Clean it out?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by uberhack, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. uberhack

    uberhack Fire Starter

    Should I clean out the GOSM after every smoke? I read somewhere that the creosote build-up can cause weird tastes.
  2. txbigred

    txbigred Meat Mopper

    I wouldn't, unless it was dripping on your meat. Now the grates yes, walls of smoker no. I've got a nice patina on my sausage smoker.

  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with what he said...
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you have a gas smoker, there shouldn't be a creosote issue. Those are more associated with incomplete combustion of wood. Even if your wood chips/chunks were always catching fire, if you're exhaust is open there shouldn't be creosote.

    What you are seeing on the inside of the smoker is probably "seasoning" which is fine. If you have gooey grease drippings or something like that, you may want to clean that out. And, yes, cleaning the grates once in awhile is a good idea.

  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What he said. I use a plastic putty knife when I feel the need to scrape off some stuff. I do use a ball of foil to scrub the racks after each smoke.
  6. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    If the build up is bad, you can certainly clean it off. If you detect a stale smoke flavor in sensitive foods like fish or asperagus, it's time to clean as well.

    I recommend Mean Green for cleaning smokers and grills. You can usually find the 40 oz sprayer bottle at the Dollar Store or Family Dollar for around $2. It's an excellent degreaser. Just use a ball of foil and tongs to knock off loose stuff and spray the entire interior surface. Allow it 15 minutes to work and then hose off.

    If it's been years or you have never cleaned your smoker, you may need two applications and rinses. Just remember to rinse well and after it dries, it needs to be reseasoned before you cook on it.
  7. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i wash the racks, and water bowl of my propane smoker after every use.

    Also I sometimes need to wipe the bottom by the burner.
  8. Agree with Raceyb

    I use orange cleaner ( citrus based ) and clean and hose out once every month or so. I cover my burner with a plastic bag, scrape out the heavy stuff then spray - wait - hose.
    Grates get soaked / cleaned before every smoke and sometimes thrown in the dish washer.
  9. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Never clean mine except the racks and fire box. If to heavy of a build up developes on the inside walls and it's dripping then use a plastic putty knife to scrape it off, that's it. All that time and smokes to season your smoker and then wash it with a cleaner??? That's blasphemy....[​IMG]

    I see it the same as an iron skillet, would you use soap to wash an iron skillet????? I hope the answer would be a great big "NO"!!!!!!
  10. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    You are not going to get the inside of the smoker down to factory painted metal, so that is not a worry. The worry is that if you let the build up continue, it gets mixed with grease and can become flamable.

    I asked Grandam about the cast iron and here is what she said.... Absolutely not. The soap will change the flavor and you'll never get it out.

    Here is the catch, cooking on a cast iron skillet and cooking on a smoker are two different things. In the skillet, the meat comes into direct contact with the food. When you are finished with the cast iron skillet, you still wash it and reseason it before putting it away.

    Even Brinkmann provides instructions for degreasing a smoker or a grill. Again we are not talking about down to bare metal. The coating helps prevent rust. What you don't want is for the flavor of old or stale smoke getting into your food.

    And this is one of those things that people will have a lot of difference of opinion on. There is no set answer. I own a smoker that is over 20 years old, a Brinkmann SNP. I have cleaned it maybe 3 times. So again, i'm not promoting that anyone clean their smoker after every use.

    But the answer to the OP is yes, you can clean out your smoker.
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If your a clean freak you might be in the wrong hobby. I have used my Gosm pretty hard this past 7-9 months and I haven't cleaned it yet but it not relly built up anything but some just plain good ole yummyness on the walls. You shouldn't have to clan it unless you get alot of gummy stuff built up in the insides.
  12. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    After using mine a lot I had lots of grease built up in the bottom and when I went to do a high heat poultry smoke it caught on fire. Wasn't that bad I turned the gas off and it went out pretty quick. I then put a plastic bag over the burner and the igniter then put another one over that and used my pressure washer to clean it all out. I then removed the bags and lit it to fry it then re-seasoned it.
  13. uberhack

    uberhack Fire Starter

    Nice. Thanks.
    I'm pretty sure that after one smoke I don't need to clean out. haha
  14. mgnorcal

    mgnorcal Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    In my unit, I get some grease buildup on the bottom too.
    A plastic putty knife to scrape it out as suggested above seems like a good idea.
    Watch the top too and make sure there is nothing that could drip on your meat.

    As far as creosote and bad smell, that's not gonna happen.
    If anything you'll get a touch of rancid fat smell if you've got a lot of grease buildup and/or if you cook lots of fish.

    The metal will probably last longer if you just wipe with a dry paper towel or gently scrape rather than soaping and wetting.
  15. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It shouldn't if you're using gas but it's entirely possible if your using wood/charcoal and don't keep the exhaust open enough.

  16. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How does the ball of foil work??????? Seems like it would work pretty good

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