Seeing grease outside of your smoker Is not unusual. The business of BBQ will inevitably lead to some grease in and around the grill. Here are a few things to help:


  1. Ash – the single biggest factor when it comes to grease staying in the grill. A healthy layer of barrel ash will keep grease from escaping the barrel. Grease, when it encounters the ash layer, hardens immediately. This cuts down on unwanted leaking, chances of grease fire, and a healthy ash layer even keeps fly-ash from getting to the cooking surface [link to cleaning and maintenance article] Note – this advice does not apply to the firepot itself. Clean the firepot regularly to maintain proper airflow
  2. Overfilling Grill – Overfilling, or improper food placement will cause an excessive amount of grease to pool in your lower barrel. Ensure that the majority of what you are cooking is placed over the drip pan. Ash will play a role in containment, but if part of a fat-cap, for instance, is placed over the air channels, more than a containable amount of grease may collect and leaking may occur.
  3. Proper Drip Pan Placement – Ensure the left side of the pan is hooked to the bracket, and that the long-angled piece of the drip pan in sitting inside the grease trough. [link to photo of drip pan]
  4. Foil and Cleaning – Make sure that all foil placed on the drip pan is pulled tight, and there are no large ridges where grease can pool. Not only will this prove a recipe for grease fires, but it can also allow grease to build up to the point of dripping into the under barrel. If you use foil, change it often and lay it flat, with no large ridges.


Remember, grease is a natural byproduct of BBQing. Proper food placement over the drip pan is crucial in grease management, and ash in the barrel is your friend. Don’t worry if you see some grease outside of your barrel, just follow the above steps. Cleaning and Maintaining Your recteq