Ok here's one that should give all you experts a good laugh. I used to think I knew a lot about operating a smoker but found out over the weekend that I still have a few things to learn. The smoker our team uses allows you to raise or lower the front end to allow for proper draining of the grease which then drips right out of the bottom into a foil pan that we place underneath. I neglected to make this adjustment Friday afternoon when I moved the smoker to a different area that was not level. Instead of draining down towards the end, out the bottom and into the drip pan, the grease just kind of stayed in one place and built up. I noticed that the drip pan was empty but for some unknown reason, didn't want to spend the time to investigate why. Eventually the grease built up so much that it spilled into the firebox! You can imagine what happened next!
This is a mistake that I will only make once. Luckily we got the fire out and were able to get the smoker cleaned out and no damage was done. To novice smokers or anyone who gets busy and just isn't paying attention, be sure your smoker is adjusted properly and that the grease is going where it's supposed to. Grease fires can really be a problem!