Offset Smoker

Why Is My Smoker Not Getting Hot-10 Common Mistakes & Their Solution

why is my smoker not getting to hot

Aren’t you frustrated when you are all set for having a barbecue and your Smoker is not getting hot? This is very irritating when you have a plan, and something is troubling it. There are many chances that you will go out of your mind. But you don’t have to lose patience. Keep yourself relaxed and try to fix the problem. There should be some problem with the heating system of the Smoker. You should need a proper guideline on why is my Smoker not getting hot.

Reasons for slow heat

There could be many reasons why smokers do not get hot

  1. There must be low charcoal in the firebox.
  2. Vents are not opened completely.
  3. The wood is wet.
  4. Charcoal is old and damp.
  5. The lid of the Smoker opened frequently, which caused the smoke leakage.
  6. The surface of the Smoker is damaged.
  7. The weather outside the Smoker is too cold that it fails to get the hotter temperature inside the Smoker.
  8. There is a bulk of food inside the Smoker.
  9. The ash is built upon the charcoal and wood, which stops the airflow.
  10. Charcoal is not preheated before adding to the Smoker.

Why is my Smoker not getting hot?- Brief overview

It is a common problem faced by every pitmaster. The Smoker won’t get up to the temperature, or your Smoker getting too hot. There must be one of the reasons described above. These are more technical than you need an expert. You can fix it by yourself with a little effort. You need to know where is the root of the problem. You must have proper guidance about what you will do to acknowledge the root. Our guideline on why is my Smoker not getting hot leads you to the best result.

There must be less fuel in the firebox

One of the most common reasons why smoker not heating is less fuel in the firebox. You must check from time to time whether there is enough charcoal or not. Less fuel causes a lower temperature than its standard level. There should be more than enough charcoal in the firebox always.

Smoker’s vents are not open completely

Vents are the most crucial factor that affects the temperature directly. It would help to open the vents while smoking to get the Smoker too hot. When air intake inside the Smoker is good, the temperature is high. So, to prevent your Smoker from not getting hot enough, you should remember to open the vent. Open them up till the temperature gets its highest level. 

Wood is wet

When you don’t use dry wood for fuel, the result will not be good, and the Smoker won’t get up to the temperature. Wet fuel can cause lower temperatures and white smoke. White smoke is like the poison for the meat inside the Smoker. Always use dry woodchips or wood chunks to fuel the Smoker.

Charcoal is damp or old

Old charcoal will never work for you. This will take longer to ignite; if it can ignite, it will finish soon. Stop using damp charcoal for the Smoker. This will stop the Smoker’s temperature from being high. Get a fresh bag of charcoal and prevent your Smoker from losing the temperature.

The lid is opened frequently

When you open the Smoker’s lid frequently, the smoke leaks out from the Smoker. Opening the lid repeatedly can cause a lower temperature. This can be the reason for your problem, why the Smoker not heating up. Try to avoid this habit of bringing the Smoker’s temperature higher.

On the other hand, opening the lid repeatedly gives you opposite results, too. Removing the lid can increase the Smoker’s oxygen and the temperature.

Maybe the Smoker’s surface is damaged

One of the ordinary possibilities of a smoker not getting hot is the damage to the Smoker’s surface. The heat may be leaking out from that crack in the surface. You must fix this problem or get a new smoker. Because every time you will smoke, you will face the same problem. This is a total waste of time and money to use this damaged Smoker again.

The weather is cold outside

Doing barbecue in cold weather is a challenge in itself. The cool winds make it difficult for the Smoker to reach its highest temperature. The best option in this case is to smoke inside the house or farmhouse. This will keep your Smoker safe from the cold weather and heat up quicker than outside. 

The second option to avoid this weather condition is to use an insulated wrap for the Smoker. This will protect the Smoker from cold weather and help to heat the Smoker. 

You may stuff the Smoker with meat

Always overshoot your Smoker’s temperature before adding the food. When you place your food in the Smoker, the temperature eventually lowers. Overshoot temperature allows the placement of meat inside the Smoker.

Ash-built covers the live coal 

When there is a long smoking period, ash will also be more. This can cover the burning charcoal and choke the fire. Ensure the charcoal grate is a few inches away from the ground. This way, the ash fell to the ground and never built upon the burning fuel. Another solution to this problem is getting charcoal, which makes less ash and quickly burns.

Charcoal is not preheated

Preheated charcoal plays a vital role in maintaining the temperature of the Smoker. Always use the charcoal heated in the chimney before adding it to the Smoker. It acts as a life safer for the Smoker’s temperature. 

Some common problems and their solution 


  • Fuel is in less quantity in the firebox.
  • The cooker’s lid is being opened repeatedly.
  • Damaged surface or crack in the coating.
  • Vents are not adjusted.
  • Can’t monitor the temperature.


  • Add more charcoal and wood chunks.
  • Avoid opening the cover of the Smoker frequently.
  • Get a smoker of good quality or fix the damage before cooking.
  • Open the vents more for good intake.
  • Use the temperature gauges to check the temperature.

Wrapping it up

There must be different reasons why your Smoker needs to get hotter enough. Some of them we have covered above, but still there can be enough reasons behind this problem. Try to fix your Smoker so you can always catch a delicious meal. This detailed overview about why is my Smoker not getting hot helps you a lot to address the problem.


1- why my offset smoker is not getting hot?

There can be many reasons why your Smoker needs to get hotter. 

  • The fuel may be wet.
  • The charcoal may be dumped or old.
  • The vents may not be open accordingly.
  • The Smoker may be cheap.
  •  Temperature probes are not working well.

2- What should I do if my Smoker is not getting hot?

You should do some standard practices.

  • Check the vents and adjust them.
  • Check the fuel. If the fuel is run out, add some more. 
  • Replace the charcoal if it is damped.
  • Repair the Smoker if there is any damage or crack.

3- What can we do if the Smoker is still not getting hot after overshooting?

If you are still facing the same problem, try to contact an expert technician of smokers. It means there is something critical that needs to be fixed by yourself. Before the expert has come, you can do such things as:

  • Check the flow of air inside the firebox.
  • Monitor the temperature for one or two hours.

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