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Finally getting a smoker! (and question)

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    Finally getting a smoker! (and question)

    Hello All,
    After years of wanting a smoker and not getting one I am picking up my new Oklahoma Joe's Highland at Lowe's on Friday. I have done extensive youtubing and have decided to do the following mods right off the bat:
    - Baffle/Tuning plate
    - Seal smoke stack (supposedly with the tuning plate the factory smoke stack exit height is fine)
    - Seal firebox halves and box to cooking chamber with 2000F stove gasket cement
    - Install Weber grommet for temp probe leads
    - Possibly install lid gasket and latches
    I already have my ThermoWorks Smoke X4, plenty of almond and oak in the shed and after spending way more money than anticipated I am ready to cook!

    I have a question that I could not find the answer to anywhere on-line so far regarding burning in.
    Everyone talks about burning out the factory chemicals and seasoning. To me these seem like they are 2 different steps: Burn out the nasties, let cool then wipe down with oil and burn again, however everyone seems to just wipe out the unit, wipe with oil and then burn it in. How is that removing what we do not want? I also saw a guy on youtube rub down the insides with oil and salt.
    Any input will greatly appreciated and I am happy to be a part of your community.

    #2
    Welcome to the pit from Virginia! If you burn in for an hour the heat is going to safely remove the manufacturers residue. Then you should be good to go.

    Comment


    • Gizmoto
      Gizmoto commented
      Editing a comment
      And then rub with oil and burn for seasoning or am I overthinking this?

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, try not to over think it. I wouldn’t waste my time rubbing anything. Spray with Pam or something similar. Then just let it burn hot for a few hours at least, afterwards.

    #3
    Welcome to The Pit. I dunno - it's been over 10 years since I had to season a new cooker, but I agree with what you said. Burn and then oil. I'd let my first cook heat the oil though.

    Comment


      #4
      Welcome to the pit from the bbq capital of New England, Massachusetts. As far as burning in and seasoning your smoker, go with the manufacturers recommendation. They know the product best.

      Comment


        #5
        Welcome from NJ!

        Comment


          #6
          Oil, schmoil. Season it with meat! Cook up a pork shoulder or two and no further seasoning would be required, IMHO! YMMV!

          Welcome to the pit!
          Last edited by RolfTaylor; July 7, 2021, 11:53 AM.

          Comment


            #7
            Welcome from St. Cloud, FL.

            You will get plenty of opinions here on seasoning your new pit.

            Comment


              #8
              Hello from NW Oregon.

              Comment


                #9
                Welcome from Farmville, Va...

                Comment


                  #10
                  Howdy from Houston and welcome to The Pit! Congrats on your new smoker…you seem to have a good plan going forward with your mods. I’m assuming you’re going to do all the mods before your burn ins, except for the gaskets. I always do 2 burn ins on any new cooker. Not sure if it’s necessary but it makes me feel better. I would first spray canola or vegetable oil over all interior parts of the smoker, including the cooking grates. Then get your fire going and let er rip as hot as it will go for 2-4 hours. If doing it on concrete or anywhere you don’t want stains, put some type of cover underneath to prevent any drips. Then the next day, or whenever, do another burn in for a few more hours. Spraying it down again isn’t really necessary. I would use a combination of charcoal and wood for your seasoning of the cooker. I wouldn’t be too concerned with any particular technique on your burn ins, it’s gonna be the heat in the long run that’s gonna eliminate factory chemicals. During your burn ins is when you wanna check for air leaks. Good luck.
                  Last edited by Panhead John; July 5, 2021, 08:00 PM.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Welcome from Wisconsin. Glad you could join us!
                    I would do the two step burn in.

                    Comment


                    • Gizmoto
                      Gizmoto commented
                      Editing a comment
                      And that's what I will do

                    #12
                    Originally posted by Panhead John View Post
                    I’m assuming you’re going to do all the mods before your burn ins, except for the gaskets.
                    The Rutland 2000F Stove Gasket Cement for the firebox I'm using during assembly needs heat to cure, I am basically just "gluing" the 2 halves' mating surfaces with the bolts and to cooking chamber. If it lasts great if not oh well but the red RTV is only rated to 650F and looks crappy. The smoke stack connection, RTV here, will be sealed during assembly and given at least 24hrs to cure.
                    I'm holding off on the lid gaskets for now and see how it goes.
                    Last edited by Gizmoto; July 5, 2021, 08:00 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Panhead John
                      Panhead John commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You seem to have a really good plan as I mentioned. 👍 Your main areas of concern, for leaks, will be the firebox and cooking chamber doors. And honestly, a lot of smokers have at least some small air leaks, don’t get too concerned about that unless you think it’s affecting your cooking temps. There’s also still plenty of smoke inside for your meat if it’s not too bad.
                      Last edited by Panhead John; July 5, 2021, 08:16 PM.

                    #13
                    Wow, what a nice welcome. Thank all of you!

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Welcome from Oz, you will like it here.

                      Overthinking seems to be part of this instant global communication we have now.
                      I am guilty of it myself, bought a COS several years ago, did all the youtube mods etc.
                      Now it leaks a little bit here and there but I can now produce reasonably consistent good eats.

                      Why? Because I have learned how to drive it.
                      Get that sucker burnt in, start with something cheap, chicken wings or even snags and get cooking mate.
                      There's a world of info here that got me up and running, but the best way is just have a crack yourself.
                      Documenting your cooks until you know that suckers behaviour by heart is very important.
                      And remember that failure is always an option with a smoker, write down what you did and learn from your mistakes.

                      End of sermon, most importantly have fun with your new hobby/addiction haha

                      Last edited by Stuey1515; July 6, 2021, 01:07 AM. Reason: Translated to English

                      Comment


                      • Gizmoto
                        Gizmoto commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for the documenting tip, will do

                      #15
                      That's awesome. My first smoker was a Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker from Lowes in April of 2020. The latest model has many upgrades. I now have a pit barrel junior too, and look forward to a gravity fed one day. I think I'll go with the offset Old County Brazos from Academy when I start stick burning. Couldn't find the metal thickness on the Highland, but the Brazos is quarter inch, but double the cost. Brazos doesn't reverse flow if that's a key feature.

                      Comment

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