This is something I'm not proud of, but at the same time I felt it would be an informative post.
Early in the spring with the lose of a family member I didn't use my smoker for a period of a couple months. Once I felt I needed to return to what I love I opened my smoker to what I would call a disaster. It only added to the grief at hand. My smoker was totally white inside. I had left the water pan in my smoker for 2 months. After all, my smoker was the last thing on my mind. I was 4 hours into a smoke when the call came in. I had shut down my smoker, put content into freezer and walked away.
Here is what I opened the doors to.
I thought my smoker was done. I've been a member at SMF for several years and thought if anyone would know what to do it would the the folks at SMF. I contacted Dave via PM and ask what to do. His advise was what I needed.
Before doing anything you have to kill the mold. I fired the smoker up and ran a temp of 500 for about 3 hours. I then pulled the racks and began to clean. Oh, what fun. With wire brush in hand I scrubbed the racks down and burnt them off again with my weed burner. If there was anything alive on them it had to be from hell
The next task was the smoker itself. I started at the top and scrubbed it down from top to bottom. It did need cleaning, but I had rather done it on my terms. Well, by the time I got done I was as black as the smoker itself.
Once done, I put the racks back in and fired it up to 500 again for about 2 hours. I didn't want to rinse it with water. It wouldn't have hurt anything, I just didn't want that much water running into the foundation of the smoker.
I have done several smokes since, I can only assume it was clean, no one has gotten sick.
Dave advice. Don't leave the water pan in the smoker.... leave a vent open so the smoker can breath when not in use. Good advice.
Not sure this post is useful, but I felt it to be a major part of food safety. We don't always have control of what happens, we have to keep moving forward.
I'd love to hear other horror stories involving smokers.
Hope everyone has a great day!!