How To Clean Big Smokers?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by michchef, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. michchef

    michchef Fire Starter

    I've been to a few cook-offs and comps to see how it's done and to get ideas for a big smoker build that I have in mind and I know those big rigs have to get pretty grubby inside with all the grease and juices dripping. How do those things get cleaned? I know some have drains and that will get rid of some of it, but what about what still sits in the bottom and the baked on goo on the racks?

    If you have one, please tell me how you clean yours out. I want to include whatever methods are easiest when I build mine.
  2. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well this works for me, pretty well actually. When the smoking is done, I throw in a few sticks, open the draft all the way, get a nice hot fire going. When my temp gauge hits 350 degrees, I dump about a quart of water in thru the chimney. Instant steam clean. Then take my welders brush and give everything a once over and then one more shot of water and its basically clean. Granted, I would not perform surgery in it, but all the heavy gunky fatty baked on stuff is mostly gone. Now mine is a reverse flow so the water goes right onto the floor/plate where it kinda boils but this should work on any of them.
  3. Mine has a drain in the bottom that I can open and shut. If I have something that has alot of grease I can open the drain and let the grease drain into something. The stuff that is in the bottom I can close the drain and put water in it with some dawn and a brush and wash it out with a water hose. That is the best way that I have found to clean one.
  4. michchef

    michchef Fire Starter

    Do you know if anyone takes the grates out and powerwashes both the grates and the inside bottom of the smoker?
  5. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I use the power washer. But after I clean it, I take a propane touch (fire starter) and heat my grill (approx 275 deg) and re-oil then. Works good for me.
  6. zopi

    zopi Smoke Blower

    Pressure washer. If it's really gnasty, dawn and water 50/50 mix in a spray bottle..spray. wait. pressure wash.
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What I do is; I get myself a real hot fire going in the firebox and when the grates get good and hot I wire brush them down real good. When that's done I spray mine down with the hose and it gets a nice steam bath with all the crap going out the drain. It doesn't take the seasoning off at all either.
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Darn it you guys are serious about your grills. You guys most have some big rigs if your talking power washing the thing. Maybe one day when I grow up I'll get a big smoker too.
  9. bbq ron

    bbq ron Smoke Blower

    i pull the grates out and power wash everything. looks good as new
  10. I get a good hot fire going, and burn it out. I like that cooked in cooked on style, gives it a good seasoning. Every once in a while I srape out my tune plates, and flush with water
  11. jamesb

    jamesb Smoking Fanatic

    I have two larger trailed offsets... I have a garden hoe that I use to scrape out any accumulation that doesn't flow out the drains and then they see the pressure washer. Easier to do the initial clean out at the car wash.
  12. the iceman

    the iceman Smoking Fanatic

    Try this... [​IMG][​IMG]

  13. I usually get the grates nice and hot and scrape them down with a brush. Wipe the drippings out with a dustpan and brush. Wipe down everything with papertowels and hot water.

    Every once in a while I throw the grates into the oven on self clean, gets all the gunk off.
  14. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I get mine hot as hell and then I crack the door and spray in water with the garden hose. I use two 5 galloon buckets under my drain. I have a wire brush with a 3 foot handle and a scraper on the top of the brush. I move my grates over 1 at a time and srape the bottom and then wash everything down and out the drain...Thats after every cook no exceptions..No one eats until the SMOKE WAGON is clean...

    Every 3 or 4 times I like to wipe mine out with a dry towel and then pressure wash the grates get a good fire going and jsut let it burn out with all the vents open.....

    I left some salt on my front rack outside and it rusted it in a few days. I had to repaint that part...

    Keeping them clean is the key to consistency in my book...

    I ahve so many peoeple stop by my house and ask about mine while Im NOT cooking and they always comment on how clean it is.
  15. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I too like to keep a really clean cooker. I went to a comp this weekend ( as a spectator ) and I couldn't believe the way some kept their cookers. Heck there was a few I would not have eaten product out of.

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