Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt?


Picture this: you take a puff from your vape, eagerly anticipating the rich, flavourful vapour, only to be met with a harsh, unpleasant burnt taste. It’s a frustrating experience that many vapers have encountered at some point. In this blog post, we will delve into the phenomenon of experiencing a burnt taste when vaping, exploring the causes behind it and providing insights on how to prevent and overcome this issue. Whether you’re new to vaping or a seasoned enthusiast, understanding the reasons behind a burnt taste can significantly enhance your vaping journey.

Understanding the Burnt Vape Taste

Definition of the Burnt Vape Taste

The burnt vape taste refers to the unpleasant, charred flavour experienced when vaping. It is characterised by a harsh, acrid taste resembling burnt or charred materials. When inhaling, instead of the desired smooth and flavourful vapour, vapers may encounter a dry, harsh sensation accompanied by a distinct burnt smell.

Impact on the Vaping Experience

The burnt vape taste can overpower the intended flavour of the e-liquid, leaving an undesirable aftertaste and significantly diminishing the overall enjoyment of the vaping experience. It is important to address the burnt vape taste promptly to restore the desired flavour profile and ensure a satisfying vaping experience.

Frustration for Vapers

The frustration caused by a burnt taste when vaping stems from the discrepancy between expectations and reality, wasted e-liquid, discomfort, uncertainty about the cause, and limited usage.

Factors Contributing to a Burnt Vape Taste

Insufficient E-liquid:

Effects of Low E-liquid Levels

Running a tank or pod system with low e-liquid levels can lead to a burnt taste while vaping. This occurs because the wick in the coil relies on continuous contact with e-liquid to stay saturated. When the e-liquid level in the tank or pod becomes low or depleted, the wick may not have sufficient e-liquid to stay saturated, resulting in dry hits and a burnt taste.

The importance of keeping the wick saturated cannot be overstated when it comes to avoiding dry hits. The wicking material inside the coil is responsible for absorbing e-liquid and transferring it to the heating element for vaporisation. When the wick is properly saturated, it ensures a consistent flow of e-liquid to the coil, allowing for efficient vapour production and a pleasurable vaping experience.

When the e-liquid levels are low, the wicking material may not be able to absorb enough e-liquid to keep up with the demands of the coil. This causes the wick to dry out, and when the heating element is activated, it ends up burning the dry wick rather than vaporising the e-liquid. This results in an unpleasant burnt taste and can also lead to damage to the coil.

By keeping the wick saturated with e-liquid, you can avoid dry hits and the associated burnt taste. Maintaining adequate e-liquid levels and implementing proper priming techniques will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable vaping experience while preventing damage to the coil.

High Wattage or Temperature Settings:

Implications of Exceeding Recommended Settings

Using a wattage or temperature setting beyond the recommended range can cause the coil to burn the e-liquid, resulting in a burnt taste and potentially damaging the coil. This occurs because every coil has a specific range of wattages or temperatures within which it is designed to operate optimally. Going beyond this range can lead to the coil heating up too quickly or to excessively high temperatures, causing the e-liquid to vaporise unevenly or burn instead of producing smooth and flavourful vapour.

The recommended wattage or temperature range can usually be found on the coil itself or in the manufacturer’s instructions. It is crucial to pay attention to these specifications and adjust your device’s settings accordingly to match the capabilities of the coil. Here’s why it is important:

  1. Coil Lifespan: Using wattage or temperature settings beyond the recommended range can significantly shorten the lifespan of your coil. The excess heat generated can cause the wicking material to break down faster, leading to poor performance and a burnt taste.
  2. Flavour and Vapour Production: Each coil is designed to deliver optimal flavour and vapour production within its recommended range. By using settings beyond these limits, you risk sacrificing the quality of your vaping experience. The e-liquid may not vaporise properly or may even burn, resulting in a diminished flavour and potentially harsh vapor.
  3. Safety Concerns: When using wattage or temperature settings beyond a coil’s recommended range, there is a risk of overheating and potential damage to the coil, battery, or other components of your vaping device. This can pose safety hazards and should be avoided.

To ensure a satisfying and safe vaping experience, it is crucial to adjust your device’s wattage or temperature settings to match the capabilities of the coil. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions:  Familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific coil. The recommended wattage or temperature range should be clearly indicated. Follow these guidelines to ensure optimal performance.
  2. Adjust Settings Gradually:  If you are unsure about the ideal setting, start at the lower end of the recommended range and gradually increase it until you find the wattage or temperature that provides the desired flavour and vapour production. This allows you to fine-tune the settings without pushing the coil beyond its limits.
  3. Experiment with the Coil:  Different coils may have different recommended wattage or temperature ranges. If you switch to a new coil, take the time to find the settings that work best for that coil specifically. This may involve some trial and error but will help you achieve a satisfying vaping experience.

By adjusting your device’s wattage or temperature settings to match the capabilities of the coil, you can avoid burning the e-liquid, enjoy the optimal flavour and vapour production, and ensure the longevity of your coil and overall device performance. Safety and a great vaping experience go hand in hand when using your device within the recommended settings.

Chain Vaping:

Consequences of Frequent and Continuous Puffs

Chain vaping, which involves taking frequent and continuous puffs in quick succession, can lead to insufficient wicking and eventually result in burnt hits.

During chain vaping, the coil may not have enough time to fully re-saturate with e-liquid before each puff. The wicking material in the coil needs time to absorb e-liquid and deliver it to the heating element for vaporisation. When you take successive puffs without allowing sufficient time for the wick to re-saturate, the coil can become dry, leading to a burnt taste.

Coil Age and Build-up:

Effects of Old or Gunked-up Coils

An old or gunked-up coil can contribute to a burnt taste while vaping. This occurs because the coil’s wicking material becomes clogged with residue, limiting the amount of e-liquid that the coil can absorb, which can lead to overheating and scorching of the remaining e-liquid, producing a burnt taste and harsh throat hit.

Moreover, overheating can cause the cotton wick to burn, further exacerbating the issue with a bad taste that can even transfer to future vape sessions. Thus, it’s essential to replace the coil when it’s reached its end of lifespan, to enjoy optimal performance and flavour quality.

Therefore, it’s crucial to perform regular coil maintenance and replacement to prevent the burnt taste from occurring. Proper maintenance and replacement will help to extend the life of your device and ensure that you enjoy consistent, high-quality flavour with every puff. Here are some important points to keep in mind to ensure that your coil remains in top condition at all times:

  1. Regular Cleaning –  Cleaning your coil regularly helps remove gunk and debris build-up inside it, which can help prevent a burnt taste. Soaking the coil in ethanol or vinegar for an hour will help to dissolve any stubborn build-up of residue in or around the coil.
  2. Proper Priming–  Properly priming a freshly installed coil helps to extend its lifespan by ensuring that it’s well-saturated with e-liquid, reducing the risk of dry hits or burnt taste.
  3. Coil Replacement –  Over time, even with regular cleaning and maintenance, your coil will need to be replaced. You will usually notice a change in flavour when using a coil that needs to be replaced. As a general rule, it’s recommended to replace your coil every one to two weeks, depending on your use.

Regularly maintaining and replacing your coil is essential to avoid burnt hits and enjoy optimal flavour quality. A burnt taste is indicative of a coil that has reached the end of its lifespan and can impact both your taste and vaping experience. By following a regular maintenance schedule and replacing coils as necessary, you can ensure a long-lasting, enjoyable vaping experience.

Incorrect Coil Priming:

Importance of Properly Priming New Coils

Properly priming a new coil is crucial to prevent dry hits and an unpleasant burnt taste when vaping. This process ensures that the coil’s wicking material is thoroughly saturated with e-liquid, allowing for efficient and consistent vapor production. Here’s why it’s important and some recommended priming methods:

  • Preventing Dry Hits:  Dry hits occur when the wicking material in the coil is not adequately saturated with e-liquid. This can result in a burnt taste and a harsh throat hit. By priming the coil properly, you ensure that the wicking material is fully saturated, minimising the risk of dry hits.
  • Avoiding Burnt Taste:  Insufficiently primed coils can lead to a persistent burnt taste, even after proper saturation. This burnt taste can persist until the coil is replaced, negatively impacting your vaping experience. Proper priming helps avoid this unpleasant taste.

Here are some recommended priming methods and techniques:

  1. Dripping Method: This method involves manually adding a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the coil’s cotton-wicking material. Start by saturating the visible cotton through the coil’s openings with a couple of drops of e-liquid. Repeat this process until the cotton appears fully saturated. This method allows for precise control over the amount of e-liquid applied.
  2. Filling Method: With this method, you fill the tank or pod system with e-liquid and allow the coil to saturate passively. After placing the new coil in the tank, fill the tank with e-liquid to the recommended level. Then, let the coil sit in the e-liquid for a sufficient amount of time (usually 10-15 minutes) to allow the wicking material to become fully saturated. This method is convenient but requires a longer waiting time.
  3. Soaking Method: This method involves submerging the entire coil in e-liquid to help expedite the saturation process. Before installing the coil, place it in a small container filled with e-liquid for a few minutes. This allows the wicking material to soak up the e-liquid. After soaking, remove the coil, install it in the tank or pod system, and fill the tank with e-liquid. This method can speed up the priming process.

Remember, regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to give the coil enough time to fully saturate before using the device. By properly priming your new coil using these methods, you can enjoy a smooth and flavourful vaping experience, free from dry hits and burnt taste.

How to Avoid a Burnt Vape Taste

Properly Prime Coils:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Coil Priming

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to prime a new coil:

  1. Turn off your vaping device and disconnect it from any power source. This is important for safety reasons and ensures you do not accidentally fire your device while priming.
  2. Remove the old coil from the tank or pod system. You can do this by unscrewing the coil from the base of the tank or by releasing it from the pod’s slot.
  3. Take your new coil and apply a few drops of e-liquid to the cotton-wicking material visible through the coil’s openings. Ensure the cotton is fully saturated with e-liquid but be careful not to oversaturate it.
  4. Place the new coil back into the tank or pod system.
  5. Refill the tank or pod system with e-liquid, ensuring it’s filled to the recommended level but not overfilled.
  6. Reconnect your vaping device to its power source and allow the coil to sit for several minutes to fully saturate.

By following these steps, you can prime your new coil to ensure proper saturation, prevent dry hits, and prolong the lifespan of your coil.

Maintain Adequate E-liquid Levels:

Importance of Monitoring and Refilling

By monitoring your e-liquid levels and refilling before the tank or pod system runs dry, you can enjoy a consistent and enjoyable vaping experience. This ensures that you get the best possible flavour and vapour production with each puff, without the risk of dry hits, coil deterioration, or build-up.

To monitor your e-liquid level, check your device’s user manual or instructions to see how to access the tank or pod system. Visual inspection of the e-liquid level is typically the easiest way to assess the amount remaining. Refilling before the level gets too low is recommended to avoid interruptions in your vaping experience.

Regularly checking and refilling e-liquid levels can significantly enhance your vaping experience. By avoiding dry hits, prolonging coil lifespan and avoiding build-up, you can ensure optimal flavour, vapour production and longevity of your device.

Adjust Wattage or Temperature Settings:

Recommended Range for Optimal Performance

To ensure optimal performance, it is advisable to check the specifications and recommendations provided by the coil manufacturer or your vaping device’s user manual. Adjust your device settings within the recommended range to achieve the best flavour, vapour production, and overall vaping experience.

By following the recommended wattage or power range for your specific coil, you can avoid dry hits, extend coil longevity, and enjoy the full potential of your e-liquids. Keep in mind that different coils may have different ranges, so it’s essential to double-check and adjust accordingly when using a new coil.

Avoid Chain Vaping:

Importance of Allowing Sufficient Time between Puffs

Taking breaks between puffs is a simple yet effective technique to prevent a burnt taste while vaping. When you vape rapidly and don’t allow sufficient time for the wick to saturate, the coil can become dry and burn the wick. This leads to an unpleasant burnt taste and reduces the overall enjoyment of your vape.

To avoid this issue and produce the best possible vaping experience, it’s recommended to take short breaks between puffs. This gives the wick sufficient time to saturate, ensuring that you get a consistent and flavourful hit with every puff.

Clean or Replace Coils:

Maintenance and Replacement for Optimal Flavour

To maintain optimal flavour and prevent build-up, it is recommended to clean or replace your coils at regular intervals. The frequency may vary depending on factors like coil material, e-liquid composition, and vaping habits. Consult your device’s user manual or the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific instructions on coil maintenance.

By regularly cleaning or replacing coils, you can prevent build-up, maximise flavour, retain vapour production, and prolong the lifespan of your coils. This ensures that you get the best possible vaping experience with every puff.

Experiment with Different E-liquids:

Finding a Balance between Flavour and Wicking

If you’re experiencing a burnt taste while vaping, especially after ruling out other potential issues like old or worn-out coils and incorrect settings, it’s worth considering the e-liquid you’re using.

Different e-liquids have varying thicknesses and consistencies, and these can impact the wicking performance of your coils. When the wicking performance is inadequate, it can result in the dreaded burnt taste. Adapting to a different e-liquid can help you find a balance between flavour and wicking performance.

Try using e-liquids with different VG/PG ratios. Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is thick and syrupy, while Propylene Glycol (PG) is thinner. A higher VG ratio can result in more vapour production and a smoother hit, but it may also result in slower wicking and reduce the overall wicking performance. On the other hand, a higher PG ratio can lead to stronger flavours and a more significant throat hit but using too much PG can cause harshness and throat irritation.

Experimenting with different e-liquids and ratios can help you find the balance that works best for you and your vaping equipment. By finding the perfect balance between flavour and vapour production, while also ensuring adequate wicking performance, you can avoid a burnt taste and enhance your overall vaping experience.


The burnt vape taste can occur due to various reasons, including insufficient e-liquid in the tank, overheating of the coil, inconsistent wattage or power settings, and old or worn-out coils. To prevent this unpleasant experience and ensure a flavourful vaping experience, proper maintenance, and settings are necessary.


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