If you have any experience with using a smoker, then you will know that one of the important things you need to do is season it. If you don't season your smoker, then the food that comes off of it will also lack seasoning, and will often turn out rather bland.
So, before you start using your smoker, you will first need to season it with oil.
There are lots of different oils that you can use to season your smoker, but most manufacturers recommend using either canola oil or peanut oil. This is because both of these oils have an extremely high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and they also come with a lovely flavor.
Canola oil is our top choice because it is budget-friendly and is available in a spray can at most major grocery stores. Peanut oil does tend to be more expensive, and are not suitable for those who struggle with nut allergies.
If you cannot afford these oils, or cannot eat them, you can also use vegetable, sunflower, and even avocado oil, to season your smoker. All of these oils also have a very high smoking point, which means that they will season your smoker without burning.
If you use an oil with a low smoking point, it can burn, leaving an off taste in your smoker, which could ruin your food.
So, canola or peanut oil is the best option for seasoning your smoker. But, sunflower, vegetable, and avocado oil are also excellent choices.
Is it necessary to season a smoker?
Yes, it is absolutely necessary to season your smoker! You can cook food on your smoker without seasoning it, however the final product is never going to taste as nice as food that has been cooked on an unseasoned smoker.
This is because a lot of dishes cooked on a smoker, get the majority of their flavor from the smoker itself. So, if the smoker hasn’t been seasoned, then it is likely that the final product will be bland.
Not only is it important that you season your smoker the first time that you use it, but it is also important that you re-season it regularly.
Seasoning your smoker not only adds flavor to the dishes that you are cooking, but it also provides your smoker with extra-protection. The oil will cover the metal of your smoker, ensuring that this oil will burn before the metal of your smoker does.
But, the first time that you season your smoker is the most important. Especially if your smoker is brand new. When a smoker is new, it will likely be coated with contaminants and oils from the production process.
If you were to cook something directly on your smoker, then it is likely that the flavor of whatever you are cooking will be impacted with these artificial tastes. So, yes, it is absolutely necessary to season your smoker before you begin using it.
Can you season a smoker with olive oil?
Absolutely! Yes, you can season your smoker with olive oil. In fact, olive oil is one of the best oils that you can use to do this job. As we mentioned earlier, canola oil is probably the best choice, but if you want another alternative, then olive oil is a great choice.
Olive oil is usually a popular choice as it is not connected with any allergies, like peanut oil is, and it is also able to give excellent flavor to food cooked on your smoker.
If you want to season your smoker with olive oil, you will need to do this while the smoker is dry. To do this, simply open the lid of your smoker and begin coating the inside of the smoker with a good layer of olive oil.
It is important that you get oil on all the insides of the metal of the smoker, so that it is protected from the high heats that the smoker will reach.
When you are confident that you have covered the insides of the smoker, you can then switch your smoker on. It is important that you do this as soon as you coat the smoker with olive oil.
You should then slowly turn up the heat on your smoker for 2-4 hours to ensure that the oil completely soaks into the metal of your smoker.
Can you season a smoker with bacon grease?
This is a lesser used method, but yes, you definitely can season your smoker with bacon grease. Most people opt for an oil as it is generally easier to do, but there is nothing preventing you from using bacon grease.
Depending on what you are planning to cook with your smoker, then you might find that bacon grease is the better option. Especially if you want a nice, meaty flavor.
Bacon grease is also an excellent choice if you want to use your smoker immediately after seasoning it. This is mainly because bacon grease is already packed with flavor, and this will infuse with the meat that you are cooking right away.
You might expect the process of seasoning your smoker with bacon grease to be very different to the process of seasoning your smoker with oil. But, in fact, it is not.
Generally speaking, the process is almost exactly the same. The only real difference is that bacon grease is more effective when it is first applied to the smoker, whereas oil will last for much longer.
Typically after seasoning a smoker with canola oil, we recommend cooking a pound of bacon or a fatty pork roast. By using greasy pork products, it will add great flavor to your new smoker
How long does it take to season a new smoker?
Seasoning a new smoker is simple to do and can be done in 2 hours. If you are reseasoning an old smoker, it will take about 1 hour if it is clean. The new smoker takes more time because you need to burn off the assembly oils and any contaminants.
As we have mentioned, seasoning your smoker is a very important part of maintenance for your smoker. So, it is understandable that the process of seasoning your smoker doesn’t actually take that long to do.
Some smoker manufacturers suggest that you only need to season your smoker once, but others recommend doing this much more regularly if you want it to remain in good condition.
To season your smoker, you will need to cover the inside of your smoker (when it is dry) with your chosen item. Most people choose to use some type of oil, but others will use things like bacon grease to enhance the flavor of what is cooked on the smoker.
Once you have applied the grease/oil, you will then need to turn up the heat on your smoker, and gradually do this for a period of time. After 2 hours, the smoker will be seasoned.
However, some people will choose to season their smoker for up to 4 hours to ensure that the oil/grease has completely settled before they use it.
Should I oil the outside of my smoker?
Yes, you should oil the outside of your smoker. To a lot of people, this will seem like a very strange step, but it is actually very important for the maintenance of your smoker.
Even though you do not use the outside of your smoker for cooking, it is made of metal, just like the inside of your smoker. Due to this, it is just as prone to rust. So, by oiling the outside of your smoker, you will protect this against rust, and likely prolong the life of your smoker.
However, if you are going to oil the outside of your smoker, there are some types of oil that are better than others. While you can use bacon grease to oil the inside of your smoker, you shouldn’t use this on the outside of your smoker.
Instead, you should opt for either canola, grape seed, or olive oil. These oils will not go off, ensuring that they are the best option for the outside of your smoker.
You do not need to oil the outside of your smoker. But, if you want your smoker to last, then oiling it is a great way to prolong the amount of time that it will last.