Why Won’t My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Smoke?

If you’re a fan of smoky flavor and frequently use an electric smoker, you know the frustration of a smoker that won’t produce the desired smoke. If you’re facing the same situation and finding yourself wondering, “Why won’t my Masterbuilt electric smoker smoke?” then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover all the possible reasons behind the smoker’s failure to produce smoke, from heating elements to wood chips and temperature control issues. So, keep reading to find out how to get your Masterbuilt electric smoker to produce adequate smoke for the perfect smoky flavor.

Why Won't My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Smoke

Why Won’t My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Smoke

Masterbuilt electric smokers are a popular choice for enthusiasts of smoked meats, but sometimes users may experience smoking issues. Here are some possible causes and solutions of smoking issues that may arise with Masterbuilt electric smokers:

1. The Heating Element Not Working Properly

The heating element is the heart of any electric smoker, and when it is not functioning correctly, it can throw the entire smoking process off track. There are several possible reasons why the heating element in your Masterbuilt electric smoker may not be working as intended.

One of the most common causes of the heating element malfunctioning is a short circuit in the plugging system or heating element itself. Over time, the wear and tear on the electrical circuit due to frequent use can cause the system to short out. Another common issue is damaged copper connections, which can cause both the heating element and the temperature control unit to fail. Finally, corroded wires can also lead to heating element failure.

Regular cleaning of the debris and residue can prevent corrosion or breaks in the heating element. Over time, grease and other contaminants can build up on the heating element and cause it to malfunction. Therefore, it is essential to clean the heating element regularly to ensure it is functioning correctly.

To fix the heating element, you may have to replace the connector or clean the excess residues using a rotary tool and propane torch. Firstly, unplug the Masterbuilt electric smoker, take out all racks, and remove all stubborn debris. Remove the original connector using a rotary tool, heat up the stubborn residue with a propane torch, and clean it with a rotary tool and wire brush. You may also need to replace any corroded wire. Once everything has been cleaned and replaced, reattach the connector, and turn on the Masterbuilt electric smoker to check if the heating element is functioning correctly.

Having a high-quality heating element and temperature control unit is crucial to ensure that your Masterbuilt electric smoker is working correctly. Investing in high-quality parts can help to prolong the life of your electric smoker and ensure that it produces consistent results every time you use it. With proper care and maintenance, your electric smoker’s heating element should last for many years, allowing you to enjoy delicious smoked meats and other foods for many years to come.

2. Improper Wood Chips Used

If you’ve found that your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker isn’t producing the smoky flavor you desire, one potential issue could be the use of improper wood chips.

It’s essential to select the right type of wood chips for your smoker, as certain woods can produce varying flavors. However, using softwoods or resinous woods such as pine or cedar can produce toxins when burned, which can be harmful to your health and negatively affect your food’s taste.

Additionally, failing to soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes can cause them to burn too quickly and produce a bitter taste. This can also reduce the amount of smoky flavor your food receives.

When loading the wood chips into the tray, it’s important not to overload the smoker with too many chips at once. Adding no more than half a cup at a time and monitoring smoke production will ensure that you don’t overdo it.

To fix this issue, make sure to select appropriate wood chips such as hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry. Also, remember to soak the wood chips in water and monitor smoke production to ensure an adequate amount of smoke while avoiding overloading the smoker. By following these steps, you should be able to achieve the smoky flavor you desire in your food.

3. Hot Water In the Tray Instead of Wood Chips

One of the common issues with Masterbuilt electric smokers is having hot water in the tray instead of wood chips. This can be easily fixed by following some simple steps.

Firstly, start by removing any hot water from the tray and disposing of it. Next, thoroughly clean the tray, making sure that no residue is left behind. This is important as any leftover debris can affect the flavor of your food and cause smoke production issues.

Once the tray is clean, it’s time to add the dry wood chips. Make sure only to use the amount specified in the instruction manual, as using too much can cause over-smoking of the food and negatively impact the flavor.

It is essential to use the correct type of wood chips as specified in the instruction manual. Certain woods can produce varying flavors, so using the appropriate ones can ensure that you get the desired taste.

Never use hot water in place of wood chips as this will not produce any smoke. Instead, use cold or warm water to create steam, which helps keep the meat tender and juicy. However, remember that wet wood chips burn slower and produce more smoke, which adds to the smoky flavor of your food.

4. Wood Chunks Not Dried Properly

It’s crucial to dry wood chunks correctly before using them in your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker to ensure that they ignite properly and produce the right amount of smoke. If wood chunks are not dried correctly, it may result in too much smoke, which can create unwanted flavors on your food.

To avoid this issue, it’s recommended to place your wood chunks in a dry, well-ventilated area for two to three months to dry completely. This process may take some time, but it is worth the effort as it ensures that the wood chunks produce adequate smoke and create the right flavor for your food.

You can also speed up the drying process by using a kiln or oven, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid any accidents. Some models may have specific instructions for drying wood chunks, so be sure to check the manual or contact the manufacturer if in doubt.

Once the wood chunks are properly dried, it’s crucial to store them in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing moisture. This step is necessary to ensure that the wood chunks retain their smoky flavors and are ready to use when you need them.

5. Wood Chip Loader Malfunctioning

If you’re experiencing smoking issues with your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, the wood chip loader could be one of the culprits. A malfunctioning wood chip loader may not allow enough wood chips to enter the heating element, resulting in a lack of smoke and flavor in your food. Here are some steps to address any problems with your wood chip loader:

1. Make sure the wood chips used are the correct type and not too wet. Wet wood chips can create steam instead of smoke, leading to uneven temperatures and ineffective smoking. Dry wood chips provide better outcomes.

2. Check that the wood chip loader is inserted correctly inside the smoker to ensure it’s functioning properly. Misaligned or loose wood chip loaders can lead to inconsistent performance.

3. Remove any debris or obstruction inside the smoker’s wood chip holder or tray. These obstructions can lead to clogged chips or uneven heating, causing smoking issues.

4. Ensure the smoker’s door is properly closed when the wood chip loader is inside. Any gaps or openings can lead to heat loss and insufficient smoking.

5. If the issue persists despite these efforts, check the warranty or contact the manufacturer for further assistance. Your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker may have a defect in the wood chip loader, requiring a replacement part or repair service.

By following these troubleshooting steps for a malfunctioning wood chip loader in your electric smoker, you’ll be able to enjoy consistently high-quality smoked meats and dishes. Remember to always use the correct type of wood chips, keep the smoker clean and free of debris, and reach out to the manufacturer for any unresolved issues.

6. The Meat Probe Not Inserted Properly

If you’ve noticed that your meat is coming out either overcooked or undercooked, the issue may lie in the placement of your meat probe. It’s essential to ensure that you’re inserting the meat probe correctly into the thickest part of your meat, being mindful not to touch any bones. This positioning allows the probe to monitor the internal temperature of your meat, ensuring that it’s cooked to your desired doneness.

Failing to insert the meat probe properly can result in inaccurate readings and ultimately lead to less than perfect meat. It’s important to take the time to double-check the placement of your meat probe to avoid any cooking mishaps.

If you’re unsure about how to properly insert your meat probe or how to monitor the internal temperature of your meat, consult the user manual or reach out to the manufacturer for more information. With the proper use of a meat probe, you can guarantee that your meat will come out cooked to perfection every time.

7. Incorrect Temperature Range Set

One of the most frustrating issues faced when using a Masterbuilt electric smoker is when the temperature range is set incorrectly. When the temperature is either too low or too high, it can cause the smoker to not work properly. However, there are steps you can take in order to address this issue.

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the temperature settings are within the required range of 210 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature range that is recommended for the meat you intend to smoke, as this can vary depending on the type and cut of meat. Make sure to adjust the temperature if necessary, and double-check that the settings have been saved in the system.

In addition, it’s essential to check the temperature control panel. Ensure that all of the buttons and controls are functioning correctly and that there are no visible signs of damage or wear. If you notice any issues, try resetting the control panel and testing it again.

If the temperature control panel is not responding to your actions, it may be a sign that there is a technical issue with the system. In this case, it’s best to seek professional help to address the issue. Contact the manufacturer or authorized dealer to see if they can service the Masterbuilt smoker or provide assistance with locating a qualified technician in your area.

8. Pellet Smoker Placed in the Wrong Spot

If you find that your pellet smoker is not producing adequate smoke when placed in your Masterbuilt electric smoker, it may be due to its placement in the wrong spot. Placing the pellet smoker too close to the heat source can cause the pellets to burn too quickly, leaving you with insufficient smoke production. To address this issue, it’s necessary to reposition the pellet smoker in a better location within the smoker.

To avoid this problem, move the pellet smoker as far away from the heat source as possible. Ensure that it is in an area where it won’t be exposed to direct heat and will allow for adequate airflow. By doing so, you will create an ideal smoking environment that’s conducive to proper smoke production.

Adequate smoke production is essential in achieving the desired smoky flavor in your smoked meat. The pellet smoker works by slowly burning wood pellets, releasing smoke into the smoker to flavor the meat. With improper pellet smoker placement, the entire smoking process can be compromised, resulting in substandard end results.


In conclusion, if you’re experiencing issues with your Masterbuilt electric smoker not producing smoke, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. Check that the heating element is functioning properly and that the wood chips are not damp or wet. Use an adequate amount of wood chips and ensure that they are loaded properly into the chip tray or holder.

Also, make sure that the smoker is plugged into a working electrical outlet and that the power button and cord are functioning properly. If temperature control issues persist, consider using a temperature probe or pellet smoker for more accurate temperature readings.

Overall, with the proper care and attention, your Masterbuilt electric smoker should produce ample smoke and deliver delicious, smoky flavored meats.