Five Reasons Why Your Vape Tastes Burnt and How to Fix Them

There is nothing more frustrating than when your vape tastes burnt. One minute you’re vaping away and the next, you're hit with an unpleasant burnt taste. There's no comparison to that awful throat feeling.

It can ruin your lunch break, your whole day, or even steer you away from vaping altogether. Many vape users find troubleshooting the burnt taste infuriating as there are many potential causes of the same issue. As a result, some even end up buying a completely new device which can be an unnecessary cost.

Don't fear. Although that acrid burnt taste is annoying, it is also pretty common. There are some simple fixes to help you get rid of the burnt taste so you can enjoy your vape once again.

Does Your Vape Taste Burnt? 

There are several reasons why your vape may be giving off a burnt taste. However, for each reason there is a solution. It’s important to understand the root causes of common vape issues. Once you understand them, you can get rid of the burnt taste and get back to enjoying your vape session. 

Is Your Vape Burning Your Throat? Exploring Burnt Hits vs. Dry Hits

In the world of vaping, burnt hits and dry hits are sometimes used as interchangeable terms. They both deliver unpleasant vaping experiences. However, users shouldn’t mistake them for the same thing.

A dry hit is much less severe than a burnt hit. Dry hits occur when the wick of your coil dries up to produce an insipid taste with less vapour. Burnt hits often cause coughing and that distinctly unappealing flavour in the back of your throat. One way to look at the difference between a dry hit and a burnt hit is that dry vape hits come as a warning sign. You'll experience it before you get a burnt vape hit.

Dry hits are easily solved by adding more vape juice to your vape tank. This will saturate your dry wick and cause your vape to begin normal vapour production again. If you continually hit your vape when it is drying out you’ll damage your device and experience that awful burnt taste we are all trying to avoid.

Why Your Vape Tastes Burnt

There are a few different causes of burnt vape hits. You'll know right away when you start vaping burnt hits, because of the unmistakably harsh burnt taste.

Although there are several causes of your vape tasting burnt, most of them are related to your coil burning your vape's wicking material. Here are five of the most common causes of this issue.

1. High wattage range

Although using a high wattage range can be tempting, it is one common reason why your vape tastes burnt.

You can run through the e liquid inside your vape incredibly quickly, if you vape at a wattage range that goes above your coil limit,  It can also cause your coil head to burn the wick, even if you still have vape juice in your vape tank.

This is especially common with box mod vape setups, as the powerful battery can run at high temperatures.

2. Chain vaping

Chain vaping is another common reason why your vape tastes burnt. While it is incredibly easy to take several consecutive puffs on your vape, if you start to notice a burnt taste, it is a sign to put it down.

Chain vaping can quickly deplete the vape juice in your vape tank, causing the wick to burn. Taking a short break allows the e liquid a chance to absorb so that the wick is properly saturated.

3. Vaping with high VG vape juice

Vape juice contains both vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) and each ingredient serves a different function. Propylene glycol produces more of a "throat hit" similar to the sensation of cigarette smoke, while vegetable glycerin tends to be thicker and sweeter.

One big difference is that PG carries flavour, while VG produces those satisfying vape clouds. E liquid can have a variety of combinations of these ingredients. It is important to check to ensure that the percentages of VG and PG in your juice are compatible with your vape pen.

Although certain vape mods allow for the use of high VG vape juice, some setups need at least 50 percent PG in order to function properly. A good rule of thumb is to check the size of your wick channels. If the holes in the wick channel are smaller, it can result in clogs when using high VG e liquid and a burnt taste.

4. Not priming coils properly or using old coils

This tends to be the most common cause of that burnt taste from your vape pen. Priming your coil heads simply means allowing your wick to be completely saturated with e liquid to prepare them for use. If the coil head is not properly primed, it can result in a burnt hit.

Additionally, you can be noticing that your vape tastes burnt due to use of old coils. Vapes taste burnt when coil heads are not replaced. If you've been troubleshooting and nothing else appears to be amiss, it is likely time to replace your coil.

Although some vape tanks come with replaceable coils, if you are using a disposable vape or one with disposable cartridges, you might need to replace the entire vape tank if you have a bad coil.

5. Running low on vape e-liquid

 If all else fails try refilling your vape tank if you are running low or vaping on an empty tank. Having enough e liquid in your vape ensures that your wick is fully saturated and prevents that burnt taste.

If you use a disposable vape or a vape that uses disposable cartridges it could be a sign that you are simply out of e liquid and need to replace your vape pen.

How Do I Get the Burnt Taste Out of My Vape?

For each issue, there is a pretty simple solution. The best way to fix a burnt vape taste is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This can be done through some of the following precautionary measures, which also help to extend the lifespan of your vape. 

1. Vape using a low wattage

If you're using a vape setup that has variable wattage, begin vaping at a low temperature to prevent your vape from tasting burnt when your coil heats up. A low wattage will use less e liquid and provide a better vape experience.

2. Take your time while vaping

If you've ever chain vaped, you've probably experienced the unpleasant burnt taste of a burnt hit. When you chain vape, it can quickly deplete the e liquid in your vape tank, resulting in the wick inside drying out and burning on the coil. Instead, take your time when vaping to allow the wick time to re-saturate with e-liquid.

3. Be conscious of e-liquid ingredients such as sweeteners

Different vape devices have different capacities for e liquid. For the most pleasurable vaping experience, make sure that all your equipment is compatible. Wicking holes can vary in size depending on vape brand, and the smaller holes are not compatible with high VG e liquids.

4. Prime your coils

In order to prime your coils, you need a vape tank that allows you to remove and replace your wick. Prime your coil head by manually removing it and allowing the wick to soak in e liquid before even turning the vape on.

Here are the basic steps you can follow to prime your coil, although this can vary slightly depending on your setup:

  • Remove the new coil from the vape packaging;
  • Drip around three to four drops of e liquid onto the wicking holes and the coil head;
  • Put together your vape tank and fill it with vape juice;
  • Attach all the pieces and set your vape aside for ten minutes;
  • After waiting ten minutes, you can begin vaping!

For a better vape experience, start at a low temperature setting and work your way up to a sweet spot. You'll know that your wick is completely saturated by the absence of air pockets in the e liquid.

5. Check your e-liquid levels and regularly refill your vape

If you're vaping with a vape pen that has disposable cartridges, you can easily pop out the attached cartridge to check the juice levels. Otherwise, your tank should come with a window that you can check to see if you have enough e liquid.

Refilling your vape tank with juice before it empties completely is a great way to avoid your vape tasting burnt.

6. Avoid installing too much wick inside your vape

If you overstuff your vape coil with too much dry cotton it can result in you getting a burnt hit. All the material makes it challenging to completely saturate your vape coil, which leaves some wick exposed. When your wick is exposed to direct heat, it increases the probability of it burning, resulting in that terrible burnt taste.

How Often Do You Have to Change Vape Coils?

Not all coils come with a specific expiration date — in fact, most don't! Still, most coils have a span of time where they are most functional. However, this lifetime can change depending on how you use your vape. 

There are several factors that can impact the lifetime of your vape coils. These factors include the vape juice that you use, how often you have vape sessions, and the wattage that you use on your vape coils.

The New Coil on My Vape Tastes Burnt — What Do I Do?

As unfortunate as it is, sometimes you just get a new vape coil that is a total dud. Coils are handmade, so there's always a possibility for regular human error.

If this happens to you, you can always reach out to the store that you purchased the coil from or the manufacturer, who will hopefully refund you for those bad coils.

At Vapours Canada, we have a massive selection of replacement coils and vape juices. This makes it incredibly easy to fix any issue that might arise with your vape. There’s no need to experience a burnt hit ever again — Vapours Canada has you covered. 

Now that you know how to fix that burnt vape taste, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your refreshed vape.


The Vapours Canada blog is meant to provide education and  information for those looking to transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping e-liquid. These thoughts and opinions are entirely our own, and have been gathered through working in this industry extensively, as well as using these products ourselves for a prolonged period of time. In no way are we claiming vaping to be healthy for the user. If you have any doubts, please consult your doctor to see if vaping is right for you. You must be of legal age in your state/province  to vape.