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Flashback

TrueTexTrueTex Posts: 28
edited September 2011 in EggHead Forum
Well friends, I had an interesting flashback occurrence yesterday when I was searing some NY strips at about 650 degrees. I have a large egg and had almost filled the egg with fresh lump (Royal Oak). I had the vent wide open and left the daisy wheel off of the top to ensure maximum air flow. Being a semi-experienced egger I know enough to burp the egg when cooking at high temperatures to avoid flashback. I burped the egg and held it open about 1 inch for about 5 seconds and then opened the lid wider. Bam...a huge ball of flame shot out and I was lucky I was wearing my welder's gloves so I only singed the hair on the top of my right arm (LOL). I have read the flashback piece on the Naked Whiz website and was wondering if anyone else has suggestions for avoiding this type of event....thanks.
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Comments

  • ShawnShawn Posts: 356
    open the lid slow after burp not fast!
    Cheers! Shawn My Blog: http://hrmcreativebbq.blogspot.com/ My Dads Custom Handles Blog http://dannyscarvings.blogspot.com
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  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    edited September 2011
    If you got a flashback at 650 with the vents both wide open, then the only thing left is that your fire wasn't allowing enough air through the charcoal.   It's hard to imagine this happening at 650 degrees though.  But regardless, welders gloves or no, I've had my share of flashbacks (I never said I can remember my own advice :))  ) but never done more than singed hair.

    I'm not an advocate of burping as it will damage the gasket, so I wonder what would have happened had you just slowly opened the lid all in one motion.
    The Naked Whiz
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  • ShawnShawn Posts: 356
    sound for something for you to test in your lab whiz!
    Cheers! Shawn My Blog: http://hrmcreativebbq.blogspot.com/ My Dads Custom Handles Blog http://dannyscarvings.blogspot.com
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  • Thanks Whiz...will be watching closely next time for sure. I did open the lid slowly after the first inch or so opening when I burped the egg for 5 seconds. Big surprise when the flames shot out. I clean my ash before every cook and punch out clogs in the holes of the grate as well before adding lump. I did use larger pieces first and then filled in with smaller chunks. The only other thing I added was a couple handfuls of mesquite chips about 10 minutes after lighting the fire. Will be checking my gasket now...haha.
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  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    TrueTex..
    Flashbacks are worst early on in the initial burn. Seems like after the lump has been at 650 for awhile there seems to less flashbacks. 
    Kent Madison MS
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  • I'm not an advocate of burping as it will damage the gasket, so I wonder what would have happened had you just slowly opened the lid all in one motion.
    I'm confused, what's your definition of "burping"?    I lift the lid about a inch, hold it there for a few seconds, and then slowly lift the rest of the way.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

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  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,430
    edited September 2011
    I was thinking the same.  One thing I started doing when I know that fireball is waiting, I open the bottom and pull off the DFMT and wait a bit to let the air start flowing.  Then go forward with the burping procedure.   Also, I really try to avoid going from extremely hot, to closing everything down to opening the lid within a compressed period of time when possible.
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
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  • I think flashbacks happen when you don't expect it- no matter what, so just expect them when you have a hot fire going.

    when I'm up at 600+ I always wear the welders gloves when opening the egg and I treat every opening as if there will be a flashback.  meaning I burp the egg and then from there open it fairly carefully (ie not too fast).  If I have a big load of new lump, i know it's more susceptable to flashback - especially if I've let it burn for awhile without looking and the temp is over 600.  sometimes in those instances after you open the dome and close it, the temp takes off rapidly and is over 700 in no time.

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  • ChokeonSmoke, I'm referring to simply opening the lid an inch and letting mini-flashbacks occur.  I open the bottom and top lids long enough to allow air into the cooker that will burn off any accumulated CO or VOC's.  Then I slowly open the lid.  I still don't understand flashbacks at 650 with both vents open, though.
    The Naked Whiz
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  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,430
    I'm with Whiz. The only flashbacks I get  is when my Egg is at say 650, I close down the vents adn then need to open the lid too soon.  Someone posted a video one time showing a flashback and that is exactly what they did.  Got it real hot, shut all vents and then used some sort of pulley system to open lid fast...Wham!  fireball shot out of his Egg like a canon.  Scary.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
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  • Er, 4Runner, that was my video, :)

    Here's the long, HD version:
    The Naked Whiz
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  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,430
    edited September 2011
    Ahh,  I should have known.  Since I got my Egg in Dec 2008, I'm betting it was early 2009 I watched it.  Thanks for posting.   This should scare anyone into burping/starting air flow prior to opening an Egg.
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
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  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,430
    TNW Publishing Empire!  Nice
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
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  • 4Runner, I don't have visions of grandeur, do I?   :))
    The Naked Whiz
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  • Cool Whiz, and a very informative reminder to pay heed when grilling at high temps. Thanks!
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  • I get flashbacks at temps 550-650, and do open the lid about an inch, hear and see the backflash and then slowly finish opening.  It's pretty common on my egg.  This year, I've had a different situation twice where I would got a back flash thru the bottom vent while the lid was closed.  It sounds pretty violent, and I'm glad I wasn't standing in front of the egg when it happened.  Any thoughts on that?  I don't normally clean all the ash out before each cook, but I do level it off to ensure it's not up agains the bottom of the lower grate, and I stir the old lump to get the ash below and make sure none of the vent holes are clogged. 
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  • Having your vent holes clear helps you get your fire going, i don't see it as a factor in flashback, it is a factor when you can't get your Egg hot.

     

    Whiz- when I've had flashbacks with the vents wide open it has been when the temp had leveled off around 600-650 and stayed there.  Then when I open the dome I, got the big WHOOSH, closed the dome and watched the temp needle begin climbing above 650 very quickly.

     

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