The goal of smoldering hardwood to smoke food is to maximize the interaction between the smoke/gases and the food.
Leaky lids and doors can result in both smoke and heat escaping; A smoker that leaks smoke is essentially counter-productive.
Luckily, gaskets for smokers are very cheap and easy to install.
The main reason folks look into gaskets for their smokers is due to what's called a "leaky lid."
Essentially, a leaky lid is a lid that was machined poorly, to the point that it doesn't create a tight seal with the rest of the smoker.
This lack of seal allows for smoke and heat to escape the cooking chamber.
A gasket is a form of mechanical seal. Meaning, it fills the space between two mating surfaces; In this case, the lid and the rest of the smoking chamber.
Hence a "smoker gasket."
This can be smoker dependent but in my opinion there really shouldn't be that much of a difference from my use-case and yours.
In my case, I'm installing a smoker gasket on my Weber Kettle charcoal grill.
In order to do this you'll need a few things:
Of the complaints I've read online about installing smoker gaskets, the most common one is related to them not "sticking" to the surface.
In almost all cases these people haven't cleaned the surface first to get rid of debris.
The first thing I did was used a putty knife to get rid of any large debris along the outer edge of the lid.
Once those were removed, I used a few Mr. Clean Magic Erasers with Isopropyl alcohol to completely wipe down the edge until it was back to the original porcelain enamel.
I then used sandpaper to give the adhesive of the LavaLock gasket something to adhere to, rather than just the smooth surface of the lid.
You don't need to be super aggressive with the sandpaper.
Simply use a medium grit sandpaper to lightly scratch the outer edge of the lid, where the gasket will go.
Applying the gasket is super straight forward, simply guide the gasket - adhesive side toward the lid - along the perimeter.
Since the lid of the Weber Kettle is beveled, I placed the middle of the gasket in the middle of the bevel and ensured the adhesive entirely stuck to the surface.
Once I made my way back around to the start of the gasket, I used my pocket knife to cut the gasket so that the start and the end are flush against each other.
You do not want to overlap the gasket; Doing so will cause a leak at this exact overlap when you go to close your lid.
As you can see, this process is super straightforward.
Most people tend to forego the cleaning step, however, I think it's entirely necessary.
Rather than having your gasket adhesive sticking to the debris (that could flake off), by cleaning it first, you ensure that the gasket sticks directly to the lid.
Also, "burn-in" times aren't necessary in my opinion. The gasket will set over-time and is ready to use right after installing.