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Cleaning Smoker


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Hi Guys.

How often are people cleaning out their smokers?

I've got a Weber Smokey Mountain that I just got last week. Have used it 5 times (don’t you just love self isolation!) I rinsed it out and cleaned the grates after every smoke and did a full clean down today of every part.

Is there such a thing as cleaning it too much? What do people suggest is a good amount?

Thanks as always for the advice!



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Hi Nick

There is no need to clean out the inside of the smoker each time you use it as each time you fire it up it will effectively clean itself.

After every use clean out the charcoal basket and empty any ash from the bottom. Wipe off anything on the outside of the smoker with a soft soapy cloth (mainly for aesthetics) and wash off your cooking grates in warm soapy water. Thats it.

Store your WSM with the vents closed and under a cover if you have one.

Even if you come to your smoker after a period of inactivity and you find mold inside - dont panic. Simply wash the cooking grates with soap and water and bring the smoker up to a smoke roast temperature for about 30 minutes. This will effectively sterilise the inside of your smoker and burn off any residues that could possibly produce a taint.


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  • 1 month later...

Best, fastest and easiest way to clean is wipe grates with a ball of foil after each cook or if you forget then no worries, do it as it’s coming up to temp in your next cook.

As for the pit itself, a cycle of all vents open and let it go will burn everything off, simply let it go up, stay there for ~15mins and then slowly bring it down (shutting vents at 1000 degrees can have fireball consequences) and when cooler but warm, get your ball of foil to wipe off any cremated residue which will be like dust and not gooey nor greasy. 

The more you use the less you “clean” but every now and then a heat cycle clean is good maintenance and if after a period of use, you get mold then no difference, just heat cycle and you’re good to go. 

I would discourage the soap and water approach as the soap can leave residue and the water can damage. 

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