple packs of bacon, and a butt. Then today reverse seared a couple of rib eyes and when I cranked the temp up to 550-600 to sear the grease fire started. So all the leftover fats blocked by the ash build up ignited when I cranked the temp.

bacon fat is like lighter fluid. I routinely cook it on several different pellet grills and a gasser too. Have to be aware of what you’ve cooked. Once you bump over 375 you will likely get combustion of the grease. Doesn’t matter what cooker you use. If there is bacon grease in there and you ramp the thing up to 500-600, it’ll combust at least for a while until it’s burned off. Opening the lid usually just supplies even more oxygen to fuel the flames. It won’t matter what the grease management system is and or how clean it is. Some residual grease will teams in and catch fore under those circumstances. Period. It takes dozens of cooks like the others you mentioned to have potential issue. Also, grease residue on the cooking grid and deflector system is most likely to combust first

I’m becoming a believer in a slightly dirty - dirty cook chamber. I’m not convinced that hot clean metal is not more susceptible to combustion than the dreaded ash cover metal that folks seem to fear. I’m beginning to believe the ash build, while soaking up grease and oil, also buffers and insulates the grease from the hot surfaces. Could be BS, but I’m just not convinced.

Anyway, stick with it, that’s a good learning experience.
 
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Daren

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bacon fat is like lighter fluid. I routinely cook it on several different pellet grills and a gasser too. Have to be aware of what you’ve cooked. Once you bump over 375 you will likely get combustion of the grease. Doesn’t matter what cooker you use. If there is bacon grease in there and you ramp the thing up to 500-600, it’ll combust at least for a while until it’s burned off. Opening the lid usually just supplies even more oxygen to fuel the flames. It won’t matter what the grease management system is and or how clean it is. Some residual grease will teams in and catch fore under those circumstances. Period. It takes dozens of cooks like the others you mentioned to have potential issue. Also, grease residue on the cooking grid and deflector system is most likely to combust first

I’m becoming a believer in a slightly dirty - dirty cook chamber. I’m not convinced that hot clean metal is not more susceptible to combustion than the dreaded ash cover metal that folks seem to fear. I’m beginning to believe the ash build, while soaking up grease and oil, also buffers and insulates the grease from the hot surfaces. Could be BS, but I’m just not convinced.

Anyway, stick with it, that’s a hood learning experience.
Yea I’m not usually the best with cleaning the kettles I have out. Usually I forget about it until I have a grease fire and that would remind me to clean it out. I was worried about the smokefire before buying it because I would always read about grease fires. But I’ve come to realize just clean it out every couple of cooks and it’s fine. When I had the grease fire I was purposely seeing how long I could go before it would happen and surprisingly it went a while before it happened.
 

bbqking

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Yea I’m not usually the best with cleaning the kettles I have out. Usually I forget about it until I have a grease fire and that would remind me to clean it out. I was worried about the smokefire before buying it because I would always read about grease fires. But I’ve come to realize just clean it out every couple of cooks and it’s fine. When I had the grease fire I was purposely seeing how long I could go before it would happen and surprisingly it went a while before it happened.
I never clean out my kettles, other than sweeping out the ash. I do scrape the top grate after heating.
 

SmokeMaster43

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Where do people who use drip pans position them? I would like to avoid further fires. It seems like the obvious place would be on either side of the firebox.
 

JpsBBQ

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Where do people who use drip pans position them? I would like to avoid further fires. It seems like the obvious place would be on either side of the firebox.
Under your protein would be a good location. If you buy the shallow edge ones they will fit on top of the flavorizor bars and the bottom of the cooking grid.
 

AHoneyman

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I use an oven drip pan the covers 3/4 of the entire grill. I make sure that it is shoved up against the back so that the hot air must circulate before hitting the temp sensor.
 
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