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Need Help With Flames Shooting Out!

EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 752
edited December 2011 in EGG Table Forum

My wife got me a BGE for Christmas after I raved about cooking on my Dad's this summer.

Anyway, I was grilling chicken breasts at about 450 degrees last night and towards the end I closed the bottom vent and closed the top vent. About 1 minute later when I went to pull them off the grill I lifted the handle a few inches to let some of the gas escape. Then I raised the lid further and fire shot out like there's no tomorrow!

I'm not sure what I did wrong here. Can you guys help?

Thanks!

 

Egg.jpg
124 x 166 - 5K
Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)

Comments

  • psalzerpsalzer Posts: 106
    Kinda normal....seems like the coals got a "breath of fresh air".... I've not had it happen at 450, but at higher temps you need to open slowly.
  • IMO- it didn't have time to cool.  the immediate rush of oxygen with the heat trapped resulted in the flare up.  I am not a scientist just my thought.  Question why did you shut it down then only wait a 1 minute?  I normally pull my food before shutting it down and always burp it a couple of times before raising the lid. 
    Reed- Springhill, Louisiana
  • I agree w/ pslazer noramlly happens at higher temps.  I have never had that happen at 450 either.  I ahve ahd my egg for 6 years.
    Reed- Springhill, Louisiana
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    edited December 2011

    It's what firefighters call backdraught. Fire is burning and then gets deprived of oxygen(shutting the vents) volatile gasses build up and when the oxygen becomes available (opening the dome) the gasses almost explode. People used to recommend "burping" the egg opening the dome a little and then opening fully but that resulted in a lot of burnt knuckles and arm hair. The safest way to deal with it is to be aware when you have the condition and if you are going to open the dome, open the vents fully for a few seconds first. Be aware that the egg can also shoot flames out of the lower vent when there is a blockage in the airflow due to buildup of ash and small pieces of lump on the grate.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Flashover or backdraft (you saw the movie, right?).  Naked Whiz has a video of it on his website.  Like Little Steven said, the point is to control where the smoldering gases get the air, so ventilate before opening the lid.  Even then, be careful.  Depending on how long the lid has been closed, and how much lump was lit and needing air, could still happen when you let the fire have a rush of air. 

     

    TFOUTCH
    Algood, Tennessee
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,680
    edited December 2011
    Take the food off, THEN close the vents.  Doing this, along with burping, and you shouldn't have any problems.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • Thanks for the help! My arm hairs are now gone, but they'll grow back. I thought I had let it vent enough but the scientific proof says other wise. :(
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Happens at low temps with lots of fresh lump. At 350 it will happen too

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,085
    I always wear a pair of leather BBQ gloves that are about 18 inches long and cover the forearm.  That way if I get the backflash, it doesn't burn my arm.  The gloves are available at most BBQ supply stores or at hardware stores that sell welding gloves.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • Just don't leave your welding gloves out in the rain! Makes them stiff and hard to get on.  (Ask me how I know) LOL
    TFOUTCH
    Algood, Tennessee
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    No need for any precautions if you are aware of the conditions. Get thee familiar with your egg
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Happened to me last night. Burping isn't always enough. I was trying to cool the egg down after searing and even opened up the lower and top vents for a few seconds before burping, but that wasn't even enough. I should have let it go for a few extra seconds. I have fewer backflashes when the egg is raging than when it has been shut down after raging. 
  • jscarfojscarfo Posts: 317
    i wear good long gloves and keep my beer about 5 feet away.  after it happens a couple of times you will be more cautious. when i cook 3" thick pork chops at 650 degrees i do them 5 min each side to sear them then i throw in small piece of apple wood and shut both vents, and wait for temp to hit 135. the best
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    edited December 2011

    Flashover or backdraft (you saw the movie, right?).  Naked Whiz has a video of it on his website.  Like Little Steven said, the point is to control where the smoldering gases get the air, so ventilate before opening the lid.  Even then, be careful.  Depending on how long the lid has been closed, and how much lump was lit and needing air, could still happen when you let the fire have a rush of air. 

     


    Yes backdraft. Sorry

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Happens mostly with greasy / fatty foods like chicken thighs. Also happens if you use any oil in a baste/mop sauce.

    Best to burp-open the lid very slowly carefully when cooking.

    It did make a cool but scary noise, right? That "WHoooomph" sound. If it was dark outside, you'd probably see some flames, too.

    I thougth is was Back Flash? In any case - that's what happened and it is a scary, yet normal thing.

  • It was dark outside and looked like a flame-thrower was inside the egg. :))
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    da kine... not sure that';s true.  i think you are referring to flare-ups.  this guy is talking about the more vengeful backdraft, or flashover, or whatever a starved fire is called when it gets plenty of oxygen.

    it can be had with any food.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • tfoutchtfoutch Posts: 76
    edited December 2011

    It happens at a house fire sometimes too.  A smoldering fire is smoldering instead of burning because there is not enough oxygen to allow it to burn.  The smoke from a smoldering fire has combustables in it.  When that smoke is contained, eventually the entire container fills completely with this combustable smoke.  The temp. in container is above the point of combustion.  When you open the lid, you provide the needed oxygen.  At that point, ALL of those gases in the smoke ignigte at the same time.  They burn quickly then go out on your grill, but in a house fire, at that point, all of the combustables in the room light off, thus the hazzard to the firefighters.  It is an awsome sight to watch on a fire scene, as if the air is burning (because it is I guess). 

    Doesn't matter what you are cooking. 

    TFOUTCH
    Algood, Tennessee
  • Here's some information and some good movies about it:  Flashback
    The Naked Whiz
  • tfoutchtfoutch Posts: 76
    edited December 2011

    Any of you firefighters on here chime in.  Maybe you can explain it better than I can. 

     

    1+ for Naked Whiz info. 

    TFOUTCH
    Algood, Tennessee
  • Guys, I  jumped back in the saddle last night and cooked on the Egg with no problems...thanks to the chemistry lesson I learned on here yesterday. I appreciate the help!
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
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