Unveiling the Mystery: Why Did My Grill Catch On Fire?

May 05, 2023 5 min read

Why Did My Grill Catch On Fire

Grilling is a fun experience for everyone; however, if you are not careful, a simple, fun activity can become dangerous and downright frustrating. Sometimes your grill can catch on fire, and that can result in a lot of problems, including damage to property and injury to your friends or family.

There are many reasons why a grill may catch fire. As someone who likes to grill, you should know about all these things so that you can prevent the fire from starting and spreading.

Reasons That Your Grill Catches Fire

Let’s talk about a few reasons that every grilling enthusiast should know.

Oil Dripping Down To The Coal

When you are cooking food on a grill, it is very common for the oil to drip down to the grate. Sometimes the fat from the meat can also drip down. When it comes in contact with the coals, it causes the grill to light up. This usually happens when you coat the food in oil or other similar marinades. If you are not quick in your response, the fire may spread.

Insects Can Block The Grill Tubes

If you do not maintain your grill properly, then the gas tubes in your grill will become home to many insects, including spiders. Insects may build webs and nests inside the tube which can block the transfer of gas from the gas cylinder to the grill. In such a case, some of the gas can get trapped in the tube and leak out through other ways. If it leaks out near the knob of the grill, it can cause the grill to flare up.

The Burners Are On, But The Grill Cover Is Down

When the grill is covered, but the burners are still on, then the grill can overheat, and the grease build-up in the grill can then catch fire due to the increased heat.

Lighter Fluid

Many people use things like lighter fluid to ignite their grill, and if you use too much of the lighter fluid, then the grill can catch on fire quite quickly. This can also cause a flare-up that ignites the grease and fat on the grates. It's important to use the right amount of lighter fluid and let it burn off before you start cooking. This will save the grill from flaring up, and using a reasonable amount of lighter fluid will also not affect the taste of the food. If you use too much of the lighter fluid, your food might get the smell and taste of oil in your food.

The Grill Is Damaged

It is important to maintain your grill properly even when you are not using it. Try to keep it in a place where it wouldn’t get damaged and where it wouldn’t get dirty. A damaged grill is bound to become leaky at some point. So before you light up the grill on your next BBQ, check it for damages to avoid any issues. One thing to look for is to check if your gas hose is working fine.

The Propane Tank Is Damaged

In some cases, your grill might be working fine, but it might be your propane tank that’s damaged. A leaky propane tank cannot just cause fire, but if there is a large leak it can also result in an explosion, so it is vital that you check the LPG tank for any leaks before you attach it to the grill. 

Leaving The Grill Unattended

When you are having a BBQ, never leave the grill unattended, especially if there are kids there as well. If you leave the grill unattended and there is no one to look at the temperature, then the grill might overheat, and the grease might start flaring up. If someone is there Infront of the grill at all times, the many mishaps can be avoided. The person who is at the grill can quickly identify issues and resolve them. A simple decision to leave the grill unattended can have many dangerous consequences. 

Having An Awning Right Above The Grill

Most people like to do BBQs in their backyard, and usually, there are awnings and wooden decks, and decorations in the backyard. If you place the grill near one of these places, then they are sure to catch fire when the temperature rises. Many people like to have an awning right above the grill to protect themselves from the sun when they are working on the grill. This might save you from the sunlight, but it can be a safety hazard as the awing can easily catch fire and spread to other parts of the backyard. 

Tips To Prevent Your Grill From Catching Fire

Now, let's talk about some of the things you can do to save your grill from catching on fire. 

Be Proactive When Grilling

When you are getting ready to grill, it is vital to be proactive. Take all safety precautions and always be prepared to face any issues. Keep mittens nearby, move all the combustible things away from the grill, get yourself some long tongs so that your hands don’t burn, keep a fire extinguisher close to you. 

Don’t Ever Pour Water On The Grill

The first instinct of people when they are looking to put out grill fire is to pour water on it. This is something that you should never do. Pouring water on the grease fire will cause the fire to spread, and it will get tougher to put out the fire. 

Keep Your Grill Clean

The simplest way you can save your grill from catching fire is to keep it clean. After every use, make sure to scrape the grates and clean the drip pans. This will help prevent grease and fat from building up and potentially starting a fire. Plus, no one wants to cook on a dirty grill anyway. 

Try Not To Do A BBQ During Windy Days

When it is windy outside, there is a high chance that the oxygen will get into the firebox, and when oxygen comes in contact with fire, it can cause flare-ups. Your grill can catch a dangerous amount of fire during windy days. In addition, windy days aren’t the ideal time for a BBQ anyway. 

Try To Get Rid Of The Fat Before You Put The Meat On The Grill

When the meat is grilled, the fat drips down to the grate and causes flare-ups. If you trim the fat off the meat before you place it on the grill, you can minimize the risk of flare-ups. If you don’t know how to trim the fat off the meat, then it is better to get it cut from someone else who is an expert; otherwise, you might end up cutting a larger portion than what is required. 

Set A Two Zone Heat System

Always set up a two-zone heat system when you are grilling. Put all the coals on one side of the grill and keep the other side empty. The side with the coal will be called the hot zone, while the empty side will be called the colder zone. So in case the grill catches fire, you can move the food to the cooler zone of the grill. This will save your food from getting overcooked or burnt during the fire. You can then try to put out the fire and bring the food back to the hotter side. 

Also Read: Why Does My Gas Grill Gets Too Hot On Low Setting?

Final Thoughts

Grills catch on fire when grease and fat build-up and ignite. It can happen for a variety of reasons, including not cleaning your grill often enough, using too much lighter fluid, or leaving your grill unattended. However, with a little bit of care and attention, you can prevent your grill from catching on fire and enjoy delicious backyard barbecues all summer long.

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