how to clean a bbq smoker

How to Clean a BBQ Smoker: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on February 6, 2023

As summer approaches, it’s time to get your BBQ smoker ready for the grilling season. Cleaning a bbq smoker can be an intimidating task if you don’t know where to start – but we’ve got you covered. We’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to clean a bbq smoker so that you’re ready for all of those backyard barbecues. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from preparing your BBQ Smoker before cleaning and scrubbing both the inside and outside of your unit – so let’s get started.

Table of Contents:

Preparing to Clean Your BBQ Smoker

Cleaning your BBQ smoker is an important part of maintaining it and keeping it in top condition. Before you start, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure the smoker is cool before beginning the cleaning process. It’s also a good idea to have all the necessary tools on hand such as a wire brush, scrubbing pad and cleaning solution.

Wire brushes come in different sizes and shapes so choose one that fits your needs best. A long-handled brush can be helpful for reaching into hard-to-reach areas while a small brush can help get into tight spaces like between grates or around knobs and handles. Make sure to use caution when using wire brushes as they can scratch surfaces if not used properly.

Scrubbing pads are great for removing stubborn grease or food particles from metal surfaces like grills or smokers without scratching them up too much. Look for ones made specifically for outdoor cooking equipment since these will be more durable than regular kitchen scrubbers which may wear out quickly with repeated use outdoors in harsher conditions.

a person cleaning the interior of the cooking equipment

Finally, you’ll need some kind of cleaner to help remove dirt and grease buildup from the surface of your smoker or grill after brushing off any loose debris with your wire brush or scrubber pad first. There are many types available ranging from natural solutions like baking soda mixed with water to commercial cleaners designed specifically for outdoor cooking equipment such as those containing degreasers that cut through tough buildups easily without damaging surfaces underneath them. Be sure to read labels carefully before purchasing any type of cleaner since some may contain harsh chemicals that could damage certain materials if used incorrectly.

It’s important to have the right tools and materials ready before you start cleaning your BBQ smoker. Now that we’ve discussed what you’ll need, let’s move on to cleaning the inside of your smoker.

Key Takeaway: Cleaning your BBQ smoker requires the right tools and solutions. Wire brushes, scrubbing pads, and a cleaning solution specifically designed for outdoor cooking equipment should be used to ensure surfaces are not damaged while removing stubborn grease or food particles.

Cleaning the Inside of Your BBQ Smoker

Cleaning the inside of your BBQ smoker is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring that it produces delicious, smoky flavours. The first step in cleaning the interior of your smoker is to remove any ash or grease buildup from the walls and grates. This can be done with a wire brush or scrubbing pad. Make sure to use caution when handling these tools as they can cause damage if used too harshly.

Once you have removed all of the debris, it’s time to tackle any stubborn residue that may remain on the walls and grates. To do this, mix together a solution of warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket or spray bottle. Use a cloth or sponge to apply this mixture liberally throughout the interior surfaces of your smoker, paying special attention to areas where there may be caked-on grease or food particles. Allow this solution to sit for 10 minutes before wiping it away with another damp cloth or sponge until all traces are gone.

If you find yourself dealing with particularly tough stains, try using an abrasive cleaner such as baking soda mixed with water into a paste-like consistency which can then be applied directly onto problem spots before wiping away after 15 minutes have passed. For even tougher messes like rust build-up on metal parts inside your smoker, consider investing in specialised cleaners designed specifically for removing rust from metal surfaces without damaging them further in the process.

When finished cleaning out your BBQ smoker’s interior, make sure not only that all visible dirt has been removed but also that no trace remains behind by running one final wipe down over everything using just plain hot water before allowing it to dry completely before closing up shop for good.

Regularly cleaning the inside of your BBQ smoker will help ensure that your food tastes great every time you use it. Now let’s look at how to clean the outside of your BBQ smoker for optimal results.

Key Takeaway: Cleaning your BBQ smoker’s interior is easy with the right tools and technique: 1) remove debris, 2) apply a mild dish soap solution, 3) use an abrasive cleaner for tough stains, 4) finish with a hot water wipe down.

Cleaning the Outside of Your BBQ Smoker

Cleaning the outside of your BBQ smoker is just as important as cleaning the inside. To keep it looking its best, you should clean it regularly with a mild detergent or cleaner.

dirty grill

If your smoker has stainless steel surfaces, use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe them down and buff out any scratches or marks. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface of your smoker. If there are stubborn stains, try using a non-abrasive scrubbing pad and some elbow grease to get rid of them.

For painted surfaces on your BBQ smoker, use warm water and soap to remove dirt and grime buildup from exposure to smoke and heat during cooking sessions. Make sure you rinse off all traces of soap before drying off with a soft cloth or paper towel so that no residue is left behind which could affect the taste of food cooked in future sessions.

When wiping down exterior surfaces, make sure not to miss any nooks and crannies where grease may have accumulated over time – this can be easily done by using an old toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas. It’s also worth checking for rust spots on metal parts such as handles, hinges etc., which can be treated with rust remover if necessary before being wiped down again afterwards with warm soapy water followed by a dry cloth/paper towel once more for good measure.

Finally, don’t forget about any removable components such as ashtrays or drip pans – these should be emptied after each cookout session and then washed thoroughly in hot soapy water (or put through the dishwasher) before reassembling back onto your BBQ Smoker ready for the next time.

Key Takeaway: To keep your BBQ smoker looking its best, regularly clean it with mild detergent or cleaner. For stainless steel surfaces, use a soft cloth or sponge; for painted surfaces, use warm water and soap. Use an old toothbrush to reach nooks and crannies where grease may have accumulated. Empty removable components such as ashtrays or drip pans after each cookout session then wash thoroughly before reassembling back onto the smoker.


Learning how to clean a BBQ smoker doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right preparation and steps, you can keep your smoker in top condition with minimal effort. Following these simple steps will ensure that you get the most out of your BBQ smoker and enjoy delicious meals for years to come. So don’t forget – if it’s time to clean a bbq smoker, follow this guide and you’ll be grilling up some tasty treats in no time.

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