What is a BBQ Smoker Fan and How Does it Work? A Complete Guide

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 30, 2022

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A mechanical fan is a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air. The fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the fluid. The rotating assembly of blades and hub is known as an impeller, a rotor, or a runner.

A fan circulates air in a smoker to ensure even temperature and cooking. It speeds up the cooking process for faster enjoyment of grilled delicacies.

I’ll explain what a fan is and how it works in a smoker so you can maximize your grilling experience.

What is a bbq smoker fan

Why a BBQ Smoker Fan is the Key to Perfectly Grilled Meat

A BBQ smoker fan is a lightweight, yet mean machine designed to help you add vegetables, meat, and any other grilled delicacy to your tradition today. It’s a simple device that helps eliminate hot and cold spots inside of a smoker and circulates the heat evenly throughout the area.

They are also called temperature controllers (we’ve reviewed the best ones for your smoker here) as they automatically use temperature control by changing the air flow through the smoker.

How does it work?

The fan sits on the grates of your grill or smoker and helps control the temperature by adjusting the airflow. It works by blowing air onto the burning charcoal or wood, which helps to regulate the heat. The convection fan helps to circulate the heat evenly throughout the smoker, ensuring that your meat is cooked to perfection every time.

Why is it important?

Using a BBQ smoker fan is the best way to ensure that your meat is cooked evenly and at the right temperature. It helps to eliminate cold spots inside of the smoker, which can cause your meat to cook unevenly. The fan also helps to speed up the cooking process, so you can enjoy your grilled delicacies faster.

What are the benefits of using a BBQ smoker fan?

Here are some of the benefits of using a BBQ smoker fan:

  • Helps to regulate the temperature of your smoker
  • Eliminates hot and cold spots inside of the smoker
  • Circulates heat evenly throughout the smoker
  • Speeds up the cooking process
  • Helps to cook meat to perfection every time

What are some frequently asked questions about BBQ smoker fans?

Here are some frequently asked questions about BBQ smoker fans:

  • Are they compatible with all grills and smokers (check out these combination units here)?
  • How do I set up the fan?
  • Do I need to buy additional controllers or probes?
  • What is the easiest BBQ smoker fan to use?
  • How do I monitor the progress of my meat?
  • Is there an app that I can use to control the fan?
  • How do I log the temperature of my smoker?

Using a BBQ smoker fan is the perfect way to add some simplicity to your grilling experience. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an obsessed pit master, a BBQ smoker fan is the perfect option to help you achieve perfectly grilled meat every time.

How Do BBQ Smoker Fans Keep Your Cook Steady?

When it comes to smoking meat, airflow is everything. Too much airflow and your meat will dry out, too little and it won’t cook evenly. That’s where a BBQ smoker fan comes in. By controlling the airflow, you can keep a steady temperature throughout your cook.

Connecting to Your Smoker

Connecting a fan to your smoker is easy. Simply attach it to the intake vent of your smoker and let it do its thing. Some fans come with adapters to fit different sized vents, so make sure you get the right one for your smoker.

Using Wood or Charcoal

Whether you’re using wood or charcoal, a smoker fan can help you maintain a steady temperature. By controlling the airflow, you can keep the fire burning at a consistent rate, which means your meat will cook evenly.

Long Cooks Without Tending

One of the biggest benefits of using a smoker fan is that it allows you to do long cooks without having to tend to your smoker. Once you’ve set the temperature, the fan will do the rest, so you can sit back and relax.

Personal Experience

As someone who loves to smoke meat, I can tell you that a smoker fan is a game-changer. I used to spend hours tending to my smoker, adjusting the vents to maintain the temperature. But with a fan, I can set it and forget it. Plus, it’s made my meat even more delicious than before.

Is a BBQ Smoker Fan Worth the Investment?

When it comes to picking a BBQ smoker fan, you may be tempted to go for the cheapest option. However, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best. While a fan can definitely save you money in the long run by cooking your food faster and more accurately, you need to make sure you’re getting a quality tool that will last you for years to come.

The Ability to Control Temperature is a Game Changer

One of the biggest benefits of a BBQ smoker fan is its ability to control temperature. With a fan, you can turn your grill or smoker into a precise cooking machine, allowing you to cook your food to the perfect degree of doneness every time. This creates a big difference in the quality of your food and makes grilling and smoking a lot more enjoyable.

Extra Features Can Make a Big Difference

While a basic fan will do the job, investing in a fancier model can make a big difference. Some of the extra features that can help you out include:

  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Wireless or remote control
  • Multiple channels for different items
  • The ability to precisely control temperatures

Thermoworks Billows is a Popular Option

If you’re looking for a fan that shines in all these areas, the Thermoworks Billows is definitely worth considering. This fan is paired with a probe and looks like a turbo charger. It creates a bank of smoke and allows you to retain accuracy while grilling or smoking. The Billows is the fastest and most accurate fan on the market and is calibrated to ensure precise temperature control.

A Kamado Grill Fan Can Help You Achieve the Hottest Temperatures

If you’re a seasoned BBQ enthusiast and want to achieve the hottest temperatures possible, a Kamado grill fan is a must-have. This type of fan is designed to work with a Kamado grill and can easily light and blow air into the grill to increase the temperature. The Kamado grill fan is a great tool for grilling steak and other items that require high heat.

Buying a Fan Can Help You Skip a Lot of Guesswork

If you’re new to grilling or smoking, a fan can help you skip a lot of guesswork. With a fan, you can easily maintain the temperature of your grill or smoker, ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection every time. This is especially helpful when you’re cooking for a big backyard BBQ or hosting a large group of people.


So, that’s a fan in BBQ smokers. It helps regulate the temperature and airflow inside the smoker, and it can speed up the cooking process. 

You can’t go wrong with a fan in your smoker, so don’t be afraid to get one for yourself!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.