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Smoke is done. Now cleaning up $^%^&*^ - Page 2

post #21 of 28
I used to be real paranoid about quickly loading the water and the meat, and have someone tending the door, to minimize the time the hatch was open.

You will find many times where I have posted about long pre-heat times to 270º. I have used up to 2.5 hours preheat when it was below freezing, here in Sacramento that is fairly rare. 2 hours though is common when the ambient is 45º or below. 1 hour above 45º and 30-45 min. in the summer. The reason is to thoroughly get all the metal heated up. Recovery then is never more that 15-30 minutes to achieve desired cooking temp.

Ok having said all that, I now put my foiled water pan in empty, I usually have all the racks out when I do this, I then fill with boiling water, Close the hatch and 5-15 minutes later load the meat. I used to pour the boiling water in the pan and then quickly load it in the MES, but like you said I either spilled some or burned my hands during the process. Plus if you don't have the alum foil nice a snug and flat under the two wings that hang on the rack, the foil catches and tears and when it snags more water is spilled.

So preheat the MES and put in an empty pan and fill.

There is no reason why you can't put the water pan in before you start the preheat and add boiling water then start preheat. I think preheat will take longer to get to 270º though. (I haven't tried this method yet, I will and let you know how much longer preheat takes.)
post #22 of 28
The other thing to keep in mind is to close the damper/exhaust stack all the way during the pre-heat. This helps to speed the process.
post #23 of 28
I just run the racks, water pan and drip pan through the dishwasher with the dry cycle off so the remaining crud is soft when the cycle is finished. Then I pick the small bits off with a knife or toothpick, then dishwash them again. Don't dry the racks as it just bakes the crud on again. Basically you are steaming the racks which I find works very well. The smoke comes off of the water pan pretty well with two washings. I guess I'm just too lazy to work on the racks.
post #24 of 28
Get the large size foil. If you're real careful, you can gently wrap the whole pan without any tears that will leak.

I spray Pam on my racks too. Then after a smoke, I put the racks & the pan next to the sink, and the good fairy washes them real good for me.

post #25 of 28

What the others said...AND

I also use the wide foil and completely cover the water pan and line the drip pan. If you don't have the wide foil, you can use two regular width pieces and make a tri-folded seam. I simply wipe the interior walls and door gaskets with hot sudsy water and rinse well. I always spray Pam on the racks before putting them in the smoker. If grates, drip pan, and water pan get too grungie, I use Barkeep's Friend (like Comet cleanser but works especially well on stainless steel sinks) and a scrubbing sponge made for teflon. Barely cover with HOT water, sprinkle on the Barkeep's Friend and let soak for 30 min. or so. I put everything in the dishwasher. (If it can handle the smoker, it can handle the dishwasher.) Love the idea of a cycle without drying to soften everything. I'll have to try that. Oh, I also use hot, sudsy water to clean the bottom down to the drip hole.
post #26 of 28
I've cleaned the racks well, and the water pan only when i get grease in it. I figure if i'm not eating anything that goes in the water pan, I dont care much if it gets smoke build up.
I am kinda paranoid about getting the mold build up like I've heard others have had in MES's, so I am careful to clean all grease out and I give the smoker time to dry out after I wash it up. I use a scrubber sponge on the window, but after 3-4 hours of smoking I cant see anything in there anyway.
post #27 of 28
I don't know if this would help anybody, because I don't have a window in my MES, but I do have a glass door in my "LOPI" woodstove. I have found the best way to clean the glass in the woodstove door is to wet a paper towel, then dip it in the ashes. Rubbing this on the glass cleans it perfectly. Then all I do is rinse it with a clean wet paper towel, and finish it with a clean dry paper towel. Makes it like brand new.

post #28 of 28
If you read Ronp and other MES owners they do use dripping liquid, for flavoring or to put in foil packets, I have too. Keeping something clean is a lot easier than trying to remove build up.

Buy a box brillo pads, they are cheap, they cut through any buildup easily. The dry dishwasher thing sounds cool, but I have preached to our kids the dishwasher isn't a garbage disposal so I can't change now.
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