Cleaning Tips for the MES

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by mtm29575, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Ok, I've decided it's time for a good cleaning of my MES. I got over anxious when I first got it, and did several smokes before I read about things like wrapping the trays and such with foil to help with cleanup. So my smoker is in need of a good Spring cleaning. So I thought a cleaning thread might be helpful, for procrastinators like me. So what products do you guys use, methods, etc in order to give your MES a cleaning, and secondly, what do you do to keep it in good condition?  I guess I just got a jealous streak when I saw the pics of Bearcarver's MES, and I could actually see through the window!!   [​IMG]
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---That window is the only thing I personally clean before every smoke (with Windex or wood fire ashes & water).

    I cover my water pan, Aluminum heat deflector plate, and bottom drip pan with foil. I have to clean that stuff when I put new foil on, because grease always finds its way through the foil, but it doesn't bake on that way. 

    Mrs Bear cleans the grills after each smoke. That's the hardest job of all.

    Other than that, whenever the ceiling and walls develop loose black flakes, I wipe them off, so they don't fall on my food.

    Every now & then I clean around the top exhaust vent too.

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    We're supposed to clean these things? : )
    boxcardriver likes this.
  4. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the tips, Bearcarver. Since my window is a mess, any advise on what I can do to at least make it at least semi-transparent?  lol....  

    But seriously, I would like to clean it up. I was afraid to use anything too harsh on the window. I was thinking about soaking it good with something like the Simply Green, or something, and letting it sit for a while, and then just putting in some elbow grease, then repeat, etc. 

    What do you think? 
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never left mine get that bad, but they say a Razor blade would get rid of the heavy stuff. Then you can finish it with Windex or some other glass cleaner, or Simple Green??. Open the door all the way, and spray in a direction that the overspray won't go into your smoker. Wipe with paper towels after each spray until clean. Usually takes me about 6 paper towels until it's clean.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  6. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Yeah, shouldn't have let mine get that way, but it is what it is...but if I can get it clean, I won't let it get that bad again..   Humm...yeah, a razor, didn't think about that. I have some heavy duty paint scrappers that would work well...thanks for the idea.
  7. kenosando

    kenosando Newbie

    I used my MES about 3 good times now, and there was a light haze to the glass. I took a magic eraser to t and cleaned right up. Mr. Clean has a more rugged version for outdoor use, looks like you can get them at Home Depot.

    Also, Windex has a vinegar spray that would be safe to use on tte glass.

    Grates I just hand scrub with a scour pad. Drip pans I left uncovered my first smoke, and they clean up easy for me, but now I have them foiled.
  8. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    I bit the bullet yesterday afternoon and started working my MES window. It was really a mess, with a lot of baked on 'stuff'. I tried with my heavy duty paint scrapper, and that just didn't work very well for me. I saw it was going to take all day with that method. So I ended up spraying with a glass cleaner, let it soak for a few minutes, and then put in some elbow grease with a gentle scrub brush. It actually came off very well. It did take a lot of paper towels because I had let my window get so bad. But after wiping away the gook, and then spraying another layer of glass cleaner on the window and wiping, it looked really nice. I've promised myself that I will not let it get in that condition again. I had read about the Magic Erasers that kenosando mentioned, from others as well. I think going forward, I'll use those with maybe the vinegar spray to keep it in line. I'm using the foiled drip trays, etc to keep those clean from now on also. Thanks to everyone that added their cleaning tips !
  9. air force dad

    air force dad Newbie

    I too thought I had covered everything (no pun intended) to do my first smoke. I now have a baked on mess on chip tray, element housing and tray rails where grease dripped and ran everywhere. I know now what I need to foil and protect in future smokes. I want to clean all of this off before doing my next smoke and avoid the taste of burnt chicken grease. I know I was too hasty to do my first smoke and didn't think it through clearly before. I even tented my AMNPS but the grease dripped down on the foil and ran to the underside of it and dripped down onto the pellets therefore extinguishing them. It was very windy that day and I thought I had a lovely smoke going on. Only after a while it wasn't ONLY the pellets that were providing the TBS. Oh well trial and error. I bought a can of fume free Easy Off only to read that it is not to be used on aluminum. I was going to spray the chip tray down with this and spray it off. What would you longtime owners/users recommend to clean this baked on sticky residue from these parts? Is there nothing short of some chemical spray I can apply and wipe/scrape off? I need to clean the grease from the chip tray rails/element housing but concerned about liquid around element. I read a post where I could try adding water to the pan and turning up to create a steam. Should I just scrape and wipe (Magic Eraser) up as much as I can remove and burn it off? I have a plastic scraper to get it off the top of the element housing but getting to the backside of it presents a problem because of space. I will try and post a pic of my MES mess. lol
  10. I used "Easy off" once to clean the inside of the smoker. It is OK to do that IF you don't let it stay on the surface very long. Ten minutes would be the maximum, then

    tilt it forward and squirt with a water hose. Of course, you will have to season the smoker all over again at maximum temp. Do not try to smoke food again until seasoned

    for 2-3 hours. Lots of chemicals in that easy off. It is safer to use a scrubbing pad with vinegar and a little tiny bit of Dawn detergent.

    Clean the glass in the door with isopropyl alcohol.

    I have 2 MES gen 1 units and I clean them with the vinegar solution. I'll never use the chemicals again.

    I alos take all removable racks, etc and put them in a plastic tub with dishwasher detergent over night. Works well to clean those parts.
  11. air force dad

    air force dad Newbie

    Thanks nChapelHeel. I really didn,t like the idea of Easy Off either. I did what I should have done from the start and that was call Masterbuilt. I called and told the representative my dilemma and straight out admitted that it was negligence on my part and he told me the same thing. "Do not use chemicals inside. "Clean with vinegar and water." I explained that I had tried to soak the chip tray in hot water and Dawn a couple of times and couldn't get the baked on stuff to budge with a plastic scraper. He promptly asked me the model and serial #'s. A couple of minutes later he told me that I had a new chip loader, chip tray, and element housing on the way! How is that for customer service???!!! I never expected this and told the representative this as well, that I was just looking for a possible solution to removing the stubborn grease. This young man deserves an accommodation and my hat is off to John McClemore (sp) and his customer service department for Masterbuilt. This is the best service I have ever received for any consumer product bar none!

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