How To Use A Smoker Box On A Gas Grill

Using A Smoker Box On A Gas Grill

Discover How to Utilize a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill. Master the techniques of using a smoker box on both gas and charcoal grills. If the idea of infusing your next grilled meal with a touch of smoke appeals to you, yet you lack a traditional smoker, fortune may still be on your side.

For a very small price, you can start adding smoke flavour to your food at home right now!

The result could be a smoky, delicious tasting meat cooked right on your current gas or charcoal grill. That’s right, we’re talking about the smoker box.

Let’s learn some more about how they work, how to use one, and even how to make your DIY smoker box at home. Read ahead to find out how to use a smoker box on a gas grill. 

What Is A Smoker Box On A Gas Grill

A smoker box, or a smoking box, is a small rectangular box with slots cut in the top. The box is made out of stainless steel or cast iron and the top part flips back or comes completely off.

What Does A Smoker Box Do

The idea is pretty simple. You fill the small box with wood chips to heat up on the grill and add smoke flavour to whatever you are cooking.

As the grill heats the box, the wood starts to smoke. The small slits in the box limit the amount of oxygen that reaches the wood, allowing it to smoulder and smoke rather than ignite and catch fire.

Using a wood chip smoker box is like adding a layer of seasoning.

How much wood you put in the box and how long you leave it in with the food will determine how much smoky flavour you get in the meat you’re cooking.

A Smoker Box And Its Working

Wood chips work best for smoking boxes, but make sure they aren’t treated with any chemicals. It is best to use natural wood chips made for smoking food.

If you ever try throwing chips of wood into your grill (we don’t recommend this), you’ll see that they will catch fire, burn up, and make a huge mess.

Larger, slow-burning wood chunks work great for smoking, but only in an actual smoker where you can limit the airflow to the entire cooking chamber. 

A smoker box gives you the ability to apply smoke to food on a conventional grill where you can’t limit the airflow.  

The smoker box keeps the wood contained and allows it to heat up to the 500-degree range where smoke begins to occur.

How To Use A Smoker Box On A Gas Grill

The first step is to get your grill going. Light the charcoal using a chimney and wait for the grill to heat up. While the charcoal is lighting, let’s load up that smoker box. Fill it with about 3/4 full of your favourite wood chips.

If you are going to be slow cooking your meat, set up your grill for indirect cooking by putting your smoker box in a corner along with the coals so that the meat is not right above them.

If you are grilling your meat (like burgers, chicken, or steak), put the smoker box and coals right below the meat for direct cooking. Wait until the smoke is coming out of the box before you put your meat on. This is done so that it does not cook before it absorbs any smoke flavour.

Once the charcoal is lit, place the smoker box, with the lid closed, on top of the charcoal and then place your cooking grate on top.

Properly Using A Smoker Box On A Gas Grill

Gas grills can make it a little trickier to position the smoker box, but it is doable. Setting up on a gas grill will be a little different.

First, preheat your grill. Turn all the burners on the highest setting and let it get nice and hot.  Make sure to always clean your grates with a good grill brush after it preheats.

While you’re waiting, fill up your smoker box.

Now it’s time to throw that smoker box in there. The ideal placement is resting on the burners but below the grill. Again, depending on the size and style of your grill you may need to play with this setup.

  • Clean The Grate And Preheat The Grill

It is suggested that you preheat the grill for 10 to 20 minutes. During this time, you can turn your burners too high. This will reduce the time required to achieve the desired grill temperature.

To smoke your food, you don’t need many instruments or accessories. A smoker for grilling purposes is adequate and frequently comes in handy at the side of a smoking grill.

You will discover that preheating the grill beforehand causes it to smoke faster when it’s placed in the smoker box.

It is also a good idea to use a stainless steel grill brush to clean the metal grill grate directly. You should always strive to maintain your grill brush clean.

  • Pack The Box Full Of Smoking Chips

Dry wood chips should fill slightly more than half of the smoker box. Another option is to add wood pieces to make it burn more slowly and consistently.

There are many different sorts of wood chips to choose from, and you can select one or two. You may also smoke red meat with hickory or pecan for the greatest results. Cherry and apple woods work well together to impart a sweet, smokey taste to poultry and pork. Mesquite adds a powerful flavor to red meats, while oak is ideal for a mild traditional beef flavor and a pleasurable grilling experience.

Some individuals believe that soaking wood chips in water for close to 30 minutes is necessary to keep them from catching fire. Most smoker boxes, however, do not have little tight holes on the bottom, so the wood chips do not come into direct touch with the flames. Soaking them may lengthen the time it takes for them to begin smoking.


If you need to cook your food at a very high direct temperature. Use the burners next to the smoker box burner to cook the food.

It’s okay to put the smoker box on the grill grates next to the meat. You may lose a lot of smoke out the rear air vent before it ever reaches the meat, so below the grate is a better option.


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