Sticky tar on the inside of my smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by charles b, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. I bought a new smoker about 4 months ago and I smoke every weekend trying to get good at smoking. I clean my grates with a wire brush evey time I use it but now the body of my smoker on the inside and especialy around the doors is getting a sticky tar coating that is starting to drip on my meat. I tried to scrape it but it is really sticky and hard to take off. My question is what is the best way t clean this and keep it from coming back and what causes this? Thanks for any help. Charles B.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Charles, morning and welcome to the forum....  the black gooey stuff is tar, creosote etc.... it comes from the wood.....  Heat the smoker to 300 plus for a few hours to cook it off.....   I have a MES 30.... I cook it off before every smoke, that also preheats the smoker and I dry my pellets or chips in the smoker during the "pre bake cleaning cycle"..... What type of smoker are you using ??  Type of wood ??  More info would greatly help in solving your problem and others could learn from this also...  Dave

    Take a moment and drop by "Roll Call"  so we can give you a proper introduction.... 
  3. Thanks Dave! It is a Sear n Smoke Ranch Series I bought at HEB it is a is a verticle smoker with a firebox on the side. I am just starting out and don,t know much about smoking but I am trying to get better every weekend. First my brisket was too tough so I read you had to cook it for an hour and a half per pound then it was too tender because that was too long (205 deg.). I read to cook it till it has an internal temp of 185 so I guess I will try that next. I cooked one last night but I cooked it unwrapped for 5hrs using masquite and then another 5 wrapped in the oven at 250 and it was too smokey and the outside had the bitter taste of the tar. The tar build up is getting pretty messy even though I try to scrape it off. What is the best fuel to use to cook it off? Thanks for your knowlage/help I was getting frustrated with my pit and I cann't wait to clean it!
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    dog1234 likes this.
  5. You are right Dave I am using all wood, and I am not sure if it is properly aged because my brother in law got it for me. I will try to insert a pick of my smoker and the build up

  6. When I clean it would it help to fill the body of the pit with coals as well? Thanks
  7. dog1234

    dog1234 Smoke Blower

    Welcome Charles,.,........\

    I too am new to the smoking world. I started earlt this spring...........

    Thanks Dave for the information
  8. I don't mind if the finish burns off I would rather repaint it then have all that tar on my brisket. Last week I spent 3 hrs with a wire brush and degreaser trying to get that stuff off only to have it back again! But like you said I am not going to smoke it with all wood for so long and get some aged wood. I lov the pit for grilling and would love to learn the proper way to smoke. I have read a lot about people starting in the smoker and finishing in the oven and an looking into this possibility but would love to do it all in the smoker. Also I have been thinking about looking into the possibility of buying an electric smoker to use as well.
  9. Nice to meet you Dog1234
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do not know if the body of the pit will like the hot coals in it....   Try it with just the SFB and see what transpires...   Dave
  11. Awsome, thanks!
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Charles, morning....  It looks like that is a very well built smoker...  You might think about building a small fire in the cook chamber, you also might add a layer of sand in the bottom so as to not have the fire directly on the metal, if it is thin metal.... totally a safety thing with the sand...  I wouldn't want your smoker to warp....   

    If the firebox gets hot and the smoke chamber not so hot, check the firebox to smoke chamber opening size.... it may need to be made larger so the heat flow is increased....  Dave
  13. stmartin84

    stmartin84 Newbie

    I am not new to smoking, but have been out of the world of smoking for awhile now.  I bought a new Oklahoma Joe grill last week and have smoked several things on it.  My question is, I have this sticky goo, tar type suff on the top of the smoking chamber and on the vent pipe.  You say to clean the tar off.  My question is how do I clean the grill back to it's day 1 out of the box to get rid of all this DARN STICKY TAR!?!?!?!?  Please help!!
  14. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    I don't think you can clean it back to day 1 new. I would just dump a couple of starter cans of charcoal in the smoking chamber (remove food grates) with all the vents/firebox door wide open. That should get it hot enough to turn the goo to ash. Then scrub it out with a stiff brush (not a wire brush) after it cools. To get to new, remove the door and vent pipe, get them sandblasted and repainted, or steam cleaned?

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