Today we are covering why you NEED to season that brand new Masterbuilt electric smoker, and EXACTLY how to do it the RIGHT WAY.
You just got a new electric smoker and cannot wait to start cooking! Not so fast- you have a few things to do to get your smoker ready, a process called seasoning.
Seasoning not only involves oiling the surfaces, but it also includes a long burn-off to remove chemical residues. This is a critical step to do on your new smoker before your first cook!
In this article, we will show you exactly how to season a Masterbuilt electric smoker, and why it’s so important.
What is Seasoning, or Pre-Seasoning, a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
So you just bought, or are thinking about buying, a Masterbuilt electric smoker.
They need to be seasoned.
Seasoning a new smoker is necessary for a variety of reasons. It will burn off all of the oils, dirt, and bacteria left over after the manufacturing process and will leave your Masterbuilt electric smoker ready to use.
Though the word ‘seasoning’ may spring to mind a funny image of seasoning your smoker with cooking spices, the reality is much different.
Seasoning a smoker can sometimes be referred to as pre-seasoning or curing, and on an electric smoker it differs from seasoning a cast-iron skillet or seasoning a pellet grill.
Whether you’re entertaining guests or kicking back with your family, it’s a vital first step that you need to carry out before cooking your food.
Need Help starting your Masterbuilt? Check out How to Start a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker!
Do You Need to Season a New Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Seasoning your Masterbuilt electric smoker before initial use is important to laying the foundation for both delicious and hygienic BBQ results.
By doing so, you’ll be removing unwanted odors from the production stage, protecting the smoker from rust, and also curing the paint, which will help it look new for years to come.
Two Main Reasons Why a Smoker Should be Seasoned:
- To get rid of debris and odors
- To protect it from rust.
Getting Rid of Debris and Odors from the Manufacturing Stage
When a sparkling new Masterbuilt electric smoker gets put inside its box ready for purchase, it brings with it a whole host of leftover dirt, odors, and oils from the factory it was made in and the production process it has gone through.
Remember when we had you burn a load of charcoal in that brand new galvanized trash can before we made Trash Can Turkey?
It's the same principle here.
Uncured paint, dirt, and oils present from the manufacturing process can remain on the finished product. This is the same with offset smokers and pellet grills.
Some of those chemicals can be toxic and harmful to your health, not to mention infusing your food with a less than appealing flavor.
By seasoning before use, you’ll quickly remove all of those nasty production remnants and leave your smoker clean and free from any unwanted oil, solvent and paint residue.
Extending the Life of the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Regardless of the high quality coating they put on your smoker, if it's made of metal...and it likely is...it's ALWAYS at risk of rusting...eventually.
If you don’t take the time to season the new smoker, the presence of moisture during each smoking session will quickly age your smoker from the INSIDE, just like leaving it out in the rain uncovered would risk rusting it from the OUTSIDE.
Seasoning will not only take away leftover residue from the manufacturing stage, but it will also prevent rust, all the while curing the exterior paint to make your smoker better able to handle exposure to the weather.
Essentially, the protective coating will ensure that all moisture will drip off the inside walls of the smoker, rather than get absorbed or stick to it.
Here's what you will need to season the smoker:
- A Clean soft cotton cloth
- A Bucket with a little mild gentle detergent and water.
- Cooking oil with a high smoke point like Avocado or Grapeseed Oil
- An Electrical Outlet
- Optional: Smoking Wood Chips
- Optional: A few pieces of raw fatty meat like bacon or pork belly.
One word of advice, take it outside, unassembled, before you begin.
1) Thoroughly clean inside walls and removable components such as the water pan, racks, and drip tray water and a cloth. We also suggest making sure to use a soft, cotton-like cloth to avoid getting scratches in the metal finish.
2) Be cautious to not to SOAK any areas that are near electrical components. Use a well wrung out cloth in these areas and never let water pool anywhere in the smoker.
3) After you’ve gently washed down the interior and the accessories with water, wipe them down to prevent water spots from forming, and allow the smoker to air-dry.
4) Assemble your smoker. Place ALL the accessories and components inside the smoker such as the racks, hooks, water pan, wood chip tray, and drip pan. Make sure the exterior drip tray is in place behind the smoker.
5) Put the wood chip loader, empty, into the side of the smoker and twist into position to lock.
6) Apply a thin coat of high smoke point cooking oil, like grapeseed or avocado oil, or a high heat grill spray along the entirety of the smoker’s interior, and racks. The cooking oil acts as a protective coating and will keep the interior safer from rust. Keep the oil away from the electrical and heater elements at the bottom. There is no need to rub cooking oil on the OUTSIDE of an electric smoker.
7) Plug in the smoker and turn it on by pressing the power button.
8) Set your smoker to the highest possible temperature. On many Masterbuilt electric smokers this is 275°F. Set the time to 3 hours. For more in depth instructions for starting the smoker, see our article How to Start a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.
9) Open both the top and rear vents all the way to allow for airflow and the chemical fumes to escape.
10) Close the door and allow the smoker to run for the full 3 hours and then cool.
An additional option is to add wood to your wood chip tray while seasoning for the final hour to begin to add some smoky flavor/residue to the inside of your smoker.
Some home BBQ pros will smoke some fatty pieces of leftover bacon (an oxymoron...I know) towards the end of the seasoning process as well to add some fatty residue and aroma to the inner walls of the new smoker.
Go ahead and throw these in for the last hour or two as well if you wish. Do not let them burn or they will add a carbonized aroma to your smoker, which is not what you want.
Re-Seasoning the Smoker
Throughout the life of your Masterbuilt electric smoker, it’s highly likely that you’re going to need to re-season it more than once.
While some purists claim to NEVER clean the inside walls of their electric smokers, the reality is sometimes you may find you have to.
Depending on your local weather, mold may form if you don't use it for a long while, or you might spill some nasty greasy liquid down into in the bottom of the smoker.
If this occurs, and you feel you need to clean the smoker, use a good degreasing agent to help clean the racks and the inner walls and make sure to rise really well afterwards.
Then you will want to follow the same steps above to heat the inside of your smoker up to a high enough heat for 2-3 hours to kill any lingering mold and chemicals.
This isn't a bad practice to put in place at the beginning of the season if haven't used your smoker for a few months either.
So, there you have it, your step-by-step guide on how to season your new Masterbuilt electric smoker.
If you get stuck or forget a step, just refer back to our guide for inspiration and your new smoker will be prepped, primed, and ready to use in no time.
You can find all of our Electric Smoker How-To Guides here.
Check out all of our Masterbuilt electric smoker recipes to get you going with cooking in your new smoker!
How to Season a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
- 1 Clean soft cotton cloth
- 1 Bucket with a little mild gentle detergent and water
- Cooking oil with a high smoke point like Avocado or Grapeseed Oil or high heat grill spray
- 1 Electrical Outlet
- Smoking Wood Chips Optional
- 2-3 pieces raw fatty meat like bacon or pork belly Optional
Clean the Smoker and Components
- Thoroughly clean the inside walls and removable components such as the water pan, racks, and drip tray with soapy water and a soft, cotton-like cloth to avoid scratching the metal finish.
- Do not SOAK any areas that are near electrical components. Use a well wrung-out cloth in these areas and never let water pool anywhere in the smoker.
- Wipe down the inside and components to prevent water spots from forming. Allow the smoker to air-dry.
- Assemble your smoker. Place ALL of the accessories and components inside the smoker such as the racks, hooks, water pan, wood chip tray, and drip pan.
- Make sure the exterior drip tray is in place behind the smoker.
- Put the wood chip loader, empty, into the side of the smoker and twist into position to lock.
- Apply high heat grill spray in an even coat over the smoker's interior and bottom. Keep the oil away from the electrical and heater elements at the bottom. There is no need to rub cooking oil on the OUTSIDE of an electric smoker.
Factory Burn Off
- Make sure all of the smoker components are in place.
- Plug in the smoker and press the power button.
- Set your temperature to the highest possible setting, which on many Masterbuilt electric smokers is 275°F. Set the timer for 3 hours.
- Make sure to open both the top and rear vents all the way as well.
- Close the door and allow the smoker to run for the full 3 hours and then cool.
- For the last 1-2 hours of the burn off, add wood chips to the smoker.
- Place raw pieces of bacon or pork belly on the cooking grates for the last 1-2 hours of the burn off to add meat flavored seasoning to the interior of your smoker.