How to Clean a Smoker? Keep it in Form Saving the Fine Flavors of Smoked Summer Delicacies
Having a smoker is a delightful way to get a rich, smoky flavors of your favorite cheeses, meats or vegetables. Yet, how to maintain it easily to ensure it continues to achieve your preferred smoked delicacies? Let us dive in the process of how to clean a smoker before your next wonderful cooking experiment!
Table of Contents
How Do You Clean a Smoker After Cooking?
Cleaning your smoker after each use, you’ll prevent the accumulation of grease, carbon, and other debris that can worsen the flavor of your future smoked foods. There are some simple guidelines on how to clean a smoker after cooking:
- Switch off smoker. Once you’ve cooked your last food, switch off the appliance, and allow it to cool down entirely. This action is needed to ensure your safety.
- Empty ashes from firebox. In case your smoker works with charcoal or wood chips, empty the burnt residues from the firebox. Wait for the ashes to cool entirely and then dispose them in a fire-safe container.
- Take out grates and drip trays. Remove carefully the cooking grates, drip trays, and the other removable parts from your appliance. Leave them in hot soapy water for 5–6 minutes to loosen all hard to clean residue.
- Scrub the smoker inside. With the help of a soft brush or non-abrasive sponge, scrub the interior surfaces of the appliance to clean any grease and other residue. Apply a baking soda-water mixture for tricky spots before scrubbing.
- Wipe down the glass door. If your smoker has a glass door, clean it with a glass cleaner or with a one to one solution of vinegar and water to remove the grease. Wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth until you reach a shine without streaks.
- Rinse and dry the appliance. Rinse thoroughly one by one all the removable parts after their soaking, and dry them with a clean cloth. When the parts of the smoker are already dried out, reassemble the appliance, and keep it in a sheltered place.
Easy Way to Clean a Smoker Grate
The grate is the trickiest to be clean part of the smoker, as it contacts directly with the cooked food. So, you should set aside more time for removal of the old food residues. Let’s take a look at how to do it:
- Take the grate out. Remove it from the smoker after it has cooled down. Then place it on a table or other flat surface covered with newspaper or a garbage bag to retain the falling debris during its cleaning.
- Scrape off burnt food. Take a special grill brush or a ball of crumpled aluminum foil to scrape off the stuck residue, formed by burnt food particles and grease. Work with pressure, removing with the brush or foil the heavy burnt food bits.
- Soak in soapy water. Pour in a basin or a large bucket warm, soapy water. Soak the device’s grate in this solution, leaving it to stay for about 15–30 minutes. This is helpful in loosening the remaining grime.
- Scrub vigorously. After soaking, use a grill brush or non-abrasive sponge to scrub the grate thoroughly. Pay extra attention to any stubborn spots on it with charred residues.
- Rinse and dry it out. Rinse the grate with plenty of water to wash the soapy residue. Dry it with a clean cloth or let it air dry entirely, then put it back in the smoker.
How to Clean a Smoker with Apple Cider Vinegar
It is a wonderful natural cleaning substance, which helps with ease to dissolve grease, removing tricky for cleaning residues from your smoker. Let’s pass through the steps of how to clean a smoker with apple cider vinegar:
- Mix water with vinegar. Combine one to one parts of apple cider and water and pour in a spray bottle. Shake the solution slightly to mix well the ingredients.
- Spray the inner surfaces. Spray the interior of the smoker with this natural solution. Pay more attention to spots where you see there is a stain accumulation.
- Let the solution stay. Allow the solution to dissolve the residues for about 10–15 minutes. The acidity of the vinegar is powerful enough to break down the grime and ease its removal.
- Scrub and wipe away. With the help of a soft brush or non-abrasive sponge, scrub the inner parts of the smoker. Then wipe away the loosened grime with a cloth or paper towel.
- Rinse and dry completely. Rinse the interior surfaces with water to wash the remaining vinegar. Dry them thoroughly with a cloth or let them air dry, and finally reassemble the device.