How to Clean and Maintain Your Electric Smoker
It’s crucial that you take proper care of your electric smoker. It’s a mechanical unit, so it requires maintenance to work properly. Also, electric smokers are a serious investment, and you need to take good care of it so you could enjoy it for years. These units can last up to a decade if you take good care of them.
The best part about cleaning an electric smoker is that it’s not hard or complicated. If you want that, you need to be consistent. The consistency is the most important element for good maintenance. Follow some of this advices, and you’ll prolong the life of your electric smoker.
Most of the grease dribble down the grates. The excess grease, and oil dripping over the grades and the interior often hardens and gets hard to clean. If you skip cleaning it after every use, it will become a threat to the heating unit within the smoker.
Make sure you clean your electric smoker after every use. That how you’ll prevent the grease from piling up on the grades and the interior.
The best method for cleaning a greasy grade is to put it in your kitchen oven. Because your kitchen oven can reach over 900 degrees Fahrenheit, it will melt the grease and the residues from the grate. Probably you’ll end up with a shiny new grate for your electric smoker. You can also wash it down with some water and detergent to give it an even better look.
Next thing you need to do is to get rid of the rust. It doesn’t matter what precautionary measures you take; an iron object will always be prone to rust. Because it’s exposed to high temperatures, and sometimes even water, it’s highly likely that it will catch some rust. If not treated immediately, rust can cause some severe damage to the unit. It can even cause technical malfunctions.
The good news is that it’s quite easy to get rid of the rust if you catch it in the early stadiums. All you need is a wire brush and some fine sand paper. Rub the rust down with the wire brush and scrub it with the sand paper. Make sure you get the corners and the hidden or unreachable spots. Rust often expands where you least expect it.
Once you’re done with the scrubbing, wipe away the debris and rust residues. If your smoker tends to rust often, consider spraying it with some heat resistant paint, it will create a protective layer and prevent further rusting. Don’t be cheap with the paint because if you opt for a low-quality one, you risk jeopardizing your meat with hazardous chemicals if the paint starts evaporating.
Pay attention to the seasoning of your electric smoker. Although it’s not complicated to apply particular seasonings, you need to know how to do it properly. Most of the manufacturers offer an instruction manual with the unit, and you can find the manufacturer’s guide there. That said, if you don’t have a manual, just apply oil to the insides of your electric smoker. It doesn’t matter which oil you apply, but it’s recommended that you get some good-smelling oil because it will affect your meat. You don’t want to purchase oil with a bad smell and find your meat smelling the same.
After applying the oil on the insides of your electric smoker, turn on the heating unit. It will heat up to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit and disperse the oil around the surface.
The layer of oil acts as a barrier against the water and the air and prevents oxygen to get into contact with the metal thus prevents rusting.
Some modern smokers don’t need seasoning. If you have one of these, start by heating it to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit and use the smoke to build a layer of smoke to act as a substitute for seasoning.
Always check whether your ventilation systems work properly or not. Having a clean ventilation system is crucial. It can prevent potential issues like clogging and more. Furthermore, always clean the ashes and debris after smoking the meat, they tend to absorb and accumulate water thus jeopardizing the internal integrity of your electric smoker.
You can also clean your thermostats and other hardware with soapy water and some cloth. It’s also crucial to clean the exterior as well. Make sure you eliminate any unusual elements like branches, leaves, and more. Don’t wash the electronic hardware with water, use only dry cloth. Always plug the unit out of the socket when you’re finished with the cooking and smoking. You risk a short circuit or a fire if you leave it plugged in. Remember, all you have to do is be consistent.