How to season and light your smoker
Here i'll talk you through using your new smoker and give you a rundown using a cook to provide an example...
First, these are items we recommend when using a smoker :-
- Quality charcoal
- Chimney Starter
- Heatproof gloves
- Eco firelighters
- Quality Meat
- Seasonings/ Rubs
- Smoking Wood Chippings ( Optional )
The first step in using your new smoker is to season it and set the paint...
( WHY?! )
We do not recommend cooking food to eat on the first use!! We are burning off any manufacturing oils and baking the paint on which can release fumes!!
TO SEASON -
Remove the internals and using a clean cloth or kitchen towel wipe all of the internal surfaces with a light coating of oil, canola oil is usually recommended as it has a high burning temp but i usually just use a light spray of sunflower oil i've pinched out of the kitchen cupboard!
Replace the internal parts and complete a burn, slowly raise the temp over a couple of hours before closing both vents down and allowing it to cool, this will create a black coating over time like Nans old cast iron pan while setting the paint correctly and preventing it from rusting easily...
Re-season regularly and after every clean and the BeardSmoke Mini-Un Steel Kamado should last a lifetime!
(As you can see from my smoker in the pics it is seasoned well, this is the original BeardSmoke Mini-Un and the first one i built at the beginning of 2020. It's my ultimate test weapon and i will be testing it to destruction so you can see it run its life in real-time!!
I have never cleaned it ( ALWAYS CLEAN YOURS!! ) every grease splatter, mark or scuff is a memory and tells a story of a different campsite or cook. I have cooked with it in rain and snow but i always store it away in a dry place after it has cooled down...)
Although it is quite ok to cook in all weathers these smokers are made out of mild steel and will rust if left out in the elements, especially if un-seasoned and before you bake on the paint!
- Always clean your smoker regularly and re-season!!
Use soapy water and a soft cloth to clean, immediately dry then wipe all internal surfaces with a light coating of cooking oil.
The Stainless Steel grill is safe to scrub and put in the dishwasher
The Stainless Steel diffuser plate in the BeardSmoke Deluxe smoker is safe to scrub and put in the dishwasher
The Mild Steel diffuser plate in the BeardSmoke Original smoker is not dishwasher safe, treat as cast iron, you can clean in soapy water but immediately dry and re-season to prevent rust
The seasoning in the smoker is animal grease, it will go rancid if left for too long in between cooks. After the smoker has cooled store in a dry place with the vents open to allow airflow.
If it goes mouldy you can run a hot burn with both vents open to burn off any nasties, after cooling clean with hot soapy water then immediately dry and re-season!!
- ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR SMOKER REGULARLY AND RE-SEASON!!
TO LIGHT THE SMOKER -
- First pour around a chimney full of unlit quality lumpwood charcoal onto the ash grate in the bottom of the smoker
Next fill your chimney starter ( MY WHAT?! ) around 2/3 full of the same and place on a fireproof surface ( the grill works fine )
- Put 2-3 eco firelighters ( ECO WHAT?! ) underneath the chimney starter and light them...
After 10 - 15 minutes the coals should be turning white and ready to use!
- Now pour the lit coals carefully onto the unlit ones in the bottom of the smoker... Always use heatproof gloves!!
Spread the coals evenly and make sure the vent isn't blocked...
- Place the diffuser plate onto its mounts
- Put the grill in place
- Close the lid and open top vent/exhaust fully
- Open bottom vent very slightly
- Wait around 20 minutes, smoker temperature should be around 110c/ 225f for low n slow cooking
If the temp is too high for your cook then close the bottom vent more, too low then simply open it up a little more. Allow 5 - 10 mins after each adjustment for temp to settle and bare in mind the temp will drop slightly when you add the meat...
ADDING THE MEAT-
For your first cook i recommend using shoulder, its a cut that's very hard to ruin and perfect for a practice as the longer you leave it cooking once wrapped the softer it should be...
Lamb Tikka Shoulder
This example is a simple lamb shoulder coated in tikka paste, we used a 1.5kg piece of lamb shoulder. Ask your butcher to remove the skin, the bone is optional as there's an argument that it can affect the cook times and flavour but be aware you pay for the extra weight, for now we're using boned...
We marinaded this overnight in a zip-lock bag with a simple jarred Tikka paste.
Simply drop onto the grill, we didn't use any wood chippings, you can experiment with adding different woods later when you're confident and familiar with cooking on this smoker...
- After about 1 hour turn the shoulder over to prevent the paste burning...
The aim is to get a nice colour all over the outside of the lamb...
Around 2 hours in theres a nice colour allover..
And the internal temp is measuring around 75c using the Thermapen classic instant read thermometer...
- Time to wrap
Wrap tightly in foil and put back on the smoker, this is when the meat softens...
We left the lamb on for around another 4.5 hours, the internal temp was around 103c and the probe went through the meat like butter...
- Time to rest now
Wrap in a Tea - Towel and leave to rest for around half an hour while you prepare the sides
- Shred and serve
Shred the lamb using a couple of forks or some Bear Claws...
We served them with lettuce, onion and mint yogurt on shop bought wraps...
Simple but tasty, good food doesn't have to be fancy!...
I left the smoker running empty to test how long it would run the temp rose slightly after removing the meat, i left the vents as they were...
The food and wine had done its trick and i was falling asleep in my chair!! The temp had started to drop slightly but it was still holding steady. I closed both vents and went to bed!...
The Day After -
This was what was left in the bottom of the smoker the morning after...
When i pulled this out there was around half a chimney of unused charcoal leftover to use on the next cook!!
All in all the smoker ran for around 10 hours and only used approximately 1.5 chimneys of lumpwood charcoal..
Not bad for a mini camping smoker!
Hope this post helps you, please feel free to give us feedback on our Facebook Group!
The BeardSmoke Mini-Un, Steel Kamado, portable camping smoker....