Care and Maintenance of the Smoker
Cleaning the Smoker--It is imperative that you keep the smoker clean and do your best to maintain the protective coating. You don't need to scrub the smoker down to the metal, but you do need to make sure to clean out all ashes and food build-up. Occasionally you will need to completely clean the smoker and re-season it, but mostly you want to keep the oily and smoky surface inside the smoker in order to avoid rust from developing. Grease needs to be carefully scraped out as it tends to trap water inside the smoker, causing rust.
What to Do in Case of Rust--If rust should form inside your smoker, it is imperative that it be removed as soon as you notice it, which is why you should be inspecting for rust on a regular basis. To scrub out the rust, you need a good wire brush and possibly even sandpaper. After cleaning the area, repaint it immediately with a good quality, heat resistant paint developed just for this purpose.
Life Expectancy of a Smoker--A smoker can last for a good many years, but in order to make that happen, you have to take good care of it. Use it often, care for it often, and you will have a piece of barbeque equipment that will last you a good, long time.