Pellet smokers are becoming more and more popular, and with the flavor and texture they give meat, it’s easy to see why!
To season your new pellet smoker, you have to begin by cleaning it out. When the smoker has dried, oil needs to be applied to the interior and left at maximum heat for three hours. Without the right seasoning, rust will form and your pellet smoker will not be safe to use.
If you want your pellet smoker to function properly, then you need to fully understand and follow the right steps to season it. So how does it work? What differences will seasoning your pellet smoker make?
How to season your pellet smoker – Step by step
Step 1: Clean
You can use dish soap and water, or a specialized grill cleaner. The dish soap will act as a degreaser that will remove manufacturing oils. To avoid scratching the finish of the new pellet smoker, you need to use a soft cloth to clean it with. Anything rougher will scratch the finish, making it difficult to use in the future.
Step 2: Air Dry
When you finish washing out your new pellet smoker, you have to let it air dry. Attempting to season the smoker when wet, could make the following steps more challenging. So give your new machine time to air out until the moisture is completely gone.
Step 3: Spray with cooking oil
The entire interior of the pellet smoker needs to be coated in oil. However, the layer of oil should be thin and almost unnoticeable. If you’re having to wipe up any extra oil, then you’ve poured too much of it over the interior. The best solution is to use a can of oil spray(The flourless kind), as it won’t spray too much oil at a time. The spray will also be easier to aim in a specific area.
Tip: Follow the first three steps while the smoker has yet to be assembled. It will be much easier to coat every part of the smoker in oil when it is pulled apart. Be sure to handle each piece carefully so that you don’t remove the protective coating you just put on.
Step 4: Place empty water pan
Put the water pan back into the grill with the other parts. The water pan does not need to be coated in oil like the rest of the grill, and it should be completely dry when you put it back into the new pellet smoker.
Step 5: Open vent
The vent of the smoker needs to be open when you turn the temperature up to its highest settings. If the vent is not open, it could overheat the interior on the higher heat settings. Because oxygen and heat levels are controlled by the vents on your pellet smoker, you can use those vents to keep it at the right temperature.
Step 6: Set to max temperature
Your pellet smoker should be set to it’s highest temperature, leaving the vents open for a full three hours. After which, you must remember to turn the heat all the way down. After running your smoker for the full three hours, it needs to cool down in preparation for your first use.
*To see more on seasoning your pellet smoker, see the video below.
What Happens If You Don’t Season Your Smoker
A pellet smoker will begin to rust if you don’t remember to clean and season it properly before use. Pellet smokers do not come with an extra fancy coating to prevent if from rusting overtime. You have to season the smoker yourself in order for it to last longer.
Otherwise, the metal will slowly be oxidized by the moisture, causing the rust to occur. Layering oil over the interior will add an extra layer of protection against the moisture. Getting a little oil on the outside wouldn’t harm the metal either. If at all possible, waterproofing the outer sides of your new pellet smoker will also help prevent it from rusting.
Should Your Auto Igniter Fail
if your auto igniter fails, you will have to manually light your pellet smoker by following these steps;
- Double check that the fire pot is empty. It shouldn’t be burning at all.
- Pour a 1/2 cup of pellets into the fire pot of the smoker.
- Squirt 2 tablespoons of alcohol gel into the fire pot over the pellets.
- Use a match to carefully light the pellets on fire.
- After the pellets have been burning for about four to five minute, you can switch the pellet smoker on.
At this point, your pellet smoker should be working again, and you can set it to the temperature that you wanted. If it goes out or doesn’t work, then follow these steps again, giving the pellets more time to burn.
*If you want to see more about how to light your pellets manually, then watch the video below.
Do you need to season it again if you clean it?
You should only have to season you pellet smoker again if the coating of oil comes off during cleaning. The oil is necessary to the safety and lifespan of your smoker. If you clean your pellet smoker too much, then you will have to season it again.
When the previous seasoning has been removed, follow the same steps as when you seasoned it the first time. Make sure the smoker is clean and dry before layering new oil over the interior. Then remember to turn it up to maximum heat for about three hours, preparing it for the next time the pellet smoker will be used.
Remember: The oil is a protection for the interior of your pellet smoker. If the oil rubs off, then that protection will no longer be there to prevent your smoker from rusting over.