Why Won’t My Traeger Smoke at 160 Degrees?

Are you having trouble getting your Traeger grill to smoke at 160 degrees? You’re not alone. Many Traeger grill owners experience this common issue, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to cook your favorite cuts of meat.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why your Traeger grill may not be producing smoke at 160 degrees and how to fix the issue. Whether you’re a new Traeger owner or a seasoned smoker, reading this article can help you achieve that perfect smoky flavor every time you cook.

Why Won't My Traeger Smoke at 160 Degrees

Why Won’t My Traeger Smoke At 160 Degrees

Traeger grills are known for their ability to produce a rich, smokey flavor in any cut of meat. However, sometimes Traeger owners can run into issues where their grill won’t produce smoke at the desired temperature.

If you’re experiencing this issue at 160 degrees, there are a few potential reasons and solutions to consider. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Air Leaks in the Pellet Hopper

If you’re experiencing issues with your Traeger grill not producing smoke at the desired temperature or not cooking evenly, a possible culprit could be air leaks in your pellet hopper. Proper air circulation is crucial for maintaining consistent cooking temperatures and smoke flavor, so it’s important to identify and solve this issue as soon as possible. Here are some steps to identifying and fixing air leaks in the pellet hopper.

First, inspect the hopper for any visible cracks, gaps or holes. These can often be caused by wear and tear over time or improper handling. Tightening any loose screws or bolts that you may find can also help ensure a tighter seal.

If you spot any gaps, it’s essential to seal them to prevent any excess air from entering. The easiest way to do this is by using silicone sealant or high-temperature tape that can withstand the heat and smoke produced by your grill. Be sure to apply the sealant or tape directly over the gap in a smooth and even layer to ensure complete coverage.

By identifying and solving air leaks in your pellet hopper, you can maintain optimal air circulation and ensure evenly cooked and flavorful food every time you use your Traeger grill.

2. Blocked or Dirty Exhaust Vents

If you’re experiencing trouble getting your Traeger grill to smoke at 160 degrees, one possible reason is that your exhaust vents may be blocked or dirty. The exhaust vents are responsible for regulating the flow of air in and out of your grill and if they’re clogged, it can affect the temperature and the amount of smoke produced by your Traeger.

To remedy this issue, it’s important to check for any blockages in the exhaust vents. You can use a wire brush or a pipe cleaner to gently remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated inside the vents. Be careful not to break or damage the vents in the process, as this can cause further issues with your grill.

Making sure your exhaust vents are clean and clear can help to improve the airflow in your Traeger grill, which will ensure that you get the smoke flavor that you desire. So if you’re experiencing temperature issues or insufficient smoke, be sure to give your exhaust vents a good cleaning.

3. Poorly Sealed Lid Gasket

If you’re experiencing temperature inconsistencies and difficulties maintaining low smoking temperatures on your Traeger grill, a possible cause could be a poorly sealed lid gasket. This issue can occur if the gasket is damaged, torn, or simply worn out.

To address this issue, start by inspecting the gasket thoroughly. Check for any visible tears or damage. If you find any, replace the gasket with a new one. Traeger offers replacement gaskets that are specifically designed for their grills, so be sure to get one that matches your grill model.

It’s important to have a complete seal on the lid to maintain optimal smoking conditions. If the gasket is not in good condition, it can allow smoke and heat to escape, causing temperature inconsistencies and difficulties in maintaining low smoking temperatures.

In addition to replacing the gasket, it’s also important to ensure that the gasket is clean and free of debris. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on the gasket, which can affect its adhesion to the grill. Use a damp cloth to clean the gasket and remove any debris.

By following these steps and addressing a poorly sealed lid gasket, you can help ensure your Traeger grill is functioning properly and that you’re getting the best smoking results.

4. Incorrect Ambient Temperature Setting

One common issue that can cause your Traeger grill to not smoke at 160 degrees is an incorrect ambient temperature setting. The ambient temperature refers to the temperature of the surrounding environment, which can have a significant impact on the performance of your grill.

To ensure that your Traeger maintains the desired temperature range, it’s essential to set the right ambient temperature. This involves considering factors such as the proximity of the grill to surrounding objects, the direction of the wind, and the current weather conditions.

Placing your Traeger in a location with plenty of ventilation can help regulate the ambient temperature and ensure that your grill retains the appropriate temperature range. It’s also helpful to invest in a digital thermometer, which will allow you to accurately monitor the internal temperature of the grill and make adjustments as needed.

5. Faulty Temperature Probe or Thermometer

If you’re experiencing issues with your Traeger not smoking at 160 degrees, a possible culprit could be a faulty temperature probe or thermometer. This can result in inaccurate readings, causing the grill not to function as it should.

To address this issue, start by checking the temperature probe for any damage or signs of wear. A damaged probe can provide incorrect readings, causing temperature swings and affecting cooking times. If possible, test the probe with a temperature probe specifically designed for grilling to ensure that it is functioning correctly.

Additionally, make sure the thermometer is properly calibrated and in the correct location inside the grill. A misaligned or improperly calibrated thermometer can lead to inaccurate temperature readings, which can negatively impact the entire process.

If all else fails, replacing the temperature probe or thermometer may be necessary. A properly functioning temperature probe and thermometer are essential components to ensure your Traeger is operating at the optimal temperature range and producing that delicious smoke flavor you desire.

Do not let a faulty temperature probe or thermometer keep you from enjoying all that your Traeger has to offer. Take the necessary steps to address the issue, and soon you’ll be enjoying perfectly cooked and smoked meats.

6. Heating Element Needs Replacing or Resetting

If you’re having trouble getting your Traeger to smoke at 160 degrees, one potential issue that might arise is a faulty heating element. You can troubleshoot this problem by following a few simple steps.

First, unplug the grill and remove any grates, grease drip trays, and heat baffles that might be blocking access to the heating element. Next, take a look at the burn pot and clear away any excess pellets or wood ash that might have accumulated in the area.

Now it’s time to inspect the heating element itself. Unscrew the wires connected to the heating rod and carefully remove it from the grill. Once you have the heating rod in your hand, you can perform a continuity test using a multimeter. If the heating rod fails to show any continuity, it’s a good indication that it needs replacing.

If you determine that the heating element needs to be replaced, you’ll need to take steps to reset it or install a new one. After performing the continuity test, reconnect the wires to the heating rod and replace any components that you removed earlier, such as the heat baffle and grease drip tray. Finally, switch on the grill and test it to see if the new heating element is working correctly.

By following these steps, you should be able to diagnose and repair any issues related to a faulty heating element that might be preventing your Traeger from smoking at 160 degrees.

7. Pellets Not Feeding Properly Into Firebox

If you’re having trouble with the pellets not feeding properly into the firebox of your Traeger grill, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

First and foremost, ensure that your pellet hopper is filled with dry, high-quality wood pellets and that you’re not overfilling it, as excess pellets can cause feeding issues. Also, check for any blockages in the auger, the tube that feeds the pellets into the firebox, and make sure that the induction fan, which helps create airflow through the grill, is functioning properly.

It’s also essential to ensure that the hopper lid is securely closed to prevent any air leaks that could disrupt the feeding process. If the issue persists despite taking these steps, try cleaning the burn pot and checking the hot rod, the element responsible for igniting the pellets, to make sure it’s functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance of your Traeger grill, including cleaning and inspecting key components like the hopper, auger, and heating elements, can help prevent issues with pellet feeding and ensure optimal performance every time you use it.


In conclusion, if you’re having trouble getting smoke at 160 degrees on your Traeger grill, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. Check for blockages in the auger and make sure the hopper lid is securely closed to prevent air leaks.

Ensure that the hopper is filled with high-quality pellets and that the induction fan is functioning properly. If the issue persists, clean the burn pot and check the hot rod for any issues. By following these steps, you can get optimal smoke flavor at the desired temperature and enjoy deliciously smoked meats.