Are you ready for your summer barbecue season? Do you have your electric smoker up and running, ready to smoke all kinds of meat? Surely you’re aware that before you can even think about smoking your meat in a newly bought electric smoker, you need to season or cure it. But not everyone is familiar with this process. In order to find out how to prepare your electric smoker for use, all you need to do is read through this article and take notes.
Seasoning and Electric Smoker: What Does it Mean?
Curing or seasoning an electric smoker is a process of removing dust, industrial oil, and any other harmful material that was leftover from the production of the machine. Electric smokers are becoming quite popular, so naturally, the demand for these devices increases. Naturally, the industry also needs to step up and speed up the mass production of these devices. This leaves us, consumers, with a small problem. Every time a person buys an electric smoker, they will need to cure or season it in order to use it for smoking meat.
Why is Seasoning Important?
Because electric smokers are produced on a mass scale to meet the demand of consumers, these products aren’t sanitized and ready for use immediately after they are bought. There is a significant amount of paint, oil, and industrial waste in specks of dust in the inner chamber of an electric smoker. These substances can not only affect the quality of food that you’re smoking but also affect your health. And this is exactly why it’s so important that you cure or season your electric smoker before you start using it.
Now that you know why it’s important to do so, you can learn how to actually do it. The process is very simple, and you’ll only need to do it once on a newly bought electric smoker.
Unpacking and Preparing Your Electric Smoker for Seasoning
First thing’s first, you need to unpack and get your electric smoker ready for seasoning. It’s best to pick a location in your garage, workshop, or outdoors for this.
Turning It On
Now that you’re ready to start with the seasoning, you’ll need to turn on your electric smoker. This is a fairly easy job. So locate the power button and press it once. Now all you need to do is wait for it to start working.
Set It to Preheat
If you skipped the first part of this article, you’re probably wondering why you need to preheat the electric smoker, right? As it turns out, your newly bought electric smoker isn’t ready for use just yet. You’ll need to cure it first before you can use it to smoke various types of meat and food in general. This is why you’re preheating.
So set the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it for three hours. During this time, the oils, dust, and everything else that can alter the taste and smell of your food will evaporate and leave the inner chamber of the electric smoker.
Smoking or curing your electric device sounds simple, but there’s a catch. Once you set it to preheat, you’ll need to add some wood chips in the last hour of your smoking session. This will ensure that your inner chamber becomes sanitized and ready for use.
Which Wood Chips to Use for Seasoning?
There isn’t really much difference between using mesquite wood chips or maple wood chips for seasoning. The result is the same. So pick your favorite wood chips brand and type and make sure to insert them into your electric smoker exactly two hours after you’ve set it on preheat.
How to Use Wood Chips for Seasoning
Even though you haven’t used an electric smoker before, you should be able to do this without anyone’s help. Depending on the model that you got, you’ll either have a knob on the side of the device, or a lever. Pulling either of these will reveal a wood chips tray. This is where you’ll place your favorite brand of wood chips every time you’re smoking meat in the future. For seasoning or curing an electric smoker, you’ll only need a small amount of wood chips. So grab a handful of wood chips and insert it into the tray.
Finishing the Process
Once three hours have passed, and all the wood chips that you’ve used in the third hour of the process have burned, you can turn off your electric smoker. Be careful when opening the inner chamber as it will be filled with the smoke of your preferred wood chips type.
Now all you need to do is get a clean cloth and wipe down the grates. This will make your electric smoker ready for use. The only reason why you might repeat the process of curing or seasoning your electric smoker is when you’ve smoked one type of meat, and you want to smoke another. To ensure that you don’t mix those flavors, you can repeat the process.