How to Clean an Electric Smoker

How to Clean an Electric Smoker

Isn’t it something like filthy to clean your electric smoker? Are you irritated doing so? Yes, this may happen to you. You may don’t like to clean your apparatus after having delicious dinner served by your electric smoker.

But, what if I turn cleaning an electric smoker into a joyful play. Yes, I can. Here in this article, I will guide the easiest and detailed way to clean your electric smoker once you are done with the food.

In addition to the above, the way I share will be inexpensive in terms of tools involved for the purpose and time. So let head to the best way to clean an electric smoker.

Let’s kill a question first, do you think it is mandatory to clean your electric smoker after every session. No way, the top-grade grillers and veteran smokers believe that it is fair to clean your smoker after 3-4 sessions.

But to me, if you do some quick cleaning, it will pay you back. And after 3-4 sessions, you can go for detailed cleaning.

Let’s hop into the list of steps you need to follow in cleaning fat dripping, crust on the grates, greased tray, and a chipped pot full of ash.

How to Clean an Electric Smoker?

1. Pre-Requisites

A smart way to clean your smoker at the earliest is to list out the tools and get them together at a place. Following tools and equipment are must for the purpose.

  • Gloves- keeps your hand safe
  • Tarpaulin or Plastic Sheet-protects your floor
  • Trash Bin-to dump debris
  • Apple Vinegar or Lemon Juice-cleaning agent
  • Spray Bottle-to carry cleaner
  • Soapy Water-cleaning agent
  • Soft Cloth or a Scouring Pad-to rub
  • A Grill Scraper-for grills
  • Paper Towel-to absorb liquid
  • Vegetable Oil-lubricant

2. Keep the Smoker Warm

Cleaning an electric smoker when it is still warm is a good option. It’s a clear sign. You may have seen your mom washing your dinner set with warm water. Or you may have noticed your mom cleaning the rusty patches on the steel cooker inside when she had mistakenly overcooked some food.

So, you do need to do an extra job by heating it again. Just wait for a while when you are done with cooking food. Let the smoker cool down enough to be easily touched to clean.

Move on to the next step, then.

3. Cover the Area

Cleaning the electric smoker must not bring more garbage to your backyard. It will double your work; first, cover your place with a tarp or a reusable plastic sheet.

The covering area of anyone should double the size of your smoker. Place your electric smoker just at the middle of the sheet or a tarpaulin.

How to Clean an Electric Smoker

4. Removing the Ash 

Despite what kind of ash catcher you have, it may be either a chip tray or a smoker box where all the ash rests after cooking.

At the very first step after setting your smoker on the sheet, just remove this and dump all ash in a trash bin.

Dumping hot ash in a plastic trash bin could be dangerous. In case the ash is still hot, use a non-combustible container to save yourself.

Unlike pellet grills, where you mostly have to use a vacuum cleaner to remove the ashes, the electric smokers does not demands the same.

5. Cleaning the Ash Holder

Right after removing the ash from the smoker box or chip tray, make a solution of Apple Vinegar or Lemon Juice and warm water. The proportion will be 70/30(water).

Make the solution, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray your empty smoker box. Wipe it out with a soft cloth and let it dry for a while.

6. Remove all out

The next step is to remove all that inside of the smoker. The shelves, water pan, drip pan, or a tray; remove all them out.

Scrape the grease out of the drip tray. Use a metal scraper for that, and then wash everything in soapy water. Use a cloth peace or a brush to clean any sticky material hard to clean.

In case the sticky material is still there, you can again use a water-vinegar solution to clean.

7. Cleaning the inside

With every smoking session in an electric smoker, a layer of grease appears which is not visible initially but becomes prominent after few sessions.

It is essential to clean that out. For that, take a scraper and start to form the roof of the smoker. Scratch the thick layer of grease, and you will see the patches falling down to the bottom of the smoker.

Continue the sidewall process as well. You will find an amount of residue and patches at the bottom of the apparatus. Gather them and dispose of them all into a basket.

Now clean the smoker’s bottom in the same way and dump the scrap into the basket again.

Right after that, slide the soap-soaked cloth piece on the walls, bottom, and roof. Make sure cloth wipes every corner of the inside smoker.

8. Cleaning the Glass Door Inside

You may be in trouble watching the meat processing inside via a glass window. Maybe some grease layer hinders your way to view the scenery.

Cleaning the glass door is not just like cleaning the grates or like that. You can’t scratch your glass, for it will get more horrible.

Instead, just use the soap-soaked warm water cloth for that.

You can also simply use a wet newspaper for the purpose. Just slighter dampen the newspaper and rub the glass you. You will be all done instantly.

Note: In most cases, it is slightly difficult to watch what is going inside because when it’s smoking, the smoker spreads in the atmosphere, and the food becomes invisible to the naked eye.

9. Re-rack the Smoker and Fire

Place back all the parts and fire it up. A 45-minute fire will be enough as it will vaporize all water from inside and make your smoker crystal clean. In addition to that, it will also kill down any bacteria that may stick when exposed to the air.

You can also use an air blower or hair dryer for this purpose. It will take lesser time and work equally well.

In addition to that, if you have no even 10 minutes doing so, simply take a dry paper or cloth and wipe that up with some strong hands.

It is mandatory to do. In another case, if some water rests inside the smoker, it will soon be converted into rust. You will have to pay extra cost for such carelessness.

10. Care your Grates

Cooking grates require more attention as compared to anything else. For this is the place where your favorite meal rests. To make it non-sticky, you need to treat some vegetable oil using paper or a piece of cloth.

You may also spray it merely as well through a spray bottle and then clean it after that.

11. Cleaning the outside of an Electric Smoker

You may feel free after cleaning the inside of your electric smoker. Wait! Then job is still undone. Your smoker’s outer body still needs some treatment.

It’s not as sluggish as that doing the inside body.

Just soak cloth or sponge in warm soapy water and wipe it over the outer part.

Instead of using hose water, you can swap dry cloth over the body and squeeze the absorbed dirty water into water drainage.

It’s a bit tricky to use hose water as it will splash water all over your place, killing the purpose of a plastic sheet or tarpaulin.

If it is built with some stainless steel material, using a stainless steel cleaner should be the only choice.

How to Clean an Electric Smoker with Mold

In the long run, every owner faces the problem with the smoker. No matter how better your smoker’s quality, it will meet mold and maggots attack at last. It generally happens when you don’t use your electric smoker regularly. Besides this, if the cooker remained at some moisture place, the mold and maggots will catch it soon.

So what to do? Don’t worry, follow the points.

  • Take the racks and bottom tray out of your smoker and soaked them in iodine and vinegar solution (you can take any solution which is high in acidity level). I have picked iodine for its good essence, which will not last long in the smoker, unlike bleach.
  • Wipe everything down with a paper towel.
  • Re re-rack the smoker and run it at the highest temperature for at least an hour.
  • Mold can sustain at 140F. So you need to be higher than that.
  • At high temperatures, mold and maggot will vanish completely, and here your smoker is ready to produce good food again.
How to clean Electric Smoker with Mold

How often should I clean my electric smoker?

The cleaning frequency of an electric smoker depends upon the frequency of its use. Unlike pellet or charcoal smokers, you don’t need to clean it after every session. 

Different professionals have revealed different standards to coin the frequency of cleaning an electric smoker. So following is the breakout.

  • Most of the professionals said that it is mandatory to clean your smoker after 23-28 hours after active operational use.
  • In terms of sessions, it is recommended to clean your electric smoker after 4-6 sessions.

As a bottom line, I must say that you are the judge of your electric smoker. When you find a sloppy move when your slide your finger on any wall inside the smoker, it needs to be cleaned. You must go for the cleaning if it seems filthy inside any instinct is not willing to cook anything until you wash it.

What can clean an electric smoker?

It has been a dilemma for every electric smoker user to use as a cleaner for the cooker. But all pros are on the same page for the one standard solution; water. 

What is the second option? 

Whether to use bleach or iodine or one must go for the vinegar to wipe up the grates and remove the mold and maggots. 

There is a one-point answer.

“You should use the solution which has a higher acidic property, but it must be in the dilute form.”

The order of the liquids used must also be taken into consideration before mixing it with the water.

You must know the real reaction output of the liquid when it gets mixed up with the water. If its reaction is absolute havoc, never try that.

Final Words

You may wonder hearing some veterans kept with a single electric smoker for decades. What makes it happen? Yes, the care. The secret of longitivity of anything you use lies in the care if that thing. So, clean and cure your electric smoker and make it live with you for a life.

Finally, you can innovate your own methods of cleaning. But, to save time and money, you can adopt ours’s. In case you find some deficiency in our research, never shy to let us know.

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