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There was a thread on BeeSource recently about methods of cleaning a smoker - one of which was to burn-off the tar using a gas-gun. Well - here's a method I discovered by sheer accident yesterday, which only needs sawdust or a similar fuel ...

If you leave the cap-spout off a smoker and pump away with dry fuel inside, at some point it will burst into flames - at least mine will. So - simply re-fit the cap-spout jobbie, tilted partly open with a piece of scrap metal thusly:



... and keep pumping (gently) - just like a blacksmith working his forge. Flames will lick all around the opened area and eventually the tar and soot deposits inside and around the spout and lining the barrel will catch fire and burn off. It costs nothing to do and doesn't take very long. All that's left is some black crusts and sooty powder which fall away with the slightest touch. My smoker has never been so clean !

Needless to say, only do this in a SAFE AREA, and stay upwind of the smoke.
LJ
 

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I actually do a variation of this on a daily basis when I light my smoker. Just keep your hand low on the bellows and "train" it to bend down when squeezing to protect it from the open flame (I ruined a bellows one before I learned). To finish the job off nicely I use the handful of green grass that I place on top of the fuel as a sort of mop to shine up the inside of the smoker lid which still shines like new.
 
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