Grease fire twice in a row

Pete6737

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Ok I asked for it…..

So I wanted some bacon on my next burgers, so I cooked a pound of it on the grill at 405, The same temp I used for the other burger cooks this weekend. When the bacon was 3/4 done, I put in 4 burgers. Bacon comes off, The burgers were about ready to turn on the sear grates but the grill got to 440,,, when as soon as I opened the lid and introduced air I got a nice big inferno. It was the biggest grease fire I’ve ever had…EVER! I unplugged the grill and kept the lid up and finished the burgers that got that lovely kiss of flame that makes that char on the edges. Moving them all around until they were done without turning into hockey pucks. The flame eventually went out but not before it burned off everything off the sear grates. The burgers were fantastic, BTW…Bacon, cheese Mayo and avocado smash on a sesame seed bun. Can’t say I had a better burger at Red Robin for like $16 that competed with this! But we are back to the fire…. Yes I should have changed the foil, maybe too much greasy meat on the grill, maybe…
So next I’m going to try cooking on the left side of the grill, taking out seargrates I won’t need, lowering the temp to 375 with clean foil. It’s a lot of experimentation just to burgers without burning the grill up!

My best guess is that as the grill gets to temp with the meat, it overshoots the set temperature and starves the grill of air to go back down, as soon as I open the lid, poof! Instant flames. I’m trying to wrap my head around convention cooking with indirect heat and no flame directly under the meat to cause so much fire on the tray. I may double up the mass of the drip tray by adding a heavier metal as opposed to foil… I may try removing all the seargrates and using the stock grates…or once the sear grates are at temp and cooking food, I could cook with the lid open the rest of the way… who knows what’s going to work?!,,,,the saga continues.

***newsflash*** as I was about to hit send on this post a light bulb went on in my head. I checked the drip jar that I have using for the month I had the grill and there was barely any grease in it. So now I’m hot on the scent of a grease not draining issue…to be continued,,,,,,,
Thanks for letting me vent, Pete
 

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Pete6737

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Hello All
So it’s clear my tray is not being drained of grease. So placing a call to Corey at Recteq, we went through the settings,sent pics etc…All was right, so I’m going to try no foil and inspect the tray and catch cup after my next cook. It seemed like foil is the only variable preventing the grease to drain. The tray is in properly and there’s a good lean to the right side drip catch, so we will try this to see if my fires go away. BTW, as mentioned around the forum the Recteq customer service is great. 55 minute call today with Corey was awesome. He truly wanted to help my issue! Awesome Recteq employee! Pete
 

sdynak

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Hello All
So it’s clear my tray is not being drained of grease. So placing a call to Corey at Recteq, we went through the settings,sent pics etc…All was right, so I’m going to try no foil and inspect the tray and catch cup after my next cook. It seemed like foil is the only variable preventing the grease to drain. The tray is in properly and there’s a good lean to the right side drip catch, so we will try this to see if my fires go away. BTW, as mentioned around the forum the Recteq customer service is great. 55 minute call today with Corey was awesome. He truly wanted to help my issue! Awesome Recteq employee! Pete

You can try pouring a liquid on it cold not running and watch what happens. Maybe a cheap vegetable oil with a small amount so it has some thickness to it.

I foil and only had 1 issue when I let it go too long. Was completely my fault I suppose.
 

Motodad1776

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I had a feeling your grease wasn't draining, doing burgers it should be coming out in steady drips for sure once things get rolling. Put a level on top of your grill and see for sure if level where you cook, I was shocked to see the difference in my garage moving around my grill to find perfect level surface. Any greasy cook like burgers I always burn off the excess grease before shutting down. :)
 

Another Joe

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Put a level on top of your grill and see for sure if level where you cook,
I was just thinking about this as well. With my stick burner, as long as the drain is at the lower end, it doesn't have to be level. I'm assuming that my 1250 will need to be almost perfect though. It should arrive tomorrow.
 

Pete6737

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Update:
So I have been cooking and I’ve been in direct communication with recteq and after several cooks with and without foil on my drip tray, it is pretty clear that the tray is not draining to the right. The grill is level and the tray does have an angle to the right and it is installed correctly. So after the last smoke with two chickens and then I removed the chickens and placed a pork butt on there for 12 hours there was little grease in the catch jar. There was plenty of dried grease directly under the pork butt and where the chickens were so, I fashioned two pieces of tinfoil to attach to the left side where the tray rests on the left to raise it up approximately a quarter of an inch I attached two photos of the before and after and tonight I will cook a pork butt and hopefully I’ll have more grease drained into the catch jar than dried up on the drip tray. I attached a pic of what the tray looked like after 16 hours of cooking the chicken and porkbutt. Hopefully this mod fixes my issue.
 

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Pete6737

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So another pork butt cook of 12 1/2 hours and it did not lead to good draining even with the tray propped a quarter inch up from its original position. The picture shows a bunch of dried and burned grease right under where the meat was, and there’s no flow to the catch jar. It is very similar to my previous post and picture as well. So now I am thinking that the grease dripping from the meat is getting seared and dried instantly on the drip tray from the fire pot and diffuser heat. It’s preventing the grease to actually roll off, so now I’m wondering if I should add a piece of steel to diffuse some of that heat and put it on top of the diffuser as added mass and maybe the grease will roll off eventually. Tomorrow I’ll be doing burgers to see if the grease drain is better with a high heat cook. With the last two low and slow cooks of 12 to 16 hours, it did not result in a grease fire and I really don’t have too much of a problem with the tray keeping everything on the tray it makes for easy cleaning with the scraper. But if the tray won’t drain during a 400° burger cook, I suspect I’ll have more fires. Again I’m in touch with recteq and trying to figure out a resolution. As I was posting this I got a response from Recteq. I am being sent a new drip tray and a stainless steel deflector to see if the installed cast iron one is getting the tray too hot and preventing the drainage by burning the grease.

I’ll say this, the customer service and continued communication with Corey from Recteq is unreal. I get timely responses to my texts and emails. He is truly interested in helping me fix the issue. A+ from him.
 

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Bisonrecteq

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So another pork butt cook of 12 1/2 hours and it did not lead to good draining even with the tray propped a quarter inch up from its original position. The picture shows a bunch of dried and burned grease right under where the meat was, and there’s no flow to the catch jar. It is very similar to my previous post and picture as well. So now I am thinking that the grease dripping from the meat is getting seared and dried instantly on the drip tray from the fire pot and diffuser heat. It’s preventing the grease to actually roll off, so now I’m wondering if I should add a piece of steel to diffuse some of that heat and put it on top of the diffuser as added mass and maybe the grease will roll off eventually. Tomorrow I’ll be doing burgers to see if the grease drain is better with a high heat cook. With the last two low and slow cooks of 12 to 16 hours, it did not result in a grease fire and I really don’t have too much of a problem with the tray keeping everything on the tray it makes for easy cleaning with the scraper. But if the tray won’t drain during a 400° burger cook, I suspect I’ll have more fires. Again I’m in touch with recteq and trying to figure out a resolution. As I was posting this I got a response from Recteq. I am being sent a new drip tray and a stainless steel deflector to see if the installed cast iron one is getting the tray too hot and preventing the drainage by burning the grease.

I’ll say this, the customer service and continued communication with Corey from Recteq is unreal. I get timely responses to my texts and emails. He is truly interested in helping me fix the issue. A+ from him.
Any updates? I have had a couple of grease fires myself and wasn’t always sure why it happened. Just figured it was because I was a dumb*ss and didn’t burn off the grease properly. My biggest fire was on Christmas Eve when someone (not pointing any fingers here) poured melted butter over all the lobster tails instead of basting them. Come to find out that pouring butter into the hot grill could be cause for concern. 😂
 

Pete6737

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Any updates? I have had a couple of grease fires myself and wasn’t always sure why it happened. Just figured it was because I was a dumb*ss and didn’t burn off the grease properly. My biggest fire was on Christmas Eve when someone (not pointing any fingers here) poured melted butter over all the lobster tails instead of basting them. Come to find out that pouring butter into the hot grill could be cause for concern. 😂
Hi
So I’d been waiting on the new deflector and tray. A glitch on the Recteq side delayed the shipment. I got a tracking number today. I’ll update with results of a cook when the new deflector and tray get here and get installed. In the meantime check to see if your tray is draining towards the catch or if it’s just burning where it drips. We suspect that the cast iron deflector is getting the tray so hot that it’s just burning and not draining. I have burgers ready to go as my first cook after the replacement parts get here. Thanks, Pete
 

Pete6737

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Hi
So I’d been waiting on the new deflector and tray. A glitch on the Recteq side delayed the shipment. I got a tracking number today. I’ll update with results of a cook when the new deflector and tray get here and get installed. In the meantime check to see if your tray is draining towards the catch or if it’s just burning where it drips. We suspect that the cast iron deflector is getting the tray so hot that it’s just burning and not draining. I have burgers ready to go as my first cook after the replacement parts get here. Thanks, Pete
Update:

So this afternoon I received a new drip tray and a new aluminum heat deflector. I checked that both drip trays had the same angle, sitting side-by-side. I checked the drip tray with the level to make sure it was level from front to back in the grill and of course, it was angled appropriately into the drip catch, and I used a ball to check the angle and the ball rolled to the right, as expected. I fired the grill up to 400° and when it got to temperature I loaded it with a pound of bacon on seargrates on the right side. After the bacon was cooked, I put two burgers on the grill and cooked them without any issue and with no grease fire. When the grill cooled, I moved the seargrates and took a look at the grill. The grease did not drain into the catch and pooled directly under where the meat was being grilled. Now I know I used some foil on the new tray. I’m not certain the foil didn’t have an effect in keeping the grease from draining, so tomorrow I am going to reinsert my modification with folded up foil shims and place them on the left side where the drip tray hangs and get a 1/4 inch steeper angle for the drip tray and I will take off the foil and grill a couple of more burgers to see what happens. The fact that the grease did not burn directly underneath the tray as in previous cooks, leads me to believe that the cast iron deflector may have been getting too hot and burning the grease right onto the drip tray as I dropped. so at least I have grease on the tray as opposed to a pile of burned grease and a fire. To be continued…
 

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Pete6737

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Update/ conclusion…hopefully ….

Hello all,

I took the foil off and grilled four cheeseburgers at 425°. I had grease dripping into the jar and I had no grease fires, and I had no burning of the grease in the center, after replacing the cast iron deflector with the new/old deflector made of aluminum, at least I think it’s aluminum. After the burgers were done, I reduced the heat to 350 and put on two chuck roasts for a couple/few hours for my chili recipe. Again, I did not see any burning in the center, I had no grease fires, and it looked like the drip tray drained as it should into the jar. So for those of you who been following my painful journey with my new 1250, I can say that it is doing what I wanted it to do, which is grilling at a higher heat and smoking low and slow. So this combination with the lighter deflector and I might add, I kept the drip tray propped with my modification of a quarter inch on the left side give it a little steeper angle, And all is well. Another shout out to Corey at recteq for always answering questions, quick responses to my texts, and getting my situation resolved.

Thanks, Pete
 

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