How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill

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If you love to BBQ or simply cook food outdoors, you need a smoker box. A smoker box comes in the shape of a small metal container. It adds a smoky flavor to your grilled and non-grilled food. It will be an absolute game-changer and enhance your experience with smoky flavored food by ten-folds.

In this item, we will dive into the discussion about smoker boxes. We will guide you into learning how to use a smoker box on a gas grill. You will also acquire all the fundamental knowledge about these boxes.

How to use a smoker box on a gas grill?

In this section, we will introduce the art of using a smoker box on a gas grill. We hope that you will up your game once you have learned and understood how to use a smoker box. On your next outdoor cook day, you can prepare an unbelievably delicious smoky flavored lunch or dinner. You will successfully astonish your friends and family.

Without further ado, let us get right into the step-by-step guide on using a smoker box on a gas grill.

1. Preheat the grill

First things first, you need to preheat the grill for around or more than ten minutes. In order to preheat, you can simply light up the gas burners.

2. Spread out wood

The following step is to evenly spread out the wood smoking chips or chunks. It would be best if you use chips or chunks, depending upon the size of your smoker box. You must remember not to fill up the box. It would be wise only to fill up two-thirds or three-quarters of the given area.

3. Position the smoker box

It is crucial to position the box correctly over the heat source – the charcoal or, in this case, the gas burner. You will notice there is a shelf below your grill, which was designed precisely for this purpose. You can easily fit your smoker box in there. However, for whatever reason, you do not want to use the shelf; you can place the smoker box directly above the grill.

You do not have to concern yourself about damaging the box as most of the boxes are made out of cast iron, thus, handling the heat well.

4. Wait for the smoke

Now, you will have to wait for the wood chips or chunks to start smoking. Once that happens, you can soon begin to grill.

5. Monitor the temperature

Do not forget to monitor the temperature inside the grill. You want to make sure the inside of the grill is not too hot or not hot enough. It must reach the perfect required temperature.

If your heat source is a gas burner, you must aim for the right temperature. In our opinion, the temperature should be at 225°F minimum and should not exceed 250°F. Alternatively, if you are using charcoal, keep in mind, it will burn quite hot, so you must keep an eye out. The plus point is when you position the smoker box; the box will absorb some of the heat.

6. Fix the temperature

It could be possible that the smoke or the heat is not enough and you need more. In such situations, you can increase the heat by turning up the gas burner heat or adding more charcoals. To increase the level of smoke, simply add more smoking chips or chunks in the smoker box. It will help if you keep adding until you are sure the grill reaches the correct cooking temperature. 

7. Add the ingredients

Now your grill is completely ready. You will have to add your food, i.e., the meat or the vegetables. The food will soak up the smoke and cook into a delicious smoky flavored dish.

Benefits of using a smoker box

Often people wonder what the use of a smoker box is. People mistook using a BBQ grill for cooking food with that of a smoker box. However, it is not exactly the same thing. Owning and cooking with a smoker box actually allows you to enjoy numerous benefits.

Protection from heat

The smoker box will protect the wood chunks or chips you will use for the smoky flavor from direct or too much heat.

Temperature control

Placing wood directly on charcoal or gas burners can raise the temperature over 750°F as it will be hard to control the heat. However, with a smoker box, you can ensure the temperature of the wood will be moderated between 550°F to 750°F for the perfect smoky flavor.

Smoky Flavor

If you love smoky flavored food, you need a smoker box. This is because a smoker box can help you to achieve the deliciously impeccable smoky flavor that will be infused into your food.

Easy to Clean

Due to the simple mechanics of the box, the smoker box is easy to clean after use. If you are not big on cleaning, you can always use one-time ones that you can dispose of after use.

Multipurpose

Smoker boxes come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, so you can buy any type that will be the most suitable for your purpose. Moreover, you can use it on both gas and charcoal grills, so you do not have to worry about that either.

Top 10 Smoker Boxes

After systematic research, we found the ten best smoker box models available in the market. These models are foolproof and worked remarkably well for the users on various occasions. Food cooked with one of these smoker boxes smells and tastes outstanding, and we assure you they are worth the investment.

  • Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel V-Shape Smoker Box for Gas Grill
  • Cave Tools Smoker Box
  • Grillaholics Smoker Box
  • Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box
  • Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
  • GrillPro 00150 Cast Iron
  • Charcoal Companion Large Nonstick V-Shaped
  • Cave Tools Maximum Wood Chip Capacity
  • Outset Q177 Wood Chip Smoking Box
  • Cuisinart CSB-156 Wood Chip Smoker Box

Types of Smoker Box

If you have made your mind up about purchasing a smoker box, it is time to know more about it. We will discuss different types of smoker boxes in this part of the article. We hope this will give you a more precise idea about the kind of smoker box you want.

Over-Grate Smoker Box

An over-grate smoker box is positioned on top of a grill. Usually, it is manufactured from stainless steel and can be found in either cube or rectangular shapes. You can purchase the form that suits best with your grill as over-grate smoker boxes come in different sizes. The number of wood chips or chunks you use will depend on the size of the box.

As the box will be positioned on top of a grill, the smoke will be pushed away from the food and transfer below or next to the box. We recommend you use this box over a gas or BBQ grill with the lid closed. The smoke will then stay inside the compartment, enhancing the flavor of the food.

Under-Grate Smoker Box

An under-grate will need to stand excessive heat, as it will be positioned between flame diffusers under the gas grill grate. Therefore, under-grate smoker boxes are usually made of cast iron and, at times, stainless steel. These materials are the best option when it comes to standing heat.

They come in various shapes, such as v-shaped, flat, round, and tube-shaped. They are usually re-usable; however, if you want, you can get the disposable ones too, which are made from aluminum foil.

It is placing the box directly under the grill results in rich and intern smoky flavored food. It also permits you to have more control over steering the smoke towards the food while cooking. Let us not forget the adjustable vents that help to control the smoke. This is why this kind of box is quite popular and a favorite among customers.

Free-Standing Smoker Box

A free-standing smoker box is bigger than any other type of smoker boxes. Due to its size, keep in mind, you will need more wood chunks or chips per session. It is made from cast iron or stainless steel, as it will need to stand extreme heat and flame.

To get the best results while cooking with a free-standing box, you could use two ways. You can position it directly into an open flame. The second option is to set it on top of a grill over flames. There is one more way to use a coal oven and place it directly on the charcoal. 

Disposable Smoker Box

If you are looking for a temporary smoker box, your best option is to pick a disposable smoker box. You can only use it once and dispose of it once you are done.

Disposable smoker boxes are made of aluminum foil. The lid consists of holes that are used as vents for smoke to disperse. You can also place wood chips inside through these holes.

These are incredible and work faultlessly when you plan to have an impromptu outdoor cooking session.

Best Wood Chunks for Smoker Box

Wood chunks enhance the taste and flavor of any food. Therefore, we always prefer to use wood chunks when we use our smoker boxes for cooking. The rich, exquisite touch of smoky flavor makes the experience of indulging in the food a million times better.

We made a list of some of the wood chunks that are our personal favorite. We also mentioned the food that would work the best with each of the given wood chunks. We hope the list makes your experiment with a smoker box more exciting.

  • Hickory Wood Chunks: Bacon, red meat, and ham; BBQ flavor
  • Apple Wood Chunks: Pork and poultry; sweet and mild flavor; enhances flavor with other wood types
  • Mesquite Wood Chunks: Beef; strongest smoking wood; do not use for white meat and fish
  • Cherry Wood Chunks: Adds sweet-and-tart flavor to every kind of food
  • Lemon, Orange, and Grapefruit Chunks: Fish and white meat; citrusy flavor
  • Oak Wood Chunks: Pork, ribs, and any heavy game; intense smoke flavor and best for heavy-duty smoking

How to buy a smoker box?

Now that you read the list of some of the best smoker box models, we should discuss the next step. It is not enough merely picking a brand; you must also know the features and characteristics of the smoker box you will buy. It must serve your need and purpose. Hence, below we listed some of the critical elements you must consider while purchasing a smoker box.

  • It is wise to choose a model that is easy to clean
  • Always enquire about the materials it is made from, i.e., steel or iron cast.
  • Make sure the smoker box has high durability.
  • Always pick the right size.
  • It would be best if you picked one that vents smoke through the top outlets.
  • Find a model with an easy-to-open lid that fits tightly.
  • Do not forget to find out about the kind of wood chips most suitable for the model.
  • You must also learn whether the smoker box is compatible with gas or electric grills.

To Sum Up

In summary, smoker boxes will enhance your experience of cooking outdoors. They will also raise your expectations with smoky flavored meat and vegetables. Everyone should have this experience at least once. We are confident that you will never go back to traditional BBQ or outdoor cooking party ways once you try this.

We hope we were able to indulge you about the smoker box, and you know now how to use a smoker box on a gas grill. A long-term investment will be worth your money. Next time you throw a garden or BBQ party, you can wow your guests with delicious, smoky, flavored food.

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