Can You Use A Pellet Smoker In The Winter?

Yes, you absolutely can use your smoker in cold weather and or winter months. However, we have a few tips to make your cold weather smoking a lot easier.

Tools That Make Smoking In Winter Easier

Pellet Smoker Cover
Smoker Jacket (insulator)
Sealable Bin

5 Quick Tips For Successful Winter Smoking

1. Keep Your Smoker Clean and Covered

I get it. After smoking your latest prize for several hours, the last thing you want to do is clean up. In warm weather your smoker maintenance might be a bit more forgiving but to maximize your winter smokes you will want to stay on top of keeping your smoker clean and covered from the elements.

2. Give Your Smoker a Jacket (Insulated Blanket)

One of the biggest hassles to smoking in cold weather is the amount of fuel it takes to keep your pellet smoker at temperature. I highly recommend that you get an insulated blanket for your smoker. For a relatively small investment you’ll have no problems keeping your smoker at temperature and you’ll quickly make up the cost in fuel efficiency.

3. Keep Your Pellets Dry!

Wood pellets might not be expensive but it will completely ruin your smoke if you don’t have fuel to keep your temperature stable. While not fancy, I’ve had a lot of luck storing my pellets in a plastic storage bin. These bins are cheap and keep out snow, rain and any moisture that’s notorious for ruining pellets.

4. Keep The Lid Shut

This tip might sound obvious but you would be amazed at the amount of heat you’re losing each and every time you open the lid to your smoker. I know it’s fun to share with your friends what’s on the smoker. Heat is an absolute premium when smoking in colder months, keep that lid shut.

5. Never Smoke Indoors

When it gets cold enough you might be temped to bring your smoker indoors. DON’T DO THIS. Not only is this a significant safety risk. We don’t recommend keeping your smoker in a shed or in your garage either. These area’s are not set up with proper ventilation. No smoked meat is worth putting your safety at risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does smoking in the cold hurt your pellet smoker?

No. As long as you properly care and maintain your smoker year round, the cold weather will not ruin your smoker.

Will smoking in cold weather impact cooking time?

It depends. As discussed above, the biggest hurdle to smoking in cold weather is keeping the smoker at the right temperature. For most pellet smokers, it means that it will consume more fuel than in warmer weather. Make sure you stock up on pellets and consider purchasing an insulated blanket to keep the smoker toasty during your smoke. 

Can I leave an insulated “jacket” on my smoker year round?

We do not recommend this. While it’s very unlikely that an insulated blanket or “jacket” would cause damage, it would very likely impact the rate in which pellets are being feed to your fire. If pellets are not consistently being fed to the pellet smoker you run the risk of losing your fire.

Any issues leaving my pellet smoker out in the snow?

No. If you don’t plan on smoking in the winter it might be advantageous to keep it sored in an area where it doesn’t have to brave the elements. However, if you like to smoke in the winter months (who doesn’t!?) then keeping a cover over it and keeping it clean will be just fine.