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 charcoal, light and allow temp. to come up to approximately 275 degrees and maintain this temp. for about 1 to1.5 hours.
Keep firebox side and chimney vents wide open.
Adjust firebox vents to regulate temp. (opening increases and closing decreases).
Keep the chimney vent wide open at all times. Never close during a cook.
Now you are ready to cook.
If starting from “scratch”, fill the firebox with 20 to 2 5 lbs. of charcoal.
Light the coals either with a torch or a couple of hot chimney coals.
Keep vents wide open and doors closed on the cooking chamber.
How fast the smoker will get to temp is dependent on ambient temperature, barometric pressure, 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.
Place one or two logs on the fire.
Use only hard woods such as pecan, oak, hickory, cherry, peach and apple.
They must be dry and seasoned.
Once you achieve a light blue smoke put on the meat.
The section close to the firebox will be hotter than the sections to the front.
We usually tend to but the larger cuts of meats like brisket and butts towards the front and smaller cuts like ribs, chicken, sausage towards the back.
You will know if there’s 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 heat gets too high and you are having trouble lowering it, simply prop open the cooking doors and if it’s way hot open the firebox door about an inch or two. This will allow things to cool down.
If you want guidelines on cooking various meats, check out our recipes.
Note: Do not get discourage if your first cook doesn’t turn out exactly as expected. After a few cooks you will understand the mechanics of your smoker and also you will develop your own techniques to turning out some of the best BBQ. Best to start with things like ribs and pork butts.
Remember, you can always call us with any questions.
Good luck and may the Lard be with you!