How to Season a Propane Smoker (Step-By-Step)


I know you’re here because you’d like to know how to season a new propane/gas smoker. In this article, you’ll learn how to season a propane smoker, the benefits of seasoning a smoker, and when you should carry out this process. 

First things first, how do you season a propane smoker? Seasoning a propane smoker involves heating your smoker with wood chips to a very high temperature than required for normal cooking. 

You have to leave it to smoke for about 2 to 4 hours. Then bring it back up to air temperature. 

Step-By-Step: How to Season a Propane Smoker

Have you just bought a new propane smoker or do you have one that’s been sitting idle for several months, which you want to begin using again? This handy guide will outline the easy steps and accessories you need to properly season a smoker.

  1. Gather your supplies

All you need are a few basic seasoning supplies. These include: 

  • Cooking oil and cooking sprays with a high smoke point.
  • A brush or spray bottle to apply a thin, even coat of oil to the grid. 
  • Paper towels for removing excess cooking oil
  • A barbecue scraper to rid your smoker of baked-on food
  1. Thoroughly rinse the grates then let them air dry

There is no need to wash your brand new propane smoker with dish soap before seasoning it. Simply rinse it with clean water and let it air dry completely. 

The same will apply to a smoker that is not new. Make sure the smoker is cool before you start rinsing it. You should also remove accumulated dirt or burnt rust.

If your cooking grate is bad, you can always replace it with a nonstick cooking grate. Of course, you’ll need to season it before cooking your delicious beef burgers and smoked sausages.

  1. Brush, spray, or gently wipe the grill with high heat cooking oil

Be sure to use cooking oil with a high smoke point.  Canola oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, refined olive oil, vegetable oil, and safflower oil are all natural oil recommended for high heat smoking.

The High Heat No Smoke Seasoning Oil from Cast Iron Sam, which is formulated from flaxseed and coconut oil is a good seasoning oil you can purchase.

You can use a basting brush to apply a thin layer of the cooking oil to the grates and the inner body of the smoker, including the door. 

Another option is to use new, clean brushes that have never been used.

Spraying is another simple method for applying high-temperature oils. You can use an oil spray bottle used for seasoning a barbecue or grilling vegetables.  

It provides superior nonstick performance. The built-in filter also lets you infuse your favorite olive oil with salad herbs.

After you’re done spraying or brushing the inner components with cooking oil, apply a roll of sponge towels such as the Bounty Quick Size Paper Towels and wipe up excess oil. I’ve used them a couple of times to clean barbecue sauce drips from the smoker. 

  1. Turn on the smoker burners and let the smoker heat up and smoke

Before burning the smoker, add some wood chips like you would do when smoking meats. This is probably why this entire process is called seasoning. 

Light your propane smoker and let it heat up. During seasoning, the propane smoker should be heated up to 50% more than the temperature when cooking. 

The normal slow cooking temperature for propane smokers is around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the required temperature for seasoning is usually between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Some recommend setting the vents wide open to reach 225 degrees Fahrenheit quicker. 

Smoke will appear as the oil burns the grate. The seasoning is successful when the shiny metal finish takes on a brown, dark, or bronze color. A very dark color means your smoker is well seasoned.

  1. Scrape and remove food and grime

If you are seasoning an old smoker, as the smoker heats up during the seasoning process, the burnt-on food and carbon layers will begin to come off, and scraping the grates will become easier.

Worried about food safety? A wood scraper from the Great Scrape is the solution for people concerned about using wire bristle brushes to clean their grills while seasoning or after grilling. 

It has a kind of serrated head that fits between the grates for easy back-and-forth motion. This lets you scrape in hard-to-reach places and lift hot grates.

  1. Turn off the heat and allow the grill to cool

You will notice that the high temperatures on the oil have had the effect of blackening the grates and creating a nonstick surface. Your smoker is finally perfectly seasoned! This will make it easier to flip burgers, sear steaks, and cook veggies! When food sticks to the grill again, you will need to re-season.

  1. Apply more cooking oil

To help prevent rust and extend the life of your smoker, apply another coat of light oil after it has cooled. 

Some barbecue pros recommend seasoning stainless steel and cast iron grates before and after each use. Other specialists prefer to season them every two or three months. It will depend on your preferences and how often you barbecue.

You can check out more tips in the video below, which explains how to season Masterbuilt propane smoker: 

Benefits of Seasoning a Propane Smoker

Seasoning a propane smoker is a way to clean up a new smoker from all the chemical elements from the factory and during the pre-shipping preparations. In addition, a seasoned smoker prevents the inner components of the unit from rusting and makes cooking and maintenance seamless. 

So why season a smoker? The process of lubricating and heating stainless steel or cast iron grates in your smoker has a lot of advantages for the following reasons:

  • It can promote food safety by removing chemical residue from ready-to-use smokers.
  • It allows rapid and even heating for succulent barbecue.
  • It produces a nonstick surface for easy cooking and cleanup.
  • It helps prevent rust and increases its longevity and grilling pleasure.


When seasoning a propane smoker

I recommend seasoning your smoker at least once before you cut the ribs for the first time. Although not necessary, you can also season your smoker a few times a year after the first smoke. 

How often should you clean your smoker?

As a general rule, you should clean your smoker thoroughly before and after every barbecue smoking session. Before each use, scrape the cooking grate and remove any clumps of fat to prevent it from catching fire and producing dirty smoke that will ruin your meat.


Seasoning your propane smoker helps remove all residues on the cooking grates and makes the components more long-lasting. And the process of seasoning a propane smoker isn’t that difficult. 

Simply gather your supplies. Thoroughly rinse the grates, then let them air dry. Brush, spray, or gently wipe the smoker with high-heat cooking oil. 

Turn on the burners and let the grill heat up and smoke. Scrape and remove food and grime. Turn off the heat and allow the grill to cool. 

Finally, apply more cooking oil. And there you go: you now know how to season a propane smoker!


Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.