Grease fires aren’t too common on pellet grills, although even the most seasoned griller
can experience one. The pros at Team Pit Boss are here to help with a quick guide for taming a grease fire,
like a boss. Below you will learn what causes grease fires, what to do when you have one, and how to prevent
them going forward.
1. WHAT CAUSES THEM?
From a technical perspective, grease fires occur in two ways. When fat or oil from food comes in direct contact
with a flame, or if the vapor from the fat or oil gets too hot and spontaneously combusts.
From a grilling perspective, your Pit Boss has a curved flame broiler plate, onto which oil or the
grease from your food drips down. Then, it catches in the lip area of the plate to eventually flow down into
the grease bucket.
Things start to go wrong when too much grease builds up and pools on the plate or if the flame broiler is open
and fat drips directly into the flame.
2. YOU’VE GOT A GREASE FIRE, NOW WHAT?
You can tame it pretty quickly, with three easy Rules –
Rule #1: DO NOT – we repeat, DO NOT use water.
Water is essential to life - just not to grease fires. It’s bad for the electrical equipment, and more
importantly, it reacts poorly to oil and can immediately escalate a grease fire into a raging bonfire; burning
your sweet juicy brisket right along with it.
Rule #2: Cut off the oxygen supply.
Fire needs oxygen. The more oxygen, the larger the flame. Therefore, if
you can safely close the lid. Close it. That’s the fastest way to try to lower the oxygen supply. Then, unplug
the grill to kill the igniter and fan forced convection.
Rule #3: If needed, smother the fire.
If you can’t close the lid or if the flames start to get too wild, throw some baking soda or salt on them.
Baking soda releases CO2 and salt draws the heat out of the fire, which help extinguish flames immediately. It
takes a decent amount of either kitchen item to be fully effective, so it’s best to have a refrigerator sized
box of baking soda on hand for small fires or at least a cup or more of salt for larger ones. Otherwise, as a
last resort, go straight for the fire extinguisher.
3. HOW TO PREVENT GREASE FIRES?
Defense is always the best offense.
The best way to prevent one of those fatty infernos is to keep your grill clean. Cleaning
Your Pit Boss Pellet
Grill has the best tips and tricks for
Tip# 2: Keep a close eye on fat-rich foods.
Proteins with high-fat content like bacon, brisket, pork butts, or ribeye steak produce much more grease than
other foods. If you’re grilling up one of these, make sure the slide plate flame broiler is clear, so all the
oil has a safe place to go. Before starting up the grill, check that there isn’t already grease pooled in the
lip of the plate and that it’s also clear of any food that might block the flow into the grease management
Tip #3: Avoid doing a burn off right after grilling fat-rich foods.
Most Pit Bosses like doing a burn off right after a grilling session to help clean their grill. If there is
still a lot of grease sitting inside, it’s best to do the burn off after the grill is cleaned to reduce the
chances of the oil reaching its flash point temperature – around 600°F.
Are you a boss at taming grease fires? Share some of your go-to tips and tricks with the nation at #PITBOSSNATION.