There is a lot of ash and dripping fat and sauces to deal with when smoking meat. So, you’ll need to learn how to clean an electric smoker.
Aside from a smoker floor and walls caked with fat and ash from all the delicious food you smoked for your guests, you’ll have crusty grill grates and a drip tray overflowing with drippings.
So, how do you get it clean?
Following this tutorial, you will know exactly how to clean your electric smoker, what to do if you encounter mildew, and how best to care for it afterward.
Cleaning electric smokers is not only important for their aesthetic appeal and, of course, safety, but it also helps them last longer.
Cleaning your smoker is an essential skill, so whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been smoking for a while and can’t put it off any longer, this article is for your electric smokers and you.
How Often Should You Clean Your Electric Smoker?
There is nothing shameful about being here if you’re here because you simply picked up the smoking device and thought, “Ugh, I really need to clean this thing.” After all, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you have a problem!
Even if it’s not shooting or smoking like it used to, there’s a good chance that something within has become obstructed.
Spring cleaning is definitely needed if you answered yes to any of the above scenarios.
The basic rule of thumb is that an electric smoker needs a thorough cleaning every three to five uses to keep it in good working order. And if you’ve invested in a high-quality electric smoker, you’ll want to take care of it!
How Mold Develops On Your Electric Smoker
Your electric smoker is prone to developing mold because of certain conditions. Leftover grease from your smoker could be a food source for mold.
Food waste and other organic materials are perfect breeding grounds for mold growth when cleaned up improperly. It’s more common for mold to grow when there is dampness around.
During the winter months, your electric smoker is more prone to developing mold. Your smoker’s cover, in particular, keeps moisture within, making it simpler for decay to enter it.
Part #1. Cleaning the electric smoker’s rack
We included advice on how to clean your electric smoker because poor cleaning practices might lead to mold growth. The first thing we need to know is how to clean the rack.
Soapy water, a brush or sponge, and plenty of endurance are all you’ll need to clean the rack on your electric smoker.
Step 1: Scrape off the sticky food from the grills of your electric smoker to remove the residue. To do this, wrap a utensil in a thick cloth and use it to scrape off the grit and ash from your grill.
Step 2: Soak the food in the solution after it has been removed from the racks and grills and allow the soap to break down the grease and oil. After that, carefully clean the grills and racks with a stiff brush.
Dirty parts should be rinsed and flushed away. Be sure to clean up any and all traces of grease as well.
To lessen the chances of food sticking on your racks, spray vegetable oil on it. Rust can be prevented by using this method.
Part #2. Cleaning the smoker’s main chamber
You’ll need to gather waste and ash bags for this step. A spray bottle, a plastic sheet, an apple cider vinegar solution, and a bristle brush are also required.
Make sure your electric smoker has cooled down before proceeding. If it isn’t, then leave it alone; if it is, then get rid of it all.
Drip tray, water pan, rack and smoker box should all be removed.
Following the removal of the main chamber’s components, thoroughly clean your smoker’s interior. Put the ash and soot in a bag and toss them.
Spray the box with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and hot water after combining them in a spray bottle.
For best results, let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. Make sure it’s clean before you use it again.
Scrub the box with a sponge after sprinkling the apple cider solution on it for a second time. Make sure you scrub hard enough to eliminate any remaining debris.
Your electric smoker’s inside will darken with time, but don’t freak out! As long as it’s natural, it’s a show of strength.
Part #3. Cleaning the mold off your electric smoker
Cleaning a moldy electric smoker begins with emptying the appliance. Remove all of the smoker’s components and check to see whether any are mold-contaminated.
Remove and evaluate the parts of your electric smoker, then heat it up like you’re preparing for a big dinner party. Turn the heat up and add the wood chips.
Mold can’t stand high temperatures, so heating the smoker is a surefire way to get rid of it. Here’s a link to an article that outlines the temperature at which mold is able to die.
Heating it would also help loosen and remove any remaining dirt. You’re taking care of two birds with one stone by warming up the smoker!
The electric smoker should be cooled down before you begin cleaning it. While you’re waiting, get your safety gear ready.
Avoid breathing in mold by using gloves and a mask. Rinse out the smoker’s interior with soapy water once it has cooled down.
Keep your smoker away from any chemicals that could harm it. To ensure that your smoker’s interior is thoroughly cleaned, use a power washer.
Cleaning the smoker with a power washer would remove any residue. Keeping your electric smoker mold-free and thoroughly cleaned is essential.
To avoid the repercussions of mold, you must remove it from your home as soon as possible. This article provides an example of how mold can have a negative impact on people’s health.
Must You Clean an Electric Smoker Before First Use?
Washing a new electric smoker before seasoning it is recommended by a small number of individuals.
As indicated in my electric smoker seasoning instruction, I don’t regard this as a step that is required. The owner’s manual for the majority of products does not make any mention of this at all, and that is unfortunate.
It’s not required, but it’s up to you whether or not you do it.
Follow The User Manual
Despite the fact that many of us toss out the user manuals that come with our gadgets, there will always be a use for them. This is one of those times!
In many cases, putting anything back together in the correct order can be a challenge, and the user manual will help you with the more difficult parts.
Take pictures of your smoker as you disassemble it so you’ll know which components go where when it’s time to rebuild it if you can’t find your owner’s instructions. If all else fails, check the manufacturer’s website for a download.
Equipment Needed for Cleaning Your Electric Smoker
Here’s a brief checklist of everything you’ll need to clean your electric smoker, because the most organized among us know that lists are the secret to efficiency:
- The use of tarpaulin or newspaper to protect work surfaces and flooring.
- Barbecue brush without bristles
- warm, soapy water in a large bucket
- Cleansing pads and sponges
- Spatula made of metal, sometimes known as a grill scraper
- Tweezers, dishtowels and vegetable oil are all you need to make this dish
- Boiling water in a microwave-safe container
- Cleaner for windows (for glass windows only)
- Grill cleaning products that are specifically designed for use with stainless steel smokers.
A teaspoon of liquid dish soap per four cups of warm water works best for the soapy water.
Cleaning the Interior of Your Electric Smoker
When the electric smoker is still warm, cleaning it is considerably simpler.
Let it cool down after usage and clean it then, or heat up your electric smoker to its maximum temperature for about an hour and perform these instructions once it has cooled down again significantly. Both methods work.
The general rule of thumb is that it should be warm, but not unbearably so.
Smokers aren’t designed to be pristine, and the color of their lungs will deepen with each puff.
To avoid rust and improve smoking, just remove the grease and burnt food and don’t bother about shining it back to its original gleam.
Unless you have mold on the interior, you should go straight to the section on mold. Follow these steps if there isn’t one already.
Ensure that you have disconnected the smoker from the electrics before you begin the initial stages.
Cover Your Work Area
First and foremost, you need to protect your work space from oil and dirt, which can be hard to remove from surfaces and floors.
You can use tarps or newspapers to cover everything that may come into contact with your smoker or any of its parts, and also to capture any drips or lumps that will come out during the cleaning procedure.
Remove The Ash From The Chip Tray or Smoker Box
Wood chips used to create the smokey flavor are burned in a smoker box, and the ash that collects at the bottom of the box is collected in the tray. Remove the ash tray and place it in the trash.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, make sure the ashes are completely cool before disposing of them in a non-combustible receptacle.
Remove Shelves, Water Pan, Drip Pan, and Clean Them
The shelves, water pans and drip trays can all be taken out and put in a dishwasher if they’re dishwasher safe, so you can get to work cleaning the rest of it while your trusted machine does all the heavy work.
A metal scraper works well for this. If not, use it to remove the grease from the drip tray and then use a grill brush to scrub away any remaining grease and filth.
Rub Down the Sides and Bottom of Your Smoker
As a result of the smoking process, the interior of your smoking chamber will get extremely oily and sticky with residue after each usage.
Scrub the inside of the walls with a sponge or wet cloth dipped in warm soapy water after removing any thick oil with a scraper.
Afterwards, scrape the grit and lumps that have fallen to the bottom into a bag or pan, and then use a sponge and warm water to scrub down the bottom.
The bottom of the smoke chamber should be cleaned at the end of the process, so make sure you start at the top and work your way down the sides.
Clean The Glass Door
Keep the smoker clean so you can see what’s going on in the meat, which is a pet peeve of many people!
Using a scraper is the only way to remove thick, gloopy grease off the surface. To avoid scratching the glass, always use wood or plastic, not a metal scraper or a metal bristle brush.
Using warm soapy water and a sponge, remove any remaining grease if it isn’t too tough to remove.
Reassemble Smoker and Fire It Up
There’s still a long way to go before it’s time for a cold one!
While your smoker may never be as immaculate as it was when you initially acquired it, the interior job is done once you’ve given it a good cleaning.
It’s now only a matter of putting it back together in the opposite order of disassembly, aided by a manual, your notes, or images.
Turn it up to its highest setting and blast it for 30 minutes once you’re satisfied that everything is in its proper place. Any remaining water or soap suds will be evaporated as a result. Alternatively, you can use paper towels to dry it and leave the door open for about an hour to allow it to air dry.
Never pack away a moldy item while it’s still wet, because doing so nearly guarantees that you’ll have mold again.
Oil Your Grates
Once the smoker has cooled, use a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil to oil the grates, just like you would with any other smoker or grill.
Food and filth are prevented from clinging as a result, and rust is also avoided.
To avoid damaging your shelves, use tongs for this step, as the heat from the previous step will still be present (unless you waited out complete cooling.)
What If There Is Mold Inside?
Your electric smoker has mold inside of it, so what’s the problem?
Using a computer that has been inactive for some time can cause problems, but don’t be alarmed.
Even maggots have been found in smokers that have been left unattended for a long period of time due of the grease, germs, and moisture present. I know it’s disgusting, but it’s the truth.
Set your smoker to the highest setting, fill a tin or microwave-safe bowl with boiling water, and let it there for an hour. The mold will be destroyed, as well as the maggots and eggs that live in it.
It is now time to wipe it down and scrape it clean before continuing with the following processes.
Cleaning The Outside Of Your Electric Smoker
If the smoker is disconnected from the power again, you can then proceed.
Simply Wash and Rinse With Soapy Water
If your smoker’s exterior is dirty, clean it with a sponge or damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Don’t forget to scrape the door seal, which many people overlook.
Using a garden hose set on low power, rinse the soap suds from the surface after you’ve scrubbed it thoroughly. That’s all there is to it!
Use Glass Or Stainless Steel Cleaner If Needed
With a glass or stainless steel smoker, you’ll want to clean it with a glass or stainless steel cleaner, which will leave it sparkling clean.
In addition to dulling their appearance and leaving watermarks or stains, regular detergents can cause damage. So be sure you only use the correct tools for the job!
Electric Smoker Maintenance
Smokers should take extra care of their electric smokers so that they can keep their shine and their smoking abilities shining brightly for as long as possible!
To prevent food from clinging to the shelves, wipe them down with vegetable oil before each usage.
After each usage, use a wire brush to remove any food or oil from the shelves and to burn off any drippings with a brief blast. This is best done while the shelves are still warm.
To keep the smoker clean and prevent mold from forming between uses, follow these two instructions.
In addition, a protective cover should be placed over your smoker when not in use. Besides extending its lifespan, this also shields it from the weather.
How To Clean An Electric Smoker – A Complete Guide
I have a Masterbuilt electric smoker, as I said earlier. My smoker is best suited to the following ingredients and procedures. I’ll also show you how to clean different electric smokers for your convenience.
When I first acquired my new smoker, I was worried that cleaning it would be too expensive. Only a few items that are likely to be on hand in your kitchen will do. Unless you have a lot of time, you don’t need to use all of them to clean your smoker.
Taking Care of the Insides
I’ve shown you each step in detail so that you can follow along easily. Cleaning your electric smoker does not have to be a laborious process if you follow these simple tips.
Taking everything out that can be taken out is the first thing to do. Smoking racks, an ash bucket, and a drip tray are all included in a Masterbuilt Smoker.
- Racks for Cooking with Smoke
Meats are cooked on racks called “smoking racks.” Remove the shelves from the chamber for cleaning. There are two methods for cleaning the racks. You can use a spray bottle, a towel, or the dishwasher to clean them.
You should soak the racks in a sink of soapy water for at least 30 minutes before cleaning the smoker after numerous uses.
In order to prevent meat residue from being permanently adhered to your cooking racks, I recommend that you wipe your racks after each usage.
- Ashes Box
The ash box’s entire purpose is to make cleaning a breeze. So that they don’t end up all over your kitchen, wood-burning ashes are collected in an ash box.
Remove the ash box, clean it with soap and water, and dispose of the ashes. After each usage, toss the unused portion in the trash. To the contrary, you’ll make your life easier.
- Tray for Spills and Water
To catch any oil or sauce that drips from the meat, a drip tray is positioned right beneath the racks. Rinse the tray with soap and a washer after removing it. If soap doesn’t remove a persistent stain, try apple cider vinegar.
The tray will rust if you don’t clean it after each usage. Those grilled meats will not be happy about that development.
- Chamber of Cooking
The cooking chamber, in contrast to other components, does not necessitate cleaning after each usage. However, the color of the chamber can change from silver to black as a result of the smoke, so it’s best to clean it from time to time. Empty the cooking chamber of all its components.
Brush or grill scraper can be used to remove mold or heavy dirt from within. Afterwards, spritz the chamber with a mixture of soap or vinegar and leave it there until the filth comes loose.
You’re done when you use a clean cloth to wipe down the chamber.
It’s also a good idea to clean the thermostat on a regular basis. If it’s dirty, you won’t be able to accurately monitor and manage the temperature.
With a moist towel, you can simply wipe the thermostat clean. Cleaning the thermostat is the easiest task.
How to Clean Exterior of Your Electric Smoker
Most of the time, your smoker is usually in the backyard. I know that I do. With all the dust and debris carried by the wind, it’s easy to become dirty.
You can always use a protective cover to keep the exterior from becoming dusty. The outside of a house is much easier to clean than the inside.
- To clean the smoker, use a wet cloth.
- If you like, you may use oven cleaner. To be honest, it’s not required.
- You can use a glass cleaner to clean the glass door if you choose.
If you plan on using it outside a lot, you should keep the exterior clean at all times. You won’t have to clean your smoker as much if you only use it indoors.
How to Clean Electric Smoker Before First Use
For many people, cleaning an electric smoker is superfluous before usage. I’m not sure I agree with them all the way. There is a potential that your electric smoker may include residue from the factory because they are mass-produced.
It’s not difficult, but it does take a long time. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to clean your smoker because you don’t have to be with it while it’s being done.
- Turn on the electricity.
- Set the thermostat to the maximum setting and the timer to three hours.
- Make sure your smoker is clean by using this product.
- To clean, use a moist cloth after it has cooled.
- And your smoker is all set to cook some meat now.
How to Clean Creosote From Electric Smoker
Cooking food in a smoker involves the use of both smoke and heat. Food must be smoked, but not for an extended period of time. Creosote is formed when smoke from a fire lasts too long or is too dense.
The best technique to remove creosote from a smoker is to heat it up. The creosote in your smoker can be removed by heating an empty smoker to a high temperature.
Preventative measures are always better than cures. Creosote has a very low possibility of affecting the flavor of your smoked meat if you keep your smoker in good condition.
How to Prevent Mold In Electric Smoker
Barbecue season never ends. All year round, people don’t smoke. Mold can grow in the smoker if it is left unattended for a long period of time.
To get rid of mold in a smoker, follow these steps:
- For around 40 minutes, heat your smoker to its highest setting.
- The mold will be destroyed if the temperature is too high.
- After cooling down, thoroughly clean your smoker.
- Molds can be killed by using vinegar.
Mold can be killed by bleaching, but this is a myth.
Cleaning your smoker on a regular basis is the only way to prevent it from developing mold. In particular, the inside. Make sure to clean the smoker before storing it if you plan to use it again after a long time. Before putting your smoker away for a long period of time, give it a thorough cleaning.
How to Power Wash an Electric Smoker
Clean your smoker with a power washer. However, this does not imply that you must. Power washing may be an effective form of cleaning, but it also removes all of your smoker’s flavor and seasoning.
As a result, I’m going to advise against power washing your grill. It may be a time-saver, but there are drawbacks.
How to Clean Other Electric Smokers
The steps for cleaning virtually every electronic cigarette are the same. The detachable pieces are the only thing that distinguishes one electronic smoker from another.
A drip tray may be absent from some models, while an ash box may not be present in others. As far as I can tell, all smokers can be cleaned in the same manner I have explained.
How Can You Stop Dirty Smoke
I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a clean smoker. The only way to avoid breathing in dirty smoke is to keep your smoker clean.
The smoke is tainted by the accumulated dirt inside the vehicle.. There is no need for the smoke to become contaminated if the cooking chamber is clean.
Why You Should Clean Your Electric Smoker
Cleaning your smoker may seem obvious, but you should know why and how often.
Cooking results degrade over time if your smoker isn’t cleaned after each use.
And don’t forget about the costs of replacing your old smoker with a new one.
An extensive and thorough cleaning may be all that’s needed for a smoker that hasn’t performed up to par after years of use. What you can and cannot put in your smoker is another important consideration.
To put it another way, keeping your smoker clean and well-maintained will ensure that it lasts a long time. The more time that passes without cleaning your smoker, the more difficult it will be. A later chapter will explain how often you should clean the smoker.
How to Maintain Electric Smoker After Cleaning
After cleaning your smoker, you must maintain it to keep it running as if it were new. Cleaning isn’t the end of your responsibilities.
Keeping things running smoothly is just as important as cleaning. After you’ve washed your electric smoker, here’s how to keep it clean.
I’ve mentioned it a million times before, but it bears repeating: Always clean your smoker after each use. To be fair, it’s not necessary to wash everything in your smoker after every use.
For begin, the cooking racks. The drip tray and thermostat also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. If you don’t want to clean the ashtray, at least empty it.
To clean the exterior and the cooking chamber, you just need to do so when you feel like it needs to be cleaned.
Cleaning products with powerful chemical ingredients can be found, but no abrasive abrasives. While they can remove stains quickly, the chemicals in these cleaners are bad for your smoker’s finish in the long run. Because of this, I strongly advise you to employ mild elements like those I’ve listed.
Protect Your Smoker: When not in use, keep your smoker covered to keep it clean.
It is necessary to oil the racks individually before adding the meat, even though it will be covered in oil and marinating chemicals. Because the meat won’t get trapped, cleanup will be a snap.
Before putting in a smoker’s removable parts, dry them all thoroughly.
What temp kills bacteria on an electric smoker?
Bacteria can be easily killed at a temperature of 195o to 205o. To be on the safe side, set your smoker’s temperature higher than this.
How do you remove black smoke from glass?
Using a mix of vinegar and water, you may eliminate black smoke from the glass. In cases when the stain is particularly tenacious, apply vinegar.
Is vinegar or bleach better for killing mold?
Without a doubt, vinegar. Bleach does not kill mold, but rather encourages it.
Will heat kill mold?
Most molds are killed by high temperatures. You may need to employ chemicals to eliminate them in some circumstances.
Can I use a hose to clean a smoker?
Cleaning your smoker with a hose is, in fact, an option. Keep in mind, though, that if you use too much water, you’ll dilute the flavor of your smoker.
Is it necessary to clean my new smoker before use?
Despite the fact that many individuals prefer to ignore this step, it is always preferable to disinfect your smoker before the first usage.
At what temperature does meat stop absorbing smoke?
The meat will continue to absorb meat indefinitely. Different smokers and meats provide different results.
Is white smoke bad?
White smoke is a bad sign. Electric smokers, on the other hand, smolder to smoke food, hence the white smoke produced by an electric smoker is to be expected. It’s hardly the best you can do with your smoker, though it’s better than nothing. Good scents and tastes are indicated by thin blue smoke.
You need to know how to remove mold from an electric smoker because you cook food in it. You and your family will be in danger if you use mold-contaminated equipment.