Owning a smoker is truly a great thing, but maintaining it is something that requires you to be responsible. It is not wise to simply keep using the smoker and not take good care of it!
One way to make sure your Masterbuilt smoker (or any other electric smoker for that matter) works effectively for a long period of time is to give it a good regular cleaning. This can be a seemingly daunting task at first, but the following will explain how to do it easily and quickly.
These are some easy steps that you can follow to clean your smoker. Before you begin, always ensure that you are using cleaners that are non-abrasive. An example would be light detergents that are used for cleaning dishes. Also, you may need to season your smoker, but that usually does not apply to electric smokers. Read the manual that came with your smoker to check if this is required. Cleaning, however, is something you should always do!
So, here are the steps you should take after each use of your smoker:
- First and foremost, allow some time for the interior of the chamber to cool down before you start cleaning. Obviously you do not want to burn your hands while cleaning!
- Wear some rubber gloves. Try Ansell Edmont 9-928-10 Neox Fully Coated Neoprene Glove or just go cheap and get one of these.
- Start by removing all the equipment in it; the water pan, tray, racks and the smoker box.
- With a brush begin removing all the dirt and food remains from top to bottom and sweep clean the chamber as such. Make sure you properly scrub the inner surfaces of the chamber using a sponge dipped in warm water and soap. Wipe the surfaces with a dry cloth. Give the chambers a second look in order to remove any loose bristles as you do not want these while you are cooking.
- Cleaning Ash build up – A lot of ash builds up when you smoke your meat. It is therefore essential that once you have smoked the meat, to start cleaning the built-up ash. You do not want this to sit in the smoker for long periods of time, or else you run the risk of developing rust. To remedy this, all you have to do is wipe it clean with a wet piece of cloth. However, do not dip the box or the lid itself in water.
- You might be tempted to clean off the black spots that emerge after some time. However, these spots actually help prevent rust and also enhance the cooking.
- Cleaning the cooking racks, water pan and tray – Next comes the cooking racks. You need to wash these thoroughly before you move on to the water pan and the tray. You can use a cleaner like this one or clean and rinse them with warm water that contains soap, and then leave them to dry for a while. You can also use the scrubbing brush linked above. If you feel that you are having trouble with the meat getting stuck on the equipment all the time, apply some cheap vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray to avoid such a thing. Another trick is to take out the racks and put them in a kitchen oven and turn on the self-cleaning feature. However, be careful when doing this, as some smoker owners have reported issues such as smell and discoloration. If you are concerned about this, you’re better off doing it by hand.
- Next, clean the meat probe. You do not want to leave the meat probe dirty. To clean it, make sure you wipe it with the soapy damp cloth and then wipe it dry. Never leave the probe under running water and do not dip it into the water.
- Once you have smoked your meat, the door seal usually gets smudged with some smoke. Wipe this off with the cloth.
- Next comes the exterior parts of the smoker that needs cleaning. Particularly, you need to clean the control panel at the top with the wet cloth. If there’s a lot of grease to cut through, a recommended product is GrillPro 70395 Stainless Steel Cleaner
- Last but not the least, with the wet cloth damp in soap, wipe the thermostats found on the inside wall at the back of the smoker.
Taking care of your smoker is important, and will pay many dividends in the future. Taking steps to ensure you properly clean after each use will guarantee much better results and even improve your smoker with age. Happy smoking!