Cleaning and Wood

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by zsolo, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. zsolo

    zsolo Newbie

    OK I have a queastion about cleaning the smoker should I clean out the smoker that had the food in it. I scrap it clean but should I scub the grills. I do not want to get anyone sick.

    Also my wife says Iused to much wood. I use a carcaol wood mick. I the carcoal going put some wood on it to get a good favor I like fruit wood (cherry or apple) but I go thur a lot of wood so should I just do it for the first hour or keep going like I have been. Any help would be good.

    I use a Chargriller with a side firebox and use 3 big cheucks of apple or cherry wood.

  2. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It wouldn't hurt to give the smoker a good cleaning every now and then, depending on how often you use your rig. If there is time between smokes, and you leave the fat from prior smokes in there, it does form a mold that is pretty gross and I don't think I'd want "mold smoke" on my next meal prepared in the rig.

    Are you using too much wood to keep the heat source up, or to keep the smoke billowing out of the top? The rule with smoking is to allow a thin blue stream of smoke to come out of the chimney of the smoker. White, billowy, puffy smoke is the kind that you don't want for a prolonged period of time on the meat, as it provides a bitter flavor that sounds like what your wife is describing.
  3. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a grill brush on mine, bout all I do. Some folks will scrub em, more a personal choice I thin.

    As fer wood an coals, in my drum I use a basket a coals mixed in with several pieces a wood, say upta six dependin on how big the chunks are. Ifin there large chunks I will use bout three which lasts the duration of the smoke.

    Ya wan't thin blue smoke not billowin white smoke.

    On edit: Laurel was a bit faster then me. Ya don't wan't nothin growin in there, clean out the grease what accumulates on the bottom, but I don't touch the sides cause that is all seasonin which has accumulated over hours a smoke an adds to the flavor of yer smoked items I beleive.
  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Knowing the type of unit would go a long way to know how much wood to use.

    I clean my unit after most smokes. I heat it up, scrap it all down and spay it down with the hose. I like a good clean unit to cook on.
  5. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    I've used my UDS about 8 or so times so far this season. I use lump charcoal with a mixture of flavoring woods. I use a basket but let the ashes just fall on the barrel bottom.
    I just cleaned out the ashes this morning in preparation for today's cook and I'll bet there wasn't any more than a large coffee can of ashes in the bottom of that barrel. Being it was sort of mixed with the drippings, just use a garden hoe to move everything to one side and then use the blade of the hoe to scoop up the ashes.

    As for as the grate/grill... other than a quick scrape and brush with the wire brush, I've never cleaned it more than that.
  6. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I scrape down the insides of mine just about before every smoke.
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I usually scrape and wire brush my grates to clean them then once in a great while I will take them out and actually completely clean them and re season them.
    As was said you don't want billowing white smoke you want thin blue smoke or no smoke just the smell of the wood. If you can smell it so can the meat
  8. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I scrape my grates right when the food comes off. Then next time I leave them in the cooker as it's heating up, and scrape right before I put the meat on. The heat from the coals kills any germs, and the grate stays seasoned that way.

    As far as cleaning the body? I would only clean it all the way out if there was something like mold, or if the appearance just grossed me out I guess.

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