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Ski-Freak

Cleaning my Gunked-Up Exhaust Damper

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The Saffire comes with a beautiful Cast Stainless Steel Exhaust Damper, and it is a hefty, impressive piece!

 

After 3/4 year or so of extensive cooking on my Saffire my Exhaust Damper became pretty gunked-up. It was even sticking when cold until it loosened from the warmth of a fire. It also had a smoky greasy aroma as well. I ran a few hot fires hoping it would help but all that did was get the inside nice and clean, and the damper remained gunked-up. Here's what it looked like yesterday:

14532141739_6c36d5facc_z.jpgblack greasy damper by ski_freak1, on Flickr

 

So I removed it, which is very easy to do as you just pull straight up with both hands. There is a felt gasket underneath it that makes it fit snugly, and the felt gasket remains behind securely attached to the Kamado. Then I put the Cast Stainless Steel Damper Assembly in a bucket and sprayed it liberally with Easy-Off oven cleaner - the spray bottle type versus the aerosol that says "Fume Free Daily" on it. I think this is the gentler version. I let it soak for about 15 minutes and then used a light brass bristle brush on it with a light scrubbing action while rinsing it with the garden hose. Finally I brought the mostly cleaned part inside and cleaned it all over again in the sink in the bucket with a quick shot of the Easy-Off and then hot water and a sponge. After it dried I put it back on and here's what it looks like today:

14532143858_34c5394033_z.jpgcleaned damper by ski_freak1, on Flickr

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Another reason I LOVE kamados... 9 months of heavy cooking, and we have to spend less than 30 minutes doing a deep clean.  No rust to deal with, no pressure washing the inside of a greasy pit, no scraping of carbon build up (very rare)... just down right simple.

 

Looks GREAT!!!

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And leave the top damper open without the ability to shut it down?

Good point. I clean my top vent in my gasser so it's not an issue. You could close the bottom vent and put a cast iron pan or brick on the top vent to shut it down. But if you don't have a gasser, your method is likely the safest.

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I have found for cleaning oven racks & grill racks, place them in a plastic tote or anything large enough so they lay flat.

Fill with hot water enough to cover racks. Add some dishwashing detergent like Cascade.

Leave overnight & wipe clean in the morning.

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