The best way to clean an electric smoker depends on the smoker that you own. Some smokers require seasoning while others do not, but all require cleaning on a regular basis. Some people use slight buildup as seasoning and say it causes a better flavoring in the food. Keep smokers clear of ashes and food, but it is usually best to not scrub the smoker down to the metal.
Any rust you find should be removed as soon as you see it. Remove it completely, but scrubbing it with a wire brush or with sandpaper. Once removed, repaint the area with heat resistant barbecue paint. It is a good idea to use your smoker regularly in order to avoid rust and to keep the smoker closed when not in use.
How to clean the proper way?
The best way to clean an electric smoker is to use a wire brush to remove excess grease and buildup after every use. Keep the lid and top of the smoker clean so the remaining residue does not drip onto the food you are cooking.
You can clean the racks by placing them in hot soapy water and allowing them to soak. Scrub well, using a wire brush or coarse sponge. Dry completely in order to avoid risk rust. You can also place the racks above a fire box and allow the heat to clean them.
Cleaning the water pan & drip pan
Another component of some electric smokers is the water pan. The best way to clean an electric smoker water pan depends on the type of water pan that you have. You can line the pan with foil for easier cleanup. After using your smoker, your water pan will be filled with smoky water and fat. If allow the pan to cool, the fat will solidify, making it easier to peel the fat from the water pan and discard it in the garbage. You may also be able to spray the water pan with oven spray and allow it to soak. This will make it easier to rub the water pan clean.
Periodically, you will also need to clean the drip pan. A drip pan differs from the water pan because of its function. While a water pan is placed in the smoker filled with water and helps to regulate heat in the smoker and to help the meat from drying out, a drip pan will catch any drippings that the food gives off. You can then use the drippings to create gravy, stock or sauce. To clean a drip pan, remove any food residue and then clean with soap and water.
Tips for an easy cleanup
One good way to keep a smoker clean is to line the bottom with foil. This will allow for easy cleanup without a lot of work. Smokers are also easier to clean when they are warm. Once warmed you can use a putty knife or a wire brush to clean away debris and buildup. No matter which cleaning method you choose, it is important to keep your smoker clean. Proper care will make your smoker last longer and work better in the long run.