SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
- Joined Jan 6, 2011
SEASONED or DIRTY ?
It’s been a while since I posted anything about Smoker Cleaning.
Texas Monthly (a Magazine about Texas) for those of you who don’t live in our Great State, had an article about “Seasoned or Dirty Smokers” which got me motivated to Post this.
I have always been of the opinion a Clean Smoker produces better BBQ. I’ve known quite a few people who swear by Never Cleaning their Smoker, They say, “It’s Seasoned” and that’s where the flavor comes from. I Could not Disagree More. One guy I know said “My Parents have a BBQ Place and they NEVER clean their smoker”. That was good information “I’ll know not to eat there!!
I have, and always will clean my smoker.
I’m a stick burner so here is how I clean mine.
I start when I first fire up my smoker, I use my weed burner to get my fire going.
Then I use it to heat up the inside of my smoker. really going over my grates and make sure they are burned off; I also blow the flames up the smokestack to burn it off as well. I then give the grates a good brushing.
After I’ve finished smoking, I’ll throw another split or two in the fire box and get that Temp up. I take my water hose and spray the grates, stack and inside. You would be surprised how much stuff comes out. I do this after every smoke.
Depending on how much I smoke determines how many times I do a Super Cleaning. When I do this, I take out my grates and my RF plate (I have a Reverse Flow) I scrape everything down, fire up my pressure washer and give everything a thorough Cleaning.
Nothing Like a fresh clean smoker.
The only time a smoker needs to be seasoned is when you first get it or build it. You want to burn off all the contaminants, factory oils or anything else that may have adhered to the inside.
I build a big fire in the fire box and let it burn for a while, then I spray the inside and the grates with cooking oil. Sometimes I’ll use Bacon grease mixed with cooking oil. Then I let it go till the fire burn out. That’s it, the only time I season.
So, a Dirty Smoker is NOT a Seasoned Smoker, it’s just a dirty smoker. If you haven’t cleaned you smoker in a long time, give it a good cleaning and see the difference. And don’t forget the stack, Lots of creosote buildup.