Can You Smoke Meat in the Rain? (Safety First, Food Second!)

Wondering if you can still smoke meat in the rain?

You might think that rainy weather means you have to cancel your cookout

After all, it’s common sense that the combinations of water and fire or water and electricity don’t work out well.

As a result, when it begins to rain outside, many people change their plans and do not use their outdoor charcoal or electric smoker.

But is it true that you can’t smoke meat when it begins to pour down with rain?

Is It Possible to Smoke Meat When It’s Raining Outside?

Yes, it is possible to fire up food smokers (be it a pellet smoker or offset smoker) when it’s raining.

You do not have to cancel your plans when there’s light rain.

Of course, you’ll also have to consider the amount of rain, as well as the effect this has on your surrounding temperature. 

For instance, if it gets the temperature drops too much, this can affect your smoker’s temperature.

And this can have an obvious negative effect on your meat smoking session. For example, your smokers may not be able to reach the right smoker temps required to cook the piece of meat. 

If so, you’ll most likely have to deal with longer cooking times.

And you’ll want to make sure that the lid on your smoker is closed over the cooking chamber properly. 

Ways to Still Smoke Meat in The Rain

Below are five methods you can use so you can still smoke meat if it raining.

Go Undercover and Out of Direct Rain

If you want to smoke meat when the rain is pouring down outside, your best chance would be to get through the whole cooking process undercover.

What if there’s just a light rain going on? Then you can probably get away with placing your portable charcoal grill or smoker under something as small as a patio umbrella.

But let’s say that the rain is really heavy and you’re cooking with an electric smoker or grill.

Then you’ll want to cook under some much bigger coverage. You don’t want any of your electrical cords getting wet. 

Risking electrocution or ruining your smoker just to cook during wet weather is not worth it.

The most important thing is to stay safe during the actual cooking process. Here are some options we’ve come up with:

Go Under a Gazebo

A gazebo is a sturdy structure that offers quite a lot of shade.

Of course, you’ll find these shaded structures in some larger parks and you might not have one at home

However, you can get collapsible backyard gazebos at reasonably affordable prices.

(But if you’ve got a big enough backyard and the money, you can also buy a fixed gazebo.)

These are large enough to properly shade your smoker from getting wet while it’s raining.

Do You Have a Smoking Canopy?

A smoking canopy is pretty similar to a portable or collapsible gazebo.

They are a little smaller in size though. These are completely foldable and they are also sold at a cheaper price than a gazebo.

If you’re into cooking alone in the rain, and just entertaining your guests when you get back into the house, then we’d recommend this option.

Have a Shaded Area?

If you’ve got a covered patio area, then you’re all set to cook under that area.

You definitely won’t have to worry about your smoker, your guests, or yourself getting wet while you’re cooking on a rainy day.

Instead, all you’ll have to worry about is the cold temperatures.

No matter what form of outdoor cooking you do, as long as it’s raining, you’ll probably have to deal with some sort of temperature fluctuation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking undercover.

You’ll still have to tweak the temperature controls on your smoker to adapt to the cold temperatures.

Indoor Smoker

If the weather’s really bad, you might have no choice but to resort to using an indoor electric grill or smoker instead.

Indoor smokers are handy little cooking appliances because you can use them whenever.

And you can be sure that the internal temperature of the smoker won’t be affected by the changing weather.

There’s no real downside to using an indoor smoker, but they are usually smaller than outdoor ones.

Of course, they usually have to be since people tend to not have as much space to fit a full-sized conventional smoker inside their homes.

With that being said, they can be more expensive than your typical outdoor smoker.

But they also require fewer wood chips and less electricity or gas during smoking sessions. 

What About if It’s Windy?

The real problem with bad weather isn’t the rain. Windy days are even worse for smoking food.

This is because the wind can reduce the internal temperature of your smoker.

However, if the wind blows directly into the air vents of your charcoal grill or smoker, it can increase the temperature. 

You might be wondering why this is so.

Well, it’s because when the wind blows into the air vents, it produces the same results as you waving a fan directly in front of the bottom smoker or grill vents.

And we all know how this is one method you can use to build up the fire inside and increase the overall temperature of the cooking chamber.

This can be a bad thing on windy days. Because if the temperature goes over your desired target temperature, then you can risk burning a perfectly good piece of meat.

You can avoid the wind from ruining your smoking session by cooking undercover and making sure that your smoker is shielded away from the wind.

Using a Traeger in The Rain?

Wondering if you can use a Traeger in the rain?

You can but makesure you follow these guidelines.

Using a Traeger in the rain guidelines.

How to Combat Cold Temperatures

Does this mean it’s impossible to smoke meat when it’s really cold outside? No, it’s not impossible.

It just means that you’ll have to use more pellets or charcoal briquettes for your cook.

So, it just means that you can expect to spend more on fuel if you intend to cook a lot outside during the winter months.

If you plan to smoke food quite often during the colder months, then you might want to go ahead and look into investing in an insulated smoker.

These are usually made out of ceramic, and they work well at retaining heat throughout your entire smoking session.

Smoking Meat Whenever, Wherever

Firing up the smoker doesn’t have to be reserved for summer days when the skies are clear.

There are many ways that you can get around the wet weather and cold temperatures; be it through the use of extra fuel, or investing in an indoor smoker.

Either way, just make sure your electrical cords do not get wet at any cost, and have fun cooking be it rain or shine!

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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