How to Maintain Your Smoker or Grill


If you’re reading this, you’ve probably just purchased your dream smoker or grill and you want to know how to maintain it. It’s imperative that you take care of your smoker or grill from the first time you use it to ensure it lasts for generations. In this blog post, we are going to walk you through how to season your grill properly and how to keep it clean.

How to Season Your Smoker or Grill 

For the majority of our products, you’ll be working with a carbon steel body, fire box and/or hopper, so the seasoning and the prep on the front end will be the same for both smokers and grills. 

1. Fire up your grill to 300-350 degrees and let it run for about 45 minutes. 

2. After 45 minutes, slide your grates out and give them a nice coating of Pam or any type of non-stick, food grade cooking spray that does not have salt in it. 

3. Slide the grates back inside and spray the Pam all inside the grill. You want to get a nice seasoning coating so don’t skimp. This is going to cure the steal like it’s a cast iron skillet. Let that sit for 45 minutes with the smoker/grill still going. 

4. Repeat step 3 and spray down the inside and the grates one more time. 

5. Let it cool down. 

6. You’re ready to cook!

How to Clean Your Smoker or Grill

Now, you’ve cooked on your pit quite a bit and it needs to be cleaned. With our pellet grills, charcoal grills and offsets, the grates are carbon steel expanded metal, so the process should be the same. 

The best way to clean your smoker or grill is to take out the grates and use a non-wired brush to brush off all the grates. Do not use soap! Don’t put them in the dishwasher or wash them with soap ever. 

Over time, you’ll notice build up inside of the barrel. Use the backside of your brush or a putty knife to scrape off the buildup. Scrape all the buildup into the barrel, put a bucket underneath it, take a little warm water and wash it out of the barrel. 

If it’s been a couple years or start to notice severe buildup in your barrel, you can then use a pressure washer (with NO soap!) to spray it out. 

If you do decide to pressure wash your grill just make sure to re-season it just like you did in the beginning. 

In between every cook, you need to clean out your fire box. If that ash sits inside there it’s caustic and will eat up the steel. Clean the fire box out after your pit has cooled down after every cook.

For pellet grills, you can vacuum out or clean out the ashes by hand from your burn pot after every cook. This will give you a nice clean start up for every cook. 

These grills are built for generations. If you take care of them, they will take care of you. 

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments.

Let’s get smokin’!

16 Responses

  1. What about the exterior of the grill? Can ACF-50 be used as a rust inhibitor? What about keeping up the stainless steel?

    1. We’re not very familiar with ACF-50 but it looks like it can be used. We typically use a food grade mineral oil if we want to coat the painted areas. On the stainless, clean it with any light degreaser to remove grease and smoke and then polish it with a microfiber cloth and household stainless cleaner.

    1. With the lid being stainless, it doesn’t need to be seasoned but it will naturally develop the seasoning coat on it. To clean it, tap or lightly knock on the outside and any loose buildup will fall off. Then it can be vacuumed up with the ash.

      1. Can the roll top be removed to clean it out better? I’ve noticed recently if I close the lid without being gentle, black flakes fall off the lid and onto the grates and food.

        1. You could remove the bolts that hold the lid in place to throughly clean it. However, an easier option is to lightly “slam” the lid when the grill is empty to let the soot fall and then vacuum it up.

  2. I have a 1250. What is the best thing to clean the smoke staining around the chimney? Also while looking at your smoke box I see them slide a metal cover back from over the fire box that is under the drip pan. What is that as I don’t have that on mine?

    1. Any degreaser should work to clean the grease off the stainless. It sounds like you’re referring to the deflector plate which sits above the burn pot.

  3. Rust/oxidation has accumulated on the exterior of the smoke chamber lid as well as the shelf. What would be the best way to clean the stainless portions without damaging the finish?

    1. We recommend getting the unit up to temp then use a wet wash cloth to start wiping the creosote off as it softens from the heat. You can also use an aerosol cleaner like spray way to add some potency to the process.

    1. We recommend using a wire brush and compressed air if you have some. You can also purchase a new log lighter from us.

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