How To Season A New Smoker
I have a brand new water smoker and I am told that I have to season it before use. The directions do not say anything about how to season a new smoker. I am new to smoking and want to start off right so any info will help.
When the manufacturer of your smoker packs the product up for shipment, whether that be direct to you or into a store warehouse, they spray oil onto the metal in order to prevent rust.
Upon receipt of your smoker, if you were to assemble it and start smoking immediately, this oil would taint the flavor of everything in the food chamber. So before you start smoking food, you have to get rid of this oil and the term used to describe this process is "seasoning".
Seasoning a new smoker isn't complicated, essentially you light it up, crank it up to over 250°F or 120°C and pass smoke through it. Many people also recommend spraying the inside of your food compartment with cooking oil (such as PAM).
Let your smoker run like this for 30 minutes to an hour and then you should be ready to go - it's a bit like using a firelighter to light charcoal, you have to ensure that all the pretroleum residue has burned off prior to commencing cooking.
How do you know when your smoker is seasoned? Let it cool, open the lid and smell. If you smell oil then you need to season a little longer, if you smell smoke then you're ready to go.
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