How Much Smoke Should Come Out Of A Smoker [Explained]

How much smoke should come out of a smoker to get the perfect smoke ring and juicy foods?

how much smoke should come out of a smoker

This burning question may be poking into your mind repeatedly to make your smoked meat juicy & delicious while smoking?

Am I right?

If yes, then, stay with us. As this write-up is an expert guide, you can get all your questions about how much smoke should come out of your smoker. 

Plus you will get to know the proven tips on the following queries to turn your smoked foods palatable: 

  • Which smoke is better? Blue or white? Thin or thick?
  • How to get rid of white smoke from smokers
  • How to get thin blue smoke from your electric smokers & many more things. 

Too much smoke from smokers is not a bad thing all the time if the smoke is compatible with perfect burning. The right amount of wood and oxygen supply can make exact smoke for better output. 

Surprisingly, to create a top-notch smoky flavor of the foods you need just a little smoke. On the other hand, bigger smokers need to cook high amounts of food like barbecue or grilling. Let’s come to the vital point you are looking for.

How Much Smoke Should Come Out Of A Smoker

Most beginners make a mistake by using too much smoke from smokers which makes the meat bitter. It cannot be defined by any precise amount of smoke because it depends on the cooker. 

too much smoke makes the meat bitter

The volume of the smoker chamber, airflow, wood types, humidity, leaks, weather, basting, and your preference demand the amount of wood.

If you can calculate them all properly, the right volume of smoke will come out. 

Let’s have a look at the amount of wood you should use while cooking various types of food. It’s easy to count the weight of wood by using a kitchen scale.

It will be very useful to you and you can manage it from any departmental store near you. 

1. Pork & Beef

While cooking pork butt, pork shoulder, or beef, add 8 ounces of wood from starting.

pork and beef in the smoker

Slowly add wood or pellets whenever you need more smoke for better smoke flavor in your cooked meat. 

2. Turkey & Chicken

In the beginning, 4 ounces are enough to make the smoke. Add wood to the smoker from time to time. Don’t rush to get heavy smoke. 

grilled chicken in a smoker

3. Meat

Two ounces for the first time and then slowly add more if the taste is not getting the perfect smokey flavor. Note that, BBQ needs too much smoke.

meat bbq in smoker

Remember that the first smoke out of the smoker is not for the food. You have to wait for the necessary smoke, otherwise, your food can be trash. 

What Will Be Our Advice?

Our advice to you is that, check your smoke density and color. Also, ensure the smoke is perfectly combusted and the smoke covers the meat properly in the cooking chamber. Then, that much smoke you need from a bbq smoker. 

smoke covers the meat in smoker

This fact is also suitable for an electric smoker. Depending on your smoker size, food quantity, and type, you can measure how much smoke should come out of an electric smoker.

Also, wood pellets have a large role to produce maximum smoke. Applewood pallets with hickory or oak pellets can make massive smoke and potential smoke flavor.

If the smoker is a pellet smoker or pit boss smoker then they produce a lot of smoke the first time. 

Sometimes it looks horrible that the pit boss has too much smoke. But, after a while, you will get your desired smoke. Now, I am telling you which smoke is good for your food as we have already mentioned above in the intro.

White or Blue Smoke? Thin or Thick? Which one?

Naturally, when we start the fire with a large cut of wood or pellets heavy smoke is coming out. Pellets make a huge amount of smoke in the beginning. 

white thick smoke vs blue thin smoke

White Smoke

White smoke is the first smoke while the fire is hit up. You will see the smoke is heavy and looks white or gray. It makes the food taste bitter and covers the meat with ashes. So, for better output, you need to wait for the initial smoke to clear up. 

Thin Blue Smoke

Thin blue smoke is the ideal smoke that gives the food a proper smokey flavor. When the fire has passed the initial stage, the white smoke turns out to be blue thin smoke.

This smoke can even be hard to see sometimes. Don’t worry, fire is there obviously.

This time, I am talking about the most asked questions about white smoke and blue smoke. You also have to know how to manage them, so check them out below.

How To Get Rid of White Smoke from Smokers

White smoke from pellet smokers is natural. Pellet quality is the most responsible for white smoke. Avoid dull, light color, dusty, easy-breaking pellets. Even, there are pellets with sawdust which can make the smoke white, and thick. You should use the apple pellets too. 

how to get rid of white smoke from smoker

Check your smoker, if the ventilating fan is working or not. If the smoke can not get enough oxygen, you may see it as too white and thick smoke.

Moist wood can be a culprit of white smoke. Plus, make sure your smoker is clean before smoking food.

Key points: Avoid old and moist wood, use applewood with some other wood, and keep the airflow enough. 

How To Get Thin Blue Smoke From Electric Smokers

Clean-burning wood is another name for thin blue smoke. It’s easy to guess, the smoke would be clear, thin, and blue.

how to get thin blue smoke from electric smoker

It is full of a smokey flavor and has the right temperature. This smoke gives the food a perfect smoky smell with the smoke ring. 

smoke ring with a smoky smell

I know you are searching for some hacks on how to get thin blue smoke from the electric smoker instead of black smoke or dirty smoke.

Right? The ways are here:

  • Use wood, not wood chips or wood chunks.
  • Clean the smoker regularly.
  • Control the oxygen availability. Set the required temperature.
  • Avoid wet wood, use dry. Do not use big-size or very small-size wood.
  • First, make a small fire. On the side use charcoal and logs.
  • Wait for the pit to hit up. 

Key points: Use dry, and medium-sized wood. Clean the cooker. Keep the airflow enough. Wait for the exact temperature before smoking meat or any other foods. 

No Smoke Coming Out Of Smoker?

This is additional info but also an important issue you may face when cooking. The smoker may stop making smoke once in a while.

no smoke coming out of the smoker

It’s because the heating element of the smoker does not work properly. 225-285 ℉ is mostly used by the smoker to generate smoke.

If there is no smoke coming out of the smoker or low-volume smoke, check the heating element. 


How much visible smoke should a smoker produce?

It depends on your amount of food. If the smoke gets thin and covers the food that would be okay. 

How do you manage a fire in a smoker?

After building the fire put your meat on the smoker. While adding charcoal ignites the chimney to avoid dropping temperature. Maintain the temperature. Follow the weather to control the heat of the smoker. 

Do you leave the vent open on a smoker?

Yes, good ventilation can make the smoke circulate over the food properly.

What do you do if your smoker is too hot?

First, close all the vents, open the lid, and put some ice water into the water pan. If needed add some charcoal. Leave the charcoal smoker for hours. 

Is it ok to add charcoal while smoking?

Yes, it is okay.

What kind of wood should I use in a smoker pit?

You can use oak, hickory, apple, alder, maple, pecan, cherry, peach, pear, mesquite, and walnut.

Can you mix wood when smoking?

Yes, you can.

What is hot smoke?

Hot smoke is a cooking technique where heat and smoke are simultaneously used to produce various types of cooked meat such as barbeque and brisket. The temperature for hot smoking is 60℃above the usual cooking zone. The perfect range for hot smoke is 90℃to 150℃.

What is cold-smoking meat? 

Cold smoking is a cooking process in a cold smoker where food is exposed to a temperature of less than 32℃. In this process, the food is basically exposed to smoke without much heat. The purpose of this technique is to preserve the food with its flavors unchanged.


This is the real scene of how much smoke should come out of an electric smoker. 

I can guess that you have no confusion about this issue. Also, you got plenty of ideas about which smoke is better for your cooking. 

Now turn off your device and smoke something delicious!

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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