smoker maintenance

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Lazarus4, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Lazarus4

    Lazarus4 New Member

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    Whats the best way to clean the smoker. My smoker gets so gummed up with the tar and resin that if I close the lid when I am done, it is a bear to open after it cools down. Whats the best way to clean it. Thanks
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    scrape, oven cleaner, or burn hot clean fuel
     

  3. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Read somewhere else that a blowtorch is the way to go.

    Mine is due for a trial.
     
  4. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Blowtorch works well. I have switched to wood pellets and find much less tar residue
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    change smoker fuel, green grass in the top over the burning fuel to cool the smoke and restrict the chimney effect thru the smoker.
     
  6. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I use my propane or butane, whichever it is, torch and burn around the top cover, inside and out side, set it down and let it cool and the ashes can be rubbed off easily with a course rag. I use cardboard from freight boxes for fuel. Roll them into a tight roll and light one end with the torch, then stick it into the smoker and commence smoking. It's fast and easy.
     
  7. buzzerb

    buzzerb New Member

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    Washing soda - cheap and clean.

    I wash my stainless steel smoker in washing soda [sodium carbonate]. Remove bellows first for safety. Make a strong solution use a stiff brush/wire wool and renew solution until no more comes off. Rinse well and let dry. You will notice the smoke is a lot sweeter too.

    USE protective waterproof gloves.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  8. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    How often do you need to clean your smoker?
     
  9. buzzerb

    buzzerb New Member

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    Well, I suppose it depends on how often you use it and the fuel you use. We have around 10 hives -probably means it is used about 240 hours per year and I wash out at the beginning of the season - looks lovely and new but it doesn't last long! usually time to clean it out when you have a job closing the lid!
     
  10. buzzerb

    buzzerb New Member

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    PS. Probably not a good idea to use cardboard as it has fire retardants that are a cancer risk and probably irritate the bees as well.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Until you have properly cleaned the creosote accumulations from the smoker, it can easily be opened if you use a hive tool to pry up the top: Set the blade in the seam of the top and use the bellows as a fulcrum to give you lift as you press down. 1-2-3 and the stickiest lids can be opened.
     
  12. GrayGuy

    GrayGuy New Member

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    I usually put it in my propane BBQ. Open upside down after removing bellows. Turn on high for 15 - 20 minutes, brush after cooling.