How To Season An Electric Smoker In 5 Seriously Simple Steps
If you’ve just purchased your new electric smoker, you’ll be eager to try it out. You may have probably spent hours learning new recipes and researching the best way to use your smoker.
And then, you realize that seasoning your smoker is an important step before using it for the first time.
Seasoning a smoker can be daunting, especially when you’ve only recently brought it home and have no idea where to start.
But don’t worry, my friend!
This article will show you how to season an electric smoker in 9 seriously simple steps and what to keep in mind during the process.
What does it mean to “season” a smoker?
The first step in successfully seasoning your smoker is to understand the concept of seasoning.
So, what exactly is seasoning your smoker?
Seasoning is the process of burning a layer of oil onto a metal surface and then heating it at high temperatures without any food inside to create a protective layer that seals the pores of the metal so that it doesn’t rust or get damaged by moisture.
The seasoning process is often used on cast iron cookware, but it can be applied to any type of metal surface—including the inside of your smoker.
While seasoning the inside of your smoker may seem like a daunting task, it’s actually pretty easy. All you need is some vegetable oil and a few hours.
Do I need to season an electric smoker?
Yes, you do. When you buy a new electric smoker, it’s important to season it right away after it’s fully assembled.
Seasoning is the process of burning off any oils or unpleasant chemicals that might have been used in the manufacturing process. Seasoning will also help your smoker to form a protective coating that prevents rust and makes it last longer.
What happens if you don’t season your new smoker?
If you don’t season your smoker, the metal will rust, and your smoker will start to deteriorate. It will also lose its effectiveness as a smoker because it won’t have that protective coating to protect it from moisture and other elements.
The supplies you’ll need to season your smoker
Here are some of the basic supplies you’ll need to season your smoker:
- Cooking spray
- Wood chips
- Wet damp cloth
- A Power Outlet to plug in your smoker (on the outside of the house or garage)
Once you have all of these items, you can start the process of seasoning your electric smoker.
How to Season An Electric Smoker: Step-by-Step Guide
Here are 9 simple step you can follow to season your electrcic smoker:
- Make sure your new electric smoker is properly assembled
- Wipe down the interior surface with a wet, damp cloth
- Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the inside surface
- Turn things back to where it belongs
- Open the vents all the way
- Start up your electric smoker
- Set your timer
- Add the wood chips during the last 45 minutes of the seasoning process
- When it’s finished, let everything cool off
Let’s take a look at each step in detail!
1. Make sure your new electric smoker is properly assembled
First and foremost, make sure your smoker is properly assembled. Most smokers come pre-assembled, but some may need to be put together.
Make sure the legs are tight and secure, check the door seals for any gaps or cracks, and make sure all screws are fastened tightly and that there’s no damage to any parts of your smoker body.
If you find an issue, immediately contact the manufacturer for a replacement part or fix it.
Don’t start seasoning smoking until you’ve thoroughly inspected your electric smoker.
2. Wipe down the interior surface with a wet, damp cloth
The next thing you want to do is remove any excess dust or dirt that might be present on the cooking racks and interior of your smoker by slightly wiping it down with a wet cloth.
Remember not to use any dish soap or strong cleaning agents while wiping down your smoker; just use water, and you’re good to go!
3. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the internal surfaces
Applying just a light coating before seasoning your new electric smoker will help the seasoning stick to the surface and prevent it from being washed off by the heat of your smoker.
While you can use any type of cooking oil for this step, vegetable oil is typically recommended as it’s cheap and doesn’t leave a strong flavor.
For this step, using cooking oil spray is the easiest and fastest way, but if you don’t have a spray bottle on hand, you can also use a paintbrush or a paper towel to apply a thin layer of cooking oil directly to the cooking racks and the smoker’s interior surface.
4. Turn things back to where it belongs
After you’ve oiled your smoker, put the empty wood chip tray, water pan, and cooking racks back in their rightful places. And remember to attach the grease tray underneath!
5. Open the vents all the way
It’s imperative that you leave the vents open so that wood chips don’t turn into charcoal and stop smoking. If you leave the vents open, the chips will smoke for a long time before turning to ashes.
6. Start up your electric smoker
To start your smoker, connect it to a power outlet and push the on/off button.
7. Set your timer
Then set your temperature to 275 degrees F for 3 hours (for most electric smokers, this is also the maximum temperature setting)
The heating element will soon heat up; within minutes; your smoker should be hot enough to start the seasoning process.
For the first 2 hours, let your smoker burn without wood chips; this will help kill off any chemicals or residue left behind in the manufacturing process.
In the last 45 minutes, add wood chips to produce smoke. This smoke will coat the inside of your smoker and set up a perfect environment for future meat-smoking endeavors.
8. Add the wood chips during the last 45 minutes of the seasoning process
When 45 minutes are remaining, load half of your wood tray with wood chips and place the tray back in the smoker.
You should not load your smoker with too much wood. If you do, the temperature will be thrown off, and this will ruin the seasoning process. You also want to wait until the smoke has stopped coming from your smoker before adding more wood chips.
9. When it’s finished, let everything cool off
After 3 hours, your smoker will be quite hot. Let it cool down before you dump the ashes from the wood chip tray and prepare to smoke your first batch of food.
Hopefully, you now have a much clearer idea of how to season electric smokers. It’s not as tricky as you’d think, and the benefits for your new smoker are well worth the effort.
Seasoning a smoker will only take a little bit of time, but it can make a massive difference in how well your smoker performs.