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So there I was, sitting out by the pool on a fantastic spring morning in Las Vegas with a cup of coffee and a brisket about 30 minutes into a nice smoke in my model 55, looking forward to some great Q tonight. When all of the sudden, the quietness of the morning was rudely interrupted when the model 55 let out a very loud and shout duration hissing sound followed by a bang. It sounded like a rush of steam being released from somewhere. Eeker

My poor dog Charlie bout jumped out of his skin (he was worried about his leftovers). Razzer

I peeked inside and all appeared normal with the exception of a bit of flame coming from the wood box. 5 minutes later, all looked normal.

Has anybody experienced this before?
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Thanks. Sounds like it is a bit normal. Maybe next time it won't be so alarming.

Perhaps I was a bit sensitive as my previous (much lesser brand) smoker caught fire and resulted in a conflagration and some very overdone salmon. Plus I don't think the powder from the fire extinguisher was ever meant to be a dry rub.
I experienced the 'Big Bang' tonight for the first time.

I was taking pictures of the smoke rolling out of the vents on my Amerique. I turned around to take a pic of the dog spazzing out when it happened.

Reminded me of a potato gun failure I was involved in one time lots of smoke and wondering what the heck just happened.

After the smoke cleared I got to thinking how embarrassing it would be if the neighbors saw it and called the Fire Deptartment since I am a volunteer......

But after a quick search of the forums I was able to convince my wife it was "normal".
I had it happen a several times since I got my 009. I figured it had something to do with the amount of wood being used but not sure what was happening. The first time it happened I got all excited and didn't know what to expect when I opened the door. The big bang has happened several times since then and I don't think anything of it now.

From an old thread:

The big bang
Originally posted by Smokenque:
There was a good description of a "bang" by a fireman on either this forum or one of the others I've signed up for.

It might have to do with partially burned fuel that is in the atmosphere of the smoker. This, as I understand, is early on in the smoke.

The inside of the smoker is controlled in how much oxygen is allowed inside, creating a lot of smoke rather than fire. I've had this inadvertently happen when I opened the box early on, like about the 30 minutes that jimbie mentioned. That inrush of oxygen, reacting with the rich smoke caused the wood to ignite and created mini fireball. I only cracked the door and after the flash, boom.. the door was sucked closed.

While I don't know the technicalities of it.. there can be a mini explosion that you might not hear when grease or smoke ignites causing a big puff. When that is finished, fresh oxygen filled air is pulled in the holes to replace that air that expanded and blew out the holes and gaps around the door. That large amount of oxygen can cause a bigger bang or pop.

Most incidences I've heard about are usually in the early stages of a new smoker. After a bit of time, the smoke residue seals enough of the gaps to minimize the intrusion of air, other than was designed into the unit.
Well SmokinOkie, you got me thinking now. Not always the best thing for me to do, but anyway, here are a few of my rambling thoughts on the subject. Roll Eyes

This morning I put 2 racks of ribs in the 009 and 1 chunk of wood (no bark). After 35 minutes I could smell a little of the smoke in the shop, which is normal since I left the door open to the garage where the smoker is. I went out to make sure the exhaust fan was drawing out the smoke and it was, as usual. While I was standing there looking right at the smoker it put on a show for me. There was a whooooosh and pop, and then a lot of smoke came out the top hole and around the door. After a few minutes the smoke was back to normal.

Now here are some details. The smoker was on for 35 minutes, it was 55 degrees in the garage and the ribs were right out of the fridg and cold. So the meat was not warm enough to produce grease. The hickory wood was some I had for 3 years so it was extremely dry.

I believe that what is happening is similar to what happens when burning coal in a stove. Gasses are released or produced as the wood starts to burn. The amount of gas varies depending on the type of wood and most of all the moisture content of it. I suspect the process starts at the bottom of the smoker where the fresh air comes in and mixes with the gasses, this gas/air mixture is the ideal environment for a mini explosion, which is ignited by the heating element.

Okay, I'm done, is anybody still with me?

Last edited by shagbark

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