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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-11-2003, 05:24 PM   #1
midnight
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Default When and How to Clean Smoker

How often do you clean your smoker? And what is the best way to do it?

I don't have a drain valve in the bottom of my smoke chamber yet but I do have 2 small drain holes drilled. I usually spray mine down with Simple Green then let it sit for about 15 min. come back and scrape the walls, top, and bottom, then spray again and let sit 15 min. Then spray it with the garden hose. It does an O-K job but I feel like it should be cleaner.

Any help or Ideas would be great.
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Unread 11-11-2003, 05:55 PM   #2
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I clean my smoker after I've taken the meat off to rest. That's the perfect time to do it and it helps make sure you don't go out there a week later and find some sort of wicked biology experiment growing in there.

Open the smoke chamber, dump the water pan, wash it out and set on top of the fire box to dry. Spray the racks, walls and bottom with a water hose and use a grill brush if necessary. Put the water pan back in place, let the whole thing dry and then spray with a light coating of veggie oil or Pam spray. Go back the next day or after the fire is out and dump the ashes. Ashes left in a firebox, especially in a humid environment, only accelerates the rust through process.
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Unread 11-12-2003, 01:03 AM   #3
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personally, the extent of cleaning MAY be a quick shot with the hose. At the beginning of the season, i will give it a light scraping with a trowel to get off the big buildup, or pressure wash it when I do the lawn furniture, but after that, i leave the stuff in there most of the season. After I cook, and its still hot, a quick hose shot or wipe down is it for me. Anytime you use soap, means ya gotta reseason.

Ashes however, go right away.. they contain lye which will eat thru the firebox.
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Unread 11-12-2003, 07:31 AM   #4
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I use a variation of Phils method.

My method varies in the fact that I have never used a hose, towel, trowel, etc. Now that is partly since my unit is only 1 year old, and is only used, on average 1 time a month in the Winter/Spring 2-3 times month in Summer/Fall.

I use heavy duty foil on the bottom and change that each and every time, but thats it for the walls. Racks come out each and every time for a full scrubbing. I never leave my racks go. So most of the fat is cleaned up. Water pan clean, foil on bottom changed, and anything that hits the baffle just sizzles right off in the cook process.

Once the coals are about gone, I dump them and the ashes into a pile in the garden. Use those big blue leather gloves in the Bash Pics. No need to wait for the grates to cool down.

Then I take the hair dryer that I have just for cooking purposes (read: end is all deformed from the farking heat while turbo igniting coals in the charcoal pan of the WSM or ECB) and blow all that ash out of the firebox.

twice a season, I will take the hose to the inside of the firebox, just because all that peeling paint and crap I wanted to get out. Then dry it real good to fight the rust.

I use an oversize grill cover for like a big ass Weber gas grill, and it covers the Bandit nicely.
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Unread 11-12-2003, 08:41 AM   #5
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I do about like Phil does, I have had mine for about 4 or 5 yrs now & have only did a quick wipe out of the build up when it gets to that point, but I use mine year round so it never gets to sit long enough.
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Unread 11-12-2003, 11:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info guys! I will have to try out some of the ideas next time I clean mine. Winter has allready set in up here so I can't hose it down untill spring, I guess I will have to just keep scraping it out till then.
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Unread 11-12-2003, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnight
Thanks for all the info guys! I will have to try out some of the ideas next time I clean mine. Winter has allready set in up here so I can't hose it down untill spring, I guess I will have to just keep scraping it out till then.
\

Going to let a little cold weather stop ya ?
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Unread 11-12-2003, 12:17 PM   #8
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You mean you have to clean it?
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Unread 11-12-2003, 07:44 PM   #9
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Clean IT??? The farking thing is self cleaning.

I put all the grates over the fire and put the water pan above that to burn off any nasties, at the start of each cook. I did line the bottom of the smokebox with a foil "tray", to keep the crap from dripping out, but I've never had the need to really replace that. Every once in awhile the fire is too hot and takes care of that foil just fine on it's own.
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Unread 11-14-2003, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in2que
You mean you have to clean it?
Hey, if the sistah-bruthah don't clean hers, why should you?

I shovel out my ashes and burn the crud off my grill-grid thingys, toss a tarp over it and run!

'Course I don't have a Bandera either, but I don't reckon there's THAT much difference.

There's a stray dog in the neighborhood; I reckoned if the grease built up in the bottom I'd just shove him in there and close the lid on him a while.

That'd do it, wunnit?

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Unread 11-14-2003, 11:16 PM   #11
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Yup. I've never "cleaned" anything except the grates and waterpan. I change out the double foil bottom liner every whenever it needs it. You open up the door and it smells sweet as honey. After all this time of getting this clean self-sustaining environment going on in there, I'm not messing with it.
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Unread 11-15-2003, 07:53 AM   #12
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seriously, that's all I do too. I reckon I'll know when it needs cleaning, like you, by the smell.

If we're wrong they can bury us in the same hole I guess.

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Unread 11-15-2003, 12:46 PM   #13
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As I mentioned above winter has set in already so I think I will put the grates and water pan over the fire to burn off the crud, I will worry about cleaning it "real good" next spring.

Thanks again for all the tips.
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Unread 11-15-2003, 03:49 PM   #14
chad
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Because of the small size of my ECB I clean the grills every time I cook (sometimes before, sometimes after :D). I empty the water pan and clean it with soap and water each time (I admit I let it get nasty pretty often -- can't clean it hot and often don't clean it the next day either).
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Unread 11-16-2003, 08:03 AM   #15
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Have not cleaned my water pan since I have had the smoker.
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