Offset smokers are great for beginners to get their hands on barbecuing and learn its art. A brand new offset smoker should not be used before seasoning an offset smoker. It comes with dirt, factory residual, and oils to protect from rust, as all of these are contaminants.
Let’s say you use your new offset smoker without seasoning, then the taste of cooked food will not be suitable for the initial sessions. If you are there, then it is obvious that you own an offset smoker and want to know how to season an offset smoker. Hold on because you are at the right place. I am going to tell you the easiest way to do it.
Why Should You Season Your Offset Smoker?
Seasoning your offset smoker is an essential step in the smoking process. You can do it before or after you fire up the smoker, but it is always good to do it at least once a year. Following are the reasons why you need to season your brand new offset smoker:
To Eliminate Factory Residual And Dirt
Factory residue and dirt are the most common problems in offset smokers. The metal-on-metal contact causes rust, which harms your offset smoker. It can lead to corrosion and can cause your smoker to rust out quickly. To prevent this, you should season your smoker at least once every year to remove any factory residue and dirt that might be present.
An offset smoker is made of steel, so it will eventually rust if you do not take care of it properly. But by seasoning your smoker, you can increase its lifespan by preventing rust from forming on the metal surface of your smoker. The seasoning process also helps prevent corrosion from occurring in the future by removing any existing rust build-up on the surface of your smoker before it happens again.
Prevent From Corrosion
If you do not season your offset smoker, then there is another reason for corrosion: condensation build-up inside of your smoker during cold weather conditions (or other bad weather). If this occurs, then water can accumulate on the inside walls of your smoker, which can lead to rusting over time. Seasoning protects it from rust or corrosion because of oil because cooking oil gets applied to it.
How To Season Offset Smoker? – Step By Step
These steps will be crucial in seasoning the offset smoker. Let’s see:
Clean The Smoker
Remove all the parts, clean the smoker thoroughly and make sure it is free of dust and debris. It is vital because any leftover food or grease accumulated inside the smoker can affect the seasoning process. So, make sure you clear out all of this gunk before you start seasoning your smoker.
Apply Oil In The Interior and parts
Apply a thin layer of vegetable or mineral oil on all surfaces of the smoker. Do not forget the underside of the lid, inside the smoker, and all surfaces of the cooking chamber while applying the oil. Place a drip pan below to collect oil dripping.
You should only use high cooking oil as low heat point oil will start to burn while seasoning your smoker. These are some oils you can you to season an offset smoker:
- Sunflower oil
- Canola oil
- Almond oil
- Sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Corn oil
- Peanut oil
- Avocado oil
Fire The Smoker
Now you need to fire up your smoker. You can do it by lighting charcoal or wood chips in a smoker, but if you are using an electric smoker, plug it in and turn it on. The temperature inside the smoker will rise rapidly, so make sure not to leave the door open while it is heating up. In particular, do not leave the lid open at all.
Monitor Its Temperature
Once your smoker is heated up (it usually takes about 20 minutes), you will want to monitor its temperature. Put a thermometer inside the smoker or use a digital thermometer plugged into your corresponding electrical outlet to check the temperature. If your smoker has a digital probe monitoring system, use that instead of a thermometer.
Let It Go For 2 to 3 Hours
After heating up for about 20 minutes, leave it alone for 2 to 3 hours before checking again on its internal temperature. It should heat up gradually from there until it hits around 220° F, when you will want to remove any excess smoke from the air inside and crack open some beers or cocktails. Keep in mind that you have to continue this session without putting any food in the smoker.
Close The Smoker
Once the seasoning session is over, you have to turn it off. Do not close the lid until the smoker cools down to normal. You have to clean the smoker before storing it. During the seasoning of offset, smoker applied oil usually drips down due to the burning smoke produced, which accumulates on the inner walls of the smoker, so you need to clean this mess.
How Long Does It Take To Season an Offset Smoker?
It depends on what type of wood you are using with your offset smoker. Most offset smokers are designed to use wood chips, but some models can be used with pellets or briquettes. If you use wood chips, then it will take about two hours to season your smoker.
You should know how long the manufacturer recommends seasoning your smoker before using it for the first time. If you use pellets or briquettes, it will take about four hours to season your smoker. Again, you should know what the manufacturer suggests for seasoning.
The entire process of seasoning an offset smoker may not be as long and tedious as you may have thought it was. Nevertheless, all it requires is a few simple but very effective steps, which, when implemented, will leave you with a well-seasoned offset smoker.
In the end, this will give you greater control over the quality of your barbecuing marinades, as well as lessen the chances of food burning or sticking to the surface of your smoker. It will make for better tasting food, so you must do it.