How to use a smoke box on a gas grill is a question I see a lot. I will help find the best way to use these handy smoker boxes.
A smoker box is most of the time used on a gas grill and it is easy to make one from aluminum foil.
If you however plan on using a smoke box more than once in a while investing in a smoke box is a good idea.
Smoke box materials
Smoke boxes can be made from a variety of materials and it is up to you to choose the material you like to use.
Some people like a cast iron smoke box because they claim that the heat that is built up in the cast iron is better than any other material and this could be true. After all, it is well known that cast iron retains heat really well.
How to use a smoker box depends a little on your type and model of gas grill. With 2 or more burners it is easier to set it on a burner that you can turn down to low. With one burner you do not have that option.
The use is pretty simple and there is one thing that everyone has his or her own opinion about.
Soak Or Not?
Some people say that soaking is better and others say it will ruin the smoke effect because you add steam instead of just smoke.
I have done both and taste no difference, so it is up to you to decide or try both and then decide.
Since I have tasted no difference I take the easy way and do not soak. However, If you like to read more about it you can read my should you soak woodchips article for a more in-depth answer.
Start making smoke in your grill
After that, all you do is put your smoker box in the grill and close the lid and see the smoke build up in your grill.
Don’t forget to keep the air vents open. No oxygen will stop the wood from smoldering.
The amount of smoke can not really be adjusted too much. And you maybe have to refill the smoker box if you want a longer time of smoke in your cooking.
What type of wood to use in a smoker box?
Basically, you can use chunks or chips. You can read what wood chips for smoking to use in this article. Both are for sale in most grocery stores I have tried them and they do pretty well. I have also used chunks from a friend of mine who cut down some Oak trees and that worked also well.
There is a way to make pellet work too but this is done with the use of some special smokers.
Our opinion about smoker boxes for gas grills
Once you know how to use a smoke box is easy to use and will add smoke flavor to your meat when your grill can be set at a low temperature.
They are available in many sizes and choices of materials so there is always one you can use on your grill.
Remember that it is best used when you add it to the fire when you do indirect grilling and not directly on the hot fire.
Placing it directly over the hot coals will set them on fire and what we try to achieve is that they smolder and add smoke only, not temperature.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has run his own full-service restaurant for many years. Before that, he worked as a grill and buffet cook in some of the mainstream restaurants. With his experience using professional kitchen equipment, he is able to write expert reviews. You can read more about Eddie van Aken here.