Question about my vertical smoker??

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Original poster
Nov 22, 2005
Hi all,

Good to be on here. I found the forum by chance today and read alot of good articles here. Anyways; The other day I received a new home built vertical wood smoker that stands about 7ft. tall and I have a little problem. Today I rinsed out the inside of the smoker with water(no soap or scrubbing) and proceeded to smoke a pork roast. The bottom of the smoker has a chamber for water and I filled it up. Anyways about half-way thru I noticed a some black slime on my roasts and noticed that the inside of the smoker smelt like "metal" and not like my old smoker(brinkman). Could this be because I did not scrub the inside of the smoker with soap and a wire brush to remove all the deposits? I got really upset seeing as how I "thought" I had removed all the dirt and grit. Can anybody give me some hints on how and what to use so that my smoker is safe for food and this will not happen again?? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you
Sounds like you needed to season the pit first.

I would go ahead and start over. Clean it out good, use soap if you want to.

Then grab a new paint brush, and a jug of peanut oil.

Have at it, and paint that thing, all over in the smoke chamber. I also did the outside, but without seeing your cooker, I cannot recommend that.

Now get a good fire going, hotter the better. You need to maintain a good 400 degrees for at least 4 hours. This is going to both burn off any residuals from the manufacturing process, as well as "cure" your pit and lock in a protective layer against the walls.

I think this might work
Welcome to the Forum floridasmoker. About 10 years ago a friend and I built a Smoker/grill out of an old 55 gal. drum that was used to hold industrial strength cleaning solution. The cleaning solution had to meet NFS (National Food Safty) guidelines so we knew the barrel was ok for our intended use. After making our inital cuts into the barrel, we used a high pressure washer to wash the barrel out. When we finished our project we cleaned the barrel out again and dried it out with alot of towels. (Made for a couple of VERY upset wives :roll:) Before our first use, we wiped the cooking chamber and cooking grids down with some vegetable oil and build a charcoal fire in the burn chamber and maintained a 400 degree temp. for a couple of hours. This caused the oil to burn in to the metal and create a protective coating (much like seasoning a cast iron pan). That barrel smoker/grill lasted for several years and produced some mighty fine food. We let a local chruch group borrow it for a Social and we never got it back! :shock:

I don't know if it's too late to try and "season" your smoker but you may want to give it a try.

Looks like Chi Bill beat me to it!! Amazing how great minds think alike!! :mrgreen:
Both are very good ideas. Thanks. I will try and clean it out and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again... Gary
Hi Gary,
I'd like to also welcome you to the site ... it's the best I have found and has some really good experience from some really personable people. Good luck on the seasoning project. Sounds like Chi Bill and Duke are onto something. By the way, what part of Florida? I'm in Santa Rosa Beach - up in the panhandle.
Howdy floridasmoker, welcome. Sure would be great to see a picture of the homemade smoker of yours. Sounds like it will hold a lot of food. 8)
Hi all,

Just thought I'd jump on here really quick to say that I'm getting ready to clean the smoker out. Ive included a picture of the smoker at the request of Bob-Bqn. Also bwsmith_2000, I'm up in Jacksonville. Nice and cold and windy here today!! Okay Time to get cleaning. Talk to yall later.

Heres the beast!!
Well I got the smoker cleaned out REALLY GOOD and coated the inside with a good coat of vegetable oil. I just got the fire started up again and let it cook for a good 4 hours like yall said to. I really hope this puts an end to the crud that was on the inside of the smoker. Talk to yall later.

That is a totally awsome looking smoker! Is it new? and who is the manufacturer? In looking at the fire pit with the door open, it appears that there is limited "breathing" room for the fire. Perhaps it should be up on a grid or something or mabey that's just the way the pix looks. Anyway, hope the seasoning worked. The smoker looks really neat. Let us know how it works out.

Fl. Bill

Yes the smoker is new. One of my buddies builds these in their weld/hitch shop and they just up and gave me one last week(this one sells for $900). I think I am going to have to put a grate in the pit like you said to allow air up under the fire. there is a 1 1/4" pipe in the back of the pit to allow air to enter as well. I've got the fire cranked up good but dont know the temp. as I have not yet installed a temp gauge. Anyways hope the cleaning and seasoning works???? Thanks for the head is swelling....

Good Heavens, Gary. I saw the picture and the first thing that popped into my mind was "What time is lift-off?" :lol: That bad boy looks like it can hold a serious amount of food.
It's like a chimnea on steroids! 8) Very impressive pit. I'm glad to hear that you're planning on adding a fire grate. Tha ashes really need to fall away from the fire so it can breathe. Otherwise in and hour or two the ashes build up and begin to choke the fire and it's nearly impossible to keep the temperature up inside the pit. Hope you get lots of use out of it! 8)
Afternoon all,

Well I cleaned and seasoned the smoker last night. it was kind of hard to tell what the temp was without a gauge but I had a hot fire going with oak. Anyways it came out good and plan on smoking some ribs on Saturday. Hopefully they will be yummy!! Thank you for all the tips and I will be adding a grate real soon. Have a good day yall. Oh I forgot; Lift off is at 8am tomorrow..He,He,He is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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