cleaning the grates

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by axpilot, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. axpilot

    axpilot Fire Starter

    What are your favorite tricks for cleaning the grates?  It is the only part of smoking I hate. Also what about the creosote that builds up on the water pan do you clean it?

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There are no tricks that I've found; it's just plain 'ol dirty work. [​IMG]   It's the only part of this craft I really don't like as well.   I just scrape with a wire brush and then scrub them with a ratty old Scotch Brite pad, soap, and hot water.  If I had a fire box big enough, I would just throw them over the flames until they were cleaned up. [​IMG]

    I soak the pan and scrub it the same way, but it'll never be bright and shiny again.  [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I soak the grates in the laundry tub, scrape off the chunks and into the dishwasher.

    Foil the water pan and lower drip pan next time and clean up is a breeze!

    For now, soak your pan in the same water as your grates, and I use a Scotchbrite Pad or a Brillo Pad

  4. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I cook on a cooling rack and scrub in a sink with a scotchbrite and dish soap. My water pan I use dollar store oven cleaner on the underside to get the smoke off. 


  5. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I guess I'll toss in my suggestions:  My water pan isn't the shiny kind, like meateaters, I clean the bottom with Krud Kutter and an SOS pad.  Works quite well.  When in the smoker, I foil the water pan and that REALLY helps.

    --Grates?  I use the cooling racks as mentioned above.  All of the grates and racks fit nicely in the dishwasher after a good soaking in the deep sink.  If you don't have a deep sink deep enough, get a square trash can deep enough and use that for soaking.  Most grates will fit in one nicely.

    For the weber grill, I have cast iron grates and that get's cleaned with a brass brush while still hot. 

    That's about it.

    While not mentioned, I clean the temp probes with a disinfecting wipe and let that air dry.  After storing and before immediate use, I rewipe and let air dry after a splash of water. 
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What Todd Said...
  7. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    During spring, summer and fall when your expecting dewy mornings, toss the racks in the grass in the evening and hose them off in the morning.

    For very difficult burnt on grease I use Greased Lightning, I haven't found a grill or smoker it would not clean yet.

  8. axpilot

    axpilot Fire Starter

    thanks guys, i will give these a try

  9. skinman

    skinman Newbie

    My grates got nasty once so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. I threw them in the oven and ran it thru a

    cycle on the "self cleaning".... grates came out like new and the wife was happy that I cleaned the oven too!!

    I was impressed at how clean the grates turned out.
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  11. I have had good luck by spraying the grates with cooking oil before placing the meat on the grates and then cleaning the grates in the dishwasher afterwards. They come out pretty clean. You can get the cooking oil spray cans at most grocery stores.
  12. I toss mine on the gas barbeque grill for a few minutes, then brush with a grill brush. Takes about 5 minutes per grate.
  13. I just used oven cleaner and the fumes are kinda freaking me out.  Hav epeople used oven cleaner and then smoked?  I considered putting them on my grill to burn off any remaining chemicals.
  14. In a pinch, a crumpled wad of aluminum foil will clean the grates as well as a wire brush. 
  15. Weber Grill Cleaner. Spray them down in the sink and let them soak. Then Get after them with a SOS pad They clean up in about 5 minn.  The spray cuts off about 8 or 10 minn per rack.  I don't have a dish washer, Oh yes I do Me.  Jted
  16. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Use them till they are all dirty then heat treat them on the grill while it's heating up. Scrubb everything off like you clean a regular grill grate.
  17. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Oven cleaner is made to lean ovens, and people ha pave been using it for over 50 years, then cooking dinner in the oven. Why would using it in a smoker be unhealthy?

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