How To Clean An Electric Smoker (Mold, Maggots)

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Electric smokers are a convenient way to cook your food, but how often do you need to clean it? This question is not easily answered as different smokers will have different needs. However, there are some general tips that can help you keep your smoker clean and in good condition.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your smoker clean is to regularly remove the ashes and debris from the cooking chamber and the firebox. This will help reduce the risk of a fire and make it easier to clean.

You should also inspect the smoker for any build-up of grease or residue. If you see any, use a degreaser or a mild dishwashing soap to clean it off. Be sure to rinse off all the soap before using the smoker again.

When trying to find out how to clean an electric smoker, it can seem overwhelming. So, I have put together this guide to help you know how to clean your electric smoker properly.

How To Clean An Electric Smoker

Equipment Needed for Cleaning Your Electric Smoker

When it comes to electric smokers, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need in order to keep it clean. The most important piece of equipment is a smoker cover. This will help keep the moisture in, which will help keep the smoker clean.

You’ll also need a good-quality grill brush and scraper. These will help remove any build-up that may have occurred while smoking. Finally, you’ll need a quality cleaner and degreaser to keep your smoker looking new. Here is a list of equipment you need before cleaning the smoker.

  • Having clean towels
  • Soapy water in large bins or in a kitchen sink
  • Clean clothes
  • Large tarp
  • Plastic scraper
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Stainless steel grill brush
  • Vegetable oil

How To Clean Your Electric Smoker

Cleaning your electric smoker is a very important task. Not only does it keep your smoker in good condition, but it also helps to produce better-smoked food. Here are the steps you need to take to clean your electric smoker:

Let Smoker Cool Down

Allow your electric smoker to cool for a moment. The easiest thing to do is to let your smoker cool down. 

You should only do this if you haven’t used your smoker for a long time. Maybe you forgot to clean, or you are finally getting around to it after last summer. Essentially, you will need to heat your electric smoker to its maximum temperature, after which you will turn it off.

After using an electric smoker, it is easier to clean it. The high temperature will likely soften the food, making its removal easier.

Empty the Ash Box

A smoker is a great way to cook food and make it taste delicious. There are many different types of smokers on the market, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

If you’re looking for a smoker that is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting, then an electric smoker is a good option. However, one downside to electric smokers is that the ash box can often get full quickly.

Clean All the Removable Parts

Removable parts of an electric smoker need to be cleaned after each use to remove any leftover food or grease. This will prevent bacteria from growing and will help to keep the smoker in good condition. The parts that need to be cleaned are the cooking grates, water pan, wood chip pan,racks, and drip pan.

The cooking grates can be cleaned with a wire brush. The water pan can be cleaned with hot soapy water.

Clean the Interior (Shelves, Water Pan, Drip Pan)

It is important that you clean the interior of your electric smoker on a regular basis. This includes the shelves, water pan, and drip pan. Cleaning these areas will help to ensure that your smoker cooks food evenly and that the food doesn’t taste or smell like smoke.

To clean the shelves, drip pan, water pan, use a soft cloth, and hot water. Be sure to rinse the shelves well and allow them to air dry before using them again.

The removable parts are arguably easier to clean, but you should also clean the interior of an electric smoker.

Clean the smoker’s interior using a scraper. Brush everything out with a soft-bristle brush. Using a grill brush to clean this part of the smoker will cause damage because its bristles are too stiff.

Having removed the debris, you can now wash the inside of the smoker. Soak a sponge or cloth in warm, soapy water. If it is soaking wet, squeeze the water out. After that, scrub.

Wipe Down All Surfaces and Walls Electric Smoker

First, squeeze out most of the water from your sponge. Clean the inside of your smoker by wiping only the grease buildup.

Avoid trying to scrub your smoker’s walls because they get darker and darker each time you use them. Seasoning prevents rust and makes your smoker perform better.

Next, you can clean the glass door. The inside can be air-dried throughout the process, so there’s no need to dry it with a towel.

Clean The Electric Smoker Glass Door

it’s essential to keep clean the glass door. Using a scraper is the only way to remove thick and gloopy grease. Be sure not to scratch the glass by using metal scrapers or metal bristle brushes. You can use the sponge and warm soapy water to wash off the grease if it is not too stubborn.

Cleaning the Outside of Your Smoker

Smokers collect dust indoors as well as outdoors. Your smoker will look its best if you clean the top and sides regularly. When you haven’t used your smoker for a while, look for dust and cobwebs. Be sure to wipe the seal on the door. An electric smoker’s door seal may become clogged with grease, which will cause it to stop working correctly.

Oil the racks

When your smoker is cool, use a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil to oil the grates. This prevents food and dirt from sticking, as well as future rust. Using tongs is necessary as your shelves are still warm from the heat blast in the previous step (unless you waited until they had cooled entirely).

Let Everything Dry

For a quick and easy alternative to paper towels, consider using old newspapers to dry your smoker. Then leave it to dry for at least an hour with the door open. Using paper towels, absorb any moisture on the racks, drip tray, and water pan. After cleaning, prevent the smoker from being stored damp to prevent rust.

Reassemble Smoker and Fire It Up

It’s now time to reassemble it in reverse order, referring to memory, the manual, and the pictures if you get stuck.

After everything is reinstalled, turn the heat up and let it sear for 30 minutes. Soap-suds and excess water will evaporate this way. Alternatively, pat it dry with paper towels and leave the door open for around an hour to let it air dry.

Put the Removable Parts Back in Place

Drying takes a few hours. Make sure you don’t rush the process. You should allow plenty of time for this task. After everything is dry, you can put the racks and pans in.

How to Clean an Electric Smoker with Mold

Mold is a serious problem that can grow in any environment, including electric smokers. Here are some ways to prevent mold from growing in your smoker:

  • If there is any food remaining, discard it.
  • Heat the electric smoker to its highest setting. It will burn off any mold and grease on the surface. The grill now has a black-brown layer of debris.
  • Wait until the temperature has cooled to remove the burnt grease and mold.
  • Use a mild scrubber and soap to clean the inside of the electric smoker.
  • One more time, light up your electric grill. As a precaution, we are taking this step. It will burn the remaining grease and mold.
  • When you are done smoking, be sure to pull out the racks and clean them with a brush and mild soap or detergent.

How to Clean Maggots in Electric Smokers

Maggots also grow in moist, greasy environments. Maggots can get trapped in electric smokers, making them unusable. Follow these steps to clean your smoker:

  1. Remove the smoke stack and all accessories from the smoker.
  2. Open the smoker and remove all ashtrays.
  3. Disconnect the power supply to the smoker and remove any wires or connecting pieces.
  4. Pour a pot of boiling water onto the smoking area, making sure to cover all parts of the machine.

You can remove the maggot debris by using a scrubber. Clean the burned maggots with damp wipe sheets or clothes a lot of people take cleaning for granted. Always keep your electric smoker clean to ensure your health and safety.

Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean the Smoker

Cleaning with apple cider vinegar is a great way to disinfect and clean. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Pour hot water and apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and fill it with equal parts of each.
  • Spray it on racks and grills, as well as the interior walls of your electric smoker. To allow stubborn debris or grease to dissolve, let the solution sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To remove residues of oils and dirt from the internal chamber, use a plastic putty knife or scrubber.
  • Last but not least, wipe the smoker with a damp cloth.
  • Let the electric smoker air dry naturally for a while to get rid of the smell.

Clean the Electric Smoker with Oven Cleaner?

It might be a good idea to use oven cleaner on your electric smoker. Both have similar characteristics, after all. Explicitly designed to clean and disinfect ovens, oven cleaners have various cleaning methods available. They contain a substance that is harmful to health, caustic soda. Cleaning ovens with oven cleaners requires thorough rinsing, and they leave residues that will harm your health. In addition, baking soda can taste bitter in the oven cleaner. When using an electric smoker, food makes direct contact with the grill. Food will contain chemicals from oven cleaners.

Follow these steps if you want to try the oven cleaner for your smoker.

  • Clean the smoker’s inner compartment with an oven cleaner. Set it for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Cleaning brushes and scrubbers help remove dirt. While scrubbing, be gentle. The coating on the grill will erode as a result.
  • Using water, clean out the inner compartment. Under running water, remove the grids and rinse them.

It’s NEVER a good idea to use oven cleaning solutions for cleaning your electric smoker.

Using Soft Bristle Brush

To clean the dirty chamber of the oven, use a bristle brush. When you do not regularly clean the room, the dirt on its walls becomes hard.

Dust is difficult to remove with a cloth. For this purpose, it’s better to use a bristle brush. Only use a plastic brush, not a metal one, or you may damage the walls.

The Coca Cola Method for Cleaning Electric Smokers

The inside of a smoker can also be cleaned with Coca-Cola, which is safe and quick-absorbing. 

Take a Coca-Cola bottle and place it inside the spray bottle. As you might pour vinegar water into a smoker and clean the inside, spray the inside in the same manner.

What is the recommended frequency for cleaning my electric smoker?

Many of us own electric smokers for enjoying smoked foods in customized forms. However, you might be confused about how to clean your electric smoker. Cleaning an electric smoker is different than cleaning a charcoal smoker.

You might ask, “How often should I clean my electric smoker.” Simple. Every time you use it, clean it thoroughly. 

Grilling directly affects health. Keeping the grill unclean and dirty will make it home to harmful bacteria. Start cleaning your electric smoker after it has cooled completely.

Tips When Maintaining Electric Smokers

Let the Chamber Cool Down
Cleaning your smoker with gloves can save you from getting burnt or injured. You should not use abrasive chemicals in your chamber. These chemicals will cause internal and external damage.
You should brush oil onto the cooking rack before the meat is placed to prevent the meat from sticking.

What do You Clean a Smoker with?

A warm wash of soap diluted in water, a scrub brush and cloth, vinegar, and paper towels are what I use to clean my smoker

Should I Clean the Inside of my Masterbuilt Smoker?

To get rid of mold and enhance the performance of your masterbuilt smoker, you should clean the inside after every use.

Do I Need to Season, my Smoker?

Season your smoker even before using it every time to get the best results possible. 

What is the proper cleaning schedule for an electric smoker?

An electric smoker is required to fully clean after 4-5 cooking.

When Should I Clean My Gas Smoker or Pellet Smoker?

 Like an electric smoker, a gas grill requires it to be wiped down entirely after four or five uses. However, it’s imperative to clean the smoker racks and grease from the drip tray so that mold will not grow.

How do you remove black smoke from glass?

Vinegar and water are effective for removing black smoke from glass. Only vinegar will work to remove a stain that is too stubborn.

Is it necessary to clean my new smoker before using it?

While many people prefer to skip this step, it is always best to disinfect the smoker before using it for the first time.

When does meat stop absorbing smoke?

Meat can stop absorbing meat at any time. It varies from smoker to smoker and from meat to meat.


Electric smokers are one of the best gadgets, so take good care of them if you own one! Cleaning and maintaining it once every 3 to 5 uses is the best method to keep it in good condition. Additionally, knowing that your food is safe to eat makes your guests much happier.

About Johan Haas 

I am excited to share my journey and experiences with grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ with you. With years of experience behind the grill, I have learned the ins and outs of different grills, accessories, and techniques. My goal is to help you become a BBQ master by sharing my knowledge and providing honest reviews on the latest products.

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