You may have noticed that during the process of smoking your favorite foods, tiny specks of wood may end up on the final product. Although harmless to consume, they do affect the pure smokey flavor and texture of the food.
The solution? Make sure to regularly clean your smoker to remove any leftover dust and ash from the previous smoking session. The easiest way to do so is by using a smoker vacuum.
So, what are the best smoker vacuums? The best smoker vacuums not only efficiently clean up all the dirt, ash, and debris but can also easily fit inside the smoker and get to the hard-to-reach areas.
Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the best smoker vacuums and our top picks of the 7 best ones:
What Is A Smoker Vacuum?
If you are a fan of slow-cooked barbeque prepared in a smoker, it is very important that you clean and maintain your equipment.
While you can use a cloth, shovel, broom, and dustpan to clean up the ash, dirt, and debris, there are much better and more efficient ways of cleaning the smoker using a smoker vacuum.
A smoker vacuum is similar to a regular vacuum but is made specifically for sucking up ash and dirt quickly without letting it spread and get in the air around you.
It is made to fit inside a smoker and can also be used to clean BBQ grills and fireplaces.
Smoker vacuums also have a heat-resistant metal nozzle and filter system to allow using them around smokers, wood stoves, and fireplaces.
Regular vacuum cleaners aren’t built to handle ash and can create a fire hazard if they accidentally suck in hot ash or embers.
Smoker vacuums also have a dual filtration system to keep the finest ash particles from blowing out into the air through the exhaust ports.
How To Use A Smoker Vacuum
A smoker vacuum is an efficient piece of equipment that helps keep your smoker clean and allows you to make the bestsmoked foods with the perfect taste and texture.
Vacuuming your smoker after using will keep it clear of wood ash and dust and will also prevent the same from recirculating inside the smoker and landing on your food as it smokes.
Here are step-by-step instructions for using a smoker vacuum to clean the inside of your smoker:
- Make sure the smoker or any of its internal parts have cooled down before attempting to clean it.
- When you are sure that it is cool enough, remove the internal parts of the smoker unit including the grill grates, warming rack, drip catcher, and heat deflector.
- Once you are left with the empty smoker, assess the situation and see how much ash is gathered at the bottom and in the hard-to-reach places.
- Check to see for wet wood dust from food drippings and clean it with a paper towel, cloth, or shovel. You wouldn’t want to use your vacuum on any wet wood crumbs or ash as not only will it make a mess but is also not recommended.
- Once all the wet ash is cleaned and disposed of, prepare your smoker vacuum and attach the appropriate head that will allow you to get into the nooks and crannies of the smoker.
- Start vacuuming the pellet dust. Run the head of the vacuum from one end to the other, making sure to go over the entire surface a few times.
- Once all the ash has been sucked in, empty the vacuum cleaner in order to keep it clean for later use. Leaving it in for too long may smudge, stain, clog, or leave an unpleasant smell inside the vacuum.
Smoker Vacuum Buyer’s Guide
When choosing the best smoker vacuum, there are a few features to look out for to ensure it gets the job done efficiently and hassle-free. They include:
The power of the smoker vacuum refers to how powerful the motor is. The bigger the motor, the more power it will have to suck in all the ash and dust compared to a smoker vacuum with a smaller motor.
If you do not need to use the smoker vacuum regularly and need it to clean the smoker every once in a while, a smaller motor with around 500-watts should do the job just fine.
However, if you use your smoker more often, you may opt for a vacuum with more power to clean up every speck of ash and leave your smoker ready for the next use.
The capacity of the vacuum’s tank is an important feature to consider, especially if you plan on using the smoker vacuum regularly.
A smoker vacuum with a smaller tank will not be able to clean large amounts of ash piled up at once. It may require you to stop and empty it out once or twice in order to finish the job.
That being said, since pellet ash is finer than regular wood ash, a smaller tank may be able to handle it without needing to be emptied out repeatedly.
Cord And Hose Length
The length of the cord and hose is another important consideration when choosing the best smoker vacuum since it determines how far into the smoker you can reach with it.
Since smoker vacuums run on power, the cord length needs to be long enough to be able to stay plugged into a power socket near your smoker where you plan on using it.
You may also opt for a cordless option that allows you to use the smoker vacuum outdoors where there are no power outlets.
The hose length is also extremely crucial since a short one may make it extremely difficult to reach into the smoker and clean it properly.
All vacuums make noise, regardless of the type you use. However, some options aren’t as loud and run quieter than average vacuum cleaners.
Look for a smoker vacuum that isn’t as loud and gets the job done just as well without the unnecessary noise. It is also much safer for your ears, especially if you plan on using the smoker vacuum regularly.
Weight And Dimensions
When looking for a good smoker vacuum, you will want one that is compact enough to fit in the smoker space available.
Smaller models with powerful motors are a good option since they have a decent capacity, are powerful enough to clean out the entire smoker, and their size is suitable for the limited smoker space.
An extremely big smoker vacuum will not only be a hassle to move around and work with but will also require extra storage space.
Every good product comes with a warranty as it shows the manufacturer’s trust in the product and gives you cover for any issues that may arise.
The majority of the best smoker vacuums come with a minimum 2-year warranty, with some even offering a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the product.
In addition to the basic features mentioned above that all play their part in ensuring the smoker vacuum works efficiently, there are a few additional features that may add value to the machine.
Most smoker vacuums come with accessories such as extra nozzles, brushes, and crevice tools that help add more flexibility and versatility.
The included filters must be easy to clean and reuse. Although there are disposable filters that you can throw after every use, it is best to use the reusable ones for a more cost-effective and environment-friendly solution.
The tank must be easy to empty and the cord and hose wraps must be handy to wrap up for easy storage.
Also, to make it easy to carry around the smoker vacuum, it must come with a carry handle, especially if it doesn’t include wheels on the bottom.
The 7 Best Smoker Vacuums
A smoker vacuum is made specifically to clean up ash, dirt, and debris from inside a smoker. It can also be used to clean the grill or fireplace.
Here are our top picks of the 7 best smoker vacuums to help you choose:
|PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
|Exceptionally quiet – Cleans cold and warm ash
|Snow Joe ASHJ201 4.8-Gallon 4-Amp Ash Vacuum
|Filter-reminding safety feature – Good value for money
|BACOENG 5.3-Gallon Ash Vacuum Cleaner
|1200-watt powerful suction – Filling level indicator
|Pellethead Ash Vacuum Pro
|Simplicity – Warm ash suction attachment
|Cougar Ash Vacuum
|Made in the USA – Large sealed canister
|Porter-Cable 4 Gallon Ash Vacuum
|Excellent dirt pickup power – 4-horsepower motor
|Vacmaster VOC508S 1102
|2-in-1 vacuum for general house cleaning as well as ash removal
1. PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
The first smoker vacuum on our list is also the most popular and can surely vacuum up the rest of the competition in a minute!
Designed to clean both cool and warm ash from smokers, barbeque grills, pellet stoves, and fireplaces, this smoker vacuum from PowerSmith has a 3-gallon capacity.
It is extremely quiet, producing a maximum of 79 decibels.
This black and green ash-buster comes with a staggering 10-Amp motor and a durable metal nozzle and hose, two extension wands, different types of nozzles, and a filter.
With a two-stage filtering system to ensure a smooth cleanup, it is designed to catch the finest pieces of ash and dust. Extremely lightweight and easy to move around, it comes with a standard 2-year warranty.
2. Snow Joe ASHJ201 4.8-Gallon 4-Amp Ash Vacuum
Next in line is the Snow Joe Ash Vacuum that, although very different from the PowerSmith model in terms of its features, is a fair contender nonetheless.
With extra 1.8 gallons of capacity, it has an impressive filtering system that traps the dust and ash particles and prevents them from entering your breathing space.
The filters can easily be removed and cleaned, making them reusable and much more convenient in terms of cost savings.
Also, there is no bag inside the vacuum which makes the entire process of getting rid of the ash even more seamless and hassle-free. All you have to do is lift up the lid and tip the ashes away.
One of the cheapest models available in the market, it comes with a filter-reminding safety feature and has a convenient handle on top to make it easy to move around.
3. BACOENG 5.3-Gallon Ash Vacuum Cleaner
Designed specifically for cold ash pickup, the BACOENG ash vacuum cleaner is a powerful tool with a 1200-watt motor providing excellent suction power.
It features a filling level indicator on top of the canister that tells you when to empty it.
In addition to that, it has a 5-foot metal-lined hose for suctioning warm ash particles as well.
It boasts a 15-feet long extension cord allowing you to vacuum at a fair distance from the power outlet.
You have the option to choose between a “standard” version and an “advanced” version, where the latter provides accessories such as a crevice tool, brush, and extension wand.
4. Pellethead Ash Vacuum Pro
The Pellethead is an impressively simple smoker vacuum where what you see is what you get.
Featuring dual HEPA filters that are washable and heat-resistant, it has a powerful 10-Amp motor with a quiet operation.
Its hose is lined with metal on the inside and plastic on the outside and comes with a range of handy attachments to increase its flexibility.
One of its most interesting attachments is the aluminum tube attachment which is excellent at sucking up warmer ash particles. Despite this feature, it is always best to allow the ash to cool down to minimize damage to the HEPA filter.
5. Cougar Ash Vacuum
Slightly on the pricier side, the Cougar Ash Vacuum is made in the USA with its entire goal to give you a reliable smoker vacuum that won’t spit out ash.
It features a 6-gallon canister sealed using metal clamps and an O-ring that makes sure the ash stays inside.
It also has a 6-Amp motor and dual fiberglass coated filtration system.
Designed to suck up cold to warm fine ash, its flame-resistant filters will protect up to 1000°F while the thermal plastic components will never catch fire.
6. Porter-Cable 4 Gallon Ash Vacuum
The Porter-Cable Ash Vacuum has excellent dirt pickup power with a 4-horsepower motor that provides powerful suction for fast cleanup.
With a 4-gallon metal tank that provides durability and holds in a lot of ash, it uses a pre-filter and cartridge filter to prevent ash from escaping.
Suitable for cold ash pickup, it features an all-metal tank, hose, and nozzle, making it suitable for hot ash as well. It features a lightweight body and has a sturdy insulated handle for easy carrying.
7. Vacmaster VOC508S 1102
A great 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner for general house cleaning as well as ash removal, this combo machine features a 5-gallon canister vacuum and 3-gallon ash tank.
Its large capacity allows it to clean up a large amount of ash before emptying and it has a powerful 8-Amp motor that provides adequate suction for effective cleanup.
It has a top handle to make it easy to carry and can also be converted into a blower.
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