A clean smoker saves cooking time and keeps food juicy and smoky. So if you’ve got a party coming up, here’s how to clean up your electric smoker.
An electric smoker is an extremely convenient BBQ equipment which is used to heat and smoke your meat and is a piece of must-have equipment for anyone who is serious about grilling or barbecuing.
However, a lot of people often neglect to take good care of their electric smoker which can result in the reduced life of the electric smoker and also affects the efficiency of your equipment.
It is important to clean your electric smoker regularly if you want to get the most out of it and want to use it for a longer period of time. This will not only help you in getting your money’s worth out of it but will also help you in better and quicker cooking of meat.
Apart from cleaning your electric smoker, you also need to season it properly and maintain it periodically to keep it in topmost quality.
In this article, we will discuss the seasoning and cleaning method that can be used to take care of your electric smoker efficiently.
Table of Contents
How to Clean Your Electric Smoker
To clean your smoker properly, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:
Clean the Smoker Exterior
First, start with the exterior of your electric smoker. Take a damp cloth and then wipe down your smoker’s exterior and use a water solution. Remember to not let your smoker air dry as it can cause rust formation on the electric smoker.
If you have a glass window on your smoker then you need to wipe it with a damp cloth too and then wipe it with a dry cloth. However, while cleaning you need to use a soap solution or a glass cleaner which is approved by your smoker’s manufacturer.
Once you have cleaned the smoker exterior, use a dry cloth to completely dry the exterior in order to avoid rusting or staining.
Clean the Smoker Interior
After you have cleaned the smoker exterior, you need to focus on cleaning the interior of the electric smoker. For this, you need to first remove the racks, attachments, and other removable parts of your smoker and then clean it with a soap solution. Also, make sure that you clean these removable attachments after every use to keep them protected for a long period of time.
For removing stuck food particles, dirt, grease, etc., you can simply use a bristle brush. Clean the grates and other parts of your smoker with the help of a hard brush and clean it thoroughly without worrying about scratches or any damages.
Another effective way to clean the grates is by putting it in your kitchen oven and then setting the self-cleaning cycle to clean the grates. This will heat up the oven and stuck food bits and hard solid particles will burn off easily leaving you with a new and shiny grate again.
Once you have cleaned the dirt and food particles from the removable smoker parts, you need to use a dish soap and water solution to clean the grates and attachments. Once washed, rinse it properly with clean water and then wipe down all the parts with a cloth to ensure a smooth surface.
However, you can simply air dry these attachments and parts and don’t need to dry it with a cloth like the other smoker parts. So, just let the grates, racks, etc. sit outside in the air to dry up completely before you place it back in the smoker. This will help in ensuring that no greasy particle or hardened dirt is stuck to your grate when you are placing it back in the smoker.
Once the interior parts of the smoker are cleaned, apply vegetable oil on it before you place it back in the smoker. This will ensure that food doesn’t stick to your grates and will also help in protecting the grates from rust formation. Also, the oil will help in preserving your grates after prolonged use in the smoker so that it can be used for a longer time.
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Clean the Thermostat
A lot of people think that the smoker’s thermostat doesn’t need to be cleaned but this is actually untrue. The smoker knobs found both inside and outside of the smoker need to be cleaned properly and then wiped down after every use. A lot of dust, grease, dirt, etc. forms upon these knobs and can deteriorate the surface with time if not cleaned immediately.
So, use an approved cleaning agent or use a solution of dish soap and warm water to clean your knobs and can let them air dry or wipe it down with a dry cloth for quick drying.
If your smoker comes with removable knobs then you can remove the knob from the smoker’s exterior and deep clean the knobs to get rid of dirt or grease build0up which occurs after the extended use of a smoker.
Cleaning your electric smoker in under 4 minutes
How to Season your Electric Smoker
One of the most important thing that every user needs to do is season their utensils and equipment in order to get the most out of it. Seasoning often wears off so it is important that you season your electric smoker regularly to keep it functioning and properly operational.
A lot of manufacturers provide the steps to season their equipment in the instructions manual so make sure that you read it carefully to know the most effective method to season your electric smoker. To season your electric smoker, you need to coat the interior of the smoker with oil, similar to how you season a cast iron pan.
The oil quality doesn’t matter too much so don’t spend too much money on purchasing an expensive high-quality oil. Just get any normal oil or you can also use bacon grease to season your electric smoker.
Once you have covered the interior of the electric smoker with oil, you need to heat the smoker so that the oil covers all the hard-to-reach and imperfect places as well. Heat the smoker to around 250 – 275 degrees Fahrenheit so that the oil keeps your smoker clean and forms a barrier against water to prevent rusting.
If you subject your smoker to a temperature higher than the paint of your smoker can come off too.
Seasoning Your Electric Smoker the right way!
Do I need to Season it each time?
A lot of electric smokers don’t require to be seasoned but users should know how they can clean their smoker. You will need to begin by heating your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and use the smoke produced by the smoker to give your smoker with protective layering. If you aren’t seasoning your smoker, you need to ensure the smoke residue forms a layer in your smoker.
Also, take care of the ventilation so the fire will get enough supply of oxygen and protect your smoker from the formation of creosote which is usually found in poorly ventilated electric smokers.
Cleaning your smoker and maintaining a protective layering on it is extremely important. You can maintain the coating by removing ashes and food build-up but make sure that you don’t scrub your electric smoker as it can remove the protective coating and will expose your smoker metal to rust.
Although it is important to maintain the seasoned layer, you need to clean the smoker properly once in every few days and then re-season your smoker. However, make sure that the oil and smoke coating keeps your smoker protected from any signs of rusting.
This is why users need to remove the ash from the smoker as it can absorb water and oil and will result in rusting of your firebox. The leftover grease in your smoker will also absorb water which can result in the rusting of the metal part. Just make sure that you clean all these particles as you see it so that you can keep your smoker clean and running efficiently.
How to Remove Remove Rust
No matter how much you care for your electric smoker and keep it clean, there are instances when water will be exposed to the smoker interior which will cause rust stains on your smoker.
It is crucial that you keep an eye on your smoker at all times and check that there is no rust formation on it but no worries if you still notice a few rust spots on the smoker, here are a few steps that you can take to remove it completely:
- First, you need to take sandpaper or a wire brush to scrub out all the rust.
- Once this is done, take a cloth to remove all the dust or debris from the smoker.
- Once you have cleaned it properly, coat it with fresh paint which is heat resistant and try not to compromise on the quality.
- After painting the smoker, coat it with a layer of oil
Tips to Keep in Mind when Cleaning your electric smoker
Once you follow the above steps to clean your electric smoker, you will find it easier to maintain your electric smoker and will find that it will work efficiently for a longer time. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind when cleaning your electric smoker to ensure that you damage it in the cleaning process.
- Use only those cleaning agents which are suggested by your electric smoker’s manufacturer. Although you can use dish soap or other non-abrasive soaps as long as you clean gently and don’t scrub too hard.
- Clean your smoker after every use to keep your smoker properly cleaned and maintain. Regular cleaning of your smoker will make it easy to remove the stuck food bits and particles and will keep your smoker look fresh and new at all times.
- Cleaning your Electric Smoker regularly will prolong its life and will keep it as efficient as it was at the start. It is up to you how often you find time to clean it but cleaning it after every use will reduce the pressure of deep cleaning.
- Avoid air drying your electric smoker and always dry it after cleaning so as to prevent the formation of rust.
- Oil your electric smoker after every wash to form a protective coating that will prolong your smoker’s life.
If you want your smoker to work efficiently and last for a longer time then you need to clean it regularly and properly. A lot of people think that cleaning an electric smoker requires a lot of time and effort but it is actually not true. If you wipe down your smoker after every use then you only need to wash it once every week which will hardly take more than 15 minutes.
Cleaning your electric smoker is an essential part of your electric smoker maintenance and is a necessity to increase your smoker’s lifetime. So, don’t neglect it and keep your smoker protected by cleaning it regularly.