Who cleans their smoker?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by husker3in4, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    I will sometimes read where people refer to cleaning their smoker. I ask, why? I never clean the inside of it. the only think I would do is pour out the liquid grease that gathers in the bottom tray of my MES and leave the rest of the inside of it untouched. I dont ever see mold or anything funky in there. Its just black and smells like sweet smoke. I figure it helps impart flavor.

    Are there some of you who also dont clean your smoker or am I the only one?
  2. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have 2 MES smokers and I only clean the glass window on the 40. I may wipe out any grease drippings but that's it. My wooden smoke house same thing.,I only wipe away or "clean" any grease dripping. Probably doesn't matter but that's just my way of thinking to answer your question.

  3. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    If I see liquid on the walls I'll wipe it off.  Otherwise everything is foiled and just replace it.  It's like a cast iron skillet.  Don't use anything but water so you don't remove the seasoning.  The window, if you have one, is a different story.

    Off the topic:  has anyone else had problems with SMF on typing problems when editing and it overwrites type when you make corrections or is unresponsive maybe due to high traffic on this site?  I post primarily from my laptop and I have loads of ram/rom so it's not my computer.  Does this site need to be refreshed or upgraded?  It took me 20 minutes to post these two paragraphs and is becoming more frequent.  Does anyone else have similar dilemmas as well as submitting pics periodically that freeze, time out or fail?  Periodically I receive notifications from my anti-virus software telling me that this site maybe potentially unsafe and asks if I want to continue .  I don't receive these anti-virus notifications from other sites.   

  4. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since I have a MES 30 Gen 1 and refuse to cut long beef briskets or racks of pork ribs in touch I always scrub off bits of dried-on meat off the walls and wire rack guides. I also scrub off carbon deposit buildup on the ceiling and on door frame where the door seals close against the smoker body. I also scrub out the inside of the top vent because grease and deposits do collect there.

    Lastly, I make sure I clean off the round hi-temp cutoff switch and the toggle-shaped temp sensor on the back wall.
  5. ibbones

    ibbones Meat Mopper

    I gave my MES a good cleaning yesterday.  I was home all day so I rolled it out, plugged it in and set it for 275* and let it run from that morning until about 12:30am.  After the first 2-3 hours of being on, it smoked a little bit and kept smoking lightly for 4-5 hours.  By the time I unplugged it and rolled it back in the garage, it was burning completely clean.  I have not looked inside it yet but any "chunks" that are on the walls should flake off easily.

    Nothing like a good 16 hour burn-off.
  6. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    The only thing I've ever cleaned is the cooking grates or changed the lava rocks under the cast iron wood pan if they get dripped on.
  7. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I scrub my grates before a cook. When the temp is building up or maybe when my cook is resting, I spray the inside and let it steam. A couple of times through the year, I will crank it up between a cook and go through this routine several times at a good high temp.
  8. wipe out the grease and clean the racks and call it good , thats all i do , since my buddy cleaned his and shorted out the electronics in the bottom . once we took it apart and replaced the wires it was good to go , so since then all he does is wipe it out .

    Happy smoking!
  9. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    This weekend I took out all the removable parts and cleaned them well. I then sprayed everything down with diluted vinegar and wiped it out. I wasn't trying to get it looking new I just didn't want any excessive buildup that could get knocked loose and fall on the food. 

    Other than that, I foil where the grease drops then clean the grates every time.
  10. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys. I just did a 14 hour smoke at 220 degrees on a pork butt, I took it up to 200 internal temp and it turned out great. The bark tho had almost a bitter aftertaste, which got me to thinking maybe I need to clean the grease off like you guys do.

    I took a look in my smoker to see what you guys may be talking about, my drip shield was filthy with grease, and the drip pan in the bottom was totally caked in grease. I took both of them out, cleaned them pretty good, they are mostly silver/shiny now :) Would grease buildup inside the smoker give the bark a bitter aftertaste?

    Oddly, the chip tray was really covered in burnt on grease, but it really shouldn't be since the drip shield should be protecting it. anyone else have this happen to their chip tray?

    Lastly, how do you guys clean your grates? They are kind of a pain to scrub individually. Do you soak them in something first?
  11. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Husker, Sorry I didn't pick up that you had an electric. The method that I described was for an offset. The spraying could have a bad result for electrics. Sorry, Joe
  12. Since my wife threw a fit the last time i washed my grates in the house i bought a wash tub that the grates fit in . i put them in there and some hot water and soap , my buddy uses boiling water and he said there is no scubbing just wipes and all the burnt crud and stuff comes right off .

    Happy Smoking !
  13. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I only clean out grease waste. I fine that a bbq grill brush works great on cleaning the racks I do it the next day after smoking. yup I to have a lot of trouble with this sight locking up and throwing me out and the same problem with trying to type.
  14. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Ha! How did you know I also have trouble typing on this site? I usually type in Notepad, then cut and paste in the typing box.

    I dont know why I didnt think of the wire brush before, thats a great idea!
  15. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If the grease build up was burning and smoking I could see how that off flavor could get into the meat. 
  16. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Dr. K in another reply in your thread made mention of having trouble. Brush idea was by accident just so happen was cleaning gas grill just before smoker racks and fell on the idea and it worked great.
  17. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Burning grease would surely make for a bad taste but if wood was not smoking properly that could give a bad taste also.
  18. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    should of mention to only use stainless steel brush
  19. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Regarding cleaning the wire racks in the MES. Bear had a great idea. I bought Q-MATZ from Todd Johnson just for cold smoking cheese. They prevent the softened cheeses from sinking into the rack tines. Bear uses Q-MATZ for all smokes since they clean up easily and keep a lot of crap off the racks. I found this out first hand when I cold smoked cheeses and then hot smoked some salmon fillets. There was very little required rack clean up afterwards. I only have two of the Q-MATZ but I plan to order a couple more along with some other stuff I plan to buy from Todd.
  20. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Q-MATZ is Greek to me..... [​IMG]

    What does this mat look like??

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