Safety Information

Warning: Your smoker should never be used inside a building/enclosure or near any combustible items. Carbon Monoxide has no color or odor and can kill you and others. Use your smoker only outdoors in a well ventilated area.

You are responsible for the safe operation of your smoker. Never allow anyone to touch your smoker when it is hot.  Make sure the fire basket is centered in smoker.

Failure to use common sense in the operation of your smoker may result in injury, death or property damage which we are not responsible for.


Operation of your smoker

The following are intended as suggestions only.

Seasoning new smoker: We strongly suggest that you season your new smoker prior to cooking. Simply apply a generous amount of cooking oil on a cloth rag and apply the oil to all interior drum surfaces. Seasoning the smoker prior to cooking will extend the life of your smoker.

Charcoal: You may use briquettes or lump charcoal depending on your personal preference. We suggest you fill the charcoal basket to approximately ¾ full. Using the hot and fast method, you should have some charcoal left over after the cook. When you’re finished with your cook and still have charcoal left over, simply close the air intake and exhaust controls. This will cause the fire to go out and prevent unnecessary consumption of the remaining charcoal. You may use the remaining charcoal on your next cook.

Lighting your charcoal: There are several ways to light the charcoal and is again subject to your personal preference. That said, we do not suggest using lighter fluid unless you like the taste of lighter fluid in your food.

You may place lighter blocks or cubes on the ash pan and place it under the charcoal if you wish. Once the fire starter is ignited, we suggest you place the charcoal basket in the smoker to prevent wind from blowing out the starter material.

Some cooks prefer to remove the ash pan and place the basket over a propane burner. This method reduces the time needed to get the charcoal ready for your cook. Again, it is up to you on how you start your fire.

We suggest you place the charcoal basket in the smoker before it becomes too hot to safely handle. Remember you are responsible for safely starting your charcoal.

Wood: Due to the design of your smoker, we suggest you use wood very sparingly. Normally, we only use 2-4 small chunks of wood during our cook. You may place wood directly on the ash pan when your start the cook, place wood on top of the charcoal  or place the wood within the charcoal itself.  

Air Intake & Exhaust Settings: When starting the process, we suggest you open the intake and exhaust to 100%. As soon as the temperature approaches the desired point, we suggest you reduce the air intake to approximately 50% and the exhaust to approximately 20%. After a few cooks, you will learn the way the smoker reacts to air and exhaust adjustments.

If you fail to adjust the air intake and exhaust settings, the temperature in your smoker may become extreme and may cause damage to the smoker which we cannot be responsible for.

As a general rule of thumb, if you're using the hot and fast method, we suggest your temperature should be in the 275-300 degree range. Your smoker may also be used at lower temperatures if you prefer the low and slow method.

We prefer the hot and fast method as it produces outstanding results in approximately half the time versus the low and slow method. Many competition teams use this method. If you use the hot and fast method, we suggest using heavy duty aluminum foil to keep the meat moist and tender once the meat reaches the desired temperature.

Meat placement: You may use multiple racks in your smoker. It is however very important for you to place the meat in your smoker so airflow is not compromised. If you place too much meat in the smoker or place it in a manner that restricts airflow, this could cause the smoker to not breathe properly which in turn may make it more difficult to maintain the desired temperatures.

Vortex Heat Diffuser Plate: This feature is designed to mix the air and reduce hot spots found in other drum smokers. The plate can be used to provide indirect heat or can be removed to allow for direct heat.

Remember the handle and plate will become very hot and may cause injury if not handled properly.

We suggest you use proper gloves or tools when handling the plate, moving the smoker, removing the charcoal basket or moving any hardware in the smoker. Failure to do so may result in injury or property damage which we will not be responsible for.

Cleaning: Your Hunsaker Smoker should be cleaned with a wire brush/scraper to remove built up grease from cooking grate and inside of smoker. Water should not be used inside the smoker as rust will result.  If water is used, we recommend spraying cooking oil on the inside to protect from rust.