How to Season an Offset Smoker: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Why Season an Offset Smoker?

Seasoning an offset smoker is an important step that every pitmaster needs to take before cooking their first meat. Seasoning is the process of burning off any residue or chemicals from the manufacturing process and creating a protective layer of oil. This layer prevents rust and corrosion while also providing a non-stick surface for food.

Steps to Season an Offset Smoker

  • Step 1: Remove any packing materials, stickers, and labels from the smoker.
  • Step 2: Start a fire in the smoker using wood or charcoal, and bring the temperature up to 250-275°F.
  • Step 3: Add a thin layer of cooking oil to all interior surfaces of the smoker, including the grates and the firebox.
  • Step 4: Close the smoker and let it smoke for at least 2 hours.
  • Step 5: After 2 hours, let the smoker cool down and repeat the process two more times. This will ensure that the protective layer of oil is evenly distributed throughout the smoker.

Tips for Seasoning an Offset Smoker

  • Use a neutral-flavored oil such as vegetable or canola oil.
  • Avoid using too much oil as this can lead to excess smoke and a thicker, gummy coating.
  • Ensure that the smoker is properly ventilated throughout the seasoning process.


How often should I season my offset smoker?

Ideally, you should season your offset smoker every time you purchase a new one or after a long period of disuse. However, regular maintenance of the smoker may include spot seasoning as needed, such as when rust or corrosion begins to form.

Can I use any type of oil to season my offset smoker?

You should use a neutral-flavored oil such as vegetable or canola oil. Avoid using oils with low smoking points such as olive oil or butter.

How long should I smoke my offset smoker during the seasoning process?

You should smoke your offset smoker for at least 2 hours. This should be enough time to ensure that the oil creates a protective layer on all interior surfaces.


Seasoning your offset smoker is an essential step towards achieving great barbecue. It may seem like a tedious process, but it is well worth the effort in the long run. By following the steps outlined in this guide and maintaining your smoker regularly, you will ensure that your offset smoker will provide you with delicious, smoked meats for years to come.


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