How to Season A New Smoker

To season a new smoker or even reseason an old smoker is to get rid of oils, chemicals, cleaning compounds, etc. and to infuse the metal with smoky residue that will make your metal box or cylinder worthy of being called a smoker.

All smokers MUST be seasoned be fore you use them the first time and/or after they have been cleaned by a chemical or degreaser.

This goes for propane, charcoal, electric or exceptions.

The steps are very easy and I will cover them below in easy to understand steps:

1. Spray a very light coating of vegetable oil on the inside surfaces of the smoker. I usually buy a cheap can of sprayable olive oil or something similar and it works like a charm. If you are using a horizontal smoker with a side firebox then you really only need to spray oil on the cooking chamber.. you can omit the firebox.

2. Fill the smoke box with wood chips if you are using gas or electric or just set up your charcoal or wood smoker as if you were going to perform a normal cooking session.

3. Start the fire in your non-electric smoker and try to maintain a temperature of around 225 for about 2 hours. If the smoker stops smoking during this time then provide more seasoned wood or wood chips to keep the smoke constant for the entire two hours.

4. Electric smokers are easy.. just plug it in and if it has a power button or a controller then set it to smoke for two hours at 225 degrees. Keep providing smoke chips throughout the two hours to keep the smoke constant.

5. The seasoning of your smoker is complete and you can now use it to smoke a bit of meat or you can turn everything off or let the fire die out until you are ready to use it.

See.. I told you it was simple to season your new smoker;-)

Just a side note… if you do need to clean your smoker then something like simple green works great but it will need to be seasoned afterwards. I clean my smokers in this way very seldom and only if absolutely necessary.


  1. Douglas James says:

    I really like the upgrade info on the Brinkmann smoker (another page) Need a picture on what the air-flow regulator holes look like. You have pictures for everything else. Thank you for such a great web-site. I had retired my smoker and now it is up and smokin’

  2. Lutomski says:

    Im new to smoking and I was just wondering should I be cleaning my smoker every time? My instruction manual that came with it said to wipe it down and clean the grills and bowls. I have a water smoker buliet style.


  3. The Smoking Guy says:

    Seasoning a smoker is much like seasoning a cast iron skillet or dutch oven. It should make it easy to clean out too. Great post thanks for sharing.

  4. You should NOT clean your smoker with Simple Green; there are 3 types of carcinogens and 93 air contaminants.

  5. what material do you reccomend for cooking grates? I am building a smoker out of an old propane tank. I am not sure if I need to buy stainless for the grates or would normal expanded steel work.

    • I use expanded metal for mine. Just use a wire brush to clean off any rust that may be on it. Get it up to temp and rub it down with an oil of your choice. I use an old washcloth and vegetable oil.

  6. thank you for instructing me ive never smoked anything before and just inherited a smoker im seasoning it now and hopefully will use it today . Thanks for all the great info .

  7. Just got a used smokey mountain and it needs cleaning therefore seasoning as well so I need to know what to clean it with. I was just going to wire brush it then season it today and hope it’ll be ready by tonite

  8. Jardie says:

    Do I leave my vents open or closed during the seasoning? Also do you wet the chips like cooking?

  9. Terry Blackwell says:

    A very nice little patio smoker… easy to set up and easy to use. It does a wonderful job of smoking a variety of meats as expected. You really cannot pay attention to the people posting these negative reviews (which defeats the purpose I know). Without being too crass I can only say that you have to be smarter than the equipment (read the manual before you start). Do your clean up after each use and then throw the $10 Brinkmann cover on the smoker and it will stay new for years. Another nice thing to recognize is that your local Home Depot carries this brand and a line of accessories for it should you want/need to replace anything or try anything different in your smoking process.

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