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keeping your pit/smoker clean and sanitary


Joined Jan 8, 2019
Hi everyone!
I have a question about clean and sanitary pits/smokers. How does one keep the pit/smoker clean of bacteria and growing stuff inside if you don't use it regular? I clean mine thoroughly before each use but, I'm loosing the seasoned pit taste. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks :)

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
I'm an RF guy after every smoke I throw in a couple more split and get it pretty hot, Then I take my water hose and spray it out real good. Then when I get ready to smoke again While firing it up I go over the grates and inside the smoker with my weed burner. You can go out there right now raise the lid and Ahhh smoker heaven



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
I will take sanitary over seasoned pit taste lol, I really don't need previous cooking odors to flavor what I am cooking this time. I might pick a different wood or different seasonings . You wont ever get rid of the smoke smell without a lot of elbow grease. I use a small electric pressure washer to clean my grates and then a high temp run to dry stuff off in the pellet smoker, the electric gets a scraping or a bath once in awhile. grates cleaned every time. I have seen some pictures of grates that look haired over/never cleaned but sauces can get baked on and very hard to remove. that is probably 1 of the reasons I don't sauce much while cooking on the grates.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 17, 2014
On my SQ36 offset I take any loose stuff off the inside of the CC with a putty knife and wipe it down with a rag, the grill gets wire brushed and torched. My Pro 100 I clean the SS shelves with SOS in the kitchen sink, haven't touched the inside of the cabinet in 15 years, smells delicious. RAY


JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 28, 2018
Not sure what kind of pit you have. I have a gravity fed charcoal smoker. I will scrape the bottom of the smoker with a putty knife every third smoke to get any grease buildup out of the bottom. I also wrap the heat baffle/grease ramp with aluminum foil and change that every third smoke. I scrape the grates with a putty knife and hit them with a small mist of cooking spray before every cook. Depending on what I have been smoking I will then do a clean burn of my pit at 350 F for an hour once about every 5 cooks. Once the burn is done, I scrape out any crusty leftovers then spray the walls and grates with a light coating of cooking spray. Lastly, I leave all smoker doors open so as not to trap any moisture. Ready for next cook.

JC :emoji_cat:
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