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New to smoker


Joined Jan 3, 2021
I understand the outdoor temp is huge in affecting how hot my masterbuilt electric smoker can get, its about 40 degrees outside currently. My question is, should that outdoor temp keep my smoker from getting above 200? I cooked some pork chops last night and nvr saw above 175 degrees on high. I got a pork shoulder in there right now, been in there over an hr on high and its at 150ish degrees.

Also when i first started using it i noticed a small super quick flame on the right side of the element, happened instantly and went away could this be the reason why its not heating totally? Like it maybe fried the right side of the element? It hasnt tripped my outlet once.

tx smoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Apr 14, 2013
That ambient temp should not have any effect on the smoker getting to temp, especially 40 degrees. That's not low enough to put a damper on anything. The flash you saw was more than likely some debris that got on the element and burnt off. First thing you need to do is get a good, reliable, and accurate remote thermometer. You absolutely cannot trust the factory therms that come on the units. They are nothing more than window dressing. Try firing the smoker back up and put your hand in there as it's heating to see if that side of the element is getting hot...or check to see if it gets red hot with a visual check. Just be careful and not torch your hand :emoji_laughing: If you have a laser thermometer you can shoot that side of the element and see how hot it's getting also. That's the safest way to go about it but if you put your hand close as soon as you turn the unit on, you can see if it's getting warm before it's hot enough to burn you...but they heat up fast so don't lollygag.



Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 29, 2020
Yes ambient temp and sunlight will effect stick, coal, gas and some electric smokers however pellet and most electric smokers have a sensor that tells the smoker it's interal temp. I had the masterbuilt mini refrigerator smoker when I first started smoking food. If it is only 40 degrees out side an you can't get over 150, it could be the heating element. I would not trust the thermometer on the door or the panel, get a oven thermometer from your local grocery store and stick it in there before you do anything. I have used my MB in the teens before with no issues. I would also adjust the air flow to the unit.

Kevin DeShazo

Smoking Fanatic
Joined Nov 7, 2018
What Robert said, Ive run my MES in less than 30 degree weather and has been fine. The MES is very well insulated and shouldnt have an issue getting to temp.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Apr 25, 2015
You're not opening the door a lot, are you? That's a common newbie error and even at 1200W there's just not enough power to recover from too many of those lookie-loos. If you did that a lot, you might want to try another practice run (no meat needed, although you could put a quart of water in there to simulate a big cook) and run it on high again and see how hot it gets.

And it's good advice to use multiple thermometers so you have a better idea how hot you're really getting inside.

You could repost in the electric smoker section too, or the mods could move this.


Joined Jan 3, 2021
Ok guys i ran to get a digital temp w a long metal cable so i can check the inside of the smoker, and its showing 235-245 inside now. Thx for the help everyone that gauge on the doors junk.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Dec 23, 2011
I have run my MES in 20 degree weather with strong wind gusts and it would hold temps on my remote thermometer. The thermometer built into my MES30 is about 40 degrees off.

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