Why not Oven Cleaner?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 4, 2006
Have an Electric Masterbuilt that I got for Christmas.....cleaned it the first time with Oven Cleaner and it cleaned it great! Then I read in the manual that you aren't supposed to clean with Oven Cleaner.....why?

It's a mess to clean, takes me a long time, but with Oven Cleaner it was really quick and simple......

Anyone else clean their smoker with Oven Cleaner?
They leave a chemical residue and could leave an unpleasant taste in your meat..probably wouldn't hurt to reseason
Had my electric ECB for 7 yrs. now, have never cleaned it! Just knock off the chunks every season and remove the loose stuff. I think once there seasoned properly, you never want to remove that

Yes i clean the grates and water pan every cook, just not the body!
Most I would do is use some Greased Lightning and a power-wash at the end of the season "IF" I was going to shut down for the Winter as such.

That's no gonna happen here.....so I would personally take Bubba's advice..
i use either (not either-starting fluid) but simple green or "purple power"- it's organic degreaser @ wally world $1.98 per gal. 1 part cleaner 3 parts water- cleans engines,anything & no chemicals- then dawn soap the crap outta it just to be sure. but only on the cooking grates- i never clean the walls of the pit.
Clean your cooking grates and water pan, leave the rest,; just likethe bbq grill. Every now and then wipe the interior walls with a wet wash cloth. The interior seasoned helps each future smoke and it is not touching the food. Now if you see mold, then scrub it. But you should be fine for many years. If you do see mold, that is just a sign you are not firing it up enough !!!
Don't do battle with your MES

I clean the grates and removable bottom parts with a high pressure washer.....let the "character" remain inside...have never done more than wipe down the door seal with a damp cloth after each use and the opposing door jamb!...The used look is better than keeping it pristine....A good idea is to wrap the water pan in foil and also the bottom drip pan if you like which helps in clean up....I would give yours a good hot seasoning again after using the oven cleaner to remove all the chemical residue
....MossyMo is right, it needs no more attention than your grill
Here is what I do FWIW. I get it as hot as possible then brush it, that's it. If the grates are well seasoned nothing should stick to them. As far as the cook box is concerned, I just leave it, and clean the slide out tray. If I were to use something on it I would look for natural non-residue stuff or a cleaner meant for grills. Then reaseason.

Just my opinion.
I have a horizontal smoker, I just clean the grates w/soap and water, then reseason. Using paper towels, I'll wipe out the bottom where the grease drips. That's it.
Don't you guys get a burnt grease smoke if you don't clean it every time? Seems like I after I do some fatties there will be grease burning on the walls unless I clean them.....
Thanks for the replies, sounds good to me.....I've been working too hard after using this thing!!!!!!!!
Just a quick word about seasoned smokers: I bought my trailer smoker many years ago from a man that had smoked briskets for hungry travellers right off the Interstate. It is an old propane/butane tank that was cut and made into a cooker some years before. It was WELL seasoned when I got it. I've put it against the spic and span clean, double insulated stainless steel smokers that come from Houston, using the exact same recipe, cooking the exact same cut of pork, and the flavor created by the years of seasoning on my smoker trumps the spic and span stainless versions any day. Clean the grates and water pan if you have one. Let the seasoning stay.

Just my .02.
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