Best Way to Clean Inside & Outside of Electric Smoker

We all fall for electric smokers due to the convenience and ease of use it provides to a beginner. They are lightweight, allowing you to accommodate in your kitchen no matter how small a kitchen is, thanks to their compact size. If you have experience using a charcoal smoker, you know how messy they are compared to an electric smoker. 

How To Clean Electric Smoker

But all these things did not rule out that you must clean your electric smoker. Like any smoker, they get grease and food stuck on their surface because of the cooked food. So, how to clean electric smokers? I Will reveal the right way of electric smoker cleaning, so keep on reading if you want to learn more. 

What Do You Need For Electric Smoker Cleaning?

You can utilize various chemical substances if you are in a hustle to clean a smoker. Following are some cleaners that I have personally used and found effective on my electric smoker. Not all of them are worth using, so I do not recommend them to you. Let’s have a look: 

Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaner is a go-to cleaner for electric smokers as it can do the job by removing all the sticky residue from the inside of your smoker. It lets you eliminate any messy food particles that might have made their way into your smoker. You can clean the smoker with oven cleaner after you have the cooking session over. 

After cleaning, wipe off the oven with a piece of cloth or paper towel and clean it up again with a little bit of oven cleaner. You must check that you have cleaned out all traces of food or grease from inside your smoker before cleaning it again with an oven cleaner.

oven cleaner

Bristle Brush

It is another effective tool for cleaning your smoker’s interior surface and removing any leftover food particles and other things that might be stuck inside. After cleaning up outside surfaces with an oven cleaner, use a bristle brush to clean up inside surfaces where food particles and other things might be clinging there. It would ensure that there are no stains left behind on the interior surface, which could harm your health if they were not removed properly beforehand.

bristle brush

Wooden Grill Scraper

You can also use a wooden grill scraper to clean your electric smoker. It will help you remove any stubborn dirt or debris stuck between the grates and also scrape off burnt food that might be stuck there. 

A good quality scraper should be long enough to easily access all areas of your smoker without having to bend over too much or reach too high up for anything on top of your smoker’s lid or hood. The handle should be comfortable in your hand so you do not fatigue yourself while using this tool.

Vinegar

I have mostly vinegar as a last resort. It works fabulously when your smoker is really dirty, and you have to clean it up. Vinegar will not only help in removing the excess grease, but it will also leave a sticky residue on the surface of your smoker. 

The right way to clean your smoker with vinegar is by using a rag or paper towel and wiping off the excess moisture from your smoker. You can use an old toothbrush for this purpose and might have to use it more than once to get rid of all the grease from your stovetop.

Soapy Water

Soapy water is a fantastic cleaner for your electric smoker, and you can create it in seconds. However, if you want to clean your smoker thoroughly, you will need to use more than one bowl of soap at a time and then let it sit for about half an hour before rinsing it off with water. 

It works well when dealing with stubborn stains like grease or food debris stuck on the interior parts of your smoker, like trays or racks. Soapy water can also be used as a substitute for vinegar if you do not have any on hand (or do not want to waste it).

soapy water

How To Clean Electric Smoker: Step By Step

When I bought my smoker, I believed that it would cost me a lot of money to clean it, but I was wrong. Soon I came to know that everyday use of stuff available is just enough for this job. As I mentioned before, you can use tons of cleaners to clean your electric smoker, but the problem with them is they do not work well on every kind of electric smoker

For your convenience, I have disclosed only those cleaners that are compatible with almost all smokers on the market. You can try them out on your smoker solo or by a combo to get better results. If you are not clear about what to do, then put everything behind and follow these steps: 

Clean The Interior

How To Clean Inside Of Electric Smoker? If you have not cleaned your smoker recently, first of all, ensure that all the food particles are removed from the interior part of your smoker. The food particles can cause a mess if left in the smoke box and can also affect the performance of your smoker. As a result, you must clean out the inner surface of your smoker immediately. 

Cleaning the inside of an electric smoker is not a tough task, as you can do this with minimal effort. You have to follow these steps: 

  1. Remove all ash and debris from the interior using a cleaning brush or vacuum cleaner. 
  2. Take out all parts you do not need to clean, such as the water pan and drip tray.
  3. Start cleaning after removing every detachable part from the electric smoker.
  4. To prevent it from staining, use a non-stick surface cleaner or oven cleaner.
  5. Ensure that all parts are thoroughly rinsed with warm water and completely dried before attaching then back to the smoker.
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Smoking Racks

The smoking racks are usually made of wood and metal to withstand high temperatures. However, if there are stains on them, then they may not last long. So, if there is any stain on your smoking racks, you need to clean them immediately by wiping them off with a wet rag or brush.

Remove the racks and wash them with a bowl of warm soapy water. You should rinse them under running water until all soap residue is removed, and then thoroughly dry them. Never use hot water to clean your smoker, as it can damage the surface. If you use a dishwasher, be sure to use a gentle cycle and allow the racks to air-dry before storing them away for later use. 

Ash Box

Electric smokers have an ash box where ash collects over time due to heavy smoking in the device. The reason is it will restrict airflow inside the unit, causing overheating issues for its components and equipment inside. If your ash box is full of ashes at all times, then it will result in inconsistent heat, which you definitely do not want to happen.

By vacuuming the inside of the fireplace or using an upright vacuum’s brush attachment, remove all the ash. Try to use an upright vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the ashes easily without worrying about any damage to your smoker or its components. Ensure that you do not leave any ash at any corner or on top of the lid so it does not get into other parts of your smoker. 

Cooking Chamber

The cooking chamber is where your food cooks in the smoker. Remove all food from the smoker so there is no chance of cross-contamination between food and wood chips or other materials in the smoker. Fill your smoker with warm water (not hot or boiling) to remove any grease or other gunk from inside your smoker’s interior walls and door sealings.

After filling, let it sit overnight (or longer if time allows). It will help loosen up any debris that has built up in your smoker’s interior walls over time. Run an electric fan over the top of your smoker for several hours during this process. It is great for drying out any moisture left behind after washing your smoker with warm water overnight.

Thermostat

Clean the thermometer by holding it up to the light and looking at its bottom half. Look for any dirt or debris on it that would prevent accurate temperature readings. When you clean the try your best to clean off the entire old ashes from inside of it. 

Once you have done this, take a paper towel and wipe off any remaining ashes from inside of it. Then take another paper towel and dry out all the areas inside the smoker’s drawer where ash would accumulate over time if left unchecked. It will keep your smoker in top shape for many years to come. 

Drip Tray

If your drip tray is not clean, it will be a good idea to clean it. You can use a toothrush for clearing any dirt on the drip tray. Once you have removed any debris, wipe down the drip tray with a paper towel and warm soapy water. But if you have a special cleaner for this kind of stuff, then use it instead.

How To Clean The Exterior Of An Electric Smoker?

The exterior of your electric smoker can also get dirty, like the interior. Moreover, the oil, smoke, and drippings from the meat will build up on the exterior, but believe me, it is much easier to clean the outer surface than the inside of the smoker. The best way to clean an electric smoker exterior is given below:

  1. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth to remove any gunk or food particles that may have accumulated over time. If you own an infrared electric smoker, use a moist cloth with warm water and dish soap.
  2. If you want a more thorough cleaning, fill a spray bottle with hot soapy water and gently spray down the entire smoker. Wipe it down with a paper towel or clean cloth after letting it sit for an hour. After that, wash off any remaining residue with warm water and soap. Repeat this step until all of the grime has been removed.
  3. Apply a light coat of high heat cooking oil after your smoker becomes fully dry. It will prevent the electric smoker from rusting in storage or during cooking sessions indoors when using an oil-based cooking pan such as cast iron or stainless steel skillet.

How To Clean Master built Electric Smoker?

Master built Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker effortless to clean if you do it rightly. You only need a soft cloth and slightly hot water. Masterbuilt smoker cleaning instructions are the following: 

  • Step 1: Unplug your smoker from the power outlet. 
  • Step 2: Take out the drip pan and place it in a sink or on its side on a countertop
  • Step 3: Remove any cooking grates from the bottom of your smoker. 
  • Step 4: Place a paper towel under your drip pan to catch any grease that may come out of the sides of your smoker. 
  • Step 5: Pour two cups of warm water into your sink or another cleaning area. 
  • Step 6: Wet a soft cloth with warm water and wring it out so it is not dripping wet (you do not want to leave any liquid on your smoker).
  • Step 7: Wipe down all sides of your electric smoker cabinet with the wet cloth, ensuring you get into all crevices and corners. Check that you do not skip any area. 
  • Step 8: Assemble everything again, like grates and detachable parts, so you can use your Masterbuilt electric smoker again.

How To Maintain An Electric Smoker After Cleaning It? 

To keep your smoker working like it is new, try to maintain it as much as possible after cleaning. It indicates that only cleaning is insufficient to ensure that your smoker will function properly. As like cleaning, maintenance is equally essential, and you can do it as: 

Never Use Abrasive Chemicals For Cleaning

Many people use abrasive chemicals to clean the smoker and apply oil. Using such chemicals can damage the electric smoker’s components and weaken them. As a result, cleaning your smoker’s interior can be difficult. So, you should avoid using abrasive cleaners and use natural products like vinegar or lemon juice for cleaning.

Cover The Electric Smoker

By covering the smoker, you prevent the dust from entering your smoker when you open it up. It stops your food from getting into the electrical parts of the smoker, which would cause them to malfunction. Also, when you cover your smoker with a cloth or a plastic bag, it protects it from direct sunlight, which can cause overheating issues in your electric smoker. You should cover your smoker whenever you leave it unsupervised so that dust does not enter its interior parts.

Apply Oil Before Use

You should always apply oil to the surface of your electric smoker before cooking food in it. It helps prevent rusting of any electrical component which may develop due to moisture and heat. Additionally, applying oil will protect your electric smoker from short circuits caused by moisture and bad weather conditions like rain and wind, where water gets trapped inside the smoker. 

Dry It Well

The best way to keep your smoker working properly is by drying it well after cleaning. If you leave water in your smoker for too long, there is a chance that corrosion will start on its surface, and this corrosion can cause electrical short circuits, which could lead to damaged parts inside the smoker. So, ensure that you dry your smoker thoroughly and then store it somewhere safe before using it again.

How To Power Wash an Electric Smoker?

Power Wash an Electric Smoker

I usually did not encourage you to powerwash your electric smoker as it can remove all the seasoning effects from your smoker. Power washing is a quick and easy method to clean it. Follow these steps, and you can powerwash your electric smoker.

  • Step 1: Turn off the electric smoker and unplug it from the wall or extension cord.
  • Step 2: Remove all removable parts of the electric smoker, including the grates and drip pans.
  • Step 3: Pour about 4 gallons of warm water into a bucket or hose with a high-pressure sprayer attached.
  • Step 4: Wash down the exterior of your electric smoker using the high-pressure sprayer. Make sure to cover all surfaces of your smoker, including both sides of each grate, and all areas that are not covered by one of your drip pans or grates. Do not forget about your drip pan. 
  • Step 5: Rinse off any remaining debris from your grill using clean water in your high-pressure sprayer.
  • Step 6: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all debris has been removed from your grill (or until you run out of cleaner).
  • Step 7: Dry off all surfaces of your grill thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel before storing away for future use.

How To Clean Creosote From An Electric Smoker?

Creosote is a sticky, black substance that can build up on your electric smoker. It causes your electric smoker to be hard to clean, and it is a major cause of the build-up of smoker gunk. You can remove creosote from an electric smoker with just a few simple steps. 

Try my technique if you want a way to clean the creosote off your electric smoker. You can eliminate creosote by cleaning your smoker thoroughly with a power washer or pressure washer. It will remove any remaining creosote that may have accumulated after cooking.

How To Prevent Mold In Electric Smoker?

Mold grows on damp surfaces and can cause respiratory issues for people with allergies. For smokers looking to avoid mold in their electric smokers, there are some steps you can take to prevent it from growing. These are:

  • Clean the interior regularly.
  • Keep the lid clean and dry.
  • Place your smoker away from moisture-rich areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Ensure your electric smoker is not exposed to high humidity levels, especially during warm weather when the air is drier than usual.
  • Do not store food products inside your electric smoker if you plan to smoke them later (like jerky or fish).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Over time it is obvious that grease, dirt, and food residuals are stuck on the inside of your electric smoker. Unfortunately, it will lead to poor performance of the device. You must clean it appropriately to restore its performance and get it back to good form. Always use non-abrasive cleaners to avoid any hassle.

Do you know cleaning an electric smoker is effortless when it is hot? So, you should clean your smoker after using it but let it cool down a little bit. You can pressure wash your electric smoker from the inside. Ensure that the water does not make contact with your smoker’s power cable and electrically vulnerable components.

I personally suggest you clean your electric smoker after every use, but you can clean it every 3 to 5 cooking sessions as well. If you are running out of time, I would say that it is okay to perform a cleaning of your electric smoker once a week. Frequent cleaning ensures that your device remains in good touch and the cooked food is hygienic.

Final Words

Do you not want your electric smoker to last long and help you cook delicious foods for years to come? You should worry about the maintenance of your device because electric smokers are not a small investment. You must care for it while taking advantage of this kitchen appliance. 

If you want your smoker to always give consistent juice and smoky taste to the cooked meat, you have to provide it with proper cleanliness. Cleaning an electric smoker is not a tough job if you clearly understand where to start. After reading this post on how to clean an electric smoker, I hope nothing will stop you from cleaning your kitchenware.


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