BBQ Science & Safety | Mods & Maintenance | Smokers and Grills

Shocking Truth of Using an Electric Smoker in the Rain

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Close up of a cooking smoker with woods in background

Since electric smokers are quickly becoming more and more popular, knowing how to properly operate them in all different kinds of weather conditions is important. After all, electric appliances aren’t supposed to be used in the rain, right?

Electric smokers are built to withstand a light rain or any basic water spills. This however, does not make them waterproof. If an electric smoker is exposed enough to water, it will cause them to malfunction. Ensuring that they are properly covered will be vital in preventing water damage.

Knowing that damage can occur under heavy water contact, knowing how to prevent it can’t hurt! What can you do to keep your electric smoker protected? Will your climate affect when and where it will be able to function?

Basic Spills And Light Rain

An electric smoker is only partially susceptible to rain. These protections, however, only prevent water damage to a certain point before it begins to seep into the wires.

The best form of water damage prevention is to avoid any water contact at all. We know that small spills will cause little damage, and in most cases will leave your electric smoker in working condition. However, other cases have not found themselves to be so lucky. Sometimes, though not often, the smallest amount of water in the wrong area can cause your electric smoker to stop working altogether.

Warning: Your electric barbeque is not waterproof. The effectiveness of your electric smoker will be impacted by consistent rainfall. You cannot expose your smoker to great amounts of water without the risk of damage.

(Source: Are Electric Smokers Waterproof? | Smoked and Brewed)

So what can we do to prevent the water damage from happening?

Waterproof Covering

One of the first steps you should take to avoid water damage is to provide your electric smoker with a waterproof cover. Whenever the smoker is not being used, you can place it back under the cover to protect it from the weather, your sprinklers, or the errant hose-weilding child. Even when storing your smoker inside, having a cover on your smoker can protect in from dust, as well as any scrapes from any of the clutter in your shed or garage.

Thermoworks Thermapen ONE

These covers can be found in the market with varying degrees of water resistance to them, generally depending on the brand and price. As waterlogging your smoker is a common concern, the appliances provided to protect them are not difficult to find. Verify the cover you are purchasing actually works by looking at online reviews, or communicating with those that have used them before by asking your friends and family for recommendations.

Tip: Keeping your electric smoker from harm is a priority. Take your time in assessing all possible options before deciding on what will provide the best protection for it.

Relocating Your Electric Smoker

Some places are better than others when you’re trying to keep your smoker from getting wet. In a climate of constant rainfall, leaving your smoker outside is a danger to its function, but sometimes there just isn’t anywhere else to keep it. The drier the location is, the longer your smoker will be able to function. Keeping it away from the edge of your roof where rainfall and snowmelt could drain onto it is an easy step to take

Many owners of the electric smoker have opted to keep them in a shed or a garage area in order to keep them dry. Some even have the area set up for indoor use during the rainy season.

If however, there is not an indoor location for your smoker, a waterproof cover will be your best option. Consider moving your barbeque to an area that receives the least amount of rainfall as you position it. If your roof has a large enough overhang, you could place your smoker underneath it, but make absolutely positive that any water draining off the roof won’t drip onto it, or gather in a puddle where the smoker is sitting.

(Source: Are Electric Smokers Waterproof? | Smoked and Brewed)

Keeping Your Electric Box Exposed

Your smoker should have come with an epoxy resin coating over your smoker’s electric box. It should also have gaskets that will resist any water that ends up where it shouldn’t. The resin and gaskets will not protect the electric box entirely from water damage, but they will keep the majority of it out.

Watching for wire exposure in your electric box will make a difference in keeping your smoker (and yourself) safe. Examine your smoker’s electric box before attempting to use it in a wet climate. Does it have a good epoxy resin coating? Are the gaskets keeping the water away from the wires? Are the wires in the electric box exposed to possible water damages?

Just to be safe, those are good questions to be asking yourself if it’s been a while since you’ve used your smoker, especially during the rainy season. If the electric box does not have a good coating of epoxy resin, then water will enter into the wires, and might sneak through the gaskets. In either case, the damage that may follow can cause your smoker to malfunction.

(Source: Can I leave my electric smoker outside? (askinglot.com))

(Source: Are Electric Smokers Waterproof? | Smoked and Brewed)

Climates To Watch For

A dry season will not be an issue for your electrical smoker. The optimal months for your smoker will be the warm summer months with little to no rainfall at all. During this time, water damage will be a minimal concern.

Throughout the dry season, continue to watch for any shifting weather patterns that may promise rain. Even under warm weather conditions, heavy rain can still occur. If you find that a rainstorm is on its way, then consider pulling out your waterproof cover and getting your smoker covered up.

If you live somewhere with a rainy season, keeping your smoker covered up should be the default, instead of a rare occasion. Only take the cover off when the smoker is in use to make sure you don’t accidentally expose it to more moisture than it can handle.

Tip: Even a time of snow will be a concern for your smoker. Snow and ice will eventually melt, causing water to seep into any exposed areas of your electric smoker. Keep your smoker covered, or stored safely, when not in use.

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