How to Season a New Smoker (Electric, Propane, Pellet or Offset)

The excitement of getting new smokers is so towering that you might want to put some meat cuts right after getting it home. But wait, you cannot place a lump of meat for barbecuing right after purchasing. To get the best out of your smoker, you need to season it.

Don’t worry about seasoning; it will not take so long, but the smoker’s performance after seasoning is supreme. While you place your meat for seasoning and marinating, you can season your smoker together with it.
how to season a smoker

If you heard of curing or seasoning the smoker for the first time and don’t know how to season a smoker, then stick with us here. Below you will get all the fine points of seasoning a smoker, but first, let me tell you the reason behind this curing:

Why Should You Season A Smoker?

When the company manufactures the smokers and grills, they don’t clear off the offcuts usually, so chances are you will be getting the product with industry scraps on. When you season the smoker, you tend to clear the odorous paints, oils, and dirt. If you don’t cure it, then all the lingering odors and materials will get to your food, making them not-eatable.

The second most important reason for curing is, it can extend the life of your smoker. Although the manufacturers get the job done with paint coating, they don’t likely cure smokers for rusting. And you know that during smoking food, the moisture drips into this cooking vessel. By curing, you can layer up the smoker with a protective coat that shields it from rusting.

Get Your Seasoning Stuff

For seasoning, you will need the following things:

  • Dishwashing liquid or soap
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Cooking oil
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Wood for smoking

Additionally, if you want to season an offset smoker, then get a bag of coals and a chimney starter, too, for burning them.

How Do You Season A New Smoker? Easy Steps To Do It

Now that you get why to season the smokers, let me tell you the step-by-step method to season a smoker for the first time.

Step 1: Remove the Detachable Parts Of The Smoker

When you first open the smokers, the chances are it will not be fully assembled at all. So you get full access to its parts. Moreover, if it comes all the way gathered and ready-to-use, you should detach its removable bits.

Mostly in many smokers, the grates are not affixed. You can easily remove the grates and drip pans. Although, if disassembling it ultimately seems difficult to you, then go for only grates.

Step 2: Clean The Smoker And Its Parts

Now that you have removed all parts, get a soapy sponge and clean all the parts and inside the smoker thoroughly. But keep in mind, you must not over-scrub or use a seamy sponge for cleaning. A gentle wipe with a soft cloth will do the cleaning for you.

After that, you must rinse off the soap from the smoker with water. After removing all the excess water with a soft cloth, let the smoker air dry for some time.

Step 3: Apply Cooking Oil

Once the smoker dries out, get another soft cloth or a spray bottle, and put oil on it. Now apply a thin coat of oil on all the parts and inside of the smoker. Don’t put excessive oil on it; a thin and even layer of oil works perfectly. As the smoker is unassembled, you get full hands-on all the chamber and smoker’s bits and pieces.

Step 4: Reassemble For Seasoning

The smokers come with an instruction manual, yes? Do give them a thorough read and assemble your smoker for the light up. Carefully assemble the smoker as the oil is applied to make them slippery. Also, take care when assembling, don’t remove the oil during the course. You can get a pair of gloves for safe assembling of the smoker. Finally, place the unfilled water pan into the smoker and open both vents.

A thing which you must consider, keeping water pan filled or unfilled depends on your smoker type. If you are seasoning an electric smoker, then water filling is not necessary. You must read the instruction manual for that.

Step 5: Close Lid And Apply Oil On Exterior

The inside of the smoker is nicely oiled and set for seasoning. So now close the lid and apply a thin layer of oil at the outside too. If you use oil on the outside, it works best for rust-resistance and the smoker’s longer lifespan.

Step 6: Lightup The Smoker

If you want to season an electric smoker, fill up the hopper with fuel and light it up. If you are seasoning a new smoker pit, then light the coals using a chimney starter and pour them into the smoker’s firebox.

Before starting the smoker, you must read the temperature controlling instructions of the smoker. For an electric smoker, you only need to set the dial, but you need to regulate temperature using the vents for the pit smoker. You must leave the vents open to clear it off from industry residues for seasoning a smoker grills.

Increase the smoker’s temperatures gradually and leave it at its whole temperatures for at least two to three hours. The heating time varies from brand to brand and type of smokers. Like seasoning, a masterbuilt propane smoker will take two and half hours for complete seasoning. So you must check the time for your smoker in the instruction manual.

Below is the video that shows you how to season a pellet smoker:

How Often Should You Season Your Smoker?

Seasoning your smoker is not something that you must be doing after every cook session; instead, you only need to do only once before using. Although you are asked for seasoning every time, you still need to wipe off all the stuck-on food and clean the grates for subsequent use. All in all, if you only need to clean your smoker twice or thrice in a year thoroughly, that’s all.

The Takeaway?

Seasoning a new smoker asks for few hours, but the outcome pays off the labor. You clear up all the industry pains and leftovers during the course, and also you get more longer-lasting performance of the smoker, with the investment of some time.

When seasoning the smoker, you must read the instruction manual first regarding its seasoning time and temperature settings. You don’t need to season this workhorse repeatedly, but still, you need to clean it off from any stuck-on foods. Seasoning and cleaning the smoker is not a laborious job. It only needs some time, that’s all.

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