So I removed the wood box and it was all ash, just blew them off and around the burner element. Wiped down with a damp paper towel. The creosote is more of a hard lacquer, not coming off without some chemical help. Is it just the top latch on the door that has that safety lock? Bottom one doesn't have one. My Masterbuilt never burned the chips like this burned through those chunks, so I can see why some get too much smoke if not careful how much wood they use. The control is rather basic, set temp and leave it, no timer involved. I like having the temp probe but I also have a two channel remote I use. Definitely some pork ribs going in this Saturday. This is fun y'all!