How to clean propane smoker

Last Updated on: 26th April 2023, 09:59 pm

Cleaning the propane smoker is crucial for the durability of any smoker, but the process can vary from smoker to smoker.

But most of the parts are similar and can be cleaned by following a universal process.

By the end of this blog post, you will know the exact process for how to clean your propane smoker with ease.

Cleaning the propane smoker

Propane smokers are really efficient for smoking, but they can be sensitive to rust if used in rain and not cleaned properly.

Propane smokers should be cleaned after use to keep them in good condition and make them durable.

When propane smokers are used frequently for smoking , the carbon is deposited in different parts of the smoker.

This carbon is produced due to the burning of fuel. Moreover, grease also starts piling up due to carbon and smoke.

If this grease is not cleaned before use, then it can burn during the smoking process and produce dark black smoke, which affects the taste of the food being smoked.

Hence, it’s necessary to clean the propane smoker before every use to keep it in good condition and also avoid the grease from affecting the taste of food being smoked.

So here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning a propane smoker easily.


  • You need to have a pair of gloves to start cleaning the smoker.
    These gloves protect your hands from coming into direct contact with grease and other dangerous materials produced during the smoking process.
  • You also need a grill brush for cleaning the propane smoker.
    It is used for cleaning the inside part of the smoker, which is piled up with a black deposition of carbon and grease.
    Furthermore, it is also used to clean cooking grates.
  • Paper towels are required during the cleaning of a propane smoker. Sometimes they are used to remove the scarring of carbon from the inside of a smoker.
    More often, they are used to dry the parts of the smoker after cleaning.
  • A putty knife is also required during the cleaning of the smoker. It is used for cleaning the bottom of the smoker, which is contaminated with grease and other deposits.
  • In addition to the above, you will also need soap and water to clean the inner and outer surfaces of the smoker.
    More often, the soap is mixed with water and then water is used for cleaning.
  • Last but not the least , you will also need a small toothbrush for cleaning burner tubes and other delicate areas that can’t be cleaned by a normal brush or knives.


The cleaning of a propane smoker involves the following steps:

Remove the removeable parts

  1. First of all, you need to gather all the supplies mentioned above before starting the process of cleaning.

    Try to collect as many of them as possible because each of the things mentioned in the requirements has its own use in the cleaning process.
  2. After gathering all the accessories in one place, it’s time to start the cleaning process. First, it’s important to make sure that the smoker is cooled down.
    For safety precautions, it’s necessary to turn off the gas supply or detach the gas tank from the smoker for safety precautions.
  3. After removing the gas tank, put on your gloves and remove all the removable parts of the smoker. Different smokers have different removable parts.
    If the parts of the smoker are removable, they are easy to clean when taken out.
    So remove all the parts, ranging from the cooking grates to the water bowl.

Clean the cooking grates

  1.  After removing the parts , it’s best to clean the places at which they were attached with a brush to remove all the leftover food.
  2. After that, you have to clean the cooking grates. It is done by using different metallic brushes.
    These brushes are durable and have good build quality, which means they remove grease easily without allowing it to stick to the surface of the smoker.
  3. After cleaning the grates, it’s best to cover the burner of the smoker so that it will not be affected by the scrapings of carbon when cleaning the internal surface.
    Normally, aluminum foil is used to cover it.

Clean the build of smoker

  1. After cleaning the the grilling grates,it’s time for internal cleaning. The internal surface of the smoker is mostly deposited by carbon and Grease.
    If these are not cleaned properly they can result in the development of rust in the smoker.
    They are cleaned by plastic knives to avoid damaging the build of the smoker.

    It’s better to avoid other metallic knives and pointy things to scrape the carbon because their pointed ends can damage the build of smoker.
  2. After cleaning the internal surface, remove the aluminum foil from the burner and clean the outer covering surface  of the burner thoroughly with a brush.
    Usually the burner tubes are covered with metallic cover known as metallic tents
  3. After cleaning the metallic tents of burner,it’s time to clean the burner tubes. Burner tubes are delicate parts of the burner and can’t be cleaned by the metallic brush.
    A small toothbrush is used for the cleaning of the burner tubes.
    Moreover toothbrushes are flexible and can reach the far ends of the tubes that s metallic brush can’t reach.
    Its also necessary to make sure that the gas pots are also cleaned properly and Open for passage of gas.
  4. After cleaning the burner, make sure to clean the dripping pan of the propane contains a mixture of different things ranging from leftovers of food to drops of water and grease.
    It should be washed with soapy water to remove any stain.
    if the stains are resistant to removal by soapy water then you should consider using Dishwashers to remove stain from dripping pan.
  5. After that you should clean the grease collection may be complex and sticky but you have to clean this pan to avoid the risk of rust.
    Another convenient method is to use disposable grease collection pan which can throw after use.
  6. After cleaning the grease collection tray, you should consider cleaning the ashtray on which the wood is burnt.
    It gets Black due to burning of wood so it should be washed by dishwasher to remove the carbon deposited on its surface.
  7. Once the inside of the smoker is cleaned thoroughly, it’s time to clean the outer surface. You can use dishwasher to clean the body of smoker easily.
    It’s better to use hot water for cleaning because dust and grease stick to the surface if cold water is used.
  8. After cleaning the body by dishwasher,it’s better to clean again manually to remove any left grease.
    A small toothbrush can be used along with soapy water to clean the edges and far corners of the smoker which can’t be cleaned by Metallic brush.
  9. You can’t just throw the grease in sink or any other water is really toxic and can cause contamination in water which can lead to other environmental hazards.
    So its better to collect it in a disposable bottle, let it harden and then dispose away .
  10. After cleaning all the parts of smoker, it’s time to dry the parts to avoid the development of rust. These parts can be dried by using paper towels.
    This step is really important for the long lasting of smoker.
  11. After drying the smoker it’s time to assemble the smoker and get it ready to use again.


Cleaning the propane smoker can be tricky if you are a beginner or cleaning it for the first time, but it will get easier once you get familiar with the process.

We also recommend reading the instructions provided by the manufacturer for cleaning the smoker.

Different smokers have different guidelines for cleaning,so you should follow them first.

If your manufacturer didn’t provide the cleaning guidelines or you are not able to understand them, then you can follow these steps to get your propane smoker cleaned.

We hope this guide will help you to clean your smoker thoroughly and with ease.

if you want to learn more about propane smokers then make sure to check out our guide on Can You Smoke Meat in a propane smoker in the Rain?

Jakob miller