Every Spring about this time (despite whether or not it actually feels like Spring) folks pull out the smokers and grills and get them ready for the upcoming ‘season’! It’s an annual ritual as old as can be and everyone’s got their own routine! In fact…had a friend send an e-mail the other day that included photos of a HUGE beehive which had taken form over the Winter under his Grill Cover! Nutso!
That said…might I suggest that you spend a bit more time than whatever it takes to pull off the cover and run to the mini-mart for some wood or propane in getting your smoker ready for the season! Make sure that your grates are clean and oiled before you fire it up, then clean them again once they are HOT oiling as they begin to cool down. Check to make sure that you touch up (Hi-Temp Paint ONLY) any rusty spots. Check any electronics and connections if you’ve got them. For the propane grill crowd…make sure that your burner(s) is intact and that it hasn’t accumulated any spider webs or stink bugs!
I always fire mine up after I complete all my maintenance and then burn it at about 450 for an hour or so just to kill off anything that may have grown in it over the winter AND as a check to see if I can maintain high temps in the smoker! As they always say…with Smoker/Grill maintanance…an ounce of prevention saves the PICNIC!!!