WSM Sticky Lid

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by socalq, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Friends:

    I have a Weber Smokey Mountain, and in just about every cook the lid gets so sticky that it's almost impossible to open. I regularly clean the lip of the smoker body and the lip of the lid with a steam cleaner, and when I'm done they are as clean as new. What I suspect is happening is that even though the lid and body lips are clean at the beginning of a cook, grease is sliding down out of the dome when it gets hot and is causing the lid to stick to the body.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, other than steam cleaning the entire lid (and getting rid of all the "good stuff" that's up there), has anyone found a good solution?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  2. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Have you ever tried not cleaning it? I have never cleaned my WSM (except for the grates) and never had a sticky lid.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sticky lid is a good thing! Means your smoker is seasoned and there aren't going to be any air leaks! My mini-wsm is the same way.
  4. I have had this problem. You have to heat it to get it unstuck. When warm just wipe the lid edge and center section groove and it won't stick. Some folks use vinegar but a dry shop towel seems to work for me. I wipe it after every cook.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  5. Yes. I only started cleaning when the lid became SO sticky that I literally had to use every ounce of strength to get it open.

    I generally smoke brisket, which is pretty fatty, so it makes sense that there would be a lot of grease build-up that would cause the lid to stick.
  6. I a point. But too much of a "good thing" can be a bad thing. Since I'm monitoring the temps remotely, I don't have to open the lid a lot, but I do like to open it to wrap the meat and also to probe it as it starts getting near 195-200*.
  7. I get the lid and center section groove REALLY clean with a steam cleaner, and it still sticks the next time I cook. Maybe I'll try wiping it with vinegar next time I clean it...
  8. Any chance your center section "drum" may be a bit out-of-round?

    I know mine was when I first got it! A couple well placed squeezes here and there and I ended up with a much better fit between the drum and lid...
  9. I'll check to see....
  10. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    My mini is the same way... so much that I was almost knocking it off the table trying to open the hot thing. One tiny pin hole notch at the CC top with attached "key" ..pops it right open. I have never cleaned mine other than I once rinced it down cause it tumbled over on a ride home with ashes still in it.. (it made a mess...)
  11. Chris at the virtualweberbullet says "While the cooker is still warm, use a paper towel to wipe off any grease from the edge of the lid and from the lip on the middle cooking section where the lid rests. This prevents the lid from sticking to the middle cooking section." He's been doin this 15+ yrs. HTH
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  12. Do you have a picture of how you did this?

  13. That's the frustrating part...when I start a cook, the lips on the lid and center section are clean as can be (partially due to steam cleaning and partially due to cleaning after a cook when the smoker is still warm).  Yet, almost inevitably the lid still sticks!  Grrrr....
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  14. I hear ya brother.  Hang in there.  I think Squatch may be on to something.
  15. Mine was also, my lid would stick because of it. A couple of careful "bear hugs" to the center section should do it, if that is actually indeed the problem.

    Now if that's not the issue, have you ever thought about applying Nomex gasket material around the top ring of the midsection?

    I have this and gives the feel as if you're lifting / placing the lid on a padded pool table. Never sticks now.

  16. Overground -- Are you able to clean up the Nomex after a cook?

  17. As you can probably see in the pic, I've never tried.[​IMG]  It was Swiss coffee white when first applied.
    I suppose you could use a mild soap (possibly bleach) and water solution and it would probably be fine.

    It would be the same as cleaning thick felt.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  18. I have had that happen a few times on long cooks.  I know part of it is because my drum is a little out of round.  I just twist the lid to "break" the seal before trying to lift it off.

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