Clean interior after smoking fish?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
Caledonia, Illinois
Hello all,

I have a Yoder YS640 and I wouldn't mind smoking some salmon. I'm wondering if other meats will taste like fish if I don't clean the interior of the smoker after I smoke the salmon? Thoughts anyone.


I have smoked fish in my big stick burner at the same time as other things just made sure no cross contamination from touching or drippings. I have had no problems. I have a reverse flow and put fish by the stack. I love smoked fish. I also like more smoke than some. Use hickory in mix. Used straight hickory one time. Wife didn't like that. Was plenty for me to eat :-)
I'd be more concerned about the salmon tasting like old bbq.  Smoke the salmon over a pan and don't let too much of the drippings hit the bottom of the smoker.
I line the heat diffuser with foil so the drippings shouldn't be an issue. I'll give it a shot this weekend. I also have grilling pans that I can use so the salmon won't actually taste like old BBQ lol. I have some 100% cherry pellets that I may give a shot. Wife may not like hickory. Thanks for the information.
Well the Warden insisted I smoke dead fish in the big pit one day..took about five years to get the stink out of it. After learning that valuable lesson I had some kind of Brinkmann Universal water smoker which became the official pit to cook weird stuff. I could do fish..possums..coons..armadillos..crockodiles etc. Who cared what that one smelled like huh? You are a very astute young man to think of this kinda stuff in advance. Some of us had to learn the hard way. Smart thinking. In fact the big pit still smells sorta fishy on a hot day..and thats been 20 years ago. Dont do it. Thanks.
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 I agree, keep a smoker for fish only.  On a added note you need a very low heat, no more than 140 degrees for the first several hours, then slowly add more fuel to get the temperature up to 175-180, otherwise you will do 2 things.  Just cook the fish, with very little smoke flavor, or you will cause " collagen "  in the muscle to ooze out of the fillet if you cook it too hot too quick, not real appealing. Low and slow, hard to do correctly, very indirect heat wanted.

Alder, apple or bay wood is what I prefer. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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