A pellet grill is a compact, yet powerful cooking appliance that can be used to cook just about anything. A pellet grill provides food with a smoky flavor by burning pellets.
Though Pellet grills are known for their reputation of being safe and reliable, sometimes accidents happen. Like any appliance, pellet grills are not without risks. The biggest risk is that you might see it catches fire.
So “Why Did My Pellet Grill Catch On Fire?”
There are a few ways that can lead to a pellet grill fire. The two main reasons for pellet grills to catch on fire are either that you have too many pellets in the firepot or too much grease on the drip tray.
It’s very rare for pellet grills to catch fire, but for your safety, it is important to clean your grill after every 2-3 meals and light the fire correctly.
By doing this you can make sure accidents like uncontrolled pellet grill fires won’t happen.
There are many pellet grills/smokers on the market like Traeger, Z Grill, Camp Chef, and Weber.
In this grillcuisnes.com guide, we’ll cover:
- Reasons why pellet grill catches fire
- Tips on how to put out pellet grill fire
- And much more!
Main Reasons: Why Did My Pellet Grill Catch On Fire
Many people use the Traeger pellet grill and have complained about Traeger keeps catching fire or Traeger grease fire on social forums like Reddit.
The following section will discuss the possible causes of the pellet grill fire.
There are two types of fire that can happen in the pellet grill. It’s crucial to understand it in order to prevent future instances.
1. PELLET GRILL GREASE FIRE CAUSED BY GREASE AND FAT ON DRIP TRAY
Grease fires are one of the most common types of pellet grill on fire.
Grease and fat can always create fire and an inferno on a pellet grill and usually starts on the drip tray and spreads from there. Grease fires are dangerous because they produce large flames and are hard to put out.
Grease buildup is a normal and necessary side effect of smoking fatty cuts of meat on a pellet grill. The smoke and juices from the meat will drip onto the drip tray and collect, causing a significant amount of grease to build up.
If the grease isn’t cleaned out and the grill’s heat gets too high, the grease will liquefy and ignite, which can cause a huge blaze in a matter of minutes.
So it’s necessary to clean and clear out the grease between high-heat grillings.
2. PELLET GRILL FIRE CAUSED BY A LARGE ACCUMULATION OF PELLETS IN A FIREPOT
Wood pellets can accumulate due to several factors. If the firepot of a grill isn’t lit, pellets can pile up – and if they’re piled up too high in the firepot, they can heat up enough to burst into flames and create a small bonfire.
Pellet fire may also start due to a buildup of ashes or other combustible material that’s near or touching the pellets.
Keeping your pellets dry when using a pellet grill is important to ensure your pellets are not clumped together.
Moisture in the air can cause the pellets to clump and feed improperly into the auger, which can cause a fire.
A pellet fire can also happen if the auger is defective.
Tips On What To Do If Pellet Grill(Traeger) Catches Fire
1. Don’t Panic and Keep Calm
When people see large flames engulfing a pellet grill, their first impulse is often to panic.
When we panic, our brain is not able to function as it should and we can make bad decisions that could be dangerous.
If you’re feeling panicked in a group setting, the people with you might feel the same. Stay calm if your smoker on fire, these steps will give you some peace of mind.
2. Unplug The Pellet Grill
If you keep your pellet grill outdoors and it catches fire, you need to make sure that the fire does not spread to the house and other structures. The first thing you should do is disconnect from the power source immediately.
Fires need three things to start: a source of ignition, oxygen, & fuel. If your pellet grill catches on fire then cut off the oxygen and pellet supply by unplugging it as you don’t want the fire to burn for a long time.
3. CLOSE THE PELLET GRILL AND HOPPER LID
The best way to avoid a grease fire is to put the lid on the grill and wait for it to die down.
When the grill catches fire, the lid must be CLOSED TO PREVENT IT FROM SPREADING TO OTHER PARTS OF THE GRILL.
The fire will need oxygen to burn, which is why it’s essential to close the grill and hopper.
Closing the grill or hopper will stop the flow of oxygen. If no oxygen is present, a fire will eventually go out.
4. MOVE THE PELLET GRILL AWAY FROM WALLS AND FLAMMABLE OBJECTS
A pellet grill can easily catch fire if it is too close to a wall or flammable object. Keep an eye on your grill from time to time, and always move it away from walls and objects that could catch fire if a grease flare-up were to occur.
When a pellet grill catches fire, move objects or the grill away from flammable items so it can cool down without posing a danger to other items.
5. DO NOT USE WATER OR FLOUR
It may seem like a good idea to put water on a fire but when it comes to pellet grills there are two key reasons why that’s not the case:-
- – A pellet grill is an electrical appliance and water coming in contact with them may cause permanent damage.
- – Pouring water on a grease fire can sound like a logical first response, but doing so will cause the oil to splatter and spread across the surface of the cooking vessel. The increased oil may cause an even bigger fire to break out. so spraying water on a grease fire will only spread it around and cause more damage.
6. USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER OR INSULATION BLANKET
Here is a list of The 4 Best Fire Extinguisher For Grill
In the event of a fire, a fire extinguisher is the best bet for putting it out. A fire-resistant blanket or insulation blanket can also be used to put out a fire. This will keep the fire from spreading, and will even make it go out quicker.
Also, check How Do You Quickly Put Out A Grill Fire Without A Fire Extinguisher
5 Tips to Avoid Pellet Grill Fires
Below are the tips that can be used when Traeger catches on fire or in case of Traeger grease fire.
1. Maintain and clean the Pellet Grill
- Keeping the pellets clean can help prevent a pellet grill fire. Clean your grill after each use. The burner, drip pan, and cooking grate of your pellet grill need to be kept clean so that they can work properly without obstruction.
- Cleaning your pellet grill will also reduce the risk of any build-up which could prevent the pellets from reaching the set temperature. This will also help to lessen food sticking on the cooking grate while cooking or causing hot spots while smoking your meat.
- One of the more important rules is not to exceed 20 hours of cook time between cleanings. Grease is a common concern when cooking with bacon because the oils are difficult to clean. Therefore, if you’re cooking with greasier foods – for example, bacon – it may be important to clean more often.
2. Keep an eye out for grease pooling
- Grease should easily slide down the drip tray and into the grease bucket or grease tray. “Grease pooling” refers to grease accumulating instead of flowing down through the grease trough and out of the appliance. Grease pooling is often caused by:
- The drip tray and drip tray liners are not placed properly. Be sure to change the drip liner after 1-3 cooks.
- The drip tray is dirty or damaged. To prevent this, make sure you scrape down your drip tray regularly.
- The grease trough is dirty or damaged.
3. Make sure that your firepot isn’t overflowing with pellets
- Double-check to make sure your firepot isn’t overflowing with pellets or ash before turning the grill back on.
4. Properly start up the Pellet Grill
- Pellet grills are easy to use because they have a specially engineered ignition system that allows the wood pellets to catch on fire and reach the desired cooking temperature.
- For most Traeger pellet grills, the grill needs to be set on the “Smoke” setting at first in order for the pellets to ignite. As soon as they start burning, you can turn them up to a higher heat setting.
- It’s important to follow the ignition sequence when starting or restarting a pellet grill. The most common beginner mistake is when the pellet grill stops mid-smoke and then turns the pellet grill back on without checking the firepot. This will usually cause a pellet grill fire.
You can also read this How Do Wood Pellet Grills Work
5. Store Pellet in Airtight Storage and Never use Wet Pellet
- Always store them in a dry place in an airtight container, preferably in a pellet storage bucket. Moisture in the air can cause pellets to clump and feed improperly into the auger, which could lead to a pellet grill fire.
Final Thought: Why Did My Pellet Grill Catch On Fires
Pellet grills are a great way to have a hassle-free kitchen. They can grill a variety of different foods and save plenty of time, energy, and effort. The best part about these grills is how easy they are to maintain.
However regular maintenance and the correct methods for lighting a pellet grill will usually prevent pellet grill fires.
Like any other appliance, pellet grills are safe to use as long as you’re knowledgeable and responsible. If your pellet grill catch on fire, remain calm and refer to this guide.
I am a writer, editor, and publisher of Grillcuisines.com – an online blog dedicated to sharing grilling tips, accessories, and recipes to encourage more people to get outside and grill.
I’m off to find out the different types of grill foods, their seasons, and how to conduct outdoor cooking properly. I’ll also show you some of my grill-worthy cooking tools & accessories!