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How to Clean an Offset Smoker and Maintain It Properly

An offset smoker doesn’t come cheap. You might have thought a lot before investing in one. So, it’s only natural that you spend enough time and effort in cleaning and maintaining it. When ash, food, grime, and other particles get stuck in the smoker, its performance gets impacted badly.

So, in this article, we will tell you some easy tips to follow if you want to know how to clean an offset smoker.

Some important points to keep in mind before you learn how to clean an offset smoker:

  • Regardless of the price of your smoker and its location, we recommend a cover for the same. Many people miss this step and have to pay a lot towards repairs and damages later. Covers for offset smokers are available in different materials, and they are quite affordable as well. If your smoker is located in the backyard, you cannot afford to miss this step.
  • Many people close the smoker and cover it as soon as they have finished using it. They clean it only when they take it out the next time. However, according to experts, the best way to clean smoker is immediately after it has been used. The food or meat particles, oils, and grime will come off easily, when you don’t give it time to settle down.

How to Clean an Offset Smoker Grill

You have to deep-clean your offset smoker regularly to improve its durability. While there are many ways to do it, here’s a simple step-by-step process on how to clean an offset smoker:

1. Start with the Firebox

The firebox is where you will find the ash collected due to the burning of wood and charcoal. The first step in cleaning an offset smoker is to empty the contents of the firebox.

Carefully take out the grates from here and allow the ash to collect at the bottom of the firebox. From here, you can push the ash into the ashtray.

Depending on the type of wood you use, you may find little or lots of ash in the ashtray. After you have emptied the contents of the ashtray into the bin, please put it back in the firebox. Put the grates back into the smoker carefully.

2. Wipe Off the Chambers

Are you wondering how to clean the inside of a smoker? You can start with the internal cooking chambers in that case.

To clean the chambers, you have to take out the grill grates and the heat deflection plates. This way, you can move your hands easily across the entire area of the cooking chamber. Wipe off any accumulated fats or oils on the chambers with a clean and soft paper towel.

Remember not to use any hard material to scrub off the oils, as it can damage the preventive coating of the chambers. If you want to learn how to clean an offset smoker thoroughly, you have to do this process after every cooking session.

Else, the fats and oils may accumulate in large quantities inside the chambers, hampering the performance of the smoker.

3. Clean the Grates and Plates

In our guide of how to clean a smoker grill, the next step is to clean the grill grates and heat deflection plates that you have just removed.

You can use a soft and clean paper towel to wipe dry the surface for the heat deflection plates. If you find any parts stuck on the plates, you can use a scrubber or a spoon to scrape off the particles gently.

The stainless-steel grill grates need to be cleaned next. You use these grates to place and cook your food; therefore, you need to ensure that they are absolutely clean before every use.

Here are the steps you can follow to know the answer to the question, how to clean an offset smoker perfectly:

  • Put the grill grates in a bowl full of hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • If the grates are too greasy, you can apply a degreasing solution to the grates while keeping them soaked in hot water.
  • After 10 minutes, take out the grates and scrub off the debris stuck on the grates using a wire brush. When you soak the grates in hot water for some time, you can clean the debris easily.
  • Alternatively, you can also choose to clean the grates immediately after switching off the smoker. The existing heat on the grates is enough to get rid of the grime and food stains quickly.
  • You can follow the same process for stainless steel, porcelain, or chrome-coated grill grates.

Yes, cleaning an offset smoker is a lengthy process. However, the time you spend on it is worth every second, contributing to your smoker’s longevity. In the following section, you can find some tips to deep-clean your offset smoker:

Even if your smoker is clean, we recommend using the steam-cleaning process to clean your smoker before you use it, every single time.

Switch on the smoker and wait until the grill grates turn hot. You can then splash a few drops of clean water inside and allow the smoker to function normally.

The steam created from this water will help to get rid of all the dust particles settled inside the smoker.


If you regularly use your smoker, we recommend you clean it at least 5 to 6 times a year to ensure that the chambers, firebox, plates, and grates are in good condition. 

Even if you don’t use it regularly, clean it 2 to 3 times a year, to ensure the smooth functioning of the smoker.

Don’t forget to do a quick steam cleaning of the smoker before using it, if you want your food to be free of dust, grime, and accumulated fats.

By following these simple steps, you can turn your smoker into a shiny piece very easily. Even if you’re new to using the smoker, you can follow the above-mentioned cleaning process with ease.

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