If you’ve recently purchased a new smoker, you’ll need to properly season it before it manages to produce top-quality barbeques.
The process of seasoning isn’t too hard, and it greatly helps at removing most odors that come with the recently unpacked product. Additionally, the whole process helps the device look good as new for years even with constant use.
Moreover, seasoning a smoker will allow you to cook better food, keeping the taste natural and allowing you to cook food with a true BBQ feeling to it.
Also, if you’ve seasoned a cast iron before, forget about it. Seasoning a smoker is a completely different process. However, worry not; we’ll guide you through each step of how to season a smoker for the best results.
This process is also referred to as “curing” the smoker. It’s used to purify the smoker as well as strengthen its materials. Hence, do not use your new smoker before seasoning it first!
Steps to Season a Smoker
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First, make sure none of the smoker’s exhausts are blocked before starting the curing process. Next, remove any components that aren’t going to be used when cooking inside the smoker. Then, grab a bag of quality charcoal and keep a lighter at hand.
Use canola oil to coat the inside of the smoker. Take note: the whole interior, together with the walls and the rack, must be covered in cooking oil. Everything that will be directly in contact with food should be curated – no exceptions.
Grab a bag of charcoal and anything you can use to start a fire. Fill one of the smoker’s chimneys with as much charcoal as you can. Then, light it on fire and let it burn until the whole chimney is filled. If you’re using quality charcoal, the process shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes.
Place some more pieces of charcoal inside the firebox, but don’t light it until the smoker’s chimney is fully ignited. Once the chimney is ready, grab some lit pieces of charcoal and throw them into the firebox. Do not entirely fill the firebox. The charcoal should cover up to the middle of it.
Let the smoker heat up. The ideal temperature that you want to reach is around 150 degrees Celsius. Make sure the charcoal burns and that the smoker maintains this temperature for three hours to allow leftover production toxics to burn.
Study the behavior of the smoke while the charcoal burns. Make sure none of the exhausts are blocked; otherwise, the smoker could suffer severe damage during the curing process.
What You Need to Know About Seasoning a Smoker
When we talk about seasoning, we aren’t referring to a process like food seasoning. In this case, seasoning refers to the well-being of the product and preparing it for constant use as well as keeping it from future damage.
Because usually, after the product is manufactured, it goes straight into a box where it sits until you finally buy it and unpack it. Hence, most of the leftover chemicals and odors created by the manufacturing process are still there, so you need to clean it up before using it to cook food.
The paint is usually not cured, and most of the leftover chemicals could turn out to be harmful to your health. Therefore, curing is not only about food taste, but it’s also a matter of ensuring the well-being of you and your family.
The process of seasoning also helps the smoker stay rust-free for a long period of time. These products tend to get rusty in no-time after just a few uses, so the whole curing process makes the metals resist a lot of usages.
Additionally, smokers are not made to be rust proof. They have no additional chemicals or components capable of preventing the formation of rust, so you need to add them yourself.
FAQs About Seasoning a Smoker
Q: What happens if you don’t season a smoker?
Not seasoning a smoker will ruin the food’s resultant taste and can result in you consuming the chemicals your smoker had absorbed before getting to you. The said chemicals are usually glues, solvents, or paint that could dangerously affect you.
Q: What are the benefits of seasoning a smoker?
Aside from making the food taste better and removing chemical residue, seasoning a smoker also ensures that it will be protected from the weather and will not rust as quickly.
Q: How do you cure a smoker pit?
Read our guide above for the full and easy steps you would have to follow.
Seasoning or curing a smoker is not a difficult process, and the difference it makes for your food and your health makes it a fundamental methodology that needs to be followed as soon as you get your hands on a new smoker.
We cannot stress this enough: do NOT attempt to cook food on a new smoker before curing it.