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How often do you clean you BBQ / Pellet Smoker...

Cray Paper

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I really like making meals the my propane grill and really like making meals on the pellet smoker. My question to the group is focused on how often and more importantly, how do you clean your outdoor cooking surfaces?

My experience with a propane grill is turn it on the highest setting when the meat is pulled, scrape it with a wire brush about a half hour later and it's good to go next time as long as it warms up to 500+f.

As for the Green Mountain Pellet smoker, that's an entirely different animal. I use a frog mat every time I use it. I don't clean it at the end of each smoke, takes to long to cool down and to be honest, I'm done with the whole ordeal when the meat is pulled. The next time I go to smoke something ( might be a week or a couple of months) I feel obligated to clean the cooking surfaces, fire pit with a shop vac, new foil on the sloped heat sink.
When I do clean the pellet smoker cooking surfaces I use the kitchen sink and it leaves a greasy, black mess in the porcelain kitchen sink and everything I touch in the process. My Ex wife and current ( last) wife both hated / hated this. I do my best to return things to normal but I'm usually more focused on making the meal. How do the inmates go about cleaning the tools that make food? I have covers for both but all they to do is promote mold that mandates thorough cleaning with every use in my experience.

I spent an hour cleaning grill grates and the well worn frog mat yesterday, most of the time was invested in cleaning the kitchen after the fact (happy wife, happy life) but the ribs and tri-tip roasts came out fantastic!

How do you clean your grills?
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Bought a mini shop vac, just to clean smoker. Every 90 days I pull everything out, replace foil and clean the ash out.

Been running strong since 2015.

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Mr. C

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The propane grill I just heat that fucker up and clean with a brush. The traeger about every 3 uses I pull the foil and the grate. Shop vac everything and repeat the process.


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JUSTWANNARACE

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Vacuum out the ash about once a year in the pellet grill

Ball of aluminum foil to clean the grill grate. A good seasoned grill wipes off pretty easy. But I never strip the oils. Kind of like cast iron pans.
 
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PlanB

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Vacuum the burn pit and inside of the Traeger every cook (just used it tonight). Replace the foil when the buildup gets substantial. Other than that, I pretty much leave it alone.
 

4Waters

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I don't burn off the gas grill after cooking any more. After replacing the rusted out grills a few times I now burn it off and clean before I cook.

I use foil on my GMG and clean it every time, I clean out the firebox every 4-6 smokes depending on what I have been cooking.
 

Racey

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Just like a cast iron skillet your grill grates should be seasoned with oil, never cleaned with soap and water. If they are properly seasoned any food comes off them easily with a brush or some newspaper.
 

Ace in the Hole

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Every 5-6 uses...depending on what i cooked. I smoked a brisket, and beer can chicken yesterday...i use a concoction to keep it moist.. so ill clean it before i use it next...
IMG_3032.JPG
 

JB in so cal

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Any other year, about every 10-12 months.....since covid: twice in a year. And don't get me started on dishwasher bullshit!!
 

DLC

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Your supposed to clean the grills and the Treager.... HuH


all depends on usage, I usually let the gas grill roll on High then wire brush / scrape it off after grilling, Treager just shop vac before a big burn
 

Javajoe

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I just turn my smoker on high then brush the grates. I replace foil every cook. Vacuum maybe once a year. Too lazy. I just remove ash out of the fire can with my fingers lol.
I lay a full piece of foil on the gas grill covering every part then close it and turn that bitch on high for a half hour. Cleans the grill good. Burns every bit of everything off of it. Then I rub it with oil and I’m good to go again for another few months. Then just turn on high for 10 minutes and brush it clean between cooks
 

Rondog4405

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I brush all the old crud off the grates b4 doing anything.. then change out the foil. Heat her up up and brush again . I'll vacuum it out every 3-4 cooks.
 

RiverDave

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I cleaned the fire pit after about ten uses and it was surprisingly clean..
 

ltbaney1

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traeger it depends on what i cooked last, if im rolling a long smoke like a brisket i will clean it before. normally every 1-2 bags of pellets it gets torn down. my gas grill gets torn down once a year, other than that it gets cranked to high and hit with a brush.
 

coolchange

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Not at traeger guy but SIL is. Had his burst into flames. Had he not been there it could have been nasty. Claims he keeps it clean.
 

YeahYeah01

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so if I'm going to use the turn on high to self clean method for the propane grill. I cover the grates with foil. It traps the heat in. The grill is ready to scrape in like 10 minutes.
 

Christopher Lucero

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when I cant see through the BBQ window, I clean it. When the debris in the bottom of the Q builds up enough that airflow causes orange flame or blocks vents I clean that out. The grates just get the old food burned off during the next warm up, then scraped off with a brush.

As far as a smoker, you gotta scrape the creosote so it doesn't catch fire accidentally and ruin some otherwise well smoked food. otherwise I'd leave that alone.
 
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