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Cleaning your Smoker


When I am finished smoking, and everything is done I build my fire up again and get my temp up around 300. I leave it for a while to heat up. Then I get the water hose with my sprayer, open the lid and spray the grates and everything inside. This gets rid of the stuck-on meat, sauce and everything stuck to the racks. It also helps with the grease build up. After I have sprayed it out real good I just let it continue to burn and heat back up and give it a good wire brushing. The next day or so after the coals have cooled I clean out the fire box. The next time I get ready to smoke, while I am lighting my Coal's I take my Weed burner torch and go over the racks and inside the smoker. Helps heat it up and makes sure if anything was missed it's clean before I put on the meat. I have had a few people tell me that they never clean their smokers. Don't think I want to eat anything they cook. Lucky they have not had a fire in the smoker. This works for me, but if anyone has a different or better way I would appreciate the feedback.


Gary S.

Comments (15)

I'm giving this a try tomorrow!. My dad has an old country bbq pit and it's in need of a good cleaning.
Wow, never thought of using the weed-burner like that!
BTW, I have used my small pressure washer with only water on my cooled down Oklahoma Joe Longhorn, and positioned a plastic bucket under the food chamber's drain tube (instead of my normal catch can) to catch all the outflowing gunk and keep it off my patio. This worked very well.
Are you concerned with bacteria or fire or both? I always clean off the grates to prevent bacteria from accumulating and growing but I never clean the sides or the lid.
I tried out the propane weed burner for the "final touch" on my cooking grates and it worked great - thanks for the tip! Today I stumbled onto a huge hornet's nest in a half-open straw bale, and my propane weed burner also worked well at burning them into oblivian as well...
What are your concerned about cleaning the inside of the smoker. I have an electric how should I clean the inside of this one. I always clean the grates each time. Thanks
I would think only if you start having to much build up, you may want to clean it. I have not had any experience with Electric smokers.
A cleanup as the one described would certainly avoid build up. As for electrics I am sure there's a way to clean them up good too.
Not sure onj an electric, never owned one. I would think you could remove the electrical components and give it a good cleaning.
sounds like a good idea, i'll have to try that.
when you dont clean your smoker it gets built up CREOSOTE in it
this is the same stuff they soak railroad ties and telephone poles in so they dont rot
meat from one of these smokers will leave a bitter taste in your mouth and you will feel a slight numbing sensation on you tongue and lips DONT EAT IT
google creosote in smoker for good info on this subject
i have a very large lang 84 delux doubel barrel and the way i clean it is after im done i bring it up to 350 / 400
then i spray it with hose and close the lid
the steam will break loos all stuck on meat then i wire brush it ,then i use a roofing torch and burn all the inside
careful not to warp your grates
then i spray with cooking or mineral oil to prevent rust
then before using it again i re torch it to get rid of soured oil and i re oil it with fresh oil
and bring it back to 350 / 400
yea its alot of work but it keeps it clean and safe
i also spray oil on out side of my fire box while its hot it soaks it up to prvent rust
just like seasoning a cast iron skillet
on that electric smoker i think you can use lemon juice or citric acid in a spray bottel
spray it on what you want to clean brush it then rinse with hose
while its un plugged of course
Gary, I clean mine in about the same manner. Sometimes the next week-end if I don't have the time when done cooking. It works very well and I also spray my grates with olive oil spray after they are clean.
Thanks for the information I am new to smoking and live here on the coast of NC. I did not think about the creosote but had thought about the exterior rusting in the salt air.
After each smoke, I wash all the grates with hot water and soap. About twice a year I spray down the entire smoker with a product I found at my local Smart & Final or Cash & Carry called "First Street Oven and Grill Cleaner" Its used to clean commercial ovens and grills and is super strong. I use it full strength in a small sprayer when the smoker is cold. After about 15 minutes I go at it with a garden hose and nozzle. All the collected grease and smoke build up just rinse away. Never have had to scrub, that's how well it works. I bought a gallon jug two years ago and still have a bit less than half. A little goes a long way. › Articles › Cleaning your Smoker