How to Seal Your Smoker Door from Leaking
Backyard smokers are wood-burning barbecues, and their seal creates compression. The compression forces smoke from the burning wood to enter the barbecued food, such as meat, giving it a smoked flavor. A tightly sealed smoker has a fast and effective smoking process. Because backyard smokers often are constructed from old barrels, fuel tanks and other scrap metal, their doors don't always fit perfectly. Sealing a smoker's door requires a few specialized items and just a bit of do-it-yourself skill.
Open the smoker's door widely enough to access the inside panel and the smoker compartment's outside edge, which abuts the door.
Apply a self-adhesive, high-heat rubber gasket to the inside edge of the door where it presses against the smoker's shell. Such gaskets are available in a range of temperature ratings; use a gasket that matches your smoker's heat requirements. If the gasket doesn't fit the space, cut it to fit before you peel off its backing.
Apply a high-heat silicone sealer for a custom fit. Place a bead of the silicone sealer on the edge of the door where it closes against the smoke chamber. Cut a strip of wax paper that will fit atop the silicone bead. Lay the wax paper on the silicone, and close the door so the seal spreads to the proper shape.
Open the smoker's door, and allow the silicone to dry according to its manufacturer's instructions.
Remove the wax paper by lifting it away from the silicone. Use a razor blade to cut the silicone bead to the correct shape.
- Popular Mechanics: Build Your Own Backyard Smoker
- Popular Mechanics: Build a Backyard Smoker; Pictures, Diagrams and Video
- Popular Mechanics: Smoking One's Own Pork
- Masterbuilt Manufacturing Inc.: Assembly Care and Use Manual
- AmazingRibs.com: The Best Offset Smoker and Barrel Smoker Setup and Modifications
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images