It's frustrating if the heat inside your smoker isn’t enough, right?
Well, to smoke meat perfectly, your smoker has to reach the proper temperature. Otherwise, you'll be wasting most of your time and effort.
So, why is your smoker not getting hot enough?
Well, for charcoal smokers, the problem is either not using enough coal. Or using wet coal causes smokers to have less heat than needed. In the case of electric smokers, the heating element can cause this problem. Lastly, maybe the tank or frozen regulator isn't letting your propane smoker heat up.
Now, these are just some of the reasons. There's more to know to solve the problem. That's why we've provided every possible reason to help you figure it out.
Therefore, give us some time and keep reading!
How Hot Should Your Smoker Be?
Now, before jumping to a conclusion, you should always double-check. Yup, you need to know how much heat you need. Only then you can determine whether or not the smoker is hot enough.
That’s why we’ve come forward to give you a helping hand. We’ve mentioned some common dishes and their required temperature-
225 degrees Fahrenheit
250 degrees Fahrenheit
230-250 degrees Fahrenheit
225-250 Degrees Fahrenheit
225 Degrees Fahrenheit
220-225 Degrees Fahrenheit
425-450 degrees Fahrenheit
224 degrees Fahrenheit
225-250 degrees Fahrenheit
350-375 degrees Fahrenheit
250 degrees Fahrenheit
350-450 degrees Fahrenheit
These are the exact temperature you’ll need for four common smoked dishes. So, if your smoker can’t reach these numbers, it isn’t getting hot enough. You can check the temperature of your smoker through a thermometer.
Now, there are obviously some valid reasons why the smoker isn’t getting hot. Therefore, it’s necessary to figure out those factors and find a solution accordingly.
Common Factor That Affects Temperature of All Smokers
Before all the reasons, let's talk about one common factor behind this problem. Now, what might that be?
Well, the reason why your smoker isn't getting hot enough is the weather. Yes, the environment around you can surely affect your smoking process. Whether it be an electric smoker, or propane, or charcoal smoker.
A windy or cold environment isn't the best for smoking outdoors. Because the wind can suck out the heat from your smoker.
Therefore, the temperature of your smoker will be quite difficult to increase. Also, pretty hard to control throughout the smoking process.
To avoid or fix this, you have to take some necessary steps-
For starters, try moving your smoker to a sheltered place. By this we mean, relocating it to somewhere that's not windy or cold. For example, your garage.
Now, if you have an electric smoker, you can cover the smoker's unit with a blanket. This way you can block the wind and cold.
Just make sure to not use a synthetic one. Because that can result in fire. We suggest you use natural sisal fiber carpet.
The last way to block the wind for any smoker is by setting up a windbreak. You can build the windbreak yourself. All you'll need is 3 pieces of plywood.
First, mark the plywood according to your smoker's (length and width). However, make the windbreak a little larger than the exact measurements of your smoker.
For example, 5 inches larger at each side. Otherwise, it won’t block the wind properly.
Then cut the pieces of plywood. Next, hold two pieces on each side of your smoker and one at the back. Lastly, attach them together by putting in nails.
You can now protect your smoker’s temperature from getting disrupted by the weather.
Electric Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough: Why and How to Solve?
Now, let’s see why your electric smoker isn't getting hot enough. But before that, you should know that there are different types of electric smokers. And the reasons can vary from one to another.
For that, we've explained the reasons and solutions for two different electric smokers-
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough
Now, masterbuilt electric smokers don't reach much temperature. Their average temperature range is 210-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, if your electric smoker isn't getting to 150 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit, you've got a problem. And this problem can be related to your water pan.
Every masterbuilt electric smoker comes with a water chamber and pan. Yes, having the water pan is great.
But to get a higher temperature, it's best to go dry. Because water can slow down the heating. So, to solve this issue, just dump out the water. And start your smoking process without it.
However, if that's not the issue, you might have a bad temperature controller. Because with a bad temperature controller, you won’t ever get the desired temperature. So, ask a professional about this and get it replaced.
Bradley Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough
Now, for Bradley electric smokers, the reasons are a little different.
The heating element not getting red enough can be the factor responsible for your problem. Sometimes the heat comes only from the smoker generator burner, not the main element.
Moreover, having a bad heat element won't help you get over 150 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit. To solve this issue, check for loose plugins.
Because you might forget to make sure all of the plugs of yours are seated firmly. Hence, to fix this, you need to unplug and replug again.
You can even open the smoke generator and see the connections in there. This way you will be able to figure out if loose connections are the problem or not.
But if that doesn't work for you, try opening up the bottom of your smoke generator. For that, you have to remove 8 outer screws. Then separate the two valves. And check for loose connections.
If you find any, fix them and reassemble the smoke generator. Lastly, check whether your main heater inside the cabinet turns hot red or not.
If yes, continue your smoking process. Otherwise, you'll need help from a professional to replace the main heater/heat element.
Now, sometimes the smoker thermometer can be the problem. For that reason, just place an oven thermometer inside the cabinet. Then compare the readings between the smoker and oven thermometer.
The thermometer attached to your smoker might say 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the oven thermometer might show the temperature is actually higher than 140 degrees.
But make sure to use a trusted thermometer. So, on that note, here are some of our suggestions regarding oven thermometers-
NutriChef Smart Bluetooth BBQ Grill Thermometer
ThermoPro TP22 Digital Wireless Meat Thermometer
So, grab the thermometer to get the correct reading!
Propane Smoker Not Getting Enough: Why and How to Solve?
Now, if you have a masterbuilt or a smoke hollow propane smoker-
You might look for solutions on- why won't my propane smoker get hot?
But hey you need to know the reason first!
The safety activation of the smoker can be one of the reasons to be blamed. You can identify this problem by turning the valves. And then check whether the flame moves or not.
If the safety activation is the issue, try following our lead-
Firstly, turn off your smoker valve fully. Then turn the smoker tank off fully too. Move on to disconnecting the regulator from the tank.
Now, wait for at least 30 to 60 seconds and reattach the regulator again to the tank. Next, turn the tank on slowly and wait for another 30 seconds. Lastly, light your smoker.
This should fix the safety activation problem. And the smoker should start heating up.
But if that's not the issue, a low or bad tank might be the reason. Thus, for that, you have to change the tank.
Lastly, if your smoker still doesn't get hot, you might have a frozen regulator. Yup, your regulator can freeze up. Especially when you're smoking in really cold weather.
To fix that, you'll first have to turn off the smoker flame. And disconnect the tank from your smoker. Also, the LP tank has to be placed at least 3-5 meters away.
Now, grab a commercial heat gun or a hairdryer and set it at the lowest setting. Lastly, use it on the regulator.
After the regulator is unfrozen, use a windbreak around the smoker. That way you can avoid the same issue from taking place again.
Charcoal Smoker Not Getting Enough: Why and How to Solve?
Now, there are two common problems if your charcoal smoker isn't getting hot enough. The first one is related to the heating source- charcoal itself.
So, coal is one of the most important elements of charcoal-based smokers. Therefore, if you haven't added enough charcoal for your smoking process, it'll definitely backfire.
That's by not allowing your smoker to heat up properly. Now, how much charcoal is too little?
Well, for a charcoal smoker, you have to at least use 8-10 charcoal lumps at first. Thus, if you haven’t used that much, add more charcoal and light them up.
Furthermore, while placing the water pan you might spill some on the charcoal. Wet charcoal will prevent the smoker from getting hot too. To solve the problem, remove the wet coal. And add the same amounts of coal you discarded.
Maybe you might’ve picked the wrong smoking method between snake and minion. Because the snake method is used for generating less smoke and heat than minion. So, if you have chosen the snake one, switch to minion.
But if this isn’t the reason. Then the problem relies on the charcoal smoker you're using.
Char Griller Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough
First of all, if you have a charcoal griller, the problem might be not modifying your smoker. Because with mods done, it's quite easier to maintain a steady temperature.
So, to do that-
You have to change your factory thermometer. That's in the smoker's lid with two sets above the smoker's grate level on both left and right. Then get a charcoal basket to use for your smoker's firebox.
Next, use all-metal heavy-duty dryer vent tubing. This will extend your smoker stack down to the grate level.
After that, move on to the smoker's charcoal pan. You need to flip it upside down in the cooking chamber. And hang the charcoal pan as high as possible. This will be your turning plate to even out temperature from one end to another.
So, these are some of the must-be-done mods. Luckily, you can get them done within $30. Therefore, don't wait. And get the mods done for your char griller smoker to heat up properly.
Also, remember to seal up the smoke chamber with a high-temperature silicone seal. Because that way you can prevent heat from leaking. Moreover, keep the exhaust vent fully open for a better result.
Weber Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough
Now, for a weber smoker, the problem might be incorrect vent adjustment.
Because the heat depends on the airflow. You can control the airflow by closing and opening smoker vents. Hence, it's important that you adjust them properly.
For example, the reason why your weber smoker isn't getting hot enough might be -
Keeping the exhaust and air intake vents closed for more than 20 minutes. So, if that's the case for you, open both vents. And keep them open till your smoker starts heating up.
Once the temperature reaches your desired level, close the bottom/intake vents. But keep the exhaust wide open.
This way, you can help your weber to reach a higher temperature.
Tips to Maintain Smoker Temperature
Now, you might want to prevent this annoying problem in the future. To help you out, we have added a few tips for the three commonly used smokers-
Maintaining Electric Smoker Temperature
- Always make sure the plugs are plugged in properly.
- Make sure the controller pad isn't bad by testing it beforehand.
- Adjust the vent positions properly. Keep the intake closed and exhaust open to maintain a steady temp.
- Ditch the water pan if necessary.
- Don't soak the wood chips.
Maintaining Propane Smoker Temperature
- Inspect your smoker before using it. For example, check whether the safety activation is on or not.
- Maintain your smoker vents correctly to control the temperature.
Maintaining Charcoal Smoker Temperature
- Always put up enough amounts of charcoal.
- Be careful when placing the water pan on the grate.
- Properly adjust your vents to maintain steady temperatures.
- Don't soak the wood chunks or chips.
For every type of smoker, use an oven thermometer. This way you can make sure you're getting the right read. Furthermore, you’ll also get a tender smoked brisket by using the thermometer.
Just follow these tips and you'll be all set for smoking food!
Question: How to control temperature on char griller smoker?
Answer: Well, you need to adjust the vents to control the temperature. For example, when you're preheating, keep your char griller smoker vents/dampers open. After it reaches 225 degrees Fahrenheit, close the bottom damper completely and keep the top lid wide open.
Question: Why is my wood smoker not getting hot enough?
Answer: This will happen if you have soaked the wood. Or even for using a water pan. Therefore, from now on, don't soak the wood and smoke without water. Plus, use wood chunks instead of chips.
Question: Why is my char broil smoker not getting hot enough?
Answer: Well, the problem might be related to your heating element. So, unplug and then reconnect the smoker's heating element. For this, you have to remove your smoker's cover plate that's on the back of it. But if this doesn't work out, you'll need to replace your heating element.
So, that's basically it! Hopefully, you have got your answer regarding smoker not getting hot enough. By the way-
You should use charcoal lumps instead of briquettes. This way you’ll generate more heat for charcoal smokers.
Anyway, let us know if you figured out why your smoker wasn't getting hot enough. Lastly, good luck fixing the issue!!