Suppose you opened your favorite WSM to smoke something delicious one fine morning after a long time. But you found out that it was covered with mold. What will you do then?
Well, mold in Weber Smokey Mountain could be utterly disgusting, I know. But sometimes it just happens due to high humidity in the weather or because you have left water in the water pan.
So, let’s look forward to how you could fight mold buildup in a WSM and enjoy a flavorful BBQ.
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“Mold in Weber Smokey Mountain can turn your barbecue dreams into a culinary nightmare. Regular cleaning and maintenance are key to keeping your smoker in top shape.”Jeff Koss
How To Clean Mold From Weber Smokey Mountain
There are several ways, to be honest. But I find high-heat burning most convenient among all the methods out there.
You need to load your smoker with charcoal and then light the charcoal up for a full cooking circle.
Most importantly, you need to keep the bottom vents open so that the fire could kill the mold inside.
Run the smoker empty as hot as possible. Usually, the 375-400°F temperature is preferable to remove the mold.
As mold buildup happens in dark and damp environments, burning the smoker hot is the most efficient way of cleaning it thoroughly.
After you give the WSM a hot burn, now it’s time to clean the cooking chamber. At this point, you need to aim at specific areas where the mold or grease grew up.
After a fire-burning session, let the smoker cool down completely. Now, take a putty plastic knife to scrape the mold. You can also use a wire brush for elbow grease to clean the WSM thoroughly.
A wire brush is specifically suggested to clean the cooking grates where most of the food particles cling.
And for the water pan and cooking chamber, you can try a pressure washer to rinse off the mold and bacteria. Just hit the mold with a powerful stream of water.
This will get the job half done. Then take a ball of aluminum foil to scrape off the buildup from each side of the smoker.
Nevertheless, another good way to get rid of the junk in your WSM is the use of hot soapy water. Wash the smoker thoroughly with this solution and use a scrubber to remove any kind of oil, food grease, bacteria, or mold. Then hose it off with regular water.
After a thorough wash, you can fire the WSM up. But if your WSM is way too moldy to be cleaned in this way, you can add bleach with the soapy water solution.
On that note, be sure to clean it even more carefully so that there’s no odd flavor when you smoke meat again on your Weber Smokey Mountain.
Also Read: Best Temp Controller For WSM (Top 5 Picks)
What Causes Mold On Weber Smokey Mountain
Well, a WSM mainly becomes moldy if it’s left uncleaned for a long time after smoking meat.
Also, if moisture and grease are trapped inside the cooking chamber or water pan, mold buildup is obvious.
Besides, if you leave water in the water pan and store the WSM in that way, rest assured that it will result in mold and bacterial attacks on the pan. Because a moist and wet surface is a breeding ground for mold.
Furthermore, keeping the smoker under the cover for a very long time can cause mold and thus hamper the lifespan of the WSM.
This is because a moldy surface doesn’t only affect the flavor of your smoked food but also makes the smoker rusty and nasty.
Storing the smoker under a smoker cover without opening the vents leads to moisture buildup as it affects the air circulation.
And thus it results in rust and corrosion in the long run.
How To Prevent Mold In Weber Smokey Mountain?
It is said that prevention is better than cure. That’s true for your WSM as well. Instead of all those hard work and labor, why not prevent mold buildup once and for all? But how? Let’s talk about it below.
First of all, never leave your WSM uncleaned after a meat-smoking session. You should wait until it cools down and then wash away the food particles immediately.
Just try a thorough scrubbing formula with simple soapy water. No chemical-based cleaners are required.
Specifically, the charcoal chamber and the water pan need to be emptied. Otherwise, they can hold water and moisture.
An immediate cleaning session will prevent mold accumulation inside the smoker which will increase its lifespan in the long run.
Also, you don’t need to go through all the hassle of elbow grease to get rid of the junk before each and every cooking session.
Now, talking about storage, you can easily disassemble the WSM and store the parts separately.
This technique works really well as there’s no chance of trapping moisture or humidity inside.
However, make sure all the parts are well-cleaned and thoroughly dried before storing them. To do so, you can fire up the BBQ smoker to eradicate any residue.
Above all, you should choose a warm and dry place to store the smoker. Never keep the unit in a wet environment if you want to protect it from mold buildup.
And please keep all the vents open for better airflow.
How Often Should You Clean Weber Smokey Mountain To Prevent Mold?
It depends on how often you use the smoker.
Generally speaking, you should clean the cooking grates every time you smoke meat. Leave the smoker on high heat for around 15 minutes keeping the lid closed and the vents open.
Once the WSM cools down, you can use a wire brush to eliminate all the food grease and residue from the grates. This is the best way to protect the smoker from mold growth.
But you don’t need to clean the cooker thoroughly after every cooking session. That will only hamper the seasoned surface. You can clean the interior after 8-10 smoking sessions if you use the cooker frequently.
But if not, you must clean the cooker thoroughly before covering the unit with a smoker cover.
Moreover, if the WSM is going to be stored for a long time, you must clean it at least twice a year to eliminate the chance of trapping moisture and mold buildup.
Can You Burn Off Mold In Weber Smokey Mountain?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, it’s a tried and trusted method of getting rid of food grease and mold from a WSM.
To do so, you need to run the smoker empty on high heat, preferably 375-400°F for about 15 minutes.
Now, let the BBQ smoker cool down so that you can scrub the moldy surface with a wire brush.
Cleaning the cooking grates with this burn-off method is the most popular one among BBQ enthusiasts.
Once you are satisfied with the mold removal, use simple soapy water to wash the smoker entirely.
What If You Use A Moldy Weber Smokey Mountain?
Well, you can cook in a moldy WSM. But you shouldn’t do so. But why?
Because mold can be really harmful to the human body. Not only a moldy smoker could produce unhealthy food, but it also gives birth to a lot of diseases as well.
And the mold could literally ruin your sweat-smoked food by infusing an odd flavor.
As a result, your hard-cooked meat loses its authentic smoky essence and becomes tainted.
Therefore, not only do you have to eat tasteless food but also may suffer from stomach aches, infection, and other serious health hazards.
So, try not to cook on a moldy smoker or grill for your own sake.
Can You Smoke With Moldy Weber Smokey Mountain?
Yes, you can. But what’s the point? As already mentioned, a moldy grill or smoker runs a high risk of tainting food. Also, mold is extremely threatening to the human body as it can cause serious health issues.
So, cooking on a moldy WSM is not a good idea at all. You better clean the mold and grease before you cook in order to enjoy a hygienic meal on the dinner table.
Moreover, cleaning mold is no rocket science at all. You can easily remove it by following the simple steps above.
Although it’s better to protect the smoker properly by preventing mold buildup.
Finally, let’s end this guide on mold in Weber Smokey Mountain on a positive note. You have already learned the most effective way of battling mold buildup in your favorite smoker, I guess!
Please remember that mold is a natural phenomenon, especially, for BBQ smokers and grills.
Although there are several ways of cleaning mold, it’s better not to let it grow.
That being said, I always recommend all the BBQuers out there to get rid of moisture and food grease in their smokers.
As mold is fond of moisture, if you get rid of it, you are half done preventing the mold.
Hopefully, you can take care of your WSM as I mentioned above, and scrape off the mold and other residues with a little effort.
All the best!