Why My Propane Smoker Flame Goes Out [Reasons + Solutions]

The leading reasons why a propane smoker flame goes out are tripped safety shut-off valve, a bad tank regulator, or using low-quality fuel. 

Plus, high wind, poor airflow, a bad thermocouple, and a blocked burner are other most probable reasons that could lead a propane smoker not staying lit.

propane smoker flame goes out

In this comprehensive guide, we will precisely explain the well-proven solving methods for each reason. 

We can assure your smoker flame-out issue will be resolved as long as you will follow our guide to a T. So, let’s get started.

Quick Fixes For Propane Smoker Flame Goes Out

In this section, let’s have a short glimpse at the below table highlighting all the responsive factors with quick solutions.

Probable CausesRecommended Solutions
Tripped safety shut-off valve Reset your propane tank safety valve.
Bad propane tank regulatorReplace the faulty regulator.
The flame is being blown out by the windSet up a windbreak to protect the flame
Poor Quality Fuel SourceEnsure quality propane in the tank. 
Poor airflowAdjust the intake and exhaust dampers
Malfunctioning of thermocoupleReplace the faulty thermocouple
Blocked burnerClean the burner

7 Reasons For Propane Smoker Not Staying Lit [Solved]

Here are the details of 7 major reasons with effective solutions to your propane smoker flame frequently going out issues. Keep reading…

Note: You can also how to fix the propane smoker not getting hot enough.

1. Tripped Safety Shut-Off Valve

The safety shut-off valve is an essential safety feature in a propane smoker. It is designed to automatically shut off the supply of propane in case of a major leak or regulator failure. 

safety shut-off valve 

Plus, when the propane flow is too great, it protects the propane tank from rupturing as there is excess pressure built up inside the tank. 

You may also find the tripped propane safety valve when the flame is extinguished and the gas is left on for too long.

Whatever the reason is, the propane flow will continue to stop until the tripped flow valve has been reset.

How To Reset Propane Tank Safety Valve On A Propane Smoker

To reset the triggered safety shut-off valve on your propane tank, follow the steps below:

safety valve
  • Start by turning off all the burners of your smoker. Then turn off the shut-off valve by turning it clockwise direction. Ensure the valve is fully closed.
  • In the next step, disconnect the propane tank from the connection by detaching the regulator assembly from the tank. 
  • Now turn all the burner control knobs to the highest setting.
  • Wait for 30 seconds to release the excess gas build-up from the gas lines. 
  • Then, turn off the knobs to the OFF setting and reattach the regulator back to the propane tank. Ensure it is properly tightened. 
  • Now slowly open the shut-off valve by turning the handle counterclockwise. That’s all! The propane tank safety valve is reset.

Tips: To prevent this annoying issue in the future, always try to turn the burners off before closing the propane tank valve. Also, while refilling an empty tank, make sure it is up to 80% full. As propane is a liquid and expands in heat more than water, thus it needs space to safely expand in warmer conditions. 

2. Failed Propane Tank Regulator

If you continue having flame problems with your smoker even after resetting the valve, it is a clear indication that the propane regulator might be broken.

propane tank regulator

A regulator is assembled with the tank to control gas flow from the tank to the burner tip. Now if the regulator is submerged in water for too long, it causes debris to get into the regulator.

That‘s the point, the corrosion, and rust start building up in the regulator, leading to the failure.


The only solution to resolve the flame issue is to replace the bad regulator.  Disconnect the bad regulator from the manifold connection and install the new one back in place. 

Once everything is done, turn the propane tank back on and check the flame condition. 

3. Low Flame Due To High Wind

In most cases, due to weather issues, the propane smoker won’t stay lit. When you are trying to smoke at low temperatures, the flame will continuously be extinguished if there is cold and windy outside.

low flame due to high wind

Even with the needle valve itself in place, if the flame is extremely low, then it could get blown out by the wind. It will cause your propane smoker not to work.


Let’s run through some effective practical tips to smoke on a windy day!

  • First up, you need to insulate your smoker to prevent the wind. Using welding blankets will show enough effectiveness in providing insulation. Alternatively, you can use a smoker jacket around your smoker. But it must be fire-resistant materials. 
  • Secondly, avoid lifting the lid too much while it’s cold out. It may lead to too much interruption in reaching the desired temperature or, at times causes the flame to go out.
  • Thirdly, place your propane smoker in a sheltered spot throughout the cook. 

4. Poor Quality Fuel Source

In most cases, the problem is related to the fuel quality you are using in the propane tank.

 poor quality fuel

Low-quality propane is filled with a lot of impurities and is also never energy-efficient. This type of fuel can’t hold the flame and as result, the flame keeps going out. 


You need to ensure high-quality fuel sources for your smoker. Always refill the propane tank from a trusted and reputable propane gas Supplier in order to maintain quality.

5. Lack Of Ventilation

Proper airflow is quite essential for strong flame and burning. The flame is mainly fed through oxygen. There are two air vents in a smoker to control the airflow. 

lack of ventilation

Heavy-duty dampers at the bottom of the unit are used to allow oxygen to come to the fire. Besides, the exhaust damper located near the top of the smoke helps to combust gases.  

Due to the wrong adjustment of the dampers, there will be a lack of oxygen in the unit. Also, it will also cause poor combustion because of poor air, resulting produce too much carbon monoxide. All these are common factors for the flame to die constantly. 


You need to adjust the air intake vent to allow more airflow in the unit. Open the lower damper to let the oxygen in. The oxygen will start feeding the flames and it will be stable. 

Also, adjust the top damper to exhaust the combusted gases and excess moisture. Don’t forget to clean the holes in the burner chamber.

6. Faulty Thermocouple

In most cases, you will notice that your propane smoker is not staying lit when you release the temperature knob.


If the scenario is like that, be sure the damaged thermocouple is the root culprit for this. The thermocouple is a safety device that detects the heat from the pilot light.

After sensing heat, it signals the gas valve to stay open and continue the pilot lit. In case of malfunctioning the thermocouple, the flame fails to stay longer.

For this instance, hold the temperature knob for 1-2 minutes to allow the thermocouple to heat up. If it doesn’t resolve the issue, you need to replace the damaged thermocouple.

How To Replace A Thermocouple On A Propane Smoker

Wondering about how to replace a bad thermocouple on a propane smoker? Here are simple steps to follow:

how to replace a thermocouple on a propane smoker

Step 1: Before starting, make the gas valve on the propane tank is turned off. Now take out the cooking grill, splashback, and wire mesh holder. 

Then take out the drawer and control knobs. Unscrew the front cover using a hex key and remove it. Make sure you have detached the ignition cable.

Step 2: Now locate the thermocouple. Remove the cover and inspect the old thermocouple. Unscrew the thermocouple bracket. Detach the gas valve connection and take out the old thermocouple.

Step 3: Take the new thermocouple and bend it to match the connection route from the gas valve.

Step 4: Now attach the new thermocouple and fasten the screw of the gas valve with a hex key. Adjust the position of the thermocouple.

It should not be sticking not too short or not too long. Then fasten the thermocouple bracket and put the cover back again. Finally, reassemble the smoker. 

7. Blocked Burner

In case, the propane smoker flame keeps going out, the blocked burner is one of the leading reasons. If the burner of the smoker is clogged with food, gunk, or grease, it restricts the gas flow from reaching the igniter.

burner in propane smoker

Plus, there can be critters, spider webs, and mud daubers in a burner that blocks it. Due to this, you will face uneven flame issues in the unit. So, cleaning and proper maintenance of the burner is a must to resolve this problem. 

How To Clean The Burner Of A Propane Smoker

Follow the below easy methods to clean the burner effectively:

how to clean the burner of a propane smoker
  • First up, make sure, you have turned off the gas valve and disconnected the propane tank. Next, remove the burners.
  • You may go through the manual for tips to remove the burner correctly. Once done, you are ready to clean.
  • Take a small bottle brush and push it to the burner tube. Brush out any debris and dust inside the burner tube. Instead, you can blow out the dust.
  • Now, scrub the burner using a nylon brush and remove stuck grime and grease. Wipe down the loose debris using a lint-free cloth damped in vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Clean the gas port individually toothpick or paper clip.
  • That’s all you have done! Reassemble the smoker.

How To Keep The Fire Going In A Propane Smoker [Learn Essential Tips]

If you’re using a propane smoker, it is needed to keep the fire going to give the food your desired taste. Nothing is more frustrating to find that you are ready to cook a meal and the smoker won’t stay lit. 

fire going in a propane smoker

No worry!! By applying some tips & tricks, you will also be able to manage your smoker flame like a pro! 

Have a look through the below suggestions!

  • First up, you have to ensure proper maintenance of your smoker. So cleaning is a must. After each cooking session, clean up grease deposits from your smoker surfaces.
  • While cooking, check that any of the dampers are not fully closed. As it may restrict air from entering the smoker, resulting in the fire going out.
  • On top of that, you have to prevent the propane tank valve from being stuck. To do this, never twist the valve tightly after refilling the tank. Also, avoid rapidly opening the valve on a fresh tank as it might be jammed the next time. 
  • If your smoker has a wood-burning option, ensure you are using quality and moisture-free wood. It will be best to use hickory, alder, or oak, blended with a fruitwood. 
  • When the weather is windy, re-position your smoker cooker in a sheltered place to get the best flame control in bad weather. 


How to keep a propane smoker at 225?

To keep a propane smoker at 225, set the vents fully wide open first. When the smoker heats up, set the vents to halfway closed. It will stop the speeding up of cooking temperature without dowsing it.

How long will a 16oz propane tank last?

The answer to this question differs for various sizes of propane tanks. But generally, a 16-ounce propane tank will last around an hour of cooking on high.

How long does a 20lb propane tank last on a grill?

Generally, 20 pounds propane tank will offer 18 to 20 hours of cooking time on a medium grill. A bigger grill can burn 20 pounds of propane quickly within 10 hours.

How much propane does a smoker use?

The amount of propane a smoker uses relies on the appliance size you cook with. On average, when smoking on a medium-sized smoker at high temperatures, it will use one to two lbs of fuel for a cooking session.

Final Say!

Well! At the end point of this guide, hope that you have no query left on the “propane smoker flame goes out issue”. We have nicely covered all the probable reasons behind this problem with their quick solutions. 

Expectantly, fixing your smoker issue might seem easier as long as you are following our guide. But still, if you need any more help, do let us know in the comment box. We will try to solve it ASAP! 

About William

William is the founder of Fireplacehubs.com. 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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