Author Topic: smoker caught fire  (Read 11816 times)

Offline bigbear7892

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smoker caught fire
« on: October 19, 2010, 03:06:51 PM »
hey all, i have a DBS and it caught fire inside sunday while i was smoking, i believe the water dried out of the pan and the pucks caught fire, i caught it quickly and the only visible damage i can find is about 8 inches of the seal is burnt away, i have ordered a replacement seal and was wondering what you "pro's" would advise on start up, cleaning, and installation of new strip, i love my smoker and hate to scrap 500$ what do you suggest?

btw I am new to this forum and I have to say thanks for all you folks....

Offline SoCalBuilder

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 03:18:04 PM »
Bigbear - Sorry for your woes but thanks for the post. Where did the pucks catch fire, in the generator or in the water pan? I've only used mine 3 times now and have never dried out the pan, much less gotten the burnt ones dry enough to re-ignite. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it in the future.

I'm sure someone here will be able to guide you. Good luck!

Offline GusRobin

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 03:42:26 PM »
Sorry to hear about your problem. Couple of things:
I believe most fires are the result of pucks stacking up or a grease fire.
1) Are you sure your "v" tray was in correctly? It should be "V' shape if you looked at it from the side, not "U" shaped.

2) was any part of the meat touching the walls at all. Grease can then run down the wall and hit the hot pucks.

3) How long were you using smoke? Did you have enough water in the tray to start? Normally the pucks should "float" away and not stack. A lot of us use a disposible cake pan  in lieu of the Bradley puck bowl (buy at any supermarket, wally world, etc for a couple of bucks).They are bigger and hold more water (and pucks) for long smokes. Actually I use the Bradley bowl for a water dish when my daughter's dog visits.  ::)

4) it is a good habit to check every few hours. Even if the pucks don't stack, a dry pan can end up with conditions conducive for a grease fire
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

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Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 04:19:46 PM »
BB, sorry to hear about your misfortune.  The others have you pretty much covered.  That said, if it were me I would call Bradley customer support in Canada and ask for Brain, tell him about your experience and follow his counsel.  He can guide through an assessment of whether it's just the seal or if the tower needs to be replaced.  At worst, I suspect you will need a new tower.

Just for reference, there is a good writeup about known causes of fires in Bradley smokers and how to best deal with them on the recipe site, here.
I like animals, they taste good!

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beefmann

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 05:08:23 PM »
gus seems to hit the issue, if the v tray was not in, or not installed properly that might be an issue  with grease from the food falling directly onto hot coals and igniting.

i have ran into this problem when i was new  with the water running out though never  caught on fire, however i do fill the  water about  3 /4  full and not let it go below 1/4 .. also  once i start  smoking the meat  keeps the tray  better then  half full, good  luck and best  wishes

Offline Toker

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 01:55:01 PM »
Well this topic came just in right timing for me by chance i spoke to Beefmann about his technique of cold smoking then cooking that's how i found out just in time to avoid a fire. The wood chips have piled up against the hot plate of the smoke generator. By chance i was checking the temp and found weird that it was climbing anormally. Thanks Beefmann you saved my OBS.

P.S. Beefmann your technique is awesome it eliminate the hot spot on the left side when i cook with my 2ND heat element with my fan i have a more even temp in my tower. Thanks for waking me up on this problem too!! :P

beefmann

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 03:06:58 PM »
toker,

your welcome and enjoy,  we are all here to help one another, also be sure to remove all excess build up inside the smoker, the heaters get  quite hot

Offline Toker

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 04:20:30 PM »
One more question for you if you can answer, when you cook and some fat or juice fall off the meat or the food and touch the element could it be dangerous? Of course i always cook with my V tray but sometime some of the fat go through the V tray holes and cause i never foil my V tray, it (the fat or juice) get on the element and on the ramp of the smoke generator and on the tower floor. So is it dangerous or is there anything i can do to make sure it does not happen?

P.S. i always make sure the food does not touch the wall.

beefmann

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 04:28:32 PM »
yes it can be dangerous. if it is a tiny  drop most likely it  would flare up then die out, if  you  have a stream of fat  running down and it gets on the heater or  hot enough to ignite that is where most of the problem is. better to be as safe as possible then not and have problems   

Offline bigbear7892

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 04:57:37 PM »
 i was "cool" smoking pork ribs, I'm a rookie still and I smoke for around an hour about 140F and then crank up to around 220F for around 45 minutes then finish off in the oven, I think I caught the fire within five to ten minutes of it really getting going most was just really brown smoke, I contribute this to the great seal on the door and it only melted off around 8 inches on the opening edge. the walls look ok no buckling that i can tell. the V pan was installed in a V shape and had some excess build up of waste material, fat, seasonings and such, the water in the pan may have been the issue, I don't remember filling it before my prewarm. The ideas presented to use a larger pan is awesome, will a foil pan work or do I need to buy a 13x9 cake pan and use it? I called customer service to order a new seal, fully prepared to pay for it and a door, and I never registered for the warranty when I purchased it from BP, still they said they are shipping me a new seal "FREE OF CHARGE" I am blown away....my mistake and they take care of me.....I will never never ever buy any other smoker other than a Bradley and I will tell everyone how they have treated me thus far....this makes me want to paint bradley smokers on the side of my truck and advertise....I have cleaned out the smoker and given it time to dry and test fired it up with 4 pucks and temp to 220F it worked fine except for the hole in the weatherstripping...I will wait until it gets here and hopefully be able to install it myself....looks fairly straight forward.....thanks all for the help.....


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Offline Toker

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 05:05:50 PM »
Ok from now on here what's i will do, cold smoke first then, cooking with a pan under my food just in case. Like you said, better be safer than safe. My OBS is in my kitchen after all. Thanks again now i feel much safer with all these info.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 05:07:22 PM by toker »

Offline punchlock

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 05:09:00 PM »
  I called customer service to order a new seal, fully prepared to pay for it and a door, and I never registered for the warranty when I purchased it from BP, still they said they are shipping me a new seal "FREE OF CHARGE" I am blown away....my mistake and they take care of me

Yup seen it more than once around these forums. They are a top notch company to deal with and that is a rare thing these days. Glad it all worked out for you.

Happy smoking  :)

Offline GusRobin

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 05:33:21 PM »
The ideas presented to use a larger pan is awesome, will a foil pan work or do I need to buy a 13x9 cake pan and use it?

If by foil pan you mean one that you make ouof foil, I would say no. If you mean a disposable foil pan you buy , that is what I use.
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.

Offline SouthernSmoked

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 05:35:30 PM »
I caught one of my Bradley's on fire a few years ago by installing the V-Trap inverted as a roof top. As a busy person I never read the instructions at all, "Dang I sound like a congressman", picture on the box only.

One day doing ribs and trying the 3-2-1 method I applied a extra coat of BBQ on top by using a bbq brush.

Went back inside and within 10-15 minutes I noticed a very large amount of smoke flowing past our kitchen nook window.

I then went outside to seeing what the heck was going on since I no longer had the Smoke Generator running.

Low and Behold I had a fire reaching out the top of my smoker about 2-3 feet.

I opened the door and flames came rolling out through me. I grabbed a glass of water that I'd been drinking outback and threw into the smoker.

The sauce had dripped down the back and onto the heating element.

Sauce + Hot Burner = Fire

I was lucky, the only damage was the stripping on the door. I called Bradley and they sent me one out the next day.

Great Customer Service
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 05:37:53 PM by SouthernSmoked »
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Keymaster

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Re: smoker caught fire
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2010, 04:58:13 PM »
Glad I clicked on this thread, Thanks for posting, I will definately use more water in the bowl as mine dried out the first use. I'm guilty of speed reading the instructions and not digesting its full contents.  ;D