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Flashbacks - not from dwelling

BluesnBBQBluesnBBQ Posts: 615
edited 8:40AM in EggHead Forum
I grilled a steak Friday night (a really nice, hand cut NY Strip from the Laurel Meat Market). When I seared it, I had the Egg at about 700 or higher. Flames were shooting out the top. Every time I opened the dome I got a flashback like effect - huge flames coming out. It was kind of dangerous. One time I had to let the lid drop because it was so hot.[p]Usually flashbacks occur after the Egg has been shut down and gases build up inside. Has anyone had something like this happen to them? I replaced my broken grate with a metal one a couple of months ago. I have been getting the Egg much hotter in a shorter time since I replaced it. I have also had this flashback problem with the metal grate. Maybe I need to fix the ceramic grate (or get a new one), or start searing at a lower temp.


  • PonchoPoncho Posts: 49
    I am not sure that flasback is a result of "gasses built up inside." I tend to agree with the Naked Whiz, that this has something to do with volitile compounds in the lump. Usually this has happend to me when I am using fresh lump (some brands much more than others), have the dampers slightly opened for a low and slow, and then I lift the cover. The sudden rush of air helps ignite the volitile compounds. I found that when this same lump is on its second or third use, the effect is minimal if at all.[p]Since you had flames shooting out the top, I wonder if you simply had overloaded with lump.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i had this happen to me a couple weeks ago.
    i had a LOT of lump in there left over from a low and slow the day before.[p]i was intending to sear at 650-700, and so the bottom vent was wide open and the daisy was OFF. there was a roraing fire going, and whenever i burped the top, i got straight shots of flame coming out (SHOOTING out) around the gasket and about a foot in the air from the chimney.[p]i shut it, and seconds later got the same thing.
    i wanted to see how many i could get, and i finally got 8 or so in a row. no amount of burping helped.[p]TNW thought maybe all the unused VOCs from the lo and slo were the cause.[p]i dunno.[p]was very odd, and it scared the wife off trying the egg herself for a while.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    I have experienced what you describe. I have decided that when I crank up the egg, it can be dangerous to use. So, whenever I operate it at high temps, I either resign myself to losing all arm hair and eyebrows and an occasional egg top, or I go out and get a good fire glove and stand a bit away when I open the thing. The fire glove is the better option.[p][p]
  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    BluesnBBQ,[p]I don't think flashback is the issue here. The thread awhile back about the TRex method (sear with dome open or closed) pretty much solved this problem for me. I had been searing with the dome closed, too. Now, I leave it open and this method works much better for me. That being said, there is another factor that can contribute to the condition you describe with the dome open or closed. That would be a "high fat" cook previous to your steak cook. My worst experience was doing a steak the night after I had done about 40 chicken thighs direct (not all at once!). When I got the Egg up to 700° and opened the dome to sear the steak, I think the rendered fat that had fallen into the charcoal added fuel to the fire, so to speak. It was all I could do to get the lid closed without burning up my mitt. Generally, I have no problems at all, especially after the lesson learned![p]Jim
  • ColaCookerColaCooker Posts: 60
    When the top is down the Egg is operating in an oxygen starved condition and when the top is lifted the availability of oxygen causes the flashback. The egg will attempt to burn as much fuel as quickly as possible with the available oxygen. When you open the top and let in oxygen it is exactly the same as throwing gasoline on an open fire. The open fire, in this case, is burning in a fuel starved condition because it gets all the oxygen it can use. Did I help or did I further confuse the matter?

  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    hounddog,[p]I've had similar results and have come to the same solution. Fire Gloves and a long pair of steak tongs.[p]Keep em Smokin,

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I've never had this problem, but then I use an expanded stainless steel grate and perhaps the additional oxygen helps to keep the VOC's consumed. But I've never had a flashback with both vents wide open. But as always, you can never really tell, so it is best to be careful whenever you are using high heat.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • The Naked Whiz,[p]I have had the same problem. I do not think he is saying that he's having an actual flashback. He is saying that with his top off and bottom open, he had flames shooting out of the top of the grill. I have had them shoot out of mine up to two feet high. When that is happening, there is so much fire inside the egg, once you lift the lid, the flames escape out, similar to a backdraft, but not the same. I don't think they are as strong as backdraft flames, but close enough. I'm not sure, but I think that is more of a problem of not letting the fresh lump burn enough volatiles off before opening the lid. I'm not sure, I would also like to know how to minimize flames at 750 degrees. Didn't mean to ramble.[p]SS
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