How To Clean Creosote From Smoker?

March 02, 2023 5 min read

How To Clean Creosote From Smoker

Who doesn't like using a clean and shiny smoker to cook their favourite meat? Every grilled steak lover can understand the importance of using a clean grill or a smoker. However, with time and usage, your smoker can trap various elements due to smoke and fire.

Creosote is one of the most common elements you will find around your smoker after you use it. However, cleaning the creosote once you use your smoker is essential.

Are you a beginner and need to become more familiar with cleaning and maintaining a smoker? Here is everything that you need to know about.

Step-by-Step Guide: Clean Creosote From Smoker

Creosote is a tar-like substancethat is mainly produced through the burning of wood and other elements. It is formed by tar, and a plant-derived material from the wood is burned.

Mainly found inside the smoker, if fresh, the creosote will be slightly soft. However, if you don't clean it, it will harden over time. And cleaning hard creosote is a hectic task.

No matter how hard or soft the creosote is, here is how you can clean it easily. However, there are some things that you may need to get beforehand.

Materials Required

  • Propane Torch
  • Wire Brush
  • Salt
  • Dish Liquid
  • Ammonia
  • Latex gloves

This is all you need to clean creosote effectively from your favourite smoker.

Step 1: Soften The Creosote

Rather than scraping the creosote and scratching your smoker, a propane torch is reliable and effective. There is nothing to do much when you have a propane torch ready.

Turn up the torch and carefully use the flame all around the creosote. This will soften the chemicals in the creosote and will scrape off easily.

You may be thinking, why a propane torch? The high temperature will soften the tar in creosote and ease up your task to a good extent. However, remember to only use a torch if you have a charcoal or wood smoker.

Never use a propane torch to remove creosote from an electric smoker. It may damage some parts.

Step 2: Use A Wire Brush To Entirely Remove Creosote

The propane torch may remove the creosote chunks, but some creosote spots will remain. It is not advisable to use the torch for such spots as it will damage the frame of your smoker. 

Therefore, the wire brush comes in handy to clean the creosote completely and leaves no element behind for further growth. A wire brush is an effective tool to remove stubborn stains or creosote. In addition, it will help reach some edges where a propane torch won't work much.

The best option is to use a wire brush once you have used the smoker. At this time, the creosote may be building up. So removing it before it grows further is the best option.

Note: Do not use the wire brush using extreme force against the surface. It may lead to leaving some scratches behind.

Step 3: A Quick Remedy To Furbish The Smoker

You will find many products in-store and online to clean creosote. However, the best option is to create a solution that will help you always clean the smoker.

All you need is some fine salt, dish wash liquid and ammonia. The easiest thing in this remedy is adding an equal amount of everything. This will help you create a paste-like substance.

Apply the paste to the creosote and let it be there for 20 to 30 minutes. Once it is time, you can scrub the paste on the surface using the wire brush. This will help penetrate the creosote furthermore and clean your smoker.

After you are done, use a dry, clean towel to remove the paste. This will entirely clean the creosote from your smoker.

Step 4: Add a Shiny Touch To Your Smoker

No one would want creosote to appear again and again. We understand how hectic it is to clean creosote, but once you do it, you will get used to it. But you should do everything you can to ensure it doesn't appear again.

The best thing to do here applies vegetable oil inside of your smoker. Slightly soak a cloth with oil and apply it evenly. Don't forget to apply it to the creosote-affected area.

This will help prevent creosote growth in future but also add a shine to your smoker.

Safety Tips When Cleaning Creosote From Smoker

As many people have asked about the safety and toxicity of creosote, it has made it important for us to share some safety tips. Unfortunately, cleaning creosote is something you have to do if you like to use a smoker occasionally.

  • Keep children away when cleaning the smoker
  • Wear latex gloves
  • Use safe and natural products
  • Dispose of creosote waste responsibly
  • Place sheets around the smoker when cleaning to avoid any creosote pieces falling on the surface
  • Wash and thoroughly clean the tools involved in removing creosote
  • Don't close the lid of the smoker right after cleaning
  • Remove grills, pans and other things from the smoker before cleaning


Many think creosote is a natural growth due to fire and high temperatures. However, not many are aware of it in detail. Therefore, here are the top FAQs regarding creosote growth in a smoker.

This is a very vital section, so don't miss any detail mentioned below.

Is Creosote Harmful?

Creosote contains carbonaceous chemical compounds and is very harmful. It can affect the quality and integrity of your food. And not only effective to your food, but creosote can also be extremely harmful to humans.

Many scientific pieces of evidence state how poisonous creosote has turned out to be. If digested, it can result in poisoning. In addition, creosote can lead to skin cancer and many other diseases.

Therefore, this may help you understand how critical it is to ensure your smoker is free of creosote.

How To Prevent Creosote Buildup?

The growth of creosote is mainly affected by the quality of fuel you use for fire. Therefore, it is recommended to use well-seasoned, dry wood. In addition, the exhaust plays a vital role in maintaining a good, safe and creosote-free fire.

Ensure the exhaust is open, as it helps maintain a brisk fire. Well, burnt fire helps minimal buildup of creosote. If the exhaust is improper, it will strike the fire and create heavy smoke, leading to creosote buildup.

Also Read: Do You Soak The Wood Chips For Electric Smoker

Does Creosote Go Away Naturally?

Once creosote appears, then there is nothing that can make it go away naturally. The only way to make creosote go away is to remove it thoroughly cleaning.

In this guide, we have mentioned the best and easiest way to clean creosote from your smoker.

What Color Is Creosote?

Creosote is mainly found in black or brown colour. It resembles tar, and you will recognize it if it appears around your smoker. If there is any black or brown substance growth in your smoker, clean it as soon as possible. 

What Are The Symptoms of Creosote Poisoning?

 The most common symptoms of creosote poisoning are burns on the surface of the eyes, rashes, skin irritation, and kidney issues. However, if the poison is severe, it can even lead to death.

How To Dispose of The Creosote When Removed From Smoker?

As mentioned several times, creosote is a harmful and flammable substance. Therefore, disposing of it should be done very carefully and responsibly.

Make sure to pack it in a safe bag and wrap it properly. Don't let it sit open air. Wear gloves when cleaning and handling creosote.

Is Touching Creosote Harmful?

Yes, any skin contact with creosote can lead to swelling, irritation, and redness. Therefore, make sure to wear latex gloves when cleaning your smoker and avoid any skin contact.

Final Words

Creosote can turn into a harmful element in your smoker if not cleaned in time. Therefore, make sure to regularly clean your smoker as it will also affect its life of it.

Also in Cooking

The Art of Perfectly Grilling a London Broil: Unlocking BBQ's Best Kept Secret
The Art of Perfectly Grilling a London Broil: Unlocking BBQ's Best Kept Secret

January 23, 2024 3 min read

Read More
Sizzling Secrets: Perfect Hot Dogs Without the Grill
Sizzling Secrets: Perfect Hot Dogs Without the Grill

January 23, 2024 2 min read

Read More
Grilling to Perfection: Master the Art of Bratwurst Preparation
Grilling to Perfection: Master the Art of Bratwurst Preparation

January 22, 2024 3 min read

Read More
RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun