If you just have purchased a new charcoal or gas smoker, there is a need for you to season it. I know that it is quite an intriguing term, considering that seasoning is a concept used in actual food ingredients. But if you want to ensure that your food will get the best out of your smoker, you should “season it.”
How to season a new smoker? Well, there are various ways that you can do this. Specifically, the approach may vary from the type of smoker that you have. However, there is still a simple approach that you can do for seasoning the device. Just follow the instructions that I have written here to get started!
Importance of Seasoning a Smoker
Before we get straight to business, I have to elucidate first why seasoning a smoker is essential for its operation. Always remember that the smoker may not come perfectly after it was manufactured or shipped. Residues and debris can settle and stay there. But don’t worry. Things like that happen, and it is completely normal.
Manufacturers usually apply the interiors of the smoker with liquid like oil to prevent rust from happening. It is a standard procedure to ensure that the product will be in its top condition when it arrives on your doorsteps.
Now, the role of seasoning is pretty simple. It is there to take out all the present residues in the smoker simply. It could be oil, splinters, dust, or grease. It also stops the growth of contaminants by sealing the pores. In short, curing or seasoning the smoker is a simple process of ensuring that the device will be safe and convenient to use.
Seasoning is extremely necessary to stop the smoker from affecting the smell or flavor of the food that you cook on it. If you will operate the smoker without it being seasoned, there is a good chance that it won’t be able to smoke your food properly. On some dire situations, a smoker that has not been seasoned can contaminate the ingredients you smoked. You can always expect a long trip to the hospital after this.
How to Season a New Smoker
As I mentioned, seasoning a new smoker will allow you to expel all the residues, chemicals, and compounds that are present in it. It could serve as a catalyst that would enable your device to become a bonafide smoker. It would also lessen the maintenance that you have to do.
It doesn’t really matter if you have a traditional smoker or an electric smoker. As long as they are newly purchased, you have the responsibility to remove all those unwanted stuff through the use of special chemicals or food applications. There is no exception on this process. If you want to ensure your safety and sanctity of the food, you must do this method from the get-go.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry that much. Seasoning a smoker is pretty simple. But of course, you should take a look at the manual of your smoker first. It should have listed there the important things that you should do while you are seasoning the device. But for standard procedures, just follow the steps below:
The first thing that you should do is to wash the inside surface of the smoker. You can use a soap-water mixture here and wipe them through the use of a clean cloth.
A quick wash is necessary to eliminate the oil in the metal box. Make sure that you do it lightly to avoid scratches. Once done, let the device be air-dried.
Next, use a cooking oil and spray it inside the smoker in a light manner. You should cover all the sections to ensure that all contaminants can be covered. You can also spray the grates and other accessories of the smoker. Although it is not necessary, you might still find this useful. On the other hand, you can leave the water pan untouched.
If you have an electric smoker, make sure that you don’t spray any electrical parts like the heating element. You should do the same thing with your gas smoker. Always avoid spraying the burner. Just spray the surface adequately, but don’t do it to the point that the oil will start to drip.
Once done spraying, let the smoker be idle for few hours. In this way, the oil can dry off successfully.
The last process that you should do is heating the smoker. You need to do this so that the smoker can incinerate any residues that are produced during the construction process. The temperature that you should set in the device may vary, depending on the brand and unit that you have. That’s why it is pretty important that you check the manual first for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
However, there is an unwritten rule that suggests that you should do the heating gradually. Slowly increase the temperature until such time you can achieve the prescribed temperature of the manufacturer for the seasoning process. Let the device be heated for several hours.
Ideally, gas and charcoal smoker should be heated around 200 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Make sure that you constantly supply the smoker with wood chips for you to maintain the said temperature. Electric smokers can be seasoned for 1 to 2 hours at the same temperature level.
Learning how to season a new smoker is an essential skill for anyone who wants to invest in this device. Even those that have smokers already should still review the process as re-seasoning is quite necessary at some point. Just remember that the safety of the food is on the line here. You must get it right so that you can enjoy the full flavor of any smoked recipes that you create!
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