Our electric smokers are precious beings. As much as possible, we don’t want them to sustain any damages or defects. In fact, we want to treat them like our little babies. Without them, you can’t just make those fanciful and mouth-watering smoked food recipes.
Of course, you want to take care of your electric smokers because they are not easy to acquire. Although it is guaranteed that there are electric smokers that cost less than $200, such value is still not something you can just laugh about. Therefore, proper maintenance is necessary to ensure its longevity and performance.
The first maintenance procedure that you can do for your electric smoker is through cleaning. There is no other way than this. It is the most practical way of preserving the quality of the device. But how to clean an electric smoker exactly? Are there any procedures or guidelines that you should follow?
In this tutorial, I have elaborated the basic methods of keeping the electric smoker tidy and mess-free. If I were you, I would conform to these approaches. After all, the following steps are recommended by pitmasters themselves. Who are we to argue with them? So what are you waiting for? Let’s start!
How to Clean An Electric Smoker
Fortunately, cleaning an electric smoker is not really difficult. But just like any other things, consistency is an important aspect here. It is not enough that you clean the electric smoker today and forget it for the next couple of weeks or months. That would never yield any good results. Irregular cleaning won’t save the electric smoker from accumulating dirt, gunk, and rust. It would be best if you can pay attention to the device now and then.
Seasoning the Smoker
Seasoning is always recommended practice if you have a smoker, regardless if it is a gas smoker or charcoal smoker. This particular process allows you to remove the debris and remaining residues from the smoker while it is still brand new. But of course, seasoning can be done prior to the moment that you are going to operate the smoker.
Seasoning a smoker is actually easy. You just have to apply any compatible oil to the interiors of the device. After that, you are going to heat the smoker for the oil to fully attach to the smoker. This particular formation is a type of barrier that can protect the smoker from rust and other common detriments.
If you want to have a full guide on how to season a smoker, just check out this detailed tutorial I made (how to season a smoker).
However, you should know that most electric smokers nowadays doesn’t require frequent seasoning. Therefore, it is essential that you know how to clean all the parts of the device manually.
When you are making smoked delicacies, it is natural that juices and fat would come out from the food. But regardless how much we want to accept it, the grease and stain that it can leave on the interiors and grates are something that we cannot take. If you fail to remove them immediately, they would blend to the interiors of the smoker.
Of course, the fat and grease don’t simply go away. Eventually, they will turn rancid and release foul odors. The next time you are going to smoke food from uncleaned smokers, expect that they will produce awful taste and smell.
The best way you can clean the grates of the smoker is by subjecting it to the maximum temperature of your oven. Take note that most ovens today can generate heat up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat is enough to melt and burn all the fast and grease that clung to the smoker’s grates.
When it comes to interiors, you really need to do a manual labor. For this, you need to use the combination of a cleaning sprayer and scrubber. Wipe them to the to the surfaces so that you can expel all the gunk and grease that accumulated there. But make sure that you will do this process gently. You don’t want to remove the protective coating that has been applied by the manufacturer to the insides of the smoker.
Dealing With Rust
One of the most annoying problems that any smokers can experience is rusting. Sadly, there is no other way to stop this unwanted visitor from coming inside your oven. After all, the construction of most electric smokers today doesn’t have any sufficient and sustainable protection from rust. Therefore, the exposure to high temperatures and other elements like water and grease allows rust to take place.
You can remove the rust by doing the following steps:
- First, you have to get a sandpaper or brush. You need these tough guys to scrape out the layers of rust that have been stalling in the parts of your smoker. Of course, you only need to apply moderate force here so that you can’t harm the powder coating of the smoker.
- When scrubbing, make sure that you will tackle every component of the smoker. Always check for every corner and see if there are hidden rust there. Every part that is metal should be checked by you, as rust can easily diffuse and propagate on them. Don’t forget the hinges, joints, and door handle, too. Just scrub continuously until you can take out the rust. Wipe the residues afterward.
- If you think that the smoker that you have is susceptible to rusting, you should coat it with a special barbeque paint. You should do this after you have taken out the rust. This liquid can provide an extra layer of protection in the interior of the smoker. Specifically, it can stop the permutation of oxygen and water from breaching through the metal.
Learning how to clean an electric smoker is actually a smart move. As I mentioned earlier, smokers are hefty and lofty investments. You cannot just easily get them because of the corresponding price tag they have. So if you can get your hand to one of these treasures, you have to take care of it with all of your life (no kidding).
You can always use the electric smoker whenever and wherever you want. But abusing it through neglected maintenance is not a good thing. If you turn a blind eye to this device, you will just be wasting money. I always compel my readers to take care of their cooking amenities and utensils. It is a responsibility that every one of us should do.
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