Should you clean your smoker? And how frequently?

dirty grill

I’ve been smoking with my Masterbuilt 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller for years. It has moved to several houses with me and across state lines. A question I get asked by friends and party goers is “Do you clean your smoker and how do you do it?

Do I clean my smoker?

The answer to this question is “no” but let me explain. After hours of smoking your smoker will go from the new silver/gray look to a nasty, fat covered, black soot-like mass all over the inside. You will have fat droppings on your oil catch plate and on top of your electric heating element housing. There will be a greasy feel if you ever have to run your fingers across the interior. I do clean my smoker but my goal isn’t to try and get it to the condition it was when I first unboxed it but to clean it like my grill. I clean a small portion of my smoker.

What parts do you clean?

I clean the meat racks with a ISUDA BBQ Grill Brush-3 Stainless Steel Brushes after it’s done cooling off from it’s most recent BBQ. I don’t let it completely cool because the fat drippings that are on there will harden and be more difficult to scrape off. Imagine scraping lard off your frying pan after it had time to harden. Scrape it with a metal grill brush as soon as it’s just warm to the touch. Drain and remove all the fat and grease captured in the grease tray. Use an old spoon and dig out as much as you can from the grease tray.

Use a rag to clean the outside of the smoker. I don’t dampen the rag. I wipe the outside to make sure that any grease splatter, spilled sauce, and dust gets wiped away. After all that I remove the used water pan and bring that inside to run through the dishwasher. To complete my clean up I put the Masterbuilt 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller cover back on and wait until my next BBQ, which is hopefully soon!