Best way to cure a brand new off-set

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riseabove50
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Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby riseabove50 » Mon May 12, 2014 1:54 pm

All right guys, a moment of silence if you please. the time has come where I will be upgrading to a new, never used offset trailer pit. I'll be sad to see Jasper, my Char Griller Pro, put out to pasture, but it's time. he was my first smoker and has been good to me over the past 7 years and we've learned a lot together about perfecting brisket, ribs and pork butts, but when you can see the fire through pin-holes in the top of the fire box, it's time to have "the talk." I believe he has performed above and beyond much longer than I would have expected - to me 7 years for an Academy bought backyard smoker seems pretty good. it's bitter-sweet. Rest in peace brother.

so, with the possibility of a new rig, Jasper II, coming into the picture, I want to make sure I do his namesake right from the very start - and that calls for a good cure. I've read lots of different methods from the simple to the, well let's just say "passionate." from canola oil or non-stick spray coating the inside of the main chamber, to throwing beef or pork fat or chicken skins, or some other type of grease meat like 75/25 ground beef onto a few pieces of wood set on top of hot coals and letting that coat the whole rig. I've heard the oils might leave a funny taste on your cooked meat and that is obviously not what anyone wants. I'm curious about the meat idea though.

how have you cured your rigs and what's been the best method start to finish that you've tried. and what was something you learned not to do when you cured your pit?

also, how often would you say you should cure your rig? I rarely cleaned Jasper out and left a bit of the grease drippings hanging around just to help contribute to the next smoke, but with Jasper II I may be a little more proactive in keeping him more presentable inside and out which I'm assuming means curing more often depending on how deep a clean he gets.

thanks gentlemen

Mark
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby k.a.m. » Mon May 12, 2014 3:02 pm

Congrats on your new purchase Mark what did you decide on?
As far as seasoning goes I do all my new cookers the same way.
1.) Rinse the cooker out to remove any smoke and grinding dust.
2.) Build a good fire in the firebox and get the cooker up to 325° to 350° and dry her out.
3.) Once dried out I lightly spray the cooking chamber and grates with Pam then let the cooker run for about 2.5 to 3 hours. Then place about 10 lbs of leg quarters on the lower grates to add a bit of meat flavor in the mix. Once all that is done and your enjoying the chicken your seasoned.

As far as cleaning goes Bahama Mama gets cleaned the day or weekend after every cook.
1.) I burn off the grates and scrape the tuning plates then just hose her out.
2.) Once all that is done I stick my flame thrower in the firebox and lay it in the FB/CC opening and dry her out. Once she is dry I spray my grates with Pam.
I hope this helps. :D
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby Boots » Mon May 12, 2014 4:18 pm

My method is similar to KAMs, and has been very reliable (and smells good). I use a jug of peanut oil (available at Academy) and I load up a fresh spray bottle, and spray the entire inside of your cooking chamber with it. Then fire it up like you would for a normal cook. Let the temp peak up, and then burn down cool (say under 125-150 degrees). Then spray the inside again lightly. You can let yer cooker go completely cold, or simply build it back up up to normal cooking temp after the second spray down. Once it cools down again, yer done, and you can start cooking again like normal. Once done, it will smell great, and not necessarily like peanuts at all.

Good thing about the peanut oil is that it's thin enough to flow, but very sticky and more viscous and thick than many other oils.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby BluDawg » Mon May 12, 2014 5:56 pm

Let me use it for a few months :P

Give it a good cleaning to get out all the build dirt
I'm Big on lard I mean come on Pork fat is where its at.
Light up a sac of chaep briquettes and warm up the pit to dry it out for 30 min
Brush on a lite coat of lard while it is still warm
Stoke the fire bring it to 250 for an hr
Close the dampers and let it cool down
go back in with a an old towel once cool and rub it to a dull sheen
your pit is now seasonned.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby Boots » Mon May 12, 2014 6:46 pm

Lard or bacon grease best on a skillet too
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby CypertJ » Mon May 12, 2014 7:38 pm

Norma Jean just got a good coat of peanut oil all over her insides. Hosed out the sand from having her blasted, dried out the CC with the weed burner, sprayed peanut oil with a spray bottle and wiped up the excess with an old rag. Then built a fire and brought her up to 300+ for about 8 hrs. Cooked chicken thighs, chicken quarters, pork steaks and beef ribs. The neighbors are ready for me to season another one.

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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby buzz » Mon May 12, 2014 8:13 pm

All of the above--- But I believe in a clean pit inside an out. Keep mine seasoned just like my CI. I do not use 6mo old grease to cook French fries and I am not going to leave it in my pit. IMO
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby riseabove50 » Tue May 13, 2014 8:56 am

thanks everyone for your methods. all sound good. I do have a large pickle jar of bacon fat I've been saving for a while and will consider using that, or the peanut oil. One point of clarification - you guys clean out your rigs after every smoke right?

KAM, I technically haven't purchased the rig yet. I'm taking a quick trip to Alabama to check out HBT's rigs. I have a ton of air miles so the trip is only costing me about $100 - mainly hotel costs for one night, rental car and lunch at a local BBQ place of course. I'm sure they've got some interesting Q there. the trip is a small price to pay for assurance whether the rig is sound or not. if all goes well and the rig quality is acceptable, I'll place my order this weekend and the owner says he'll have it done by the following holiday weekend which is the perfect time for a road trip to go get it. how they get them done so quickly, I have no idea but I'm sure I'll find out.

I've spoken directly with the owner and some of his customers and they all say good things. they actually have a facebook page with several owners and reviews which shed a positive light. one customer made some easy mods that I think the owner should be able to accommodate if I ask nice, and pay the right price. we shall see. I will definitely post a very descriptive article and photos upon my return and potential purchase/use of this rig since I've found several questions about them, but not many answers.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby k.a.m. » Tue May 13, 2014 11:52 am

riseabove50 wrote: One point of clarification - you guys clean out your rigs after every smoke right?

k.a.m. wrote:As far as cleaning goes Bahama Mama gets cleaned the day or weekend after every cook.
1.) I burn off the grates and scrape the tuning plates then just hose her out.
2.) Once all that is done I stick my flame thrower in the firebox and lay it in the FB/CC opening and dry her out. Once she is dry I spray my grates with Pam.
I hope this helps. :D
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby UBEKEWL454 » Sun May 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Boots wrote:Lard or bacon grease best on a skillet too

Its funny that you mention LARD. My grandmother would never use liquid vegetable oil to cook anything. Now I heard a report last week where they are starting to say that Lard is really healthier than the "dead" vegetable oil that almost everyone uses now. I use lard to season my pit.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby Wtxsmoker » Mon May 26, 2014 4:48 pm

Lard is good. God is great. Seriously rub it down then fire her up. Cool and wipe her out, repeat. The one thing I do different is I use wood and smoke her up. It make it smell wonderful. My yard guy always enjoys mowing after a cookout. Some say grape oil is really the nuts
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby '89HOG » Tue May 05, 2015 8:44 am

I've had my pit over a year and I'm beginning to think I didn't season it correctly. I did like most of you said. I cleaned out all the build dust and dried it up. I coated the entire cooking area with oil (I'm pretty sure it was regular vegetable oil) then kept it at about 200 for about 5 hours and let it cool down. However, after a year and a half of use it looks like I may need to re-season it. Is this even recommended? Aside from the lard suggestions, what should I do differently? Thanks.

Also, I'm still getting used to the amount of wood I consume and wonder if I'm using a normal amount or if my pit isn't as efficient as others. It's a 20" x 36" offset with a 20" x 20" x 20" firebox (Pits by JJ) and I typically use 2/3 of a large bag of mesquite for 10 hr brisket. This includes the initial fire plus the couple of pieces I add every 1 to 1 1/2 hours to maintain temp.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby txsmkmstr » Tue May 05, 2015 10:06 am

'89HOG wrote: I did like most of you said. I cleaned out all the build dust and dried it up. I coated the entire cooking area with oil (I'm pretty sure it was regular vegetable oil) then kept it at about 200 for about 5 hours and let it cool down.


You can re-season anytime and should do so if you have loose gunk built-up on the upper portion of the cooking chamber. This can fall into your food if the lid gets slammed. My only recommendation would be to season at a much higher temperature.... 300*-350* so the oil really bakes on. Much like seasoning a cast iron skillet. I've tried lots of different oils and they all break down eventually.

Not knowing what a "large bag" (2 cubic feet?) of wood represents I'll venture to say your wood consumption is about right. Ten hours is a long burn time and uninsulated fireboxes aren't very efficient.
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Re: Best way to cure a brand new off-set

Postby dmproske » Wed May 06, 2015 4:17 am

Keep the outside and inside of your firebox seasoned like a iron skillet to keep rust down as well.

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