smoker cleaning

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by rogers chuck, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. rogers chuck

    rogers chuck Newbie

    I need some advice I am new to smoking on my 2nd and better smoker (electric) how often do ya'll clean your smoker? I clean each use I run the grates through the dishwasher & wash with soap and water. then put on 275 to dry it well.
  2. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I tap mine, what falls off falls off, what stays on is part of the next cook. 

    sbg101 and ab canuck like this.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't really clean mine either, unless stuff is falling off the sides or top. Then I scrape off the loose stuff.

    Just use a wire grill brush on the grates.

  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I wire brush the grates every time. About every 3-4 cooks, I steam it out with the hose after the cook. About every 4-6 months, the CC and convection plate gets a good scraping and then steamed out and coated with oil for re-seasoning. Works for me.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep that!

    After smoking fish I scrub the racks and Q-mats.

    I change out the foil that I wrap drip pans and diffusers after each smoke.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Some of the most Famous names in BBQ have 100+ year old pits that have never been cleaned. It's their claim that decades of Seasoning is what makes their Q taste better. I, like many, clean racks, remove grease and any loose debris from walls and ceiling but have never cleaned so thoroughly that the MES's needed to be reseasoned and never plan too...JJ
    ab canuck likes this.
  7. singlegal

    singlegal Newbie

    Please help. Am concerned about health effects of aluminum. I have brinkman with offset firebox. When i smoke brisket i put wood n charcoal in firebox. I put aluminum pan under brisket with water in it. Is this adding to exposure of aluminum?
    Bigger question-
    Sometimes i grill bbq chicken and i use aluminum pans to hold charcoal to ease my clean up.
    Is this unhealthy if one is trying to avoid aluminum exposure?
    After all is cool- a day or so later i use scoop for ashes then my shop vac.
    Had smoker 4months only (now a brisket whisperer as all 4 have been aaron franklin good)
    But winter is coming so im researching ways to clean inside properly to avoid rust that ruined previous propane grill. Theres so much crap in bottom i never knew there were holes for draining!
    So im using wire brush and am committed to cleaning after each use.
    Using disposable aluminum pans inder charcoal is sooo super easy.
    But as alzheimers and osteoporosis runs in my family im worried about heating aluminum and the fumes etc.
    I do not use aluminum foil on the grates ever. I will be using paper instead of foil to wrap my brisket in when i have to texas crutch it.
    Can anyone...without treating me like an idiot....tell me if the aluminum under coals is ok or not and its such a pain in the butt to clean are there any short cuts without using a possibly toxic material such as aluminum foil?
    I love everything about grilling and smoking and am really good at it so far...but am new and btw...theres no one to do it for me. No hubby no kid no life partner to clean after i smoke a brisket to perfection for 15 hours plus...just me hooing one of yall can help. Tia!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Alzheimers runs in my wife's family so I have researched this extensively...The Aluminum connection is unproven in addition there is not a restaurant in the country that does not cook virtually Everything in Aluminum! Do you never eat out? Antiperspirant, Aluminum Chlorohydrate and it's variants are more concern from direct skin contact, and even that is unproven. Aluminum melts and gives off gas, vaporizes, at over 1200°F and you ain't NEVER getting that hot in a smoker. Aluminum does not give off any gases at cooking temps even with direct flame or charcoal contact. Use foil or disposable pans all you want with nothing to worry about. It is not like simmering an acidic Tomato Sauce all day in an aluminum pot...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  9. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I had no idea that hot aluminum was a health hazard. Surely the government would have weighed in on this!!
    I only clean the grates (sort of). That nasty greasy stuff in the bottom of the smoker is a rust inhibitor. :biggrin:
    I have a loving wife but smoker (and grinder/stuffer, etc.) is all mine.
    Kudos for the great briskets!
  10. tripleq

    tripleq Smoking Fanatic

    Phew, thanks J, for a moment there I thought I would have to choose between getting poisoned from my aluminum foil hat or taking it off and let them government rays in.

    On a side note, if you're really worried about aluminum toxicity, don't read the contents of your antiperspirant
  11. singlegal

    singlegal Newbie

    I use Toms no aluminum. Research from other countries seems to indicate risk. Also ive read that alm foil shouldnt be used with hot foods abd that oven temps cause leaching of alum into foods.alot of places uses that paper to wrap their briskets in....and lately ive seen restaurants using more and more paper boxes not plastic n not alum foil. Idk maybe i need to do more research. I dont trust usa findings. The chemicals banned here just for cosmetics are so low compared to most countries.
    Really dont wana change. My brisket looks so good my last one is my screen saver. Never seen such a pretty ring...better than anything at Tiffany's! And flavor is just so darn good.
  12. tripleq

    tripleq Smoking Fanatic

    Hi single, first, sorry if I came off as a jerk, good find on the anti stink stick. I think you're being prudent in doing due diligence. With the increase in illnesses, environmental ties are a likely cause. Aluminum in particular has ties to dementia. The problem is vectors or the state an element or compounds has to be in to have a negative effect on us. Im probably not telling you anything you don't already know. But it's a monumental task sifting through the data.

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