Cleaning Exterior of Cedar Smoker

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Millar72

Newbie
Original poster
Jun 20, 2020
4
4
Hey gang - my COVID project a few years ago was to build a cedar smoker. I incorporated a lot of what I learned through these threads and am very happy with the results. I live in Washington where it is wet for most of the winter/spring. In the past year I've had quite a bit of black/grey mold spores form on the exterior of the smoker (all sides). I have tried vinegar and also hydrogen peroxide with limited success. Considering this is all on the exterior, is there a huge concern if I were to consider stepping up to more of a chemical cleaner (like the 30-second cleaners with bleach) to get down to the spore roots? I don't anticipate any cleaner getting inside the smoker but wanted to see if the wisdom of the group here would steer me away from the idea. Thanks.

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I have no experience in that area, but I'm sure others do.

Welcome to the group from New Mexico.
 
Vinegar penetrates into the wood whereas bleach does not.
Use straight vinegar spray on the wood to kill the crud.
Once a drier summer comes around that also kills the mold growth. Continue the vinegar treatment then use a log wood preservative. It will not get in the interior of your smoker
 
as Posted previously, vinegar will kill off the mold. Maybe sealing the exterior would be beneficial
 
Thanks for the follow ups - I had given it a decent linseed oil rubdown each year and assumed that would seal it up well enough. I'll get aggressive with some more vinegar and then look to seal it up with an alternate product - maybe hit it with a sander beforehand. If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like applying an external non-food grade sealing product shouldn't be of any concern to the meat I'm smoking on the inside. I was real careful with all the materials I used in this build so I thought I'd pick a few brains here before making a regrettable decision that might compromise the smoker. Thanks for your feedback!
 
Looks to me that the area might not get a lot of sun ? Maybe some tree trimming would help for future problems .
 
Thanks for the follow ups - I had given it a decent linseed oil rubdown each year and assumed that would seal it up well enough. I'll get aggressive with some more vinegar and then look to seal it up with an alternate product - maybe hit it with a sander beforehand. If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like applying an external non-food grade sealing product shouldn't be of any concern to the meat I'm smoking on the inside. I was real careful with all the materials I used in this build so I thought I'd pick a few brains here before making a regrettable decision that might compromise the smoker. Thanks for your feedback!
A lot of people feel comfortable making smoke houses from plywood.
I know planking salmon on cedar is popular in the PNW. Never tried it as I do not like salmon. Used to live there.
Many people treat their log homes with linseed oil, paraffin or a combination of same.
All can be food safe or toxic.
The general accepted practice is anything on the exterior of a smokehouse does not migrate inside.
 
I would suggest getting a jug of Jomax and follow the instructions on it. This will eliminate mold/mildew growth and prevent new growth for a time. Once done sealing the outside is a good idea as suggested above but I'd stay away from linseed oil and use something that provides a physical barrier against the elements like a spar urethane.
 

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I would suggest getting a jug of Jomax and follow the instructions on it. This will eliminate mold/mildew growth and prevent new growth for a time. Once done sealing the outside is a good idea as suggested above but I'd stay away from linseed oil and use something that provides a physical barrier against the elements like a spar urethane.
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Thanks, I'll give that a shot. Good to hear there is no concern around sealing the exterior. FYI - here's a closer look at what I'm trying to solve for.
 
Do you have a power washer? Would remove some of the bigger stuff and leave less for you to treat.

Ryan
 
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