Masterbuilt smoker error code 4 is a common and frustrating issue that interferes with your normal smoking, and it could lead to wasted meat if you can’t get it sorted out in time or miss the error code the first time it displays.
The biggest issue with Masterbuilt smoker error code 4 is that it indicates the charcoal is not igniting, so that is ultimately going to lead to no heat for smoking, or it could indicate some other problems with your Masterbuilt smoker that you need to resolve.
The first thing you should be checking is whether you’ve got any charcoal to be ignited; you may have cleaned out your Masterbuilt smoker recently and forgotten to refill it with new charcoal.
If that isn’t your issue, then keep reading for all the information you need on the causes and fixes for Masterbuilt smoker error code 4.
What Does Error Code 4 On A Masterbuilt Smoker Mean?
Masterbuilt smoker error code 4 indicates that the smoker can not ignite the charcoal; this could be a valid error that the charcoal really isn’t igniting, or it could be a malfunction with the Masterbuilt smoker controller.
The only types of Masterbuilt smokers that will receive this error code are the charcoal smokers; it’s 1 of 4 standard errors that you can receive, and it’s relatively common for people to get it, especially after extended use of their Masterbuilt smoker.
If you’re not seeing or feeling any heat coming from the Masterbuilt smoker, then it likely means it’s a valid error, and you’ll need to investigate thoroughly.
On the other hand, if your smoker is heating up, but you continue to get this error, then it points to an issue with the controller, and you can go straight to that for troubleshooting.
Causes For Masterbuilt Smoker Error Code 4
Shutdown Slides Haven’t Been Removed On The Masterbuilt Smoker
When you finish with your Masterbuilt smoker, part of the process is to insert two shutdown slides.
These are used to extinguish the fire by stopping any fresh air from entering the charcoal-burning area.
If you don’t fully insert them, even if you turn off your smoker, the charcoal will continue to burn until your charcoal supply is depleted, which means next time you turn it on, there isn’t any charcoal to burn.
Lack of charcoal is a primary reason for it failing to ignite later.
If this continually happens, it can cause issues with your smoker; due to extended heating of the smoker, seals, wires, and other components can become damaged.
This causes other potential reasons for the error code, such as a broken controller or burnt-out wires on sensors.
Your other issue is that if you insert the shutdown slides fully but then fail to remove them when you try to start the smoker again, then there isn’t enough air to ignite the charcoal, and Masterbuilt smoker error code 4 appears on the display.
In some situations, the shutdown slides do not fully insert; this can be caused by a blockage in the track, which leaves the shutdown slides partially open.
You can also find that if you don’t fully insert or remove the shutdown slides that they can come off the track, which leads to air still being able to get into the charcoal chamber and allow it to keep burning.
Hopper Lid And Ash Door Aren’t Fully Closed
Your Masterbuilt smoker has sensors or switches on all of the doors, and if the hopper lid or ash door specifically aren’t closed properly, or the sensors and switches aren’t working correctly, then you’ll receive the Masterbuilt smoker error code 4.
Often this can be caused by malfunction of the sensor or switch, damage caused by physical use, or potentially overheating of the device.
In some situations, it may just be that the door isn’t shut correctly, and you can try to open and close everything firmly.
You may also find that there is something blocking either the door from shutting or the sensors from connecting correctly, which is often an easy fix.
There Is No Charcoal Available To Light In The Masterbuilt Smoker
The most obvious and easiest thing to check is whether you actually have charcoal available to ignite in your Masterbuilt smoker.
There are a couple of reasons that this may be a valid error with a simple fix.
You may have run out and just haven’t been topping up the charcoal, or your charcoal may have been burnt through because you left the shutdown slides open.
It’s also possible that you cleaned your Masterbuilt smoker and simply forgot to add charcoal back into the tray, and now you’re getting a valid error code.
Ash Grate of Smoker Is Clogged On
Burning charcoal can cause ash and soot, and if your ash grate is clogged, it can hinder the ignition of your charcoal as the clogging gets worse.
Often this happens when you’ve used your Masterbuilt smoker for some time and just haven’t cleaned or dealt with the ash grate.
Masterbuilt Smoker Controller is Malfunctioning
Your Masterbuilt smoker controller can malfunction, especially if you’ve been using your smoker a lot, or you left the shutdown slides open, and charcoal keeps burning and overheating your smoker.
So the controller can become damaged, dirty, or simply get too old and stop working correctly. You’ll likely find that other parts of your Masterbuilt smoker are having issues as well, including your fan and temperature sensor.
A good sign that your controller is damaged is that you keep receiving error codes, and standard functionality for the fan, charcoal igniter, and even temperature control keep requiring resets or keep showing up.
Fixes For Masterbuilt Smoker Error Code 4
Make Sure Shutdown Slides Are Removed On The Masterbuilt Smoker
Make sure that your shutdown slides are fully removed from your Masterbuilt smoker.
Your slides may be labeled as shutdown slides, heat slides, or air slides.
You may have one small one and one large one to remove.
Whatever your manual calls them, you should ensure they are fully removed so that your charcoal has enough air to ignore.
It’s also a good idea to fully remove them each time, so you can ensure they are inserted correctly and not slipping off the track.
Shut The Hopper Lid And Ash Door Fully
Check that your hopper lid and ash door are fully shut on your Masterbuilt smoker.
You can simply open them and close them firmly.
Your controller may be switching between Error Code 4 and simply saying OPEN if it’s a lid or door issue.
Double-check that there are no obvious obstructions on either door that are stopping them from closing. You may need to clean around the doors to ensure a proper seal.
Double Check Charcoal Is Available For the Smoker To Ignite
As mentioned earlier, Masterbuilt Smoker error 4 occurs on their charcoal grill.
So, charcoal is the main fuel source for this Masterbuilt smoker.
Check that you have an appropriate amount of charcoal available to ignite; if you’re low or completely empty, then you need to refill with fresh charcoal to ignite.
Clear Out Ash Grate
Check the ash grate and ensure it’s not too full or blocked with ash; you can try to shake the ash grate so that all of the ash falls through.
You may also need to clear out the ash with a small garden shovel and bucket once in a while if the ash becomes too much.
Masterbuilt recommends that you clear out the ash after every use or before each new use.
Restart The Masterbuilt Smoker
If you’ve checked everything and you’re still receiving the Masterbuilt smoker error code 4, then before calling a technician to look at your smoker, you can try resetting the smoker.
- Unplug the main controller from the smoker
- Unplug the smoker from the main wall power outlet
- Wait 5 minutes
- Plug everything back in
- Push the clear button for 5 seconds
You should now have a fully reset smoker that you can try to start up and see whether the error has been cleared or if you need to call a technician to look at it further.
Replace Your Masterbuilt Smoker Controller
Constant resetting of your Masterbuilt smoker will indicate you need to replace the controller as it’s faulty.
You can purchase a replacement controller from Amazon at an economical price depending on what features you want.
It’s a quick process to unscrew the old controller, unplug, and then plug in and screw the new controller into place.
So, if your Masterbuilt smoker is throwing error 4, you know how to tackle this issue.
Surely, you will get your smoker back on working with abovementioned fixes.
Even if you are struggling with this issue, call Masterbuilt support.