Masterbuilt propane smoker troubleshooting: a complete guide

Last Updated on: 8th November 2023, 05:42 am

Masterbuilt propane smokers are one of the leading smokers in the smoking space due to their ease of use and effectiveness.

But sometimes they can start to malfunction after a few years or even a few weeks of use .

This can be very stressful to prepare all the ingredients for smoking your meat, but your smoker might not start at that time.

I have been there and it is really frustrating to even think of it.

But don’t worry , we are going to troubleshoot all of these malfunctions today.

the troubleshooting of masterbuilt propane smoker depends upon the cause of malfunctioning , but a standard operating procedure would be to use good quality fuel,fix propane leakage,make sure to grill in warm weather and completely dry it before use

Masterbuilt propane smokers usually run without any issues, but sometimes you might face some issues either due to the smoker malfunctioning or your inexperience with it.

Either way, you can fix your smoker while learning something new at the same time.

There are several problems that new pitmasters face while using a masterbuilt propane smoker that can range from temperature regulation,smoke ring, to malfunctioning of the smoker itself.

In this article, we will be focusing on the malfunctioning of the smoker and its troubleshooting.

Let’s get started.

6 masterbuilt propane smoker problems and their troubleshooting

Masterbuilt propane smokers usually run seamlessly, but sometimes they can get faulty.

Most of these lead back to either the quality of propane or the storage cylinder of propane.

Here are the most common issues that pitmasters face while using a masterbuilt propane smoker and their troubleshooting.

1-Smoker keeps going out

As is obvious by the name, masterbuilt propane smokers use propane as fuel , but sometimes they might keep going out after igniting for some time.

Keep in mind that we are talking about igniting and then going out, not about not igniting at all .

In this case , the smoker’s burner is ignited at first but goes out after a couple of seconds.

There are several reasons for this malfunctioning of masterbuilt propane smokers .

You should consider examining your smoker to determine if it has a problem and fixing it accordingly.

1.1-Malfunctioned excess flow valve

The excess flow valve is a key part of a matserbuilt propane smoker and is used to monitor the flow of propane from the gas cylinder into the smoker.

It is usually used to detect any leakage in the gas supply.

If there is a leakage, the gas flow will be increased.

propane smoker

If the excess flow valve detects that excess gas is flowing out of the cylinder, it will be tripped, stopping the supply of gas to the smoker.

It results in the shutting off of the smoker.

This can be either due to leakage or a malfunctioning excess flow valve.


The solution to the excess flow valve malfunctioning can be different depending on why it got tripped in the first place .

It can either be working correctly and get tripped due to gas leakage or maybe it malfunctions.

First, you will have to make sure that your gas supply is not leaked.

To do this, you need to take a brush along with a small amount of soapy water and follow this step-by-step guide.

  1. First of all, you have to close the gas cylinder valve to stop the gas supply to avoid any accidents during troubleshooting.
  2. After that, close the burner knobs to avoid ignition.
  3. Now detach your regulator from the gas cylinder and examine it for any leakage.
  4. If you can’t find any leakage, then clean the regulator and connect it again to the gas cylinder.
  5. Now apply soapy water to the gas supply and turn on the gas valve. Look for air bubbles on the gas supply; these are the signs of leakage.
  6. Finally, turn on the burner knob and try igniting your smoker again. In some cases, cleaning the regulator can also solve this issue.

If you can’t find any leakage in the gas supply, then your excess flow valve might be malfunctioning.

Replacing your excess flow valve is the only solution to this problem.

1.2-Cold weather

The second reason for the masterbuilt propane smoker going out is the weather conditions in which you are smoking.

All pitmasters agree on the fact that weather conditions have a huge impact on the convenience and effectiveness of the smoking process.

If you are smoking in a cold and windy environment, then it will be really difficult to maintain a consistent flame because the wind will extinguish the flame no matter what you do.

Cold or snowy weather can also result in the fire stopping in a masterbuilt propane smoker.


The most effective solution for avoiding the bad weather conditions while smoking is to plan your barbecue effectively.

To do this , you should consider relying on the weather forecast.

Although the forecast may not be 100% accurate, it is still better than planning your barbecue blindly.

You have to plan your barbecue on a sunny day with the least possibility of rain or wind.

In addition to a consistent flame, planning effectively can also help you complete your smoking process with less fuel.

So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you live in a cold climate or want to minimize the effect of weather on your smoker, then you can insulate your smoker to make sure it doesn’t get affected by weather.

There are several ways to insulate a smoker, which can include a smoker canopy, an insulation blanket, etc.

1.3-Reduced airflow in burners

The ignition in a masterbuilt propane smoker’s burner is caused by combustion.

As you might know, combustion requires oxygen.

Decreased airflow can result in the lowering of oxygen content in burners and the smothering of flames.

The low airflow in the burner is usually due to poor cleaning.

Burners usually have a few holes in the tube for the inflow of air .

But poor cleaning can result in blockage of these pores and stop the air supply.

which results in the smothering of flames.


If poor cleaning is the cause of the smothering of flames, then you should consider cleaning your burners to allow proper airflow into the burners.

To do so , you have to first turn off the gas supply from the gas cylinder.

After that, turn off the burner knobs and clean out any debris present in them.

You have to keep an eye out for the development of grease inside or around burner tubes.

because grease can also result in airflow blockage.

After cleaning, you should turn on the gas supply to check if it’s working correctly now.

1.4-Reduced airflow in the smoker

The smoker can also go out due to low airflow inside the smoker itself.

It can be due to closed vents or poor cleaning.

Vents are usually used as a way to regulate temperature, but if they are closed completely, it can lead to the extinguishing of a fire.


If your smoker keeps going out due to the closure of air vents, then you should consider opening them by a quarter to see if it fixes the issue.

Usually, you should always keep the top vent open to allow unwanted gases to escape from the smoker.

1.5-bad quality fuel

Another reason for the masterbuilt propane smoker going out is the usage of low quality propane.

wood chips in propane smoker

Propane is used as fuel inside the propane smoker as a source for producing heat, but if low quality propane is used inside the smoker, it can result in a fluctuating flame or the smoker going out after some time.


If this is the problem with your smoker, then you have to make sure that you are using a good quality propane cylinder.

It might be a bit more expensive than the low-quality propane, but it will be worth it.

It can make the smoking process more convenient and effective.

1.6-Faulty regulator

A regulator is a small device used in a propane smoker that regulates the flow of gas from the gas cylinder into the smoker.

Sometimes the regulator can also start to malfunction, which can result in uneven flow or even stoppage of gas flow to the smoker.

The stoppage of gas flow leads to the shutting off of the smoker.

The regulator can malfunction either due to physical damage or poor cleaning.

You have to examine it physically and try to troubleshoot accordingly.


If your smoker keeps going out due to a faulty regulator, then you should first consider checking your burner knobs, because it is possible that you might have forgotten to turn on the knobs before igniting the smoker.

If that’s not the case, then you should detach the burner from the cylinder and clean it properly.

After that, you should connect it back to its place.

There is a high possibility that it will fix the malfunctioning regulator.

If the problem persists, then replacing it is the only solution.

1.7-Malfunctioning thermocouple

All of the abovementioned issues result in the shutting off of the smoker after a couple of seconds, but if the thermocouple of the smoker malfunctions, then the smoker will shut off as soon as the temperature knob is released.

It is a rare problem, so you should make sure that your smoker has this issue before trying any troubleshooting.

smoke from smoker

To check that, you should ignite your smoker and hold the thermocouple for 10-20 seconds.

If the smoker keeps running as long as you hold the temperature knob , then it’s due to the faulty thermocouple.


You should hold your temperature knob for 10 seconds to 1 minute to make sure if the thermocouple is faulty or not.

If the smoker goes out as soon as you release the temperature knob, then there is a higher probability that your smoker’s thermocouple is faulty.

You can either try to fix it yourself or hire a professional to do that for you.

But if you want to fix this issue once and for all, then you have to replace your thermocouple with a good quality one to make sure that your smoker works correctly.

2-masterbuilt propane smoker not heating up

although smoker requires low temperatures , but these temperatures need to be consistent for extended period of times to smoke effectively.

sometimes your smoker might not heat up to the required temperature and there are various reasons for it which can range from cold weather to damp pellets.


  • first of all of , you should consider checking if the smoker smoker is getting enough gas pressure to heat up. because if propane pressure is low , then the smoker might not heat up to the set temperature.
  • additionally , you should avoid using soaked would chips. soaked wood chips can take longer to smoke and absorb a lot of temperature which results in plateau in smoker temperature.
  • moreover , you should also check if the weather is goof for smoking. if it is too cold then you should try insulating your smoker or postponing the smoking process.

2-Propane leakage

Propane leakage is a common problem with propane smokers, either due to physical damage or rust.

Propane is a highly flammable gas which can result in accidents.

Furthermore, it can also affect the odor of your food .

So it’s really important to fix it.

2.1-Leakage from cylinder

A propane cylinder is a storage tank for holding the propane along with the smoker.

Propane can start leaking out of an LP cylinder, either from the cylinder itself or the valve of the cylinder.

In both cases, you need to be careful about using it.

There are several reasons for the leakage of gas from a propane cylinder, but the common ones include rust and physical damage.

Rust can develop on the propane cylinder due to poor cleaning and maintenance.

In the case of a cylinder valve, gas can begin to leak due to physical damage or improper installation.

A cylinder valve is used to control the outflow of gas from a cylinder.

If it is faulty, then it can lead to sudden accidents.


If you notice the leakage of gas from the LP cylinder, then the first thing to do is to turn off the burner knobs and cylinder valve.

After that, you should consider hiring a professional to either fix the leakage in the cylinder or replace it to avoid any accidents.

But in the case of the valve, you can either fix it yourself or replace it to make sure that the outflow of gas from the cylinder is controlled properly.

If the valve has been physically damaged, then replacing it would be more effective than fixing it.

2.2-Leakage between cylinder and regulator

The second spot for the leakage of propane from the smoker is between the cylinder and regulator.

The gas flows from the cylinder to the smoker by passing through the regulator to make sure that the propane supply is maintained evenly throughout the process.

If the gas supply is leaked, then it can result in an uneven flow of gas or even the shutting off of the smoker.

The leakage can happen either due to physical demage or incorrect setup of the regulator.

Either way, fixing it is really important for safety.


  1. To troubleshoot the leakage between the regulator and cylinder, you have to first turn off the burner knobs and cylinder valve to stop the gas flow.
  2. After that, detach the regulator from the cylinder and clean it properly.
  3. Now that it is cleaned, look for any physical damage that might have caused the leakage.
  4. If you find any physical damage, then you should either fix it or replace the gas supply to avoid any leakage.
  5. After that, put the regulator into its place correctly, following the user manual, and tighten the seal. Hopefully, the leakage will be stopped.

3-Masterbuilt propane smoker won’t ignite

It is a common problem in matserbuilt propane smokers, which can occur even after a couple of uses.

There are several reasons for the non-igniting of your smoker, but the most common ones are low quality fuel and poor cleaning.

Low quality propane is a common reason for your smoker not igniting.

It might be cheaper than good quality propane, but it can affect the smoking process.

Low quality propane has several impurities which can stop the ignition.

Poor cleaning can also be a reason for not igniting because it can result in the development of grease on the burner tubes and the accumulation of debris on electrodes, regulators, etc.

You need to determine the cause first and then troubleshoot accordingly.


First of all , you should make sure to use a good quality fuel source to get a consistent flame.

If the propane is of low quality, then it will be difficult to maintain a consistent flame.

Good quality propane might cost a few bucks, but it will be worth the effort.

Secondly, you will have to clean your smoker properly.

Make sure to clean the burner tubes , electrodes, regulators, cooking racks, etc.

After proper cleaning, turn on the gas supply and try igniting the smoker again.

4-Food with a propane smell

Sometimes you might end up smoking food with a propane smell on it.

The most common reason for propane odor is leakage of gas from the gas supply into the smoker.

Masterbuilt propane smoker food

You will have to find the leak and fix it to avoid the smell.


If you are having a bad day smoking because of having a propane smell from your food, then you should find the leak and fix it.

But finding the leakage is a tricky part if you are not sure which part of the gas supply is damaged.

To find the leakage area , you should take soapy water and apply it to the gas supply.

After that, slowly turn on the gas supply and look for air bubbles.

After finding the leakage area, make sure to fix it or replace it if necessary.

5-Grease fire

Grease fire is another issue that some of the pitmasters face with their masterbuilt propane smoker after a few months of usage.

It is a result of poor cleaning and can be extremely dangerous if not cleaned properly.

Grease buildup is a common phenomenon in smokers due to seasoning with oil and using propane as fuel .

It needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. If it’s not cleaned, then grease can build up and catch fire suddenly during smoking.


  1. If you are facing sudden flare-ups due to the development of grease, then first of all you should turn off the burner knobs and valve of the cylinder to stop gas supply.
  2. After that, you have to wait a couple of seconds to make sure that the fire has stopped, or you can also use a fire extinguisher to stop the fire immediately.
  3. After the fire has been stopped, clean your burner properly to remove any grease or other debris. You should avoid using pointed objects that might scratch the burner tubes.
  4. After the grease has been removed, turn on the gas supply and burner knob to ignite the smoker. It solves the grease fire in most cases.

6-Fire in Burner tubes

While using masterbuilt propane smokers, some pitmasters face sudden flare-ups in burner tubes or below the control panel.

It’s a less common issue, but it can still occur in a smoker if it’s not cleaned properly after use.

The fire under the control panel is a result of grease buildup or other debris that is stuck in burner tubes .

Tee grease can build up in a smoker due to poor cleaning and maintenance.

In addition to flare ups , it can also affect the build of smokers.


First and foremost, you should always consider stopping the gas supply whenever you face a sudden fire in your smoker.

To do so, you should turn off the burner knobs and valve of the gas cylinder. After that, clean the smoker properly to remove any grease or dust .

You should consider cleaning the burner thoroughly to remove any grease or dust that has accumulated inside.

After that, turn on the burner knobs and gas valve.Now that the gas supply has been restored, ignite the smoker again.

If you still see fire under the control panel or in the burner tubes, then consider hiring a professional to fix it for you or consider replacing the burner.

7-Masterbuilt propane smoker not smoking

masterbuilt propane smoker is one of the most beginner friendly smoker , but sometimes it can stopping producing smoke . we know that the taste of the food lies in the intensity and gases of smoke, so without smoke you might not get the best flavor.

key takeaway: if your propane smoker is not smoking then you should try using good quality wood pellets , avoid soaking them, heat up to high temperature , smoke in a warm weather and make sure the burners are getting enough gas supply. hopefully, your smoker will start smoking by these fixes.

their are several reasons for the masterbuilt propane smoker not producing smoke, but the main reason is using low quality or damo pellets. additionally soaking wood chips before placing them into smoker can also contribute to masterbuilt propane smoker not producing smoke


  • if your master built smoker is not smoking, then you should start the troubleshooting process by making sure that you are using good quality pellets.
  • moreover you should avoid soaking you pellets before use. soaking wood pellets prior to smoking can just delay the process of producing smoke.
  • in addition, you should plan your bbq effectively. the weather conditions have huge impact over the the smoking process , so make sure to smoke in a warm weather .
  • you also need to make sure that the smoker is getting a good flow of propane because the burning wood chips is dependent on the fire produced by the burner of the smoker.
  • moreover you need to make sure that the temperature is high enough to burn the wood chips. by following these steps, your wood pellets will start burning and you will see good smoke coming out of the smoker

safety tips for Masterbuilt propane smoker

Although masterbuilt propane smoker often comes with different safety features to avoid any accidents, you still need to follow these tips tp stay at the safe end.

  • first of all, you should consider not leaving your smoker unattended for longer time.

    propane smokers can face various issues like propane leaking , which require immediate fixing to avoid accidents.
  • additionally, you should consider cleaning your propane smoker regularly. it can help you both smoke more effectively and also make the smoker become more durable.
  • do not try to smoke indoors . propane smokers are designed for outdoor smoking .

    if they are placed in small area where proper airflow is not maintained , then it ca lead to accidents.
  • you should consider placing your masterbuilt propane smoker at atleast 10 feet distance from any building or wall to allow it to maintain proper airflow.
  • finally , you should continuously check for any propane leakage and stop and fix the smoker immediately to avoid any accidents.

Frequently asked questions

Now that we have discussed the most common masterbuilt propane smoker issues and thier troubleshooting, lets discuss some faqs that you might have.

How do I reset my Masterbuilt propane smoker?

to reset your masterbuilt propane smoker, you need to first turn it off from the control panel. after that you need to disconnect it from the electric supply.
after that wait for 5 minutes and then plug it back and turn on the smoker. and that’s it, your masterbuilt propane smoker has been reset and you can now use it again

Why is my Masterbuilt propane smoker not getting hot enough?

If your Masterbuilt propane smoker is not getting hot enough, Masterbuilt propane smoker troubleshooting becomes essential.

This issue can stem from several factors, including low propane level, cold weather, damp wood pellets, or even a gap in the lid when you’re Masterbuilt gas smoker is in use.

Additionally, opening the lid too often can lead to significant heat loss. To ensure your smoker operates at its peak, addressing these concerns is crucial.

By resolving these issues and optimizing your Masterbuilt propane smoker propane supply, you’ll have it heating up quickly and efficiently, guaranteeing a delightful cooking experience without any temperature hiccups.
Keep your smoker running smoothly and enjoy the art of outdoor cooking to the fullest.

How to Use Masterbuilt Propane Smoker

Are you experiencing Masterbuilt propane smoker problems and seeking guidance on how to use your Masterbuilt propane smoker effectively?

Using your Masterbuilt gas smoker, particularly the Masterbuilt Pro propane smoker, is a straightforward process. Start by ensuring you have a full propane tank.

Next, assemble your smoker according to the instructions provided in the manual. Once assembled, connect the propane tank and check for any gas leaks.

Then, load your smoker’s wood chip tray with your choice of wood chips, which will impart delicious flavors to your dishes.

Preheat the smoker to the desired temperature, and once it’s hot enough, place your food on the cooking grates. Remember to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process, adjusting the heat as needed.

By following these steps, you can enjoy the full potential of your Masterbuilt gas smokers and savor perfectly smoked dishes with ease.

Wrap up

Masterbuilt propane smokers are really good smokers that are budget-friendly and easy to use at the same time.

By masterbuilt propane smoker troubleshooting , you learn something new while fixing the smoker at the same time.

If you are interested in learning more, than don’t forget to check our guide on Cajun injector smoker troubleshooting.

Jakob miller