Black slime on grates

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Paulie Walnuts 440

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 17, 2020
Hey after several cooks I normally bring the smoker temp up a bit higher around 325 to get the grates hotter and scrape the grates but no matter what I do I still have this black slime on the grates. Today I used my benzomatic torch to burn the slime off which worked but can only cover a small area. Any ideas what I can do to remove this slime because it's on the bottom of my food and leaves a nasty residue on the plates and does impart a rancid flavor on my food.

I have seasoned wood when I burn in my off set smoker and I can tell you there is no sizzle or water pouring out of the wood when i burn.


  • 20210602_125523.jpg
    108 KB · Views: 12
It’s just residue from the last smoke. It is no problem. Look inside the smokers of some of the best BBQ places in the world & their pits are anything but clean. If I haven’t used my smoker for a while I use a weed burner to sterilize the grates, when I use it to start the fire.
Ok makes sense and as far as like crust build up the grates are clean of that it's that damn slime i can't get rid of but I noticed some do use a weed torch to burn that slime off. After burning that stuff off should I then get the smoker up to maybe 300 and spray some canola oil to let that bake in?
That slime is one of two things (or a combination of both).
(1) A buildup of partially polymerized fat
(2) Creosote

Id expect it to be mosty (1).
But this description sounds more like (2): "leaves a nasty residue on the plates and does impart a rancid flavor"

WD40 will help dissolve it.
Then scrub with a wire brush, soap, and hot water.

Burning it off is the easiest way to do it though.
  • Like
Reactions: Paulie Walnuts 440
well if wd40 will work gas will be quicker lol ,no way I am putting wd40 on any grates, Dawn dishwashing liquid and a big wash tub will clean almost any thing, I use a small electric pressure washer on mine, then heat to 500 or so for 30 minutes, if it can live thru all that I deserve what ever it can do to me lol
  • Like
Reactions: Cabo
I wash my grates with soap and water after a long cook. A bunch of small pieces of food and hardened fat winds up stuck to them, and that and the water / drip pans get moldy quickly if left alone . Doesn’t take too long to wash the grates when I’m putting the smoker away the day after a cook.
Once I take the meat off the smoker/grill I use a wire brush and clean the grates off while they're still hot.

I normally clean grates off after a cook but this black slime tar stays on its odd even after bringing temps up to 350 degrees for a half hour or so.
Spray with canola oil and allow to sit a while before you clean the grates. It cuts through the grease and makes it much easier to remove.
A couple times a year I'll take my smoker to the car wash and pressure wash the whole thing inside and out. In between trips to the car wash I will occasionally build a big fire in the fire box and get the smoker as hot as possible, then spray the grates with a water hose, close the lid and let the steam clean it up.
  • Like
Reactions: Paulie Walnuts 440 is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads