Why My Z Grill Not Smoking + How To Fix [Solved]

What is the specialty of grilled meat? Of course, the smokiness of the meat you smell and the smoky taste. Whenever I smell smoked food, my tongue starts dancing to taste. However, you will not gain the smoky flavor if you do the following things: 

  • May not use dry & fresh wood pellets
  • Cook at higher temperatures
  • A clogged auger

‘Z grill not smoking’ is a common issue every Z grill owner encounter. And the above reasons are the culprits that prevent your Z grill from producing smoke. 

Here, we will break down what causes the grill to produce little to no smoke. Therefore, we will also provide some tips to get more smoke out of your grill. So, continue to read. 

Why Is Your Z Grill Not Smoking [4 Reasons]

You may make the following mistakes like us which cause your Z grill to produce little to no smoke. 

1. May Use the Z Grill Smoke Setting For A Short Time

The smoke Setting of your Z grill will not only help to start the grill. It also helps to produce the smoke you need to gain a smokey flavor.

It’s a special cooking mode that will slow the fire down before delivering more pellets to convert smolder before coming to flame. 

You will get a lot of smoke if you run the grill between 158℉-194℉. Sometimes, you may forget to smoke in this setting and move forward to increase the temperature. Consequently, you notice no or little smoke coming out from the grill. 

To fix this issue, we recommend you cook the food or meat in a Smoke setting (between 158℉-194℉) for an extended time to impart more smokey flavor. For example, you can operate the grill at 158F temperature for the first hour. 

2. You Cook At Higher Temperature

A grill produces more smoke when you set it at a low and slow temperature. When you set the cooking temperature to a high setting, the grill burns the pellets cleanly to cook the meat evenly. In this case, you will see no visible smoke. 

Note: Getting a small amount of smoke doesn’t mean it affects the cooking output. It only helps to gain the smokey flavor. 

However, how much smoke you will get depends on what you are cooking. For example, you should cook a lamb rib at a slow temperature (225F), and you will see the smoke.

On the other hand, you will notice no smoke if you cook the steak as it requires 450F temperatures. Here you can watch the video to have a better idea for Z grill smoke settings.

3. Poor Pellet Quality

You will get a good quality fire and smoke if you use the dry & fresh wood pellets. If you store the pellets outside, especially in the hopper, they don’t last for a long time. 

The pellets will absorb moisture if you store them outdoors. Consequently, you will get enough smoke from the fuel. Also, check out the percentage of wood the pellets have while buying. Most pellets in the market now include filler than wood.  

4. A Clogged Auger

Sometimes the auger motor of the grill gets stuck if you add wet wood pellets. If the auger gets clogged by pellets, it can’t feed the pellets into the firepot. And if the pellets don’t go to the firepot, the grill will produce no smoke or fire. 

To fix this issue, disassemble the grill. Remove the grill grate or cooking grate from the unit. Then, locate the auger motor and check it for a block. Finally, release the blockage to let the auger motor move freely. 

Here knowing how to use pellets in your smoker perfectly will help you not face such clogged issues and get a better-smoked result.

How To Get More Smoke Out of Your Z Grill [4 Easy Methods]

If you don’t get the smoke you need to cook your meat, maintain the following tips to get smoke out of your Z grill. 

Method 1: Use A Smoker Tube

You get enough smoke from the wood pellets if you use fresh & dry pellets. However, if you want to get more smoke out of the pellets, we recommend purchasing a smoker tube. Just fill the smoker tube with fresh & dry fuel, light up the pellets, and add it to your smoker. In this way, you will get a more smokey flavor. 

Method 2: Try Out Other Wood Pellets

If you don’t get enough smoke from the standard wood pellets, try out different fuel types. You may try out hickory, apple, fruitwood, cherry, and competition blends to get the smokey flavors you like. We recommend the Hickory wood pellets to gain a rich smoky flavor. 

Method 3: Cook the Marinated Meat in the Refrigerator & Then Cook

Once you marinate your meat, don’t put it into the smoker directly. First off, place it into your refrigerator for an hour. The goal here is to make the meat cold so that it takes more time to heat. Therefore, the cold meat will absorb more smoke. As a result, you will gain a rich smoky flavor. 

Method 4: Maintain the Smoke & Grill Temp

You already know that you will get the smoky flavor by setting the cooking temp to 225. Stick with this temperature setting, and you will notice blue-gray smoke coming out of the chimney. Though it will take more time to cook the meat, you will get better output. 


Why is the Z grill not getting hot enough?

Your Z grill won’t get hot enough if there is a thick bed of ash in the fire-pot. It prevents the pellets from firing properly. Therefore, using poor-quality wood pellets can be responsible for not getting enough temperature from the Z grill. 

How to use the smoke setting on Z Grill?

Firstly, open the lid of your Z grill and move the controller dial to the Smoke setting. Run your grill for several minutes at this setting to impart a smoky flavor to the meat. Then, adjust the temperature according to your desired temp setting. 

Does the Z grill smoke all the time?

No, the Z grill doesn’t smoke all the time. It just produces smoke for a few minutes when you start up the grill, not continuously throughout the entire cooking session. 

Can you cook on the smoke setting on a pellet grill?

Yes, you can cook on the smoke setting on a pellet grill. In this case, you can cook the jerky or smoked cheese in this setting. 


Now, you learned why your Z grill is not smoking. Cooking at high temperatures, not cooking at the Smoke setting, or using poor pellet quality is responsible for this issue.

Make sure you cook the meat at low & slow temperatures to get the smoky flavor. If you are not satisfied with the smoke your grill produces, use a smoker tube to gain more smoke out of your grill. 

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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