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Tips for cleaning up a smoker

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  • BigD
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 41
    • Nebraska

    Tips for cleaning up a smoker

    Hello All, I just acquired a vertical offset that was custom built by one of my coworkers and his buddy. It was headed to the scrap pile and I told him I would take it off his hands. With that being said, it needs a little TLC in order to get it up to snuff. My question is, do I just pressure wash the whole thing and try to re-season it or should I try to knock off all the surface rust with a grinder first and then start the cleaning and re-seasoning steps? Or do I need to go to the extreme and have it sandblasted? This will be my first smoker fueled by charcoal/wood so I want to make sure I do it right the first time. I've attached some terribly looking pictures for reference. It hasn't been used in 5+ years.
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    Click image for larger version  Name:	smoker 2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	991.3 KB ID:	623732
  • Ahumadora
    Club Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 2047
    • Pilar Buenos Aires, Argentina

    #2
    If you can get it sand blasted cheap do it. Much better than those horrible wire wheels that spit out the bristles. Paint it straight away after getting it blasted.

    Comment

    • Oakgrovebacon
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 1848
      • South central Illinois

      #3
      Sandblast would be my recommendation, it works wonders.

      Comment

      • IowaGirl
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 594
        • Northeast Iowa, USA

        #4
        I think sandblasting would be good, but I've not had good luck finding people who will do "honey do" projects like this. Sooooo .... if you can't find anyone to sandblast the smoker, you could at least soak the trays in a rust remover solution to get them back to bare metal. I've gotten really good results with Evap-o-rust, but I think there are other products just as good.

        For large smoker trays like yours, I'd lay a sheet of heavy plastic on the floor in an out-of-the-way place, and arrange 2x4 wood or short sections of pipe underneath the plastic to create a shallow basin. You want the basin to be just a little bigger and a little taller than the smoker tray. Put the smoker tray in the basin and pour in the rust remover. It might take a day for light to moderate rust and a couple-three days for heavy rust. Rinse well and then burn off any residues before use.

        If you go this route, a good power washing of the cabinet might be all it needs. Maybe a good scrub with coarse steel wool or a wire brush on the worst parts. And then a good oiling with food-grade oil. The cabinet doesn't need to be pristine -- it's the trays that you want clean enough to eat (or at least cook) on.

        Comment

        • Bighorn Dave
          Former Member
          • Aug 2018
          • 240
          • Nampa, Idaho

          #5
          Blasting is a good way but IMHO sand is not the proper element. Have it glass bead blasted. Does as good as sand and is one heck of a lot cleaner and no sand silica to clean up after blasting. I had the paint on a 23 ft. boat glass blasted off because the blast profile was cleaner and smoother. Then had a wrap put on. For a 23 year old boat it turned out pretty darn nice.
          https://pittsburghsprayequip.com/201...ipment-needed/

          Comment

          • THE Humble Texan
            Club Member
            • Oct 2017
            • 171

            #6
            Ditto on the bead blasting.

            Comment

            • BigD
              Club Member
              • Jun 2018
              • 41
              • Nebraska

              #7
              Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll start looking around here for someone who provides those services.

              Comment

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