Prior to using your Firesmiths Hero Smoker & Grill, it’s important that you season it before you start cooking with it. The same as you would typically do with a cast-iron skillet but with a few more steps and caveats.
Seasoning a smoker (or any braai for that matter) before initial use is a crucial step towards laying the foundation for great smoking & grilling results.
Firstly, it removes unwanted odours, such as residues from the manufacturing process and helps protects the smoker from the elements, and in turn rust, which will help make your smoker look as good as new for many years to come.
Take note you only need to season the interior components of your Hero Smoker & Grill – so wipe and clean the accessories such as the grill grate, steel hooks etc. as you would do normally with some warm soap and a scouring sponge.
Now to the basic process on how to season your Firesmith Hero Smoker & Grill prior to your first cooking session:
- Make sure to wipe and clean the interior as well as exterior of the smoker with a damp cloth.
- Let the smoker air dry for a few minutes.
- Proceed to then coat the entire interior with a high burn-point cooking oil like canola, sunflower, vegetable or grapeseed oil (do not use normal cooking spray!). Using these oils will ensure that the oil won’t burn, which can ruin the seasoning process. Don’t forget to include the inside of the top lid and walls and don’t apply too much where it starts to drip. It should only cover the surface are thoroughly with a thin layer.
- Fill a chimney starter with charcoal or briquettes and light it using firelighters. While this get’s going top up your coal basket with briquettes or charcoal (not completely full – roughly 2/3) and then add hot coals from the chimney starter on top of the unburnt briquettes or charcoal.
- Make sure the top lid chimney exhaust as well as bottom air intake is fully open
- Allow to smoker to reach at least 140°C-170°C for 2-3 hours. This will ensure any leftover manufacturing residue and solvents are burnt off and that the cooking oil you applied properly bonds with the metal.
- Allow the smoker to cool off completely, remove the coal basket, re-fuel and then you can start you next cook.
*Important* – do not do a heavy clean or water wash in the inside of your smoker after seasoning it. This will remove the protective oil coating you put on while seasoning your smoker. For any grease of food build-up within the unit, gently scrape it off with utensils such as a braai scraper or putty knife. We do recommend doing a deep clean at least once a year, washing and scraping of all excess build-up and then to re-season it accordingly. Depending on usage and preference you can do this more often, but take into account that you then need to go through the re-seasoning process again.
Lastly, after cooking, only remove the ash pan and charcoal basket in order to dump the ashes and scoop up any leftover ashes that might have fallen to the bottom of the smoker and throw away. Ash attracts moisture, which in turn can encourage rust, so it’s always better to throw it away as soon as possible, once completely cooled.