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I have read several posts about cleaning using the find feature and I see most people suggest cleaning with Greased Lighting. I have been using some Simple Green on the exterior just to get my finger smudge marks off and was wondering would this stuff work inside? I keep a 1 part to 10 part water solution in a spray bottle and it works wonders on the outside. I am 8 smokes in on my new smokette and have only wiped the inside down with paper towels. I have washed the racks every time but think it might be time for a cleaning. So thoughts on the Simple Green question would be helpful...thanks!
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This is just me, but I personally only use a paper towel to wipe the inside. When it gets caked with smoke I use a plastic putty knife to knock of the loose crud. I've heard of others using old or sample credit cards for this.

I do like to take some vinegar and clean the internal probe every other month and at this time I take a 12 gauge shotgun wire cleaner and run it up and down the top hole to clean it.

Another tip is, I've learned to use the disposable plastic food glues while doing this.

After 15 months of hard usage I can honestly say that I've cleaned the outside twice with cleaner, but NONE has every been close to where my food goes, but to each his own!
Cal is absolutely right on. No smelly chemicals anywhere near my food. You will know when the inside needs a more extensive cleaning. The inside will flake off a bit and that is the time to scrape it. Then start over until the smoker tells you again it's time to scrape ( not clean ).
Have you ever seen the inside of a restaurant smoker or barbecue? They never clean them, maybe knock off some crude. Heat sterilizes any potential bacteria. They don't even clean the grates.

The stuff built up inside the smoker is called seasoning. Like Turbodad says, scrape off when you see flakes and use the Simple Green on the outside. Inside, my grills are the only thing that gets cleaned (and occasionally the internal probe).
Thanks for trying the find feature, appreciate that.

Don't clean the inside excepts for chunks. Take the grills out and clean them in the dishwasher or something like that if you need to.

You really don't want to clean off the seasoning. I just have a plastic scraper that I use to get off the chunks. I foil the surfaces that get dripped on and clean that off regularly.
Like most everyone else, the only thing I clean on the inside is the bottom pan & the cover over the heating element. Anything that gets covered with aluminum foil gets washed down with soapy water to get rid of the grease. Sides and inside top are black as can be. And the grills, I throw those in the dishwasher.
Good. Thanks for the info. It is so hard not to clean it. But it all makes perfect sense. I never cleaned my offset smoker. Except the grills.

I agree it is hard not to clean it really good. After all you are going to eat your food out of it. But then some say I can be anal at times.

I change the foil after each use and wipe the inside with paper towels. I wash the racks after each use, clean the pan at least every other use, and scrape the crud as needed.

Cal’s suggestion on cleaning the probe and the top hole are good. That’ll go a long way in keeping it trouble free.

Keep it simple and don’t make work out of it. With that in mind I find I use and enjoy my smoker a whole lot more
I scrape down the sides when they get "flakey", I clean any grease from the woodbox shield and the floor with a mixture of lemon juice and water (and sometime diluted hydrogen peroxide). I cover the wood box shield and smoker floor with foil and replace that every other smoke. I wash the grills every couple of smokes. I wash the racks once in a while. I have had to make myself let the smoker season and not over-clean it.
Just my $.02 on cleaning the racks.

When I first got an 008 many years ago, I went anal on cleaning the racks. Bought the big tubs (2 or 3 over time), filled them with really caustic cleaner like Greased Lightening or Pro Force, and yes, they came clean but it was a chore to do this and in the winter, in became even harder. (I have a septic and didn't want to pour that caustic stuff down the drain)

And over time, I wore the coating off the grates, which isn't supposed to be a problem but I wasn't happy about it.

Then I switched to an 055 (thinking it would be the last smoker I ever needed to buy) and was very careful of the racks. Now I just stick them in the dishwasher, which takes all or most of the food particles off, but leaves some of the smoke coating. Sometimes I lightly rub the racks after the come out of the washer. But doing them in the washer is So much easier and I don't really scrub anymore. They are clean of food, and the coating probably helps the process so I leave it on.

Thinking ahead, I bought the stainless steel racks as well but have yet to use them. And may never have to.

K.I.S.S. Keep the cleaning simple!
Double Bingo. The foil takes a few seconds to put on, but sure makes things easier after the smoke. I change it every time. I scrub the grates after each smoke-something about putting "new" meat on top of old crud bothers me even though I know its just fine. Haven't cleaned out the smoke hole or temp probe, but that's probably a good idea.

Originally posted by Crazy Smokin Larry:
Foil bottom. Foil Heat shield. Smoke. Pull foil. Sometimes soak grates in sink with dishwasher detergent and hot water. Every full moon, I clean the smoke exhaust hole.
So like most, I avoid cleaning the inside of my AQ if at all possible, however, grease can get under the foil on the bottom and occasionally I do clean it. Especially after a 14 hour shoulder cook. Simple Green will not cut through the grease, nor will it remove creosote. Greased lighting, however, cuts directly through both. The one thing I will caution you is to be absolutely certain you do not have any residual aluminum foil on the bottom. Greased lighting reacts with aluminum and causes the aluminum to stick to the stainless steel. I usually spray greased lighting on the bottom of the AQ, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then simply hose it out. I avoid getting it on the sides or door area and just wipe that area off with a paper towel. I limit my use to the bottom of the smoker.

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