Grease Management to Prevent Grease Fires
Cooking grease becomes a flammable liquid when it is heated to a temperature over 360°F. If you have not cleaned grease from the inside of your grill and you run your grill hotter than 360°F, you create the conditions for starting a grease fire. When this happens, you'll see lots of very thick, white smoke until you open the grill lid. When the lid is lifted the hot smoke mixes with an excessive amount of oxygen-rich air and that's when the fire will starts. Closing the lid at this time is advised but this may not extinguish the flames.
If you have mistakenly started a grease fire, close the grill lid and disconnect the power from the grill until the flames and smoke subside. The grill now needs to cool back down to a lower temperature before proceeding. If the grease bucket hanging from the grill has not also ignited, remove it from the grill so that it too does not accidentally ignite.
Here are the best grilling practices to prevent grease fire from ever starting
- ALWAYS use some kind of drip liner on your grease pan drip tray. Preformed, heavy-duty liners are preferred as they can be washed on a flat surface a few times before discarding. Heavy-duty aluminum foil can also be used but it will need to be thicker than most sold in grocery stores. If a drip dray liner is not used, the drip pan MUST be removed from the grill and washed between uses.
- ALWAYS trim your fatty meats prior to cooking if your grill temp is going to be higher than 360°F. Fatty meats on the grill need to be cooked at a low temperature for longer periods of time to prevent oil flare-ups.
- ALWAYS inspect your tray, drain chute, and bucket prior to cooking and remove drippings that will impede the free-flowing design of the system from the tray to the bucket. Ash, chunks of food, charcoal, and metal flakes from a rusting grill all contribute to blocked passages.
- ALWAYS Use mild dish detergent and a wire brush to wash down the areas of your grill that have a layer of cooking grease to prevent flare-ups.
- ALWAYS run your grill to a temperature above 400°F to burn off any degreaser and cooking residue on the grilling surfaces prior to cooking or smoking.
NOTE: if you mostly smoke on our grill at low temperatures you may not need to clean and degrease the entire grill between every cook but be mindful of going from many low-temperature cooks to a hot grill without an inspection and cleaning.