Author Topic: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!  (Read 2605 times)

Offline sidio

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Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« on: November 17, 2015, 09:10:18 pm »
It's the BS611.  It was working so well - used it ~5 times and made some amazing food with it.  Last week, I came outside and found the insides scorched, the door seal melted, and even a little bit of the door got warped (along the top).  I was smoking a pork shoulder.  There were no more briquettes left, as I was at hour 8 or so.  I had removed the bowl, emptied all the briquettes, and refilled it with boiling water about an hour before this happened.  There was still water in the bowl.  The smoke generator looks ok - can't figure out what caused it!

I have a few questions for those more familiar with the Bradley Smoker than I am:

1. Would a fire destroy the insulation (none exposed)?  I'm wondering if I've lost insulating power (if I ever get it repaired)
2. Can I replace the door?
3. Any idea what caused the fire?  Does this happen often with Bradley Smokers?

Thanks!

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 12:25:41 am »
Somebody seems to burn up a Bradley about once a year. Without photos we can only guess how it happened. Probably the most frequent cause is from meat touching the back wall and dripping grease into the heating element but there are many other situations that can start a fire. Again, photos might help make a more accurate determination.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 02:21:55 am »
Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Fires in the Bradley are rare, but do happen. Most accounts are do to user error. If it is under warranty contact Bradley. It never hurts to see if their warranty will cover this. The below link is useful information if a fire does occur inside the Bradley.
Bradley Smoker Fire

Unless Bradley has changed the type of insulation, the insulation can melt. It does melt right behind the elements under normal usage; where the element is near the wall, and the temperature is the highest.


Whether the insulation melted would depend on two main factors; 1) how hot the fire got; and 2) how long the fire lasted. From your description, the fire may not have been that severe. You can get some indication of any insulation damage by taking off the back panel, and tearing the door apart, but it will be difficult to judge how much insulation damage was done at the top and sides. I don't believe there is a way to remove the inside panels. The only way I can think of to really tell is to run the Bradley at it's highest temperature, and after awhile feel the sides and top for any signs of hotspots. You will need to do this on a warm calm day, and not in the sun. Prior to starting the Bradley, I would check for any damage to the cabinet wiring, and have an fire extinguisher ready.

You can replace the door. The door comes with the magnetic seal, but no other hardware or the thermometer. You should be able to salvage those parts. Door hinge designs may have changed over the years. The below link may help walk you through replacing the door. When you order a door, make sure you get one for your model. You can get one from Yard & Pool for about $70. At that cost, I would check to make sure the insulation is alright first.

Door Installation/Removal For Original Bradley Smoker BTIS1

If you can post pictures that will be helpful.


     I
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                   inhale.
  ::)

beefmann

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 06:30:25 am »
sorry to hear about the fire in your bradley, However call bradley , last i heard they do have replacement doors,,, have all the  information ready including the serial number off the  back it helps them to  locate the  right door for you

Offline jerad

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2015, 10:15:08 am »
Had a similar situation.  Ordered a new door, took apart the old door and the insulation was... compromised to say the least.  Worried about the state of things with the insulation in the cabinet itself.  Will be calling Bradley tomorrow to see what options I have.  Anybody else have any experience with this? 

Offline Chez

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 09:41:27 am »
What is the best way to clean the inside to prevent a fire?

wash down with dish soap?
409 or stronger solvent?
Something else?
Walk Softly and Carry a Bent Stick

Offline Orion

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2019, 11:23:48 am »
What is the best way to clean the inside to prevent a fire?

wash down with dish soap?
409 or stronger solvent?
Something else?

I try to avoid using soaps and or detergents. I only concern myself with cleaning any greasy or oily buildups. A plastic or rubber scraper works well to scrape up any messy areas followed by a good wipe with paper towels or cloth. I also use a cloth soaked in vinegar to give the inside surfaces a light wipe.

I find the key is to stay on top of keeping it clean. I don’t hesitate to put an aluminum pan on the rack below some of my greasier smokes to catch the drippings before they hit the drip tray. You just have to be careful that you’re not funnelling grease towards the element(s). The two places I use mild dish soap is on the door seal and it’s mating surface and the exterior. I do soak my racks in a pan that fits them with hot soapy water for 24 hours and then give them a quick scrub with a plastic brush followed by a good rinse.

I try to avoid soaps on the interior because of the residue they leave. Kind of defeats a well seasoned smoker. The drip tray gets soaked and scrubbed as does the puck/drippings bowl because they can be well rinsed and dried.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

Offline Gafala

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2019, 03:09:47 pm »
I use the 3M scotch bright pads dry, then vacuum up the dust with dust buster and a quick blast of caned air to get what might be hiding.
Bradley 4 rack Digital, 900 watt, Auber PID
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Char-Griller Smoking Pro BBQ Smoker with rotisserie
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Weber 24”
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One Auber Master Temp monitor and two remotes with probes, up to ten remotes can be used.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Grease Fire Melted My Bradley!
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2019, 03:55:36 am »
You don't want to clean the walls to clean. You want to leave a buildup of seasoning on the walls. Besides cleaning, you should prevent the main causes of a Bradley cabinet fire. The two main causes of a Bradley cabinet fire are; loading the meat so that it touches the back wall, and build up of grease on the drip tray.

1) Loading meats so that the meat touched the back wall - this will cause the grease to run down the back wall directly on the element. When you load the meat, make sure it doesn't touch the back wall.

2) The drainage hole in the drip tray getting plugged up. This causes grease to build up in the drip pan; and if you have a lot of sugar in your rub, the vents can also get clogged. Because it is in such close proximity to the element, that build up of grease can catch fire. If the vents also plug up, heat will build up underneath the drip tray to a point where it will ignite the grease and dripping that have built up in the drip pan. If you are smoke/cooking fatty loads, once or twice check the drip tray during the cook. If necessary use a 2" metal putty knife to clear the drainage hole and vents.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)