Pellet grills are becoming popular nowadays. However, one of its most common issues is its inability to produce as much smoke. You can find many DIY ways to fix this on the internet but be careful as you may end up with worse problems.
Our experts will share their tried and tested ways to solve your pellet grill smoke issues.
Is Your Grill Producing the Right Smoke?
After buying smoke pellet grills, the first observation to make is whether or not it produces the right amount of smoke. To achieve this, you should know what kind of smoke to create and avoid.
White and Thin Blue Smoke (Start-Up and Cooking Smoke)
After lighting the grill, it should produce white smoke that will continuously thicken. You can take advantage of the thick white smoke by placing cold meat or cheese for the extra smoke, but not for too long. Grilling your food to thickened white high-quality smoke will leave an ashtray feeling to it.
The cooking smoke you should want is white smoke or thin blue smoke. Check that the fire rod is hot enough to burn the food-grade pellets cleanly. If the fire rod is in the middle of heating up, it will just burn the pellets.
Stale smoke is no joke. This type of smoke is the culprit behind that black burnt food, and you should avoid it at all costs. The causes behind the smoke range from the grill's fan not working to clogged vents.
To prevent this, always clean your pellet grill after every three to five grill sessions.
Wood Pellets Used
Another reason for less smoke on the pellet grill is wood pellets. Low-quality pellets will produce less smoke. You might think you are saving more with inexpensive pellets, but you are actually spending more.
Be careful not to use wet pellets too. These types of pellets will not produce enough smoke. Pellets should be stored appropriately and do not leave it on the hopper to prevent trapping moisture.
How Does a Pellet Grill Produce Smoke?
A pellet grill cooking combines a mix of the traditional grilling method and advanced technology. With the proper temperature set up, you can leave the rest of the grilling process to it and enjoy your grilled food once done. Your pellet grill not making enough smoke should be the least of your concern.
But if it does, the best way is to check where the problem lies.
When you own a smoke pellet grill, you should familiarize yourself with its operations and smoking process.
First, instead of charcoal or chopped wood, use cylindrical food-grade pellets as a fuel source for the grill. Put it in the hopper or the storage container.
Then, set the temperature and cooking time then. Once done, the auger will deliver the wood pellets to the chamber. Since the pellets are reactive to high pressure and heat, the hot rod will ignite these in the cooking chamber. The combustion fan will stoke the flames, allowing heat in the cooking chamber. The heat will continue to increase until it reaches the temperature you’ve set.
These grills typically produce a lot of smoke, for starters. You have to wait for a couple of minutes until it produces thin smoke. This light smoke will guarantee that the meat is evenly smoked and cooked.
6 Ways to Solve Grill Smoke Issues
First-timers might encounter a problem generating smoke with their grills. This problem can be nerve-wracking, especially when you are already familiar with the grilling process but still can't achieve the perfect smoke for your food.
Here are six steps to help you fix that smoke problem:
Fix #1: Start Grilling at a Lower Temperature
Pellet grilling is best when done in low temperatures instead of high. Once the thick smoke turns into wispy blue smoke, you will undoubtedly achieve the right smoky flavor you've been craving.
Unlike traditional grills that use direct heat for cooking food, these use indirect heat to grill your meat slowly while intaking all the smoke from the grill, producing scrumptious smoked meat.
Also, cold smoking is possible in lower temperatures. This process will prevent any bacterial growth on the food and get the most smoke flavor while preserving and curing it simultaneously.
Cold smoke is usually done on meats and fish, but other foods like tofu, nuts, and hard-boiled eggs are possible options.
Fix #2: Use High-Quality Pellets
There are different pellets available in the market. The price differs depending on the type you want to purchase. As much as your budget is concerned, it will be best to buy pellets worth the price.
The best kind of pellets can sometimes be expensive, depending on the specific type. But these pellets last longer and produce the desired smoke you want on your grill. Some of the recommended types are softwood and hardwood pellets.
There are cheap variants available too. Most of the time, the smoke produced by these pellets has an acrid smell in comparison to the expensive ones. This is because most cheap pellets contain wood fillers, and you don’t want that smoke on your food.
Fix #3: Use a Smoke Generator Tube
Another way to get the smoked flavor is by using smoke generating tubes. Pellet smoker tubes are portable devices you can place on your grill to generate smoke and infuse it into your food.
Yes, using smoker tubes on top of the grill will produce more smoke, infusing the most aromatic smoke smell on your meat. Not to mention that using one also helps achieve a beautiful smoke ring, which we all love.
Fix #4: Unclog the Fire Pot
After you follow the first three fixes and your grill does not make enough smoke, there is a possibility that the problem lies with the firepot. Check if it is clogged.
Beginners usually commit this mistake: placing too many pellets on the pot. You might think more pellets mean more smoke, but it will only clog the firepot.
After grilling your food, do not unplug the grill to burn the remaining pellets entirely. These ashes will clog the pot, affect the grill's airflow, and, worst, produce white visible smoke instead of wispy blue smoke.
Fix #5: Unclog the Auger
After checking the fire pot and unclogging it, you might want to check your auger. See if the rod turns typically as it should. When it seems slower than usual or does not move at all, then you need to check for stuck pellets.
Once the rod has heated up, the auger will automatically push pellets in the firepot to begin the smoking process. However, when different wood pellets are left on the griller and absorb moisture, the pellets will swell up and get stuck on the auger tube.
This is one of the common reasons why your auger won't turn. If this happens, the auger will either push fewer pellets or not move at all.
In fixing the auger tube, it is crucial to follow the manual on removing the parts of your grill. Start by removing the parts, removing any pellets causing the jam, and returning it.
Depending on the brand or type of grill, you might need a vise grip  or a wrench to help detach the parts and fix the jammed auger.
Fix #6: Check if the Fans are Working
Another cause of your pellet grill not making enough smoke is the fans. The best way to check the fans is by turning on the grill and checking if it spins or not. If it is spinning, then the problem might be more intensive. Otherwise, you can fix the fan yourself.
In some cases, the fan produces irritating sounds. The simplest way to resolve this is to remove the fan, clean it, and return it to the grill afterward. Doing so should stop the annoying sound produced by the grill fan.
These grills also have screens and should pop an error message. Check if messages like fan disconnected show up. This message does not mean you have to replace your grill completely. It just means that either the wires are broken or disconnected from the controller.
FAQ1. Is a smoker supposed to smoke the whole time?
Yes, a smoker is supposed to smoke the whole time. The smoker tube's purpose is to create only smoke, so it is only natural that it smokes the whole time you are grilling the food.
If you are worried that your grill does not make an adequate amount of smoke, consider placing a smoker tube inside the grill. What you should be more worried about is if your smoker is not producing enough smoke.
Using a grill is just as easy as the traditional ones. If you are a beginner and you notice that your pellet grill not making enough smoke, there is no need to panic. Our chefs and grill experts have found ways to fix it easily so you’ll enjoy your food cooked on grills in no time.