Yesterday, about 20 minutes before I planned to slap this beautiful thick porterhouse from a local farm which raises all-natural pastured cattle (thanks, CSA!), I went out and fired up the grill. Everything lit just fine so I closed the lid and came inside. This is what I found when I went back out:
(there was more soot yesterday evening before last night's light rain)
And this was on the ground about 2' in front of the grill:
That's a mangled, melted burner knob, in case you couldn't tell.
Since the grill was nice and hot and running, and I wasn't about to let this steak go to waste, I went ahead and cooked the steak (standing back as much as I could), but I'm going to get something replaced/fixed before I use it again, that's for sure!
I just feel a little freaked out about what must have happened. It looks to me as if flames were shooting out from behind the knob, possibly even a big whoosh of fire out from around the knob (else why would it have come off and ended up so far in front of the grill?). If anyone has a clue as to what might have caused this, I'd appreciate you letting me know!
The grill's less than a year old so I'm contacting their warranty service number tomorrow. Let's hope that it's not a royal PITA to get it fixed, something like "well, box it up and ship it to us, at your cost, of course..."