Mine has 'popped' like that since new...scares the heck outta me sometimes. I was on the trail to preventing last brew day; I moved the lighter back a little further and up a little higher on the burner.
Ah...may have found the reason, which also relates to my above success. This is from the Coleman website:
"...you can experience "flashback" at the burner. This means that the flame ignites the fuel mixture before it exits the burner. The flame burns inside the burner and does not appear inside the burner bowl. This can damage the stove's manifold. If your stove "pops" while running and the flame disappears from the burner, turn the stove off, allow it to cool then check the position and tightness of the burner bowl."