Welcome to the ASF Smoker Family!
SEASONING A NEW ASF SMOKER
Now that you are officially apart of the ASF Smoker Family, there are a few things you will want to know before you begin this amazingly fulfilling relationship with your smoker.
You will need a few things before you begin seasoning your smoker: cooking oil, fat trimmings or lard, spray bottle, paper towels, and optional kitchen grade degreaser.
After getting your ASF Smoker in place, you will want to degrease then season your pit. To degrease your new ASF Smoker, use the paper towels to wipe out any excess grease from the inside of the pit and grates. If you have a kitchen grade degreaser, you can use that to degrease the inside of your pit, but it is not required.
After the degreasing process you will then coat the inside of your pit with cooking oil. We suggest applying the oil in a spray bottle to achieve a more even application, but this can also be done with paper towels. Apply the oil to your cooking chambers, grills, vertical smoke box, but not the firebox.
Next, spread the fat trimmings or lard over your grills. You will burn this off with your first burn. To start a fire in the firebox use the Start Fire directions below. You will not need to add any liquid to your reservoir chamber for this process.
After starting your fire allow the temperature in your smoker to reach approximately 225°F and maintain this temperature for four hours. This will burn out impurities and allow the oil to season the smoker in the same way as you would season a cast iron skillet. Taking these measures will help ensure that your first cookout will be a great one. Do not ever allow the cooking chamber temperatures to exceed 300°F.
FILLING THE LIQUID RESERVOIR CHAMBER
Our 3/16 gauge ASF Smokers have a liquid reservoir trough in the bottom of the smoking chamber. This liquid reservoir keeps meats moist and flavorful. Make sure to fill your reservoir before you start your fire. First ensure the drain plug is secured, then slide back your firebox grill for access to the liquid reservoir chamber. You can then fill the reservoir with several inches of water, apple juice, beer or any other liquid of your choice. Be careful not to overfill or the liquid will run over the trough into the firebox.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR ASF SMOKER
It is not necessary to clean the inside walls and grates every time you use your smoker. However, it is important to discard the ashes and drain any grease or liquid. Ashes should be dumped after allowing them to completely cool. Simply pull ash tray out and dump cooled ashes into a trashcan. Draining the excess grease or liquid is best done when the smoker is still hot. Be careful when draining so you do not splash hot grease and liquid on yourself. Use a bucket to dispose of grease and access liquid properly. Please note: the grease and smoke residue that coats the inside walls of the cooking chamber and grills seasons the smoker and prevents it from rusting. The grease coating on the walls is how your pit develops its character over time. As it develops character the quality and flavor of your barbecue will improve.
If you prefer to clean the inside of your smoker occasionally, it is a simple task. While the smoker is still hot, simply leave the drains open and wash everything out with a water hose. After cleaning you will need to dry out the interior of your pit and preseason it before your next burn.
As you use your smoker you will notice the exterior paint may chip or wear with each burn. This is normal. You will need to maintain these areas for maximum longevity. While your smoker is not in use, simply tend to any chipped or peeling paint by sanding with sandpaper. After the area is sanded and dry, use a high temp black bbq paint to touch up those areas. Hinges and baffles should be oiled occasionally to ensure their function as well. By doing this simple suggested maintenance you will ensure your pit lasts season after season.
Your smoker will get hot and stay hot for a long period of time. Make sure to be aware of yourself and your surroundings while using your ASF Smoker. Never touch a smoker with your bare hands while it's in operation. Before covering, make sure there is no fire smoldering and that your smoker has completely cooled down.