“Seasoning your smoker” is not a common phrase that you will hear every now and then, not to mention that it is quite odd in some ways. But it is actually the key to a perfect patty party that you have always dreamt of. Now, let’s find out what the concept is and how to season your new smoker properly.
A smoker charcoal griller
Why season your new smoker?
Before diving into the reason why we should do the seasonings, we have to walk through some basics first.
Seasoning, also called pre-seasoning or curing, a smoker is the process of coating your smoker’s interior with cooking oil while heating it with wood or coal. The process has been there all the time to serve two purposes:
- Cleanse your smoker from any odors, toxic chemicals, or any leftover from the production process.
- Prevent your smoker from getting rusty, hence ensuring a longer lifetime usage.
As being well put by Oklahoma Joe’s Smokers: “Seasoning a new smoker before initial use is crucial to laying the foundation for great BBQ results.”
Imagine if your steaks smell like the paint or metal from your first bite, that would be a total disaster. Hence, the best way to get rid of those threats is by seasoning your new smoker.
How to Season a New Smoker – Guide in Great Detail
What do we need?
- A BBQ smoker
- Mild dish soap
- Charcoal and or wood using for BBQ specialty
- Some high-smoke-point oils (eg. canola oil) or other substitutes
How to season a new smoker
Here is a 3-simple-step walkthrough to season your brand-new smoker, let’s take a look at the first step.
Step 1: Cleansing
Start with getting rid of any residual oil, paint, and chemicals left from the manufacturing process.
Firstly, remove the interior parts: racks, grates, and pans from the smokers and set them aside.
Secondly, you can choose a mild dish soap that you have at home, then carefully go over all the parts detached. Once you are done with those parts, move on to the smoker’s inside, including the firebox.
And finally, let all the parts and the smokers air-dry completely. Leave all the parts as they are because we are going to use them in a minute.
Step 2: Prepping the oil
Now that your smoker is clean, it is time to do the seasonings.
Using the oil that you prepare before, start coating the entire inside of the smoker thoroughly.
Spread a thin and even layer of oil over the lid, the interior, the door, and the racks, grates and pans. You should do it while all the interior parts are detached in order to have a more even oil layer.
Leave everything to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before heating up.
Seasoning a new smoker
Step 3: Heating up
These following steps are for a charcoal/wood smoker:
- First, gather enough coal for 2 – 3 hour of cooking time.
- Fill the chimney with charcoal/wood and light it up. The chimney should cover in smoke in about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, fill the firebox with more charcoal/wood. Once the charcoal in the chimney is all lit up, pour them fully into the firebox.
- Leave all intake and exhaust open widely for better airflow.
- The temperature should be higher than normal for a better seasoning and thorough removal of post-manufacturer chemicals. It should reach 135 – 150 degree Celsius in 2 to 3 hour.
- Finally, allow the smoker to cool down to room temperature then remove the ashes.
If yours is an electric smoker, the process is similar but you don’t need the charcoal or wood. You only need to open the vent, set the temperature to maximum degree, and leave the smoker running for 3 hour straight. Now you are good to go
Others Tips for Seasoning
Besides the main instruction above, we have some more tips and tricks to guide you through a smooth seasoning process.
- Remember to leave your smoker on a level surface to prevent oil from leaking/running.
- In the process of heating up (step 3), if you want to add more charcoal or wood to the smoker along the way, make sure they are the same type.
- If you use an electric smoker, prevent the oil from touching the heating elements.
- Other substitutes for canola oil can be: Meat fat (suet, lard, bacon fat, etc.), sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc.
- Use an adequate amount of oil. We suggest using a spraying bottle for better spread and oil residual. If it gets too much oily, remove the excess from the smoker before heating up.
There you have it, the ultimate guide to prep your new smoker before your exquisite barbeque dining. Try these short and sweet 3 steps on how to season a new smoker at home with ease at any time, especially during this quarantine period. Have fun!