Brown sticky stuff left all over the inside of my smoker after smoking??

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jwgordon, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. jwgordon

    jwgordon Newbie

    Hello all.  I recently got the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5".  I have used it twice, and after each smoke, the whole inside of the smoker was covered with a sticky brown substance, streaked all over it.  I had to scrub and scrub and still didn't get 100% of it off.   This made clean up after smoking horrible, over an hour.   Does anyone else have this problem?  Any suggestions for me?  Here's some info:

    I kept the top vent 1/2 open.  The bottom 3 vents were 1/4 open.  This maintained 225 degree temp.  I used hickory wood chunks purchased from Lowes.  I used Stubb's natural charcoal.  I also used the Weber lighter cubes, the little white wax looking things to help the charcoal get going.  I let them completely burn before beginning the smoke, as per the directions.   I can't figure out what's causing this and could use some help. 

    Thanks so much!

    Jaclyn
     
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome jwg !!!

    Sounds to me like your smoke was too heavy, and creosote formed.

    I don't know your smoker but it could be you need to open your vents up more, or just don't use so much wood.

    Bear
     
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Few questions

    Did you season the smoker?

    What kind of charcoal?

    How much wood?

    Normally you want the exhaust vent wide open
     
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL..... not sure what you have, But I have about a 1/4 inch of black stuff built up on my smoker. I call it seasoning. Mine is an electric, you can't just crank it up and burn it off like those fire breathers.
     
  5. jwgordon

    jwgordon Newbie

    Thanks for your response.  Here's the answers to your questions:

    Did you season the smoker?  - No, I read that you do not have to season a new Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker

    What kind of charcoal? - I used Stubbs brand natural charcoal briquettes

    How much wood? - 4 hickory wood chunks

    Normally you want the exhaust vent wide open -  I adjusted the vents to achieve 225-250 degrees.   When they were wide open, the temp got too hot.

    Do you think it could have been the Weber fire starter cubes, or do you think I could have used too much wood?  Or maybe it was the vents...  it's brown streaks of sticky terrible residue. 
     
  6. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    It might be helpful if there were a couple of pictures to see exactly what your talking about.
     
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jaclyn, I remember that stuff.  Does it look like the picture below?  It was much more noticeable when I first seasoned and used my WSM that is it is now.  I see it more in the direct sunlight.  It also left little brown flakes in the lid track and where the smoke leaked out of the lid and around the leaky door.  Didn't appear on the food though.  I didn't give it any thought and just smoked away considering it residue, possibly creosote, from the wood burned with the charcoal when you initially fire up the smoker on each smoke.

     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  8. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Yup my WSM is the same...never bothered cleaning as it has not affected the taste of my smokes (to my knowledge).

    After reading through the forum, most said it would only add to the flavor! LOL
     
  9. Run the outlet wide open and close the inlet more.
     
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it's creosote, it won't add anything good to the flavor. If you get it on your food, it will taste terrible, and it will leave your tongue numb & tingling!  Not a good thing.

    Bear
     
  11. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Very thankful it did not get in my food then!

    But then back to the problem...do we spend hours to clean the inside of the smoker after every smoke? Grates...sure, water pan...yup...and a rub down if the inside is flaking...but a true washing of the inside, is that really needed?
     
  12. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    Here I found this in another post on this forum.  I wouldn't worry about it.  I have seen this when using water in my water pan but just ignored it.  I now run it dry and do not see it.  Just keep on smoking.  I read some where that Harry Soo said if you smoker smells good then do not worry about it.  How does it smell?  How much wood are you using?

    "I just looked at the Virtual Weber Bullet forums and found this same issue in their FAQ's...


    Q: What is that rust-colored residue inside the lid? Is the metal rusting?

    A: The cooker has a porcelain enamel finish that will not rust. The rust-colored residue is smoke-laden moisture that deposits inside the lid and dries. It can be washed or brushed it off as part of your normal cleaning routine. Photos 1-2 show the lid before and after cleaning with a stiff bristle brush and water from the garden hose.


    Q: What is that black material peeling off inside the cooker? Is the finish coming off?

    A: The black material is carbonized grease that builds up over time and flakes off from the inside walls of the cooker. Any loose material can be brushed off as part of your normal cleaning process."
     
  13. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    I wouldn't worry about it.  Do you run water in your smoker?  How much wood are you using?
     
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You pretty much had it right on!!

    Maybe if it's real thick ugly creosote, I could see scraping or cleaning it some way, but I never had anything but the normal black coating on my interior walls & ceiling.

    Bear

    Wow Tank!!!  You got two posts in while I was typing one!!!  Good to see you, anyway!!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  15. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Cool well then that is that LOL

    Regardless I will snap a picture of the inside of my smoker tonight when I get home from work...just to make sure I am not slowly poisoning my family. [​IMG]
     
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    JW, morning..... If the food tasted OK.... or Too smokey.... try 1 chunk of hickory for smoke.... when adding smoke, less is usually better...
     
  17. jwgordon

    jwgordon Newbie

    Yeah, it looks similar to that, just brown, and it's all over the inside from the lid all the way down the sides of the smoker.  Maybe 4 chunks of hickory was just too much.  Next time I'll try 1 or 2 chunks and see if that makes a difference.   I just want to keep my smoker clean and take care of it so that it will last for many years, but it took me over an hour trying to scrub that off!
     
  18. trip4f

    trip4f Newbie

    My WSM did the same thing. Didn't worry about it and just kept on cooking!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  19. jwgordon

    jwgordon Newbie

    Just curious, with your WSM, do you use wood chunks ?  I used a prepackaged bag of hickory wood chunks.  Also, I adjusted the top and bottom vents to achieve the right temp.  The top was about 1/2 open and the bottom ones about 1/4 open.  Do you adjust that way too, or do you leave them all completely open?  Thanks. :)
     
  20. trip4f

    trip4f Newbie

    Just curious, with your WSM, do you use wood chunks ?  I used a prepackaged bag of hickory wood chunks.  Also, I adjusted the top and bottom vents to achieve the right temp.  The top was about 1/2 open and the bottom ones about 1/4 open.  Do you adjust that way too, or do you leave them all completely open?  Thanks. :)
    [/quote] I leave my lid vent wide open. 2 bottom vents are closed and I adjust temp with the remaining vent. Did a pork butt Friday night that way. Held 250 degrees for 7 hrs that way. Used about 6 chunks of Apple. As I cook more the brown gunk is disappearing.
     

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