How to clean electric smoker with mold

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2023, 01:45 am

Smoking is a passion for many pitmasters , so it can be heartbreaking to discover that mold has developed on your smoker .

To help you with that, we have put together a complete guide on how to clean electric smokers with mold.

Let’s get started.

Why does mold develop in an electric smoker?

Mold is a green fungus that usually grows in damp areas where air ventilation is poor.

It can grow in electric smokers if they are not stored properly.

We should first understand why it develops in an electric smoker before cleaning it.

Mold is also a living organism that requires favourable conditions to develop.

When these favourable conditions are provided,it can replicate and develop inside the smoker within no time.

It usually grows in areas where moisture is present and airflow is blocked.

In electric smokers , mold usually develops when they are stored without cleaning.

The grease or leftovers of food can contribute to the development of mold in the smoker.

So it is necessary to clean electric smokers before storing them.

In addition to the cleaning, the electric smoker cover can also lead to the development of mold inside the smoker.

If electric smokers are left unused for several days or months, then the cover can trap moisture inside and help in the development of mold on the surface of the electric smoker.

Cover is a huge relief when it comes to protecting an electric smoker from rain and bad weather conditions, but it can contribute to mold development.

So you should consider storing your smoker with or without a cover if possible.

How to clean electric smoker with mold

Now that we know the cause of development,we can proceed further to the cleaning of the electric smoker from mold.

You can follow this step-by-step guide to clean your smoker .

In addition, you can also consider reading the user manual to avoid demaging the build of your electric smoker while cleaning it.

Gather ingredients for cleaning

Cleaning of the electric smoker requires some stuff that should be gathered before you start the cleaning process to make sure you don’t have to panic during the process.

You should at least gather the items for safety precautions.

  • First of all , you should consider buying a face mask to use during the cleaning. Mold is a highly infective organism that can cause allergic reactions when inhaled.
    You should consider wearing a face mask to avoid such consequences.
  • In addition to the face mask, you should also consider wearing loose clothes with long sleeves and long pants to avoid the mold from coming in direct contact with your skin.
    There are no specific requirements for clothing as long as they can keep the mold away.
  • You should also have goggles in your collection to avoid mold or other chemicals from entering your eyes.
    These are not necessarily needed for cleaning your electric smoker, but you should consider having them to maximize protection.
  • You should also consider buying a pair of gloves to wear during cleaning.
    You will not only be dealing with mold, but you may also face other toxic things while cleaning.
    In addition , these will also be used if you apply bleach or vinegar during the process.
  • Now that you have collected the things needed for your safety, now comes the time needed for cleaning the mold.
    First of all, you will need a brush or wire that will be used to scrape mold off the smoker.
  • You may also consider having some vinegar on hand that can be used for cleaning.
    Vinegar is a disinfectant that can be used in addition to soapy water to clean the electric smoker from mold and other debris.
  • In the end, you should also consider getting a pressure washer to clean out the mold or other sticky things from the smoker.

These are the things that are most commonly used for cleaning an electric smoker with mold.

These can vary depending on personal choices and different methods of cleaning.

Prepare for cleaning

After that, you have gathered all the ingredients required for cleaning.

Now it’s time to start the process.

You should first prepare your smoker for cleaning to avoid further complicating the process with different contaminants.

First of all, you should consider removing any wood chunks or other fuel components if they are present within the smoker .

These wood chunks can decay over time and can produce different toxins that should be removed immediately.

In addition, you should also remove any ceramic material that may be present within the smoker.

These can be demaged when cleaning the electric smoker with a pressure wash.

It is necessary because you may end up demaging them when trying to clean the smoker.

Fire up the grill

Mold is removed from an electric smoker through scraping, but it can be dangerous to inhale the fungal spores during scraping.

To avoid that, it is recommended to heat up the smoker before scraping the mold.

By heating up the smoker, we can burn the mold and kill the fungal spores to stop further development.

The temperature can depend on the smoker type, but you should consider heating up to a higher temperature as long as it doesn’t affect the build of the smoker.

You should avoid cooking anything during this process because it can contain different toxins produced by mold when it is exposed to fire.

You should consider keeping the smoker heated for at least 30 minutes to make sure the spores have been killed.

Scrape the debris

After you have heated the smoker to higher temperatures for 30 minutes, the likelihood is increased that spores have been killed and you can proceed with the cleaning process.

Now you should wait for the smoker to cool down before scraping.

After the smoker has cooled down, you should remove the removable parts like the water pan or cooking grates to enhance the efficiency of cleaning.

The parts should be cleaned with a brush or wire rolled into a ball shape to scrape the mold.

You should consider wearing a face mask and goggles during cleaning to avoid any infections.

After the removable parts have been cleaned , you can proceed further to clean the surface and inside parts of the smoker with a brush .

The scraping of the mold is the major step in cleaning the smoker from mold.

You should follow the safety precautions to avoid ending up with allergies at the end.

You shouldn’t worry about taking out the mold at this point.

Apply vinegar

After you are done scraping the mold off the smoker, you should consider applying vinegar on the surface of the smoker to remove any contamination.

Vinegar is a disinfectant that can help us kill the remains of mold and other toxins.

You should also consider adding vinegar in a spray can to avoid direct contact with mold.

After that you can then spray the vinegar onto the surface of smoker and leave it for few minutes to make sure it does it’s job effectively.

Wash the electric smoker

After applying vinegar to the smoker, you should consider washing the smoker to remove all the debris from it.

Two types of methods are used to wash the smoker .

These are pressure washing and power washing.

These differ from each other in that the pressure wash uses normal water without heating, while the power wash uses heated water to kill and remove the toxins.

You can use either of them depending on your personal choice.

After washing it with power wash , you can wash it again with soapy water to make sure no mold components or debris are left behind.

You should remove the sticky mold parts with a putty knife, but make sure to not demage the build of the smoker.

Assemble it and heat it up again

After you are done with washing your smoker and removing the debris, you should heat it up again, but make sure to dry it before heating.

Once it has been dried , you can assemble all the parts of the smoker to start smoking.

The final heat up will burn any grease that is not removed during cleaning.

You can also scrape it again if you notice any mold parts that are left uncleaned because they can develop pretty quickly if not removed while cleaning.

At the end, you can coat the smoker with any heat-resistant oil to inhibit the mold growth for a longer period of time.

How to avoid the development of mold in an electric smoker

Cleaning the mold is a hectic process that should be avoided at all cost.

The mold usually develops as a result of improper storage, but other factors can also contribute to its growth.

You should consider following these tips to avoid mold growth.

  • The most important factor for avoiding mold development is cleaning the smoker before storing it.
    If the smoker is stored with any grease or other food leftovers, then they can decay over time and lead to mold development.
  • In addition to normal cleaning, you can also consider cleaning the smoker with a degreaser if you are storing it for a longer time before using it again.
    It may require some effort, but it will be worth it if it can inhibit the mold growth.
  • If you are using your smoker frequently on a regular basis, then you shouldn’t worry about mold growth because it only grows when the smoker is left unused for several months without cleaning.
  • In addition, you should also consider heating up your smoker to a higher temperature before storing it.
    It will burn away any grease and food leftovers to stop mold growth.
  • Furthermore, if the smoker is contaminated with sticky material or food leftovers, you can use a putty knife to scrape them before storing the smoker.
  • Mold usually grows due to poor ventilation, so you should consider allowing airflow inside the smoker to avoid any mold development.
    You should store your smoker with the vents wide open to allow ventilation.
  • Seasoning your smoker before storing can also be helpful in avoiding mold development.
    For seasoning, you have to coat your smoker with any vegetable or other oil and then heat it up to a higher temperature .It can also increase smokers’ efficiency.
  • And last but not least, you should consider drying your smoker before storing it to avoid any mold development.

What temperature does the electric smoker need to be to kill mold?

Heating up to a higher temperature is beneficial for killing mold as long as it does not affect the build of your smoker.

But to get an exact figure, most of the mold types are killed at 140° .

You should at least heat up your smoker to 250 F° to make sure no spores are left behind.

Do you need to wear a facemask before cleaning the electric smoker?

Yes, it’s more than necessary to wear a facemask before cleaning the electric smoker because mold can also contain spores which can be inhaled during scarping.

These spores can cause various allergic infections within the human body.


Cleaning an electric smoker with mold is a complex process that requires some effort to complete.

You should make sure to store your smoker properly to avoid the development of mold .

You can follow the tips given above to store your smoker properly without mold development.

Jakob miller