Door Blew off Smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smay727, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. smay727

    smay727 Newbie

    Was preheating my MasterBuilt smoker to 225 when inside the house I heard what I thought was the door to the garage slam shut. My teenage daughter thought it was the garbage truck. Any way after looking in the garage and seeing no truck I got my pork shoulder ready and headed out to the back porch to smoke it. This is what I found. The door had blown clean off only hanging on by the bottom hinge. I had to remove the top pin and straighten it out and tighten the clamp on the door as it had stretched. Re installed the door, now the shoulder is on the smoke albeit 1 hour behind schedule.

    It was my first time using the water pan and the vent on the top had become a little dirty from the smoke. This is my 5 or 6th time using it. My guess is the smoke and steam build up did the damage. I've opened the vent a bit more and hopefully that solves the problem. Just glad no one got a face full of door. Anyone else have this happen or heard of it ?

    Steve M
    bugman36092 likes this.
  2. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holy cow! errr  i mean Pork Butt.  I've read a million threads on SMF.  This is a first!  I'd say no way that pressure could have built up from steam and do that.

    Was your vent closed?  

    Might call Masterbuilt Customer service on this one.  Bet they give you a new unit.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you had a "flash over" that blew the door off...  That happens often in MES 30's if the conditions are right....   Exhaust partially closed, not enough air going in to burn the combustibles...    Had the chip chute not been locked, the chip chute would have been out in the yard and the door may have survived.....
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Must of had a batch of Atomic Buffalo Turds go off in there! [​IMG]
    bdskelly likes this.
  5. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Seems unlikely. Sure you didn't get a big gust of wind that took it off? We've been having 40-50mph gusts of wind here the last few days.
  6. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gotta ask you brother Dave. "flash over"  What is it?
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you had the door closed, which I assume you did while preheating, I would agree with Dave.

    Some guys have had their unlocked chip dumper blown out from the pressure.

    That would take a lot of pressure, but the top hinge might have been sprung already at the time.

    Glad you're back up & running.

    BTW: I don't think the water in the Pan will do you any good----I've kept mine dry for 6 years now.

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In a smoker or house or barn..... it is where the air is filled with combustible smoke particles from a smoldering fire....   when the oxygen mix get just right and a spark or burning ember is just right, the smoke particles ignite in a violent explosion....     many folks with the MES 30, have noted it here on the forum...

    I think it is because the 3 small inlet holes in the chip loader tube are inadequate for proper air flow....    I had it happen to my MES 30 twice...  then I drilled out the 3 holes to increase the make up air and it never happened again, I also leave the exhaust wide open at all times when smoke is being generated...

    Remember, smoke is comprised of  volatile distillates of the wood chips... 

    Another danger is that smoke contains flammable compounds. With increased oxygen, these can ignite either through open flames or by their own temperature. This leads to a backdraught or flashover effect.
    bdskelly likes this.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have done it with my MES30. Vent wide open, the re-loader unlocked and cracked open and a big handfull of really dry chips in the pan. It would shoot that reloader tube with enough force to got 10 or 15 feet. Too much air in the combustion cycle. Just reduce the air flow, either close the tube or partially close the vent. It was just the chips reaching their flashpoint.

    It was cool, sounded like one of those reproduction cannons going off. *POOF**

    I had to do it twice more. Once to see if I could and the second to show the neighbor. You know how it is, "oh yeah, you gotta see this....." LOL

    Mine was too much air, chips too dry. But I am amazed that it blew the door off....LOL  Do it again, do it again...LOL
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  10. gearjammer

    gearjammer Master of the Pit

    Yep, never had the smoker do it [yet], but I've

    had the wood stove do it many times.

    You hear this kind of poof and look at the stove

    there will be a puff of smoke coming out of every crevice.

    Of course the stove is much heavier and it 

    doesn't damage anything.

    But when everything gets just right - - - - - - -.

    Keep on smokin'                                           Ed
  11. stainless

    stainless Fire Starter

    I had mine do this a few days ago. I was doing some of the mods to get more smoke. I took the divider out from between the element and the chip tray. Drilled holes in the chip tray and then went to test it out. Seems like about five minutes later, I hear a whoosh sound and see the smoke blow out the vent hole. Opened the door and the chips were on fire. The mod was a little too extreme and the gas inside the cooker combusted.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Same thing can happen with a pellet grill. That is why they say open the door when lighting them.
  13. bugman36092

    bugman36092 Newbie

    Mine did the exact same thing this morning. I have a Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker although my door got bent as well as blown completely off, it was laying about 2 feet from the smoker.
  14. ab canuck

    ab canuck Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

     Wow, Crazy, I would not have thought that would have been possible with these, Learning lesson...
  15. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I suspect it is wood gas from the chips igniting.  It is basically what off gasses from wood chips in a limited oxygen environment at a certain temp range.  It will burn just like any other hydrocarbon gas.
  16. I have a Char-Broil H20 electric smoker that normally works great. But one fine day . . .

    Getting ready to smoke up some beef jerky, I turned on the smoker to preheat it. I also poured a couple of cups of Apple wood chips over the cal-rod heating element. Went back inside to finish arranging the meat on the shelves.

    I was in the kitchen about five minutes later when I thought a bomb went off outside. [​IMG]  Then I heard a lound CLANG! I looked out the window where the smoker was and all I saw was a cloud of smoke. I went outside, the smoke cleared and the smoker lid was about ten feet from the smoker, on the deck. Wisps of smoke were coming out of the barrel of the smoker, which was all askew.

    My best guess is the chips let off enough smoke to fill the smoker, then got a whiff of fresh air and caused a backdraft. I've seen several of those during my career as a firefighter, but never heard of one in a smoker. But, come to think of it, a smoker with a tight lid is an ideal candidate for such an event.
    jeepdiver likes this.

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