After many years of briskets, butts and salmon -- after which I wasn't always super-diligent in my cleanup routine -- my SM025 became so "seasoned" that nobody wanted to look at it, much less eat anything out of it, and it sat unused in the back of the garage for two years.
The boss eventually said I had to use it or lose it, so, back against the wall, in a fit of desperation, I gathered several cans of oven cleaner, a jumbo pack of paper towels, a plastic scraper, a garden hose, a 3M scour pad, surface cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, automotive plastic restorer and a new control surface from Cookshack and set to work.
Twelve hours later ... well, I'll let the photos do the talking (warning: these images are unedited and may cause blindness in those who'd rather eat at Jamba Juice than de-season their smoker). It is gleaming inside and out, except for a few baked-in spots on the door near the wood box that I finally gave up on and left in respect for the years of smoke and meat that passed through it.
Yeah, I lost 99.9% of the seasoning (though there's still a faint smoky aroma, and it's actually appetizing now); yeah, I'm worried about any oven cleaner residue; yeah, I spent a full day cleaning it; yeah, I had to confess my cardinal sin here on the Cookshack forum.
But it's re-curing right now with a big chunk of hickory and that's perfuming the whole yard, and I'm prepping a brisket smoke for an eager group of family and friends for the first time in years.
It's good to be back.