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I have a gas grill which I use once a week or so.

Today I put some peppers and onions as usual, but I also put chicken wings (first time).

After a few minutes of cooking, the fire went super high, it seems it was getting enhanced by something (either the oil from the veggies marinate or the wings).

Note that I turned off all burners but fire was still there and flames stayed for longer (around 2 more mins).

Is this something normal? It cooked super fast as the flames were reaching the food.

  • What oil did you use in your marinade? – GdD Jun 5 '15 at 9:08
  • I used regular Canola oil – samyb8 Jun 5 '15 at 9:34
  • Canola's fine, that shouldn't be the issue then. Olive oil is flare-up city. – GdD Jun 5 '15 at 9:44
  • The fat of the chicken wings maybe? – samyb8 Jun 5 '15 at 9:50
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    Definitely, chicken wings have loads of fat (one of the reason they taste good). They are also pretty thin and cook much faster than other chicken parts. I've never barbecued wings myself, but if I were to I would put them on direct heat to crisp them up on both sides and them move them to indirect heat to finish cooking. Be careful not to overcook them! – GdD Jun 5 '15 at 9:52
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That's pretty typical for any sort of fatty meats -- as you cook them, the fat renders out, dripping into the flames below and igniting.

This is often referred to as 'flare ups', and some people recommend using a water bottle when grilling -- but don't do it, as this is actually a grease fire.

You'll typically want to move the food to another area until the flames die down, as there's not much else you can do unless you want your food to taste like a fire extinguisher.

You can take some preventative steps on a charcoal grill, by putting a container of water on the grate beneath the food being cooked (you'll be cooking using indirect heat), so that the grease drips into the water and doesn't flare up.

  • I agree with all of the above except the part about not using a water bottle. A spray bottle set to mist is a very handy thing for flare-ups as the fine water droplets absorb heat very quickly and quench the fire without knocking up loads of ash onto your food. A few sprays kills the flame long enough to move the food before it chars. – GdD Jun 5 '15 at 9:44
  • @GdD : I've had success with a spray bottle with charcoal ... but I find it just spreads it around on gas grills (which was mentioned in the initial question). As you mention 'knocking up loads of ash', I suspect you're using charcoal. I guess it's possible that some spray bottles might work better than others, but you're still dealing with a grease fire. – Joe Jun 5 '15 at 11:40

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