How to Regulate Temperature in a Propane Smoker


Smoked foods add a unique element to your palate. The taste of smoked meat is known to appeal to meat lovers as well. In fact, you will find people obsessed with smoked cuisines all across the globe. 

If you want a smoky flavor to the food, a smoker is a must. It takes your cooking to the next level. 

All your food can be perfectly cooked in a propane smoker, and that too, without compromising on hygiene protocols. However, its temperature should be efficiently regulated. Read more and we’ll discuss how to regulate the temperature in a propane smoker.

Step-By-Step: How to Regulate the Temperature of a Gas/Propane Smoker

Many people think that only dampers can control the temperature in a propane smoker. It isn’t always true. It depends on a variety of factors. You can control a smoker’s temperature by monitoring and controlling certain factors, such as inflow and outflow of gases, smoker’s location, maintenance, etc.

Step-1: Regulate temperature by adjusting dampers

Dampers play a vital role in regulating temperature. Smoker incorporates two dampers for inflow and outflow of gasses and heat. The intake damper is responsible for supplying oxygen to the fire. 

So, the more it is open, the greater the temperature will be. You can heat the food at 550 Fahrenheit when the intake damper is entirely open. So, the temperature can be regulated by varying the position of the damper. 

Similarly, you may also heat the food at a temperature as low as 225 Fahrenheit by keeping most of the intake damper closed. 

It is also noteworthy that an exhaust damper is responsible for the outflow of heat and gasses. It is usually located at the top of the smoker. 

This exhaust damper works against the intake damper. To cool down the smoker, you must leave the vent open. On the contrary, the smoker heats up when the vent of the exhaust damper is closed.

Step-2: Maintain temperature 

Once you attain the desired temperature for a smoker, it must be maintained. Several techniques can maintain temperature. 

Firstly, one should not lift the lid very frequently as it may result in loss of heat and moisture. Moreover, you can also place a pan of water on top of the smoker to maintain temperature. 

Last but not least, you also need to look for internal and external factors such as wind, fuel, and damper position to stop the temperature from rising too high or falling exceptionally low.

Also Read: How to Use the Vents on Propane Smoker

How to control and regulate the Masterbuilt smoker temperature? 

Temperature fluctuations are common in propane smokers and Masterbuit smoker is no exception. So, you may encounter problems of temperature surges or falls when using a smoker.  These fluctuations can be reduced by applying several techniques. Let’s learn how they work with a Masterbuilt propane smoker.

1. Immediate response to fluctuations

For example, if you monitor a temperature frequently, and it becomes too high, which may burn the food cooking inside, you must quickly adjust the intake and exhaust dampers to control temperature. 

2. Troubleshooting Smoker

Troubleshooting the smoker can also help you regulate temperature. Dry running the smoker and observing the fluctuations enables you to respond accordingly. Here’s how to use a propane smoker efficiently! 

3. Thermometer position

There is a possibility that the thermometer has become away from the grate’s edge, thereby showing an abnormal decrease in the temperature. So, make sure the equipment and its temperature gauging components are intact. 

4. Cast iron pan

Another technique you can try is to use a cast iron pan to save chunks from catching fire.

Some Tips & Tricks

  • Use wood chips or chunks

The right temperature is the primary requirement when smoking food in a propane smoker. Wood chips help generate high temperatures while providing more smoke. Similarly, chunks are used for supplying low temperatures consistently. So, the ideal combination of wood chips and chunks will yield the best results.

  • Monitor and maintain temperature

The temperature must be monitored using a thermometer. If the temperature drops, more fuel must be added to raise it. In addition to this, the temperature must be maintained too. Keeping the lid closed or placing a pan of water can help you maintain temperature for a long time. 

  • Check for faults

Leakages affect the performance of the smoker. So, leakages must be tested in a dry run and must be sealed if found. 

  • Damper settings

Damper settings vary with the recipe of the cuisine and weather. So, dampers must be adjusted accordingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How do you keep the temperature of a smoker constant? 

One of the standard techniques to keep the temperature of a smoker constant is that you don’t let heat escape. So, avoid lifting the lid again and again. Moreover, you may also add more fuel or close the exhaust vents to maintain the temperature.

How often should you add wood chips to a propane smoker?

Wood chips are likely to give high temperatures. So, whenever you see the temperature going down after every 1-2 hours, wood chips can be added.


Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.