How Do I Season My Smoker?

Before cooking with your smoker, the following steps should be closely followed to both cure the finish and season the interior steel. Failure to properly follow these steps may damage the finish and/or impart metallic flavors to your first foods.

  1. Brush all interior surfaces, including grills and grates, with vegetable cooking oil.
  2. Build a small fire on the fire grate or pan with charcoal, being sure not to lay coals against the walls.
  3. Close door. Position damper and smokestack damper approximately to one quarter open. This burn should be sustained for at least two hours (the longer the better). Then, begin increasing temperature by opening the damper and smokestack damper halfway and adding more charcoal. 

Your smoker is now ready for use. 

How Do I Clean the Grates?

Cleaning your grates will help reduce any rust buildup that might occur while at the same time preserving the quality taste of your food. You’ll want to scrape your grates after each use using a nylon-bristled cleaning brush, but you should also expect to do a deep cleaning at least once a year. 

For a quick clean:

  1. Let grates cool completely after a cook. Using a nylon-bristled cleaning brush, scrape in a vertical pattern up and down the grates.
  2. After scraping your grates clean, dry and saturate the grates using vegetable oil to prevent rust from forming. DO NOT USE WATER.

For a deep clean: 

  1. Mix 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in a garbage bag.
  2. Seal the grates in the garbage bag with a rubber band or tie.
  3. Soak the grates overnight.
  4. Remove the grates and rinse them off with water. The food that was originally stuck on the grates should fall off, but if there’s anything still stuck on you should be able to easily scrub off the rest.
  5. Pat dry with a towel and saturate the grates with vegetable oil to prevent rust from forming.
How Do I Maintain My Smoker?

The frequency of clean-up in and around your smoker is determined by how often the smoker is used. Make sure coals are completely extinguished before cleaning the inside of the unit. Thoroughly rinse with water and allow to air dry before using again. Wipe out the interior of the unit with a cloth or paper towels. When finished cooking, and the unit has adequately cooled, clean out all remaining ashes. Ashes collect moisture, which can lead to premature rusting and decay. Use the Oklahoma Joe's® Blacksmith Rake & Brush to cleanout  any coals and ash from the firebox after everything has cooled into a non-combustable garbage bin and dispose of according to your local trash service's guidelines.

Rust can appear on the inside of your smoker. Periodically coating the interior surfaces with vegetable oil will aid in the protection of your unit. Also, occasional touch up of the exterior paint will be required. We recommend the use of a commercially available black high temperature spray paint. NEVER PAINT THE INTERIOR OF THE UNIT.

Smoking Techniques
How Do I Build a Fire in the Firebox?

To build your fire:

1. Stack charcoal briquettes or wood into a pyramid-shaped pile on top of the charcoal grate or ash pan. We recommend using 2 pounds (approximately 30 briquettes) to start your fire, adding more as needed. 

2. If using lighter fluid, saturate the charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid and let it soak in for approximately 5 minutes. If using a chimney starter, electric starter, or other type of fire starter, light your fire according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

3. Always light the fire with the cooking chamber and firebox lids open. Leave lid open until briquettes are fully lit. Failure to do this could trap fumes from charcoal lighter fluid in grill and may result in a flash fire when lid is opened.

4. Never add charcoal lighter fluid to hot or warm coals, as flashbacks may occur causing injury.

5. You are ready to begin cooking when the pile of briquettes ashes over and produces a red glow (approximately 12 – 15 minutes).

6. Depending on your cooking method, either leave the briquettes in a pile or spread evenly across the charcoal grate using a long-handled poker.

7. Avoid laying coals on smoker walls. 

Rider Pellet Grills
What does the error code on my Rider Pellet Grill mean?
Can charcoal or natural gas be used to fuel the Rider Pellet Grills?

No. The Rider 600, 900 and DLX Pellet Grills are designed to be fueled by Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets. 

Do I always have to use wood pellets when using the Rider Pellet Grills?

Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets are 100% all-natural hardwood. We do not use any flavor oils or any other chemicals or binders.

What are Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets made from?

Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets are 100% all-natural hardwood. We do not use any flavor oils or any other chemicals or binders.

Can I use any brand of wood pellets on the Rider Pellet Grills?

Since Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets were designed to work with the Rider Pellet Grills, you’ll get the best performance out of Oklahoma Joe’s wood pellets. However, any all-natural, food-safe wood pellets will work in the Rider Pellet Grills.

Can I mix wood pellet flavors?

Yes. You can mix wood pellet flavors to make your own unique flavor blends. Oklahoma Joe’s offers Apple, Hickory and Competition Blend wood pellets.

How should I store my wood pellets?

Always store wood pellets in your pellet storage bucket and keep them in a dry place. Never use damp or wet pellets, as they may damage your grill.

How long does a bag of wood pellets last? How many wood pellets should I expect to go through in one cook?

On low and slow settings, you’ll get about 6-8 hours of smoking time per 20-lbs. of pellets. On grilling settings, you’ll get about 2-5 hours of grilling time per 20-lbs. of pellets.

How do I switch between smoke and sear modes?

The smoke/sear lever on the Rider DLX Pellet Grill slides to the left for searing and to the right for smoking.

When using Smoke Mode, set the temperature between Low and 300°F in the white zone.

When using Sear Mode, set the temperature between Low and High in the orange zone. Allow 5 to 7 minutes for the circular center grate to reach searing temperature range.

Can I use heating pellets in my grill?

No. Wood pellets designed for heating are not food-safe and should never be used in your Rider Pellet Grill.

How do I change the wood pellets in my hopper?

The QuickDraw Hopper makes draining unused pellets from the hopper a simple task. First, slide the pellet storage bucket into the rails underneath the hopper. Next, pull and hold the handle to drain. You can re-fill the empty hopper with any pellet flavor you choose. Extra pellet storage buckets can be purchased so you can store all your favorite flavors.

Should I always empty the wood pellets in my hopper?

Removing excess pellets from the hopper when the grill is not in use will help them stay dry and prevents them from breaking down in the grill, which could cause a jam.

What is the capacity of the QuickDraw Hopper?

The QuickDraw Hopper holds up to 20-lbs. of your favorite flavor of wood pellets, providing fuel for hours of cooking.

How many pellets should I load into the QuickDraw Hopper?

We recommend filling the hopper at the beginning of every cook and emptying it completely when finished cooking.

Is the hopper waterproof?

No, but it will keep your pellets safe during use. As always, empty the QuickDraw Hopper between cooks to keep your pellets dry and in good condition.

How long does it take to assemble a Rider Pellet Grill?

Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. This is a two-person job, so be sure to have some assistance. 

Do you make a cover for the Rider Pellet Grills?

Yes, we make a custom cover to fit each Rider Pellet Grill. View the Rider 600 cover and view the Rider 900 & Rider DLX cover.

Should I season my grill before its first use?

Yes. Seasoning your grill before cooking will burn off any manufacturing residues, protect your grill surfaces and create the beginning of a cooked-in surface treatment that will add to the flavor of your cooks. Follow the detailed instructions for seasoning your grill in its included grilling guide. 

What is the Pit Control System?

The Pit Control System is the brain of your Rider Pellet Grill. It uses proprietary algorithms to control and maintain your set cooking temperatures while avoiding temperature swings. Once you set your desired cooking temperature, the Pit Control System takes care of the rest. It is also equipped with two guidance features:

  • Timer Mode: indicates when a set cook time has elapsed
  • Temp Probe Mode: indicates when the internal temp of your food has reached a set target
What is the correct color order of the Pit Control component wires?

The small temp sensor cable has an easily identifiable black connector. The other four have white connectors and wires that connect color to color; black & white to black & white, red to red and yellow to yellow. The only exception is purple & white, which connects to black.

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