All new smokers need to be "cured, seasoned or preseason” to ensure the removal or machine oils, dust, and other materials left over from the manufacturing process. This also helps in rust prevention. During manufacture, there are all sorts of petroleum oils and contaminants used that you really do not want to have in the smoker while cooking. Also this will remove any solvents that may be left in the paints used on your smoker.
1. Clean the inside of the smoker. Use a mild soap detergent and water to wipe down the inside. To
include the grates or racks, sides, top, bottom, grease tray. Then rinse everything down with
water. Allow it to air dry. You can leave the smoker open or wipe off any excess water.
2. Once it is dry, spray the insides with a spray can of cooking oil like Pam or you can wipe it down
with cooking oil. Make sure that everything is coated but not oversaturated with oil dripping off. The
chip tray, heating element, grease tray, and water tray do not need to be coated with oil.
3. Next you will need to heat the smoker up to simulate smoking. Place the water pan in the smoker
but do not add any water to it. Open the top vent all the way. Set the temperature to the max
setting (for most Masterbuilt electric smokers this is 275 degrees F) Set the time for 3 hours.
4. Adding wood chips. I use this method taken from Deltadude “For the MES start out with 8-12
chips only, about 20 minutes later add another batch of chips same quantity, after the 3rd batch
you can increase the quantity a little because you have a hot bed of ash, but be careful too much
chips and you get black smoke. Black smoke is creosote, which imparts a real bitter taste to your
meat, which is nothing but bad.
When you first put chips in you will get white smoke, you will get white smoke with both dry or wet
chips. Since you are putting in so little amount of chips if they are soaked the amount of white
smoke will be the same, there is not enough moisture to create steam. Yeah you can hear the
chips sizzle when you put them into the tray that is the exterior moisture of loose water, since you
most likely will take the chips right out of whatever you are soaking them in. Since you can't use a
lot of chips in the MES that is why I soak mine to get a few extra minutes of burn/smoke time.
The white smoke will settle down into TBS (thin blue smoke) this is what you desire, TBS will not
smell bitter coming out of the vent (BTW keep your vent wide open in the MES if using wood
chips. TBS actually has a sweet smell, and that is what is kissing your meat adding flavor.
Remember, after the 3rd dump of chips there is hot ash inside and even though the visible smoke
will dissipate your meat is still getting smoke, just smell at the vent that is one way to tell.”
5. After the 3 hours are done you will need to let the smoker cool down. Then you can empty your
wood chip tray of any ashes or unburnt wood chips. You will never need to scrub the inside of
the smoker clean again. Leave it coated with the smoke residue. You can wipe it down
occasionally to get the loose stuff off. If you need to clean the racks you can place them in the
dishwasher. If you have a window on your smoker here are some cleaning tips for that from
1. Cleaning it while it is still warm works best.
2. No chemicals are used at all. Use some wet paper towels and the left over ash from your
woodchip tray. What you want to do is get about 6 paper towels. Take two of them, and ball them
up & run water on them to get them a little less than dripping wet. Then open your woodchip tray,
and dab one side of those two balled wet towels into the ashes. Also individually ball 3 other
paper towels, and get them less than dripping wet. Keep the other paper towel dry.
3. All you do is put the wet paper towels with the ashes on, against the glass & scrub it just like you
would scrub any window, until the whole thing is smeared up.
4. Then using the other wet paper towels one at a time, keep wiping the glass. It will get cleaner
with each wet paper towel. How many wet paper towels it takes will depend on how dirty it was to
5. Then when it looks clean enough to you, buff it with the dry paper towel-----Done!
Thanks to Deltadude and Bearcaver for their input on this.