So, you have purchased an amazing Z pellet grill. Welcome to the Z grill family!
Z pellet grills are an easy way to cook food and add that high smoky flavor.
But what if you throw your favorite baby back ribs in your grill for smoking and suddenly notice that your Z grill not smoking?
This is the common issue many Z grill owners face.
The main purpose of any grill is to smoke.
But when the grill stops smoking, then it turns into a major problem.
If your Z grill not smoking then there are various reasons for occurring this issue.
If you are using bad pellets then you should consider swapping the pellets.
If you set your grill at a high-temperature setting or you are using a Smoke setting for a shorter time also could be the reason for this issue.
In some cases, auger and induction fans are the culprit.
Sometimes auger gets clogged or the induction fan doesn’t work properly.
Cleaning is also one of the essential aspects of the right functioning of the grill.
If there is a lot of ash accumulated in the fire pot or fire pot is dirty causes your grill won’t smoke or produce little smoke.
So, today we come up with the main reasons and their easy solutions in detail if your Z grill produces little to no smoke.
Let’s dive into it!
Table Of Contents
Differences in Smoke: Thin Blue Smoke Vs White Smoke
When you start up the pellet grill it produces a lot of smoke.
The hot rod heats up and starts to smolder pellets until there is sufficient spark for the fans to stoke that into a flame.
But you actually don’t want that start-up smoke throughout the cook.
It’s a very thick, white, and bitter smoke which is not ideal for whole cooking.
So, if you want the best smoky flavor, you should wait for the smoke from this initial stage to clear up.
Then throw your food in the grill.
If your smoker expels white smoke billowing out of it, then it is also the indication of incomplete combustion.
This is not the sort of smoke that you need to get that smoky flavor into your meat.
If we talk about ideal smoke, then whispy, thin blue smoke is ideal smoke.
It is the type of smoke even hard to see.
This smoke gives good flavor whereas white smoke gives bitterness to your food.
Once the pellet grill completes the ignition phase, the thin smoke is produced and has settled in nearer to its target temperature.
As the auger feeds more pellets in the firepot, you can see thicker smoke.
When you monitor the smoke coming from the stack of your grill, the harder you have to look to spot it, the better.
Reasons For Z Grill Not Smoking
If you are thinking that pellets are just used to ignite the fire and give flavor to food, then you are wrong!
In fact, pellets play a vital role in producing smoke.
If you are using low quality pellets, then you are not getting enough amount of smoke from your grill.
The pellets should be dry and fresh. If there is moisture in pellets, they won’t burn at all.
If you are new to smoking, then let me tell you, pellet grills produce smoke at low and slow temperatures.
If you set your grill temperature at hot and fast, it won’t produce smoke as the low setting.
In a high-temperature setting, pellets burn clean and fast, don’t produce much smoke.
The Smoke setting for the Z grill is 75℃ / 167℉.
However, there is a large swing from 70℃ / 158℉ to 90℃ / 194℉.
So, if you set the temperature way higher than the smoke setting, the grill won’t produce enough smoke or a very little amount of smoke.
Using the Smoke setting for a shorter time
Patience is the key to smoking food on your grill.
You can rush during the other cooking methods but can’t in the smoking method.
Don’t raise the temperature on your grill to get your food to cook faster.
Don’t open the lid frequently to check your food.
So, you have to be patient while operating the smoking process on the grill.
Z grill produces a lot of smoke if you run the grill between 158℉-194℉.
Sometimes, you forget about smoke setting and increase the temperature to cook your food faster.
Thus, you notice the grill is producing no or little smoke.
For smoking on Z grill perfectly, you need to cook the food on a Smoke setting (between 158℉-194℉) for an extended time that gives more smoky flavor.
Use the SMOKE setting for the first hour of cooking then increase the temperature for the rest of the cook.
Remember that the biggest reward of Smoky flavor meat will come from giving the flavor enough time to develop.
Auger gets jam
The auger inside the grill gets jam due to the moist pellets stuck in the auger shaft.
Sometimes foreign objects in the auger may cause the auger to get jammed.
If there is any foreign object in the pellets, it may go inside the hopper while filling the pellets into the hopper.
While feeding the pellets, it is stuck into the auger, and the auger gets clogged.
If the auger can’t feed the pellets to the fire pot, they can’t burn and produce smoke.
Dirty fire pot
If the fire pot gets full of as grill won’t ignite the pellets.
This also causes to pile up of the pellets in the firepot around the hot rod. It won’t ignite precisely.
So, if the firepot is dirty or full of ash, your grill won’t produce smoke.
Induction fan not working properly
If your grill not generating smoke enough, then you should check the induction fan located inside the grill.
The induction fan helps to deliver oxygen to the pellets and ignite the pellets properly.
This fan decides how much airflow to get and the amount and quality of smoke to generate.
There are various reasons for the fan not working such as faulty fan wire connection, fan blade catches on a wire, etc.
The defective or faulty fan restricts the airflow inside the cooking chamber and reduces the quality and amount of smoke.
Solutions For Z Grill Not Smoking
Use a smoker generator tube
If you are not getting enough smoke even after swapping the wood pellets, then we recommend using a good smoke generator tube.
Using a smoker tube is pretty much an easy and quick way of producing smoke but it can change your whole smoking game. You can enhance your cooking experience with your favorite Z grill by using a simple smoker tube.
You will get that richness of flavor you’re looking for, with a smoker tube.
You just need to fill the smoker tube with fresh & dry pellets. Then light up the pellets, and simply add them to your smoker.
In this way, you will get a more smoky flavor easily on your grill.
Use best quality pellets
For maximum smoke and flavor, you should get high quality pellets.
But what does mean high quality pellets?
The high-quality pellets mean 100% hardwood pellets without wood fillers.
The material used for making the pellet is very important.
Some blends produce high smoke whereas some pellets are not able to produce enough smoke.
The pellets should be moisture free.
If you store them in the hopper, they won’t last long, and affects their quality.
So, store them in the pellet storage bucket.
If the current pellets you are using, are not producing smoke, then try other brand’s pellets.
Check out our in-depth guide about pellets for z grill which gives you a clear idea about which pellets are best for your Z grill.
Maintain the smoke setting temperature
For Z grill, you should maintain a temperature below 225F, for the best smoking results.
You’ll see the thin, blue-gray smoke coming out the chimney at this temperature range.
If you set the temperature to over 250F and you shouldn’t see desired smoke, also it will give you that bitter, burnt taste to your food.
So, setting temperature low and slow is essential.
If you are worried longer smoking gets your food dry, then try to add a water pan with your food and keep your food tender and moist.
Start cooking from cold
After marinating the meat if you leave them out or directly in the smoker, then you won’t get that much smoky flavor to the meat.
So, after marinating the meat, keep it in the refrigerator for an hour.
Now you may wonder, why put meat in the refrigerator after marinating?
Then let me explain, when you put meat in the refrigerator, it gets cold.
When you put this cold meat on the grill for smoking, it takes longer to heat up.
It takes more time to absorb the smoke flavor.
So, you will end up with rich smoky flavored meat without overcooking.
The longer you cook your meat, the longer the smoky flavor develops.
Of course, you don’t want to overcook your meat while cooking.
Clear the jam auger
Sometimes clogged auger is a culprit for not producing smoke.
To fix this issue, you need to disassemble the grill.
For this, you have to remove the grill grate or cooking grate located inside the grill.
Then, find the auger motor and check it for blockage.
Clear the blockage to run the auger motor freely.
Clean the fire pot
If the fire pot is full of ash, your grill won’t work properly and it won’t produce smoke.
Always clean out the ash in the fire pot from the last cook before loading your hopper and starting up the pellet grill.
You can just empty the ash in the fire pot, or use a shop vac to do so.
Make sure the ash and grill are cold before cleaning it, as hot ash is a fire hazard.
Repair / replace faulty induction fan
If your combustion fan is not working, then inspect the wire connection.
Sometimes just spinning your grill fan manually, get your fan working again.
If the fan blade catches on the wire, move the wires that come in the way of your combustion fan.
In this way, you repair the combustion fan.
If there is a defective or faulty fan, you need to replace it with a new one.
Z Grill Smoking Tips
1.Frequent opening of the lid leads to temperature fluctuation. So, keep the lid closed.
2. Humidity plays a vital role in the cooking time while smoking meat.
As the temperature rises, the meat will start to lose moisture.
So, for keeping the cooking chamber humid, place a water pan in the cooking chamber. So that meat won’t lose moisture and you will get your meat juicy and cooked thoroughly.
Now, you know why your Z grill is not smoking and how to fix it accordingly.
There could be various reasons occurring this issue. You’ll have to find out then the main reason behind it.
So that you can fix it accordingly.
Just fixing the simple things can uplift your smoking experience to the next level.