How To Put Out A Grease Fire On A Grill (4 Safe Ways)

Jayden Lawson
Published by Jayden Lawson
Last Updated On: March 14, 2024

Meat – check! Drinks – check! Invitations – check!

If you love grilling, then you certainly enjoy calling your friends or family for a barbeque.

But, what happens when your grill disappoints you and instead of the tasty meat and fun celebration, you end up with grease fires?

Wondering how to put out a grease fire on a grill quickly? Here's what to do when this unpredicted event happens.

Quick Summary

  • Putting out a grease fire on a grill requires caution; never use water, as it may worsen the fire. Instead, move the meat to the edge or use baking soda or salt.
  • Regular maintenance like cleaning grill grates, heating them properly, and controlling the grill's temperature can prevent grease fires.
  • According to a 2018 study published in the National Library of Medicine, cooking equipment was involved in 46% of reported home fires from 2010 to 2014, with over 450 daily home fires associated with cooking, highlighting the significant risk posed by cooking oil and other combustible kitchen materials [1].
  • In case of intense flames, having a fire extinguisher nearby is essential, and if the situation gets out of control, calling the local fire department is advised.

4 Ways On How to Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire on a Grill

Man putting out a grease fire on a grill

The appearance of flames on the grill is common due to the melting of fat and liquids on hot surfaces. According to a 2020 NPFA research, there are more than 10.000 home fires caused by grills every year. July is the pick month, followed by June, May, and August [2].

If there is a fire on your grill, don't panic! Several tricks can help you in preventing grease fires at home so that this event won't ruin your day.

1. Do Not Use Water

Water and fat oil are not the best of friends. You will frequently hear that you should not mix them.

The same case appears on the grill. It is full of fat because of the meat oil, so when there are grease fires, you should not throw water on the flame as it may worsen the fire.

2. Move the Meat to the Edge

If the meat fat burns, move the food to the edge of the grill, where there are no flames (indirect zone). Wait for the fat to burn and then return it.

3. Turn Off the Grill Vents and Use Baking Soda or Salt

If the flame is big and you can’t reach the meat, turn off the burners to decrease the flame. Put baking soda or salt on the flame, and it will quench it quickly and efficiently.

4. Call the Local Fire Department

Always have an extinguisher near you. If the flame increases in intensity you should use a fire extinguisher first.

If the fire is so strong and none of the tricks we have mentioned above worked, you should leave the area and get help from the local fire department.

“Grilling takes the formality out of entertaining. Everyone wants to get involved.”

- Bobby Flay, Chef

Tips for Avoiding Grease Fires on a Grill

Cleaning and heating grill grates

Use Clean Grill Grates

The grill grates must be clean. On dirty grills, the remnants of the previous roast are glued to the fresh meat and altogether to the grills.

To prevent fire, first, rub them in the kitchen with a new brush and water to remove all the remnants of the previous cooking.

We have an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean cast iron grill grates, so be sure to check it out.

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Heat the Grill Grates

To avoid grease fires, you should always heat the gas grill to the maximum temperature, even if the recipe requires a medium or low temperature. On hot grills, the food immediately starts cooking and prevents the meat from sticking.

Prepare Everything Before You Start Grilling

When the outdoor fire pit is on, and the food is on the pan, cooking must be our only concern. Once you put the food on the pan, you have no more time to go to the kitchen or look for new plates, cut vegetables, or shape burgers.

It can easily happen that the roast burns because of the meat oil falling on the grease tray. Make sure to have an extinguisher somewhere near, in case of an accident.

Control the Grill’s Temperature

You have to constantly watch the temperature that the gas grill reaches. At the beginning of cooking, the temperature should be maximum, and it gradually drops during grilling.

Be near your grill, and monitor carefully when it starts to lose temperature, to keep adding fuel on time. The extinguisher should always be near you in case something goes wrong.

Read More: How to put Out a Charcoal Grill


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About the author

Jayden Lawson
Jayden is a CPW certified lifestyle writer, father of two, and a self-taught culinary artist with a passion for Southern cooking. His readers enjoy the expert interviews, success stories, and tips he shares about anything delicious, meaty, and thriving.
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