Quick, easy, and effective smoker cleaning method ...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by oink, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. oink

    oink Newbie

    So I have seen some threads on here with people asking how they should clean there smokers. Well I smoked some 3-2-1 ribs yesterday (sorry no q view I know shame on me) well I cleaned my smoker this morning and I just remember how pretty it looked when it was fresh out of the box so I have always been really particular on cleaning it and preserving it as best as I can. It's a year old and I've used it almost every weekend along with my MES. Well the best thing I have found to do is to first wipe and scrub everything down (just paper towels for the smoker and of course a bbq grate brush for the grates) and then rub some rendered fat all over it which will make it look brand new! It's a really great preservation method and my smokers are like my babies! Here are some pics
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  2. OH NO!!!  Not rendered fat!  Veg oil is ok but not rendered meat fat.  Food safety alert x10.  Unless you are holding back some details here like you burn the grills off VERY well ( and even then ) THIS IS A NO NO!!  IF  you have a fool proof method you didn't explain it and you MUST realise that we have VERY new members who don't automatically know about food safety in these cases.  I don't know all the technical details but I will ask our resident food safety expert/instructor to have a look at your thread and give you the technical details.

  3. oink

    oink Newbie

    I appreciate your concern. But part of what is in the drippings is olive oil and vinegar. Leaving it out in the sun for a day will kill the bacteria so will heating up your smoker. I've cooked for parties and several people and they always end up begging for more the next week so as far as I'm concerned it's full proof. Rendered fat is also a preservative itself and has been used for cooking after being left out in room temp. It's a practice that is thousands of years old. Also understand that most people don't clean their grills but heating it up right before they cook takes care of the bacteria. Next time you go to anyone's house with a propane/ charcoal grill/ smoker that really is not in to it like we are in this community I guarantee you will not see it being nearly as clean as my pics have shown.
  4. I am glad that you now have give slightly more detail about your process but in my opinion saying that other's don't clean their grill properly is not saying your way is correct.  I'll wait for JJ

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is true. No need to worry as generations of Grandma's left a Coffee can of Bacon Drippings and Lard sitting on the stove or a near by counter without issue. Additionally while fat can be a food source, bacteria does not do well on it because it lacks Water, a necessary ingredient for the growth and survival of bacteria. The smoker is heated before use, killing any bacteria that might have gotten a foot hold and in the event of a cold smoke like for cheese the grates should be wiped down very well as, I at least, wouldn't want greasy cheese. As far as a food source for bacteria, chemically there is no difference between Veg Fat and Animal Fats. There would be a greater risk of a nasty flavor getting on the meat from the fat coating going rancid, oxidizing, then having a bacteria issue.

    @Danny...Thank you so much for your watchful eye and dedication to the Safety of our members...JJ
  6. oink

    oink Newbie

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  7. Hello Oink.  When I am wrong I will stand up and admit, I WAS WRONG!!!!   I do appreciate Chef Jimmy educating me on this.  OINK:  You have my sincerest apology.

    Now that Chef Jimmy mentions it I do remember Grandma having a can of bacon grease near the stove, mine is in the fridge so that is maybe not necessary.  I do apologise again Oink for my error.

  8. oink

    oink Newbie

    Please don't apologize. Sharing our info on this forum is what it is all about. As I told you in my private message to you I just burned 1 rack out of 3 I smoked yesterday! It happens!
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Danny, I too keep my Bacon Grease in the refer because as I mentioned above, fats can go rancid at room temp. The difference was Grandma used her Bacon Grease for everything she cooked except cake, so there was no time for it to oxidize as it was used up quickly. In modern times and concerns over saturated fat, we tend too use more Veg/Olive Oils.to cook with so Bacon Grease at room temp would likely spoil...JJ 
  10. Please correct me if I'm wrong ,But when I seasoned my smoker I used bacon ,hamburger and sausage grease to try and get it season quicker. That being said why would you want to clean you smoker ever except for the grates? My whole hog cooker is about 20 years old and I would never wash away all those years of good flavor. Cleaning grates is a must on any type of smoker, grill ect before each outing .
  11. oink

    oink Newbie

    Well I don't necessarily 'clean' it. I just wipe up any large amounts of rendered fat puddled inside the bottom of the smoker and rub it on the outside to prevent rust. Doing so will still leave a coating of fat inside from whatever I just cooked. And will continue to season it like a skillet or so.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  12. well that makes more sense , I know a friend of mine has a cooker that's only 3 years old and we can cook a whole hog side by side and mine has a deeper robust smoke flavor, that's how I want my smoker to turn out.
  13. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have bacon grease can by my stove too., great for seasoning green beans too..
  14. IMHO season your smoker with any kind of grease you have on hand to start the process you will add more as time goes on. I read a post this week where someone pressure washed their smoker . my first thought was WHY .if I had the option to buying a new smoker for $500.00 and one that had been season for years for $100.00 more I would pay the extra money.
  15. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use 'Manteca' ( Lard ) from the Latin stores , or your grocer may have it.

    I coated the outside and inside of mine when it was New , heated it to 300*F and let it "cure" the paint and the inside too .

    Now, I wipe the out side with a towel and clean the inside with a 6" Putty Knife. I scrape off the nasties , brush the grate ( and now wash and clean my 'Grill Mat' , then re-lard the inside , heat it up and let it cool to absorb into the metal.

    I never pressure wash my equipment, all the seasoning must stay. . .

    Have fun and . . .
  16. valleypoboy

    valleypoboy Smoke Blower

    I pressure washed the inside of a decent propane BBQ once. Worst mistake I ever made. The cast iron burners rusted out to the point of causing uneven flame. I try to learn from others mistakes, but my own mistakes often lead to enlightenment. Because of the rusted out burners I figured out how to remove rust using electrolysis. It didn't fix my problem but I had a lot of fun doing it and learned something useful.

    Back on subject, I made a chimney diverter (to bring the entrance down to grate level) for my OK Joe smoker out of steel. Before I used it I cleaned it in my sink, scrubbed off a bit of surface rust then coated it in oil (olive oil is what was handy) then cured it in my toaster oven at 350 for an hour. I figured it it works good for cast iron it should work ok for steel also. After it cooled off it felt nice and smooth with a good coated on oil feel.

    Do you also coat the inside of your firebox with rendered fat or lard/manteca? If so, how often?

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