Should I leave the vent open on my smoker?

Asked By: Lesya Huberth | Last Updated: 28th March, 2020
Category: food and drink barbecues and grilling
4/5 (1,577 Views . 34 Votes)
If wood is smoking in a smoker I advise ALWAYS having the exhaust vent completely open, otherwise you risk having the creosote on your smoked product. Only time I close the vent is for storage or if I am done applying smoke and just using the smoker for heat to bring the product to the final temp.

Click to see full answer


Regarding this, should I leave the vent open on my electric smoker?

As a rule of thumb, it is best to leave the vent fully open while you are applying smoke to your meat. By leaving the vent completely open, you avoid the risk of creosote building up on your meat.

Also Know, does opening the vent on a smoker make it hotter? Smoke at 225°F to 250°F. If your temperature is above 250°F, close down the vents to reduce the amount of oxygen in order to reduce the temperature. If your temperature dips below 225°F, open up the vents fully to allow more oxygen in to increase the temperature. Learn more about temperature control.

In this regard, when smoking meat do you leave the vent open?

If the upper vent is fully closed, the fire will die. If I need to get higher temps, lower vent needs to be open (e.g about a square inch of area), so does the chimney (about a couple square inches of area) - this'll stabilize about 350F. Smoke "sticks" to moisture.

How does the vent on a smoker work?

Because hot air rises, your exhaust vent acts as a vacuum to draw air into the intake vent. When this hot air rises, it heats up your smoker. The exhaust damper (a.k.a. flue, vent, or chimney) has two jobs: (1) Allow the combustion gases, heat, and smoke to escape, and (2) pull oxygen in through the intake damper.

37 Related Question Answers Found

Can you over smoke meat?

It's easy to over-smoke brisket due to its long cook time. This will result in a piece of meat that “tastes like liquid smoke.” To prevent this, it's necessary to use very dry wood.

How often should you add wood chips to an electric smoker?

Your smoker's manual will be able to give you more of an idea about how long it will smoke for before you need to add any more chips. If you do have a smoker that needs constant refilling every 45 minutes, you will be adding wood chips every 45 minutes.

Why is my smoker not smoking?

Heat. In order to produce smoke from wet wood chips and cook food, a temperature between 225 - 285 degrees Fahrenheit is commonly used. If no smoke, or a low volume of smoke, is produced, check to ensure that the electric heating element is working correctly and evenly.

How do you make Blue Smoke?


Use your fire box vent to control the burn and achieve a thin blue smoke coming out of your exhaust vent or stack. For smoking meat your chamber temperature should be between 180 and 250 degrees leaning more towards 225 degrees. For charcoal cookers it may mean you need to adjust the amount of charcoal and wood used.

Should wood chips be soaked for electric smoker?

Because electric smokers often have inbuilt temperature controls, soaking wood chips isn't really necessary. However soaking wood chips can do much more than help regulate temperature.

How do you keep meat moist in a smoker?

Wrap Your Meat in Aluminum Foil
Depending on the type of meat you are smoking, wrapping it aluminum foil may help keep it moist. When meat is wrapped in aluminum foil, most its moisture will remain trapped inside.

Why does my smoked meat taste bitter?

Creosote Defined
Creosote is a thick, oily substance left over by fire. It not only causes foods to become bitter but it numbs the tongue when you eat it. If you have ever left a plate of barbecue with a numb feeling on the tongue it is because of creosote build up on the meat.

Why does my smoked meat turn black?


The answer to your question is "The Maillard Reaction". A rib, brisket and certain other meats with a complete Maillard Reaction turn out very dark to black when smoking. This "bark" is what many prefer.

Do you keep adding wood chips when smoking?

Keep adding smoking wood to the smoker for about half of the total cook time or until the meat reaches 140° F. If you are having trouble with the wood chips or chunks burning up too quickly, simply soak them in water for about 30-60 minutes before you are ready to use them.

Should I clean my smoker?

Once your smoker has been properly seasoned, it's critical that you keep your smoker clean and properly maintain its protective coating. This is done by removing the ashes and food build-up from the smoker, but taking care not to scrub the smoker down to the bare metal.

Do you use water pan when smoking ribs?

Place a shallow pan of water in the cook chamber if not using a smoker with a built-in water pan. Once the temperature has stabilized in your smoker or grill, arrange the ribs on the grate, bone side down. If smoking several racks at once, use a rib rack. Immediately close the lid.

Can you have too much smoke in a smoker?

Too much wood will produce a thick, white smoke. If you've got this smoke, your bed of coals isn't hot enough for the amount of wood and it chokes out your coals… There is too much carbon in a thick, white smoke and it produces a harsh, bitter taste on your meat.

How do I stop my BBQ from smoking white?


There are a few things you can do to reduce white smoke when adding wood. You can pre-burn in a barrel (get it started burning first) or preheat the wood to near charring, and either method will remove moisture and trace amounts of volatiles from the wood before adding it to your smoker fire box.

How do you keep a 225 in a smoker?

How to Keep Charcoal Grill at 225°F
  1. Invest in a good temperature probe. To keep your grill stable at 225°F, you're going to have to keep an eye on the temperature.
  2. Light charcoal for fuel. Use a chimney starter to light charcoal briquets for your grill evenly and safely.
  3. Open the dampers.
  4. Set up a 2-Zone Grill.
  5. Adjust the vent as needed.
  6. Monitor the fuel.

What does the damper on a smoker do?

The exhaust damper is located near the top of the smoker. It helps pull the oxygen through the fire. It also allows the gases, heat, and smoke to leave the smoker. You should always leave the exhaust damper open least partway in order to maintain airflow.