Pellet Grills are those outdoor cookers that owe the functionalities of charcoal smokers, kitchen ovens as well as gas grills. They are used for smoking as well as grilling. Sometimes, can be used for baking as well. They are also known as pellet cookers. These are the widely used outdoor cookers.
Well, if you are also a pellet grill user and Don’t know how to clean a pellet grill? No worries! Here’s a short guide on, not just how to clean a pellet grill but also on ‘when to clean a pellet grill?’, ‘Equipment required’ and ‘deep cleaning’.
Before directly jumping on to the cleaning procedure, it would be much more efficient to know WHEN you should consider cleaning the pellet grill.
When to Clean a Pellet Grill?
Well, the answer to this very question depends on the type of pellet grill that you have. Specifically, what kind of flame access does your grill have? Is it direct flame access or not? It is important to address this question because it determines the adjustment of the grease tray in your grill.
The grills which have direct flame access generally have a sliding tray with holes to let the flames through it and ones that don’t have direct access to flames have a flat/solid tray. There is also a Weber SmokerFire which doesn’t have any grease tray and also has direct access to the flame.
Now depending upon the risk of a grease fire, it is advisable to clean the Weber SmokerFire after every long and slow cook since it has no mechanism to remove the grease automatically. The sliding tray grills must be cleaned after 3 to 4 long and slow cooks and in the case of solid trays, you may clean them even less frequently as it has the least risk of catching a grease fire.
Now that we are informed about when to clean let’s move forward with the equipment required to do the cleaning.
Check out: Best Gas Grills
Equipment Required to Clean a Pellet
The five best equipment for different purposes to clean a pellet grill are:
1) A brush or a scraper – Make sure you use a big and a small one to do overall cleaning. The big one to clean the walls and the small ones to reach the corners. Also, use a hard plastic brush over metallic ones.
2) Cleaning solution – Cleaning solution with lukewarm water is the best to clean the outside of the pellet as it would give shine to the outer metallic surface. Make sure the grill is cooled down first!
3) Rags and paper towels – These are also good alternatives for cleaning the outside as well as the interior of the grills. These are soft and won’t go hard on your grill.
4) Utility vacuum cleaner – The best equipment to clean the ashes from the grill! It would suck up the tiniest of particles of ash, which is quite difficult to do with a bare hand.
5) A putty knife.
Go through this also: How to Clean a Gas Grill?
How to Regularly Maintain Your Pellet Smoker?
Maintaining your pellet smoker regularly is an important job because of a variety of reasons from the long life of the smoker to maintaining the quality of taste of the cooked food. Here are some of the ways how you can optimally maintain your smoker:
1) Keep your smoker dry – Exposing your smoker to moisture continuously can result in severe damage to the internal electric parts. When cleaning with a liquid cleaning solution, make sure you wipe it out with a dry and soft cloth. Never dampen water directly into the pellet!
2) Using tin foil can save time – You can place tin foil where the grease drips so that you don’t have to clean it all the time and the pellet does not get dirty. Now you just have to replace the tin foil again and again. Only recommended if you don’t have enough time to clean with your hands.
3) Invest in a grill cover – A pellet grill is not something you buy time and again, it is a one-time purchase, so it is only practical to buy a grill cover to protect your grill against the wind, rain, snow, dust, etc. In case you move to a different place, the cover would come in handy as it will prevent unnecessary damage to your grill.
4) Avoid low-quality wood pellets – Using low-quality wood pellets produces more smoke and ash while cooking whereas, burning high-quality wood would minimize the ash residue which would not only decrease your cleaning part but also depreciation.
We’ve covered a variety of prerequisite information that you need to know about cleaning a pellet smoker, now let’s dive into the actual step-by-step procedure to deep clean your pellet smoker from top to the bottom.
Read: How to Smoke on a Gas Grill?
How to Deep Clean Your Pellet Smoker?
Before cleaning the smoker, do an empty fire which will burn out all the residue, and then it would be easier to clean thoroughly. Make sure there is no inflammable substance near the smoker. Let the smoker cool down a little bit and you are ready to start the grind.
1) The lid – Approaching from the top, the first thing to do is to clean the lid. Scrap the lid with the help of a nylon scrubber and a putty knife. This will help you in removing all the carbon and residue.
2) De assembling – Remove all the components from the grill such as the deflector plate, drip pan, and grates. This will increase the space for you to clean the insides properly.
3) Scraping – Loose out all the residue of the internal part of the grill, chimney, drip tray, etc. with the help of the putty knife.
4) Suck out the residue – After loosening the scrape, use a vacuum cleaner to suck that entire residue out of the smoker including the ashes.
5) Wipe the interior – Use a rag and a soft cloth to clean the remaining small piece and clean all the sticky parts. Do not use water while cleaning the interior part because it might wet out your fuel inside the smoker.
6) Now the exterior – The only part remaining to be cleaned is now the exterior part of the smoker. You may use a cleaning solution to clean the exterior to give it a shine. You may also use any kind of oil to clean the same. Lastly, use a dry piece of paper or cloth to dry the body.
You’re done! – Put all the pieces together and your smoker is ready to serve you delicious food again!