Clean up suggestions

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Original poster
Jul 5, 2021
The worst part about smoking for me, and I’m guessing you too, is clean up. I use foil to line the water pan. Any other suggestions for cleaning grates and so forth?
i really don't clean the inside of smoker, i will heat it up once in a while then just scrape off any loose stuff., my grates i just get the heavy stuff off with soap and a scrubby then into the dishwasher, ( i did read somewhere a couple years back not to put them in the dishwasher but i was never good at following directions.
Depends on what type of smoker you have. With my pellet smoker I crank it to 500°F for 20min or so after the cook and it turns most left overs to char to be brushed off just like a grill.
Before the smoker gets cold after the cook, I brush the grates with a wire brush. This is usually while the meat is resting. When I get it hot again for the next smoke, I give them a once-over with the brush again before I put the meat on.

Once they've cooled and always as soon as possible, I clean out all the ashes from the firebox. This is easily accomplished with a wet/dry vacuum.
I use a MES for smoking. Before starting the cook, I spray down my grates with Pam (or whatever spray we have). After eating, I scrub all the chunks off the grates and then put them into the dishwasher. They come out great. Been doing that for years now.
I also have my drip pan foiled over and my water pan (filled with sand) foiled over. I also put a disposable pan under the meat to catch drippings and grease.
About the only thing I really worry about is the smoke buildup on the inside above the cooking area. I keep that cleaned off so stuff doesn't fall on the food.
Foil pans or foil catch most of the drippings. A little embarrassed to say I don't stress about the grates. I knock the worst off before a cook and let heat kill the cooties.
I use a wet/dry type vacuum to clean the firebox, usually the next day.
I have a vertical smoker. I toss the racks into the dishwasher with the mats. I lined the walls with foil stuck on with magnets. I trade the foil out a couple of times per year. I also found a small cookie sheet that I covered with foil to catch drips. It stays pretty clean.

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