What wood to use to Season my Smoker?

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by okie76, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I just got my first smoker and in the instruction manual it says that before using it I need to Run it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour with some wood chips in the chip tray to season the smoker.

    This is my smoker

    This is the selection of woodchips I have available:

    Jack Daniel's Wood Chips

    Sam's Smoker Chips Apple & Alder (Mixed together)

    Sweet N Smokey Apple & Pecan (Mixed together)

    Weber Wood Chunks available in separate bags: Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan

    Grilling Planks available in separate bags: Maple, Cedar

    I have never operated a smoker and have little to no cooking experience, so any help in determining which of these would be the best to season my smoker with would be appreciated. I have read through the e-course and it doesn't say anything about seasoning your smoker for the first time so I'm not sure if I really need to do this or not?

    For my first smoke I am doing a deer leg this coming weekend. The BEST smoked "deer leg" I had was about 25 years ago at a dog fight pit in Idabel, Oklahoma. You could smell it cooking from a mile away and it was probably the best meat I have ever had in my life (no it wasn't dog cooking, it was a deer leg). All I can remember about the actual smell was that it made my mouth water when i first smelt it. Real smokey smell. Not very helpfull i know, just need some direction here?


    I was 11 years old and my grandpa took me to the dog fight's on Sunday afternoon while grandma was in church. I now no longer think dog fighting is even remotely OK but I was a kid back then and only wanted to go for the food :)
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I would use whatever variety I had the most of and was readily available around here that would be Hickory all the big box stores sell it
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I will be in the minority here, I am sure, but I think there is no need to use wood to season a smoker.  That will come with time.

    I season a new smoker with lard or oil for the protection of the metal. (read lard for me.  LOL)

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well you have 2 opinions & I will give a third, I would do what both gentleman propose.

    Spray the inside with Pam & burn some wood, whatever you have available.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd really like to give you even another opinion, but I have to agree with Piney:

    Any smoking wood you have most available. Once you put some meat in---That will be the time to be selective.

  6. The place that I linked above is the closest place to my house with a good assortment of wood chips. It's about 5 miles away and no problem to drive to. I live in the capital of oklahoma so I can't just go cut down a tree :) I have to go buy the wood chips from a retailer.

    I guess the real question I should be asking is that when you season it with a specific type of wood (Say pecan or mesquite) does it affect the smell and taste for all the meats cooked in it thereafter, indefinatly? OR if I season it with Pecan and later decide that I like mesquite better and then I season it with mesquite after having already seasoned it with pecan am I going to get a mix of the two, or does one overwrite the other?
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It makes no difference at all what wood you use when you season your smoker or each time you smoke. The meat will take on the characteristics of what ever wood you are using at the time. 
  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    There is some good advice there...I like Oak...
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Okie, I agree with the rest,I , like Venture use Lard or Manteca(Spanish), also if you are going to use wood,checkout my Wiki on woodburning101.

    Have fun and...
  10. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Welcome Okie,

    I used peanut oil and had good success.  Some people used P*AM veggie spray. Lard sounds great.  I would definately listen to OldSchoolBBQ and Smokin AL.  Both are "ole hands" and well respected, in my opinion. They have never steered me wrong.  The Wiki on woodburning101 is a quick read, and I am a believer!

    As for the wood, check Kroger, Albertson's, local sporting goods places, Cabella's,  or steal from the neighbor, look in the OKC area.  I would avoid Mesquite, especially green wood.  But pecan, hickory, and apple are a good choice until you decide what is best for you.

    In any event, GO GET 'Em, don't burn down the house and you will be great!!!
  11. Nah, this smoke will take place at the deer camp tomorrow.

    I'm bringing my laptop and have it teathered to my smart phone in case I have problems I will still be able to post here.

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