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

I once smoked a meatloaf over an empty water pan topped with a clay saucer. Grease from the meatloaf (unbeknownst to me) dripped past the saucer into the pan, and the clay saucer that fit inside the pan formed a seal (likely as it cooled post-cook).

On the next cook a week or two later, wild smoke started billowing from the WSM, and I had no idea what was happening. Finally realized something was wildly amiss inside that water pan. Removed it with gloves, took it to the back of the yard, and tossed it. When it hit the ground, the clay saucer popped loose.

The super-heated grease was now exposed to oxygen, and it exploded in a mighty fireball. I lost a few hairs, but it could have been really bad had that saucer come loose when I was closer.

I posted about it at the time, but some responses were skeptical like I made it up or it couldn't happen. Well, it did, so take heed.