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Pellet Cooker went BOOM!

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  • CandySueQ
    Moderator
    • Jul 2014
    • 1523
    • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

    Pellet Cooker went BOOM!

    I apologize for not being around in a long, long time! I was cooking on the back porch, going in and out of the house and not really paying much attention to the cooker (doesn't really matter what brand, this can happen on ANY pellet-fired device).

    As said, I turned the cooker on and then went to do something else. Came back 30 minutes later and no fire. Well, I just turned it off then back on. Went back to the kitchen to finish something else. I had the back door open so my dog could go in and out. All of a sudden -- BOOM! -- smoke pouring out of the cooker, it blew the door open and a super nasty smell to the smoke. I pulled the plug and shut the door to get the flames extinguished. I did get the beef off!

    Going back in time, I had a customer service call about exploding pellets that blew the board on a cooker. This customer hadn't put the fire out and it burned back into the hopper and melted the electronics. I didn't believe the pellets were the problem, but did help with the board replacement. Asked customer to return some pellets from the exploding ones and the pellets were just fine.

    When this happened to me, I knew what caused it. Failed ignition and pellet pile up. After all, it was on and pushing pellets out for 30 minutes before I reset everything.

    So, I learned a valuable lesson. Pay attention to your cooker, especially at start up. If there's a failure to ignite, clean out the pellets and start fresh without pellet buildup.

    The beef was fine -- it had gotten a real good BLAST of smoke!
  • Jfrosty27
    Club Member
    • Mar 2020
    • 1327
    • Muskego, WI
    • Current cookers:
      Rec Tec RT700 "Bull" pellet cooker
      Smokin-It model 2 electric smoker w/ Maverick 732 temp monitor and cold smoking kit
      Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill w/ rotisserie
      Charbroil Grill2Go gas grill
      Weber 22" Performer Deluxe kettle grill w/ThermoPro TP-20S temp monitor
      Onlyfire rotisserie kit for 22" kettle
      Weber Smokey Joe
      SnS Deluxe
      Vortex
      The Orion Cooker convection cooker/smoker (two of them)
      Blackstone 17" griddle
      Joule Sous Vide circulator

      Favorite beer: Anything that's cold!
      Favorite cocktail: Bourbon neat

    #2
    Really good advice. Thanks for that. Also good to have your cooker placed well away from the house and anything flammable. It’s a fire after all.

    Comment

    • HawkerXP
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 6392
      • Virginia
      • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
        Thermopops
        Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
        Slo n Sear
        Cold beer

      #3
      Wow. Thanks for the lesson. Was wondering where you went. All ok?

      Comment

      • Dadof3Illinois
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 959
        • Southeast Illinois

        #4
        I had the same thing happen two different times on me. I cringe when people call pellet cookers “set it and forget it” grills. I was lucky and wasn’t too far from the grill both times. But I can see where it could have burnt the grill up and caught my house on fire.
        I no longer have a pellet cooker and trust my PBC and kettles way more.CandySueQ So glad to see you back!!!

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          assuming one cleans their grill regularly, once it's ignited it's almost always set and forget after that point, but just like any fuel type, things can happen.
      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
        Club Member
        • Jun 2018
        • 842
        • Eastern NC
        • 2018 MAK 2 Star
          Charbroil Big Easy SRG

        #5
        I've done that once, will always check the pellets going forward

        Comment

        • Mr. Bones
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2016
          • 10127
          • Kansas Territory
          • Grills / Smokers
            *********************************************

            Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
            Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
            Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
            Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
            Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
            Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
            Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
            Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
            Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
            Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
            Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

            Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
            Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
            Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

            Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
            Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
            Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
            Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
            Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
            Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
            (Lime Green)
            Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
            Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



            Thermometers:
            *********************************************
            Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
            Maverick ET-732, (Black)
            Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
            ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
            Blue ThermaPen Mk4
            Orange Thermapen Mk4
            Pink Thermapen Mk4
            ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
            ThermoWorks Smoke
            ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
            4 Pro Series cable extensions
            Smoke Gateway

            Accessories:
            *********************************************
            2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
            BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
            Warming shelf
            MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
            Backyard Grill marinade injector
            Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
            Bear Paws
            Meat Rakes
            BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



            Cookware:
            Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
            G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
            '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
            60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
            50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
            Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
            Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

            Cutlery, etc.:
            Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
            Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
            Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
            Multiple steels, from all over the planet
            Crock sticks
            Diamond stones, various
            Lansky Sharpening System

            Tableware
            Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
            Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
            Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

          #6
          Perhaps not surpisingly, this is decidedly not makin me hanker fer a pellet smoker...

          So very nice to hear from ya, Sister, hope all is well...

          Reckon runnin a Business, an bein President of th KCBS couldn't possibly be tyin up too mucha yer time...
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 5, 2020, 08:22 PM.

          Comment


          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            no different than the propane/gas goin' out and not checkin' and relighting... kaboom.

          • bbqLuv
            bbqLuv commented
            Editing a comment
            Pellet grill, Pellet grill, Look deep into my avatar, think pellet grill.
        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 13624
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            SNS
            Pizza insert
            Rotisserie
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            Chefalarm
            Dot
            lots of probes.
            CyberQ

          #7
          I'm glad it wasn't more serious, and I'm also happy that you have visited, even though not under the best of circumstances. We know that you have been extra busy, so don't worry 'bout it. Visit when you have time...

          Comment

          • jerrybell
            Charter Member
            • Aug 2014
            • 391

            #8
            I don't think pellet cookers are inherently more dangerous than other cookers. I've also had this happen in similar circumstances that CandySueQ describes . Like any other cooker it's necessary to keep an eye on the cooker when it's in use. It's also necessary to follow a startup procedure, as CandySueQ describes after there's been a flameout. Use the cooker according to the instruction manual and I believe they are as safe as any other type of cooker.

            Comment

            • rwalters
              Club Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 413
              • TN
              • MAK 2 Star - MAK 3 Star - Camp Chef FTG900

                I am not a vegetarian, but I eat animals that are

              #9
              Glad nothing serious happened... but you out of all people. Almost sound like a rookie... ;-)

              Comment

              • bbqLuv
                Club Member
                • Jan 2020
                • 1575
                • Milwaukie, OR

                #10
                for the most part the door of the pellet grills should be open when starting. it is my understanding this has to do with gases that develop as the pellets get hot enough to catch on fire. Also if the fire goes out the grill still needs to go through the shut down process.

                Long live the Pellet Grill.

                Comment

                • Fire Chicken
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2020
                  • 54
                  • Apache Junction, AZ
                  • Louisiana Grills Champion Series, (I got for father's day, thanks son!)

                  #11
                  CandySueQ I've learned the hard way, too. These are not "set it and forget it".
                  Glad yours didn't hurt anyone or anything!
                  I don't put the deflector or grates in till it fires. Sometime i have to light it with my propane torch!
                  Sometimes it freaks out and runs 500' for no reason.
                  Happy nothing bad happened!
                  Thank you for sharing!
                  Last edited by Fire Chicken; November 6, 2020, 01:55 AM.

                  Comment

                  • DavidNorcross
                    Club Member
                    • Nov 2017
                    • 2289
                    • Virginia
                    • SNS Kamado
                      Weber Summit S-670
                      Camp Chef FTG 600
                      Camp Chef Escape

                      Old Hickory Knives
                      More Cast Iron than I care to admit

                    #12
                    Great reminder. I no longer have a pellet grill but would not hesitate to do it again one day. I did have this happen to me and your advice is spot on. I would also add that when it happened to me and this is a good reminder to those who have pellet grills.

                    Comment

                    • randy56
                      Club Member
                      • Aug 2017
                      • 503
                      • Newburgh In

                      #13
                      CandySueQ good to hear from you again, as we know you do not sit idle, so is the reason the igniter quit? And pellets did no get lit, the pellets piled up, then igniter started?

                      Comment

                      • CandySueQ
                        Moderator
                        • Jul 2014
                        • 1523
                        • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

                        #14
                        My Original Grilla is so reliable, I just check for pellets in the hopper, turned it on and went inside to make a salad. Got busy and when out 30 minutes later, planning on putting on the meat. No fire. I turned it off and back on to get it going thru the start cycle again. Just didn't think about pellet pile up! Igniter has worked great ever since! I'm glad I pulled the plug and snuffed the fire before any damage was done to OG!

                        Comment

                        • Troutman
                          Club Member
                          • Aug 2017
                          • 7834
                          • 1521

                          • OUTDOOR COOKERS

                            BBQ ACCESSORIES

                            WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

                            SOUS VIDE

                            INDOOR COOKWARE


                          #15
                          Same thing happened to me on my Pitts and Spitts. If you're familiar with that cooker it has a 10 ga. rolled steel lid that's very stout and very heavy.

                          Click image for larger version  Name:	image12.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	861.1 KB ID:	995255



                          Anyway I had a really bad ignition explosion similar to yours. It had such force that it literally bowed that heavy stainless rolled lid about 1" in the middle !! I literally had to remove it and pound it flat again with an 8# sledge hammer and a 2x4. Since then I clean things out religiously and make sure I have ignition before walking away from mine !!

                          Comment

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                          2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

                          We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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