How to season a propane smoker is a consistent question in the mind of all quality-conscious users of propane smokers.
Irrespective of the brand of the smoker or recipe you are trying within the smoker, the seasoning has a very critical role to play.
It must not be confused with any other thing, but seasoning specifically means here is to prevent the unit from rusting and also to provide means for cleanup after manufacturing.
So it should be done for any new smoker.
Understanding About the Propane Smoker:
In order to better season a propane smoker, it is highly imperative to understand that what a propane smoker is and how it works.
This is a specialized gas smoker powered through a propane tank.
Functionality or performance-wise, it might just be like any other regular gas smoker, but you can expect from this one to reach a really high temperature as compared to the regular gas grill.
The cooked food quality is distinguishable from the other smoker types, where the propane smoker particularly impresses with its nice and dry food texture.
The controlled propane smokers could play around with the temperature and could get some moisture in the food if required.
Method for Seasoning a Propane Smoker:
To season your smoker is not something that you can plan later or after seeing the output of the smoker for the recipe(s) that you have tried.
Rather smoking propane or any other smoker is the first thing that you consider right after purchasing your propane smoker before smoking meat.
We have already mentioned about what seasoning is for a propane smoker and the why and when part of the smoker could be discussed here in detail.
Seasoning a smoker actually is the first thing done right out of the box. Even before assembling the unit your seasoning process can start right away there.
If you follow these simple steps on how to season your propane smoker right after you have it out of the box after purchase:
Step #1: Initial Cleaning Process:
Once you get the delivery of your propane smoker and open the box, cleaning needs to be done of all the interior including racks pans and cooking grates, etc. before assembling the propane smoker.
Some of the experts prefer and advise to just use water for cleaning. However, another school of thought believes that using mild soap with water could perform like a degreaser.
Adding in the soap in the cleaning process might just help with easy dealing with the grime and build-up of the oils put on during the manufacturing process that may be present in different corners and edges of the smoker.
Step #2: Air Drying:
Once all the basic cleaning using mild soap and water is done in the above step, then you could air dry the interior and all parts of the unit.
Step #3: Cooking Oil (such as Olive Oil) to Wipe Down the Interior of the Propane Smoker:
A light spray or thin coat/ layer of oil wiped down on the interior, the cooking area, of the smoker would give you the desired results with the type of flavoring you are looking for.
You really don’t need to put oil in an excessive amount.
A cooking spray can, or vegetable oil is all you need to do the job in the quickest possible manner.
This is the step done when the propane smoker is still in unassembled form and it should be ensured that all the edges and corners of the unit are well covered and secured as well as its cast-iron cooking grates.
Step #4: Protective Coating and Assembling:
Once the above oiling step is done for the interior parts of the propane smoker, then you can begin assembling the propane smoker as per the instructions manual shared by the manufacturer.
The pieces should be very carefully handled in order to avoid removing any protective coating later on, that we have just put on. It is fine if some or good part of the oil gets applied on the outside too.
That oil should then be just rubbed in and give the exterior of your smoker some much-needed waterproofing, till you are done with this job.
Giving an oil coating to the racks of the propane smoker at this point in time wouldn’t hurt at all.
Step #5: Putting up an Empty Water Pan:
This is the step where you are required to put in an empty water pan inside the propane smoker.
This is quite a useful step in seasoning, although many other experts don’t agree and are also sometimes found ignoring this vital step.
There are plenty of people who experiment here with the pan and fill it with beer or maybe several other innovative things in order to create an excellent layer of taste/ flavor, which will add on to the recipe you would try in the propane smoker for the first time.
Make sure that any such experiment with the water pan should only be done when the snarky smell of chemicals I completely eliminated from the inside of the propane smoker unit.
Step #6: Vent:
The vent should then be opened up in order to allow air to pass through that helps in dying up the unit with all the oil that we have been applying.
Here again, like the above step of putting up a water pan, there is a range of diversified opinions about the vent, whether it should be opened or not.
Ideally, in such situations and specifically with propane smokers, manufacturer’s manual instructions provide the best guide.
After the above is done to your cooker, then you are required to add heated charcoal inside the propane smoker into its cooking chamber.
Give some good time for the charcoal to burn inside and enhance the temperature of the unit. At best, you should allow enough time to the propane smoker to let the charcoal burn to ash.
Dump out all the charcoal when it has cooled down completely.
How to season a smoker is an idea that is well addressed here.
Seasoning is essential in setting up your propane smoker with all the cleaning and oiling of the unit before it is assembled and will provide the smoky flavor you are searching for.
This is mandatory for allowing your equipment to run for some time and also to make your food much tastier, healthier, and with far easy maintenance.
Once your all done then go be the pitmaster your inner self is dying to be and go and do some outdoor cooking and fire up a brisket or London broil! Smoked meat will never taste so delish!