However, the chance of that is very slim unless you ignore every safety rule when it comes to cooking on a pellet grill.
In general pellet grills are safer to use than charcoal or gas grills. However, every grill can be a fire hazard and pellet grills are no exception to that rule.
Why Can A Pellet Grill Catch Fire?
Although the fire in pellet grills stays within the so-called fire pot or as some others call it the burn pot there is an open fire in there and that is always a potential fire hazard.
Most of the time a fire in a pellet grill is caused by one of the following reasons.
Grease built up on the grease drip tray.
The grease that drips from the meat while using a pellet smoker falls on the drip tray that is placed at an angle to slowly let the grease drip in a drip pan that is easy to empty after the cooking session. Too much grease on the drip tray in combination with high temperatures can cause this grease to catch on fire.
Pellets are fed too fast in the fire pot
Pellet should be fed into the fire pot at a rate that is measured by the controller and there should never be too much or not enough being transported by the auger. Electronic failures can cause the auger to dispense too many and this can cause a fire in the fire pot that will extend outside of that and cause a fire.
How To Prevent A Pellet Grill Fire?
Although many believe that you can leave a pellet grill unattended for the simple reason that they are sold as being a “set and forget” grill, I believe that you should never leave your pellet grill unattended for a longer period of time.
Keeping your pellet grill clean and especially the part where the grease drips and gets moved to the grease bucket should be cleaned after every use of your pellet grill.
More Tips For Preventing A Pellet Grill Fire
Besides the two tips I mentioned above about cleaning and auger failure, there are more things to keep in mind when it comes to fires in pellet grills.
A pellet grill needs electricity to power the electric controller inside the pellet grill and to turn the auger for moving pellets in the fire pot.
Electricity and the outdoors are most of the time, not the best combination. Since you need it you have to pay attention and here are some tips to prevent electricity from becoming a fire hazard for your pellet grill.
Keep the pellet grill as far away from any structure as you can. This will prevent the fire to jump over to that structure and make the damage even bigger.
Use a matching extension cord if you have to use one. Most pellet grills have a short cord as you can read here in most of most of my pellet grill reviews and the use of an extension cord is often a necessity. Read your manual very well and decide on an extension cord that is fitted for your voltage and wattage.
Pellet Grill Fires – My Opinion
As I mentioned above a fire in a pellet grill is something that you don’t hear a lot. However, it is still a possibility and should always be in the back of your mind while cooking on one of them.
By using common sense in combination with knowing how a pellet grill works and keeping your pellet grill clean and away from structures you eliminate about 85% of the changes on fire in my opinion.
Don’t forget my tip on using an extension cord that can handle the wattage and keep it away from water. A pellet grill is supposed to be plugged into a grounded outlet at all times.
Any tips or ideas on how to prevent a fire in a pellet grill? Feel free to share it with us.
Robert Chill loves to cook on pellet grills and uses all types of recipes and techniques to cook some awesome food. With his experience, he is able to share many reviews, tips, and ideas on how to buy a pellet grill. You can read more about him here