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Egg Safety

SLMWindsSLMWinds Posts: 17
edited November 2011 in EggHead Forum
I was cooking steaks the other night and had a scary experience. I seared them at high temps and then completely shut down the egg (like the instructions say on the website) and cooked for 4-5 minutes. When I went to crack the lid and "burp" the egg, I was met with some vicious flames that surrounded me and literally took the hair off my arm! I understand that what happened was the fire was starved for oxygen and the rush created a flare up. In hindsight, I guess I probably cracked the lid about 4 inches instead of 1 or 2 as the website suggests. However, I am wondering if you guys with more experience feel it is necessary or a good idea to open the vents before cracking the lid. Any thoughts? What other safety advice can people offer from experience? I have used plenty of grills but obviously the egg is a different beast since it gets hotter, is more air tight, etc. Thanks for the help!


  • I don't have any answers for it but this happend to me last week and a ball of fire took off all the hair on my arm. Now I whisper sweet nothings in my eggs ear before I open it. Seems to work well. :).
  • psalzerpsalzer Posts: 108
    "burping" the Egg as suggested in the directions usually prevents this. We have all been reminded of these directions from time to time!
  • BobinFlaBobinFla Posts: 363

    All that can be said on the subject has already been said here:

    Watch and learn.



  • joe317joe317 Posts: 28
    The flashback videos look pretty scary as are all the hot embers floating around while Naked Whiz stokes the fire. This has me re-thinking the location of my egg for my outdoor kitchen.

    I have a nice covered outdoor patio with 12' ceilings. My plan was to locate the kitchen right at the edge of the covered patio such that all the equipment was under the patio ceiling. The patio ceiling is wood so seeing these videos makes me think I should move everything out 3' - 5' so if a flashback occurs or hot embers escape, they can't contact the wood ceiling and burn my house down. My wife already thinks I'm crazy for getting an egg, burning the house down would seal the deal for her :).

    Anyway, I see many pictures on here with eggs further beneath a covered patio than my plans. I've even seen pictures with them right up against the wall of the house. To me this would mean lots of smoke beneath the patio as well a much bigger potential for fire.

    Help me out egg masters. Am I ok putting the egg and kitchen at the edge of the covered patio like my original plan? Or do I really need to move it out into the open? I'd also love to hear opinions from people who currently have their eggs placed well beneath their patio ceilings.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,838
    Congratulations on your first fore-arm hair loss! While flashbacks are always scary, even when you know a moment beforehand that one is about to happen, I think the worst I've ever heard was that someone lost an eyebrow. After I burp the Egg several times, I now hold it about a half inch open for maybe 15 seconds before lifting.

    You might want to consider the "hot tub" method for steaks. Place the steaks with rub in plastic bags, and submerge in hot tap water, around 120 degrees, hotter than you would want you hand in. Let them come to that temperature, and then just sear. They will be nice and crusted on the outside, but perfectly rare on the inside. The only thing to contend with is the intense heat of the sear, so wear gloves.

    There was a fellow, Wess B, who used to post a lot. His site seems to be offline just now. I believe he said that the rafters over his Eggs were only at 9 feet, and the white paint hadn't even been smudged from the cooking underneath. The only fires I've heard of were from hot coals popping out from the bottom before the vent screen was introduced.
  • The most I have ever had was a loss of arm hair. I know about Burping but forget to do it.
    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • Personally, I don't believe in burping as that can damage your gasket if you have something other than Rutland or Cotronics gaskets installed.  I open the vents for 10-15 seconds to allow all the "pent up demand for oxygen" to sort itself out, then I slowly open the lid.  The flames that come out between the dome and the base when you burp and have a mini-flashback are still in the 1500-2000 degree range, and though quick, they can do some damage.  FWIW.....
    The Naked Whiz
  • Thanks for the responses. I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only person who has had this (I was feeling like an idiot who didn't know how to use a grill!). But, I'm disappointed that is seems to be so common. Even if the injuries are only hair, I have a healthy respect for fire and don't want to risk it! After my backdraft, I started opening the vents before cracking the lid and didn't have any more problems. In the future, I think I'm going to take a 3 way approach: 1) Open the vents before cracking the lid 2) "Burp" the lid before letting it fly open and 3) I'm going to buy a handle for a yard tool (like a rake) that I can tie to the handle and use to open the egg so my arm and face isn't so close!
  • I also use those long fireplace gloves. They work great.
    XL BGE - Large BGE - Small BGE - Traeger Lil' Tex Elite - Weber Smokey Joe
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited November 2011
    It happens when you do the 'dwell' method, qhich i dont do personally because the steak gets awful sooty from fat burning on the coals with no real oxygen to keep the fire burning cleanly

    It also happens with a fresh load of lump when you are running at moderate temps. When you open, the charcoal dust and some VOCs which remain can burst into flame with the additional oxygen. This can happen multiple times in a row, when the egg is merrily cruising at 350-450,500 or so (not shut down)

    If it doesnt 'whoomp' when you open it an inch, it wont do it when you open all the way. No need to wait 15 seconds if it doesnt happen in two, if you have already lifted the lid an inch or so
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I've had my XL for 1 1/2 years and haven't had a flashback yet.  No matter what the temp, I open the lid about an inch, hold it there for 2 seconds or so, and then open if fully.  No problems.  I do it every time I lift the lid, regardless of temp, just so I stay in the habit of doing it.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

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