How to season An Offset Smoker? | Step by Step

Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Muhammad

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Offset smokers are a type of smoker that uses indirect heat for cooking food. This means that the heat is not directly on the food but rather around it. This is a popular way to smoke meat because it produces fewer flare-ups and allows for more even cooking. One of the most important things about using an offset smoker is seasoning it properly. Seasoning your smoker will help give your food a better flavour and will also prevent any rust from forming. In this blog post, we will discuss how to season an offset smoker.

What is an offset smoker?

An offset smoker consists of a box with the fire at one end, where the smoke and heat cooks the food, and an offset barrel or pit on the other side for low indirect cooking. A common example is a homemade smoker consisting of 55-gallon drums cut in half to become pits with grills mounted over them.

What does an offset smoker look like?

There are many types of offsets that range from small upright units that can be used for smoking vegetables or fish to large barbecue rigs that can hold multiple cooking racks over several hundred pounds of meat. Popular models are available commercially with basic design features such as pushcart designs, pull cart designs, pedestal designs, trailer-mounted styles, and even built-in models placed into outdoor kitchens.

How To Season An Offset Smoker? 10 Steps

1) Prepare your smoker for seasoning. If you’re a newbie, it’s a good idea to use a water pan when starting, as this will help reduce the amount of fat and bits that fall down into the firebox from above.

2) Fill the firebox with lump charcoal and your favorite wood chips or chunks.

3) Start off by smoking some cardboard to set up your smoke flavour. Let this smoke build up inside the smoker so that it coats every crevice before cooking anything else. You can skip this step if you have an electric or gas smoker – these units produce their own smell/flavour that won’t be altered by adding a different kind of woodchips to them.

4) Burn off any dirt, dust or oil by lighting the firebox and allowing it to heat up for around fifteen minutes. You can then use kitchen paper towels with a little cooking oil on them to wipe down the inside of the smoker.

5) Save some smoking chips in an old ice cream container for next time. This way, you’ll have enough chips ready for future uses without having to leave your grill unattended while it’s heating.

6) Keep your smoker clean outside by regularly wiping it down with some tinfoil or bucket of water with soap added into it (this will produce steam which will help remove any debris).

7) Use a vent brush to regularly clean out ash buildup from both the bottom and top vents on your smoker – this will prevent any excess ash from affecting the flavour of your smoked meats.

8) Add some more smoking chips to your firebox about once every hour. If you find that the flavour is too strong, reduce the number of wood chips added to your smoker; if it’s not enough, add another chunk or two.

9) To help with airflow and heat retention, use a crumpled up piece of tin foil and poke some holes into it (this will go inside the charcoal tray). Place this on top of the coals in order to hold them back slightly and prevent ash from entering your cooking area.

10) Over time, you’ll notice that food cooked in an offset smoker automatically take on a different flavour. After a while, you’ll be able to tell how much wood chips need to be added to the firebox without having to measure this out.

With these easy steps, you should be able to season your offset smoker properly and start cooking up some delicious barbecued meals!

Question And Answers

What are the best woods to use when smoking with an offset smoker?

Depending on what type of food you want to smoke, some woods will produce better results than others. For example, fruitwoods like apple, cherry and peach give off a sweet flavour that goes well with poultry and pork dishes, while seafood benefits from the milder taste of oak, hickory or pecan wood. Oak is also used for beef brisket that needs long cooking times over several hours at low heat. Any hardwood can be used, but it’s important to know what flavours are being imparted, so this becomes an important consideration when searching for an offset smoker if one does not already have one in their possession/collection.

Why Do You Season an offset smoker?

Seasoning an offset smoker is a process that helps to protect the metal of the unit, prevent rusting on the inside, and develop good smoke flavoured deposited onto your food during cooking.

What are some benefits of seasoning an offset smoker?

The benefits of seasoning an offset smoker are to protect the metal of the unit, prevent rusting on the inside and develop good smoke flavoured deposited onto your food during cooking.

What is one thing I should avoid when seasoning my offset smoker?

One thing that you should try not to do is simply cover the inside with oil. This will not help season the smoker as it does not combust and mix with the smoke particles as you cook.

How long does it take for an offset smoker to be ready for use? 

It can typically take anywhere between 3 to 6 hours of active smoking time before the metal plate inside the firebox has become blackened with smoke, and there’s enough heat building up in order to cook delicious meats. For best results, season your smoker immediately after purchase (or soon afterwards) in order to get started on creating some mouth-watering smoked dishes.


An offset smoker is a great way to smoke meats, fish and vegetables. For the best flavour, it’s important to season your smoker before using it. In this blog post, we showed you how to season your offset smoker properly so that you can start cooking up some delicious barbecued dishes!

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