MES explosion

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dieselbear, Jan 16, 2010.

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  1. dieselbear

    dieselbear Fire Starter

    Anyone ever experienced a MES combusting and blowing wood chips out the side fill hole soon after you begin heating?
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Did you have the chip loader in place?
  3. bustintires

    bustintires Smoke Blower

    yes. but it was due to the use of aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch drippings. traps the smoke and heats it up to the point of igniting. shot flames out the feed hole.
  4. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    Nope....... (knock on Hickory or Mesquite)
  5. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No I haven't had any trouble and cannot invision how it could happen unless one applied some sort of accelerant to the wood. Plain old wood wouldn't explode.

    Can you give us a little more detail?

    Qview of the event if any.
  6. dieselbear

    dieselbear Fire Starter

    yes, the chip tray was in correct place. Also the side trap door was shut. I'm wondering if I had too many chips and too much smoke, causing the smoke to ignite. Like a flashover in a structure fire.
  7. bustintires

    bustintires Smoke Blower

    also keep the flue open
  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That problem was solved with the recall by late 2006, no problem since 2006.

    To the best of my knowledge, the wood chips are smouldering in a slow, low-temperature, flameless form of combustion, sustained by enough heat and a minimum amount of oxygen. But the when enough heat is produced from the elements and the surrounding metal parts heat up plus the unsmoldering wood heats too, the result is a higher heat and when a sudden rush of oxygen occurs (when the wood chip tray was opened) rapid combustion could take place. There is a whoosh - poooff sound, and apparently in the recall some small fires started inside the cooker, which could ignite grease.

    It is still possible to make this occur in later MES models, by overloading the wood tray. If you keep your wood to the amount suggested or less in the manual, you shouldn't have any problem. I did have such a whoosh - pooff occur once or twice when I first bought the MES it happened following preheat where I got the MES up to 270 and then added wood, then 30 minutes later when I returned to add more wood and either open the hatch or the wood tray there would be a small poooff. As i said this only happened when brand new, since I haven't had it happen. THERE NEVER WAS a fire, just the sound meaning the wood did not ignite as it did prior to the recall.

    Comments about the changes to resolve the recall....
  9. dieselbear

    dieselbear Fire Starter

    No accelerant was used. I did have the water pan wrapped in tin foil. Had Baby back started on the 2-2-1,,explosion happened in first 20 min. temp was set to 212degrees
    only had two racks in smoker. I know the wood won't explode,, I'm wondering if somehow the smoke ignited.
    I had the top flute open all the way.
  10. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you have a lot of wood smoking along real well and you give it more oxygen by say opening the door, or pulling out the chip loader part way, I could see how that could cause an immediate "poof" of all the wood lighting into flames all at the same time.

    Smoke is more combustible than you might think - blow out a candle and right after that while it's still smoking good, you can put a match in the smoke-line and light the candle again from a good 1" or more above the wick.
  11. dieselbear

    dieselbear Fire Starter

    yes, that is exactly what happened..same as yours...
    I'll try less chips.
  12. bignick

    bignick Meat Mopper

    Mine has made the loud "POOF" sound, I figured it was a rush of oxygen hitting the fired chips.
  13. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One thing I do is spread the wood chips out rather than put a clump in the tray. This makes for shorter smoke time with the chips spread out vs a clump, but you shouldn't have any sudden combustion issues. If I want longer smoke times I use chunks.
  14. I have had this happen a few time to when it was windy out and the chip loader was in the direction of the wind. It scared the hell out of me the first time and it did start a fire inside. I don't put in the wind anymore if I have to I put something by the chip loader to block the wind.
  15. brohnson

    brohnson Smoking Fanatic

    Smoke will NEVER ignite, it's the gases in the smoke that ignite.
  16. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well knock me down and call me shorty, you learn something gnu on SMF every day.

    Thanks for the explanation guys.
  17. Cliff Claven mode ON...

    It's a little known fact that the vapors released from incomplete combustion of wood can then be condensed to produce Wood Alcohol. That was a fun experiment in Jr High...
    So there are definately volatile vapors in the smoke.
  18. tinyrv

    tinyrv Newbie

    Could it have been the foil on the rack? Not allowing the air to flow, the heated air just took the path of least resistance, heated air dose expand.
  19. dieselbear

    dieselbear Fire Starter

    I don't intend to debate you, but I'm not sure how you figure that smoke will NEVER ignite. Smoke WILL ignite when heated and introduced to an ignition source. Smoke is particles of carbon being produced by combustion and carried into the air... Even dust mixed with air can ignite when introduced to an ignition source.
  20. flyhigh123

    flyhigh123 Smoke Blower

    i had a grease fire and my MES was purchased a few months ago...

    i opened the front door to check the meat, and a quick woosh and the whole MES was on fire..

    i really didnt know what to do, as the flames was pretty big, about 2 feet high...

    anyways, even though it was a grease fire, i grabbed my spray bottle and sprayed which in the beginning didn't work, but then was able to put it out. I tried closing the door to sufficate it but it didnt work...

    this was an all frantic 1 minute of me running around like a chicken with its head cut off... lol

    i think there are still deisgn flaws...

    luckily i was able to finish my brisket and nothing was damaged...

    however there is all the dark black fluid that did come out the back... a very thick grease i was assuming... but was worried it could be plastic...
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