The type of smoker and consumable used will impact how often a smoker should be cleaned and its maintenance requirements.
There are a number of factors to consider when maintaining these units.
- Scrub and clean smokers daily. This should include all cooking surfaces and areas where drippings may collect.
- Sanitize all food contact surfaces on these units each day.
- Although operators like the smoke to season the unit's interior, this surface should be cleaned thoroughly at least weekly. The smoker walls can be scraped and washed with soap and water. Larger units can be cleaned with a power washer.
- The smoker's ash should be dumped daily, depending on the type of smoker. Electric models and those that don't utilize large amounts of wood won't have as much accumulation. Embers should be dead before dumping, or a fire can ensue. Used pellets also can be dumped in trash receptacles.
- Because wood produces a great amount of creosote, and excessive grease-laden vapors can also be an issue, flue cleaning and maintenance is essential with smokers that utilize full-size logs.
- Units that use pellets don't create as much creosote. With these smokers, the flue should be brushed every six months.
When to Replace Smokers
Smokers: An Overview
Although the popularity of smoked foods varies by region, its appeal has become more universal.
How to Know When to Replace a Smoker
Smokers can last as long as 50 years, but the average service life of these units is about a decade. Here are a few signs that it is time to replace a smoker.
Foodservice operators utilize smokers to impart flavors in food that would be difficult to create in any other way.
Maintaining a Smoker
Proper smoker maintenance and cleaning is a necessity for safe use and fire prevention.
Spec Check: Smokers
One common mistake in specifying smokers is underestimating or overestimating how much capacity will be needed.
Energy Efficiency and Smokers
With newer smoker models and specialty units, there have been advancements that enhance energy efficiency.