How to properly prepare your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation

Are you planning to store or transport your BBQ smoker for the winter? Don’t worry! Here, you’ll get all the answers you need. We’ll walk you through the steps to ensure your BBQ smoker remains in perfect condition, no matter how long it’s stored away.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!


The smell and flavor of a properly cooked BBQ smoke is the culinary equivalent of a classic rock ballad — no other cuisine has the same smokiness, depth, and complexity. However, when it’s time to store or transport your smoker for any length of time, it’s essential that you take the proper steps to preserve its quality and ensure its longevity.

This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly prepare your BBQ smoker for storage and/or transportation. We’ll discuss what supplies you’ll need, cover the pre-storage cleaning process in detail, and go over tips on reinstalling after storage or moving your smoker.

Importance of properly preparing your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation

Properly preparing your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation is one of the most important parts of owning a smoker. Not only will proper preparation help prevent rust, damage and other issues during storage, but it can also ensure that your smoker is safe to operate upon arrival at its destination.

When you are ready to put your BBQ smoker into storage, you want to make sure that it is clean, free of debris and completely dry on the inside as well as the outside. You should use an appropriate solution to clean and remove debris from all interior parts such as compartments and shelves. Additionally, you should check that all exterior parts are free from dirt or other particles and thoroughly dry them after cleaning.

After cleaning all surfaces of the BBQ smoker, it’s important to make sure all gas connections are properly sealed with caps or plugs before transporting or storing the grill. Inspect all plastic and metal components for any damage before putting them away in a cool, dry place such as a basement or garage away from direct sunlight. If possible, wrap the BBQ in protective plastic wrap or material while stored in order to protect against moisture or critters making their way inside.

It’s equally important that you adequately lubricate moving parts such as hinges with an appropriate lubricant in order to keep them functioning optimally when ready for use again. Finally, before you transport your BBQ smoker by car or truck, always secure any loose items on the unit by tying them together with cords or straps so they remain stable during transport over uneven terrain and long distances. With these basic steps taken each time you store or transport your barbecue smoker properly prepared for its journey ahead!

Cleaning Your BBQ Smoker

Before putting away or transporting your BBQ smoker, it is important to always clean it properly. This will ensure that your smoker will stay in peak condition and be ready to use when you need it again.

To properly clean your smoker, start by removing the grates, racks and flame deflectors completely. Make sure to also remove any other removable parts like thermometers, condiments trays, or ash pans. Any handles should be wrapped with a towel or tightly bound in newspaper for protection during transportation.

Next, scrape and wash down the interior of your BBQ smoker using warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or scrub brush. Use the same cleaning method for the outside of your smoker as well as all removable parts, such as grates, racks and flame deflectors. When finished cleaning, rinse all surfaces off with hot water and a damp cloth to remove any last soap residue.

Once dry, rub all surfaces down with an oiled cloth (no strong aromatics) to protect them from corrosion while stored away in between uses. Finally make sure all vents are clear before packing away or transporting your BBQ smoker so that no moisture can enter the main chamber while being stored away.

Steps for cleaning the interior of your smoker

If you plan on storing or transporting your smoker, it is important to clean the interior first. Before you begin cleaning, make sure the smoker is completely cool. Then, follow these steps to properly clean your BBQ smoker:

  1. Empty any charred debris left from cooking inside the chamber and exhaust pipes of your BBQ smoker. This can be easily done by using a damp cloth.
  2. With a damp cloth, scrub off any grease and food particles that were not removed during step one. If needed, apply a mild soap specifically designed for outdoor grills/smokers to assist in removing stubborn residues from food cooking sessions before wiping clean with a damp cloth again.
  3. Once inside has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, take a brush or damp cloth to rub the chunks of ash away from the walls of the chamber and exhaust pipe walls if applicable on your model of bbq smoker. Ensure no residue of ash is left in any nooks or crannies that may be found in either area. Take extreme caution when doing this as not to scratch up any internal components that may exist in these areas. *Do not use water for this task since it could damage components such as heating elements or thermometers found in these places.*
  4. Use stainless-steel cleaner with an accompanying soft cloth to keep outside surfaces shiny without dirt build-up that may occur over time from day-to-day usage. To reach inner areas such as hard-to-reach handles or knobs on larger models, use q tips soaked in stainless steel cleaner. *Be sure all surfaces are dry before moving onto Step 5.*
  5. If desired you could use an approved wood polisher or protective coating such as WD 40 or another lubricant designed for outdoor grills/smokers on all metal surfaces including exposed metal bottom sides, tops of exhaust pipes & chimney caps, exterior metal sides & corners etc… Once all protective surface coatings have been applied, thoroughly wipe down off excess product before proceeding onto Step 6. *(optional)*

Steps for cleaning the exterior of your smoker

The first step in properly prepping your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation is to clean the exterior. This includes wiping down the outside of the smoker, removing any accumulated grease and/or debris that has built up, and cleaning the interior as well.

For optimal smoke flavor retention, thoroughly clean all cooking surfaces with a grill brush after each use. Use a mild detergent and warm water to remove cooked-on residues, and wipe down with a damp cloth afterward.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to protect the metal exterior with a layer of cooking spray or silicone sealant designed specifically for grills and smokers. This will help prevent rusting and flaking while keeping your smoker looking beautiful while in storage.

Cleaning tips and tricks

In order to properly store or transport your BBQ smoker, you must first ensure the smoker is clean and food residue-free. Properly cleaning and preparing your smoker for storage or transportation ensures that your smoker continues to function optimally and performs when you need it for future barbecue sessions. Below are some additional tips for effective cleaning and preparation of your BBQ smoker.

  1. Begin by turning off all burners, disconnecting any propane tanks, and allow the cook chamber to cool off.
  2. Remove debris from cook chamber with a wire brush before wiping down with warm soapy water using an abrasive pad if needed to remove built-up grease grime.
  3. Wipe down exterior of smoker with a soft cloth in circular motion to provide extra shine if desired.
  4. In the event that rust presents itself on the body, use a cleaner formulated specifically for stainless steel or use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, followed by buffing it dry with a clean cloth after treating the area. Don’t forget to pay attention to other metal components such as legs, handles, latches and hinges while ensuring they are free from rust or corrosion buildup as well.
  5. For efficient storage in between smokes or trips take time to oil each grate and other metal elements of your barbecue before placing into storage case or onto trailer head for transport!

III. Removing Ash and Debris

Before you prepare your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation, you need to remove any ash and debris that may remain in the smoker. Ash buildup can lead to a smoky odor and be hazardous to your health. You should use a shop vac or an ash-vacuum to safely remove any ash residue. You should clean the entire cooking chamber, including by the firebox and in any crevices on the outer steel shell. To ensure that all ash has been removed, use a hand dampened rag or paper towel to rub away any visible residue.

Once all visible ashes have been removed, clean out the smoker’s chimney with a chimney brush or heavy-duty plastic bristles. Finally, thoroughly wipe down all interior surfaces of the cooking chamber with a warm damp cloth using mild dish soap for added cleaning power. Allow for air-drying before continuing on with the rest of your storage or transportation preparation steps.

How to remove ash and debris from your smoker

It is essential to properly clean your BBQ smoker before storage or transportation. While the best practice is to clean the smoker after each use, you should still perform a thorough cleaning prior to storing it in order for it to be ready when you need it. As part of this process, you will need to remove any ash and debris that has settled on the inside and outside of your smoker.

To achieve this, start by removing any food remains from the smoker by scraping off with a grill brush or other suitable tool. When the majority of the material has been removed, turn on your BBQ and let it run for 10-15 minutes at high temperatures (400°F / 205°C). This will cause a buildup of smoke and heat that should loosen any stuck-on debris particles that may have formed during cooking. Additionally, this will also burn off any fats or residue that may still be present in order to help prevent build-up in case extinction was incomplete.

Once burning is complete, cool the smoker down before removing excess ash with a vacuum cleaner like an outdoor vacuum or shop vac. You can also use a brush attachment on your vacuum if needed to break up any larger chunks of soot or ash. Finally, wipe down all surfaces using dry rags and warm water or other cleaner specifically designed for use with BBQ smokers. Allowing extra time here will ensure no lingering residue is left behind and all surfaces are properly sanitized before storage/transportation.

Tools and equipment needed

To prepare your smoker for storage or transport, it is suggested to follow a set of steps that should be taken in order to ensure that the smoker is properly assembled prior to taking it apart and protecting the working parts of the apparatus. To complete this task, you will need a variety of tools and equipment that are meant to protect and lubricate the surface areas of your BBQ smoker:

-Soft cloths or paper towels
-Steel wool scouring pads
-Hammer and nails (or screws)
-Masking tapes
-WD-40 lubricant
-Oil and grease remover
-Wire brush
-Gasket material

By following these steps, you will be able to take apart the various components of your BBQ Smoker in such a way that allows for efficient assembly upon arrival at its final destination. Taking each part off with care is essential, as it can prevent unnecessary damage later on. In addition, hardware like screws or nails should be removed and placed in labeled Ziploc bags so as not to get lost during transport. Before reassembly begins, all surfaces need to be properly cleaned and lubricated with WD40 or equivalent solution. Lastly, new gasket material may need replacing; if this is done correctly before putting everything together again, this will help ensure an airtight seal when all parts are reconnected.

Protecting Your BBQ Smoker

It is important to protect your BBQ smoker from the elements to ensure its longevity and to help it stay clean and rust free. For tips on how to properly store or transport your smoker, please refer to the information below.

When you are storing your BBQ smoker for an extended period of time, it is important to do everything you can to keep it clean and dry. You should use a cover made from a durable material that is designed specifically for BBQ smokers. Make sure you keep your smoker covered when it is not in use, so that dust and debris do not gather on its exterior or interior surfaces. Furthermore, check the device once a month to make sure that no rust has formed on any surface due to prolonged contact with moisture or water.

If you need to transport your BBQ smoker, it is important that you secure the lid so that no dirt or debris gets inside during transit. Additionally, be sure to use an appropriate sized carrier or protective frame when transporting the device; an oversized vehicle can cause damage if not properly secured. It is also recommended that smaller parts such as fittings are removed prior to transport for extra protection and care.

How to protect your smoker from rust and other damage

To ensure that your BBQ smoker works well the next time you use it, proper storage is key. This not only keeps your smoker in good condition but also protects it from rust and other damage. Before storing or transporting your BBQ smoker, there are certain steps you can take to protect the metal components from corrosion or rust.

First, completely cool off the smoker before sealing it to prevent damage. You can also put a silicone-based rust inhibitor spray on the exterior of the unit, such as WD-40 Multi-Use-Product or CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor. These sprays help prevent any moisture and oxygen buildup that could cause long-term damage to your smoker while in storage.

When storing your smoker away for an extended period of time, be sure to store it in a cool, dry space indoors with proper ventilation to avoid any buildups of condensation or other moisture causing issues. The outdoor elements can cause extra wear and tear on even the most durable smokers so best avoid these as much as possible for optimum life span of your unit. If outdoors is necessary for some units, be sure to vary how often you turn over and rotate BBQ smokers outdoors by several months intervals, since one side may get more exposed than another due to wind directed air flows across its structure when kept outdoors for too long during all weathers combined over lengthy periods of time – this will allow for even usage across all layers and surfaces of your unit when avoiding any side biases after prolonged outside confinement between useages indoors or outdoors.

Finally, remember to thoroughly clean out dirt and food build up before sealing everything up with properly fitted covers/lids preventing potential rodent infestations which may try invading within long term non operational phases while you’re away from frequent servicing exercises associated with regular barbecuing sessions common these days in many cultures across the globe!

Covering and storing your smoker properly

Before you store your BBQ smoker, it is important that you take the time to properly cover and store it. Doing so will help protect it from external factors such as dust, debris, pests, and other environmental conditions that can cause damage to your smoker over time and prevent it from working effectively. Here are some steps to help ensure your smoker is properly covered and stored:

  1. Clear away any debris or ash from the smoker. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the exterior of the smoker before covering with a tarp or other cover material.
  2. Disconnect all electrical cords, gas pipes, thermometers, Wi-Fi ports and shut off any valves and switches before covering the smoker with a tarp or other cover material. Secure the cover firmly in place using rope if necessary and make sure that no air flow can enter through any openings on the smoker itself.
  3. Place blocks between metal parts and surfaces of your BBQ smokers like exhaust ducts in order to prevent metal surfaces from rubbing against each other when carrying or storing them for extended periods of time. This will help prevent rusting over time as well as preventing screws from loosening which could damage delicate parts inside of your BBQ smokers when stored over longer periods of time.
  4. Place charcoals in waterproof bags (or containers) in order to keep them dry while storing away for long periods of time since wet charcoal can produce more smoke than dry ones thus reducing efficiency while cooking food on your BBQ smoker when put into use again at a later stage

5 Store all removable parts such as grates and racks separately while covered with towels or newspaper sheets folded neatly into packets so they are not exposed to moisture which could otherwise cause rusting over time thus reducing efficiency when placed into use again after long storage periods

6 Finally, once all removable parts have been packed away securely (and if available) add a layer of plastic wrap around your entire BBQ smokers for added protection for longer storage duration before placing them into larger storage containers such as garbage cans filled with sand or sawdust for even better protection.


After thoroughly cleaning and the BBQ smoker, you should dry the exterior and interior surfaces with a clean cloth or paper towels. Make sure that all surfaces — inside and out — are dry before storing your smoker. Once your smoker is dry, you may use a light layer of vegetable oil or cooking spray on its interior parts to help protect it during storage. Additionally, you may want to wrap the smoker in heavy-duty plastic sheeting to protect it further against moisture and dust.

If you are transporting your BBQ smoker, be sure that all pieces are securely secured for travel. For longer trips, add multiple layers of blankets and secure them with rope or bungees to provide added protection against vibrations or impacts during transit. Lastly, always follow appropriate safety regulations when operating a BBQ Smoker and use caution when transporting it over long distances. With these tips in mind, you should be able to store and transport your BBQ Smoker with ease for many years of safe use!

Importance of properly preparing your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation

It is important to properly prepare your BBQ smoker for storage or transportation. Even after a full cleaning and scrubbing, the inside of the smoker will usually still contain oil, grease and other hazardous residues that can be damaging to your equipment if left in place. Additionally, any stored spot will be more susceptible to decay if not adequately treated with the proper preservatives. Taking time to properly prep your BBQ smoker will save you time and money in the future.

Before proceeding with any storage or transportation of your BBQ smoker, it is important to remove all food debris, fat deposits, ash and soot from its interior area. Wipe down all surfaces with a hot cleaning solution such as a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water as an effective cleaner against grease, oil and dirt accumulation. Allow it to remain on the surface for a few minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Once finished, follow this up by applying an odor neutralizer such as baking soda over all the internal surfaces of your smoker for long-term odor control when not using it.

Oil the external parts on your BBQ smoker prior to storage or transport and cover them with plastic wrap or hoods so that they won’t rust from exposure to moisture and weather elements during transport. Take extra care when loading up onto vehicles for transporting as barbecues are typically heavy-weighted depending on their size which might call for special attention during shipping preparations. Apply necessary precautions such as keeping large pieces strapped down securely during transport and use extra padding around edges to minimize vibrations while in motion on roads or highways while moving between destinations.

For storing purposes indoors, make sure that the designated space where you intend keep it is well-ventilated, dry, free from bugs, rodents, insects etc., and is adequately protected against heat/freeze cycles caused by climate change in order not cause any deformities due to extreme conditions in its environment while dormant between uses over extended periods of time!

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