How to Clean A Pellet Smoker-Complete Guide to Cleaning Pellet Grill

As soon as you satisfy your belly with delicious smoked brisket and barbecue pulled pork, your next step is to clean your Pellet Grill and Smoker. Cleaning the Pellet Smoker is a tough job, but to enjoy the endless cookouts and family dinners, your first step is to clean the unit nicely. The process of cleaning the unit may differ based on a model, but we aim to share the particular knowledge of how to clean a pellet smoker. Following the below guideline How to Clean a Pellet Smoker, you can easily clean your unit.

How to Clean A Pellet Smoker

Step by Step Guide How to Clean A Pellet Smoker

Cleaning the Pellet Smoker makes your food smoked tastier and lets your smoker perform greatly. Working on the guidelines of how to clean the pellet smoker will make your smoker present top rayed results in your backyard. Before going ahead about how to clean the pellet smoker, you must know about the tools you need for cleaning the unit.

The tools that you Need to Clean the Unit

To clean the smoker, you need multiple tools to clean the hopper, scraping grease, and wash the unit from inside and outside. Generally, it would help if you had a brush or a scrapper. Both these things need to be free from the use of metal and braces. The soft brush and scrapper will not damage your unit, surely will not make scratches over the surface. Below are the things that you must arrange before cleaning your unit.

Furthermore, bear one thing in mind: cleaning the smoker does not demand any hard and fast rules concerning tools. You can do your job with whatever you have at home.

Soft Rags and Towels

For scrapping the stockings and grease, the soft rags are the pretty best option. Moreover, for cleaning the water pan and grease tray, soft towels will suit them best.

Soft Rags and Towels

A scraper and brush

A non-metallic bristle brush, a plastic putty knife, and a griddle scrape are best for cleaning the smoker. You must have small soft brushes to reach every corner of the unit.

Furthermore, the soft scrapper will enable you to scrap the food stockings and grease from the surface and walls of the unit.

 scraper and brush

Grill Cleaners

To make the smoker shine, you need to use the stainless-steel cleaner. Moreover, if you don’t want to use any nontoxic cleaner available in the market, warm water and soap will produce good results. Be sure that before cleaning the grill, the grill must be cool.

Grill Cleaners


To arrange the gloves are optional. If you want to keep your hand safe from soap or grease, then you must arrange them. They are just for your hand’s safety.


A shop-vac

Arranging the shop- vac is the best option to remove the ash from your pellet smoker. Moreover, if you don’t have a shop vac, then an ash vac is a helpful tool as it is heat resistant.

A shop-vac

Cleaning the Pellet Smoker

Plugging the Unit Off

Before you start to clean your smoker, you need to plug the unit off. It is the most considerable fact, and you necessarily keep it in mind.Disconnecting the unit from the power source will keep you and your unit from danger and harm.

Moreover, let the smoker cool down perfectly. As if it is hot, you can burn your hands or fingers despite using gloves.

Plugging the Unit Off

Lid Cleaning

To clean the lid, use a putty knife and a soft scrubber. These two things are essential for scrapping the sticking from the lid.

Removing the Components of the Unit

You need to remove the components of the smoker like a drip pan, grease tray, grates, and deflector plate. Use a soft rug or towel to clean the unit thoroughly. Moreover, you can use a scrubber as well to remove the grease or to stick it.

Clean The sticking

After removing the unit’s components, you need to clean the sticking from the inside of the unit using a putty knife or a scraper. Don’t leave even the corner of the unit.

Moreover, use a putty knife or scrubber to remove the build-up where the chimney is attached to the barrel.

Furthermore, clean the chimney of the unit properly. If your smoker contains a drip tray with vents, clean the vents properly to remove the residue. Cleaning the vents properly enhances the performance of the smoker and helps to maintain the temperature.

Cleaning the Grates

Cleaning the grates of the smoker is the most important aspect of cooking a delicious meal. If they are cleaned properly, you can get a lot more praise from your guests and family because of the flavorful food. There are two methods of cleaning the grates;

  1. Cold

2. Hot

Cold Method of Cleaning The grates

1: Before cleaning the grill, ensure your grill is cool.

2: Remove the grates of the smoker and clean them using soap and water. Rub the grate using a nylon scrubber to remove any build-up. Some of the smokers have dishwasher-safe grates. They are cleanable using water in a sink.

3: After washing the grates, rinse them properly for the next use.

Hot Method of Cleaning the Grates

In the hot method, you can clean the grates after cooking the meal.

1: When the grates are hot, it is easy to clean them. After the smoking meal session, let your grill gain a high temperature because when the grates are hot, it becomes easy to wipe off the build-up from the grates.

2: As soon as the grates are hot, use a soft brush or soft rug to scrub the remaining from the grates. As the grates are hot, use a long brush and gloves to clean the grates. It will prevent your hands from getting burnt.

Cleaning the Thermometer

While cleaning the smoker, it is essential to clean the thermometer as well. The well-cleaned thermometer will show the temperature nicely. If the thermometer is clear, you can get the reading appropriately.

Moreover, to do the job, you need a soft towel. Wet it using water, shrink it properly. Rub the remaining from the screen gently with a soft hand. Rub it until it may look like a new one.

Drip Tray

To clean the drip tray, remove the extra racks and grill grates of the smoker. You can remove the grease using soft towel. Moreover, if you intend to wash in a sink, remove the drip tray first. After washing it, dry it properly before putting it in its place.

Clean the Burn Pot

To clean the burn pot, first, draw out the drip tray and deflector plate. The burn pot will be full of sticking and unnecessary remaining. You can use an ash vac or vacuum cleaner to remove the debris. To remove ash from the burn pot, use a hose and then, using a clean rag, wipe away all the remaining.

Furthermore, when deep cleaning, the unit never uses direct water in the smoker because electric elements can be damaged in this way. Once the burn pot is cleaned, place the deflector plate, grates, and drip tray back to their place.

Besides, if your grill contains an ash collector, it is a great time to clean it. The ash collection system enables you to remove the ash and let you clean the burn pot occasionally.

Vacuum the Remaining

Once you have cleaned all the debris, use a wet vacuum to clean the residue you left.

Degreasing the Smoker

Some of the users prefer to degrease the unit, but it is not compulsory. But if you want to do it, take a good degreaser spray. Spray inside and clean using a cotton cloth.

The degreasing spray spreads all around, so before smoking meat, you need to preheat the unit. Preheating the unit saves your food from getting spoiled with the smell.

How to Clean the Pellet Smokers from the Outside

Cleaning the outside of the unit is also essential. You can do it taking a soft wet towel. Wet the towel with soap and water rub the outside surface of the unit nicely to clean the debris, dust, and other particles.

1: make sure that the power source is off and the grill is cold from outside.

2: using a soft towel, rub the dust from the unit using cleaner. If you are using cleaner to clean outside, be careful not to spray over inside of your grill.

3: Apply the cleaner spray and wait until 30 seconds. By doing this, the dried smudges, dirt, and another sticking will break down.

4: Wipe the whole unit using a soft cloth. If your smoker has the painted surface, wipe in circles and if it is stainless steel BBQ, wipe in the same direction.

5: Repeat the process until you get the desired results.

6: you need to clean the outer surface thoroughly to remove soap and other unnecessary elements. Don’t use the hose to as water can get into the grill, damaging your smoker’s electric components.

After cleaning the whole unit, make sure that there is no water and other build-up left. Dry the unit for almost 24 hours and make sure there is no water in the hopper as well. Clean everything properly with a soft cotton cloth before using it for the next smoking meat session.

How to clean the Smokestack

Cleaning the Smokestack does not demand hard and fast rules. Remove the cap from the Smokestack.

1: Take the brush and scrape the debris sticking inside it.

2: Take the soft cotton cloth or towel and clean the inside of the Smokestack with a hard hand.

3: Clean the cap using cleaner or degreaser to clean properly.

4: Dry it properly before next use.

How often Clean the Grill?

The question that comes to mind is that how often to clean the grill? The simple answer to this question depends upon the use of the unit. If you use it once a week, then the unit needs deep cleaning every month once.

Moreover, if you are habitual of using the unit for making burgers daily, then the deep cleaning of the unit must be once a week. The more you keep the unit clean, the tastier food you get.

Furthermore, cleaning the unit enhances the grill performance. Provide you food full of flavor.

For easy cleanup, place heavy-duty aluminum foil, or get a pellet grill drip pan liner on your drip tray.

Besides, if you clean your grill properly, it will show obvious results during the next smoking session.

Why Do You Need to Clean the Grill?

Cleaning the unit is an essential part of the smoking session. Because when you smoke meat or veggies, the unit gets spoiled with oil and other food particles. To remove all the dirt, oil, and other remaining, you need to clean the unit. After use, if you do not clean the unit properly, it will get spoiled and will not show a good result next time. Below are a few reasons that why you should clean the smoker.

Flavorful Food

You must clean the unit to get the delicious food. If the unit is not cleaned nicely, the ugly smell will get mixed into your food and will poison that.

Moreover, the temperature of the grill will remain the same. The smoke will circulate properly throughout the unit. The proper cleaning of the firepot makes the distribution of heat and smoke even. Getting good results is only possible due to proper cleaning of the pellet smoker.

Enhance Grill Performance

You must clean the unit to extend the performance of the grill. To clean the components enhances the working life of the unit. A filthy pellet grill will make you feel embarrassed in front of your guests. In case if you start it, it will not get started properly.

If you keep your pellet smoker in good working condition for several years, it is only possible due to proper cleaning of the unit.

Final Thought

As mentioned above, all the detail about how to clean the pellet smoker is my way of cleaning the unit. In short, there is no single fixed method of cleaning the Pellet Smokers. You can start as you want, but follow all the safety rules otherwise, you will damage the unit.

Furthermore, in my view, you must clean the pellet smoker once a month deeply to enhance the working life of the unit, and randomly clean the unit after every use. Besides, if you have more suggestions, please share them in the comments below.