Cleaning Masterbuilt Electric Smoker – In Depth Guide

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A quick blast of heat will burn off any drippings. Here are the steps involved in a thorough cleaning.


Masterbuilt electric smokers are becoming popular, due to the fact that they take the guesswork out of smoking meats and they come in several choices of both fuel and features.

However, like any cooking appliance, they need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. If you clean it after each smoking session, you’ll avoid buildup and the chance of mold growing inside.

At the very least, clean it every three to five uses. If you can’t clean it after each use, use a wire brush to scrub each rack to remove grease and food residue.

Step 1: 


  • Clean After Cooling Down.

    Cleaning the smoker right after it’s cooled is the easiest time, before the food residues have a chance to really stick. Here’s what you need:

        • bag, soft bristle brush (no metal)

        • soft cloth

        • dish soap and water

  • Pro Tip: Use a spray bottle containing a half-and-half water and cider vinegar mixture; instead of dish soap and water. 

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Your owner’s manual may also list approved cleaning agents, but dish soap and water or the cider vinegar mixture is usually all that’s needed as long as the grill is cleaned after each use. Don’t be tempted to use oven cleaner unless your owner’s manual allows it. If you haven’t used the smoker in a while or if it’s been used several times between cleanings, you can first run it at maximum heat for about an hour to loosen grease and debris.


Step 2:


  • Interior Chamber. Clean out the ashes and put them in your waste bag. Take out all the removable items, such as the water pan, drip tray, racks, etc.


    • Remove any debris from the interior chamber:

      with a soft bristle brush or a plastic scraper. You don’t want to use metal utensils to scrape the inside chamber.


    • Wipe down the interior with soapy water:

      If you use the cider vinegar, spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping to let the mild acid in the vinegar loosen up the residue.


    • Be sure to get all the way into the corners:

      Start at the top and leave the bottom for last, in case any crumbs fall down while you’re wiping. Remove those crumbs and wipe down the bottom.


Pro Tip: A good tip is to line the bottom with old newspapers or a plastic sheet first so that the debris will all fall onto them and make cleanup easier.

Leave this lining down until you’re ready to wash the bottom. 

Don’t panic if you notice that the interior gets darker over time. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing a thorough job of cleaning.
It’s a kind of natural seasoning that helps prevent rust and actually improves the performance of the smoker.

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Step 3:


  • Removable Parts:


    • The racks and other parts they also need to be cleaned

Use the brush to take off any stubborn debris while washing, then rinse and dry.

    • Make sure all the debris and residue are removed.

Any residue that is left, especially on the racks, this will only leave a place for more residue to stick and build-up, making for a larger cleaning job later.
If your racks, tray and pan are dishwasher safe, you can use that after scraping off the debris and grease with a scraper or scouring sponge.
If you can’t use the dishwasher just wash with soapy water


If you have a problem getting everything off the racks, you can try putting them inside a large garbage bag. Make sure the bag has no holes or rips.


Pour in one cup of ammonia, then seal the bag tightly. Leave it overnight for the ammonia fumes to loosen anything stuck. Be sure to keep your face away from the bag when you open it the next day.


Scrub off anything still there and rinse them thoroughly. Once clean and dry, it’s a good idea to coat the racks with vegetable oil and also before each use to prevent sticking and prevent rust.

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Step 4:


  • Exterior.

    The exterior can be cleaned with soapy water.


    • Make sure to dry the exterior afterward to prevent any rust.

If your smoker model has a glass window, this will need to be cleaned with soapy water, a glass cleaner or a half-and-half mix of cider vinegar and water.

Your owner’s manual may have instructions on what to use for this.


    • The knobs and controls on the grill also need attention

If built-up grease gets under the controls it may even interfere with the grill’s operation.


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Step 5:


  • Dealing with Mold.

    Mold tends to grow in dark, moist places, so it just loves smokers. If you put off cleaning your smoker for a long time, not only will gunk build up inside but you may well have mold growing inside. To clean it out, first:


    • take out the smoker box and get rid of any crumbs or other debris, then wipe it down.


    • Put the smoker through its pre-heating cycle. You’ll burn most of the mold away and also loosen any leftover debris or grease.


Another method is to fill a metal bowl with boiling water, put it inside the smoker, and run it at its highest setting for an hour.


    • After the smoker has cooled, clean as usual.


You may want to put on a face mask while cleaning to make sure you don’t inhale any leftover mold spores, as they may affect your health.


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Step 6:


  • Finishing.

    Once you have everything clean, put it back together in the reverse order of taking the parts out.


    • Fire up the smoker to its highest heat for 30 minutes to dry any excess soap or water. You can also dry it with paper towels and leave the door open for about an hour to air dry. You don’t want to leave it or put it away while anything part of the interior is still damp, as this will almost certainly encourage mold to grow.


Between uses, cover it with a protective cover. It will protect the smoker from the elements and prolong its life.

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