Extensively using the smoker almost every single day and if you are conscious enough of cleaning (like me), I have devised some of the best practices that you would so want to employ to better understand how to clean a smoker right.
It is the common misconception of letting the grease build up around the grates to add flavor and that protects the metal to not catch rust. On contrary to that, this (grease buildup) got nothing to do with smoking the tasty meat but it would eventually block the heat off the great, and that would lead to uneven and abort around that part.
Not only the grates but the smoker got numerous parts to get fully cleaned from residuals, buildups, and the ashes to look like a new one (once you employ to clean it every time after the use.)
Do it every time and you would notice nothing off-flavor getting enriched within the meal and that little effort can ensure the smoker lives a longer operational life.
How to Clean a Smoker to Look Super New
Indeed, that is the nice question; cleaning a smoker requires nothing but some of your time even if it has to be going with the regular cleanup (after every use) and deep one (once in a while to turn like a new shiny smoker just taken out from the store.)
The Routine Maintenance: Cleaning Smoker after Every Use
- The first step is to remove the ashes as it contains an increased amount of humidity which can eventually bring the rust developing around the smoker that can ruin it in the long run. So, that first step is actually the precautionary step that contributes to prolonging the smoker’s service life to easily live more than decades.
- Brush off the residuals of ashes as they turn sticky around the corners due to moisture and require to scrap for a bit. Make sure to repeat this step if you really want to keep the rust away from the smoker.
- Whenever you use the smokers, it is the best practice to have the grates brushed off to remove the dust, carbon, and particles of rust through a nylon bristle brush as not all ordinary brushes can do such a job.
- Scrape the whole of the cooking chamber out from the presence of any grease and the remaining bits of food stuck around using a 4” putty knife but just do not rub it against the surface or it would lose its sharpness and get dented.
- Find any area taking up the rush, it is advised to either buff the musing the steel wool or re-season that particular area with the beef tallow oil or any such cooking ail resistant to the high temperature that would not evaporate its entire presence to keep it oiled and that assists in reducing the chances of further developing the rust seeping towards different areas of the smoker.
Deep Cleanup: Detailed Cleaning the Smoker Once in Awhile
The deep cleaning does not go along every often because what we are going to reveal is the class that would outlast almost a season of continuously throwing the BBQ parties without a problem.
Let’s keep these rarely-employed deep cleaning methods to clean the smoker from top to bottom, inside out.
- Sitting dormant for a while without using it for a bit, let’s remove all of the removable parts and store them individually so that they are easier to clean before putting them together for the next use as it could make the cleaning job super-complex when assembled.
- Clean burn the smoker without adding anything to smoke as it would burn down the excessive grease, residues, and the leftovers to ashes as it makes the washing phase super convenient.
- Now after that step, add the warm water with the degreaser detergent to rinse it from inside out for a few minutes and then let it air-dried.
- Rub the wire brush all around the smoker where you find the rust stops, and once you feel done with the wire brush, get the sandpaper or the steel wool to peel over the metal to smoothen up all the rusty spots.
- Spray paint the exterior surfaces using high-temperature paint in order to stay afresh and retain the discolored areas to look clean as well as rusty spots filled with the color layer.
- To evaluate the thermometer’s calibration to find it is working just normal, add the boiling water inside the smother to see if the thermometer reads the boiling points to elevate at around 212F. If you find it is not working right and the boiling water temperature shows the stick surpassing the 212F mark or stopping before it, adjust the thermometer by turning the nut using the plier to lead it and set it at the correct temperature.
- Completely wipe down the surfaces from inside and out through beef tallow oil, lard, or any other high-temperature cooking oil. Once done, get the smoker to fire up and run at 350F for a few hours to let the oil soak inside the metal and everything naturally as it is found to be one perfect solution to preserve the smoker to stay operational even for decades.
Dry run the smoker
Though you just had purchased the smoker or went through the deep cleanup, it is best to go with few dry runs where you add no food inside the smoker but let it run with the fire on to ensure everything is clean and out of any grease left during the cleanup.
Once you are on this part, make sure you hit the two important target temperature slots of 225F and 325F because most of the recipes require touching the two aforementioned temperature marks to smoke them up.
Some Common FAQs for How to Clean a Smoker
Solve your issues with these frequently asked questions for a better understanding of the smoker.
Should the inside of the smoker be painted?
No, it should not. Any of the colors cannot really withstand the extreme heat the smoker yields and the odor would get mingled with the food. It is better advised to use oil instead to splash all around to prevent the rust from developing.
Is rust bad for a smoker?
Not likely to harm you, the rust in the smoker is resulted in building up due to the oxidation of the metal and literally eating the small amount of it may not possess any health issue but the large flakes could do which generally contain the sharp edges that can cause injury to your throat or the bellyache.
How to avoid creosote when smoking meat?
It is easy to avoid it, just that you would want to keep opening the vents more often to let the natural air travel all around the smoker.
If your smoker does not have the vents then let the lid be removed for a minute or two to have the smoke escape out. And another method is to not add the wood to raise the intensity of the fire as the reduced smoke would result in not developing the creosote.
Is creosote toxic to your health?
Unfortunately, it has taken a long time. So, it is best to avoid building the creosote to minimize severe health downfall.
If you don’t know how to use smoker box? Then don’t worry about it and read in depth how to use smoker box.