Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 24-06-2004, 11:45 PM
kaskiles
 
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Default smoke residue cleanup

Hi,

I purchased an American Gourmet Deluxe Grill & Smoker from walmart.com
about 1.5 months ago. My primary interest was offset smoking, and I
didn't really plan to grill.

I used the smoker about 3 times per week, with a starting fire base of
char coals and I would then add Hickory chunks purchased from the
local Walmart for like $5 for a blue plastic bag full.

The food is mostly good, and I'm still getting the hang of controlling
the temperature, etc.

But one thing I noticed a couple weeks ago is that the wood smoke tar
build-up in the cooking chamber is so bad now that it really needed to
be cleaned up... It had been dripping this tar from the smoke-stack
to cooking chamber seam early on. After a couple more weeks it was
really building up, and when it would get hot in use it will drip out
on the concrete. But the final straw was a few cooking times ago,
the liquified tar would be dripping down in strings from opening the
cooking chamber door and contaminate the food! I had to use a screw
driver to pry the door open easily, then have a wrag to whipe up the
liquid tar before opening the door fully to keep down the
contamination.

I decided today to move the grill grates into the cooking chamber and
try to burn it out clean, like automatic oven cleaning... The
thermometer is pegged way beyond it's 550F and I couldn't get it out
to try to keep it from getting damaged, some strange spring metal clip
just won't let go. Also, all the tar bubbled up and is dripping all
over the place, good thing I layed down some cardboard under it. This
tar made a big fire inside too. Now I'm trying to just let it cook
out.

Am I doing the right thing for cleaning it? The only thing I've found
that cleans this tar (dissolves it) is strong Ammonia. I really
didn't want to scrub down the entire cooking chamber insides with
Ammonia...

Thanks, Kenneth.

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Old 25-06-2004, 08:13 AM
M&M
 
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Default smoke residue cleanup

On 24-Jun-2004, (kaskiles) wrote:

Hi,

I purchased an American Gourmet Deluxe Grill & Smoker from walmart.com
about 1.5 months ago. My primary interest was offset smoking, and I
didn't really plan to grill.

I used the smoker about 3 times per week, with a starting fire base of
char coals and I would then add Hickory chunks purchased from the
local Walmart for like $5 for a blue plastic bag full.

The food is mostly good, and I'm still getting the hang of controlling
the temperature, etc.

But one thing I noticed a couple weeks ago is that the wood smoke tar
build-up in the cooking chamber is so bad now that it really needed to
be cleaned up... It had been dripping this tar from the smoke-stack
to cooking chamber seam early on. After a couple more weeks it was
really building up, and when it would get hot in use it will drip out
on the concrete. But the final straw was a few cooking times ago,
the liquified tar would be dripping down in strings from opening the
cooking chamber door and contaminate the food! I had to use a screw
driver to pry the door open easily, then have a wrag to whipe up the
liquid tar before opening the door fully to keep down the
contamination.

I decided today to move the grill grates into the cooking chamber and
try to burn it out clean, like automatic oven cleaning... The
thermometer is pegged way beyond it's 550F and I couldn't get it out
to try to keep it from getting damaged, some strange spring metal clip
just won't let go. Also, all the tar bubbled up and is dripping all
over the place, good thing I layed down some cardboard under it. This
tar made a big fire inside too. Now I'm trying to just let it cook
out.

Am I doing the right thing for cleaning it? The only thing I've found
that cleans this tar (dissolves it) is strong Ammonia. I really
didn't want to scrub down the entire cooking chamber insides with
Ammonia...

Thanks, Kenneth.


Kenneth, it sounds like you have been closing down the chimney
damper. I've been using an offset pit for nearly two years now and
I only saw that problem when I first started. Leave that chimney
damper wide open until you want to shut the pit down. I periodically
burn my pit out just like you did. But I do it to get the excess grease
out. After six or eight cooks it makes an interesting fire when that
grease lights off. The inside of my cooker stays dry as a bone
otherwise. The grills get nasty, but my food hasn't killed anybody
yet. When they get too bad, I build a fire in the cook chamber and
burn them clean. If I happen to be real lazy that week, I run them
through the self cleaning oven in the house.

--
M&M ("When You're Over The Hill You Pick Up Speed")
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Old 25-06-2004, 11:43 AM
TomD
 
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Default smoke residue cleanup


"kaskiles" wrote in message
om...
Hi,

I purchased an American Gourmet Deluxe Grill & Smoker from

walmart.com
about 1.5 months ago. My primary interest was offset smoking, and I
didn't really plan to grill.

I used the smoker about 3 times per week, with a starting fire base

of
char coals and I would then add Hickory chunks purchased from the
local Walmart for like $5 for a blue plastic bag full.

The food is mostly good, and I'm still getting the hang of

controlling
the temperature, etc.

But one thing I noticed a couple weeks ago is that the wood smoke

tar
build-up in the cooking chamber is so bad now that it really needed

to
be cleaned up... It had been dripping this tar from the smoke-stack
to cooking chamber seam early on. After a couple more weeks it

was
really building up, and when it would get hot in use it will drip

out
on the concrete. But the final straw was a few cooking times ago,
the liquified tar would be dripping down in strings from opening the
cooking chamber door and contaminate the food! I had to use a screw
driver to pry the door open easily, then have a wrag to whipe up the
liquid tar before opening the door fully to keep down the
contamination.

I decided today to move the grill grates into the cooking chamber

and
try to burn it out clean, like automatic oven cleaning... The
thermometer is pegged way beyond it's 550F and I couldn't get it out
to try to keep it from getting damaged, some strange spring metal

clip
just won't let go. Also, all the tar bubbled up and is dripping all
over the place, good thing I layed down some cardboard under it.

This
tar made a big fire inside too. Now I'm trying to just let it cook
out.

Am I doing the right thing for cleaning it? The only thing I've

found
that cleans this tar (dissolves it) is strong Ammonia. I really
didn't want to scrub down the entire cooking chamber insides with
Ammonia...

Thanks, Kenneth.


Hi Kenneth,

Tar like goo is from smoldering the fire. (Not enough oxygen to
complete combustion.) This is likely caused by too big a fire which
in-turn requires you to close the dampers to control the temperature.
Some of this "stuff" coats your food as well and ruins the flavor
(bitter).

The fix is to burn the stuff off as you have done and removed the
remnants by scraping. Then use smaller fires (less wood/charcoal) so
that you can leave the dampers fully open.

As for your thermometer, you can replace it or use one of the probe
type thermometers discussed in this group.

HTH,

TomD






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