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Cleaning a smoker can anyone tell be the best way,

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by ugaboz, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. ugaboz

    ugaboz Smoking Fanatic

    the inside of mine is really dirty and everytime i cook it melts and gets on th food, on the ground. got any tips
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm assuming you're speaking of your UDS judging by your previous posts...

    I haven't had much problem with any of mine (non-UDS), but when I do wash them out (annually) I use hot soapy water (dawn or other dish soap) and a nylon scrub brush, then rinse with hot water. I don't use oven cleaner, as it contains very strong caustics which can eat right down to bare metal which may cause corrosion later on. A couple of large plastic bins underneath will catch what runs out so you can dispose of it.

    Air0dry or build a small fire in it after rinsing to dry with heat, then reseason the smoker if a complete wash-out was done.

    With a drum, I would suggest just washing off the lid itself so it doesn't drip on the food, and then put a shallow pan or cut-down coffee can underneath the drum to catch the dripings hitting the ground. Sounds like something you'll need to do any, in order to keep from having a mess on the ground.

  3. I use a putty knife to scrape the grease/smoke from the barrel sides and dispose from there. I have found a wad of aluminum foil on the end of tongs for removing debris from grates. Both techniques work best if cooker is warm.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Where is your build up at (on the sides, bottom, lid?) I usually get a little build up on the floor of the drum so I just wipe it up with paper towels. Also if I do get a bit of build up on the lid I just wipe it off with paper towels as well.
  5. gardenstater

    gardenstater Newbie

    I've got an inexpensive barrel smoker with an offset firebox.  Last year I rented a powerwasher to clean my deck, and then used it on the smoker.  It worked pretty well.  Then when it was dry, I sprayed it with Pam cooking spray, inside and out.  It was a lot easier than scrubbing!
  6. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    "Simple Green" spray is a safe product that works well.  Spray it down, and let it sit a few minutes then hose off with a high pressure nozzle.  You may need to do it a couple times, but it works well.  You will want to re-season it immediatly afterwords.
    powerranger262 likes this.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Simple Green and a power washer work wonders.
  8. I hook up a hose to the shower head in my bathroom and run it out to a high pressure washer and spray down and if i have a build up i think that wont take care of i use oven cleaner and then spray with pressure washer and hot water. Before i got a small pressure washer of my own i would take my grill - smoker to one of them coin operated car wash and use there wand to clean. The oven cleaner does a great job and washes off nicely.

  9. I have never had a problem that i know of with oven cleaner but i think i am going to switch to simple green and see how that works. Timely Quistion as i am getting ready to clean mine again.

    I never thought that the oven cleaner could be causing some of the wear and tear on the smoker.

  10. I never use any chemicals inside the cooker, you never know what kind of poisonous fumes could be produced the next time you fire up the cooker. I use a pressure washer everytime after cooking then spray with vegetable oil. That works great.
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Never cleaned my GOSM, other than the grates every now and then.

    My stickburner on the other hand, I get it warmed up and squirt down with a hose, close up and steam a bit, repeat the hose spray, drain and when, dry mist some oil into the fire box, under the reverse flow plate and inside the chamber and stack, keep heat going for a few hours then cool. I only done this once so far.

    I do not use cleaners, same as my Coffee pots, griddles and wok
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  12. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    The problem with any "hosing down" of a cooker is that food matter gets all over the area where you're hosing it down! I don't have a large yard, so I can't write off 150 sq ft of it as the "mucky area full of old food drbris from my grills".

    So I'm kinda meticulous about the process. The outside gets cleaned with Fantastik and paper towels, then wiped with damp cloth. The cast-iron grates get burned off in my gas grill, scraped down, and oiled. The insides of all my grills get scraped occasionally to remove creosote etc, but no cleaning aside from that. I sue drip pans, so the insides never get too horrendously mucky. The real PITA is the drip pan. It's a full-size pro cookie sheet, 32"x18", so whenever I clean it I end up a mess.
  13. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Self serve car wash! Easy, cheap, and leave the mess there.... heh-heh.
  14. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Then haul butt out of there and air dry it. [​IMG]
  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a horizontal offset, but never had those problems.  You got a lot of ideas here though.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. I forgot to mention the best way to clean my smoker is to have you do it. Otherwise the advise above works great.


  17. The birds and the bees will take care of it. Don't worry about it. That's not debris or food particles. thats bird feed.

    Life is easy and grand when you look at it rite.


  18. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Other than the food and grease in the bottom, my SmokinTex has never been cleaned. I do the grates after each smoke in warm soapy water and SOS pads .  
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't have that problem...mine sits right on  my patio, just don't use too much mater and its drained into a gallon bucket and dumped several times, just need to make sure its completely dry inside.
  20. Really though just Kidden about having you do it. Just have the wife do it any way she wants to. Just make sure she brings you 2 cold beers on ice before she starts. If it takes longer then 2 beers she is slacken.