A majority of us love gas grills simply because of their convenience and simplicity. These units heat up quickly to a preferred temperature, as well as, it maintains the preferred temperature without a lot of effort. Clearly, gas does not have a specific smell, and the meal will not be cooked with the smoky flavor, which many of us love. Nevertheless, although they are very easy to manipulate and affordable, you can turn your trusted unit and turn it into a full smoker. In this article, we are going to cover all and everything you need to know about smoker box for gas grill. It is important to note that, all the smoker boxes are designed for hot smoking (the kind of smoking that is done while cooking).
What Is a Smoker Box?
A smoker box is generally a portable metal container that features holes in its housing. The idea is to place special pellets or wood chips for smoking inside. Do not confuse the special pellets with heating pellets, which are not suitable for cooking. After filling the box with either the special pellets or wood chips, it is placed over the burner of the gas grill. The container heats up to a high temperature and the content in it will begin to emit smoke. Please note that smoker boxes are intended to be used only outside and not indoors.
The holes allow both air (oxygen) and smoke to flow in and out of the box. It is important to note that the special pellet or wood chips should not burn but only smoke (they produce a large amount of smoke and last for a long time generating smoke). This ensures any meal has that smoky flavor you love while grilling.
Recommended Smoker Boxes
Smoker Box for BBQ Grill Wood Chips
Achieving that wooden smoky flavor is usually a tough task to do. That’s why Cave Tools Smoker Box For Bbq Grill Wood Chips is the preferred option to make the work easier. This smoker box comes with a hinged lid for easy access and to place more woods anytime. It offers a dimension of 9” L x 3” W x 1.5” H, which is large enough to fit between flavorizer bars and grill grates. It is made up of high-quality stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable, so you won’t have to think about buying a new smoker box for a long time.
Smoker boxes take a huge amount of time to get heated up, but this smoker box just needs ten minutes to heat its target temperature even on smaller and cheaper grills. On top of that, it offers a lifetime guarantee of a refund. If you don’t like the product or are not satisfied with this product for any reason, Cave Tools will return your money which shows that they take their customers and their choices very seriously.
The best part? It comes with twenty-five professional barbecue recipes named Cave Town BBQ recipe journal, which you can download on android and iOS for free. It is easy to clean and easy to use, making it an ideal example of value for money.
- Easy to use and clean
- Made from stainless steel, which makes it sturdy and long-lasting
- Large enough to fit between flavorizer bars and grill grates
- Lifetime guarantee of refund
- Free twenty-five professional barbecue recipes
- The hinged lid provides easy access to place more wood in between
- Large wood chip capacity
- Low smoke output
- Little bulky because of thick stainless steel used
Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box
Gone are the days when you had to lit the fire and put wood pieces in it to give your food a smoky aroma and flavor. Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box has made infusing your food with a gentle aroma of smoky wood easier than ever. It comes in the dimensions of 9.8” L x 4.5” W x 2” H and weighs approximately one pound, makings it extremely lightweight.
It is made of stainless steel (read more on using stailess still in grills), which makes it highly durable, and it also has ventilation on both sides, which imparts a plethora of wooden smokey flavours to your food. Well, what if it doesn’t work? Don’t worry; Weber gives a two-year warranty in case of a malfunction. It has a sleek and attractive design that grabs the attention in no time, and the technology is even better.
You just have to add the wood pieces and place them under the grill grates and enjoy the smokey flavour you always desired in no time. Well, there’s no hassling while using it since the hinged lid makes it easier to add the wood chips while still in use. It is compatible with almost all gas grills. It’s easy to use, which makes it user-friendly and an ideal example of value for money. On top of it, it’s super easy to clean, so you won’t have to worry about making tons of food now.
- Ventilation on either side makes the infusing wood flavour easier
- The hinged lid makes it easy to add wood while in use
- Large in size and fits in an exceedingly broad range of grills
- Attractive and eye-catching design
- Easy to clean
- Stainless steel makes it highly durable
- Easy to use
- 2 year warranty period
- Little big for small grills
Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel V-Shape Smoker Box
Jealous of your neighbor’s Texas-style BBQ? If you too want that smoky flavor but don't want to spend on a whole barbeque grill. There is a smoking hot alternative waiting for you.
The very simple and practical V-shape Smoker box by Charcoal Companion which is great for mid- to high-end grills. This small box will convert your gas grill into a flavor machine. It is an almost fourteen-inch-long box with a V base that fits right into all conventional grills. When placed right on top of the heat, the burnt chips seep their flavor onto the food through uniformly spread vents. The stainless-steel material keeps the box working for years to come.
All these features come condensed into a sturdy, silver-colored compartment at an affordable price.
- Perfect fit - If the chips inside the box get charred, your food will taste burnt. So the box is designed to keep it at a safe distance from the burner.
- Easy to clean - Imagine a compact box with burnt wood residues inside. If that sounds like a nightmare to clean, worry no more. The Charcoal Companion smoker is efficient in collecting all residues. Just dump the ash out and reuse it.
- Long-lasting - Stainless steel is a material that gets used in making so many cookery products. The reason being that they didn't rust. This product is also one durable kitchen item.
- Clogged vents - The air vents can get jammed after a while of use. This will slow down the smoking of the food. It might even trap the heat inside and set the chips on fire.
- Zero control - After the box is inside the grate, there is no way to check for the airflow in it. As a result, it becomes even more difficult to see if the chips are receiving enough heat.
- Complicated refilling - In cases where you need to refill the box, things can get tricky. The temperatures inside are soaring. And the box has no insulating material on it. This can make it a bit of a circus to add more chips.
Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
Want to pack a direct punch to your food? Then go straight into it with the bombshell of a smoker, Char-Broil's cast-iron box. This is a handy tool that has the power to smoke your food just right. It comes in the cast iron material that will sustain all temperatures and make your grilling experience a satisfying one.
While the box retains heat, the lid prevents it from catching fire. Instead, put it directly onto the grill and let the smoke come out from the long vents. The smoker is a generic fit that comes at a modest price.
The Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box is a powerhouse of taste to your wood chips.
By the way, Char-Broil is one of the leading manufacturers of gas grills in the world, check our article about 4-burner grills of this brand.
- Good with heat - The most important aspect of designing a smoker box is its heat resistance. The box shouldn't catch fire before the wood chips do. Both the lid and box material have been combined to perform exactly this operation.
- Heavy duty - The life of this product is prolonged with regular cleaning. Even when dropped, this product is less likely to break. So, it isn't necessary to handle the product with extra care.
- Easy maintenance - Since it has no nooks and crannies, there is little to no chance of grease accumulation. In addition, the lid is thin enough to fend off any wood chips that might gather around it.
- Irons rusts - Despite it being made of cast iron, the box holds all chances of rusting. Especially with the use of water for soaking the chips. If the wet box comes in contact with any grease, it'll catch that.
- Not compatible with electric grills - The heating capacity of an electric grill is inadequate for a smoker box. If the wood chips don't receive enough heat, the smoking procedure won’t begin.
- Coating hazard - The product is coated with a layer of paint. As it burns off, it will emit fumes that might be harmful. If not, it might spoil the flavor of the food.
Skyflame Wood Chip Smoker
There are just certain things in a smoker box that need changing, like the shape, which doesn't fit every grill or the lack of easy access. If any of this has ever taxed you, now you have a choice.
The newly designed Skyflame wood chip smoker box answers all your demands. Unlike any other product in the market, with a Skyflame smoker, you can perform all sorts of smoking tasks. In addition, it is equipped with high-end features like a hinged lid, a w-shaped design, and vent waves.
It comes with a metallic silver finish that covers its thick frame, enhancing the look. Easy to handle and lightweight, Skyflame smoker is the perfect partner for your propane and charcoal gas grills.
- W-Shaped bottom - A shape that fits all. Its W-shape design guarantees a stable fit in-between the flame-deflector bars.
- Wavy vents - This sturdy stainless-steel box comes with wavy vents for added smoke. They are concentrated over the lid to be able to cover more surfaces.
- Hinged lid - Unlike any other product in the market, with a Skyflame smoker, you can add extra chips while you're using it.
- Stainless-Steel body - The heavy metal allows it to work with both charcoal and LPG grills. However, it is suggested to work best with medium or low flames.
- 43-degree angle - Some grills in the market come with flame deflectors at an angle of 45-degrees and above. In that case, this smoker wouldn't make a good fit.
- Too light - The box is likely to get unbalanced as the chips burn off. It would need to be looked after every once in a while.
- Fast burning - With accelerated heating, there will be a need for frequent refilling. As a result, your chips might get used up faster when using this smoker.
- Not good for chunks - The design of the box prevents chunks from heating up as much as pellets. Using dry wood is also not an option. This box won't be able to tun-up the same capacity of smoke as it can with chips.
How To Choose an Ideal Smoker Box For You?
You should pay attention to 3 important characteristics anytime you are selecting a smoker box for your barbecue. These are:
You should pay attention to 3 important characteristics anytime you are selecting a smoker box for your barbecue. These are:
The Size and Shape
The smoker box should fit comfortably inside your grill. In order to make cleaning up after cooking easier, you will want to prefer grill smoker boxes so that the juices dripping down from the food being cooked do not get on their lids. Thus, the size of the box should be large enough so that you don't have to put wood chips in to replace those burned off during cooking too often, but also small enough so that you can place it away from the food. For this reason, it would be a wise thing to take inside measurements of your grill.
Note that the smoker box should be placed directly above the grill burner (could be used with major fuel types – both propane and natural gas) so that the high temperature in the grill could make it start smoking.
The material used to make the smoker box matters. Remember, these units function in extreme environments. First, they work under high temperatures, and when it cools, the ash in these devices absorb moisture which is a perfect environment for rust to develop. In fact, many manufacturers recommend not waiting for too long to clean the unit after use. When choosing a smoker box, consider one that has been made using high thermal conductivity material, and resistant to rust also.
Although cast iron may seem like the best option, it is wise to consider investing in stainless steel. That is because, unlike cast iron, stainless steel is easy to clean and does last for long. Nevertheless, it is wise to consider a product that has been made with a thicker material to prevent warping.
The Lid Design
Remember, from time to time, you will have to add new chips to replace the burned ones. For this reason, the smoker box must have an opening that should be easy and safe to use. The ideal model will allow a user to hook with a tong and open it while it is still hot.
Dry or Soaked Chips – Which Is Better?
First, it is important to note that pre-soaking is an option that does not apply to pellets designed for smoking. As such, if you attempt to soak them, they will fall apart and no longer usable.
Nevertheless, the million-dollar question is, does pre-soaking the chips make sense? To answer this question, you must first realize for wood chips to start smoking the water in them must first evaporate. As you know, the boiling point of water is lower compared to the combustion temperature of the wood. Therefore, without water evaporating, the wood chip temperature will not increase to a level where it starts smoking. According to research by amazingribs.com, they proved that soaking wood chips only shifts the timing of the smoke emission.
On the other hand, using wet/soaked wood chips can make sense if a person is using two different smoker boxes (one with dry wood chips and the other with soaked wood chips). The dry one will begin to smoke immediately while the soaked chips come later into play. This is a technique that allows longer smoke generation time without the need to keep on adding the chips while grilling.
In a nutshell, we recommend using dry chips in all cases and do not bother yourself with soaking.
The Chip To Use and for What Kind of Meat?
The good news is that you can find a lot of great ideas on the web regarding the wood chips that are best for smoking a particular food. For example, currently, there is a lot of information that shows Maple chips are the best for veggies and poultry; but may not be good for lamb or pork. However, you should note that most of this information is simply not true and differs from one website to another.
Moreover, the structure and flavor of these trees are different because the smoke produced is greatly influenced by the soil and climate where the tree grew. For example, assuming that you have a similar tree, but one grows in Michigan, and the other one is from Texas; both will produce different results because they grew in different conditions. Furthermore, it will also depend on the way the tree was dried.
Other factors that may affect the taste and outcome include; the spice used, packaging, the temperature at which a person is grilling, how clean is the grill used, the quality of the smoked product, how fresh is the food being grilled, and others.
All in all, the number of unknown factors is limitless, and it can be a challenge to give a simple recommendation to use wood of a certain kind for cooking certain foods.
The best news is that any common wood, such as Fruit woods, Mesquite, Hickory, Pecan, Oak, etc. will all work great for cooking any food; especially when they are used as chips for grilling in a gas grill rather than choosing the wood as a heat source. A little certainty is given by wood chip manufacturers by simply following their recommendations when choosing a product. It is wise to start there and experiment to find the best one for you.
How To Use the Smoker Box?
- Preheating the Grill – It is recommended to preheat the grill for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is a great way to set the temperature quickly as well as allow you to clean the grates easily with a brush. You should always clean the grill grate every time you are using it.
- Setting For Indirect Cooking – You have to set up your grill for indirect cooking. Turn off any burner that may be directly over the meal and adjust others to create a desired temperature in the grill. To achieve better results, smoking needs a range of 225F to 250F. On the other hand, if you are grilling on the low (slow-mode) you can use a range between 190F to 200F for red meat and 160F to 175F for poultry. Follow the recipe of your choice.
- Use Dry Wood Chips – It is recommended to use dry wood chips to get the best possible results. Consider using little over half the volume.
- Where To Place The Smoker – It is recommended to place the smoker box directly onto the grill burner that you want to use to indirectly BBQ your meal. Remember not to place the box on the grill grate as some advertisers tend to do in their photos. That is because there is not enough temperature on the grill grate to heat the box efficiently. It should be placed as close as possible to the burner otherwise it will never begin smoking.
- Start Grilling When You Begin To See Smoke Coming Out Of The Box – You should only start grilling when you start seeing smoke coming out of the smokebox. Place the food in the grill and close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches the preferred level.