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How to prevent fireballs?

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 4:17AM in EggHead Forum
Once in a while, I have had dangerous fireballs, where I open the lid and fire erupts out at me. Even with long leather gloves, I have had a couple of close calls.[p]It seems to happen where I have heated the Egg to a high heat and then have closed the daisy wheel and the bottom vent to try to calm the fire. After a minute or two, I open the lid, and WHOOMPF.[p]How does one avoid this? I am doing something wrong, but what?[p]Thanks!


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Prof Dan,[p]This is called Flash-Back. Any firemans handbook wil go into great detail. Just lets say -- avoid them. You will see people talk about "Burping an Egg". This is to avoid the flashback of smoke (gases/unburt particulates) in the very hot Egg. Dwelling of snuffing a fire creates the problem. Always open the chimney top, then the vent and wait a few seconds before you open the dome when the fire has been very hot. It can happen anytime but mainly after a very hot fire with wood chips in there. [p]Tim -- Buuurpp

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,455
    Prof Dan,
    Open the top vent for a 15-30 seconds, then open the dome to an inch or two and hold for a few seconds, then open slowly the rest of the way. It has been said that opening the bottom vent, after having the egg shut down, can have something to do with cracked fireboxes, from the cold in-rushing air. But after removing the top cap. I usually open the bottom vent at least half way to get air to the air-starved fire before I open the dome.[p]HTH!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
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  • Prof Dan,
    You are experiencing flashback. It happens primarily after you have a hot cook and follow it with a dwell where you have the air vents closed off. It will happen regardless of whether or not you are using smoking chips. You can either open the lower and upper vents to allow the fire to get some oxygen, or what I do is to remove the daisy wheel for 45 seconds and then slowly open the lid.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Prof Dan,
    Could the flashback phenomenon have anything to do with altitude? I have had many a super hot-searing cook with steaks, chops,etc., and have had no big flashbacks. Most times I've thrown in a little hickory or mesquite for these quickies, and have seen consistent 800 degree cook temps. Never cracked the dome lid or the bottom vent. Just been slow and careful like no other burps I've experienced! We're at a mile high here, and perhaps, as it effects internal combustion engines, maybe we don't have as much "pop" due to the percentage of Oxygen at altitude. Boy, it's been a long time since high school chemistry!!
    Big Murth......what do 'ya thinks?

  • Prof Dan,
    I would say that you had better open the bottom vent also. The last time I tried to open the top vent and burp my Egg, (opening the lid about an inch for a few seconds) I had a senior moment and wasn't wearing a hot mit. The flash burned my finges rather badly, and kind of ruined my wedding ann. dinner. The food was still very good, but I hadn't planned on toasted fingers. As you have read, this usually happens after a very hot fire that is stopped down. I used to have the same effect with an airtight wood stove. You would open the air vents and a moment or so later, you would have fire shooting out looking for oxygen. You may have already noticed that when you remove the top cover, there will be a column of smoke rolling out. I usually let this roll, until it calms, and then it seems safe to crack the lid and open slowly. Hope this helps. There are many of us who have singed hand and eyebrow hair!

  • KSDADDIO,[p]I have found that if you remove the daisy wheel cover for 45 seconds before you want to open the egg, and if you then open it slowly, you won't get the flashback. I don't open the bottom vent any more since this method has worked for me. [p]TNW
    The Naked Whiz
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Big Murth,
    Don't think it's an altitude thing. I'm in Denver, also a mile high, and have a lovely "souvenier" on my left wrist from the most recent time I forgot to open the vents. (One thing I have noticed, though, is that I have to use wider vent openings than do our fellow Eggers down where the air is thicker.)

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