New member and first timer. Have a few questions.

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by ks-derek, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. So if you saw my roll call post I got my father's old smoker when he upgraded.  It's a 30 or 40 inch electric smoker with a remote.  It was used A LOT when he had it, which brings me to my first question:

    Should I clean it? 

    I've heard both "yes" and "no" answers from people here at work.  Some claim a smoker is like a cast iron skillet and you should never clean it.  That sounds a bit extreme to me, I'm thinking I'll need to a least clean the racks right?  My dad said "it will need a good cleaning" so his vote is a "yes".  If it should be cleaned I have another question:

    How should I clean it?

    I'm a pretty avid homebrewer.  I have a fairly advanced 3 tier setup and I enter (and occasionally win) a few homebrew competitions a year.  My point to all this is that I figure if it's safe enough for homebrew it's probably safe enough for a smoker, so I was just going to clean the smoker with some PBW.  Just mix up some PBW in my spray bottle, soak the inside pretty good, let her sit for a few hours, then rinse it out.  Thoughts? 
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I only clean the grates with a wire brush. If the stuff on the walls or top is flaking off then scrape off the loose stuff. The build up inside the smoker is what gives you the taste your looking for. Go to a BBQ joint & look in their smokers. They are never cleaned.

    ks-derek likes this.
  3. I agree with Al

    After every smoke, I remove the slide in smoke grill bar and the baffle plates and  clean it with a wire brush and then wipe them clean

    with a paper towel. You will find they clean really easy and it is only wiping anything from you last smoke, off the bars.
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For hot smoking I agree with Al - however if you are doing a lot of cold smoking in it then it is best to clean it out regularly - as it can build up tar deposits inside. This tar flavour from the walls and ceiling can taint the food that is being cold smoked if it is allowed to build up too much.

    If you hot smoke regularly between cold smokes then leave it alone as the volatile tars will quickly be driven off as the chamber gets up to temperature.

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