How To Start a Smoker Cooker Fire

Frequently Asked Question

One of the most frequently asked questions from new smoker cooker owners is "how to start a smoker cooker fire?". Ben Lang shares instructional videos on how to start a fire in your Lang BBQ smoker cooker with kindling and with propane.

In addition to learning how to light up your smoker cooker the videos show you how and why you want to:

  • Burn HOT
  • Burn Out Impurities
  • Get "Clean Heat"
  • How to Steam Clean & Season your Grill

Ben Lang demonstrates how to start a smoker cooker fire with kindling wood, how to get the fire to temperature and then how to steam clean and season the grill.

Ben Lang demonstrates how to start a smoker cooker fire with a propane starter.

Steps on How to Fire it Up Your Smoker Cooker


  • Dry Wood
  • Select lighting method; kindling, propane torch, charcoal, or lighter fluid
  • Have water hose ready for clean up


  • Open doors and dampers.
    • Open damper on the fire box (the pin wheel dampers on the fire box)
    • Open flue
    • Open smoke stack
    • Open the door on the smoker cooker
  • Place kindling, wood or charcoal in the fire box
  • Light the kindling, wood or charcoal with a lighter, match or propane torch
  • When lit, add more dry wood to "build a big fire"
  • Once you have have a fire burning and a draft has started
    • Shut the smoker cooker door into the "open latch" position for additional air.
    • Close the fire box door in the "open latch" position to create a draft
    • Notice the smoke stack there will be lots of smoke

How to Get Your Grill Temperature

  • When the temperature starts to climb close the smoker cooker door latch. The smoke in the smoke stack will start going away and you'll have "clear heat"
  • Let the temperature rise past the temperature that you want to cook at. Then when you load your meat you will have a recovery period when the door is open and the meat is on.
  • The smoke stack should be clear, i.e. clear heat
  • When you add wood to the fire box gradually adjust the pin wheel dampers

More information

When firing up a Lang BBQ Smokers® Cooker

Additional information

More instructions and tips about your smoker cooker

Fire Management

Watch this video about tips on fire management


  • Raise the nose of the cooker so the heat is "flowing up the hill"
  • If it's windy, re-position your smoker cooker so the Wind .. position your cooker so the wind blows toward the tail to fan the flame.
  • When the temperature rises open the door to let out condensation.
  • "What Oil should I use to Season my Smoker Cooker?"