Originally Posted by LadyGT
I was wondering how long does it take to clean one of these after using?
As long as the effort you want to put into it. Some people like to scrub their smokers down after every smoke, some people never clean them; it's all personal choice.
I used to lay down foil in different spots but now I only foil over the water pan because I never put water in it; I leave it empty. I only wipe dried bits of food and sauce off the side walls and any drippings at the bottom of the smoker on the drip pan. Occasionally I wipe down the thicker, greasy deposits on the walls and floor inside the smoker, as well as on the outside of the water pan. I also wipe off the gritty residue on the interior ceiling after I had a bunch of it fall down onto some cheeses I was smoking when I rubbed my forearm against the ceiling. I also take out and clean the racks I used after every smoke with soap and water in the kitchen sink. I also clean the drip pan and the grease tray the same way as needed. I let it all air dry and then place the racks and water pan (if I cleaned the latter) back in the smoker.
Don't know which generation MES you have but it's imperative to keep the high temp limit switch (the round, notched thing on the left side of the interior back wall) and the temp sensor (the skinny metal "finger" poking out from the rear wall to the right of the high temp switch) absolutely clean. I again was taught a valuable lesson when after failing to clean the high temp switch, the smoker temp soared to 295 degrees and I couldn't stop it. After the smoke I remembered reading in these forums the importance of keeping the switch and the temp sensor clean and took care of it the next morning. I again used my smoker that day and the temp controller was back to normal and has remained that way.
But to give a short answer to your question, the whole cleaning takes me about 20-30 minutes--depending on how much I have to clean--and an hour or so to dry depending on the weather outside. I use a sponge on the stuff I clean in the sink and damp paper towels and a scrub sponge for the smoker interior.