Acquiring a new smoker is a great feeling. We’ve all been there when we bring our new smoker home and feel the excitement. Sometimes this excitement can get out of hand and we may find ourselves wanting to start using the smoker as soon as we open the box.
When you buy a new smoker, it is highly recommended that you season your new smoker before you even think about cooking in it. There are several reasons for that, but few of the very important are listed down:
- When a smoker is manufactured, it is bound to have some sort of chemicals, oils and other unhealthy stuff obtained through the process itself.
- Using a smoker without seasoning it first means you are destroying half of its life. You will promote rust if you do not season your smoker which in return will lessen the life of it.
- The manufacturing process may also leave odors in the smoker which can make itself into the food you are going to cook.
Things you need to do in order to properly season your smoker
Seasoning a smoker is a very simple process. But it needs to be done as soon as you get it out from the packaged box.
Most new smokers will come with a hint of oil around its parts, this is due to manufacturing process. If you find your smoker having very light coat of oil on it, you may wish to wash it with detergent and mild soap with a dishwasher sponge.
New smokers must be washed thoroughly after you have assembled them. Do not cook in it without washing and drying it first.
When you have washed and dried your smoker, it is time to let it start and heat it up. For an electric smoker, put it on full heat for about 2 – 3 hours at least. While you are heating the smoker up, you can fill up the water pan and the chip pan to ensure proper seasoning is done.
Just don’t add the meat yet! This is a simulated smoking session which will clear your smoker of all impurities and will season it ready for cooking.
Once the heating process is completed, simply shut down your smoker and let it cool down. By doing this you will have killed away all the nasty stuff it acquired from the manufacturing facility and now it should be ready for cooking.
The same steps except washing your smoker can be done to an old smoker that requires re-seasoning. Sometimes your smoker may get rust or other natural impurities like grease. You should clean your smoker regularly following the steps mentioned above.
The process of cleaning and seasoning your smoker is true for any kind of smoker you acquire from any brand/manufacturer.
Some of the good brands put on stickers and provide very detailed instructions on how to setup your smoker for first use. These details/instructions almost certainly will help you season your smoker too!