Originally Posted by Donnie Crawford
Just picked up the 17" grate, lump charcoal and the AKORN smoking stone yesterday! Plan on firing it up today for the first time. Any tips on seasoning the grill?
The entire smoker is coated inside and out with a high temp enamel paint except for the cast iron cooking grate. I sprayed only the cooking grate with spray oil to season for a few hours. I saw a you tube video on sealing the bottom vent to the ash pan with RTV silicone, from any auto parts store, to eliminate some leaks for better air control for a low 200*F smoke. They made a mess out of it. I'm not sure if it was necessary but I took off the ash pan and put the RTV silicone on from the inside. Where the slide vent meets the rectangle opening of the ash pan is the only place it can leak that can be modified so I did it from the inside so it looks great. I also used the RTV Silicone on the therm cable/probe joints after they passed the ice water and boiling tests. The top vent with the rubber O-ring seals perfectly. I have a six inch diameter (small) charcoal chimney I put ten briquettes in to light and surround the outside with unlit charcoal. The false bottom drops the lit coal in the center of the coal grate and I just have the unlit coal touch the others with chunks of wood spread sporadically over the lit/unlit coals. That will burn 12+hrs. at 225*F with no adding coal. For future smokes I push the cold unused coal to the outside of the center and make another fire in the center. The partially used porous coal after the ash has been knocked off, burns like lump coal without having to buy it. Small starter minion fires are good so you don't start too hot. Kamados are hard to cool down if started too hot, since they're insulated.