How to Season an Offset Smoker – Easy Steps to Follow

If you’re new to smoking food, you may wonder how to season an offset smoker. Seasoning is the process of adding flavor to foods that will be smoked, typically with a rub or marinade. When you season an offset smoker, you add flavor to the meat that will be smoked. It’s the secret to creating great smoked meats. If you don’t season an offset smoker, you’ll end up with dry, tasteless meat.

How to season an offset smoker

This is the only way to get a flavorful and tender smoked product. We’re going to go over the three most important things you should be doing to season your offset smoker: 

  • Build a fire in the right spot
  • Make sure the wood is seasoned
  • Make sure you don’t put too much smoke in the chamber

Additional Resources:

Visit our post on the “Best Offset Smoker” for additional details on how to select the best offset smoker for your requirements. It offers insightful commentary and suggestions to support your decision-making. We Also reviewed budget-friendly Offset smokers under 500. Have a read and go for the Best option that fulfills your needs and requirements.

What is the Meaning of Seasoning an Offset Smoker?

Before cooking your first meal, a new smoker must go through the seasoning process, which burns off all the oils and impurities that were picked up or left behind during production. Your smoker will last longer if you season it to prevent corrosion. Here’s the right way to go about it.

You might picture sprinkling salt and pepper on a metal box when you hear the phrase “seasoning a new smoker.” Though that would be absurd, any dictionary will not even remotely provide you with helpful information. The two accepted definitions are processing wood for use as timber and flavoring food. The process of seasoning a smoker differs slightly from that of seasoning a cast iron pan to make it non-stick. However, one of the rules for treating a surface that food doesn’t contact is concealed somewhere in there.

This procedure may also be referred to as curing or pre-seasoning.

Let’s continue and develop a clear description of what seasoning (or pre-seasoning or curing) a smoker in the Land of Grills and Smokers entails. We’ll next discover why it’s essential and proceed to step-by-step instructions on how to season an offset smoker.

The Basic seasoning

Two key goals of seasoning a smoker are to remove pollutants that might have been left over from the manufacturing process and to prevent rust from increasing the smoker’s lifespan.

Additionally, it’s an excellent opportunity to familiarise yourself with your new smoker and learn how to regulate the temperature without endangering any pricey meat.

  • Some actions you must take are as follows:
  • Thoroughly wash the smoker with dish soap and water.
  • 2 Spray cooking spray inside the smoker from top to bottom.
  • 3 Cook for two to four hours while gradually raising the smoker’s temperature.

The exact procedure will vary depending on the smoker type, but everything should work out as long as you follow these fundamental principles.

How To Season an Offset Smoker (Basic Steps)

There are two main justifications for seasoning a smoker:

  • To remove trash and odors
  • To keep it from rusting and other elements

Starting the seasoning process on your smoker properly during assembly is a must!

Although it may seem unusual, going through all these stages as you assemble things will ultimately save you time. You can also clean and coat all surfaces with it. The smoker will be given an entire run after the stages listed below, heating it as though you were beginning a cook without any meats inside.

This ensures the seasoning is applied evenly to the surfaces of your smoker. So it will add a layer of defense against the substances and byproducts that fire produces. There are several reasons why it’s essential to stop a new smoker. Your BBQ smoker will be suitable after cleaning all the oils, debris, and bacteria left over from the manufacturing process.

Though the idea of seasoning your smoker with cooking spices may conjure up a humorous image when you hear the word “seasoning,” the truth is very different. Pre-seasoning or curing a smoker is another term for seasoning, and it’s different from seasoning a cast-iron pan or disposable BBQ. It’s an essential initial step you must complete before cooking your cuisine, whether relaxing with family or hosting guests.


Pans, racks and the interior are all included in this.

Some claim that the best cleaning solution is just water and elbow grease. Some people swear by a bit of dish soap that doubles as a degreaser. Another option is to use a solution of two or three parts baking soda to one part water.

Wash down the apparatus with a gentle cloth to prevent scratching the coating. Work to remove the oils, buildup, and grime accumulated from past smoking runs if you’re reseasoning an existing smoker.

Whatever cleaning/degreasing method you decide on, thoroughly rinse everything with warm water to eliminate any remaining degreaser.


Any lingering smells that adhere to the smoker’s surfaces are eliminated by air drying.

  • The instructions provided by the manufacturer typically state that you should let your smoker and its accessories air dry rather than wiping them down with a cloth or something similar.
  • However, some people dry the spots with a cloth or towel. Some people will speed up the air drying by using an electric leaf blower.
  • You can choose the air dry if you have the time. If you’re short on time, use your leaf blower to remove most of the water. After that, dry the area with a cloth, towel, or robust paper towels (cheap ones probably won’t work, but you may try).


You need to gather some oil with a high burn point. It will work with cooking oil like canola or grapeseed oil. After heating, this oil will produce a good, hard, protective surface through a process known as polymerization (See the tips section below for additional oils and substitutes).

  • What you should do is:
  • Apply a thin layer of oil to the door or lid and all interior walls of an empty smoker. You can apply this with a soft cloth or a can of cooking spray.
  • Use the same procedure to coat the racks and grates. The water pan shouldn’t be coated, although you can if you like. 
  • Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the oil to absorb before beginning the heating procedure.

Omit the canola or vegetable oil if you’re seasoning your smoker for immediate use. Instead, fill the interior with the aromas of smoke and meat using anything like bacon grease from a previous meal or smoke. Once thoroughly dry, use your preferred flourless cooking oil to spritz or wipe off the internal surfaces.

A cooking spray is the most straightforward approach to ensure all the edges and corners are covered as you assemble things. Additionally, doing this while the piece is completed offers you more room to move and reach areas you may otherwise miss once the work is completed. Avoid applying so much that it has to be cleaned up. Coat evenly and thinly.

Wearing rubber gloves will help you handle the parts with care during assembly to prevent removing the covering. To provide more water-proofing, rub any oil on the smoker’s outside into the surface.

Many Oil Types and Alternatives

As we previously stated, we advise using a high-burn-point oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil. However, you can also explore and add a little spice by attempting some of the Food Fire Friends alternatives listed below:

  • Bacon Fat
  • Red Palm Sunflower Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Suet (Raw Beef Fat)
  • Lard or Tallow

Heat The Smoker

Follow the simple steps that mention below.

  • Place the water pan there, but don’t fill it with water.
  • Light the charcoal or wood you’ve used to fill the smoker.
  • It should be allowed to heat up and finish the cooking cycle. This will guarantee that any manufacturing-related chemicals or solvents are burned off.
  • Run the grill for a couple of hours.
  • Ensure all intake and exhaust vents are open to enable the most ventilation. The temperature should be greater than the standard cooking temperature for the most outstanding results.
  • Attempt to reach a high temperature of at least 400oF.
  • Set the temperature to the highest setting on gas and electric smokers.
  • Reminder: Select the same kind of wood that you’ll use for cooking.

As the last step, let the smoker cool down and clean it

Allow the smoker to cool after using it on high for a few hours. Any ashes or debris left over can be taken out as soon as the smoker is cold to the touch. Even you can clean the smoker’s interior thoroughly at the shop.

I like to visually check the smoker during this final phase to ensure that all the parts and components are still secure and appear in good functioning. One problem that could occur while using a smoker at high temperatures is that the metals will expand and contract, possibly causing a few nuts and bolts to come loose. Simple instructions on how to season a smoker are provided here in five simple steps. Simple steps must be taken to completely clean the smoker before utilizing it to cook food.

In a nutshell, clean your smoker with water and dish soap. Before being treated to a high-temperature burn to remove any remaining impurities, smokers should be lightly coated in vegetable oil to prevent corrosion.


Will your smoker need to be reseasoned now that you’ve seasoned it?

Reseasoning your smoker to increase protection is undoubtedly a good idea.

Additionally, after a lot of grilling, creosote, the thick, oily byproduct of fire, may accumulate and give unpleasant flavors.

Some bbq experts advise against reseasoning the grates. You must keep them pristine and avoid coating them with additional grease or carbon that could contaminate the food.

A seasoned smoker will last you longer

A new smoker needs proper cleaning before use. As you can see, the procedure is relatively easy. In only a few hours, you can have your brand-new smoker safe and prepared for its first barbeque with a bit of cleaning, cooking spray, and fire-making supplies.

It will shield from rust and other unwelcome flavors. Therefore, go ahead and season!

What Makes a Smoker Seasoned?

I like learning about the origin of words. However, there are situations when it only causes more uncertainty. Because it is beneficial to know that the word “season” derives from an Old Latin word for “sowing.” No, not even with some stretching.

The process is hence known as seasoning because that is what it is termed. Please leave a comment if you have any insight into this.

  • A smoker should season for two main reasons:
  • After-production cleanup
  • Prevention of rust

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it would be best if you seasoned the firebox on a smoker. By doing this, you can maintain the integrity of the metal. You DO NOT want to ignore this since doing so would cause the metal in your smoker’s firebox to corrode and eventually start to erode.

Additionally, it prolongs the life of your smoker and protects it. Your smoker only needs to be seasoned once, when it is fresh new. It takes around two hours, but you won’t have to do it again once it’s done.

Here’s why you don’t need to soak your wood pieces and chips. Before producing smoke, soaked wood chips and chunks must evaporate any remaining moisture. It will take some time for the water on the wood to warm up to 212°F (the boiling point of water), where it will remain until it has evaporated.


You’re now all set to have a BBQ.

Seasoning your smoker may need a bit more time and work on your part, but it will pay off in the end. Seasoning will give your smoker a longer shelf life and improve the quality of your smoking experience.

Of course, everyone wants their barbecue flavorful, flawless, and devoid of rust. All of it begins with giving your smoker a thorough seasoning.

Why are you holding out? Do some seasoning if you have learned how to season an offset smoker!

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