How to Clean Electric Smoker The Easy Way

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 23, 2021

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As the owner of an electric smoker, I can tell you that the best way to maintain it is to clean it regularly and properly. This is something that most newbies fail to do and as a result, they end up damaging their appliance needlessly.

However, even I can admit that I was like a deer caught in headlights when I first got my smoker because I didn’t know how to clean electric smoker. After a few years of owning it,

I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks from online forums as well as friends and family that own electric smokers.

how-to-clean-electric-smoker-2

This has enabled me to maintain my smoker so well that it still works like new after all these years.

Now, I don’t want you to go through the same confusion and trial and error that I did. So I put together this helpful guide on how to clean an electric smoker.

It’s simple enough for anyone to understand and it has all the basics on how to efficiently keep your smoker clean.

Clean your Smoker After It’s Cooled Down

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The best time to clean your smoker is right after you’ve finished cooking with it. Of course, you need to wait for it to cool down first so you don’t burn your fingers but this shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes.

This is important because it saves you the trouble of having to deal with stuck-on dirt and debris which can accumulate when you put off cleaning your smoker.

Trust me, you don’t want to deal with mold in smoker because it will be difficult to remove and it’s bad for your health.

Cleaning Materials:

Cleaning the Inside of Your Smoker

Remove Everything

Make sure to enjoy your meal first before you start cleaning your smoker so that you’re relaxed and energized for the job. Once your smoker has cooled down, start by removing all of its components.

This includes the drip tray, water pan, racks, and smoker box. This will make the cleaning process much easier and systematic for you.

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Nylon brush

Clean the Smoker Box

Start with the smoker box. Open it up and transfer all the soot and ash onto the recycle bin bag. Now, spray the smoker box with a solution that’s made up of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.

Afterwards, wipe it down with a clean cloth until it’s clean and ready for you to use your electric smoker the next time you need it.

Clean the Residue

This is where the soft brush comes in. Make sure to place the plastic tarp underneath the smoker first, so that you don’t get the residue onto your clean surface.

Using the brush, sweep away any and all dirt particles that are on the top of the smoker.

These should fall onto the plastic tarp that you’ve placed for protection so make sure that it covers the entire surface underneath the smoker. Maneuver the brush so that it gets in between the corners.

Lastly, scrub the bottom of the smoker so that it’s completely clean as well. Now you can throw out the plastic tarp along with all the dirt and debris from the smoker.

Scrub the Interior

Use the same solution of water and apple cider vinegar to spray the inside of the smoker. Then, wipe it clean with a sponge while making sure to put some elbow grease into the motion so that you get all the particles out.

Note that the inside of the smoker’s chamber will get darker with time. This is not a reflection of your cleaning skills but a natural consequence of using the smoker regularly.

It’s actually a good thing when your smoker darkens because this helps prevent the build-up of rust over time so that it still works well many years later.

How to Clean a Smoker Rack

Cleaning Materials:

Now that you’re done cleaning the inside of your smoker, it’s a good time to soak the items you used in some soap and water.

soapy-water

You may also lie down to relax a bit before you take on the next cleaning task because it’s going to require a lot of energy.

Cleaning the Smoker Rack and Grills

Scrap Off Residue

The first step here is to scrape off stubborn food residue that’s left over from your previous cleaning. The easiest way to do this is by using an old metal spoon wrapped in a thin layer of kitchen cloth.

This will get the grease and residue off faster and more efficiently than a normal scraper, and all without leaving any scratches.

Scrub with Soap

This is when you need to remove the accumulated oil and grease from your racks and grills. You’re going to have to put your back into it so prepare yourself for some serious work!

Make sure to use really hot soapy water for this step, and give the different parts a good scrub down. You want all the dirt and debris from your last meal to seep into the sink and never to be seen again.

Take a spray bottle and use it to spray some vegetable oil onto the racks and the grills. This will help to keep food from sticking onto them while inhibiting the build-up of rust.

This tips can use with your portable smoker

How to Clean the Smoker Glass

Cleaning Materials:

Cleaning Electric Smoker Windows

apple-cider-glass-cleaner-1024x683-630x420Prepare a Spray Bottle

As you can see, we’ve left the best part for last. This is by far the easiest step in the cleaning process but also one of the most important.

Keeping the windows of your electric cooker clean will ensure that you’re able to see the progress your meat is making while cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Fill the spray bottle with equal amounts of hot water and apple cider vinegar.

Spray with Apple Vinegar Solution

Spray the apple cider vinegar/water mixture onto the windows, making sure to cover each and every inch. Leave it to soak for about two minutes so that it breaks down the grease and dust that’s making it dirty.

Wipe It Down

Take a few sheets of old newspaper and wipe the windows clean and dry. Again, use some elbow grease to make sure that you don’t leave behind any streaks.

You want your windows to be sparkling clean with no residues visible. Whatever you do, don’t use a cloth when cleaning your smoker windows as it will leave streaks that are difficult to get rid of.

How to Clean an Electric Smoker with Mold

While mold is an unlikely problem for an electric smoker that gets cleaned regularly, you can’t rule it out completely. Mold grows quickly in moist and warm areas, which probably describes your electric smoker after you’ve left it in the cabinet for too long.

Even though you may have cleaned it thoroughly after the last cookout, you probably didn’t wipe it dry enough. And seeing that you’ve abandoned it for the whole winter, the little critters saw it as an opportunity to set up shop.

However, don’t despair because this is a fixable problem.

smoker-mold

Empty It Out

Here’s what you need to do if you want to get your moldy smoker working again.

Remove everything that’s inside the smoker. Make sure that the smoker box is empty too before you wipe it down.

Heat It Up So You Can Burn the Mold

Heat your smoker as if you’re about to use it. This includes putting in some wood chips and going through the same process you would if you were preheating it.

The heat will burn off the mold faster than you can say “smokin’ hot.” Plus you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, as the heating process will melt away any grease or oil residue that you may have missed when you last cleaned it.

Clean It

After you’ve heated the smoker to a high temperature, switch it off again and wait for it to cool off. For this next step, make sure to put on a mouth mask to protect your lungs from the fumes that will come out of the smoker due to the burnt mold.

Then, follow the same steps detailed in the previous sections of the article to clean your smoker as per usual. The key to cleaning electric smoker is to use your energy and really get into it.

Wiping Out the Residue

Once again, wait for the smoker to cool down before wiping down the interior with a damp cloth. Now you’re officially done and you can finally enjoy your smoker without ever worrying about curing it again.

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Thanks Delmarva Backyard If you have any question about clean electric smoker please leave a comments or you have cool method, let me know

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.