MES 30/40 owners, how often do you clean?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by vandy58, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. vandy58

    vandy58 Fire Starter

    Just wondering? I know to do the seals every time after a smoke but what about the racks? Ever give the inside a good scrub? I clean the drip pan, racks, and door seals every time but I think that might not be needed, minus the seals. Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Racks after every cook. Drip Pan as needed, been six months so far. Interior walls...Nope not yet and have had it 18 months. I will spray some Simple Green, let it soak and wash out eventually...JJ
  3. vandy58

    vandy58 Fire Starter

    I forgot what about the water pan? And as far as the racks do you give them a good scrub or just get some of the chunks off?
  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You're supposed to clean these things? :biggrin:
  5. vandy58

    vandy58 Fire Starter

    I assume you let the juices and chunks of previous smoke add flavor to the future smokes? :D. I do that with my grill. Only replace the foil one every other year, other then that keeps it flavored. I wasn't sure if you could do that with a smoker because they don't get as hot
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's the seasoning! LOL.....

    Before using the the racks on each smoke, I spray 'em good with Pam. A quick hot water soak in the sink after wards and they are clean. Ultra Soap is antibiotic and dilutes those fats off. Then if you are still worried you can use the dishwasher on super hot scald you skin off. But I usually just let 'em soak and that stuff comes right off easily.

    The water pan, when you are finished get an SOS and get shiny clean, wrap it inside and out in alum. foil. And life is easy. I seasoned my originally and so far after over a couple a dozen smokes it comes clean easily, (its stainless steel too). That Ultra is good stuff. When I saw 'em cleaning the oil off the birds in Grand Isle, I was impressed, still am.

    I don't think my pipe pits have ever been cleaned. I nearly ran an employee off for blasting my big one. He was so proud of himself for doing it, getting all that old black stuff off. Funny now, wasn't so much back then.

    I don't get anal about clean, the USDA nor the Health dept check me.
  7. the zil

    the zil Smoke Blower

    I spray racks with PAM before each use then scrub them well in the sink. I'm amazed at how well they wash up. I wrap the water pan and drip pan in foil which I toss after each smoke. They require minimal washing once the foil is removed. Other than that, I do wipe the floor of the smoker with a damp cloth so nothing stagnates or gets rancid. I also wipe down the temp probe before and after each smoke as I don't want to pierce the meat and introduce cooties. I never fussed with the door seal, maybe I should? If there is obvious debris on the walls I knock it off and brush it away. I also leave the door slightly ajar for a few hours to allow any moisture to escape. Then, I take a deep huff of smokey goodness, fully latch the door, and cover with a waterproof cover that allows a little airflow.
  8. I have sand in my MES 40 water tray. I cover it in foil. Change the foil when needed. No issues.

    Happy smoken.

  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    • The Racks go in the dish washer ( When the bride isnt looking) 
    • Like JimmyJ Ive used Simple Green for the walls . But Ive only done this once in the last 5 years. I keep it well seasoned! [​IMG]
    • The drip pan is covered in foil with a hole punched through the drain hole.  Replace as needed 
    • I put a sheet of foil over the smoke box to keep the drippings off it.  Replace as needed.
    • The water pan is covered in foil. Replace as needed.
    • I used simple green and a scrub sponge for the window. But not too often cause I'd have to stop watching the game to get up and look inside.  So it doesn't really matter much to me if I can see through it or not.
    • Soap and water for the seals.  Again I've done this maybe twice in 5 years. 
    As a side note. My fiberglass sports car buddy made a statement about sand in the water pan ... Hmmm I suspect that is to further stabilize the smoker temp.  Them Corvette boys can be pretty smart cookies.  Might need to give that one a try. 

    Happy 4th Friends


  10. surber55

    surber55 Fire Starter

    I'm glad you asked this question Vandy, I have been wondering the same thing.  I appreciate every ones thoughts!  [​IMG]
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Mrs Bear cleans the grills of my MES 40 after every use, because the food touches them.

    I clean my glass in the door before every use. Makes it real easy to keep clean.

    I clean my water pan when needed, and replace the foil cover.

    If the walls & ceiling get enough build-up that it could fall off on the food, or start a fire, I clean it.

  12. Without hijacking someone's thread... care to explain why on the sand?  I cover mine with foil but not sure what the benefit of the sand would be.   Teach me oh wise one.
  13. We use sand as a heat sink. it holds temp.water is the cheap heat sink. But it evaporates so temps start to climd.....sand will not evaporate..........
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Adding to the Mules answer...Evaporating Water also requires a whole lot of energy to change state from liquid to gas. This eats fuel like crazy and extends the cook time because water vapor cools the internal temp as well. Sand is like a big hot Battery storing energy until needed, like opening the Door, Spritzing the meat with the evaporating liquid cooling the smoker, etc...JJ
  15. Thanks to you both.  So far, I've only had my water tray empty and covered with foil.    Next smoke I'll add some sand.  [​IMG] Many thanks!
  16. roadkill cafe

    roadkill cafe Smoking Fanatic


    Just so you know, the sand isn't just what's in the backyard. Get screened, clean playground sand from either Home Depot or Lowes. Runs about $3-$4 for a 40 lb. bag. I'm sure you don't want any little crawly critters getting cooked along with your food.

  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


  18. unity5358

    unity5358 Fire Starter

    Uhhh...never. Well, I'll wire brush the racks...when necessary. :dunno
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  19. Lol I'm not sure whether to be grateful for the clarification.. (which I am)  or pick on you for thinking I'm going to go out in the backyard and scoop up sand to be around my food. [​IMG]     I bought a bag this afternoon actually just for that reason.   Thanks guys!
  20. roadkill cafe

    roadkill cafe Smoking Fanatic

    LOL....By NO MEANS did I intend to imply that you would do that FishinChik. After re-reading what I posted I can see how one would get that impression. [​IMG]  Hope it works out for you. I think you'll find your recovery time after opening the door will be shorter.

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