Are you excited to smoke your favorite cut of meat with a brand new electric smoker? Wait; don’t forget to season a smoker before using it. Seasoning, also known as pre-seasoning or curing, is an essential procedure that involves coating the inside of your smoker with oil and heating it at a high temperature for some time. It is impossible to achieve great BBQ results without seasoning your new electric smoker. So, let’s take a look at how to season an electric smoker conveniently.
The Basics of Seasoning
There are two primary purposes of seasoning a smoker; removing contaminants that may be left in the manufacturing process and preventing rust build-up from extending the life of your electric smoker. This process also helps to understand the basics like controlling temperature to achieve desired results. Take a look at the following essential steps for seasoning your smoker.
- Give your smoker a thorough cleaning with water and dish soap.
- Use cooking spray to coat the entire inside of the electric smoker.
- Slowly heat your smoker to a high temperature and continue the process for 2-4 hours.
It’s time to grab a cooking spray, dish soap, and fire-making materials and season an electric smoker.
How to Season an Electric Smoker
Once you have unpacked the smoker and done with the setup, it’s time to begin the seasoning process.
There may be some leftover solvents, oils, uncured paint, and metal shavings inside the cooking chamber. It’s better to give the smoker a good cleaning to remove the remaining materials from the smoker.
- Remove all the grates, racks, and pans from the chamber.
- Use a solution of water and mild soap to wash the grates, racks, and pans.
- Repeat the process for the entire inside of the electric smoker, including the firebox.
- When you are done with cleaning, allow it to air dry.
Coating with Oil
Make the oil you choose for seasoning has a high burn-point. You can consider grapeseed or canola oil for it. Such a type of oil will leave an elegant, tough protective surface after heating during the procedure known as polymerization.
Here is what to do.
- Thoroughly coat the inside walls, lid, and door with a thin coat of oil. You can also use cooking spray or a soft cloth to wipe it.
- Coat the grates and racks with the same process. Most people don’t coat the water pan, but you can coat the outside of the pan to prevent rust buildup.
- Give the oil about 5-10 minutes before the heating process.
- Slowly heat the electric smoker at a high temperature and continue the process for 2-4 hours.
- Make sure the temperature is higher than the standard cooking temperature to get a good seasoning.
- Now slowly bring the smoker back down to air temperature. This procedure ensures that the thin metal of the smoker doesn’t wrap.
How to Season a New Charcoal Smoker
The seasoning process for a charcoal smoker is almost the same after the initial lighting steps. Here is the seasoning process for the charcoal smoker.
Gather enough wood and charcoal for about 2-4 hours of cooking time. Make sure to select the same wood you are going to use for barbecuing.
- Light one chimney of charcoal and heat it for 10 minutes.
- Open the intake and exhaust vents to allow the ideal airflow amount.
- Now add some extra charcoal to the firebox of the charcoal smoker, and then add the lit coals on the top.
- Gradually add wood to bring the smoker’s temperature up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure to maintain the temperature for 2-4 hours.
- Don’t forget to open the lid/door to ensure a decent protective layer has been achieved. The grates and walls of the charcoal smoker should have a dark brown color.
- Give the smoker proper time to cool down and burn to ash.
- Eliminate the ash when cool.
Useful Tips for Seasoning Different Types of Smokers
Here are valuable tips to help the seasoning process go smoothly as possible.
- Make sure the smoker is on a level surface before starting. It will help to prevent the oil from running to one side or to the back.
- If you have large smoke, it is better to add the liquid oil into the spray bottle. Use a soft cloth to spread the oil around evenly.
- Mop up excess oil on the bottom of your smoker before heating. The aim is to have a thin, even coating.
- If you are seasoning an electric or gas smoker, prevent the oil on the heating elements.
Different Types of Oils and Substitutes
It is better to choose an oil with a high burn point, such as grapeseed or canola oil. However, you can also use different variations to spice things up a little.
- Flaxseed oil
- Bacon fat
- Red palm sunflower oil
- Suet (raw beef fat)
Re-seasoning the Smoker
Most people get confused when it comes to re-seasoning the smoker. Experts recommend it is a good idea to re-reason the smoker to add protection. After some barbecue sessions, it can start to build up creosote, an oil substance left by the fire, and results in strange flavors. However, it is advised not to re-season the smoker grates. Make sure to keep cooking grates spotlessly clean and prevent adding grease or carbon for a flavorful smoked taste.
Seasoning your new electric smoker is an essential step to dream barbecuing. There is nothing complicated about the seasoning process. All you need is to clean the inside of the smoker and use cooking spray and fire-making materials to enjoy great-tasting smoked foods in a few hours. Additionally, seasoning a smoker ensures rust build-up and eliminates the risk of unwanted flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you add water when seasoning an electric smoker?
When seasoning your electric smoker, it is advised not to add water to the pan or bowl.
How often should I season a smoker?
You only need to season a new smoker once. Just unpack the smoker, season it and enjoy great smoked flavors for a lifetime.
Why seasoning a smoker is essential?
Seasoning a smoker is essential as there may be some leftover solvents, oils, uncured paint, and metal shavings inside the cooking chamber. Therefore, you should season your new electric, gas, or propane smoker before using it.