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Air Quality Concerns, specifically Boise, ID metro area

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    Air Quality Concerns, specifically Boise, ID metro area

    A friend with a pellet grill came by and asked me if I thought he should postpone his scheduled cook due to bad air quality here in SoCal from the widlfires. I said with so much acreage burning, I don't see how his lone pellet grill would make that big a difference. But it got me thinking....

    Some background: I have a COS which I've enhanced and it cooks pretty good. I start a pile of charcoal in a Weber starter chimney over my deep fryer burner. It gets going pretty quickly, but will sometimes smoke heavily for a couple minutes. Sometimes I throw in some hardwood chunks which will make it smoke more until it's all lit. Once it's transferred to the offset smoker, it smokes only minimally. The smoke goes between houses until it's a block away, but my neighbors from two blocks away comment on how much they like the smell.

    I'm planning to relocate to the Boise, ID metro area and did some checking on their DEQ (Dept. of Environmental Quality) page and also the fire dept page of Meridian, where we'll likely settle. They have several restrictions on outdoor burning involving published air quality and windspeed. The FD flyer also say the smoke should go straight up, which I have no control over, but would seem to limit my cooks to low-wind days. It also contains this text, which I quote: "Residential backyard or outdoor burning is a form of open burning, which is defined as any burning outdoors that does not pass through a stack, duct, or chimney." I think that means my smoker and chimney fire starter are not considered open burning, but I'm not sure about the deep fryer propane burner. Can anyone in the Boise area provide some local info?

    I may consider getting a KBQ (cleaner burning) and ditch my COS, but IDK if it will really make a difference. I will not get a pellet smoker, as I enjoy tending the cook. I'd really appreciate any thoughts you may have on air quality in general and the Boise area specifically.

    #2
    Only thing I can say is if your deep fryer is a Cajun Fryer like mine it does have a duct. So you should be good on that one.

    Comment


      #3
      I think contacting the Meridian FD directly is going to be your best bet.

      Comment


      • RonB
        RonB commented
        Editing a comment
        You beat me to it...

      #4
      You are like me, escaping California to the Northwest. California drills in your head burning garbage and brush is taboo, not sure but I think they've even banned bonfires at the beach. When I got to Washington I was amazed at all the burning that happens. Garbage is illegal, but so is speeding but that doesn't stop people from going over the limit, nor does it burning garbage. My neighbour, who was the Fire Chief and local enforcement, burned a mattress on top of a garbage pile in his front yard. Brush and yard debris is commonly burned around here. When I was in Stevens County every summer brought about a burn ban, no brush burning and no open fires. Charcoal and propane grills were allowed. This summer in the Okanogan the burn ban included charcoal and any open flame. Those things are specifically mentioned in the ban. This page from Meridian does not mention cookers, only outdoor burning, which is probably referring to brush. My guess is cookers are allowed since they are not specifically mentioned. But as already suggested, check with the local authorities. This may come as a surprise, but information gathered in forums is not always reliable...and sometimes ambiguous!

      Just found this: it specifically approves BBQs. But still ask.

      Comment


      • Bruceski44
        Bruceski44 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your efforts and answer!

      #5
      According to THE Department bbq is good to go & if in a pinch ya can call it ceremonial burning & that will be just okie dokie.

      Comment


      • Bruceski44
        Bruceski44 commented
        Editing a comment
        I suppose I could tell them I'm part Native-American

      #6
      That is a really interesting question. Per Cal Fire ( CaptainMike ), burning restrictions in California do not include cooking. I asked a Cal Fire guy in our office about it one day because of the smoke in the air. He said that cooking food was not included in any burning bans. I wanted to smoke a couple of tri-tips but didn't want to violate any laws. I didn't end up BBQ'ing that day because I just felt guilty. I know there are BBQ restrictions here in some localities (Bay Area) and learned from AR members that So Cal restrictions no longer exist.

      Now to make things really funny - barrel burning is strictly prohibited year 'round in CA. If I were to take that literally, all you PBC people better stop posting those beautiful photos here, if you are from CA. Either that, or change your profiles.

      Comment


      • TripleB
        TripleB commented
        Editing a comment
        PBC smokers are fine. Wood burning for the intention of cooking, smoking or flavoring of food is exempt, per SCAQMD Rule 445(g)(6). Don’t know about the other air districts In CA, but I’m sure it’s similar.

      • tbob4
        tbob4 commented
        Editing a comment
        TripleB - I was being facetious about the PitBarrel folks. They just make me jealous with photos (PBC, PBC, pbc.... Hahahahaha) and was poking about the barrel fire rules.

      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        pbc, pbj, pbc!

      #7
      We don't have tons of days here in Boise when there is a burn ban, and according to https://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-qualit...ions-and-bans/ cooking isn't included.

      Comment


      • Bruceski44
        Bruceski44 commented
        Editing a comment
        I appreciate the local info. Thanks!

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