How do y'all clean your RF's?

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Nov 18, 2010
Gainesville, FL
So i've had my RF for about 6-7 month now and have used it probably close to 5-6 times. Not sure how much it was used before i bought it. Its starting to get a thick coating of char on the baffle plates, the grates are slimy always and the take has flecks of char hanging off. 

I was in a competition last weekend and inwrapped my ribs on the top shelf and the foil hitting the top made black flakes fall to my ribs. Luckily i had more on the bottom shelf. 

i'm debating putting a bunch of water pans in it and cranking up the temp really hot and "steaming" some of the crud off. What do you think about that? was also debating putting citrus fruits in the water...i've heard people cleaning house chimneys this way.

How do you clean yours? Do i just simply get a hose a scrub brush?
I knock off the loose stuff with a brush and get it up to 250-300 degrees and put the hose to it. The steam cleans it pretty well. If I'm cooking a bunch of butts I take a shovel and get most of the gunk off the RF plate and then use a 6" putty knife to get the rest off. Other than that I just scape the bottom every 5-6 cooks.
Hey Doug, Lots of opinions out there about to clean or not to clean. I one of those guys who clean. What I do after every cook, after everything is off, I build my fire back up a little get my temp ton 250 - 300 than I take my water hose and spray my racks and inside the cook chamber, It steams and with the water I knock off all the crud (and black stuff) that builds up. I promise you want wash away the seasoning coat or that smell you worked so hard to get. I can out there right now, open my lid and you get that great smokey, BBQ smell.

I use a wide putty knife to scrap the big stuff off the reverse flow plate, a wire brush on the racks then steam it. I don't do this after a smoke I do it before a smoke I want all that grease and stuff on the racks to keep them from rusting when it sits.
Ok you all Steam it using a hose...not a bunch of water pans and let them do the trick? i'm due for a cleaning by all of your numbers because its probably been 6-8 smokes and who knows the last time the previous own cleaned it
Doug, if it's really bad, you might do what Pineywoods suggested and scrape it down. That way you would get all the gunk and loose stuff.

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