Brown Sticky Stuff

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by revjcp, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. revjcp

    revjcp Newbie

    I don't know if this is on the inside of the smoker too... but it is all over the bottom of the bowl.  I am guess - from what I have read - it may be creosote due to my not letting the smoke out freely... I didn't - kept the vents mostly closed.  

    Here are my questions...

    1. What is the most effective way to clean the stuff off the bowl?

    2. Do I need to clean our the inside of my smoker if this stuff is on the sides, etc?

    Potential questions... I used apple wood, pieces, not chips.  I ran it on low keeping it at 180ish for 3 hours. ( I was doing salmon)  I don't know if any of that plays into it.  But that is all the info.  

  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First it may not be creosote, second the vents have nothing to do with creosote.

    Creosote comes from either un-seasoned wood that has resins in it, or from trying to apply too much smoke at one time, (and too much smoke just really sucks so I am not sure that is actually creosote or just too much smoke). Venting can allow smoke out of the chamber to lessen the smoke build up but its much easier to use less to begin with. You can smoke hours, many hours, many many hours in a totally enclosed chamber and unless you use too much smoke (like too many chips or chunks or splits or branches) you will have no problem.

    I do not know what bowl you are talking about, if its a drip pan and you think it needs cleaning, hot water, Dawn dishwashing soap and a green scourring pad works best. If its really excessive, use the steam cleaner at the car wash for find a friend with a steam genie.

    There is a natural smoke residue left behind when smoking, if that is what you are seeing, I leave it on. You must decide if your smoker to you is an oven or a BBQ pit. I clean my oven, I have not cleaned a pit besides the occassional sand blasting in 50 years. The natural residue builds and helps seal the smoker. I wire bursh the grates.

    I am sure you are allowing your fish to sit and mellow a day or two before freezing, if when you taste it, it makes you gag it might be creosote. If the fish is smoked ok, then you just have smoke residue.

    Hope that helps you.
  3. revjcp

    revjcp Newbie

    That does help.  So it was probably just too much smoke all at once.  I burned through a good bit of wood in 3 hours.  The salmon tastes great.  
  4. stmartin84

    stmartin84 Newbie

    did you ever get rid of that sticky stuff?  I have it all in my stack and the underside of lid of the smoking chamber.
  5. revjcp

    revjcp Newbie

    i did. :)
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The sticky stuff is not usually a problem and will occur in all regularly used smokers to some degree. It is worth giving the smoker a power wash occasionally to help keep it under control but the tar will not usually do any harm - in fact it may even have a positive effect on helping keep any bacteria/mold under control if you cold smoke a lot. The only problem I have found (and the reason I wash my smokers quite regularly) is that condensation will form when you are cold smoking and depending on the shape of the smoker moisture can drip. If this drips onto food from a surface that has a layer of tar then it will mark the food - which can look unsightly. This is not usually an issue with smokers that have a curved top surface but with flat top smokers it will be more of a problem.
  7. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    It's called seasoning.

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