Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by mrvernall, May 12, 2015.

  1. Hello UK smokers :)

    I live in Peterborough and just got my very first offset smoker. (so I can grill and smoke meat)

    I posted a Hello in the Roll Call and "Wade" replied with some very helpful info.

    So I am going to season my smoker tonight hopefully, Wade gave me some tips about this.

    I think what I need to do is get a good fire going in the firebox, I will be using BigK lumpwood charcoal. (No logs yet?) l will keep the smoker at 200-250 C for about 4 hours. (Do I need to go any hotter?)

    I know some people spray peanut oil inside the smoker before starting the seasoning, as peanut oil gets very hot, and helps get the temperature up hotter. I don't no if this is needed. Also do I need to spray cooking oil inside and outside every time I am finished cooking to stop rusting?

    I have also seen there are some gaps where heat can escape, like around the firebox door, so what would you use to seal this?

    If anyone has any seasoning tips please do tell [​IMG]

    Thank You

  2. Hello Mikey and welcome to the family.  Glad to have you.

    Be forewarned I sometimes a come off sounding bit abrupt.  I mean no disrespect.  Just sometimes direct is the quickest way to help out.  There is oil inside that smoker.  Not good oil.  Manufacturing oil.  Build a fire in the firebox AND the cooking chamber  You want the fire to burn off all that oil.  I did two burns in mine.  One to burn off the nasty oil and a second to season the smoker.  For the second burn you can just build the fire in the firebox.

    This is a pre-written response for inexperienced new folks but if you don’t fall into that category, you might still find an idea or 2.  You need to do a few modifications to that smoker to help with temp control.  Without meat, get a fire going in there to create smoke.  Small fire, BIG smoke!  You can even spray a little water on the coals to create BIG white smoke.  What you want to do is see where the smoke leaks are.  Mark the leaks, open the lid and allow the fire to burn down or go out.  When the smoker cools seal every leak you can using stove rope, high temp silicone, bbq gasket and such.  Next, if you have a thin flimsy fire grate use it as a template and build or have built a grate out of 1/2" concrete reinforcing steel ( rebar ).  That thin grate will sag with heat and will rest on the ash cutting off air flow to your coals.  No air flow no heat.  Other option is build a charcoal basket.  You can find baskets in the build section.  Leave that exhaust fully open and use the intake vent to control the heat.  Last tip is go buy a cheap garden trowel.  Knock the wooden handle off and weld a 2-2 1/2' piece of that rebar to the shovel.  Now you can gently scoop out the ash without them blowing all over your meat and you won't burn your hands.

    The next thing is use the BigK to season the smoker and NEVER buy it again.  It is a waste of money.  It is cheap for a reason.  We will help you find good charcoal.  You will pay more but you will use less and turn out a better end product.

    Please don't think I am "barking orders".  I am really not as grumpy as I come across.  I just want to help you get started in the right way.  I don't want you to fail first time out and then loose heart and give up.  I don't want to lose you at the start.  We can do this together and the other U.K. members will be there to support you.  Great bunch of folks who know their stuff.  Keep Smokin!

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is too late for that Danny. We have already warned Mikey about you [​IMG]
  4. Hello KC5TPY

    I have done my first HOT burn for about 2 hours at 400-450C  [​IMG]  

    Its still going now but I have closed the air intake vent and going to let it cool down.

    I will do my sound burn/season tomorrow but only use the firebox and try to keep the temperature at 200-250c and let it run for about 4 hours.

    Would it be good to use any smoking wood on the sound season?

    Note to self, don't buy BigK charcoal. lol

    EDIT (400-450F)

    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  5. :) shhhhhh
  6. euromir

    euromir Fire Starter

    I can't offer advice as I'm a newbie too! But just a quick hello from fellow UKer and to add that these guys are great and so helpful, so glad I found this place!

  7. Hello Euromir

    I can see this place is going to be very helpfully.
  8. Hello

    Images from first burn, needed to use up the last of some BigK.

    Do I relay need to do a second burn/season  as the first was at 340-450F for about 6 hours.

    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  9. Hello Mikey.  You SEE??  I get no respect!  I have a bunch of 50 year old adolescent males!  [​IMG]

    The truth is these guys know their stuff and while we do take tha piss we all are willing to do what is needed to held folks out.

    Did you wipe the entire smoker with cooking oil or spray it with a cooking oil at any stage?  If not you just burned off the manufacturing oil.  So another seasoning is a good idea but this time you can have meat on the smoker and a fire in the firebox should be ok.  A tip I learned here I think you will find helpful:  after your cook and smoker cools some, when you can JUST put your hands on the outside, wipe down the outside ( or use spray ) with cooking oil.  Once completely cool wipe off the excess oil with paper towels.  This will extend the life of your smoker.  When you fire it up again it will smoke but should not affect the taste of your final product.  Keep Smokin!

  10. Hi Danny

    Hahaha it sounds like you all take the piss, but all in good fun.

    I did not use any cooking oil on the inside or outside. So do I spray the whole inside with cooking oil then light the firebox? And if I want I can smoke some meat at the same time?

    That tip about rubbing cooking oil on the outside of the smoker seems good as the water/rain/damp will just run off. I also have a full cover so hopefully even better.

  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, use that cover. It will really help protect it from the elements.
  12. Hello.  You got the idea Mikey.  Spray with oil.  Fire it up.  Let 'er warm up and maybe hold temp for 30 minutes or so in case any oil drips.  Throw on some burgers or chicken legs ( or both ).  Add wood for smoke.  A prayer to the GREAT SMOKING GODS.  And you're away.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  13. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hiya Mikey,

    Welcome to the group,  I told you there was a lot of useful information on the site...... what I couldn't tell you was that everyone here is as mad as a box of frogs otherwise you wouldn''t have joined. 

    Like Danny & Wade have said there is a lot of experience here, all you have to do is ask.

    Keep up the good work

  14. Ok, the plan is this Saturday (tomorrow) I need to find all the little gaps letting out heat/smoke and get them sealed. Then TRY to smoke some chicken legs and not die....... haha.

    Also I only have Lumpwood charcoal, which is good for grilling steaks, but may be not so good for smoking as i think it gets too hot. What would be a better choice?
  15. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    i have an offset and only use use lumpwood,   just reduce the amount you use, and use your vents to control air flow
  16. Hi Smokewood, Ok let's see how it's goes. I will use some Lumpwood and some of your nice cherry wood chunks :)
  17. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Keep us posted how you get on
  18. Hello.  Lump is good.  You do seem to use a bit more but you should be fine.  If you open the lid and a chicken leg YELLS at you to put out the light;  it aint done!  [​IMG]   Have fun.  Keep Smokin!

  19. Lol thanks.
  20. So, I lit up one full chimney of lumpwood and waited for most of it to go gray. Then tipped it into the firebox, I then opened the side door to let lots of air in and closed the top door. When the temperature on the smoker said 150F I closed the side firebox door but opened the air vents all the way, I also put a chunk of cherry wood on.

    I could not get the temperature above 220F. (I did not add any more wood or lumpwood charcoal. I have not yet sealed the gaps that let heat & smoke off.)

    From my little test I 100% need to do some sealing as there are too many gaps. Where is a good place to buy stove rope? Or something good you guys have used?


    (I didn't cook any meat this time just checking for gaps.)

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