The major parts of your ugly drum smoker will require a certain amount of cleaning from time to time. This can be done simply with a good wire brush, soap and water. It is best to avoid the use of harsh chemicals and cleaners to avoid any possibility of your food becoming contaminated. The normal temperatures used in a smoker barrel are generally a lot lower than those used in a conventional “stick burner” and may not be sufficient to burn off chemical residues left by commercial cleaning compounds and de-greasers. A little “elbow grease” is a lot safer and your food will taste even better as a result.
Cleaning the Lid
The lid for your ugly drum smoker is best cleaned with plain old soap and water. You can also check to make sure the vent holes aren’t stopped up to insure proper venting. You should also check to make sure your handle is properly tightened and secure.
Cleaning the Grill Grates
The grill grates for your ugly drum smoker will require cleaning with a good wire brush. If done on a regular basis, it will only take a few minutes to clean properly. This can be done prior to use or immediately after you are through cooking or smoking your food and the grates have cooled down.
Cleaning the Charcoal Basket
If properly constructed the charcoal grate should be easy to remove from your charcoal basket for cleaning. The expanded metal portion of your charcoal basket can then be cleaned with a stiff wire brush and then you can rinse it with soap and water.
Cleaning the Temperature Gauge
Keep the probe for your temperature gauge clean in order to get more accurate temperature readings. A couple of passes with a mild abrasive pad will clean the grease build-up off the probe. Wipe the dial face with a clean paper towel.
Cleaning the Barrel
The barrel itself should also be cleaned with soap and water to help it last longer and to keep it as clean as possible. Remember, the barrel is made of metal and water should not be left standing inside for any length of time in order to prevent unnecessary rust from occurring. Don’t leave your smoker barrel standing in water. This may decrease the life of your smoker barrel.
Barrel smokers can build up a creosote type residue over time that could create a potential fire hazard. Keeping it clean will help to eliminate this problem. The best way to clean your smoker barrel is with soap, water and a good wire brush to insure the quality of the food you cook on your smoker barrel is the best you can make it.