cleaning up after grease fire

hallsofmontezuma

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I got a grease fire on a brand new RT-700. Last night I slow cooked a massive tomahawk ribeye on low for an hour, then cranked it up all the way with the sear kit. After 5 minutes or so, a grease fire broke out.

The big lesson learned: CLEAN YOUR GRILL.
I started out by cooking bone-in wings at 400, then the next day smoked a brisket and pork butt. I didn't clean after either, although I don't think there was a ton of grease on the drip tray. I wonder if the sear grates caused grease from the ribeye to drip down to the bottom of the grill?

The other lesson learned... don't just turn off the grill with a grease fire, unplug it. The fan will just keep the fire going. This seems obvious, but in the heat of the moment (har har) it didn't occur to me until it had been going for 5-10 minutes.

The inside of the grill is pretty charred. Would you bother applying something to clean it up really well, or just use a degreaser to get the greasy gunk and move on? IMG_0206.jpeg IMG_0207.jpeg IMG_0205.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Mastertech59

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Welcome here and sorry to hear about the grease fire. I have found the sear plates will allow the grease to drip into the bottom of the grills barrel. What I have been doing is turn the sear plates 90 degrees this way all the grease will hit the drip pan. I not sure if you foil the drip pan but I have found for the very short time I used foil it caused the grease to pool on the pan and not drain properly. As far as cleaning the charred up mess I would use a wet with water only and rag and wipe off what you can.
 

hallsofmontezuma

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Welcome here and sorry to hear about the grease fire. I have found the sear plates will allow the grease to drip into the bottom of the grills barrel. What I have been doing is turn the sear plates 90 degrees this way all the grease will hit the drip pan. I not sure if you foil the drip pan but I have found for the very short time I used foil it caused the grease to pool on the pan and not drain properly. As far as cleaning the charred up mess I would use a wet with water only and rag and wipe off what you can.
So you don't foil the drip pan at all?
 

Mastertech59

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So you don't foil the drip pan at all?
I did for the first 3 or 4 cooks wasn't real dirty but decided to change the foil and found the grease got under the foil and basically welded it to the drip pan, took me almost a hour to clean and pick all the stuck pieces of foil off. I said never again and now just scrape with a wide spackle knife when necessary and save the foil for wrapping food instead.
 

hallsofmontezuma

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I did for the first 3 or 4 cooks wasn't real dirty but decided to change the foil and found the grease got under the foil and basically welded it to the drip pan, took me almost a hour to clean and pick all the stuck pieces of foil off. I said never again and now just scrape with a wide spackle knife when necessary and save the foil for wrapping food instead.
I just updated my original post to add photos.
 

Mastertech59

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I just updated my original post to add photos.
Wow that's a lot of grease in the barrel, I would take the ash from the other side and try to soak up as much grease as you can then wipe out the rest, I don't like using cleaning or degreaser inside the grill. Where were the sear plates used on the left side of the grill?
 

hallsofmontezuma

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Wow that's a lot of grease in the barrel, I would take the ash from the other side and try to soak up as much grease as you can then wipe out the rest, I don't like using cleaning or degreaser inside the grill. Where were the sear plates used on the left side of the grill?
The white stuff you see is mostly baking soda I threw onto the fire. The sear plates were centered on the grill, but the steak was on the left side.
 

Mastertech59

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The white stuff you see is mostly baking soda I threw onto the fire. The sear plates were centered on the grill, but the steak was on the left side.
In your second picture I can see where the grease looks like it dripped off the end of your sear plates. I use my sear plates turned 90 degrees and allways on the right side of the grill, right side runs a little hotter and the grease has to travel less to get to the bucket.
 

hallsofmontezuma

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In your second picture I can see where the grease looks like it dripped off the end of your sear plates. I use my sear plates turned 90 degrees and allways on the right side of the grill, right side runs a little hotter and the grease has to travel less to get to the bucket.
I wonder why the drip pan didn't catch it.
 

Mastertech59

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I wonder why the drip pan didn't catch it.
The sear plates are longer than the drip pan is wide. The grilling area on any of these grills that use a drip pan is only the size of the drip pan not the whole area of the grates even when doing normal cooks without the sear plates. Many have found on the greasy cooks that the grease will run along the sear plates and drip off the ends. This is why lots of us use the sear plates turned 90 degrees. The other thing is the grill has to be level front to rear, side to side isn't as important but if not level side to side make sure the right drip bucket end is on the lower side.
 

ccmjr77

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Was the sear plate grates running front to back? I have used mine that way before and realized that they over hang the drip pan, so i now make sure they are running left to right in on the grill.
I have not had a grease fire and I do not use the sear plates often nor do I use high heat in my bull very often, but this definitely will make me use extreme caution when I do....
 

hallsofmontezuma

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Was the sear plate grates running front to back? I have used mine that way before and realized that they over hang the drip pan, so i now make sure they are running left to right in on the grill.
I have not had a grease fire and I do not use the sear plates often nor do I use high heat in my bull very often, but this definitely will make me use extreme caution when I do....
The sear plates are longer than the drip pan is wide. The grilling area on any of these grills that use a drip pan is only the size of the drip pan not the whole area of the grates even when doing normal cooks without the sear plates. Many have found on the greasy cooks that the grease will run along the sear plates and drip off the ends. This is why lots of us use the sear plates turned 90 degrees. The other thing is the grill has to be level front to rear, side to side isn't as important but if not level side to side make sure the right drip bucket end is on the lower side.
Will they fit rotated 90 degrees?

It seems like a design flaw then. They should have designed the sear plates to fill in the groves on the edges, so that grease doesn't run down them.
 

Mastertech59

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Will they fit rotated 90 degrees?

It seems like a design flaw then. They should have designed the sear plates to fill in the groves on the edges, so that grease doesn't run down them.
Turned 90 degrees on top of the normal grilling grates yes they will fit, using them by themselves no. I don't know how Grill Grates could have designed them any different especially when using them flat side up to get that full sear.
The original grates that come with the grill I would love to see a additional rod about 2 inches in from the front and rear ends so the grease that runs along the grates will hit this rod and then fall on the drip pan.
 

hallsofmontezuma

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Turned 90 degrees on top of the normal grilling grates yes they will fit, using them by themselves no. I don't know how Grill Grates could have designed them any different especially when using them flat side up to get that full sear.
The original grates that come with the grill I would love to see a additional rod about 2 inches in from the front and rear ends so the grease that runs along the grates will hit this rod and then fall on the drip pan.
Ok I'll give that a try. I've got the grates and drip pan cleaned up, I just need to go buy a cheap shop vac to start on the grill itself.
 

BethV

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Stampede
Sorry about your situation. I have never had a grease fire in my 590. It would scare the heck out of me.

I do use foil on my drip pan and I cook a lot on my grill. I don't use it for high temps so that helps and is probably why I don't get fires. I always cover the drip pan with foil as a base. Then I lay another sheet on top of the foiled drip pan. It's easy to remove and replace with each cook. After a few cooks, I repeat the process of covering the drip pan again. It keeps my grill clean which I like. I know that a lot of people prefer to leave the foil off.

I use Aleko Ash and Dust Multipurpose Vacuum Cleaner to remove the ash.
https://www.alekoproducts.com/APW212-Ash-Multipurpose-Vacuum-Cleaner-p/apw212-ap.htm

Looking forward to seeing some of your cooks.

Best,
Beth
 

mooncusser2k

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That's definitely a lot of grease in the barrel. I'd consider a plastic scraper or similar to remove the remaining stuff but no need to scrub it clean. There's a small void under the fire pot and auger that you won't be able to get to anyway. Regular use will create ash dust which will collect on the remaining oils.

Some grease will still get down there, whether from splatters, food placed past the edge of the drip pan, or running along the grates as noted above. It shouldn't be that much though. Another good reason to regularly clean out the fire pot, since you can check at that time.

It is also possible to get a grease fire in the drip pan. I made the mistake of not cleaning my pan & swapping foil from a previous cook. Then cranked it up to 400F and put in some back on a couple of sheet pans. My guess is the pans contributed to extra heat getting trapped and the drip pan lit up.
 

brnytruk

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12
In your second picture I can see where the grease looks like it dripped off the end of your sear plates. I use my sear plates turned 90 degrees and allways on the right side of the grill, right side runs a little hotter and the grease has to travel less to get to the bucket.
I cut my sear plates with a side grinder so that they are shorter than the width of the drip pan so that I can use them either running front to back or side to side. This helps conserve room to cook other foods at the same time.
 

Jerry OBrien

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I guess I must start a grease fires and didn't realize it. After cooking ribs or if the drip pan just has grease on it I run the grill up to FULL and let it go, covered, till there's no more smoke ( there are clouds of smoke) then turn it off. When cool I use a wide putty knife to scrape the now black ash off the drip pan.
Have never had grease in bottom of grill just white ash.
I also use the Aleco ash vac. It's perfect for vacing out the ash in the grill and if you watch you can get them for half price, although they are worth every penny of the ususal cost. The unit is small, quiet and well built.
 

Eleuthros1

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Bull
This thread just resulted in my cleaning my Bull. I don't use aluminum foil on my drip trey either. I used it on the first smoke and the drip tray still gets stained and nasty so I'm not sure what it accomplishes. I'm planning to clean mine with Bar Keeps Friend about once per month and now, after reading this, I'll be doing a basic cleanup after every cook.
 

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