Major Bummer!!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by scootermagoo, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. scootermagoo

    scootermagoo Smoking Fanatic

    Hello all,

    Not a good start to Thanksgiving.  I had an incident this morning.  I got Reefer Madness up to temp and placed the turkeys in.  While the smoker was pumping in pellets to recover from the heat loss of opening the door, about 15 minutes in some of the bacon butter from under the skin melted and somehow got around the drip pan and started a fire in the smoker and it just escalated from there.  It was fairly bad.  The turkeys are blackened and sooty, totally ruined. 

    All is not lost, though.  We called Festival Foods, a major grocery store chain, and they are preparing 2 turkeys for us.  I am so bummed out.  I never gave the butter a thought.  Maybe at 225 it wouldn't have been a problem, 325.....BIG flame, too hot.

    So take note, folks.  Bacon butter burns like Napalm. Be careful with it and control the grease and butter in your smoker.  Next time...........NO BACON BUTTER!

    The up side:
    • It's a good thing I was out there to stop the fire when I did.  It could have been much worse.  The only thing that got ruined was the temp probe.
    • The smoker survived, it's built like a tank.  All cleaned up already and doing a gentle 225 burn as we speak.
    • I didn't burn down the garage or start the adjacent vehicle on fire.
    • and, we still have turkey.  Just not mine.
    Still thankful.
  2. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    Sorry to hear! The turkey might be savable though, you might be able to cut off the top burnt layer and find good meat underneath? how long was it "on fire"
  3. yardbird

    yardbird Meat Mopper


    that's all I got.... just.... yikes!
  4. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks, now next year along with hearing over and over again how dangerous frying your turkey is they will be warning us about smoking them also.

    Glad all ended as well as it did with nothing lost but a couple birds and a small smoker part.

    hope the rest of your day is uneventful.
  5. scootermagoo

    scootermagoo Smoking Fanatic

    The actual fire was less than a minute.  But I can smell the burnt insulation from the temp probe.  I tossed the turkeys already.
  6. I had a similar incident yesterday in the water pan of my smoker. I guess enough stuff dripped down into there, when I opened the door I heard a "woof" and the next thing I knew I had 3' tall flames coming out. Luckily I had heavy gloves on and was able to get the turkey out and put the fire out without any major damage.

    Glad you and your place is good and not all is lost. There will be more birds that will be smoked.
  7. scootermagoo

    scootermagoo Smoking Fanatic

    The up side.............being I trashed my old probe on my therm, it looks like I am going to have to get that Maverick ET-732 now, darn it!  Great deals on them on Todd's site today.  Early Xmas for me.
  8. I guess you learned a lesson here, although I am no teacher, I think you statement about no more turkey butter is wrong.  Put the turkey in a tin foil pan and put that in smoker, change nothing in the recipe you used.  That way anything that drops out remains in the pan. 

    Everything I smoke is in or on tin foil and I see no difference then when not used.
  9. scootermagoo

    scootermagoo Smoking Fanatic

    Doesn't the pan prevent that sweet, thin, blue smoke from caressing the bird?  (That sounds dirty).  Maybe a pan directly below it?  I do have a drip pan in the smoker but the bacon butter breached my last line of defense and ignited, because I didn't place the pan directly underneath the birds, apparently.


    What actually makes me sad is the fact that those turkeys gave their lives for nuthin'............seriously, that actually makes me sad.  They went in the trash.  [​IMG]
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't put any meats directly in a pan when smoking. For most cooks the drip pan goes on the rack below. In some instances I put a wire rack right on top of the drip pan and the meat on the wire rack, then into the smoker. It is important to have something to catch really really greasy cooks, especially those involving bacon!
  11. scootermagoo

    scootermagoo Smoking Fanatic

    Ah, YEAH!  Boy, did I find out the hard way!

    And, again, I am so thankful I didn't lose the entire smoker.  I would have been devastated.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013

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