How Do YOU Clean Your WSM?


TVWBB Super Fan
Yeah, I don't really clean it much. Lol.

The cook process goes like this....

Pull coal chamber (ring) and coal grate. Dump all ash into my ash bucket. Replace grate and chamber, fill with coals, add about half a chimney of lit coals. Put WSM back together and let it heat up. Then I hit the top grate with a wire brush while it's hot. I keep my water bowl foil wrapped (no water) and since I don't use my lower grate much I add a disposable pan on that lower grate. And, I don't replace either until they get really dirty.

That's pretty much it.


TVWBB Super Fan
Seems no matter how often I clean where the top meets the middle sections it's gummed up before a single cook is done. Put a screw driver with the smoker, my go to stuck lid breaker.

Troy S

I probably sound disgusting, but after almost three years of ownership (wow! As of June 1st, I will have had my WSM for three years!) -- asides from the grates and exterior of the cooker -- I've never cleaned it. Never had any issues with anything flaking onto my food nor any mold problems, and I use it in 90+ degree weather as much as I do in 15 degree weather.


TVWBB Super Fan
Take the door off and open all the vents. Let it burn out with the door off. When it cools down knock the chunks and flakes off.


I rinse the cooker with really hot water after every cook, occasionally clean the vents with 409 cleaner and rinse to keep them from getting stuck . One time I built a fire in it and let it burn empty to get some of the gunk out...if you use the smoker on a regular basis it should be ok but leave grease splatters on the walls and let it set for weeks mold can start growing in there .

Matthew Turner

New member
I never clean the entire WSM. I will wipe down the exterior so my hands don't get greasy whilst handling. I also scrape out the bottom section from time to time so the grease and ash don't impede airflow. Water bowl is foiled. About once a year I'll run the cooking grates through the self-clean function of my oven.

Mike Shook

TVWBB Member
I guess I am the outlier. I break down the WSM and scrub each interior surface with a plastic brush and a bucket of soapy water. Since I don't foil the water pan unless I am running it dry, this also gets a good scrub. Grates get scraped with a wire brush, and if that isn't sufficient I put them directly over the hot coals at the beginning of the next cook. I don'tknow, maybe I am wasting my time but my Que comes out pretty tasty so I have never considered changing this routine.

Brad Baker

TVWBB Member
I use a Brinkman pan with balls of foil in the bottom under three layers of foil on top. After the cook, I remove and discard one or two of the top layers and replace them before every cook. I clean the grates pretty thoroughly and store them in a cabinet between cooks. Once a year I might break down and scrub it out, depending on whether there is flaking inside or not.

I am still trying to find the right way to clean probes though.