New WSM smoker, do I need to season it? Smoking in cold weather?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokey jmo, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. smokey jmo

    smokey jmo Newbie

    Still new to smoking here, I have been smoking for just over a year on a cheap Walmart offset smoker. I finally got a WSM 18.5" smoker I have been wanting and I was just wondering is there anything I should do before using it for the first time? I've read online yes and no so I'm not sure. The other thing I live in Wisconsin and it's pretty cold this time of year, any recommendations on insulating? I read a lot of people use welding blankets or water heater jackets. Any thoughts would be helpful, I ak excited about using my new smoker, I have read a lot of good reviews on it.
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The WSM does not require traditional seasoning like other smokers due to is porcelin coating. However it is a good idea to get it up to temp to burn off any coatings on the interior surfaces and racks. Let it cook empty and hot for 2 or 3 hrs. then toss on some chicken - no sense in wasting a perfectly good hot smoker! [​IMG]

    Now for cold weather - you have many many options of building enclosures, wind breaks, etc. etc. Me personally I spent $45 on a welding blanket then used some spring clamps to hold it in place. I run my WSM in cold windy weather all winter long with no issues, and in the summer I fold up the welding blanket and toss it on a shelf in the garage.

    Remember they run hot for the first half dozen or so smokes, once you get a build up of smokey residue on the inside it will be easier to get the low and slow. But when just learning damp it down early (around 200°) then make small adjustments to hit your desired target temp. It takes about 10-15 min. for a vent adjustment to take effect so be patient and go slow.

  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    .... and for a little inspiration!

    (that's about 90 lbs. of meat on my 22.4" WSM in the middle of December!)

  4. smokey jmo

    smokey jmo Newbie

    Thanks for all the helpful info. 👍 Glad to hear a welding blanket works well, I will be picking one up, I plan on smoking all winter. Gets cold here in Wisconsin.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    After seasoning , do a few Chickens or Turkey (since it is cheap now) and get it well seasoned before you go to bigger meat... You need the practice time to learn your Smoker and it's qwerks .

    Good for you on all Winter...

    Have fun and  . . .
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sorry , Johnny . Up late and didn't read your post...[​IMG]

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