Any grilling equipment may become clogged with grease and food residue over time, a smoker grill is no exception. Want to learn how to clean a smoker grill? My work is to teach you so your smoker will be in a good condition.
The dirt accumulation on a grill smoker when paired with inefficient or irregular cleaning and maintenance can breed germs, compromise the taste and flavor of the food, and affect the performance of your smoker.
Cleaning a smoker grill is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with a little bit of effort, you can have your smoker grill looking and performing like new in no time at all! In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your smoker grill.
We will also include some helpful tips and tricks that will make the process a little bit easier. So, if you are ready to get started, let’s dive right in!
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Grill?
How often you clean your grill is determined by how frequently you use it. If you frequently barbecue, clean your grill at least once a month if not more often. You should also clean your grill twice a year to ensure that it cooks more efficiently and lasts longer during the summer months.
Careful procedures to Follow When Cleaning Your Smoker
- Check out the user’s manual for information about the material used for each of the parts. Because different manufacturers use different materials, you should always look at the user handbook if you’re not sure what to do with a certain material.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive instruments. In general, most stainless-steel and metal components react poorly to aggressive cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia. Abrasive tools, such as steel wool and wire brushes can also harm the finished design and in the worst-case scenario, make it fall off and end up in your food.
- Allow plenty of time for the food to cool before attempting to remove it. When it’s cooled, use a grill brush to remove any food particles or grease. The heat will make the food and dirt come off more readily. Allow every other part of the grill to cool fully before cleaning it.
- Don’t get it wet. Even though some of the smoker grills are made of robust rust-resistant stainless steel, you should avoid wetness, don’t use liquid cleaners, or submerge them in water as this may cause rust.
- Remove the ashes after each use because it captures moisture, ash accumulation may cause iron to rust.
- Wipe up spills as soon as you can safely do so using a warm, wet towel.
- Before each usage, clean the grill grates with a grill brush.
- Scrape out any carbon, food, or grease build-up in the cooking chamber with a putty knife.
- Use steel wool to clean out any rust spots, and re-season using high-temperature cooking oil.
- Load the coal basket, light the fuel, and start the smoker with the vents wide open. Allow it to burn for about 10 to 15 minutes. Put off the fire. Give it some time to cool entirely before moving on to the next step.
- You’ll need to remove any detachable pieces before you start the cleaning of your smoker grill, take out the racks, drip tray, water pan, smoker box, and any other removable components. Before washing foldable grates, break them down and soak them in for about 5 minutes.
- Remove all residue. Use a scraper to scrape particle build-up downward towards the bottom of the smoker, removing any excess. Sweep out all waste from the chamber.
- Soak a towel in soapy water and use it to wipe the surface until clean, then allow it to air dry.
- Clean the thermometer and grease chute. Clean your smoker’s thermometer and grease chute with a few handfuls of paper towels soaked in soapy water. The thermometer determines how hot your grill gets, while the grease chute links the drip tray to the grease bucket. You’re at risk of a grease fire if the chute becomes clogged.
- Remove rust spots with a wire brush. Remove deep rust using a wire brush and then finish with fine sandpaper until it’s all gone. Spray paint any visible rust areas to prevent them from being seen.
- Now is time to re-season your smoker. Use a cleaning foam or tissue to wipe all the interior surfaces with high-temperature cooking oil to ensure that they are clean. Light up the fire and burn the smoker at 350° for a few hours.
More About Cleaning and Maintenance of your Smoker Grill
Brush the grates with a wire brush after each use to remove any loose wire-brush bristles and clean them thoroughly. After each usage, clean the grill grates while they’re still warm. Cleaning your smoker grill once every four to five cooking sessions is usually sufficient.
If you are using a pellet smoker, make sure to empty the hopper after 4 or 5 bags have been used. It’s suggested that you use a non-abrasive cleaning agent on your grill pit. Oftentimes, basic soapy water isn’t enough to remove the residue that can accumulate in a grill.
You’ll find hundreds of smoker grill cleaning gadgets and materials on the internet or at your local hardware store, but nothing matches a long-handle wire brush, a five-gallon bucket, a wire bottle brush, and some elbow grease. To keep your grill looking great, avoid using chemicals to clean it. They might leave an undesirable flavor on your food. All you need is some warm water, a grease-cutting dish soap, and a thick paste made of white vinegar and baking soda to clean it.
Tips: The inside of your smoker will continue to darken with use and will not return to a shiny, silver color. The darkening actually slows rusting and improves overall performance.
Take time to double-check your thermometer’s calibration. Place the stem in boiling water to see if it reads correctly. If it’s wrong, adjust the nut at the back of the thermometer to correct it.