Why do pellet grills explode? It might be a new question for you as pellet grills are high in demand because of their versatility, easy to use, and wood-fired flavored food. People are buying pellet smokers more than ever before but they don’t know that pellet grills can explode too.
Yes, you read right. As there is a big chance of pellet grills exploding so what to do?
Should we shift to other grilling options?
Or do we quit grilling?
These are the common next questions that may appear in your mind but wait.
After researching deep about all the reasons why pellet grills explode I have come up with a few reasons, tips, and tricks to avoid such explosions. Want to know?
Why do pellet grills explode?
Pellet grills explode when they come across any irregular or sudden breakdown or shut down. When a pellet grill faces anything that turns it off abruptly, the gas gathers in it causing an explosion of the pellet grill.
It is really important to know why pellet grills explode as we don’t want to have any danger to our families while enjoying the grilled food.
I remember the day when we bought our first pellet grill and I was quite excited about it.
But as a matter of safety, I researched everything about how pellet grills work? and how to stop them from exploding.
So before knowing the reasons you should know how pellet grills work?
How a pellet grill work?
As we have discussed a detailed working of a pellet grill, you know the pellets are fed to the firepot through auger. As the auger feeds the fire pot as much as it can, the firepot gets full before it starts burning the pellets. Once the firepot is full, the combustion starts because of the ignition of the pellets. After the pellets ignite, the grill starts working on a normal pattern.
If you come across an irregular shut down of your grill because of a power outage or a flameout, you get a lot of unburnt residual pellets in the firepot. The unburnt pellets result because of the irregular or improper shutdown.
So the residual pellets stay there in the firepot without any further burning and when you turn on the grill again, the auger feeds the fire pot as much as possible according to its principle. As the firepot already consists of unburned pellets along with the upcoming new feed of pellets, the huge amount of these pellets cause an explosion when the igniter ignites the pellets.
To avoid any explosions, it is really important to make sure the proper and regular shut down of the grill. Want to know the way to shut down?
Here you go.
How to shut down a pellet grill safely?
Usually, every pellet grill has its own instruction of shut down with a general rule or principle of a shutdown time after you turn down the temperature. When you are done with your cook, keep the cover of the grill closed and set the temperature at 200 F for five minutes. It helps to burn all the leftover pellets in the firepot and does not leave any residual pellets.
This way there are no chances of any remaining unburned pellets and next time you will have a regular start of the grill.
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How do I know whether the pellet grill shuts down correctly or not?
As a thumb rule, there should not be any residual pellets available in the firepot. There should be ash in the firepot only. When you finish cooking your meal, follow the instructions written on your grill’s manual and turn off the grill accordingly. When you follow the instructions, the residual pellets burn off, leaving the ash behind while keeping the grill safe for you.
But every time, you can’t make sure that all the pellets have burnt in case you have a power outage or flameout. The improper shutdown should be avoided right away that causes this problem.
Try to have a backup generator to avoid any power outage or flameout.
How to restart your grill after flameout or power outage?
The easiest way to restart your grill after a power outage or flameout is to check the firepot and remove all the unburned pellets before you start the grill.
As there will not be any extra fuel on the start of the grill, your grill will not explode.
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Tips to prevent pellet grill from exploding
If you don’t want to experience your pellet grill to explode, follow the following tips that miht protect your grill from explosion:
1. Your pellet grill should not run out of pellets
Whenever you cook some food items like boston butt, you may run out of pellets, causing improper shutdown of the grill.So make a habit of buying extra one packet of the pellets to avoid any mishap during your cook. Make sure your pellet grill does not run out of the pellets and give you a proper shut down, when you turn it off.
2. Use a backup power source or generator
Most of the time a power outage happens in bad weather conditions or rainy days. So in case you have planned grilling the food on a bad day, try to keep a generator handy.
3. Have a check on the firepot
Whether you have an improper shut down or not, some pellets may remain unburnt, causing trouble when you turn on the grill next time. So it is always recommended to keep an eye on the firepot, before, during and after you have completed your cooking process. This small precautionary measure can keep you and your loved ones safe.
4. Open the lid before stating the grill
Another important practice is to open the lid before you start the grill. The pellets take a few seconds to gnite,when you start a grill. So when you start it while the lid remains open. The air travels in the grill and does not let the gas to entrap in the grill. Once the smoke gets clear you can safely turn off the grill and increase the temperature as per your requirement.
5. Keep a fire hydrant handy
If you keep a fire hydrant handy, you can use it immediately to put off the fire in case of any fire. You might not need it ever, but keeping it with you may add protection and safety to your grilling experience. Moreover in case of any grease fire, it can benefit you.
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When you start your grilling journey, make sure to learn all the pros and cons of its usage. Try to follow all the SOPs and make sure that you use it with someone who already has an experience of using it. If you are a newbie and are alone, try not to leave any pellets unburnt and keep a check on the firepot. Use the instructions and keep your grill safe from exploding.
Having a pellet grill does not put you in danger as they seldom explode. So just follow the instructions, use wisely and enjoy your wood smoked food happily.