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Thread: Important note: Clean your drip pan before doing high-temp cooks!!!!

  1. #1
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    Ok, I'll be the first to admit that although I used to be pretty good about cleaning my water-pan back when I used to put water in it... since I've switched to using my stoker I've not thought about it much...

    So... imagine my surprise when I'm using a hair-dryer to heat up my coals for a 350 degree standing-rib-roast cook yesterday, and the flames get high enough and I start to notice flames flicking up around my meat...

    Putting my lid on and closing the vents seemed to put it out - but opening the lid created a serious blowback where the flames shot up again like crazy.

    I was able to save my meat (I finished it in the oven) - and by dragging the feet of the WSM I was able to get it out from under my deck so it didn't burn my house down - but the flames on that thing were nuts.

    In my rush to get the fire put out, I didn't get any pictures of it... I wish someone else around me had their camera handy and had snapped a few because it's hard to describe just how nuts that thing got.

    We're talking 16-foot high flames shooting out of the thing like jet-engine afterburner.

    I used a fire extinguisher to get the flames to die down enough for me to be able to put the lid back on and put the door back on - but the handle on my WSM is melted now and both my pit probe and my meat probe for my stoker are now out of commission.

    So... Everyone doing high-temp cooks (or any cooks for that matter) - CLEAN YOUR WATER / DRIP PANS... A year of grease buildup is not a good thing to have sitting in your cooker waiting to ignite...

  2. #2
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    I put foil in my water pan and take it out after every cook. Clean up is a breeze. Yeah letting a years worth of grease build up in your water pan is not a good idea for a lot of reasons. Health reasons come to mind first, followed by nasty smelling goo second?
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

  3. #3
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    I take it a step further, and place a foil pan on top of the foiled water/flower pot base assembly. Pull it out, and throw away.
    Stimpson

    WSM, Weber Performer, UDS

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    A year's worth???? I bet it did make a nice firebomb.

    I'm not a stickler, but I do give the water pan a squirt with the hose between smokes. I've also been known to start a small fire under a dry water pan to help burn off the gunk, but never a big fire.

  5. #5
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    Kudos to you for having an extinguisher out there with you!! I keep a small one just in case only because I have a covered deck (if my grills/wsm's were out in the yard, i probably wouldn't). This post should be a word to the wise!

    Glad you got it under control.

    Bill
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  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Wow, the mental picture of that first post is something else!

    I'm no stickler about cleaning my WSM either, BUT, I only leave greese in the water pan after a cook. It will always get wiped out, and re-foiled before the next cook starts. Like others have said, use heavy duty WIDE foil and one piece covers the pan and is super easy and quick to replace and clean out.

    Todd

  8. #8
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    My dad just took it down to the local car wash and gave it a thorough cleaning for me (I'm busy working today... shucks ) - But yeah... I guess I will get back into the habbit of dumping it out after every cook.

    Oh - and the fire extinguishers WASN'T out there with me - once I pulled it a safe distance away from my deck I had to run inside to find it. (I will keep one closer in the future as well)

  9. #9
    TVWBB Diamond Member LarryR's Avatar
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    Ryan, did it look anything like THIS except I imagine you're kept burning once the lid was off. Damn, would loved to have a video of that one.

    I had a mini flashback happen to me a few weeks ago, scared the hell out of me!
    Baba Booey to you all!

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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by LarryR:
    Ryan, did it look anything like THIS except I imagine you're kept burning once the lid was off. Damn, would loved to have a video of that one.

    I had a mini flashback happen to me a few weeks ago, scared the hell out of me!
    The first small flashbacks looked a bit similar - but the fire was contained inside the WSM and it just lipped up and around the drip pan.

    The BIG flames make that flashback video look like a pilot lite on a gas stove by comparisson - the big flames were at least 10 feet high - probably more like 15+ feet high... and it was roaring like an afterburner...

    I'm pleased to report I haven't had any incidents since this one - and I now clean my drip pan of grease after every cook

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