Low boom from vertical smoker and embers on the deck

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Original poster
Nov 23, 2021
I have a Pit Boss Series 4 vertical smoker and I am a relative newbie to the smoker world. I have done a few pork shoulders, some briskets, and ribs in the past, but only on a very occasional basis.

Yesterday I decided to smoke a pork shoulder for dinner. I cleaned the burn pot out in the morning and started the smoker up at 250. It was going all day until late last night when I heard a low boom that sounded like something igniting. I didn't immediately react to the first one, but over the next 20 minutes or so I heard it two more times. I went outside to check the smoker and saw there were multiple glowing embers sitting on my deck. The temperature inside the smoker was still right around what it was set at, so there didn't appear to be any grease fire

I immediately unplugged the smoker, then hooked up a hose and sprayed the deck down underneath the smoker just to be safe. It was dark outside, so I wasn't able to inspect at the time, and I'm working currently so I still haven't had a time to check it in the daylight, but I wanted to check whether anyone knows what could have happened.

1) What could have caused the repeated booms?
2) How could the embers have got onto the deck? The cabinet was enclosed and the drawer was in place to catch anything falling from the pot.

As much as I enjoy smoked meats, it isn't worth burning my house down, so I'm hoping someone can provide some suggestions based on what I observed. Thanks!
Welcome to our site, not sure how they got out of the burn pot but stop smoking on a wooden deck, To much chance of something going wrong, did it run low of pellets? on a flame out pellets can pile up then smoke can build up and cook off,.
did it run low of pellets? on a flame out pellets can pile up then smoke can build up and cook off,.
You are absolutely right. I had never had it run out of pellets before while cooking, but I opened the hopper up and it was empty. Along with that, the tray underneath was completely full of pellets and ash, so it looks like that is what allowed some embers to spill out onto the deck. I think a good cleaning is in order and then it should be fine for next time.

As for smoking on the wood deck, I don't really have any other good options, BUT one thing I hadn't considered before is that the natural gas line that runs to my grill is under the deck right where my smoker is currently positioned. So while I might not be able to get the smoker off the deck entirely, I think I will move it somewhere away from that gas line just to be safe.
get some 12"x12" pavers and problem solved for embers
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