Electric Smoker Won’t Go Above 200 [9 Reasons & TIPS]

Electric Smoker Won't Go Above 200 [SOLUTION]

An electric smoker is essential for preparing delicious meals, making cooking easier and more convenient with its temperature control features.

However, if your electric smoker cannot reach temperatures above 200 degrees, it can be frustrating and impractical for your daily cooking needs.

Not being able to adjust the temperature properly will also lead to longer cooking times and potential difficulties in preparing your dishes.

If you’re facing this temperature issue and feeling puzzled about how to deal with it, don’t worry! Let’s dive into why an electric smoker might not exceed 200 degrees.

Electric Smoker Won’t Go Above 200

If an electric smoker doesn’t surpass 200°F, potential culprits could be a faulty temperature gauge, an overloaded food chamber, leaks, frozen heating rods, or damp woodchips. An unclean or uneven tray can also impede proper heating. Regular maintenance and checking components can help address these issues.

These are just a few possibilities, but there’s more to know about electric smokers to understand and troubleshoot this issue.

So, keep reading to understand why electric smokers sometimes struggle to go above 200 degrees.

Why an Electric Smoker Might Not Reach Temperatures Above 200?

There are several potential causes for this issue.

One common reason is inadequate airflow within the smoker, leading to uneven heat distribution. This could be due to a clogged air vent or a poorly designed smoker.

Another possibility is that the temperature setting on your smoker is too low. If the temperatures are not set appropriately, the smoker won’t have enough heat to cook your food properly.

Regularly cleaning your smoker can also help prevent this problem.

The buildup of oil and grease in the electric smoker could also prevent it from reaching higher temperatures. Here are some specific reasons to consider:

Reason 1: Malfunctioning Temperature Gauge

If your smoker has an internal temperature gauge, it might be damaged or inaccurate. This could be the main reason why your larger cuts of meat aren’t getting cooked thoroughly.

To ensure proper cooking, it’s best to use a separate thermometer to monitor the temperature accurately.

Reason 2: Temperature Drop from Overloading

Placing a large amount of food in the smoker can cause the temperature to drop significantly. As a result, your electric smoker may not get hot enough to cook the food properly.

The excess food absorbs the heat and prevents it from circulating evenly. To maintain a consistent temperature, try not to overload the smoker and cook smaller batches of food at a time.

Reason 3: Low-Quality Construction of Low-Cost Electric Smokers

Not all smokers are created equal, especially when you go for a lower-priced option.

Low-cost electric smokers may be challenging to regulate in terms of temperature. They are often made with lower-quality materials than more expensive models.

To avoid this issue, it’s essential to research and invest in a smoker known for its ease of use and reliable temperature control.

Reason 4: Leaks and Cracks in the Electric Smoker

If your electric smoker has cracks or leaks, it won’t retain enough heat.

When you lift the lid, the accumulated hot air escapes, which can lead to fluctuations in temperature and compromise the smoky flavor of your food.

In such cases, you may need to restart the cooking process.

If you suspect your smoker has these issues, it might be time to consider getting a new one.

Reason 5: Freezing of Steel in Cold Environments

For those living in colder climates, the steel components of the smoker can freeze, preventing it from reaching the required heat levels to cook your food properly.

Cold air may seep into the smoker, causing the temperatures to drop below the desired levels.

Reason 6: Ash Buildup in the Electric Smoker

Accumulated ash within the smoker can obstruct airflow and suppress the flames, preventing the smoker from getting hot enough to cook your food thoroughly.

Regularly cleaning the ash will help maintain proper airflow and ensure optimal cooking temperatures.

Reason 7: Avoid Soaking Wood Chips in Water

Many people wet the wood chips to prevent them from burning too quickly. However, we don’t recommend soaking the wood chips as it hinders the smoker from heating up effectively.

Reason 8: Check for Uneven Heating in the Chip Tray

The chip tray in the smoker can also cause uneven heating. If it becomes detached from the burner element, it won’t allow proper heat distribution to reach the wood chips.

To fix this problem, you can reactivate the burner unit and ensure the chip tray is clean and properly positioned near the burner element.

Reason 9: Consider Vents and Dampers

Airflow plays a crucial role in regulating the temperature of an electric smoker since flames require oxygen to burn. The unit’s base may have dampers that can be adjusted to let more air into the smoker, fueling the flames and increasing the temperature.

On the other hand, opening lid vents or dampers can allow excess heat to escape, lowering the temperature.

Additionally, whenever you open the main door, heat will pour out as well.

Understanding these nine reasons can help you address the issue of your electric smoker not reaching temperatures above 200 degrees.

By being aware of these factors, you can avoid such problems. Now, let’s move on to cooking tips for using an electric smoker.

6 cooking tips for using an electric smoker

Electric smokers are extremely simple to operate compared to other smokers. An electric smoker can do most of the work when it concerns temperature management. You can take your electric smoking to the next level by following some simple steps.

1. Prepare Your Grill

Before using an electric smoker for the first time, prepare it. The goal is to burn the racks, trays, or steel containers used during production.

Apply cooking oil inside areas of the electric smoker afterward and cook it at 200°F. Add some wood chips to the chip tray during the last hour of seasoning.

These will emit smoke, priming the gadget for future usage.

2. Cook at the Correct Temperature

Not all types of meat smoke best at the same temperature range. Brisket, pig butt, pork shoulder, and ribs smoke at roughly 200°F.

Chicken and turkey can survive temperatures up to 200°F during multi-hour smoking.

3. Try Different Hardwoods

Although not every electric smoker will have a wood-burning option, the greatest smokers usually do. In addition to a unique dry rub, you may create your bespoke wood blend.

You’re either a meat-smoking perfectionist who never combines different types of wood. But combining oak, alder, or mesquite with a fruitwood like an apple might yield results.

Meat smokes well with all woods, apart from apple. Roasted chicken tastes fantastic with anything other than oak and maple.

4. Allow Enough Cooking Time

Remember that electric smokers cook meat at lower temperatures than traditional charcoal or gas grills.

This means you’ll need more time for cooking to achieve tender textures. For example, cooking a rack of ribs might require several hours for best results.

5. Ensure Sufficient Cooking Space

Ensure your electric smoker has an ample cooking area to comfortably accommodate your meats.

While you don’t want an overly large smoker that occupies too much space in your backyard, having enough cooking surface is essential for precise cooking.

A long vertical smoker can provide extra cooking space, while a broader smoker with two doors can smoke larger pieces of meat.

6. Keep Your Smoker Clean

One of the appealing aspects of electric smokers is that they produce minimal smoke. However, it’s crucial to keep your smoker clean and free from burnt residues to make the most of this feature.

After each cooking session, clean the cooking areas, including iron pans and grills.

Using a drip pan while cooking can help maintain your smoker’s cleanliness. Remember to clean the trays regularly when washing the rest of the machine.

A clean smoker ensures better-tasting meals and extends the lifespan of your equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Electric Smokers

1. Do electric smokers generate a lot of smoke?

No, electric smokers produce the least amount of smoke compared to other smokers. Unlike gas or charcoal smokers, they don’t rely on a flame as their heating source.

2. What temperature is considered too high for smoking?

Temperatures between 40 to 140°F (4 to 60°C) are considered too high for smoking meat. Dangerous bacteria can multiply rapidly within this range, and food safety becomes a concern. It’s best to avoid leaving meat in this temperature range for more than 4 hours.

3. Is it possible to smoke brisket at 200 degrees?

Smoking brisket at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95°C to 110°C) is possible. After preparing the brisket, you can fire the smoker to achieve this temperature range. The cooking time per pound at this temperature is typically around 1 ½ hours.

Summing Up

This discussion covered why an electric smoker might not go above 200 degrees.

Electric smokers are generally more convenient and produce less smoke than charcoal and gas smokers. Pay attention to some important factors, and you’ll be all set!

That’s all for now! Happy smoking, and take care!

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