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First grease fire for me

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    First grease fire for me

    And not in a Smoke Fire pellet grill...

    13 year old Genesis hooked up to the natural gas line. Just got new flavorizor bars last July. I neglected scraping them clean since doing my fall deep clean. anyways, hit almost 60 degrees here in MN so I grilled Burgers and Bratwurst. Both had cheddar in them, so there was quite a bit of drippings. I have probably used the grill 10 times since the last deep clean, and did not burn off excess after the cooks in the winter.

    The drippings caused first flare ups off the flavorizer bars, then the pan underneath started on fire. I rescued the burgers first, then used Baking soda to put out the fire. The burgers were fine, just med-well instead of med.

    I like the convenience of gas, but the cleanup would be easier in a Kamado. Wondering, what is the easiest type to keep clean? Maybe I just get a standard kettle. I never had a fire in that. Or I get better at keeping this clean. For year round cooking I keep coming back to a kamado, or WSCG.

    My Kamado is easy to clean, but I have to get it to 900f to get a good clean. I've heard other say it will clean at 750, that has not been my experience. Then there's the issue of high heat causing cracks in the ceramics. I watch mine closely now and stay at or below 900. The first time I cleaned mine I loaded it up, fired it up, opened both top and bottom all the way, and went to the office to finish up some work. When I checked it again about 45 minutes later the temp gauge was pegged and I could hear popping sounds. I ruined the top piece. It was cracked from top to bottom in several places. I was fortunate. I contacted the manufacturer and admitted what I had done. They sent me a new top with no problems. The other thing about cleaning a Kamado with high heat is you will normally ruin your gasket. I make sure I have one on hand before I do a cleaning burn. If you successfully navigate all this you will have clean cooker with just some gray ash to brush up.
    Last edited by Oak Smoke; March 8, 2020, 12:57 PM.


    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      900 is hot and definitely seems a little risky.

    I’ve got an 18 year old 2 burner Genesis, and a 1 year old 4 burner Genesis II. The best thing I ever did for them was to buy a full replacement set of Grillgrates. Much of the grease sizzles off in the valleys of the grate, and what does make it to the flavorizer bars and body of the grill seems to make it to the grease pan without causing a fire. I got them after a massive burger and brat grease fire a couple of July 4th’s ago. No fires or burned food since then. The inside of the grill stays much cleaner too.

    I cooked 1 pound of bacon and 8 pounds of smash burgers yesterday, and did the same about 2 weeks earlier, with no clean up in between, and had no flare ups or fires. I usually break the grill down and clean it once or twice during the summer, and have no issues like I did when using the old Weber cast iron grates and cooking lots of fatty foods.

    As far as cleanup of different grill types goes, it’s all trade offs. I have two Weber gas grills, a Weber charcoal grill, and an offset. All charcoal grills require clean out of ash in between cooks. Weber makes it easier than most, as you just work a handle back and forth a few times, then detach and empty a bucket. Any grease on the Weber kettle either burns up in the charcoal, or ends up in the ash bucket underneath. My gas grills require brushing and scraping the grate during the preheat before the next cook. The offset requires manually emptying ashes and hosing and scrubbing out grease. With all of them I use spray cleaner and paper towels to wipe down the outside before covering the grill.

    If I had to pick the lowest maintenance, it is probably my Genesis, but only since I got the GrillGrate replacement sets.


    • Surly Viking
      Surly Viking commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I may look into grilgrates. I do like the convenience, and the wife found a lot of home improvement projects that destroyed the MCS budget for this season.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Surly Viking the full replacement set of Grillgrates was probably the best $100 I ever spent, and make my old Genesis like a new grill. They have factory sales about twice a year, and you can get blemished grates for about half price during those sales.

    • Bogy
      Bogy commented
      Editing a comment
      I got a set of the blemished Grillgrates. 3 panels, some little marks on the back or flat side of 1 or 2 of them, that don't affect the way they work, but I saved about 50%.

    I clean all my Gasser the same. High heat lid shut all burners on after a cook. Once it stops smoking I kill the heat. Before the next cook, I scrub with cool grate technology grill brush while cold. Heat on and the a was of aluminum foil dipped in water held with tongs scrub them again once hot. I empty the grease pan when half full, and take a paint scraper to the bottom pan once in the winter while it is cold enough for fat to solidify. That's it.


      Nice work saving the burgers first. 👍


        My Kamado is about 16 years old. What is this cleaning of which you speak?

        I brush my grills now and then and use disposable drip pans if cooking indirect.


        • Attjack
          Attjack commented
          Editing a comment
          Do you do high heat cooks or just low and slow?

        • Jim White
          Jim White commented
          Editing a comment
          I mostly don't go above 350, but have started to add the occasional sear. Never really high over a half hour.

        You got off easy. I had a grease fire in my Genesis a few years ago that was hot enough that it burned the gas line under the drip pan in two, so I had not just a grease fire, but a hose blasting out a propane torch. It was hot enough that it melted part of the bottom of the aluminum body of the grill. I hadn't even gotten to the point of putting the meat on when the fire started. It was back before I got my first smoker, and had been using just the left burners, quite often just the left, not even the center burner, with the meat on the right side, with indirect heat. I had been doing that all winter, and it had occurred to me that the grease pan wasn't collecting much. Yeah, that's because it was all over on the right side of the drip pan, and in the cold weather, it had been accumulating there. It had warmed up, and I had cranked up all three burners to burn off the grease. Yeah, it burned off all right. Also burned part of the deck rail behind the grill, along with the parts of the grill I mentioned. I was able to replace parts, and juryrigged some aluminum sheeting to replace the aluminum that had melted away. I make sure to clean it more often now, although since I got my pellet burners I hardly use it anyway.

        Not really hard to clean, but it is important to do it at least occasionally.


        • JCGrill
          JCGrill commented
          Editing a comment
          That sounds bad and also could have been even worse.

        • Bogy
          Bogy commented
          Editing a comment
          You betcha dat vas a learning experience! Not easy to admit doin' such a dumb thing.

        • ScooterMcQue
          ScooterMcQue commented
          Editing a comment
          Boy, I had something almost as bad a few thanksgivings ago with my S-670, with a full prime rib that I was just finishing searing. When I got that baby hot for searing, with almost the entire surface covered in grill grates, the entire firebox ignited. I saved the roast but the flames were so intense I could not get the grill grates off and closing the lid didn't kill enough oxygen. I feared a meltdown and turned to the fire extinguisher. What a mess. I am more careful to clean now.


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