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Too Much Fire!!! Traeger help sought

graywolf1936

Meat Mopper
293
34
Joined Jan 21, 2014
 
I changed aluminum foil and thoroughly leaned out inside of Trager unit because last time I cooked chicken thighs the unit burst into flames and burnt chicken to crisp. Thought it might be too much grease on aluminum foil.

So I smoked 16 chicken thighs again today.  The 3 hour smoking part went great. Then set heat to 300 for 30 minutes. After 25 minutes I saw smoke billowing out of unit, opened it up and again it burst into flames -- and again all of my chicken has turned to charcoal.

It was definitely a grease fire that became intense when lid open and exposed to oxygen.

Why would the grease build up -- shouldn't it melt and go into the pot?

I recommended Trager to my neighbor and they recently bought unit at Costco. . Same thing happened to them on Thanksgiving with a turkey. It went up in flames and was uneditable. 

Is there a design defect or are we doing something wrong?
 The first time I put foil in the pan I forgot to punch a hole for the drippings to run down and out, also do you have the pan at an angle. Sorry for the simple questions but don't see how the drippings can not run down.  I also mold tin foil around the outside of the pail, then insert it in the pail, helps with clean up.
 

mr62buick

Newbie
1
10
Joined Jan 18, 2015
My traeger actually caught fire all by itself. I usedmy grill 3 days prior, then shut off the switch and dial. Yhen last weekend my wife and i were smelling smoke...it got worse by the minute. We looked outside to see what neighbors house was on fire. Instead, my wife said. Our traeger was smoking so much on its own and the original circuit board was blinking on its own. We unplugged the machine, opened the lid and the grill, cover, lid,lower pellet cover were warped from heat and the powdercoating on the lid was blistered. I wrote to traeger and sent pics. Without question, they sent me a new bbq in the mail and they told me to remove the main front control board and send it to them...is there a recall or fire danger from this older board? The board on this grill did not have the cooldown features next tovthe x dial. Hmmmmm, anyone got a housefire????:
 

pitt0519

Newbie
2
10
Joined Jan 21, 2015
So what did Traeger say when you called them about your grill catching fire and torching your paint? This happened to me.
 

cmail1977

Newbie
2
10
Joined Sep 7, 2015
Help! We started the grill as usual, came out 10 mins later and grill in flames. Looks like pellets overflowed. We cleaned it up and turned it on. Is this what the flame does, shoot out like this? We just thought it was in the box. Also smoking out of side box where pellets go.
 

gordonm

Newbie
1
10
Joined May 23, 2016
Same thing happened to mine. Filled the bottom with pellets looked like a bed of hot campfire coals, Entire chamber paint bubbled off melted the thermos blanket pretty much destroyed a $500 smoker. Have lots of photos of destroyed smoker available.  Traeger's response, sorry out of warranty.
 

vol47

Newbie
6
10
Joined Nov 25, 2015
Mine just caught fire and the pot was totally empty when I turned it to smoke - 'cause I just painted it from when it caught fire about a month ago. Very little wind...family coming to eat in 4 hours.
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,826
609
Joined Nov 26, 2012
This might be a sign from above that it is time for a new smoker. 
 

yaerger

Newbie
2
10
Joined Sep 12, 2017
I've read this whole post. I've had my Traeger about 4 years and just had my second fire. This one almost got out of hand. I called Traeger because I was just fed up having to babysit the smoker. Well, of course, after sending pics, they're sorry and can't help. May we suggest you buy a new barrel? I'm so frustrated.
Now, I'm terrified to start the thing up again!!!!
 

old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,826
609
Joined Nov 26, 2012
If the fear is legitimate, and I suppose it is,  look at getting a Cookshack  electric (Made in OK) for smoking and a Weber kettle for grilling. If the Cookshack is too pricey, look at the Smokin-it.
 

roger47

Fire Starter
64
12
Joined Aug 22, 2017
Thanks for that info Armchair!  I've never had that problem but I have had to replace 2 hot rods. After the second replacement I just disconnected the hot rod electrical.  I now fill a hand full of pellets into the fire pit and light them with a torch. It works for me and I now don't have a hot rod operating continually.  Should I have a flame out, there won't be a fire because there isn't a hot rod to start it.      I don't mind starting my Traeger in this manner.  I did however learn from your post on how the P settings actually work.  I didn't know that the P settings only apply to the"Smoke" mode.

Thanks again

roger
 

MR7CLEAN

Newbie
1
0
Joined Jul 6, 2018
I've had my Traeger big Texas for about 5 years. Luckily i have never had a fire. I vacuum it out regularly (Approx. every 8 hours of cooking). I also cover my drip pan with aluminum foil and replace foil after each use. I hope this helps someone.

Mr7clean
 

KC Smoker

Newbie
1
0
Joined Jul 31, 2018
We have a Traeger that just smoked as was described. I did what most of you have described. The fire aspect worries me. We live in a condo that does not allow charcoal or propane grills. That is how I met my first Traeger (Up to 3 now KC, AZ, travel). We use it 4 - 5 times a week with little cleaning. I plan to increase cleaning in the future. Even when it is clean there is fire in the hole I assumed that was normal but now I am concerned. Any advice?

KC Smoker
 

airmec

Fire Starter
44
21
Joined Dec 6, 2016
None of the Traeger controllers I have had would relight when the temp drops. If you upgrade to a better controller with a relight cycle you should not have the build up of pellets since if they can't relight they turn off. As for the build up of ash around the igniter I converted my hot rod to a RecTec ceramic, it blows air through and around the igniter and after three 40lb bags of pellets there was no build up of ash in the fire pot just everywhere else. The best thing about the Traeger is there is a large selection of better made parts out there that fit the bad thing is when you are done upgrading you could have just bought a Yoder
 

airmec

Fire Starter
44
21
Joined Dec 6, 2016
Savanna Stoker makes the controller I use if you check them out on Facebook you can see many of the features and other advantages gotten in many different makes of grills. Ceramic ignition, 10ga stainless fire pot, and stainless hinges that support the hood and fit better (at least than mine did ) from RecTec. Don Godke Downdraft system holds in the heat and smoke use less pellets and at least to me adds more flavor. Smoke Daddy for a high output 2rpm auger motor (at 550 degrees I decided it was hot enough and it was still climbing) and I also added one of his cold smokers for low temp smoking of bacon and sausage and just ordered one of his 35lb hoppers so I can add a line in switch (more room for electrics ) Then back to Savanna Stokers for a higher efficiency fan, amazon for door gasket, glue and a door latch to seal it all up and keep the heat and smoke where it belongs. That leaves only the sheet metal that came from Traeger and when it cools down around here I am removing the grease drain and installing a 2in ball valve to control the smoke even more and at least now I am happy with my grill but if the new Rectec 700 had been out when I started upgrading I would have just gotten it all shiny and stainless and the only thing I would miss is the three step cook feature on the SS controller
 

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