5 Ways To Get More Smoke Out Of Your Propane Smoker

How Do I Get More Smoke Out Of My Propane Smoker

Propane smokers are preferred by people who like a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional charcoal smokers. Although they’re more convenient and better for the environment, a common question by new owners is how to get their smokers to produce more smoke.

Don’t switch over to a different type just yet. There is a learning curve to using a propane smoker to get the maximum amount of smoke to flavor your foods.

Here you will learn everything you need to know to use your propane smoker like a pro and get the most smoke from it.

How Do I Get More Smoke Out Of My Propane Smoker

To get more smoke out of a propane smoker, use chunks of wood instead of thin chips. These wood chunks must be soaked properly before adding to the smoker. Spread the chunks out in a thin layer to optimize smoke production.

More smoke is produced by a propane smoker when you use the lid and vents of the smoker to manage the oxygen flow to the wood chips. They need oxygen to burn and produce smoke.

Use the right temperature to burn the wood chunks and maintain a smolder. Low temperatures produce the most and best quality of smoke.

Five Ways To Get More Smoke From Your Propane Smoker

1. Start With The Right Wood Type And Size

Most people use hardwood in their propane smokers. Hardwood burns for longer and it produces more smoke. Choose chunkier hardwood chips versus thin shavings. The chunks will burn for longer than thin chips.

The ideal size chips for propane smokers is between 1/4 inch and 1 inch thick with chunks up to 4 inches thick, but no larger.


  • Smaller chips mixed with large ones ignite more quickly
  • More smoke is produced by larger chunks mixed in with smaller chips

2. Optimize The Moisture Content Of The Wood

Smoke can be increased when there is the right water content in the wood. When the wood is burned, vapors arise from the water content. The key to producing more smoke is to use hardwood that has the right amount of water content.

Wood that is freshly cut has too much water inside, but old dry wood does not have enough. The smoke that is produced by freshly cut wood produces thick smoke that gives your BBQ foods a bitter taste, so avoid using fresh-cut hardwoods.

Commercial chips are better for propane smoking because they are seasoned and usually contain the right amount of natural moisture.

Unless you soak your wood chips, they will burn too quickly, and the flavor produced by the smoke will be bitter. The chips may also catch fire if they’re too dry.

Soak your wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before you add them to the propane smoker. This will give them the proper water content that is ideal for smoking.


  • Ideal water content enhances the amount and quality of the smoke
  • Most chips do not contain enough moisture naturally to create vapor for moist and flavorful smoke


  • It takes 30 minutes of prep time to soak the chips

3. Spread The Wood Chips Evenly On The Tray

Pull the wood chips out of the water and allow the excess to drain with each handful. Spread the chips/chunks on the bottom of the chip tray. Spread them out and avoid stacking them up too thickly.

The wood needs to be distributed evenly in a manner that allows it to heat evenly and become charred to produce smoke from the remaining water content in the center of the pieces.


  • Even distribution shortens the ignition time for chips for faster smoke production
  • Charring of the chips happens faster


  • It just takes a few seconds to spread the chips evenly but it does add another step that requires your attention.

4. Set The Temperature Between 225 and 250 Degrees Fahrenheit

When smoking with a propane smoker, the ideal temperature range is between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are different than a traditional charcoal smoker, so the same rules don’t apply. On a propane smoker, the lower temperature produces more smoke and a better quality of smoke that will enhance the flavor.

Setting the heat at higher levels will produce a dry and burnt flavor when smoking, so avoid the temptation to turn up the heat.


  • Meats and other foods are more moist and flavorful
  • The quality of the smoke aroma and flavor is better
  • Lower heat produces more smoke than higher heat


  • The cooking process takes longer

5. Manage The Oxygen Flow To Your Propane Smoker

Wood needs oxygen to burn. Leave the top vent open to allow smoke to escape. The wood that is burning from the tray beneath will produce more smoke.

Keeping all the smoke produced by the chips will generate what is called dirty smoke. It has a less pleasant flavor and can affect the quality of the foods you are smoking.

If your smoker is not producing enough smoke, check the placement of the chip tray. A poorly positioned tray can block the flow of oxygen and prevent some of the chips from igniting.

Make sure that there is ample airflow through the system for the maximum output of smoke from your propane smoker.


  • Smoke produced is cleaner with better flavor results
  • Output of smoke is increased for more intense flavoring


  • It adds another step to the process

Helpful Tips To Get More Smoke Out Of Your Propane Smoker

There are many ways to get more smoke out of your propane smoker, but not all of them will give you good results. We’re here to show you the best ways to produce more smoke without sacrificing the quality of the flavor and texture of the foods that your smoker will produce.

Here are a few more important tips to help you reach an expert level and get more smoke with a propane smoker:

  • Avoid Taking Shortcuts

There is a right way and a wrong way to get more smoke out of your propane smoker. Turning up the heat might produce more smoke faster, but the quality of the smoke won’t give you the best results in flavoring the foods you’re smoking.

The tips we offer here are intended to help you get more smoke out of your smoker while making sure that you get superior quality smoke.

  • Become Familiar With Your Propane Smoker

It’s wise to know how your propane smoker works. Different brands and models may operate differently. It is always best to read the manual that comes with your smoker to fully understand how to operate it safely and efficiently.

  • Create A Ritual For Smoking

The best way to get more smoke out of your propane smoker is to create a standard for the type of smoker that you own.

When you achieve perfect results, follow all the steps every time you use the smoker. This may be different from one type of food to another, but make notes about each step, for example, what kind of wood you used, the size, the temperature, how long you soak the chips, how thick you place them on the tray, and make notes about what you need to do differently.

Every smoker model and brand is a little different so you may need to make a few adjustments along with way. For example, your smoker may have a tray placement that blocks airflow, and you may need to reposition it to produce more smoke.

Some propane smokers need the top vent to be opened halfway while others work best with it fully open. Be patient, record your results and keep working towards perfection and you will get there.

Final Thoughts

You can optimize the results you get by following our guide that explains how to get more smoke out of your propane smoker.

It’s a process that involves paying attention to every detail from choosing the right size of wood, ensuring that there is enough moisture in the wood, putting the right amounts on the tray, getting enough oxygen flow, and knowing how to safely and efficiently operate your smoker.

The more you know about the processes and why they important, the better your results will be.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

Related Posts