Remove Lid Residue Buildup In Smokenator Equipped Weber Kettle

Following these simple steps will help you remove the built up residue that forms on the lid of a Smokenator equipped Weber Kettle grill.

This helpful guide will tell you how to clean the lid of your Weber Kettle grill. Over time, the lid of your Weber Kettle grill will build up a sticky residue when you use the Smokenator accessory. This residue is a result of steam from the water pan combining with smoke particles and then accumulating over time on lid. The heating and cooling process can cause this buildup to begin eventually start flaking off of the lid of your Weber kettle.

Sometimes the flakes are mistaken as paint. The lid of a Weber Kettle is coated with a quality enamel that won’t flake in this way. While this flake material is not harmful, you don’t want it falling off onto the food that you are smoking.

Between smoking sessions, I usually wet down a few paper towels and give the underside of the lid a good wipe down to remove any residue flakes. However, I like to give the lid a thorough cleaning to remove all of the accumulated residue once a year.

I recommend the following method for getting the lid looking like new again:

You will need:


  1. Find a safe area to work outside, preferably where a garden hose is available.
  2. Lay the lid to grill up side down and carefully coat it with the oven cleaner. Follow the precautions outlined in the oven cleaner can. Oven cleaner contains strong chemicals and you don’t want it on your skin or in your eyes. Wear gloves and eye protection!
  3. After applying the oven cleaner, let it work for 10-15 minutes to begin breaking down the residue.
  4. Using a garden hose, carefully rinse the oven cleaner off of the Weber Kettle lid. Don’t use a spray nozzle on the hose. because the shape of the lid will cause the cause the water and oven cleaner splash back on you.
  5. Once the lid is rinsed, make sure you are wearing your gloves and begin to scrub the inside of the lid with an abrasive sponge to remove as much of the remaining residue as possible. Rinse occasionally with water so you can see where you need to focus your efforts.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 – 5 as many times as needed to get the lid thoroughly cleaned. During my annual cleaning, I like to remove all of the residue. Sometimes this takes up to three applications of oven cleaner.

I hope you found this guide to cleaning the lid of your Weber Kettle helpful. I follow this same process every spring to prepare my Weber for BBQ season.

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G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Review: A Laboratory Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong

I don’t know who G Hughes is or why he agreed to put his name on this product. I do know he has made a terrible mistake. This review is specifically for Hickory flavor of G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce, but I have to assume the the other flavors (Original, Honey, Maple Brown) are similarly bad. I’m not about to pay G Hughes another dollar to find out.

Why I Tried It

I came across G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce in my local grocery store when trying to find a low carb alternative BBQ sauce that would fit into my ketogenic diet. I wanted a sauce to put on the pulled pork that I had smoked earlier on my Smokenator 1000 equipped Weber Kettle. The nutrition label showed 3gm net carbs, which is super low for a tomato based BBQ sauce. This a sauce that would definitely fit within my keto macros for the day. I was optimistic that I had found a great alternative to the high-carb BBQ sauces that were no longer part of my diet.

Too Good To Be True

We like to put meal sized portions of smoked pulled pork away in the freezer so that we can enjoy them all winter long. Typically we thaw the pork in the fridge over night and then cook it slowly in a covered sauce pan with a little apple juice added to keep it moist and tender. Then we divvy it up and sauce the each person’s portion individually with the sauce of their choice.

It’s as if an extra-terrestrial landed on earth and had the misfortune of visiting an Arby’s and then fell in love with Arby’s Sauce.

I put a generous pile of pork on my plate, topped it with a few tablespoons of G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce and mixed it in a bit. The sauce had a good color and consistency compared to the many other sauces I’ve had over the years. Then I tasted it.

The first thing I noticed was the sweetness. It was syrupy sweet. Not great, but not terrible. Then the flavor kicked in… The flavor was somewhat familiar, yet strange. Then the strange part blossomed into full on aftertaste that I was not expecting. At that point, I had realized I had made a terrible mistake. This was BBQ sauce in name only.

It’s as if an extra-terrestrial landed on earth and had the misfortune of visiting an Arby’s and then fell in love with Arby’s Sauce. Then, said alien returned to its home planet and was determined to recreate the Arby’s Sauce magic it had experienced on Earth…only without any of the actual ingredients that go into a BBQ sauce.

G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce tastes like it was made in a chemistry lab instead of a kitchen. This product contains sucralose (Splenda), so you might be tempted to blame the bad aftertaste on the sweetener. However, I have used sucralose products for many years and have never noticed the bizarre chemical aftertaste that showed up in this sauce.


The makers of G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce had good intentions in creating this product. Most tomato based sauces on your grocery store shelf simply won’t fit into any low-carb diet. They may have succeeded in making a sugar-free product, but they failed at making a quality BBQ sauce.

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Smokenator 1000 Review: Now We’re Cooking With Charcoal!

When I first became interested in smoking meat, I did a lot of research before I purchased the Smokenator 1000. At first, I was drawn to the proven Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker which was extremely popular many of the forums I was reading. However, the WSMC costs a considerable amount of money. The world of smoking my own meat was completely new to me, and I wasn’t sure if this was just a phase. I just wasn’t ready to make the kind of financial investment that the WSMC would require. Unfortunately, I found that many of the cheaper alternative smokers had relatively negative reviews compared to the WSMC.

It was during my research I came across an interesting product called the Smokenator 1000. It was advertised that this product could convert a classic Weber kettle grill into a perfectly functional smoker. I already had the Weber grill which was passed down to me through a friend. At approximately a quarter of the price of WSMC, the Smokenator had my attention. I liked the idea that my Weber grill could serve a dual purpose and I wouldn’t have another piece of outdoor cooking equipment on the patio. Also, many of the larger charcoal smokers seemed like overkill for the quantity of meat I would be smoking at any given time. Still, I was hesitant. Many of the naysayers on the smoking forums said that the Smokenator was “just too expensive for what you get in the box” and “anybody with basic metalworking skill could fabricate their own”. After much internal debate, I finally pulled the trigger on the Smokenator in May of 2012.

I was super-excited when my Smokenator finally arrived in the mail from Amazon. I immediately unboxed it and took it out to the Weber to test the fit. It fit my 22 inch Weber grill perfectly. The Smokenator itself has specially designed tabs that lock it in place by hooking in behind the brackets that support the grill. Additional tabs along the bottom of the Smokenator lock into the charcoal grate that rests on the bottom of the grill. It is a solid, secure fit that makes it seems more kind an official Weber accessory than a third-party product.

Also included in the box are some basic instructions, a metal skewer and a stainless steel water pan. The instructions are a nice touch, but just include basic information. The skewer is included to give you a tool to manipulate coals inside the Smokenator. There are much better tools for doing this, so I ditched the skewer pretty early on. The water pan is made of decent guage of stainless steel and is of good quality.

For my first use of the Smokenator, I decided to go with a pork butt. I had read that the butts are more forgiving for novices to get started with as you are learning how control temps.

Starting the Smokenator the first time was a pretty easy process. With the water pan in place, fill the cavity between the Smokenator and grill wall with unlit charcoal. Pull about 10-12 briquettes back out of the Smokenator and light them using a charcoal chimney. Once the coals are hot, carefully put them back in Smokenator, fill the water pan with hot water. Put the lid back on the grill and wait until the internal temp gets to about 200. This process was all new me the first time so it took a while to get everything set up. After using the Smokenator dozens of times over the years, it’s like second nature.

Once the Weber reaches temperature, I added some wood to the charcoal bin, put the meat on the grill, return the cover and wait. You can keep an eye on your temperature using a remote meat thermometer and adjust vents as needed to stay in the desired range. Check occasionally to make sure that you always have water in the water pan and to see if you need to add additional charcoal. That’s really all there was to it.

Controlling temperatures inside the grill is the most challenging part of using the Smokenator. Since the cooking area is relatively small compared to other smokers, it is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. I used mine with the top vent completely open and controlled the temperature using the bottom vent. The first few times I used it, I obsessed over monitoring temperatures and adjusting the bottom vent. Now, with many years of experience behind me I can really just eyeball the vent position and know if I’m setting it for the right temperature range. The nice thing about the water pan that they included with the Smokenator is that the water acts like a heat sink and really prevents rapid changes in temperature (as long as you keep it filled).

After about 10 hours on the Smokenator, that first pork butt was a success. The butt stayed tender and juicy. It wasn’t dry at all. The smoked flavor was incredible. The family loved it. I was on to something.

Over the last several years I’ve used the Smokenator 1000 numerous times. I’ve smoked countless pork butts and racks of babyback ribs. I’ve smoked chicken thighs, wings and legs. I’ve tackled the notoriously challenging brisket. I’ve used it to turn fresh jalapenos into an incredible chipotle peppers.

Never once has anything that has come out of my Smokenator equipped Weber been deemed a failure. In fact, I have recieved rave reviews from friends and family – saying things like “your ribs are so much better the ribs from <insert name of famous BBQ joint>” and “these are the best chicken wings I’ve ever had”. The office dubbed me the “Rib King” because of the outstanding flavor and quality of the ribs I brought in to share.

The beauty of the Smokenator is you don’t need to buy a $400 dedicated smoker to get these fantastic results. The Smokenator takes something many folks already have around the house and effortlessly converts into a completely functional Smoker.

The only drawbacks of the Smokenator I would note are the limited charcoal capacity and the price.

The limited charcoal capacity means that you will likely have to add charcoal, wood and water a few times during your cook. Of course, doing this means you have to take the lid off of the grill and interrupt the cooking. I’ve found however that the Weber gets back up to temperature fairly quickly once the grill cover is back in place. This is a minor inconvenience. With a larger dedicated smoker, you may have enough capacity to never have to add fuel and if you do it is likely through a special access panel away from the cooking area.

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