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Steam Cleaning Grill or Smoker

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by tjohnson, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Has anyone tried cleaning their smoker or grill with one of those cheapie steam cleaners?


  2. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member




  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ive heard of folks getting the smokers as hot as it can get then spray water in it. It turns to steam and cleans it out. I dont see why a steamcleaner wont work.
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I have a New Braunfels Bandera that I am going to have steam cleaned then sand blasted this winter and restore it to like new condition.  I'll let you know in the spring how it works out...LOL
  5. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a pressure washer.  It has three nozzles on it.  One is mild -- suitable for washing a car, or perhaps siding.  Next up is moderate -- I've used it to clean scum off of a driveway.  The last one is high.  Held close it would let you carve your initials in concrete.

    I've debated using the mild one to do an annual cleaning inside my MES -- but been hesitant to try it. 

    I would also like to hear other opinions.
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    My first question is why would anyone steam clean their smoker?  I may use a pressure washer to knock off the moldy chunks on the grates just because it makes my wife feel better  but as far as my normal procedure a good fire to bring it up to temp and then a wire brush will knock of most of the residue.  I may wipe it down with paper towels but as far as taking out that old grease cure in the cooking chamber that's not for me.  I've worked hard to get that crust of perfection.
    macka, nolasmoke and sgtbarker like this.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I guess it would depend on the smoker.

    I would be afraid to use water or steam in my MES, because of the electrical components it could get to.

    But then I don't allow rain to get to it either.

    I would thing all of the non electric smokers could do just about anything they want to clean theirs.

  8. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would never steam clean an electric smoker.  I believe it would cause the connections to have corrosion.

    As for why anyone would do it, I am going to do the Bandera because It is getting revamped...
  9. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    As to water and electrical connections, well, unless they can quarantee that the component (and that means connection points, as well) is impervious to water in ANY form, you are really taking a chance of rendering your equipment converted to charcoal use only.  AND let's not forget, you're talking about using water, heated ?, under pressure.  Not a snowball's chance in that very hot place (not your smoker either).  Oh, and another thought, just because an MES has a water pan (I'm assuming they do), heated to boiling then generating steam doesn't insure the electrical component is safe, BECAUSE you're talking about water pressure.

    For me, a GOSM user, the grids get cleaned and run through the dishwasher after each use.  Same for the water pan. I run a putty knife around the side walls, not scrapping clean (gotta save that patina, ya know), but more of removing the big chunks of buildup.  Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we have enough moisture in the air, with predominately lower temps (at least on the wet side of the Cascades) that mold will start growing if you get neglectful.

    What it boils down to is the component or connection meeting UL standards approved for WET use?  Hey, it's your equipment and you can do as you please, but I know that there are several electricians, besides myself, shuddering at the combination of pressurized water and electrical components.  It's just not natural.
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Guys!

    I'm a FREAK for Clean, and after awhile. My little MES gets kinda crusty.  I throw the racks in the dishwasher after every smoke.  I like "Seasoned", but "Crusty" crosses the line!

    I "Test Smoke" almost every day with my little gadget, and the door really gets nasty.  I think a pressure washer is too much, that's why I thought a little cheapie steam cleaner like the "Shark" may do the trick to loosen up the crust, without having to use a degreaser/cleaner on it.


    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  11. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Todd,

    Out there in MN, it won't be long you'll be able to use "Hard" water.[​IMG]

    Couldn't find an emoticon that's "shivering".   LOL

  12. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    The replies have convinced me *NOT* to attempt the pressure washer on my MES.  I may well use it on my Weber propane grill, but considering the problems I've had with the electrical connections on the MES I'll not use it there.

  13. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I wouldn't do it to an electric..

    I just did my Gosm gasser and my weber gasser grill with a dewalt gas-driven sprayer. It blew seven years of gunk and drippings out of my gosm and actually made the paint black again. I was covered in every last piece of gunk that came out of it. I then Hit my grill with the grates burner covers and drip pan removed. It really cleaned it up as weel. I did run some simple green through the wand and let that soak in a bit.
  14. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    A Good Rule of Thumb To Remember, Electricity and Water DO NOT Belong in The Same Sentence.
  15. you would need to use one that has good amount of power. i use my girlfriends to clean my grill its great...she hates it 
  16. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    I have one, paid $20 for it. I have used it to clean my Smokette several times. It is small and the steam is concentrated to the small brush at the tip. I think it works great and will be cleaning my AmeriQue with it this spring, if I can wait that long.

    I am the same way you are about keeping my smoker clean.  

    Some say I’m anal about it
  17. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    I like to use vinegar & water to clean the window and door seal of my MES using a scotchbrite pad. The rest of the interior is left alone. The racks, drip pan, and water pan go into the dish washer and get a spray of cooking oil when I reassemble. 

    I've cleaned an offset for a refurb before using the same vinegar & water with a pressure washer. A tip - wear safety glasses and clothes you don't care about.
  18. pintobean

    pintobean Smoke Blower

    What about one of these? Always used to see commercials for them. It's like a grill brush, steam cleaner combo.

  19. Geronimo says, dont steam clean or use pressure washer. I have a mes 30 for four years & all I do is spray racks & water pan with PAM

    & they clean up nicely. You need some residue on inter walls to help condition your unit. After all it is a SMOKER.
  20. I would use extreme caution when steam cleaning one of these small smokers. I used a high temp. sealant on the seams of my MES 30" to keep moisture out of the insulation. If you must clean the smoke residue off the walls of the smoker there are cleaners for that purpose. Fireplace cleaners will easily disolve the residue but then wash that off with soap and water. Unless your smoker is a fully welded box I would avoid pressure washing.