Why Won’t My Masterbuilt Smoker Heat Up?

Are you having heating issues with your Masterbuilt smoker? Have you tried everything, but the smoker just refuses to heat up? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will discuss the common issues that might prevent your Masterbuilt smoker from heating up properly and provide solutions to them.

So, keep reading to learn more about the smoking process, cooking temperature, and heat loss in the Masterbuilt smoker. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the heating process and will be able to use your smoker to its maximum potential.

Why Won't My Masterbuilt Smoker Heat Up

Why Won’t My Masterbuilt Smoker Heat Up

Masterbuilt smokers are popular among barbecue enthusiasts who want to enjoy the delicious smoky flavor of their favorite meats without the hassle of traditional charcoal grills. However, like any appliance, they can experience issues that prevent them from heating up properly.

Here are reasons why your Masterbuilt smoker may not be heating up and provide tips on how to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

1. Heating Element

The Heating Element is the primary component responsible for generating heat in a Masterbuilt smoker. It is a crucial element that plays a significant role in the smoking process. With a malfunctioning heat element, the smoker will not be able to generate heat, and smoke won’t efficiently cook meat.

Common issues associated with malfunctioning Heating Elements include difficulties in reaching the desired temperature range, heat loss, and insufficient smoke production. If you’re experiencing such issues, it’s essential to check the Heating Element to verify if it is working correctly.

The steps to check and fix Heating Element issues involve identifying, isolating, and reconnecting the malfunctioning component. The first step is to turn off and unplug the smoker’s electrical appliance to avoid electrical shocks. Then, open the smoker’s back to access the internal components.

Once you can access the back, inspect the wires and look for visual signs of damage, corrosion, or loose connections around the Heating Element. In addition, check the insulation around the box or the wires for any form of deterioration or cracks.

It’s crucial to take necessary precautions during the inspection process, such as wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and safety glasses to protect against potential hazards. If you notice any physical damages, you’ll need to replace the Heating Element.

2. Wood Chips and Wood Chunks

When it comes to smoking meat, one of the most critical decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right type of wood chips or chunks. Wood chips are small pieces of wood, typically around 2-3 inches in size, while wood chunks are larger pieces that are usually 4-5 inches in length. The primary difference between the two is that wood chips burn more quickly, while wood chunks burn more slowly and produce a milder smoke flavor.

For those with a Masterbuilt electric smoker, wood chips are a popular and practical option. They are easy to load into the smoker and start producing smoke quickly. This makes them perfect for quick smoking sessions such as those required for fish or poultry. When using wood chips in a Masterbuilt electric smoker, it is recommended to use one cup at a time and avoid soaking the chips in water for too long. Doing so can cause the chips to become too damp, which can negatively impact the smoking process.

The type of wood chips you choose will also impact the flavor of your smoked meat. For pork, cherry, apple, or maple wood chips work well. For chicken or turkey, hickory, pecan, or mesquite wood chips are popular choices. If you’re smoking beef, oak, hickory, or mesquite are all excellent options. It’s essential to experiment with different types of wood chips to find the ideal flavor profile for your taste.

On the other hand, wood chunks are better suited for longer smoking sessions where the meat needs to be infused with a more subtle smoke flavor. This is because they burn more slowly and produce a milder smoke flavor that can take several hours to develop. They are also perfect for those who prefer to use a charcoal grill or smoker and want to avoid constantly adding more wood chips throughout the smoking process.

3. Burner Element Issues

Masterbuilt smokers rely on a burner element to produce heat, which is an essential component of the smoking process. The burner element works by heating up an internal metal plate, which then transfers the heat to the wood chips or chunks, producing smoke that cooks the meat.

However, there are several possible problems with the burner element that may cause your Masterbuilt smoker not to heat up properly. One of the most common issues is a faulty igniter, which prevents the burner from lighting up. Another issue could be a clogged hot water plate, which can interfere with the heating process. Burner element malfunctions can also be caused by loose or damaged electrical connections.

If you suspect that the burner element is causing the issue with your Masterbuilt smoker, the first step is to check the igniter and hot water plate for any problems. Make sure that the igniter is working by inspecting the wires and checking for any visible damage. Next, remove the hot water plate and clean it thoroughly with warm, soapy water to remove any buildup that may be affecting the heating process.

You should also check the electrical connections to make sure that they are secure and free of any damage. A loose or damaged connection can prevent the burner element from receiving the necessary power to function properly.

If you have checked all of these potential issues and your Masterbuilt smoker is still not heating up properly, it may be necessary to replace the burner element altogether. This can be done by purchasing a replacement part from Masterbuilt or an authorized dealer and following the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

4. Temperature Issues

Masterbuilt smokers are an excellent tool for outdoor cooking and smoking. However, even the best smokers can experience temperature issues, which can be frustrating and lead to undercooked or overcooked food. There are several reasons why temperature inconsistencies might occur in Masterbuilt smokers, including overloading, bad temperature control, a faulty smoker, or a broken heating element.

One common mistake that many people make is overloading the smoker, which can obstruct the heating element and racks, causing inconsistent temperatures. Therefore, it’s essential to follow the loading capacity suggested by the model to avoid such issues. The smoker’s manual should provide recommended loading instructions, and it is best to adhere to them. In addition to proper loading, it is also crucial to keep the smoker clean and free of any debris, which might obstruct airflow and heat flow.

Another possible reason for temperature issues in a Masterbuilt smoker is a bad temperature controller. If your smoker is not reaching the desired temperature or showing inaccurate temperature readings, it is likely that the temperature controller is faulty. In this situation, it is best to check the temperature controller and see whether it is working correctly. In some cases, you might be able to recalibrate the controller to fix the issue, but if the controller is broken, it might be necessary to replace it with a new one.

Finally, a faulty smoker or broken heating element could also cause temperature inconsistencies in a Masterbuilt smoker. If you have ruled out overloading and a bad temperature controller as reasons for the temperature issue, it is worth checking the heating element and other components of the smoker to see whether they are working correctly. The heating element might be damaged, preventing it from producing enough heat, or other components might be obstructing the airflow. Rectifying these issues typically requires professional assistance, so it’s best to seek help from an authorized Masterbuilt dealer or technician.


In conclusion, if you’ve been asking yourself “Why won’t my Masterbuilt smoker heat up,” there are a number of potential solutions to the issue. By using a meat thermometer to keep an eye on the internal temperature, checking the fuel source regularly, controlling the vent, and double-checking the electric connection if necessary, you can work towards resolving the problem.

Make sure that you are using the correct size and quantity of wood chips and controlling the vent to maintain an ideal internal temperature. If you’re using an electric smoker, ensure that the electric connection is secure and consider the positioning of the smoker.

By following these tips, you can work towards resolving this common issue with Masterbuilt smokers. With the right adjustments to the smoking process, you’ll be sure to achieve the perfect flavor and cooking results for your favorite dishes.