Electric Smoker Won’t Go Above 200? [Reasons & Fixes]

Are you planning to smoke some food? Electric smokers have proven to be quite helpful for this purpose. Being electrically operated, these smokers do not use an open flame. So, if you’re a beginner, this is the perfect way to start!

If you wish to prepare a scrumptious meal, there is a specific temperature you must cook it at. It is not always easy to adjust this temperature. What if you need to smoke your food at over 200 degrees, and your electric smoker just won’t get it?

Reasons Why Your Electric smoker Won’t go above 200?

There is more than one cause of an electric smoker limiting its power. Some of them could be smoking too much food, damaged temperature gauge, frozen rods, potential leakage, woodchip issues, etc. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg. You need to understand more about your electric smoker if it won’t go above 200. Continue reading our post to learn more about your electric smoker and tips to make your job easier!

Reasons Why My Electric Smoker Won’t Go Above 200

It’s not unusual for electrical appliances to malfunction sometimes. There are generally numerous reasons for them to act this way.

For example, if the temperature setting itself is not adjusted, your food will cook at low heat. Understanding exactly why your electric smoker won’t exceed 200 is the first step to fixing it.  

Here are some common causes of why your electric smoker won’t go above 200:

1. Ineffective Air Flow

This is one of the most common reasons among complainants. Your electric smoker must facilitate the flow of air to keep a steady temperature setting of your choice. Without oxygen, the flames will die out. Electric smokers facilitate the movement of extra air through loaded dampers.

For this, your electric smoker must have a well-functioning, effective mode of air movement. Please ensure enough vents and dampers that allow oxygen in to keep the flame burning. They can also act as outlets to help excessive heat to escape.

Therefore, having an adequate air flow system in your electric smoker is crucial.

Read our article on the ideal temperature to serve brisket.

2. Placing too much food

The next potential reason behind your electric smoker not going above 200 is if you’ve placed too much food. It is essential to only place a limited amount of food in the electric smoker at once. Doing this will ensure uniform heat distribution and cooks the food adequately.

Trying to cook too much food at once is a huge no-no. The airflow will not be proper, and the temperature will start to fall. So, please remember to only smoke small amounts of food at a time.

3. Cracks and Leakage

If your electric smoker isn’t going above 200, please check for potential cracks and leaks. The presence of unknown outlets in the smoker caused by cracks or leaks causes a decrease in temperature. Your smoker may not be able to become sufficiently hot to cook the food due to the escape of hot air.

If you’ve noticed any cracks, leaks, or holes, consider fixing them immediately. Sometimes, you may have to invest in a new electric smoker.

4. Low-Quality Electric Smoker

Electric smokers work great. But this also depends on the quality of the smoker you have purchased. If you have gone for a relatively low-quality smoker, expecting too much from the temperature setting can be a stretch.

High-quality electric smokers use more reliable and durable materials. So, please find an electric smoker with quality and reasonably priced components. 

5. Damaged Temperature Gauge

Damage to the internal temperature gauge is another common reason your electric smoker won’t exceed 200. This prevents your smoker from becoming hot enough to cook the food. 

Keeping track of the temperature is one of the critical aspects of cooking. So, you’ll have to arrange a meter to cook your food.

Recommended reading – Brisket 225 or 275 – The perfect temperature

6. Ash Accumulation

If you’ve not cleaned your electric smoker in a long time, it could accumulate ash. This accumulated ash hinders air passage and changes the temperature settings. Your electric smoker will not become hot enough for the meat to cook sufficiently.

7. Lack of Uniform Distribution in Chip Tray

The chip tray function is affected if there is no uniform heat distribution. The heat does not reach the chips once there is detachment on the tray from the burner component. 

You can also fix this problem by resetting the burner element. It is vital then the chip tray is clean and in proximity to the burner unit.

8. Damp Wood Chips

It is common practice to pour water on the wood chips so they don’t burn out too fast. This is actually a bad idea because when wood chips are damp, they don’t allow the smoker to get hot enough.

Therefore, please do not wet your wood chips. Keep them dry and let them become heated so your meat can perfectly cook!

9. Frozen Steel Parts

This is another reason people face problems with their electric smokers, especially those in colder climates. The electric smoker’s steel parts can sometimes freeze due to low-temperature surroundings. 

This may result in cold air entering the smoker and lowering the cooking temperature. Frozen steel prevents the smoke from rising enough to cook the meat thoroughly.

Ways to Prevent Electric Smoker Problems!

You can do certain things to avoid issues with your electric smoker altogether. Operating electric smokers is not complicated. In fact, it is much easier to operate than most other types of smokers. 

We’ve listed some ways to take your smoking process up a notch. This will make your time with the smoker more efficient and productive. Please continue reading to find out what they are!

1. Getting the Grill Ready

Before you commence your cooking process, you must first get your grill ready. So, you want to burn used components, such as trays, racks, or other steel. 

We recommend using cooking oil for the smoker internally, at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Toward the end of the process, add wood chips to the chip tray sometime in the last hour. This way, you can prime your smoker for the future by releasing the smoke. 

2. Maintaining a Clean and Hygienic Smoker

Electric smokers look much more appealing as they do not generate large amounts of smoke like other types of grills. 

So, do you think electric smokers produce zero waste? Electric smokers must be cleaned often to avoid the build-up of burnt waste, for example, ash accumulation. Please clean your grill, trays, and pans after using them. It can be somewhat dangerous to leave waste behind in your smoker as it can be toxic sometimes.

Recommended further reading – Can I Wrap Brisket Using Kraft Paper

3. Choosing the Right Wood to Burn

A lot of smokers available today come with a wood-burning mode. So, for those who want to personalize a wood blend, these smokers have got you!

If you’re a seasoned smoker, you probably have an idea of the various kinds of woods and their blends that work best. One blend we recommend combines mesquite, oak, or alder with fruitwood like apple wood. Fruitwood doesn’t work well with meat, but most other woods do.

4. Correctly Adjusting the Cooking Temperature

Adjusting the temperature so that your meat cooks to perfection is a true form of art! If you’re a beginner, please pay extra attention to your cooking temperature. It is crucial to continuously track the temperature to ensure that the meat properly cooks.

Pig butt, brisket, ribs, and pork shoulder are generally smoked at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Ensuring an Adequate Cooking Surface

It is essential to ensure that your electric smoker is big enough to accommodate all the meat comfortably. This doesn’t mean you go hunting for the electric smoker with the widest grilling space. 

However, it always helps to have a smoker that offers sufficient smoking space. This way, you can ensure all pieces of meat are thoroughly cooked. 

6. Clearing Out Your Schedule

One of the main aspects of smoking food is giving it enough time to cook. Meat containing fat and connective tissue requires considerable time to dissolve. Moreover, electric smokers do not heat up as much as gas or charcoal smokers do.

Therefore, the smoking process is not an activity you can hurry. Please ensure you’ve cleared out your schedule for the day and have enough time to wait till your meat cooks patiently. When you see the juicy, tender result, it will all be worth it!

Interesting further reading – Turkey Fryer Burner Problems

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I smoke brisket at 200?

Yes, you can smoke brisket at 200 degrees. Once your brisket is ready for the smoker, adjust the heat between 200 to 230 (95 C to 110C). It takes about an hour and a half to cook per pound of meat at this temperature.

Can I smoke at high temperatures?

We recommend not to smoke at exceptionally high temperatures. Temperatures ranging from 40-degree F to 140-degree F are much too high to smoke your meat at. 

At this temperature, you may invite a variety of harmful microorganisms to infect the meat. About four hours is enough for these organisms to manifest, making your meat a health hazard.

Will my electric smoker produce excessive smoke?

One of the most significant advantages that give electric smokers an edge over other smokers is the amount of smoke produced. Electric smokers do not require combustible material to generate a flame. Therefore, they produce very little smoke.

Other smokers may use charcoal or gas to generate a flame. Hence, there is a lot of smoke production that can harm your respiratory tract and lungs.

Final Words

We’ve reached the end of the article! We understand how frustrating it can be when an uncooperative electrical appliance ruins your plans.

When your electric smoker doesn’t go above 200, it hinders and prolongs your entire cooking process. We hope our article helped you understand the causes of your electric smoker not going above 200. And our tip our popularly regarded as quite helpful!

All in all, for those of you looking for a smoker, electric smokers are the way to go. They are easier to operate than gas or charcoal smokers and produce much less smoke.

That’s it for this article, see you in the next one!