How to season a smoker grill

How to Season a Smoker – Steps & Tips

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Seasoning your smoker helps create a barrier between the metal and the food. It prevents any unpleasant flavors from transferring to your food.

In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that you need to take to season your smoker grill properly. We will also provide some tips for ensuring that the seasoning process goes as smoothly as possible!

Why do we Season a Smoker?

There are 2 main reasons why we season a smoker.

  1. To clean out any contaminants that may have remained in the manufacturing process.
  2. To prevent rust and corrosion.
How to season a smoker grill

The process will vary depending on the type of smoker you have, but as long as you follow these basic guidelines, you should be fine. So grab some dish soap, cooking spray, and fire-making components, and let’s move on.

Step by Step Guide on How to Season a Smoker

After you’ve unpacked and set up your smoker, it’s time to begin the seasoning process.

Step 1: Cleaning

If you have a new smoker, there may still be some oil, metal shavings, solvents, or uncured paint left in it. So, to eliminate anything that might cause unpleasant tastes or contaminants, give it a thorough clean.

This is what to do:

  1. Remove all of the smoking racks, grates, and pans.
  2. Remove all the racks, grates, and pans with a dish brush and mild dish soap and water.
  3. Repeat for the entire interior of the smoker, including the firebox.
  4. Allow to dry naturally.

Step 2: Apply Oil to the surface.

Now, you’ll need a high-burn point oil, Cast iron oil, BBQ Grill Cleaner Oil, or grapeseed oil, for example. Vegetable oil is also a good substitute. The reason for this is that after the smoker is heated with this oil for a long period of time, it will form a hard protective layer through a process known as polymerization.

  1.  Rub a layer of oil over the smoker’s insides, including all of the inside walls and doors or lids. This may also be achieved with a can of cooking spray oil.
  2. Coat the grates and racks with the same technique. The water pan isn’t usually coated, although you may put it on the outside if you like.
  3. Allow the oil to soak for 5 – 10 minutes before beginning the heating procedure.

Step 3: Heating

Now is time to heat the smoker. You’ll need to heat the smoker to a high temperature and maintain it there for roughly 2-4 hours. The ideal temperature for a dry rub is usually above the regular cooking temperature.

After the designated time, carefully return it to air temperature. This procedure ensures that the slim metal of most smoking devices does not warp.

For charcoal smokers:

Follow these instructions. This process is very similar to gas or electric smoker.

This is what to do: 

  1. Gather enough charcoal and wood for roughly 2 – 4 hours of cooking time. Use the same sort of wood you’ll be barbecuing with.
  2. Preheat one chimney of charcoal for approximately 10 minutes. Fill and light one chimney of charcoal, then simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. All intake and exhaust vents should be fully opened to provide the maximum amount of air.
  4. Add more charcoal to the smoker’s firebox, then tuck the lit coals on top.
  5. Add firewood little by little until the temperature rises to 300°F.
  6. Leave it for 2-4 hours at this temperature. To ensure that a good protective layer has been created, open the door/lid. The walls and grates should be blackened.
  7. Allow the smoker to gradually cool. The charcoal must have turned to ash.
  8. When the ashes are cool, remove them.

For Electric Smokers: 

Set the temperature dial to “high” and leave it running for approximately 3 hours. You can add some wood chips and smoker flavor into the smoker box as well. Learn more on how to season a new electric smoker here.

For Gas Smokers/Grills:

Set the grill on high and let it run for at least an hour if you’re using a propane gas smoker or barbecue. For the final 30-45 minutes, add wood chips or chunks to a pan to give it some wood flavor.

Best Practices & Tips for seasoning Your smoker

Here are some points for making sure your seasoning goes off without a hitch.

How to season a smoker grill
CARON & DOUCET – BBQ Grill Cleaner Oil
  • First, check to see whether your smoker is on a stable foundation. You don’t want all of the oil to flow to the rear or one side.
  • If you have a big smoker, use a spray bottle instead of many spray cans to add the liquid oil. Then use a soft cloth to apply it evenly throughout.
  • Before heating, mop up any spilled oil on the smoker’s bottom. The objective is for there to be a fine layer of oil on top.
  • If you have a gas or electric smoker, be careful not to get any oil on the heating coils.

Seasoning oils and alternatives.

  • Cooking oil with a high burn point, such as canola, flaxseed oil, or grapeseed oil is highly recommended. However, to liven things up a bit further, try any variation of this oil: Red Palm, Sunflower Oil,  Suet, or Lard


So after you’ve seasoned your smoker, ask if it needs to be re-seasoned? Definitely. It’s advisable to do that. Re-seasoning your smoker is also an excellent way to give it added protection throughout the year.

It’s also possible that the grease will congeal and solidify, leaving a residue that could contribute to off-flavors.

In conclusion. A seasoned smoker will last longer. It’s important to season a new smoker properly if you want great barbecuing results.

As you can see, the procedure is simple. It’s easy enough for anybody to do. You can have your new smoker up and running in only a few hours by doing this little cleaning, oil spraying, and fire-making. It will be rust-free, and any undesirable taste will be removed.