Burnt taste during vaping explained

vaping burnt taste

While it’s not an unusual occurrence, it can be bothersome to get a burnt taste during vaping. If you’re wondering how to get rid of it, luckily, it’s not too difficult. There can be several reasons why your vape tastes burnt, but in order to understand what causes that aftertaste, you firstly need to know how vapor is produced in an e cigarette.

Vapor in e cigarettes is produced when the e liquid in the device is heated and vaporizes. When you start up a vaping device that utilizes a coil, such as a box mod, the e liquid is absorbed by a wicking material (usually made of cotton), which the coil inside then heats in to create the vapor you inhale.

Your vape may start having a burnt taste as the coil becomes more used:

  • as remnants of decomposed e liquids get built up and heated, or
  • if a dry wick is heated without being properly saturated with e liquid.

This can be resolved by changing your coil regularly, or ensuring proper priming of the wick prior to use, that is letting the wick soak in e liquid.

With vaping devices that do not utilize a coil, like pod-based vaping systems, the e liquid is often in direct contact with a heater within the pod, and likewise, turns into vapor when heated.

Using pod-based devices, such as the IQOS VEEV e-cigarette, can be a way to avoid burnt tasting vapes. Since the e liquid filled pods are built specifically for the accompanying e cigarette, the formulation is optimized to ensure the proper, sufficient e liquid transfer to the heater. With that, and no coils and wicks to attend to and maintain, the chance of overheating and a burnt-tasting vape is greatly reduced.

You might also get a burnt taste when you vape if you use high-VG e liquids. It’s the viscosity of Vegetable Glycerin (VG) that is more likely to reduce the efficiency of e liquid being transported to the wick, which can lead to insufficient e liquid heating, overheating, and more wick residue. Once again, this is an issue that can be avoided with pod-based vaping systems, as the e liquid in the pods is specifically formulated to work in an optimal manner with its accompanying e cigarette, versus using an e liquid that was self-mixed and not tested for compatibility with a certain vaping device.


How to tell if your coil is expired?

The coils inside vaping devices don’t last forever so, sooner or later, your coil will need replacing. If you want to know if your coil has become full of deposits and requires changing, there are several signs you may look out for:

  1. Burnt taste
  2. Probably the biggest indicator that your coil has reached the end of its lifespan, is an unpleasant burnt taste which accompanies the inhale from your vaping device and may completely overwhelm the flavor of your e liquid.

  3. Your vape is leaking
  4. If e-liquid starts to leak from your device or leaks into your mouth when you inhale, this can also be a sign that your coil needs replacing. Often, the wicking material of used coils will become clogged up with e liquid and the atomizer will not be able to vaporize in sufficient quantities, leading to the e liquid spilling out of the coil’s air holes.

  5. Unusual sounds when vaping
  6. Gurgling sounds may appear when you are vaping. If your vape produces a pronounced gurgle on the inhale (unless it is intended by the design of the vaping device), it is probable that you need a coil change. However, if your vaping device continues to produce gurgling noises even after a coil replacement, there are several other reasons for this.

  7. Not producing enough vapor
  8. The amount of vapor produced by your vaping device may gradually reduce as your coil reaches the end of its functional lifespan. However, low vapor production might also be an indication that your vaping device’s battery is low or faulty.

  9. You haven’t changed your coil for a while
  10. If you haven’t replaced the coil in a long time and your device is displaying any of the signs above, it’s likely that you need to replace your coil.


Why does my vape taste burnt with a new coil?

While your vape should not taste burnt with a new coil, especially if you have taken all the necessary precautions to properly prime your coil, this burnt taste with a new coil could indicate other issues.

  • Your new coil might not be a high quality one, which means it should be replaced right away with a quality coil from a reputable brand.
  • Moreover, it may be that the e liquid mixture is not compatible for the wick in your e cigarette, with a VG/PG mixture that does not transport well in the wick.
  • Additionally, your vape may taste burnt with a new coil if you are vaping at a higher wattage than recommended for the amount of e liquid available in the tank.

How often do you need to change the coil in a vape?

To avoid the burnt taste in vapes, the coil needs to be changed regularly - usually every one to four weeks.

When replacing the coil, you must remember to prime it before installing. This process will prepare the coil for use. To do this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the additional tips below:

  • Trickle a small amount of e liquid onto the wicking holes and inside the coil head.
  • Push the coil into place.
  • Assemble your vaping device.
  • Fill your vaping device’s tank with e liquid.
  • Leave the device for 10 minutes, so that the e liquid can reach the wick.

How to avoid a burnt taste when vaping?

There is a simple fix if you’re experiencing an unpleasant burnt taste from your vape whilst inhaling. Change your coil for a new one and then prime your new coil before use. How you do this will depend on the type of coil-based vaping device you use. Usually though, you will need to unscrew either the top or bottom of your tank to access the coil.

Another thing you can do to avoid a burning taste when you vape is to choose e cigarette liquids that are lower in VG and vape only at the recommended wattage.

You may want to explore different types of e cigarettes, such as those with pod-based systems that do not utilize coils at all. With these products, the whole pod is simply disposed and replaced when the pre-filled liquid runs out. This means that you do not have to worry about coil-related concerns. IQOS' recommendation for a pod based e-cigarette is IQOS VEEV, which delivers taste consistency every time.


Whichever vaping device you choose it is important to remember that vaping is not risk-free and many e cigarettes provide nicotine, which is addictive. Smoke-free products are intended for use by adults who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products and are not intended as cessation devices.

The best option to reduce the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine products is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. However, for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, switching completely to vaping is a better choice than continuing to smoke.

These tobacco products damage your health and are addictive.

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