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Do you clean your smoker?

Discussion in 'Blowing Smoke Around the Smoker.' started by Big Glenn, Aug 14, 2019 at 10:39 AM.

  1. Big Glenn

    Big Glenn Fire Starter

    If so, how? How thoroughly? This has not been much of an issue for me in the past since I was smoking 1 or 2 items at a time I would just put a foil pan under to catch the grease. My last smoke was 4 racks of ribs and a Brisket flat. 2 racks of ribs with just a little trim completely fill a grate so I tried putting a baking pan under the ribs but it blocked the heat from getting through and I removed it. The empty water pan caught a lot of grease and the grease collection tray caught a lot, but there is still a lot of grease in the burner area. Do I need to clean this out?
  2. HHYak

    HHYak Fire Starter

    I just follow the instructions in my user manual and pay attention to the key areas when it comes to cleaning.

    You may want to include what grill you are using for specifics relating to your grill.
  3. sandyut

    sandyut Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    smoker type will help with suggestions, for my Rec Tec Bull I follow the manufacturer recommendations pretty close. on my old WSM, grates and water bowl was about all I ever cleaned.
    JC in GB likes this.
  4. ristau5741

    ristau5741 Meat Mopper

    Don't usually clean it, scrape the grates with a brush, burn of any excess grease afterwards, use a blower to clean out all the left over ash, after dumping as much as I can from the firebox.
    JC in GB likes this.
  5. Big Glenn

    Big Glenn Fire Starter

    I guess that would help. It's a Pit Boss propane cabinet smoker. I have always cleaned the window and the grates after each smoke
  6. Hawging It

    Hawging It Master of the Pit

    I clean my Bayou Classic Stick Burner from time to time. I use Purple Power cleaner/de-greaser from Walmart. It is amazing stuff and I learned about it on SMF. Scrape excess grease and remove. Pour Purple Power in spray bottle. Spray heavily the areas you want to clean. Let it sit for awhile then use a brush if necessary to loosen up the gunk. Then simple rinse the smoke/cook chamber out. Repeat if necessary. I have recently started placing a layer of heavy foil in the bottom of the smoke/cook chamber to catch all the grease/fat. It cuts way down on the necessity to clean my smoker. Hope this helps.
  7. JC in GB

    JC in GB Smoking Fanatic

    I clean my smoker after every use.

    I abandoned steel wire brushes after hearing of bristles getting lodged in food items then ingested causing an expensive hospital visit.

    I actually use a stainless steel drywall putty knife. It works better than the steel brush.

    I scrape any built up grease off the floor and grates and spray some cooking spray if needed to recoat metal. I am not looking for squeaky clean, just keep it clean so no fires start inside the smoker.

    JC :emoji_cat:
    Fueling Around likes this.
  8. You might want to try one of those spiral coiled type of brushes to end the problem of bristles breaking off and getting into your food. I just got one a few days ago so don't have that much experence with it yet.
    There are knock offs but I got an original from Brushtech.
    I think they were the originators.
    Just search "brushtech spiral grill brush" and it should pop right up.

    I vac out my pellet grill after every third run or so. The grill grate I scrub down when the mood strikes. The more I do it, the less work it is than if I let it go.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 10:10 AM
    JC in GB likes this.
  9. JCAP

    JCAP Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I clean my grates and water pan after every smoke. Usually just bring em in the house and wash em with soap and water.
    SecondHandSmoker likes this.
  10. Grates cleaned with notched blade on the wire bristle when cooled and need a good scraping.
    Between times are done with the spiral thingy from local box store.

    Coal and stick burner. Ash is swept out with whisk broom and dust pan
  11. rjob

    rjob Smoke Blower ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Have an electric which is lightly cleaned after use. Grills are soaked and scrubbed clean. Grease tray is cleaned after each use. Clean with Goo be Gone Grill Cleaner and hot water. Mainly done to prevent rodents and insects from showing up.
  12. Cabo

    Cabo Newbie

    I clean the grates and glass door after every cook. Wipe out any grease in the bottom of the cabinet with an old rag and diluted white vinegar.
    About twice a year I completely scrub the inside and re-season with peanut oil
    SecondHandSmoker likes this.
  13. PoukieBear

    PoukieBear Smoke Blower

    I have a WSM, so I have very little cleaning to do.

    I now use Harry Soo's "black belt" trick with the water pan. Cover it in heavy duty foil before putting it in the smoker. Makes clean up sooooo much easier!

    I simply dump the ashes out and spray with the hose if needed.

    And that's all I do, which totally appeals to my lazy attitude.
  14. I have wsm, what she said.
  15. Norwester55

    Norwester55 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I foil the bottom of mine before smoking. After, scrub the racks/rack holders and wipe down with white vinegar.
  16. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    If it wasn't for the creosote buildup in my MES and the fact that I can see this creating smoke (when I preheat the smoker) I would NOT clean my smoker. However, I found that the creosote was degrading the taste of my food, as I posted here (click to read):

    Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness ... But Does It Taste Good?
  17. Big Glenn

    Big Glenn Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone. I guess I will try degreaser and towels first then the hose. Since my smoker is on a second story deck I will have to drag it down to the yard. Don't want grease all over the deck.

    5GRILLZNTN Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I basically do what Poukie does with her WSM. I've been running a foiled clay flower pot saucer on top of the water pan, and change out the foil. I do look for anything flaky under the lid and scrape that off. I don't dare touch any buildup in the barrel. I vacuum my pellet smoker after a couple of cooks, replace the foil on the drip tray, and brush the grate.
  19. Forgot to ask your smoker.

    My profile image is a couple of St Louis cuts in my Brinkmann. (Yes, I usually flip them upside down for the last 30 minutes or so.) You can see the dollar store foil pan under the meat to catch the grease.

    I assume you have a vertical and not a horizontal?
  20. Big Glenn

    Big Glenn Fire Starter

    Vertical Pit Boss gas. I think the problem was the grates were completely filled to the walls so my catch pan was equally as big and blocked the heat. When I removed that grease dripped down the sides missing the empty water pan and the grease trap in the bottom and built up in the bottom at the burner level