How to Season a Smoker – the Best and the Easiest Instruction

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Today, we will share a tip to make the barbecue smokier and tastier when you use a smoker at home. Whether you are about to buy a smoker or already have one at home, you will need this instruction if you want to make the best BBQ.

This article will show you how to season a smoker at ease. So what does it mean “season a smoker"? Is it essential or not? How can we season it? The answer is already in the following parts. Stay tuned and keep reading to the end!


What Does It Mean "Season a Smoker"?

how to season a smoker pit

How to Season a Smoker in the Best and Easiest Way

Have you ever heard the verb "season"? What do you think of when you first hear it? You may probably think about seasoning the meat, pork, and beef with different kinds of flavors. But to "season a smoker" is not what you think. When it comes to cookware, the term is known as "prolonging the life of a tool’’. Why is it so?

Whether you have just bought a new smoker or have already used the smoker for many times, seasoning it is recommended. Like, you should not wear a new shirt right off the rack, or use a new bowl, cup, etc. immediately from the store. The first thing to do is to clean or wash your smoker thoroughly. And a new smoker is no exception.

After a long time in use, there must be dust and rust inside the baking area of the smoker. Here is why we must season the smoker before making a delicious BBQ meal.

Therefore, to "season a smoker" is to remove all the rust, dust, chemicals, or small metal pieces left inside the smoker. Then, cover the inside of the smoker with a coat of olive oil, and after that, the smoker is readily available for the best BBQ in your backyard.

Why Must We Season the Smoker?

You may ask why we can’t use the smoker immediately after getting it from the shop, but there are some reasons here.

First of all, it's not good for your health. Seasoning the smoker allows you to get rid of the chemicals, paint, debris, etc. inside the cooking area. During the manufacturing and delivery, there will be dust and dirt gathering in the smoker. That's why we should wash the smoker for the first time use.

Have you used your smoker for many times? If yes, you may find a lot of rust, dust, and maybe some pieces of burnt meat stuck inside the device. If you keep using the smoker without seasoning it, you are prone to a number of diseases, even cancer.

Secondly, seasoning is to make your BBQ more savory. If you rarely season the smoker, your food may lose the original flavor after smoking. It may taste strange and even horrible.

So, how to season a smoker? With each kind of cookware, you will have a few things to notice. However, there are also standard instructions to follow for all smokers. Here we go!

How to Season a Smoker - Step by Step

Step 1: Wash the Smoker

how to season a smoker masterbuilt

Indeed, whether you’re going to use a new smoker or an old one, make sure that it's clean inside out. So, prepare a small bucket of soap, a towel, and get ready to wash.

Dip the towel into the bucket to make it soapy, and then slightly wash the inside. Also, do it gently so that you will not scratch or damage the heating area. Remove and clean all the debris, contaminants, chemicals, tiny metal pieces, etc. inside the smoker.

After finishing, wash that towel with clean water, and then use it to clean the smoker one more time before leaving it to dry. It would be better to season your smoker on a sunny or windy day so that it will take less time for the smoker to dry completely.

Step 2: Cover Inside the Smoker With Olive Oil

When the smoker is dry, cover the inside with a coat of olive oil. This is an important part when seasoning the smoker. Do you know why?

You may probably know the effect of oil when it is used to cover metal or steel. It will act as a layer of protection to prevent the metal from contacting with oxygen in the atmosphere, thereby avoiding rust and oxidation.

The smoker is also a piece of metal which rusts easily if you don’t know how to protect it. Olive oil will help here too.

Now, you have two options to finish this step: spraying or wiping. If you want to spray, prepare a spray can and pour the oil into it. This is the more straightforward method. In case you do not want to wipe the interior with oil, prepare a small brush and a can of olive oil. This may take more time, but the oil will be spread evenly.

It is easier when you do this step with unassembled parts of the smoker. It helps you cover all the parts thoroughly from the corners to the edges. However, if there is a water pan in your smoker, you don’t need to cover it with oil.

There is a notice for two types of smokers as following:

  • For a gas smoker, do not cover oil onto the burner
  • For an electric smoker, do not use oil onto the electrical heating component

If you let the oil run into these parts, it will burn and damage the smoker when the device starts heating. After finishing, wait for it to settle down, and then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Start the Tool and Heat for Several Hours

how to season a smoker masterbuilt

The final step looks simple, but there are different arguments about the temperature we should set for the first time. The question is: “How hot should it be?”

First, you must know that heating the smoker without food helps burn up any impurities and chemicals inside. As to our experience, we recommend that you should start at the minimum temperature, and then gradually turn it up to the maximum. Keep it burning for several hours before turning off and wait for it to cool down.

So what about the old smoker? Because you have already used it many times, there are no debris or metal pieces left inside. You can set the temperature at the maximum to burn up the rust gathered in the racks or grates.


For Each Type of Smokers

  • For a gas smoker, heat on the highest temperature and keep it for a minimum of 60 minutes.
  • For an electric smoker, heat with the medium temperature and keep it for a minimum of 60 minutes.
  • For a charcoal smoker, you cannot set the temperature at the beginning. Instead, open the vent widely so that the smoker will get more oxygen and the coal will burn up faster. 

In Conclusion

Now, you know how to season the smoker with the best and easiest instruction. Your BBQ meal will always be deeply smoky and tasty if you follow these simple steps.

Now let’s look back and recap all the steps above

  • STEP 1: Wash and Clean the Smoker 
  • Wash the inside of the smoker quickly to make it clean. Use a towel with soap to remove all the dust.
  • STEP 2: Cover the Interior of the Smoker With Olive Oil
  • You can spray or wipe oil onto the parts of the smoker. It would be better and more comfortable to do when all the pieces are unassembled. Remember not to apply any oil into some specific areas such as water pan, electric heating component, etc.
  • STEP 3: Start the Smoker and Heat for Several Hours
  • Set the different temperature for each type of smokers. Keep it running for several hours to burn all the impurities inside and wait for it to cool down.

Above are all the simple steps to season a smoker at home. It does not only help protect your health, keep the original taste of food, but also extends the life of the cookware.

Did you season your smoker already? If not, this is a great place to start, and if you did, let us know your experience in the comment box below.

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