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Preventing Grease Fires in Vertical Smoker?


Joined May 25, 2019
Smoked chickens in a vertical propane smoker, took one off and it poured grease straight onto the bottom of the smoker; caught fire almost immediately. Luckily noticed it happened, disconnected everything, and choked the fire off. Avoided burning down the house.

Does anyone have suggestions on preventing a grease fire when the food sits directly above the element?
I thought about putting a sheet pan between the flame and food but will that just ruin the air flow?


Smoke Blower
Joined May 19, 2017
I have a charcoal vertical. I used a sand pan for temperature stability and it catches the drippings which prevents fires. Perhaps you can put a drip pan on the bottom shelf?


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
A water bowl would have prevented that more than likely

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
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Group Lead
Joined May 12, 2011
Foil pans that leave 2+" to the walls and door won't effect temp. MES 40 grates are 12"×19". Used a 9"× 13" aluminum pan every smoke with no issues...JJ


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Put a disposable aluminum pan on the shelf under the grate your cooking on. The WSM has a factory water pan sitting under the lower grate. There is less then an inch clearance from the pan to the sidewalls of the WSM. No airflow issues. Make sure you either put some liquid, sand or a layer of aluminum foil in the pan to prevent burning of the drippings.


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