Who else got stuck cooking and cleaning the cooker?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ammaturesmoker, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Man I was smoking since 3 AM on that massive brisket and not one lick of help cleaning that nasty thing today. Need to pass a new rule. You eat it.....you damn well clean it.
  2. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    I just get it hot before next cook and scrape off! I never have time after a cook to get at it. Just make a rule nobody can complain about tidiness of pit!
  3. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'm lucky if I even manage to dump the ashes within a day or two of my smokes. 12 hour long smokes really take it out of you. Plus I'm usually cooking and prepping other food also.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    My five year older MES has never been cleaned, other than racks and changing foil in the drip and water pan. Cleaning removes all the seasoning. Seasoning contributes to flavor. I did a test comparing meat from my two MES40 smokers. A new one and the 3 year old and well seasoned. My family agrees, the meat from the older smoker tastes better. After a long smoke and a Full Belly, it's time for my Lane Recliner and maybe a nap!...JJ
  5. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cleaning up after the cook is as important as the cook itself.. To me it's a personal thing I don't know about how you smoke but for me it is my domain .. I'm in charge ..so when it comes to cleaning up the hardware
    " I have got it"
    Chef JJ has said it all.. While the smoker is hot scrap the racks.. But all the smoke goodness with the
    Grease that has made that fine black shiney plating
    On the walls of the smoker , adds flavor and a richness to you future smokes...
    Of course , grease pans and water trays have to be dry and clean because we don't want any " science projects" growing.
  6. I did a 140 pound pig roast this year. Everyone shows up to watch and "help" put the pig on the cooker, which we all know means you and one good friend do all the work and the other stand around and drink your beer. Pig went on at 7pm...by 8pm everyone was gone leaving me to my devices until 3 the next afternoon when it was time to eat. End rant!

    That being said, I do the same as others here... Clean off the grates and large quantities of pooled grease. Everything else stays as seasoning.
    timstalltaletav likes this.
  7. Lol! I think we have the same "friends". Been down the "we" should have a pig roast road many times only to be stuck:

    1. Picking up the pig at the butcher
    2. Splitting wood for the roaster
    3. Prepping the pig
    4. Making sauces
    5. Cleaning the pit afterward
    6. Getting rid of the pig carcus

    This is usually in addition to running for beer, booze, soda, ice, cups, etc... Then people wonder why my favorite thing to do is sit on my deck alone most days..
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  8. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Cleaning my smoker is my responsibility. But due to the size of mine it would take a little while to clean. After a long smoke I am ready to sit down and relax and eat. I might scrape the chunks off the grates but that's about it right after my smoke. Then the following day I will clean the ashes out of my firebox and clean grates a little better.
  9. gregor

    gregor Smoke Blower

    I clean the cooker but I expect non chefs (family) to help clean up everything else
  10. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    The metal is already cured....I only remove the burnt chunks and pools of grease. Lightly wipe down everything else to prevent "shiny" buildup. Thinking of lining with foil before next smoke. Brisket and hotlinks make for a lot of grease. I will not eat food from a cooker with caked on burnt food and call it "seasoning". I know for you guys in the south that's called enhanced flavoring. I emulate Franklin to the T and I am pretty sure he cleans out his units. However I like my units clean when I cook. Same with my work area at work (IT). I even wipe down the inside of the smoke stack as mine is large enough that I can.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  12. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    Black Betty is mine to cook with clean and care for. My wife wont touch her. Cleaning her is part of smoking process and its all a labour of love for me.

    I clean her with a wire brush then get her to 450 degrees and spray with a garden hose to steam her. Then when she is cooli wipe her down in the cook chamber to get residual grease or food out of her.

    For the fire box i oil it every few smokes to keep the paint intact.

    Keep your smoker clean!
  13. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    I'm with you Chef! 
  14. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'm sure he scoops out the excess grease and fat build up every few weeks also. In his book he talks about how he had to chisel out the rock hard grease build up from his first large smoker, the 500 gallon tank that he bought that used to belong to John Mueller. 

    Like I said in the other thread, you have to make sure that it's clean enough to not start a grease fire. But that doesn't  mean you have to hose it down with soap and water and scrub the inside.
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That I agree with. There was an episode of Man Fire Food where Roger Mooking went to a smoke house in Texas. They had just replaced a 50 year old pit that burned up from a grease fire. They spent most of the show Painting black brisket grease, from another pit, on the walls, grates and covers of the new pit to rapid season the new smoker...JJ
  16. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    After a cook I just close it up and call it a day. Before the next cook I'll clean out the fire box and knock the smoke flakes off the lid with a brush so they don't fall on what I'm making. That's about it, except I clean the grates in the dishwasher (to the chagrin of the Mrs). That bit of grease in the bottom is a rust deterrent as far as I'm concerned 😀. If the outside of the firebox gets a little cooked I just rub it off and hit with a little Hi Temp black...
    The MB I use for cold & warm smoking sausage & cheese has never been cleaned except for the grates. The aroma when I open the door is heavenly!
  17. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    I clean the grates and clean the temp sensors inside the box, refoil the water pan and drip tray, and empty the ash box in my MES after every smoke. Other than that I don't mess with it much. I'll also clean up any loose accumulation inside the smoke box if I see it. Otherwise you're just cleaning up flavor if you mess with it.
  18. siege

    siege Smoke Blower

    I bought a Rubbermaid type plastic bin with a snap on lid, that's a little wider and longer than my smoker grates,and tall enough to to hold them all stacked up. My dehydrator grates will fit in the box, too. After the meat comes out of the smoker, the grates, drip pan and water pan go in the bin with hot water and dish soap. They can sit out on the deck over night, and clean up easily the next day. Stainless steel tongs and other utensils get dropped in as needed and soak clean. I cover my drip pan and water pan in foil, but they always get a little greasy, so some time in the "spa" with Dawn dish soap cleans them right up. SWMBO appreciates my cleanup method more than when I used to use the kitchen sink. There is a lot to be said for increased domestic tranquility.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    bauchjw likes this.
  19. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    This is a really good idea.
  20. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    How/where do you rinse/wash them off after soaking?

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