The likelihood of creating creosote in your smoker is relatively high if you are new to smoking. So, now the burning question is how to get rid of creosote in smoker?
Creosotes are a byproduct of a smoker‘s inability to control the amount of smoke entering the device. A dirty fire will give out white smoke. So, if you see it coming from your smoker, you know it’s not burning correctly.
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Unburned wood forms creosote. Smoke from a fireplace or woodstove usually condenses in a chimney or a pipe leading to the stove. Besides, unburned fuel particles and organic chemicals sent up the chimney create creosote. Creosote is formed when they condense.
Creosote is a highly flammable substance that may cause severe burns (cancer-causing). Handle with care.
Reason for Creosote in Smokers
● Cool Flue Temperatures
Smoke condenses in colder chimneys, speeding up creosote buildup. Metal chimneys accumulate creosote rapidly. So, the thin sheet metal keeps the flue cold.
The chimney’s position may also affect interior temperature. Winter may impact an exterior chimney, even if the interior usually is warmer.
● An Oversized Flue
If you have a hearth-mounted or an insert fireplace that vents into a brick chimney, the vent is probably oversized. Consequently, smoke from a fire might build in the chimney for an extended period.
● Use of Unseasoned Firewood
Since unseasoned firewood burns primarily to burn away moisture, it produces less heat. The resulting fire generally burns at a lower temperature, which will condense quickly.
● Insufficient Airflow
If you need to light a fire, it’s crucial to ensure enough air in the chimney. Improperly closing fireplaces or stoves can lead to a lack of ventilation in the chimney.
In these situations, there is less airflow, which means smoke can’t get out, and creosote can build up more.
● Torch, also known as Propane Torch
To begin, you must first warm-up or burn the creosote. As a result, a propane torch can be of assistance. Burning creosote is a great way to get rid of it. Also, I like using a propane-powered weed burner flame that thoroughly burns it down.
One of the most acceptable methods to remove creosote is using a Chimney brush.
But hardness also matters. The best prospects are first-degree creosotes. As I previously mentioned, those who find it difficult can use a propane torch. However, flat wire brushes could be beneficial.
On the other hand, wire brushes tend to leave behind little fragments of wire. Research shows that wire brush bristles can quickly get loose and stuck in the upper airway.
● Creosote Remover
It is an exceptional product designed to clean creosote. Simple solution – Creosote remover converts tar-like substance into ash.
The explosive properties of phosphorus make it strong and effective. The ashes quickly turn to ash once they’re extinguished and can be removed with a broom.
● Vegetable Oil
Keep in mind, however, that it should not be used excessively. It has the potential to degrade your meals significantly. I’ve experienced several negative encounters while doing so.
Step by Step Guide: The Torch Method
● Step 1: Burn or Heat the Creosote
The creosote-infested regions should be burned using a propane torch. You must heat it until it creates a bubble or crystallizes, whichever comes first.
● Step 2: Rubbing the Creosote
After it crystallizes, scrape it with a harsh brush. The Creosote should fall off. Because Creosote pieces accumulate. You must tidy this up before moving on to the next step. Any gentle brush will do.
● Step 3: Apply Remover
At first, finish rubbing the walls of the chamber. Now spray the creosote remover in the rubbed areas.
● Step 4: Wiping
Use a clean cloth or towel to wipe the walls after applying the remover.
● Step 5: Seasoning
After wiping, it needs to be seasoned to keep it safe. It also helps to cut down on the odor of the remover.
● Step 6: Final Step
The very last step is to let your stove finish cooling for around 2-3 hours. It optimizes the cooking process for the next cook.
Try Warm Water Therapy if you don’t have the necessary equipment. Even though this is not quite as efficient as the previous method.
Warm Water Therapy
- Step 1: Boil Water
The water should be piping hot. Boiled water is preferable here. Because this is a situation when heat is critical. Lemon juice or a dash of salt can also be added to the mixture. It’s only an added perk (Optional).
- Step 2: Wet The Creosote Area
To soak the creosote, add hot water to the affected surfaces. It will loosen the creosote. Please be patient as long as it takes to detach the creosotes. After that, they are ready to be cleaned.
- Step 3: Wiping
Use a cloth to clean the affected surfaces. Avoid bringing any contaminated clothing. Try to find some fabrics that have higher wear resistance or friction.
- Step 4: Burn Up
Empty your smoker. Burn up approximately for an hour or so. It will make your smoker for the next cook. Avoid applying any chemicals that could pose a health risk.
Try again if it doesn’t work out. If everything else fails, there’s always the propane torch approach, which I’ve described earlier.
Once you’ve finished cleaning up, you’re ready to start cooking again.
The fuel must have enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of creosote. Also, the smoker should be cleaned periodically.
Final Thoughts (How to Get Rid of Creosote in Smoker)
Everybody despises creosote. However, if you’re just getting started with smoking, there’s virtually nothing you can do. When it comes time to get rid of creosote after the game, make sure you have a gas weed burner and wire brush at the ready.
Another critical point to keep in mind is regular cleaning and maintenance while caring for a smoker. Clean your smoker after each usage to avoid the consequences of creosote buildup.
The next time you use it, you won’t have to worry about your food smelling bitter since it will be clean and safe to use.