General Safety Around the Smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gregor, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. gregor

    gregor Smoke Blower

    Been thinking about this quite a bit since I got my Smokin-It 2D.

    Recent tragedy near me:

    Cause of the fire was thought to be from a propane smoker left on overnight.

    I've leaned the hard way with the little smoker I have to wear shoes when taking cooked meat out of it (splashed some drippings on my feet), and not to stand over the door when I open it - get a big blast of steam and smoke.

    Regarding above, I have no idea whether the smoker was close to the house or not - but guessing it was since the house caught fire. 

    Even though my little smoker uses less power than my crockpot (800w vs 1000w), I am not sure I would leave it running unattended - a grease fire inside might well leak out and set my deck on fire.  Since I have a townhouse I don't have a lot of place to run it and with kids in close proximity I would not feel comfortable running it on the lawn unattended, either.

    Anyhow would appreciate other thoughts on safety...

  2. smokingwxman

    smokingwxman Fire Starter

    Kids, keep the kids away.  Mine were running around yesterday and had to constantly be reminded to stay away.  Nothing will ruin a day quicker than a kid burning themselves on the smoker.
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Watch out for the pets as well!  
  4. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I have trouble trying to keep my dog out of the grease bucket. :biggrin:
  5. gregor

    gregor Smoke Blower

    I have a raccoon that visits and very neatly removes and licks clean the grease pan on my grill!
  6. gregor

    gregor Smoke Blower

    Well, I had a pretty good size grease fire in my Weber gas grill over the weekend.  Serious enough that I ended up pulling the fire extinguisher from the kitchen just in case it decided to spread beyond the grill to the wooden deck it sits on.

    Luckily it burned out with me not doing much except closing the lid when the flames got high.  I ended up opening it a couple times when the temp gauge went to 600F+, but otherwise just a scare.

    I've had this extinguisher for *years*.  At least since I bought the house in '96.  So I bought a new one over the weekend.  Looked up on the Kidde site and they say disposable extinguishers should be replaced every 10-12 yrs.

    No idea if this old one would even work, but I am sure glad I didn't have to find out.  I'll be taking the old one to the local firehouse to see if they can tell me how to dispose of it.
  7. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I bought a fire extinguisher the moment i ordered my Lang 36. I should have had one with my Weber but its not something you usually think about till you really need one right now! I recommend everyone go to amazon or a hardware store etc. and get a fire extinguisher for your smoker.

    I also recommend use some good gloves when putting wood on a fire.I use heat resistant food safe gloves when getting into my cook chamber when its hot (they are elbow length and different from my fire gloves) i do this because i don't like to be burned. Esp when im doing a hobby that is supposed to relax and de-stress me!

    I never wear shoes that are open toed or go barefoot. and if you smoker is on wheels and weighs over 1/4 ton like mine don't get behind it on a slope (common sense you'd think but easy to forget when moving it around).

    Oh BTW: if you use a wire brush on your racks or cooking surface. make sure to wipe down that surface and make sure you don't get any wire left behind that can get into the food. digesting a steel wire can ruin more than your weekend.

    Happy Smoking and be safe,

  8. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I got a modest Kidde A-B-C extinguisher and wall-mounted it in the garage, halfway between the kitchen and the patio with its smokers and grills. If something goes wrong and seconds matter, I'll rip it out of its mount with enough speed and force to kill a dog.
  9. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper


    A couple of years ago I had the same problem. One night, a couple of friends and I were hanging out near the smoker, with our only light coming from a lantern placed on a low tree limb, when a very large and aggressive raccoon kept approaching from the shadows, wanting both the grease bucket and the seasoning/rubs trash that had been mounting in a nearby bucket. It got so bad that one of the guys thought he was going to have to shoot the critter, who was acting like he just might bite someone. After failing several times to scare him off I grabbed the 2/3s full grease bucket (five or six pork butts, ribs etc.) and emptied it in a shallow draw located about 50 feet away. After a while we noticed the raccoon scurry out of the woods and go directly to where all the rendered fat was puddled.

     The next morning, I discovered the raccoon out on the gravel driveway, stretched out and belly up. I thought it was dead but as I approached, I could hear it faintly moaning. The poor thing seemed to have one hell of a belly ache from all that fat.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016

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