Basic question about smokers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
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    238

    Default Basic question about smokers

    After 2 years my smoker is getting kind of claggy and gummed up.
    What do folks do to keep it so it closes properly? Large deposits of soot and creosote on the mating surfaces of the lid.
    Just interested in what maintenance tips are out there.
    Thanks, Brian

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    1,640

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Every year or so I use a scraper to remove the worst. The scraper I use was most probably a putty-knife in an earlier life, as one side of it is nicely curved - a useful shape when scraping away at the inside of a tubular object. Apart from that, a screwdriver (used as a blunt chisel) and plenty of elbow-grease.
    I've often thought about the wisdom (or otherwise) of flaming-off the residue with a blowlamp, but I've never actually tried doing it.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    613

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    I take a blow torch to my smoker occasionally to burn it clean. I also use the touch to light it. I have had enough build up on occasion that I could start the cone burning with nothing in it. This doesnt get everything off, but it makes a good dent.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    wilmington,nc
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I use a drill with a wire brush to clean mine up and a flat tip screw driver for the hard to reach areas.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Wise county,Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    I take a blow torch to my smoker occasionally to burn it clean. I also use the touch to light it. I have had enough build up on occasion that I could start the cone burning with nothing in it. This doesnt get everything off, but it makes a good dent.
    Same, once it's "charcoal", it comes out/off pretty good
    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Here is a link to a post about how to clean a smoker. It is the only blog type post I can remember coming across about how to clean a smoker. I have never done it this way. I just remember seeing this post. Let us know how it works if you try it...

    http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/deep-...-3-easy-steps/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    I burn it out with a propane torch. The creosote will burn off quickly once you get an area lit.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,255

    Default

    nothing better than using a torch on it

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gough View Post
    Here is a link to a post about how to clean a smoker. It is the only blog type post I can remember coming across about how to clean a smoker. I have never done it this way. I just remember seeing this post. Let us know how it works if you try it...

    http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/deep-...-3-easy-steps/
    Blimey - a vinegar soak - who would have thought about doing that ... ? Nice one.

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Thank you all for the tips! Its why i love this forum!
    Best regards
    Brian

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    >I take a blow torch to my smoker occasionally to burn it clean.

    That's what I do. Burn off the creosote.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,119

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    It's a 'winter project' for me. The creosote flakes out rather well when it's cold.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Blow torch once a year, two or three minutes.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    873

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    I used a blowtorch on the creosote on the lid. It burned for 5 minutes. Then, I used denatured alcohol to clean the mating surfaces on the lid and the smoker body.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    About torches: If you don't have one in your beekeeper tool box, go get one. Get a self igniting model. Use it to instantly light your smoker without futzing around, clean your smoker, clean your hive tools, vaporize (carefully) OA, and you'll find other uses.
    Zone 6B

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    After I torch my smoker, I hit it with a plumbers fitting brush.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Carmel Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Every year or so I use a scraper to remove the worst. The scraper I use was most probably a putty-knife in an earlier life, as one side of it is nicely curved - a useful shape when scraping away at the inside of a tubular object. Apart from that, a screwdriver (used as a blunt chisel) and plenty of elbow-grease.
    I've often thought about the wisdom (or otherwise) of flaming-off the residue with a blowlamp, but I've never actually tried doing it.
    LJ

    I have used a propane torch with great success to remove the creosote buildup in my smoker. It softens the coating and makes it easier to chip off. Or, it just burns it away, with little or no effort. And it doesn't take very long.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Basic question about smokers

    Put it in a freezer for a few hours and then take a scraper to the edges that are gummed up. Scrapes off pretty easily.
    To everything there is a season....

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