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Ready for your next cook-off with that sleek BBQ gear? Well, hold your horses because there’s one thing you need to do first- season it! The initial step to grilling some finger-licking barbeque is to learn how to season a new smoker. The task may seem daunting but worry not because we’ve got you covered.
Seasoning isn’t just about adding pepper and salt to meat but rather, cleaning the inside of your smoking equipment. You might hear other BBQ aficionados call it ‘curing’ or ‘pre-seasoning,’ and to some extent, they’re right. It’s laying the proper foundation for tremendous BBQ results. Let’s explore simple steps that you should follow to unlock your smoking beast truly.
What You Didn’t Know About Seasoning
Seasoning a brand new smoker serves two primary purposes: extending the equipment’s life by preventing rust and cleaning off unwanted contaminants from the manufacturing process. But more importantly, it’s a great chance to know your BBQ baby inside-out to avoid ruining any expensive brisket.
The exact method will vary from one smoker to another, be it a pellet, ceramic, propane, offset, or electric smoker. However, there are a few necessary steps that apply to each one of them. So, grab some cooking oil, dish soap, and fire-making materials, and let’s get started!
Step-by-step Guide on How to Season a New Smoker
As we mentioned, seasoning is the first thing you’d want to do with your modern smoker. If your smoker is one of those that needs post-manufacturing assembly, you’ll have it easier because you’ll be dealing with one part at a time.
Step 1: Cleaning
Once you get your newly-purchased home, it might still have some left-over metal shavings, oils, solvents, or abrasive paint inside.
So, it’s a brilliant idea to clean grates, pans, racks, and the interior thoroughly with the use of soap and water. If you are doing it before assembling the individual parts, consult a professional grill cleaner.
Other experts suggest that you use a mild detergent to degrease the machine and plenty of water to remove grime and manufacturing oils. Utilize a soft cloth to prevent scratching the delicate finish. When through, allow the smoker to air dry.
Step 2: Spray/ Wipe down the interior with oil
Next up, you’d want to look for oil that has a high boiling point. Grapeseed or canola oil might do the trick!
This type of oil will help you attain a thin, hard, protective surface after heating. Use cooking can spray oil quickly, and it’s efficient too.
With a disassembled smoker, rigorously all of the interior, door, walls, and lid with a thin layer of coat. Then, coat grates and racks with a similar wipe. Most specialists advise against spraying the water pan, but if need be, coat it outside.
Finally, it’s time to let the oil soak appropriately for about 10 minutes before embarking on the heating process.
Step 3: Heating
For the heating procedure, you’d want to carefully heat the smoker to high temperatures and leave it there for 3-4 hours. We recommend that you follow a general thumb rule- bring up the temperature rating of your smoking device, according to its manual.
After the set time, bring it down to the average temperature to avoid warping the thin metal in most smokers. It’s not ready for meat yet, so don’t put anything inside except for the oil.
How Do You Season a New Offset Smoker?
When it comes to seasoning a new offset smoker, the steps are similar until Step 2. The guidelines below apply to offset smokers only:
Once you coat the entire smoker with high burn-point oil, fill a single chimney with charcoal, and then light them. The stack should be swamped with smoke within 10 minutes or so.
Let the chimney heat up continually. Accelerate the process by adding more firewood into the firebox. When the stack attains full ignition, pour the hot coals into the firebox.
Meanwhile, ensure that the intake and exhaust are wide open to allow for uninterrupted air inflow. It will aid the smoker to reach slightly higher temperatures than generally used for smoking.
Allow the smoker to heat a peak temperature rating of about 280-300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 2 hours. Then allow the smoker to cool off completely before cooking.
How Do You Season a New Electric Smoker?
So, you have just unpacked your modern electric smoker and perhaps wondering what to grill first. However, seasoning a new electric smoker is as easy as a ‘dry run,’ and it’s something that you could do without breaking a sweat!
Back to Step 2, when you’re done with coating the interior of your smoker with oil. You must avoid applying oil to the heating element, chip tray, water tray, and grease tray. Particularly, do not fill the water bowl with water when seasoning a new Masterbuilt electric smoker.
- Fire up your electric smoker for the first time.
- Plug the smoker into a power socket. Experts recommend that you don’t use an extension when starting the electric smoker for the very first time. If you must, make sure to acquire a heavy-duty cord with an earth pin.
- Meanwhile, open up the top vent all through the seasoning process.
- Set your electric smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer for 2-3 hours.
- When the timer has 45 minutes remaining, add a load of wood chips. You can also do it at the beginning of the heating process. Add 8-12 chips into the wood loader after every 20 minutes until the 3 hours wind down.
Best Practices for Seasoning a Brand New Smoker
Here are a few tricks to make sure you don’t have a hard time when seasoning your smoker:
- Before you embark on the seasoning process, make sure the smoker is on a hard, level surface. You don’t want all the oil to run back and forth on either end of the chamber.
- If you have a large smoker, consider using a spray bottle when spraying its inside rather than a bunch of cans. Then use a soft cloth to spread the oil evenly.
- Ensure you mop up any excess oil at the bottom of the smoker before heating. Remember, the goal is to attain a thin, even coating.
Now that you know the nitty-gritty of how to season a new smoker, you can go ahead and cook all those tasty and delectable barbeques. Regardless of what type of smoker you own, Smokey Steak Ranch has all the information you need to become a BBQ fanatic. Seasoning a new smoker takes time, but it’s butter-to-bread easy.
Again, you must understand what model of smoker yours is. Read the manual first to eliminate all the guesswork. Then read this guide to know everything about seasoning a smoker and why it’s not a complicated process after all.
Need to check out the best smokers of the year or the latest BBQ recipes in town? Not sure which wood type is suitable for meats? Rest easy. Our blogs and How guides will help you take your barbequing skills to the next level.