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Seasoning a new smoker

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am about to purchase a new smoker, either a oklahoma joe's wild west traditions or a longhorn....probably a longhorn. My question is how do you guys season your smokers to get them ready to smoke? I had a guy tell me to fire it up and put several pieces of bacon on there. I have also read to spray it down with cooking spray. What are your thoughts?

post #2 of 21
It depends on the smoker. When you purchase it, it should have directions for that smoker on seasoning it.

Mine is electric. To season it, I just fired up heat and smoke for a couple hours. Others, you coat the inside with vegetable oil (Or Crisco) and smoke at temp for a couple hours. Check the directions for the one you purchase for the recommended method.
post #3 of 21
Actually, the first thing to do is to make sure you have beer in the refrigerator, then ensure all your screws, bolts and nuts are good and tight. The last thing you want to experience while cooking outdoors is a water bowl falling into your hot charcoal pan, or worse yet, a grate of food that spills. After you have double checked for tightness, grab the salt and pepper and let's get ready to season that new grill, shall we?

Again, I'm kidding, please pardon my veiled attempts at humor. When we season a new or just degreased smoker, what we are doing is removing oils, dust, and other debris left over from the manufacturing process. If your new grill is like most others, it has a light coating of oil or a similar substance on it. I wash that off using a mild soap detergent and a sponge. Be careful not to scratch your smoker's interior surface. Allow it to air dry. If you have a new smoker it MUST be cured before you cook in it. (See below for a few good reasons why)

In the case of a degreased old smoker that needs re-seasoning, you can skip the wash step, because you have used a degreaser and thoroughly rinsed away loose material and chemicals. You should rarely need to clean and re-season a smoker, but if you have a build up of grease that has gotten to ignition stage, it's best to remove it then leave it, for safety. I have been smoking for more then 20 years and still have my very first original Brinkman pit-master. It's solid and heavy, like they used to make them. I have only cleaned it once, and that was to transport it inside a van from Virginia to Florida.

OK, once it is dry, go ahead and spray a can of olive oil or some other cooking oil in a spray can. Thoroughly cover the sides, top, cooking grates, racks etc. Do not coat the fuel pan or electric element if using an electric smoker or the water bowl. (My water bowl is filled with sand and covered with foil, more on that in another blog) Be generous enough to coat everything well, but not to were the oil is dripping. If you need to, you can let the smoker sit for a few minutes before the next step.

Our next goal is to heat the smoker up and simulate smoking in it for 2 hours minimum. If it's an electric smoker, go ahead and set it to high, which should be about 225 - 250 degrees F. For charcoal smokers, use a starter chimney and once the coals are hot, fill the charcoal pan and some wood. You do not need to use the water bowl for this seasoning step. We are going to keep our smoker empty during this curing or seasoning event.

After about 2 hours, open up the smoker and let the fire die off and air cool on it's own. Your smoker is now ready for use to churn out some awesome BBQ. If anyone is wondering why we must do this for a new smoker, here are just a few good reasons:
  • The manufacturing process will leave oils, solvents and other undesirables inside of our smoker.
  • We want to cure the paint and promote rust prevention.
  • Seasoning removes any odors from inside the smoker caused during manufacture
post #4 of 21
Dido all the above. I always heat up to 225-275F spray cooking oil (whats on sale that day) and let it burn out. Do the same everytime i power clean it too. Always works for me.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!!!!!
post #6 of 21
What he said ^^^^^^^^^^
post #7 of 21
Horizon does not recommend using sprays or oils for seasoning. When I seasoned mine I did a some what hot burn, with wood, for around 8 hours. That was all Rodger Davidson (owner of Horizon) recommends for seasoning a smoker.
post #8 of 21
Yeah, always check your owners manual. Most are done the same way but from time to time, you'll run across something different.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Picked up my Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn today. For the money this looks like a great smoker. The manuel says to rub the inside down with vegatable oil and maintain 275 degree heat for 2-3 hours. I am going to put it together tomorrow and cure it. Sunday a pork tenderloin is calling my name!!!!!!!!

Thanks guys!!!
post #10 of 21
Always follow the users manual, they are all different. On the MES all that is required is 2 /1/2 hours at 275' and 30 mins of smoke, that's all.

Good luck.
post #11 of 21
Congrats..... I bought a 20" OK Joe off craigslist and I love it. I bought some vegetable oil spray and coated it really good inside and fired it up like I was smokin something and let it smoke. When I see a spot starting to show any rust on the outside I spray some vegetable oil on the spot while its hot and it seems to season it like an old iron skillet. Your gonna love that thing.
post #12 of 21
Congratulations on the new smoker, how about some pics of it while it is still pretty...icon_mrgreen.gif
post #13 of 21
Congrats on the Ok Joe, that's one nice unit. There's a lot of good info on th Oklahoma Joes smokers here .
post #14 of 21

what he said on this subject he said well
post #15 of 21
Thankyou, I appreciate it despite the few that seem to love to detract from my posts.
post #16 of 21
Congrats fisher! Those Okla. Joes are good rigs. Good luck with your first cook, and maybe post us some qview!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Pics of new smoker + qview

Ok, guys.......here is my new Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn. Great looking smoker. Got it Friday, cured it Sat., first smoke on Sunday!!!!!!!!! I had jsut put a piece of Hickory in, so it is a little smokey in the pic.

I smoked 2 pork tenderloins and 1.5 pounds of smoked sausage, just in case I screwed up the pork I knew the sausage would be a huge hit.

I rubbed the tenderloins down with mustard and then dry rubbed them with Head Country dry rub. Turned out pretty darn good. I want to experiment with different wood. I used Hickory this time. My temperature management went really well. Better than I expected for my first smoke. I have found some great recipes on here that I am wanting to try.

Thanks for the good info guys. So far I love my new smoker, had a blast.

post #18 of 21
Great first smoke. Tenderloins are one of my favorites because they are so easy to get ready and only take 2.5 hours to smoke. I catch them here on sale and get them 2 to a pack for 5 or 6 bucks. Some really good cheap eatin. Yours look excellent.
post #19 of 21
Good looking smoker and nice smoke. Did ya use charcoal plus some hickory for fuel?
post #20 of 21
great looking smoker! Awesome Qview!
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