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Cleaning your smoker

Martyn Catanach

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I have a 22.5" WSM and have been using it for nearly a year now, I clean and scrub the grills bit what about the rest of the unit, should I jet wash and clean it or leave the smoke residue and let it build up on the insides of the smoker, if i do so does  it do anything  positive to the smoking ?

Edited by Martyn Catanach
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WSM 47cm --
I give the grills a good scrub with a wire BBQ brush. Always amazed how shiny they come up every time!

As for the rest, I tend to lightly brush off the inside with a stiff hand brush, just to take off the flakes that can burn and potentially taint the taste of the next cook.

Same as the grills, I am always amazed at how clean everything comes up.
I'd never wash anything on the WSM though. Always presumed washing anything was a bad idea....?

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You do not need to clean the inside of the smoker after each smoke. Just brush off any loose flakes with a soft wire brush. Every few cooks you can dump half a chimney of lit coals into it after you have finished cooking and do a short seasoning burn and it will burn off most things.

If, as sometimes happens after it has been left for a while, you take the lid off the smoker and you see white mould growing inside do not worry either. Just brush off anything that is loose and then get the smoker up to temperature. Anything inside will be dead long before cooking temperature is reached. Brush off the grates with a soft wire brush again before you start cooking.

The firebox is slightly different. This does need to be emptied out after each smoke in case it gets wet. Water mixed with the ash can be very alkali and can reduce the life of some smokers by causing corrosion. This affects the cheaper smokers more as they are often not ceramic coated.

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