We all know how rewarding it is to feast on delicious, smoked food that you created in your very own smoker. But, if you’ve noticed that your smoker is leaking a little too much while cooking, there’s a chance that you might need to seal it.
If you don’t seal your smoker properly, most of the flavor you’re trying to infuse your ingredients with will be lost to the open air.
You’ll also find that the tenderness of your food isn’t how it used to be. You’ll even find yourself spending more money as you’ll need to add more wood chips to your smoker to achieve the desired taste.
If you’re wondering how to seal a smoker, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ll take you through a few different methods you can use to seal your smoker and stop any of the scenarios above from ruining your smoking experience.
First Things First – Clean Your Smoker!
Before you start the process of sealing your smoker, you need to make sure that it’s as clean as possible.
If there is any residual grease or dirt left inside it, the seal you create simply won’t work. This is especially true if there is a build-up inside the main chamber or firebox.
To give it a thorough clean, mix together some dish soap with hot water and wipe the entire smoker all over with a sponge or paper towel.
This is the most effective way to remove any oil or grease. You’ll be surprised how much you’re able to get off using this simple cleaning method.
If there are any pieces of food stuck to the inside of the chamber, take a knife and carefully scrape them off. Collect these scrapings and throw them straight in the trash.
Once you’ve done both of these things, you need to light your smoker to burn away any residue. This may seem counterintuitive, but the heat will help to remove anything that you can’t scrape off or any invisible particles that you can’t see.
Allow it to burn off and, once it’s cool, wipe your smoker over again with a mixture of dish soap and hot water. Once you’ve done that and you’re certain that your smoker is sparkling clean, open the lid and the vents and allow it air dry.
How to Seal a Smoker Using Gasket
If you’re looking for a quick, affordable way to seal your smoker, using gasket is one of the best options. If you’re not sure what gasket it, it’s essentially a sealant tape that is easy to apply and does a thorough job of creating a smoke-proof seal.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Measure the circumference of both the main chamber and firebox’s lids and doors. Once you’ve got these measurements, cut the gasket to size so that it fits perfectly.
- Now, carefully apply the cut pieces of gasket to the inner edge of the lids and doors. If you’ve got your measurements correct, the gasket should cover the entire inner-circumference without leaving any gaps.
- If there are a couple of gaps, cut more gasket to size to fill them in. Doing this will ensure that absolutely no smoke can escape when the smoker is lit.
- Once every single millimeter is covered, close the doors and the lids. Leave the smoker to stand in a dry place for at least a day. This will help the gasket stick firmly.
How to Seal a Smoker Using Silicone Sealant
Silicone sealant is a great material for sealing a smoker as it can get into even the tiniest gaps. So, if there are sections of your smoker that you know you’d be unable to attach gasket to, silicone sealant would be the best option.
It’s easy, too. All you have to do is apply the sealant to your clean smoker using a sealant gun. These usually come as part of a kit, but they can be purchased separately as well.
Once you’ve applied the silicone sealant, leave the smoker to stand in a dry place for at least 24 hours. That’s all there is to it!
How to Seal a Smoker Using Aluminum Foil
If you’re looking to keep things as low-cost and as simple as possible, you might want to consider using aluminum foil to seal your smoker. This is also an excellent way to turn a grill into a smoker.
All you need to do is craft the aluminum foil into a basket shape that will fit inside the firebox. Once you’ve done this, place it under the grate. This will raise the grates slightly, ensuring that the flow of oxygen isn’t blocked by the seal.
This is also a super convenient way to cut down on your post-smoking cleaning. The ashes from the wood and coal you’ve used will simply fall into the aluminum foil basket, which can be removed and disposed of.
How to Seal a Smoker Using Steel
This is arguably the most complicated way to seal a smoker, but it’s also one of the most effective methods.
You’ll need certain equipment, such as a welder, but once you’ve finished you’ll have a permanent seal that requires very little maintenance. The first thing you need to do is find a couple of pieces of steel that are around 1” – 2” in length.
Cut or bend them to shape so that they fit neatly around the openings of the doors and lids and, once you have done this, weld them to the inside of the smoker’s door or lid.
This creates a super-effective, airtight seal that will prevent excess smoke from escaping. If you prefer, you can also weld steel to the outside of the doors and lids.
The principle will remain the same, however, you may find that it takes away from the aesthetic appearance of your smoker.
Even if you’ve not noticed any excess smoke billowing from your smoker, it may only be a matter of time before its current seal starts to falter.
By using any of the methods listed above, you can easily repair it once it does. You’ll also be able to save yourself a lot of money, as you won’t have to worry about replacing the entire smoker.