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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 06-03-10
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Default How do you clean your smoker racks?

I have a Bandera, looking to buy something nicer in the next year (maybe a Klose BYC). My question is this, on the Bandera when I am done I take all the racks and the water pan-and chicken stands if I do whole chickens standing up-and soak them in a wheelbarrow full of water. Then the next day I pressure wash the racks and am ready for the next time. All the nicer pits seem to have racks made from steel angle and expanded metal. How do you clean those? I only get to use the smoker about once a month and my wife is severely allergic to Beef (she carries an Epi-pen) so I have to get all the remnants off. Do you just cook everything in a pan? Do you remove the racks off the slide-outs? Probably I am missing something, please help me see the light.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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with a concern that serious, I'd get two sets of racks.

I have a UDS, so I can clean my racks in the kitchen sink. Sorry I cant offer much else in cleaning, but that would be my primary answer, get two sets of racks. One for beef only, the others for other stuff when the wife's eating too.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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You could also use a weed burner to burn off all of the remnants, then hit em with a steel brush.
But I'm with Ty, I'd just get a second set of racks or even just one extra to use for making her food only.
Most times, I just soak the racks in the sink and then use a plastic scrubber to remove the loose stuff.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #4
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If you only have a few racks, I bought a propane blow torch in the plumbing section of Wally world for $14...flame it up then scrub off the extra.

As far as the allergy, I agree on the 2 sets of racks
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
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I would use a wood burner but I also agree that if there is an issue with allergies - get a second set or racks and scratch in BEEF so you know to only use beef on them.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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I get a spray can of oven cleaner and let em set in a large trash bag for a while. I wire brush em and hose em off in the yard. But I don't do it that often...maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I'm with the other guys, I'd go with 2 racks due to the allergies...unless the marriage isn't going well just kiddin
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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I've got a 20x40 offset with an expanded metal rack. I used to just brush them real well once the smoker got up to temps but lately (after reading some of Myron Mixon's book) I've been smoking in the disposable aluminum pans. I was initially worried that it would result in softer BBQ and I'd lose that char-tastic burn you get on the bottom from grates. Now I'm officially a fan and wish I'd thought of this sooner. It makes cleanup much easier and I can't tell a difference in the Q one bit.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:13 PM   #8
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While they are still hot I give them a good scraping with a grill brush and the next time I cook is do it again. With my competition cooker I soak the grates in a big tub with oven cleaner a couple of times a year.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
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All I'm going to offer is this...your wife is worth the cost of an extra set of racks.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:43 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your advice. Yes, my wife is a keeper. She has put up with me for over 20 years now, and she wants me to upgrade from the Bandera to something nicer and "not settle, get what you really want". So definitely a keeper.

I have never seen exactly how the racks attach on slideouts. Without slideouts they appear permanently attached. With slideouts, I guess it depends?

This allergy is a new beast to me. We have known she was alergic to beef for a few years now. 4 trips to the ER over the last 7-8 years with can't breathe and large hives, she can usually take Benedril liquid or quick acting strips and get back under control. Not a pleasant situation though. She has to watch eating out because of cross-contamination from cooking. July 4, 2009 we used the Epi-pen before the last ER trip and it works wonders. Several late night Benedril sessions and came close to using the Epi-Pen again 3 weeks ago so she went back to the allergist. He has done a blood sample test and advised her that she is allergic to the protien in mammal meat-that's right-all mammal meat; beef, pork, deer, horse, lion, etc. I am still trying to wrap my hands around this, I can't imagine never eating burgers, steak, brisket, sausage, bacon, ribs, fatty-the list goes on and on.

This article discusses what the Doctor claims that she has:

I am having a hard time accepting the enormity of it all, but until there is more evidence or a cure, she is swearing off mammal meat and going strictly with poultry and fish. We have been eating a lot of chicken, I will have to get even better at cooking it.

Anyway, this turned into a ramble. Thanks for the advice. I will inquire about extra racks just for her. Smoking stuff together does not seem to bother her unless something drips on her food. I always cook her stuff on the top racks so no juices drip on her food. I can continue to do that.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
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You could always just use a large sheet tray with or without a rack on it to cook. Your choice...cook all non-beef items on the rack...or...cook any beef items on the rack and everything else on the pit grates. Either way, that would be an economical way to keep the cooker beef free for the wife.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:38 AM   #12
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the only thing that touches my racks are ribs. everything else gets cooked on cooling racks placed in disposable foil pans easy cleanup and the pans only cost a dollar and the dollar tree. keep a cooling rack just for beef and it will not touch the rest of the food that she eats.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:38 AM   #13
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #14
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Recently went to smoking in the foil pan
Should have done this long ago
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:12 AM   #15
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First I burn it all with a weed burner, than I pressure wash it, then after it dries I use a steel brush attachment on my hand grinder to take it down to bare steel, then I spray it all with Pam real good. I clean them like this about once a year. Normal cleaning consists of weed burner/wire brush/Pam coating.
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