Why My Traeger Not Smoking [Reasons + Solutions]

You can enrich your outdoor parties by cooking meat in incredible ways. But nothing compares to a Traeger Wood Pellet Grill. The smoke rings on your meats bring water into your mouth, and you can hardly stop yourself from tasting it. 

The heck is- you will fail to gain the smoke flavor if your Traeger not smoking enough. Without smoke, you never impart smoke rings (that increase your appetite) on the meat. Now, you may ask- what causes my Traeger to malfunction and stops it from producing smoke?

traeger not smoking

Dirty firepot, not using the right wood pellets, cooking at the wrong temperature, clogged vents, and jammed auger are some culprits that prevent your Traeger from generating smoke.

To get more smoke out of your wood pellet smokers, you must solve those issues. And this guide will help you to fix those issues. So, keep reading.  

5 Reasons Why Your Traeger Not Smoking & How To Fix

You never gain the smoke flavor if your Traeger starts malfunctioning or not producing enough smoke even at 225.

traeger pellet grill not smoking

In this chapter, we will focus on what causes the Traeger Smoker to not generate smoke. At the same time, we also provide the solution to those issues. 

1. You May Cook At A High Temperature

The general rule of thumb for getting more smoke out of your smoke is to set it at the lowest setting.

traeger set above 225 degrees

The lower the temperature will be, the more smoke you will get from your smoke. If you set your Traeger above 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you will not get enough smoke to cook your meat. 


Setting the temperature down is the easy fix to get more smoke if you cook at high temperatures. 

Keep in mind; lowering the temperature down will not be applicable for cooking every food. For example, if you want to cook a lamb leg, you should cook it at 225 degrees F. 

On the other hand, smoking a ribeye steak requires a high temperature (450 degrees F or high) to cook evenly. 

2. Not Using The Right Wood Pellets

Not every pellet will produce an equal level of smoke. Wood pellets work the best and generate enough smoke when they are dry and fresh.

not using the right wood pellets

If moisture gets into the wood pellet, you can’t expect good-quality smoke from the pellets even at 225 degrees F.

Therefore, cheap pellets from off-brand will produce low-quality smoke. So, when you find your Traeger not smoking at 225, then get confirmation, the wood pellets you use can be the main culprit. 


Just get the right type of wood pellets and use them in your smoker. High-quality pellets produce high-quality smoke for gaining the smoked flavor you want. Yeah, it’s a daunting task to find ideal wood pellets for your smoker.

We recommend you try out different pellets, and different shapes of wood chunks until you get the perfect one for you. 

3. Dirty Firepot

A common misunderstanding of Traeger users is they don’t need to clean it. So, the newbie gets excited and starts smoking.

When they smoke the food with Traeger for the third or fourth time, they experience little to no smoke out of their Traeger. 

traeger dirty firepot

So, what happens with their Traeger is- the firepot that creates the smoke and heat gets dirty or clogged. If you don’t clean the firepot, it will get filled with ash that stops the smoker from producing smoke. 


To fix the firepot issue, take out the grill or cooking grate first. Then, make sure you pull the drip tray out from your smoker. Next, you should remove the heat baffle, which will expose the firepot.

And then, use a shop vac to vacuum out the ash or wood pellets from and around the firepot. Finally, put everything back into its place. 

4. Clogged Auger

The Jam auger is the culprit behind not producing enough smoke. The smoker auger may get clogged if you use wet pellets or put in a lot of wood pellets.

traeger clogged auger

If the auger gets jammed, your auger will stop spinning and feeding pellets into the firepot. And the firepot will not produce heat and smoke if there is no wood pellet in it.


To release the clog from your auger, you should remove the hopper and the controller from the smoker.

Keep in mind; you shouldn’t do this by yourself if you are not mechanically inclined. In this case, we suggest you call the Traeger Support Team to help you. 

You can also check this tutorial from Traeger to clear a jammed auger. 

5. Vents May Get Clogged

Vents of your Traeger are responsible for allowing the air to enter your smoker. If they get blocked, it will limit the airflow coming into your smoker. And your smoker will not produce smoke or heat if it doesn’t get sufficient air. 

traeger clogged vents


Use an air compressor to blow out the dirt, debris, and dust that make your vents clogged. You can also use a scrubbing brush to clean the gunk from the vents. 

6 Other Traeger Smoking Issues And Their Solutions

Apart from the smoking issues we mentioned above, you could experience the following sm0oke and temperature-related problems with your Traeger smoker

traeger smoking issues

1. Traeger Getting Hot But Not Smoking

When it comes to a smoker, most people mistakenly think of a grill that produces thick & white smoke. But Traeger is not that type of smoker.

Instead of providing thick smoke, Traeger generates thin smoke that you can see only when heat waves come off the wood pellet smoker. 

traeger getting hot but not smoking

Though you can’t see the heavy smoke, the smoke rings on the meat will let you know it generates enough smoke. However, cook your food for a longer period at low temperatures if you want to gain more smoked flavor.

2. Traeger Grill Not Smoking On Smoke Setting

Like you, we also encountered this issue: Traeger on Smoke but not smoking, or the Traeger grill is not smoking when operating on Smoke mode.

Generally, the smoke setting of Traeger is a factory preset that allows Traeger to develop a smoking temperature of 150-180 F. 

traeger grill not smoking on smoke setting

You will get no temperature control with the smoke setting. The smoke setting on Trager is generally intended to get the device started before you transition to a temperature setting. 

Trager uses the auger and smoke to self-regulate the temperature. In short, your Trager grill will continue to smoke when you are in a temperature setting. 

3. Traeger Not Smoking During Seasoning

Seasoning is done at high temperatures (above 225 F). Especially at high temperatures, every grill, whether from Traeger or other brands, burns wood pellets cleanly. In other words, you will get no smoke when seasoning your food. 

traeger not smoking during seasoning

However, Offset smokers and Kamado Smokers can smoke at high temperatures. Indeed, it really depends on your grill. But you will never find your Trager smoking at high temperatures. 

If you want to get enough smoke from your Traeger, cook at lower temperatures (below 225 F). 

4. Traeger Not Smoking On Startup

In 2016, Traeger introduced us to the smoker with a new yet simplified startup process named closed-lid startup. In this smoker, you need to keep every internal component of Traeger inside the unit. 

traeger not smoking on startup

Then, you should set the Traeger grill to your desired temperature. And that’s the fact! Indeed, the Traeger with a closed-lid startup system has no Smoke Setting. That’s why your Traeger is not smoking on Startup. 

You can’t fix this issue as it’s a built-in problem. However, we don’t think it will affect your cooking quality. Indeed, you will get the same juicy flavor by cooking your meat with Traeger. 

Note: Check this article from Traeger to know whether you own a smoker with a closed-lid startup or an open-lid startup. 

5. Traeger Not Smoking At 275

You will get a lot of smoke if you cook your food at the lowest temperature setting.  Typically, your Traeger will produce enough smoke below 225 degrees F.

traeger not smoking at 275

Above this temperature range, the Traeger Smoker burns the pellets cleanly. So, how can you expect your Traeger to generate smoke at 275 degrees Fahrenheit? 

Yeah, you may hear some cooks say that they get enough smoke at 275 F.  If this is the case, we bet they have Offset Smokers or Kamado Smoker Grills. 

6. Traeger Smoking But Not Getting Hot

Your Traeger will produce enough smoke if the firepot gets filled to the brim. But the heck is- you will not get enough heat to cook your food or meat. 

traeger smoking but not getting hot

In this case, you should take your Traeger apart. Then, use a shop vac to clean the firepot. Also, make sure you clean the entry to the auger. Don’t forget to clean on and around the fans. 

Now, reassemble the unit and turn the smoker on. We hope you will get the heat you need to cook food. 

How To Get More Smoke From Traeger

If you want to impart your meat with smoke, you need to make additional adjustments. Otherwise, your Traeger Smoker will not produce heavy smoke on its own. To get more smoke out of your Traeger, maintain the following tips. 

1. Cook At Low Temperatures

The lower the cooking temperatures will be, the more smoke your Traeger will produce.

cook at low temperatures

So, turn the temperature down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which will extend the cooking time by generating a lot of smoke.

It will be better to keep a water pan in the smoke chamber to keep the meat moist. 

2. Use the Right Wood Pellets

From newbie to professional, every smoker recommends putting high-quality wood pellets into the smoker. Good-quality pellets produce good-quality smoke.

use the right wood pellets

Traeger itself offers wood pellets for its smoker & grill. So, get the wood pellets from your smoker manufacturer to get high-quality smoke. 

3. Set Your Smoker To Smoke Setting

The best way to get a lot of smoke out of your Traeger is- just to set it to the smoke setting. Then, leave it there for 10 hours.

set your smoker to smoke setting

Next, cook your meat. If it doesn’t give you enough of a ‘smoky’ flavor then nothing will. 

4. Invest In A Smoke Tube

You can consider a smoke tube to get more smoke from your Traeger. A smoke tube will hold wood pellets tightly together to generate a large amount of smoke. 

5. Keep Your Traeger Smoker Clean

After every use, we recommend you clean your Traeger evenly. Otherwise, the firepot that creates smoke and heat will get clogged.

keep your traeger smoker clean

Consequently, your Traeger doesn’t generate the smoke you need to gain a smoky flavor. Also, make sure every vent is free from dirt and debris. 

Can You Cook On A Traeger Without Smoke

Yes, you can cook on your Traeger without smoking. Bear in mind, the smoke you will get from a smoker is just for imparting smoke on meat. The heat the wood pellets produce will help to cook the meat, not the smoke. 

cook on a traeger without smoke 

Setting the smoker to a higher cooking temperature, you can cook your meat. It will produce less smoke as the wood pellets burn cleanly and cook your food faster. Go along with the following tips to cook on a Traeger without smoke. 

  • Set the cooking temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean your Traeger after every use. Otherwise, it will leave a build-up inside the grill to produce stale smoke. 
  • Put high-quality wood pellets which will burn cleanly and generate less smoke. 


Why is my pellet grill not smoking?

If your pellet grill is not smoking, we bet moisture gets into the pellet. Also, some wood pellets from off-brand use filler materials instead of wood. Consequently, the wood pellet will not produce enough smoke. We recommend you get the pellets from a reliable brand and store the wood pellets precisely. 

Does a Traeger grill always smoke?

No, your Traeger grill doesn’t produce smoke all the time. If you set it to the smoke setting for a long time, you will gain a smoky flavor. On the other hand, the Traeger will not provide little to no smoke if you set it to higher cooking temperatures. 

Does Traeger still smoke at 225?

Yes, Traeger still smokes at 225. Generally, your Traeger will produce enough smoke to gain smokey flavor if you set it to the lowest setting between 165-225 degrees F. 

How hot should my Traeger get on smoke?

The ‘smoke setting’ of Traeger is useless. So, you can’t control the temperature with it. Generally, the smoke setting is preset on Traeger Smoker to develop a smoking temperature of 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Can I leave my Traeger on overnight?

You can’t leave your Traeger on overnight though it doesn’t bring any damage to your Traeger or will not cause any fire issues. Of course, you can go outside for a short period by turning your Traeger on. In this case, make sure there are enough wood pellets in the firepot. 

Can you leave pellets in the hopper?

No, you can’t leave pellets in the hopper as it may cause the pellets to rot because of exposing the wood pellets to the outside components of the outdoor environment. We suggest you store the pellets instead of leaving them in the hopper. 


‘Traeger not smoking is a common issue every Traeger user faces. The newbie will encounter this problem frequently as there is a misunderstanding that they don’t need to clean it.

Our first recommendation is to keep the Traeger neat and clean to overcome the smoking issue. Also, make sure you set the temperature to the lowest setting to produce smoke. You can also consider a smoke tube to generate more smoke.

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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