Break In or Seasoning
- Adjust the unit so it is slightly nose down.
- Place a container under the grease valve.
- Open the valve.
- Clean cooking racks with dish soap and hot water to remove any cutting oils and debris from manufacturing.
- Check the inside of the cooking chamber for any debris and, if necessary, rinse.
- Spray the interior of the cooking chamber and racks with a light coat of cooking oil.
- Load the firebox with 20 to 25 lbs of charcoal, light it, and allow the temp to come up to approximately 275 degrees and maintain this temp for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Keep the firebox side vents and chimney vent wide open.
- Adjust firebox vents to regulate temp (opening increases and closing decreases).
- Keep chimney vent wide open at all times. Never close the chimney vent during a cook.
- Now you are ready to cook.
- If starting from "scratch", fill the firebox with 25 to 30 lbs of charcoal.
- Light the coals either with a torch or a couple of hot chimneys of coals.
- Keep vents wide open and doors closed on the cooking chamber.
- How fast the smoker gets to temp is dependent on ambient temperature, barometric pressure, and wind etc.
- Remember, you are heating up a tremendous amount of steel.
- Once you reach your desired temperature, (225 to 275) place your meat on the racks.
- The sections closest to the firebox will be hotter than the sections to the front.
- We usually put the larger cuts of meats like brisket and butts towards the front and smaller cuts like ribs, chicken, sausage towards the back.
- Once the meat is loaded, place one or two logs on the fire.
- Use only hardwoods such as oak, hickory, cherry, and apple.
- Wood must be dry and seasoned.
- You will know there is a problem if you have black or dark smoke coming out of the chimney.
- Ideal smoke color is light blue/white (at this point you can continue with all wood or a combo of wood and charcoal as we do).
- Regulate your temperature with the side vents on the firebox.
- If your temp gets too high and you are having trouble lowering it, simply prop open the cooking doors.
- Propping open the cooking doors will allow things to cool down.
- If you want guidelines on cooking various meats, check our recipes under "Resources" on our website.
Note: Do not get discouraged if your first cook doesn't turn out exactly as expected. After a few cooks, you will understand the mechanics of your smoker and develop your own techniques to turning out some of the best BBQ. Try starting with easy to cook meats such as pork butts, ribs etc.
Remember, you can always call us with any questions.
Joe Pino 908-531-8997 (cell)
Bill Drejka 908-209-9106 (cell)
Good luck and may the Lard be with you! X