How to season electric smoker

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Last Updated on: 14th November 2022, 02:47 am

Electric smokers are in trend nowadays due to the convenience of use they provide.

But like traditional smokers, they also need to be seasoned regularly to make them durable and work effectively for a longer time.

But if you are new to electric smokers, you may wonder how to season an electric smoker.

In this article we are going to explain all the stuff related to the seasoning of electric smokers.

Seasoning is a common process that every pitmaster recommends to increase the efficiency of a smoker.

It has several benefits which are explained in detail at the end of this article, but briefly, it’s done to enhance flavor and make the smoker durable.

To ensure that your smoker lasts as long as possible, we recommend seasoning it after every couple of uses.

It’s not an option, rather it’s compulsory to season your electric smoker like traditional smokers, and there is no conflict of thought on this.

But all of the electric smokers are made up of different building materials and can get damaged if not handled carefully.

So it’s better to check the manufacturers’ manual first and make sure to follow their guidelines to avoid demaging your smoker.

If you have a diy electric smoker or there are no seasoning instructions in the manufacturer’s manual, then you can follow this guide to season your electric smoker.

The seasoning process for most electric smokers is the same.

Now that we have discussed some basics, it’s time to dive into the process.

Here’s the step-by-step guide to seasoning your electric smoker to avoid rusting in its build and make it durable.

Let’s get started.

Gather ingredients

Although most pitmasters just start the seasoning process without collecting much equipment, we recommend gathering this necessary equipment before starting the smoking process to avoid panicking during the process.

  • Oil: oil is used to coat the inner side of the electric smoker to burn any food residues and produce a black layer on the body of the smoker to avoid rusting.
    You can use canola or vegetable oil for this purpose.
  • Sponge or clothes: sponges are used to clean the build of a smoker and to apply oil to the smoker’s inner side.
    You can also use clothes for this purpose, but clothes can cause scratches on the build of a smoker.
  • You can also use a spray bottle to apply oil on the inner side of the smoker more conveniently.
    Spray bottles and sponges can be used as alternatives, depending on your personal choice.
  • Finally, you should also place a bag of wood chips in the smoker to use them.
    Different pitmasters have different opinions on using wood chips while seasoning, but you should consider gathering them upfront if you want to use wood chips.

Assemble your smoker first

preferably , you should clean your electric smoker first before seasoning it. Before starting the smoker , you should make sure that the smoker is assembled correctly.

It’s an important step if you are seasoning your smoker for the first time.

You should check the screws and bolts to make sure they are tight.

If you are using your electric smoker for the first time or not sure if the smoker is assembled correctly, then you should consider checking the manufacturer’s manual to make sure that every part is in its place before starting the smoker.

Get your smoker ready

After you have assembled your smoker correctly, it’s time to start the actual process.

First of all, you will have to wipe down the interior of the smoker with a wet cloth or sponge to remove any food leftovers.

While doing so, you should make sure to avoid damaging the build of your smoker.

The exterior surface of the smoker is generally not wiped but there is no harm in doing so.

But if you are using your smoker for the first time, you can skip this step if you want.

Coat the interior with oil

After wiping the interior of the smoker, it’s time to coat the smoker with oil.

First of all, you will have to remove all the removable parts from the smoker, including the cooking racks and water pan .

But you should avoid coating the heating element because it can result in an accidental fire.

The oil should be applied either with a sponge or a spray bottle.

In either case, make sure not to overapply to avoid oil dripping from internal walls.

You should apply it gently so that it just covers the surface.

After that, you have coated the inner surface of the smoker.

You should assemble the smoker again by following the manufacturer’s manual.

You should consider placing all the parts that were taken out along with water pan but make sure to not add water in water pan.

Let the oil sink in

After you have applied oil on the interior surface of the smoker , you should consider waiting for a few minutes so that the smoker’s build should absorb the oil effectively.

This step does not require much time, but it’s worth it.

Starting the smoker

After you have applied oil to the smoker, it’s time to start the smoker.

First, you will have to plug in the electric smoker cord into an electric outlet that has a constant voltage and is away from doorways to avoid pulling off the cord.

You should also avoid using a long cord to avoid a decrease in voltage.

After plugging in the cord, you should consider widening the vents of the electric smoker to avoid maximum airflow inside the smoker to allow the smoker to reach higher temperatures and remove the combustion gases from the smoker.

Heat up the smoker

After you have prepared the smoker, start the smoker and set the temperature for 3 hours.

The temperature varies from brand to brand, but usually the smoker is heated to the highest temperature possible.

While heating up your smoker, you should consider following the user manual to avoid demaging the build of your smoker.

If the manufacturer recommends using a lower temperature, then follow their guidelines.

Most of the electric smokers are seasoned at a temperature of around 250 F.

Start adding wood chips if you want

Adding wood chips to electric smokers while seasoning them is a hot debate and different pitmasters have different opinions on it .

you can also soak your wood chips if you want.

But to comply with both , you can first heat up the smoker without wood chips and then add wood chips in the last 30–45 minutes.

If you want to add wood chips inside the smoker, then be sure not to overfill the wood pan, which can lead to the production of thick smoke.

You should try adding fewer wood chips over time until you are sure that it can burn on its own.

You should allow the smoker to heat up to the set temperature and let it run for 2 hours.

After that, you should add a few wood chips inside the water pan. After that, you should wait for some time before adding again.

You should repeat this until some ash gets collected in the ash pan. After that, you should add a few wood chips and let the smoker run for 1-3 hours to season it effectively.

It will produce a black layer on the inner side, which will protect it from rust.

After this step, you will have your smoker seasoned and ready to be used again.

Do you have to season your electric smoker?

The answer to this question will always be yes on all three counts.

Seasoning an electric smoker is a must-do process to make it durable.

It is beneficial for the effectiveness of the smoker and enhances the taste of food.

Food residues are often left uncleaned inside the smoker, which can build up and lead to grease development, which can demage the performance of an electric smoker.

Seasoning: The electric smoker burns the grease and food leftovers, which helps with easy cleaning.

Seasoning the electric smoker results in the production of black deposition on the inside wall of the smoker.

It is basically a carbon deposit that protects the smoker from rust and makes it durable.

In addition, it also helps in giving a smokey flavor to food.

How long do you season an electric smoker?

Smoking time varies from smoker to smoker depending on the type of smoker and whether you are using wood chips for a shorter duration or a longer time.

Usually it takes 3 hours if you add wood, 30-45 minutes. But for separate smoking, it can take 5-6 hours to complete.

At what temperature should I season my smoker?

Seasoning is usually done at the highest temperature that a smoker can heat up to.

Most electric smokers are seasoned at 250-300 F for better results.

You should heat up the smoker to the highest temperature possible as long as it doesn’t damage the build.

You should consider checking the manufacturer’s manual first before heating up your smoker and consider following their guidelines to avoid demaging the build of your smoker.

The seasoning temperature can vary depending on the build quality of the smoker.

What is the best oil to season a smoker with?

Oils are used to coat the interior of the smoker to produce a black layer on the inner side.

Canola oil is the most commonly used oil for seasoning, but you can also use other vegetable oils as long as they don’t get burnt at higher temperatures.

Do you need to season a smoker after cleaning?

yes, you should definitely season your smoker after cleaning it, seasoning can burn off any grease or the chemical used during manufacturing.

seasoning a smoker after every few uses makes it resistant to rust development and makes it durable.

Can you use olive oil to season a smoker?

Yes , olive oil can be used for seasoning electric smoker. the reason is that olive oil has a higher burn point of around 374°F–405°F (190°C–207°C) which makes it a perfect choice for using it to coat your smoker while seasoning.

usually it is suggested to use a high burn point oil for seasoning to avoid damaging the build of your smoker during seasoning process.

in addition to olive oil , you can also use canola oil and vegetables oils foe seasoning your smoker


Seasoning an electric smoker is a simple process, but you need to be careful about the temperature that you are seasoning.

If you heat up a low-quality smoker to a higher temperature, then you can demage the build of your smoker.

You should consider reading the user manual to be on the safe side .

If you have enjoyed this article ,then make sure to check our article on How to get bark on brisket in an electric smoker

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