Why is my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Not Smoking?

Why is my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Not Smoking
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There can be a few reasons why your Masterbuilt electric smoker is not smoking. The leading cause is that your chip tray is not resting properly on the burner element. When your smoker is cold you can bend the tray support or the tray to make complete contact with the element.

If you find your electric smoker is still not smoking, check the tray is clean and is touching or as near the heating element as possible! A clean try ensures a better chance of the chips smoking without any debris or dirt in the way!

Avoid using wet chips as this can slow the smoking process down completely.  Try your Masterbuilt smoker with some dry chips and see if there is a difference.

It's also worth experimenting with different flavors of wood chips to see if that makes a difference. Smaller wood chips often smoke easier, and there are many options available.

If you are still experiencing issues, we recommend contacting Masterbuilt’s customer support. Usually, one or a combination of these suggestions will see your smoker smoking again!

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Do you soak wood chips for a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

No, you don’t need to soak wood chips before using them in a Masterbuilt electric smoker. While Masterbuilt doesn’t eliminate this option, many other electric smoker manufacturers recommend never using wet wood chips.

This is because damp wood chips will need to be dried out on the element before they smoke. It’s also a personal choice, so don’t feel like you need to soak your wood chips if you don’t want to!

Masterbuilt themselves says that you can soak your chips for 30 minutes before using them in your electric smoker. Soaking your wood chips for this long will ensure that your smoker has a sustained and regular heating level that cooks your food perfectly! 

You can also use wet chips or soaked wood chips to control the temperature of your electric smoker should things ever get slightly out of hand while cooking! The chips will control any uneven temperature or heat spikes that could impact the finished result of your food.  

The wet wood chips should be roughly  1-2 inches long and no more than half an inch thick. Soaking your wood chips anywhere from 1-12 hours will do it. Wrap them in foil with holes poked through when you place them in your smoker. 

However, soaking wood chips is not always a  good idea and sometimes should be avoided! If you are cold smoking your food, then your wood chips should not be soaked!

Cold smoking involves the food being dried, something near impossible to achieve with wet wood chips; instead, it’s best to use dry chips for successful cold smoking.  

As a note, this debate rages on with the contributors for this website between dry or soaked. We have agreed to disagree but come to a few conclusions to share with you. We recommend never using wet wood chips for electric smokers because the elements are not ideal for it. 

As far as offset or stick burner, wet wood chips can slow the burning process just enough to yield sustained smoke. However, I still recommend dry kindling or wood chunks for best results.

How do I clean the glass on my Masterbuilt smoker?

Cleaning the glass on your Masterbuilt smoker is easy and can be done with Apple  Cider Vinegar and hot water! Using an empty spray bottle, pour in a 50/50 mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and hot water. Simply spray down the glass window of your smoker, ensuring every part of the glass is covered. 

Leave the solution for a minute or two to allow it to break down the grime and dirt before wiping it down. Newspaper sheets can be used to wipe the glass down, and these won’t leave any streaks!

You will need to wipe thoroughly to ensure that there are no streaks on your window! If you’ve gone to the trouble of cleaning it, you want it to be sparkling! 

You can use a cloth to wipe down the windows, but these can cause streaks and take longer to clean! Think of what you typically use to clean glass; if you’ve got a trusted cloth, then, by all means, whip it out, but we do enjoy newspapers to get the job done! 

Depending on how dirty your glass is, you might need to repeat the cleaning steps a few times, which is fine! Ideally, you want to clean the glass after every smoke, but we know not everyone (us included)  has the time for us!

Just ensure you regularly clean the glass and wait until the smoker has completely cooled to ensure the glass stays clean, and you can watch your meat cook through it! 

Pro tip: When you season your smoker add an extra thick layer of oil on the inside of the glass door. The oil will create a film that the smoke will stick to, and a warm rag with dawn dish soap will remove the oil film. After cleaning, reapply a thick layer of oil to the glass to make cleaning easy next time.

Check out the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker on Amazon.com

How often do you add wood chips to a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

You should add wood chips to your Masterbuilt electric smoker once an hour or when the smoker stops producing smoke. The wood chips need to be added until the cooking time is completed and your food is ready to enjoy. 

Most longer cookes will only require smoke output for the first four hours depending on your food or recipe.

It’s best to add roughly a handful of wood chips to the electric smoker to ensure the smoke continues and your food cooks with that delicious smoky flavor we all love! You can add these wood chips wet or dry, depending on the smoking you are doing, keeping the smoke smoking and your food cooking!

To add the wood chips to your electric smoker, use a cup or scoop to place them in the loading tube. Insert the loading tube in the smoker and turn the tube to fill the chip tray. Don't over fill the chip tray as it can make for irregular smoke output. 

Check out our article All About Wood Chips

How do I get more smoke from my Masterbuilt electric smoker

How do I get more smoke from my Masterbuilt electric smoker?

To get more smoke from your Masterbuilt electric smoker, use fine wood chips. The finer your wood chips are, the more smoke they will produce because they will burn faster. The Downside to this is that you will need to reload your smoker's wood chips more often, but you will get a better smoke flavor.

Also, when you are running your smoker, the size of your fuel can be closely related to the cooking temperature. For example, when cooking at 180 degrees, you should use only a small wood chip, but if you are cooking at 250 degrees or more, you should use large-sized wood chips.

Different manufactures label their chips differently. We refer to small chips as something like Smokehouse Products makes and large wood chips as something like Weber makes.

To see more smoke from your Masterbuilt electric smoker,  try using dry wood chips instead of wet chips. Typically wet chips can take longer to heat, smoke than dry chips and even result in less smoke in some cases!

It's worth experimenting with this to see if there's a difference. If you are dead against dry wood chips,  try soaking your chips for less time and seeing if that makes a difference too.

 Finally, most wood chips will not burn consistently under 160 degrees. For best practice, preheat your smoker at 150 degrees, load your dry wood chips, increase temperature above 160 degrees, and load your food in your smoker. Following these steps should result in instant smoke that is clean, giving your food the desired taste.

Check out the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker on Amazon.com

Where does the water pan go in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

Your water pan is located on the lower tray of your Masterbuilt electric smoker. The removable drip tray/water pan slides out so that you can fill it up easily! We recommend filling it halfway with hot water to keep the humidity level while you cook. 

For those cooking meat with the smoker, filling the water pan halfway keeps your meat juicy too and avoids it drying out! You can also use stock in the water tray to create a smoky stock! In these cases, line the tray with foil first, so you can remove the stock easily while you are finished cooking. 

Another option is to put your stock in a disposable aluminum foil pan on the bottom rack of your smoker. As your food cooks, the juices will drip into the adding smoky flavor to your stock and moisture to your food. When you are done with the pan, the best aspect of this is simply trough it in the trash.

While the water pan is located at the bottom of the smoker, some users also add water to other trays in their Masterbuilt electric smoker. Some users will add water to the main grease tray, too, as they find it can help the smoking process! 

As the water pan is removable, you can place it in a different location if you wish. The water pan should be placed above the heat source to ensure the water is heated and your smoker keeps smoking! In electric smokers, you need to find the heating element and ensure the pan is placed above it. 

When it comes to your Masterbuilt electric smoker, the water pan is probably placed in the best location on the bottom tray! If a recipe you are following suggests moving the tray, then do so, but we think it’s best left where it is!


Check out our Beginners Guide: How to use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker