Why is my smoker not getting hot?

If you’ve recently purchased a smoker and started using it, only to find that the temperature remains low, you might wonder what the cause of this problem is and how to fix it but Reading the latest guide about how to use offset smokers will be more helpful.

When your smoker doesn’t get hot enough, you can’t grill meat, which can frustrate even the most seasoned griller and leave you with sickening results. This article will discuss what causes your smoker to be cold and how to fix it quickly and efficiently so that you can begin enjoying delicious smoked meat once again.

Why is my smoker not getting hot

If you’re using a gas grill, it’s possible that your tank has run out and needs to be refilled. If you’re using charcoal, check to see if the fire has gone out, and ensure there are enough coals in the grill. Ensure your gas grill is on high heat or that your charcoal grill isn’t too far from the fire. Give it about 10 minutes before checking again. You may also want to clean your grill grates with a wire brush if they have food residue. In our guide, we discuss some top reasons why my smoker is not getting hot. 

Additional Resources:

Visit our post on the “Best Offset Smoker” for additional details on how to select the best offset smoker for your requirements. It offers insightful commentary and suggestions to support your decision-making. We Also reviewed budget-friendly Offset smokers under 500. Have a read and go for the Best option that fulfills your needs and requirements.

What are the causes of cold smoke?

One of the most common reasons for a cold smoke is that the wood chips are too wet. Other possible causes include: the wood chips being too small or broken, the air inlet is blocked, the power cord not being plugged in, and there may be a problem with the motor.

If you’re sure it’s not due to one of these other causes, the best way to fix this issue is to let the smoker run for at least 10 minutes before adding any new food items. If your smoke has been on for an hour and the temperature is still under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, open up all of your vents (bottom vent first) and turn up the heat on your smoker to see if that fixes things. Try adding more logs or pellets if your smoke isn’t heating up enough, even after an hour or two. Make sure to stir them around periodically so they burn evenly throughout the smoker.

Why is my smoker not getting hot? (Here are 7 Reasons)

Here is mention seven reasons Why my smoker is not getting hot.

Temperature too low

If the temperature of your smoker is too low, you’ll notice that your food will take a long time to cook, and the flavor will be off. This can be for several reasons:

The temperature on the thermostat may be too low or inaccurate.
Try turning it up and see if this makes a difference in the temperature inside the smoker.

If you are using charcoal, try adding more charcoal to the firebox so there is more heat inside the cooker.

If you use wood chips in a wood chip box, ensure they have an adequate supply of oxygen by poking holes in them with a skewer so they will smoke well. 
Check your vent settings; you might need to open them slightly to allow some fresh air in. 
You should also check for air leaks and seal any small cracks or gaps that might be letting cold air inside the cooking chamber.

Improper wood chip placement

Your wood chip placement may be why your smoker isn’t heating up as fast. If you’re smoking with gas or electricity, it’s possible that you forgot to turn on the firebox. If this isn’t the issue, check to ensure that your chips are placed in an even layer at the bottom of your smoker and haven’t been piled up in one spot. If all else fails, give it time. It can take 15 minutes to 3 hours for most smokers to heat up properly.

Ensure your vents are fully open, and the smoke will start billowing out within 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you have a charcoal smoker, wait 10-15 minutes after lighting the coals before closing off the vents so they have time to generate more heat.

The freshness of wood chips

One thing that can cause a smoker not to get hot is the freshness of the wood chips. When fresh, they will produce much more smoke and heat up quickly. This means you need to replace them more often and keep them closer to the coals than when they start to burn out. If you have an electric smoker, try using one that has a small firebox so the chips don’t take as long to light. Add soaked chips to your coals or use lighter fluid to help ignite them. Another option is changing your smoker’s location; if it’s not well-ventilated, this could affect how much smoke gets into it.

Not enough time for smoking

This could be due to several reasons, but the most common is that you don’t have your smoker set up correctly. Place it on a level surface with plenty of space, and ensure that the air vents are free from obstructions. If the temperature inside your smoker isn’t enough to cook the food, try turning up the heat or cooking for a shorter time until you figure out what’s wrong. You can add charcoal briquettes, wait five minutes, then reload them. You can also turn up the gas or propane tank pressure to see if that helps increase the temperature.

Wood chip choice

If you are using hardwood chips, your smoker isn’t getting as hot as it should be because of the wood type. Hardwoods require more heat to produce smoke than fruitwoods. So if you are using a mixture of hardwoods and fruit woods, it might take a little longer for the heat from the firebox to reach your cooking chamber. You may need to let the coals burn down before adding fresh fuel or use hotter coals to get that nice smoky flavor. The other thing that can affect how hot your smoker gets is how much ventilation you have coming in through the top of your smoker. 

Some smokers come with vents on top, which allow cool air in, which will reduce the temperature inside, so close these up with aluminum foil if you want higher temperatures inside or leave them open when you want lower temperatures inside. Other smokers don’t have any venting but still need to be vented. One way to do this is by opening your oven door just a little bit at the bottom. This lets some smoke out while letting some cool air in and creates just enough ventilation without letting too much smoke out.

Inconsistent temperatures in your grill/smoker

Many times the issue with a smoker being cold can be caused by inconsistent temperatures in the grill/smoker. This can be caused by many factors, such as improper air flow, too much airflow, too little fuel for the size of the cooker, or if you have an electric unit and it’s still plugged into a GFCI outlet. If your team has a lid that seals tightly, you may need to open it up while cooking to allow heat to escape. 

You could also try opening all the vents on one side, then close them again after 10-15 minutes. Another common problem is when people load their smoker with meat and then add wood chips without giving any time for the chips to generate enough smoke before adding meat. In this situation, you should wait at least 20-30 minutes before adding more wood chips.

Leakage of heat

If your smoker isn’t heating up, it could be caused by a leak. Check the lid’s vent holes to ensure they are free of debris or moisture. A leak will cause smoke to escape and lessen the temperature inside the smoker. You may also want to check that there are no air leaks around your door or where you connect your propane tank. 

The last thing you want is for your food to taste like propane! In addition, if your food tastes more like wood than meat, It’s possible that you need to change the liquid level in your smoker. Too much liquid will dilute the flavor of your meat, whereas too little will dry out any fruit or vegetables you put in with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

The fire won’t burn hot if you don’t let enough oxygen in. Open all the vents when lighting your smoker to get the fire hot, then reduce the heat by regulating the vents. Overshooting your goal temperature and then rewinding it is preferable.

The most straightforward and most effective approach to raise or lower smoker temperatures is to alter the width of these apertures. More oxygen enters the heat source through broader vents, which results in a hotter burn. More excellent burns are produced by narrower vent apertures, which prevent oxygen from entering the grill.

No matter whatever vent you fiddle with, keep in mind that open vents result in charcoal burning hotter and more quickly. Ducts that are closed result in less oxygen, which reduces heat and causes the charcoal to burn more slowly.


Now that you’ve read the entire manual, you should inspect your smoker to figure out what’s wrong. You should also abide by these recommendations to prevent future disappointment due to temperature drops.

However, if you cannot identify and resolve your problem, we advise seeking professional assistance to use your smoker safely. This blog entry is intended to assist you in determining the issue with your smoker. Please let us know if you have any further problems or suggestions for heating a smoker.

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