How to Season Oklahoma Joe Smoker?

Your backyard just received a guest. It's an Oklahoma Joe smoker! 

I know you are in a hurry to test your smoking skills. But wait a minute. Is the cooker really ready to give you that great smoky flavor you have always desired?

You will need to season your smoker before you cook with it. This way, you will be laying a great foundation for the long journey ahead of frequent or occasional barbequing. 

In this article, I will tell you what seasoning a smoker is, why you should season it and how to season Oklahoma joe smoker. Let's get started!

What is Oklahoma Joe Smoker Seasoning?

Smoker seasoning and offset smoker curing mean the same thing. Well, we are not talking about curing diseases here; we are just perfecting the Oklahoma Joe's smoker to make it fit for cooking.

Just like you will season your cuts of meat to prepare them for the cooking process, your cooking chamber requires seasoning too to prepare it to cook. 

You use spices to season your cuts of meat. However, seasoning a smoker is different from food seasoning. Most of your work here includes cleaning and oiling the cooker to get it ready for cooking.

how to season oklahoma joe smoker

Why You Should Season Your New Oklahoma Joe Smoker

Buying a new Oklahoma Joe's smoker and delivering it to your doorsteps is not enough. The next crucial step you need to take is to season your black electric smoker, charcoal grill, or gas grills.

So, why do you season a smoker? Here are the three main reasons why seasoning is important for a new smoker:

Removing contamination

Think about the several dirty hands that have ever touched the smoker. How about the grease, pollen, and oils left in the cooker?

The manufacturer provided you with a great quality smoker. But, you will have to make some final touches on the smoker for a great smoking experience. You will need to clean and burn all these impurities before cooking to avoid contaminating your food.

Eliminate chemical odors

Seasoning a smoker helps remove the odors from grease, oils, and other production chemicals. So, just cleaning your cooker with soap and water is not enough. The new smoker grill requires a thorough burn too.

If these odors are not removed before cooking food, they will be burnt together with the food and produce unwanted flavors. So, why embarrass yourself with awfully tasting food when you can season your smoker for the great cooking process?

Rust prevention

Adding a protective coating to the steel construction of your new smoker will promote its durability. A coat of oil is applied to the smoker to prevent rusting.

Just as you lubricate other tools to prevent rusting, applying oil in your smoker helps achieve the same.

Factors to Consider Before Seasoning Your Smoker

It is good to know your cooker properly before seasoning it. While seasoning benefits are the same for all types of smokers, there are still crucial factors to keep in mind before seasoning each of them.

Consider the following factors before seasoning an offset smoker for the first time.

how to season oklahoma joe smoker

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Instructions booklet

Read the instructions leaflet with your smoker before seasoning your cooker. The manual may tell you of things you should never do with your cooker or provide you with specific seasoning instructions which you will need to follow.

Size of the offset cooker

Cookers come in different sizes. The size of the smoker determines the level of seasoning to use.

For example, a smoker with a huge cooking space like a highland longhorn requires more oil to lubricate its parts. On the other hand, a smoker with a few inches of smoking space has lesser seasoning requirements.

How to Season Your Smoker?

Here are the basic steps of smoker seasoning.

Wash your smoker

Welcome your new smoker grill into your backyard with a good bath. Clean both its smoke chamber and outside thoroughly with soap and water.

Use a soft cloth to clean it to ensure you don't peel off its protective surface. You can then use a damp cloth and a paper cloth to wipe your smoker.

Washing your smoker will eliminate contaminants. However, a total burn perfects the whole seasoning process.

Apply a layer of cooking oil

Applying a layer of oil on the surfaces of your cooker will protect it against corrosion. You can use cooking spray or oil with high burning points.

You can either use a bottle to spray the oil on your cooker or a piece of cloth. Oil every corner and part of the cooker, including the cooking grate. You can check these cooking oil for seasoning your smoker.

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Clean the water pan

It's important to clean the water pan during Oklahoma joe's seasoning. You need to note that the steam from the water will often rise and reach the food.

Therefore, having a clean water pan is highly essential. Clean the pan with soap and water. 

Do a high heat burn

High heat burn is a crucial task in seasoning a new smoker. The high internal temperature used here reaches every corner of the cooking chamber removing unnecessary oils, traces of grease, and other production chemicals.

Some manufacturers advise you to burn the seasoning with the cooking grate or the water pan placed inside the smoke chamber. But, you can put your water pan there for a short period since most of them are made of less durable materials.

So, how do you burn your cooker? The heating process is simple. 

To begin with, raise the heat levels of the cooker to around 350 to 400 degrees. Therefore, you will need to put wood chunks or hot coals in the fuel basket. A meat thermometer is perfect for accurate temperature monitoring.

seasoning a grill for the first time

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Ensure that the chimney exhaust lid is open to allow oxygen intake.

If you are seasoning a grill for the first time, ensure you don't leave it on its own. Also, ensure that you season it from outside due to the high heat levels and the long smoking times.

Observe your smoker keenly while heating. Bring down the temperatures if you notice signs like paint peeling off or warping.

Smoker cool down and cleaning

It's now time to allow the cooker to cool down after running the seasoning burn for 2-3 hours. When it's cool to touch, you can remove ash from the offset firebox or debris in the smoke chamber.

Since metals expand and contract with temperature changes, check if all the cooker parts are still in shape. For example, you can check if the chamber lid hedges have become loose and fix them.


1. Which is the best oil for seasoning?

Canola, peanut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil are some of the oils recommended by grill manufacturers for seasoning grills.

2. Can I use olive oil when seasoning my smoker?

Yes, you can use refined olive oil to season your grill.

3. Can you paint the smoker interior?

No, this is not advisable. Seasoning the smoker offers better protection to your cooker.

4. Should I power wash my grill?

Yes, you can. A power wash is stronger than the other types of washing.


We have just seen how to season Oklahoma Joe smoker and the benefits of the seasoning process. I know that you will follow what we just talked about to the latter.

So, which is your favorite smoked food? Research published by Koen Van Gelder in August 2021 indicated that steak was the favorite grilled food among Americans in 2020. 

But, whether you are planning to smoke steak or other foods in the new smoker chamber, you will need to season it first! This will enhance your smoking experience.

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