Smoker Troubleshooting

Masterbuilt Smoker Not Getting Hot Enough?

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Matt Hollingshead | May 4, 2023

One of the most common problems you might face with your Masterbuilt smoker is getting the temperature hot enough to cook food safely.

Fortunately, this isn’t always because of a major issue. There are ways to quickly fix the problem without setting your get-together behind schedule.

Key Takeaway: If your Masterbuilt smoker isn’t getting hot enough, ensure the temperature controller is free of moisture or dust to get an accurate reading. Next, open the vents to allow heat to build. Lastly, if you’re using a charcoal smoker, ensure there’s enough charcoal in the firebox.

Keep reading for a more in-depth troubleshooting process to get your Masterbuilt producing sufficient heat to get your cookout back on track.

How to Troubleshoot Your Masterbuilt Smoker if It’s Not Getting Hot Enough

In general, your smoker should get up to 200-220°F for quality and safety when smoking meat. [1]

At a lower internal temperature, pathogens have a higher chance of surviving, which may lead to food poisoning. [2, 3]

So, your smoker must reach that desired temperature. Below are the steps you should follow to troubleshoot your smoker if it’s not producing enough heat.

Step 1: Ensure Your Smoker Is Switched On

It may seem like an obvious “fix,” but it’s one that many people may overlook.

This is especially true on a hot sunny day when your smoker chamber temp may already feel hot, which may cause you to forget to turn it on or mistakenly think you already did. 

Masterbuilt makes electric and non-electric smokers. Electric ones turn on with a switch, but for the non-electric ones, you’ll need to use a lighter.

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So if your Masterbuilt smoker isn’t getting hot enough, the first thing to check is whether it’s on. If so, then move on to one of the following solutions.

Step 2: Preheat Your Smoker Before Adding Food

After you’ve turned on your smoker, allow time for it to preheat to reach the desired temperature before cooking. Preheating has several benefits:

Step 3: Clean the Temperature Controller

Another culprit for your Masterbuilt smoker not getting enough heat is that the temperature controller is off due to moisture or dust getting in the way. 

Pro Tip: To fix your temperature controller, give it a good cleaning and clear any obstructions that may prevent it from accurately regulating the cooking temperature.

However, if cleaning the temperature controller doesn’t work, it might, unfortunately, be broken and need to be replaced entirely.

Step 4: Keep the Vent Open so the Regulator Won’t Turn Off the Heat

The environment may prevent the heating pad from reaching a higher desired temperature. Masterbuilt smoker heating elements alternate being on and off to regulate the smoke.

So if the internal temperature is hotter than usual due to the weather, it can reduce how long the heating pad remains on, which may be insufficient to heat the wood chips.

One way to trick your Masterbuilt smoker into getting hotter is by keeping the vents open.

This keeps the heating element on longer to maintain the heat, giving your wood chips more of a chance to start smoking.

Just make sure to closely monitor your smoker when you do this to ensure that you can close the vent or exhaust damper as soon as you achieve your desired level of smoke.

Additionally, suppose the vents aren’t working as anticipated. In that case, you can open the door slightly, allowing some heat to escape and forcing the heating element to turn on again.

Step 5: Ensure There’s Enough Charcoal in the Fire Box

Masterbuilt makes gas, electric, and charcoal smokers. So, if you’re using one of their gas or electric smokers, you won’t need to worry about this.

Reminder: If you’re using a charcoal smoker, the charcoal is what produces heat. A common issue is that users forget to put enough charcoal in the firebox.

So, check to ensure you have an adequate amount. If you add some, you’ll need to wait about 5 minutes for it to heat up again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have a few questions about troubleshooting your Masterbuilt smoker? Here are a few of the most common related questions.

How Hot Will a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Get?

A Masterbuilt electric smoker can reach a maximum temperature of up to 275°F. However, the maximum temperature will vary slightly depending on the model.

What Temperature Kills Bacteria in Smoker?

Cooking your food to an internal temperature of 165°F will kill bacteria. Don’t forget to use a thermometer to confirm the food has reached the appropiate temperature before serving.

Final Thoughts

Heat is one of the most critical factors for a smoker. So if your Masterbuilt smoker isn’t heating up enough, it’s essential to prioritize fixing the problem. Thankfully, that’s often easy to do. 

Hopefully, these solutions will help you get your smoker’s temp back up.

However, if none of the solutions above solve your problem, you may need to contact Masterbuilt for further troubleshooting to get back to smoking meat.

Matt Hollingshead is the founder of Grill Mentor, a site with everything you need to know about grilling and barbecuing, from tips and techniques to recipes and more.
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