There can be several reasons that a pellet grill can catch on fire and here I will explain the most common ones.
Many people are thinking that cooking on a pellet grill is maintenance free but it is clear that this is not the case.
Although a pellet grill is easy to use as you can read in the many pellet grill reviews I did they still can catch on fire just as any other grill.
If you like to see stats on grill fires you can find them here https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-causes/osGrills.pdf.
There are no separate stats for the types of grill used and I understand that.
Pellet Grill Components And Fire Hazards
It is not one component in a pellet grill that is the single cause of a pellet grill fire. It is the combination of two or a few of them that can cause the fire.
What Can Cause A Pellet Grill fire?
Here are the causes and combinations in a pellet grill that can cause a fire.
Grease built up
Built-up grease is one of the most mentioned causes of any grill fire.
we all know that you need electricity to run a pellet grill and although a low risk there is a change in an electric fire in the control box.
Auger Keeps moving
The pellets are fed in the fire pot through the rotation of the auger and if the auger keeps moving too fast or too long there can be too many pellets in the fire pot to start a fire.
Auger not moving
If the auger stops moving while there is a fire in the firepot the fire can get into the auger and slowly move to the hopper where all the pellets are stored.
How To Prevent A Pellet Grill Fire
We all know the saying that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and in the case of a pellet grill fire that is actually easy to do.
keeping your grill clean is probably the most important step to take. As I mentioned grease and fire are the most common cause of pellet grill fires.
You can read some tips on how to clean a grill here.
None of us, or of the people I know, is to eager on cleaning a grill but it is the best fire prevention action you can take.
Maintain The Moving Parts
As described above the auger needs to be able to move the pellets from the hopper to the fire pot.
Keeping the auger free from any obstruction is not too hard to do. Make sure your pellets can’t get wet. I have seen pictures that they change almost in concrete when they get wet and dry out.
Do Not Use Your Pellet Grill In The Rain.
Water and electricity are born enemies and do not go hand in hand.
So, keeping your pellet grill out of the rain is the best tip for that. Although some manuals mention it should be possible I think it is better not to take any risks.
If you can keep it under a porch or in the open door of your garage.
A more general tip is to use the correct extension cord for your model pellet grill.
More Tips To Prevent Pellet Grill Fires
Many of the tips above are also for other types of outdoor grills. Here are some more general tips on safe grilling.
One of the best things to have in and around your house is a fire extinguisher and I found some that are very affordable. You can see it on this page for the best fire extinguisher for the grill.
If you don’t have one at least keep your garden hose ready.
Distance To Buildings
If you read your grill manual and don’t we al forget that, there are tips on how far to place your pellet grill from any type of building for safe grilling.
Keep Your Eye On It
Although many think that a pellet grill is set and forget it still needs to be watched to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Pellet Grill Fire Safety – My Opinion
Fire safety should be a normal part of our lives and using a pellet grill only adds a new possibility for a fire.
However, with the tips here in this article we must be able to use our pellet grill in a safe way every time and cook some great food on it.
Keeping a pellet grill clean and free of grease built up is in my opinion the most important thing to do to keep it safe from catching on fire.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken