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Flare Ups/Flames on deflector plates

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I've only just started using my KJ classic recently this year.  On my last two cooks one of the deflector plates has caught alight, which obviously defeats the purpose of indirect cooking.  I scraped off as much food residue as possible and even swapped out one plate with a spare one I had.  Last night the spare one being used only for the second time caught alight, which meant I had to remove everything mid cook.


How can I prevent this from happening?

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Hi,

 

I have seen them wrapped in foil, prevents them from getting oil and fat residue build up. Or cook with a tray underneath grill rack. 

 

While the deflectors are "dirty" you will see more flare-ups and it is likely that this sort of flare-up adds a nasty taste to your food. Suggest a high heat burn (cleaning)

Here is what the manual for the KJ states :

 

MAINTENANCE CLEANING

1 Add charcoal and light using one or two fire starters.

2 Install the Divide & Conquer® flexible cooking system rack with the accessory rack in the top position and both heat deflectors on the accessory rack.

3 Open the top and bottom air vents fully and let the temperature inside the grill rise to 600°F (315°C) with the dome closed.

4 Hold the temperature at around 600°F (315°C) for 15–20 minutes.

5 Close the bottom vent fully and wait another 15–20 minutes to close the top vent.

This self-cleaning process will burn off any unwanted residue from the inside of the grill and heat deflector plates. Before cooking again, brush the cooking grate with a standard grill brush. Use a soft bristle brush on the ceramics and heat deflector plates to remove any residue. When your heat deflectors get dirty during normal use, flip them over with the dirty side down for the next cook, and the heat will self-clean that side.

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8 hours ago, famasfilms said:

... How can I prevent this from happening?

Use a drip pan on the deflectors to catch the grease.  I make them with HD foil and a baking sheet form. Let it cool (and solidify) then dispose. 

Frank 

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I also wrap mine in foil and for something that will have a lot of drippings I use a drip pan propped on ceramic spacers with a layer of salt in the pan to absorb grease and prevent the grease from smoking or flaring.

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Ditto everything said above. That debris may be able to survive low and slow cooks but, once you hit the smoke point of the grease, It's going to first smoke, then blaze. For medium to high temp cooks, it's best to clean them as stated. The space @SeaBrisket references is important also because it outs a buffer between the pan and the deflector so that if the deflector reaches that stated smoke point, if the drip pan is sitting directly on it, it can still flare up. Also note, that depending on what you are cooking, a little water in that pan may help dilute the grease and prevent it from going up as well.

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On 7/7/2018 at 6:39 PM, SeaBrisket said:

I also wrap mine in foil and for something that will have a lot of drippings I use a drip pan propped on ceramic spacers with a layer of salt in the pan to absorb grease and prevent the grease from smoking or flaring.

What’s the purpose of the ceramic spacers?

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