How to Use a Smoker Box

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A smoker box is a worthwhile investment if you plan to smoke meat regularly. This handy accessory adds a smoky taste to your food despite its tiny size.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to use a smoker box.

How to Use a Smoker Box

smoker box is the simplest way to smoke food. Set the wood chips in the smoker box, place the smoker box near the heat source, and add the meat to the grill. Refill the chips as necessary. Keep reading for detailed information on using a smoker box on a gas grill or a charcoal grill.

1. Preparing the Smoker Box

You should fill up more than half the dry wood chips in the smoker box for the best results.

Make sure the smoker box isn’t overloaded. Add enough wood chips to fill the box, but ensure the lid is secure.

You can pick and choose from a wide variety of wood chips.

When smoking red meat, try using hickory or pecan wood to get the best results. Cherry and apple wood combine nicely to give chicken and pork ribs a sweet, smokey flavor. Oak is suitable for beef cuts, including brisket, and mesquite gives red meats a robust flavor.

Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Place the Smoker Box on the Grill

Place the smoker box as close as possible to the heat source.

That means on top of the burners on a gas grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, set it right on top of the charcoals.

We recommend putting your burners to the highest setting to get the smoker box hot enough to begin creating smoke. Depending on the temperature, it may take up to 10 minutes for the smoker box to heat up on some grills.

If your gas grill has a v-shaped heat deflector, you can use a v-shaped smoker box and place it right on top of the deflector to get the most out of the heat. A universal smoker box can do the trick if you don’t want anything contacting the burners.

3. Place the Food on the Grill

You can turn your burners down to ordinary cooking settings after the smoker box starts creating smoke.

While it is cooking, it will be hot enough to keep producing smoke. Enjoy the smoky flavor of your food when you grill it.

Tips on How to Use a Smoker Box

Smoker boxes are most effective when used correctly. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when using a smoker box.

  • To keep the smoker box as hot as possible, you may need to add more wood chips during cooking.
  • Use only high-quality wood chips. A simple smoker box with the best wood chips will perform better than a high-end smoker box with low-quality chips.
  • While your meat is smoking, keep the lid of your barbeque closed as much as possible. It guarantees that your smoke reaches as much of the meat as possible and does not escape.

Soak Wood Chips or Not

Soaking the wood chips is to keep them from catching fire. Because there are no holes in the bottom of most smoker boxes, the wood chips should not catch fire. Yes, you can use soaked wood chips in your smoker box, but they will take longer to start creating smoke.

What Is a Smoker Box?

A smoker box is a removable, square, or rectangular-shaped container that holds smoking wood chips. The bottom of the smoker box is usually solid, while the top is punctured in a uniform pattern. When you put smoking chips inside, smoke will rise through the punched holes and into the main compartment of your grill or smoker, where the meat is.

Last update on 2024-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Advantages of Using a Smoker Box

A smoker box aims to keep your wood smoking chunks or chips from getting too hot. When wood is burned at 550 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, it produces the most flavorful smoke. 

If you’re considering smoking chips, keep in mind that this refers to the temperature of the wood itself, not the temperature of the air within your smoker.

It’s possible to get a temperature of over 750 degrees Fahrenheit if you set your wood directly on the charcoal or even next to it. 

However, by using a smoker box, you can control the temperature of your wood to produce the most flavorful smoke at a low, constant temperature.

You can also use a smoker box in almost any grill or smoker when cooking outside. You’ll need to buy a separate smoker box if you want to use your cooking equipment as a smoker. You can put them in just about any cooking appliance, and they’ll work fine.

Alternatives to Smoker Boxes

If you don’t have a smoker box and don’t plan on getting one anytime soon, a medium-sized foil pan will work. It’s a low-cost solution that functions nearly as well as a smoker box. 

Place your wood chips in a medium-sized foil pan next to or on the charcoal, and then close the lid. 

A foil pan differs from a smoker box only because it is not covered. Smoker boxes have holes on the top that enable some smoke to escape while keeping most of the heat, making them better over open and exposed foil pans. 

However, if you don’t have access to a smoker box, you can use a foil pan instead.


Grilled meats taste better when smoked, and a smoker box can help you achieve that. 

You won’t need a smoking grill once you’ve learned how to use a smoker box to smoke your meat to perfection.