Owning an electric smoker is a dream come true to a lot of people. Having the right tricks to smoke your meat is fantastic, but cleaning it up can feel like a test from hell. You have nothing to worry about, though. With the right tricks, which I am just about to give you, cleaning your smoker will be easier than you thought.
Accumulation of grease, creosote, food particles, carbon and dust on the grills, racks, and windows can be unsightly. Besides, the buildup of these elements can largely reduce the efficiency of your smoker. If you want to maintain your smoker for longer, and still have meat that has been smoked superbly, you need to learn to clean your smoker.
Let’s dive right into ways to clean an electric smoker with ease.
- Clean your smoker regularly
If you let your smoker get excessively dirty, you are increasing the accumulation of dirt, which will not be easy to clean. To avoid buildup, you should clean up your smoker after every use.
After use, ensure you empty the ash into a bin. Don’t leave the ashtray loaded. Let the ash cool down, and then offload the tray.
Wipe the meat probe with a damp cloth. Additionally, never immerse it in water, lest you tamper with accurate temperature measurements.
Wash the cooking racks in warm soapy water. Also, do not use harsh chemicals and abrasives on the trays and racks. If there is a thick buildup of residue, you should soak the rack and trays for around 45 minutes. You may also use a brush with friendly bristles to clear up heavy residue.
- Oil your racks and trays to prevent rusting and excessive buildup
After cleaning your racks and trays, let them dry off completely. Apply some little vegetable oil on the surfaces with a piece of cloth. Alternatively, you can use a vegetable-oil based spray. You are dealing with a metallic surface that is continuously exposed to moisture. You don’t want to have them looking rusty. Other than preventing rusting, the vegetable oil prevents excessive sticking of residue during your next smoking session.
- Cleaning the interior meat chamber
Well, you have now removed the trays and grills from the oven. Now the main smoking chamber is empty. Use a brush with soft bristles to clear up any soot and residue from the chamber. To collect the residue from the upper parts of the chamber with ease, you should line the floor of the chamber with a piece of newspaper.
After you have cleared the entire residue, gently scrub the chamber using warm soapy water. Just ensure that the brush is gentle enough not to destroy the surface. Use a paper towel or a newspaper to dry up the now clean chamber. Ensure that no pieces of plastic bristles are stuck up in any crevices of the chamber.
Over time, the chamber of your smoker will slowly darken. This is completely normal. Don’t stress over it. Actually, it is one way of preventing rusting.
- Cleaning up the thermostats
This is often overlooked, yet it is crucial. You have to be extremely careful while cleaning the thermostats because you want to have accurate temperature readings for all your smoking sessions. Do not dismantle anything from your thermostats. Just wipe them using warm soapy water, and you are good to go!
- Clearing up mold from your smoker
There is no need for alarm when you find mold thriving in your smoker. After all, the moisture present in your smoker makes it a thriving environment for a lot of organisms. If you find mold in your smoker, the first step would be to get rid of all dump and porous materials from the smoker. Secondly, light up the smoker to the highest temperature possible for around 30 minutes. Scrap off the burnt residue and wash the smoker with warm soapy water. Let the smoker dry completely. You can heat it again to get rid of moisture.
While storing your smoker, leave the vents slightly open. This ensures there is adequate air circulation to prevent the nourishment of an environment that favors mold.
- Using apple cider vinegar to clean your smoker
Apple cider vinegar will help get rid of foul smell, bacteria and tough stuck debris. It is a natural disinfectant and cleaner. To use apple cider vinegar, take a spray bottle and half-fill it with hot water. Fill the remaining half with apple cider vinegar. Spray the mixture to all parts and crevices of your smoker, trays, and grills. Let the mixture settle on the surfaces for around ten minutes.
Use a mild scrubber to loosen dirt and grease. Wipe off the surfaces with a damp cloth. Leave your smoker panel to dry.
Having an electric smoker allows you to enjoy juicy and delicious smoked meat all year round. Unfortunately, cleaning the smoker after those thrilling barbeque parties will leave a sour taste on you. A lot of people leave marinate juice, debris of meat, creosote and ash to accumulate in the smokers, just because they cannot figure out the best cleaning approach. Leaving your smoker dirty may result in the thriving of maggots, molds and a foul smell. You would not want to use it again when it gets to this. Luckily, it is simple to keep your electric smoker clean. Thoroughly clean it and dry it after every usage.