How to Use a Smoker Box on a Charcoal Grill

Smoky flavors are a peak climax to grace your mouth and are a recipe for your outdoor fun. But perhaps, your pellet box’s capacity doesn’t measure up, or your grill may not have one. Most charcoal grills usually don’t have wood pans, and getting the smoky flavor can be far-reaching. Hence, a smoker box can do the trick. This article explains how best to use a smoker box for smoky steaks and veggies.

What’s a Smoker Box, and What’s Its Use?

A smoker box is usually a tiny metal shell made of steel or cast iron and has an open topside. A lid with uniform punctures usually covers it to smother burning wood and produce sufficient smoke for flavor. It can take any shape, either circular or rectangular, provided that it fits in perfectly. To create the smoke, you need to place your favorite wood on the grill and heat it. The smoke will come out through the holes and puff up your veggies and meats, giving them the tasty smoky flavors. But how do you use a smoker box?

Using a Smoker Box on a Charcoal Grill: Step by Step Guide

Smoker boxes concentrate smoke inside charcoal grills as the wood carvings combust slowly. There’s usually a low oxygen amount in the grill chamber, enabling efficient wood-burning without wasting more. Here’s how you should use your smoke box.

1. Decide on the Best Type of Smoking Wood

Keep in mind that various types of wood determine the degree of flavor you want. Therefore, it all starts with making the best wood choice. You can go with a mix of Oak and Hickory or Mesquite and cherry wood to create subtle flavors. Or, you can opt for a single type, perhaps Alder or Maple, or whichever suits you best.

2. Prepare the Box and Fill It with Wood Chips

Ensure that the smoker box is clean and the slots don’t have soot clogs. You can wipe it off with a cloth and use a rigid object to remove any clog on the punctures. Clean the interior and remove any ash remaining. Afterward, add some wood chips, about half its capacity. You can still fill it up to three-quarters full, but ensure you leave a tiny room for combustion.

3. Ignite the Charcoal

Add some charcoal to the grill and light it up. Ensure that it burns at perfect capacity and enough heat emanates. You can give it a few minutes, maybe five or six, for the coal to burn completely. You may choose to make this step your first as you prep the smoker box. It should save you time.

Also Read: How to smoke with a charcoal grill

4. Place the Smoker Box on the Grill

With the grates off, placing the smoker box should be easy. First, cover it with the slotted lid and gently lower it onto the grill, placing it directly on the burning charcoal. You might need your gloves to prevent the heat from scorching your skin. Afterward, place the grates on and wait until smoke starts emanating from the box through the holes. That indicates combustion, and it should set you ready for the grilling.

5. Start Grilling Your Steaks and Veggies

Place the raw steaks and veggies on the grate and let them absorb the smoke before they start cooking. You can position the smoker box below your food to infuse the smoky flavors efficiently. Or, if you’re slow-cooking it, place the container in a corner.

How Do You Refill the Smoker Box with Wood Chips?

Refilling the box with wood should be a piece of cake, but you need the proper tools. Since you’ll handle hot metal, a pair of tongs and some gloves will come in handy. Just lift the grates away, pull the lid off and add more wood carvings before putting everything back in place.

Should You Use Soaked Wood in Your Smoker Box?

You don’t need to soak the wood, but it won’t bite doing it. You’re guaranteed enough smoke for flavor since there’s little oxygen for combustion. Soaking the wood might take more time since it must dry up before burning.


Smoker boxes add an extra notch of flavor, and they’re perfect pairs for charcoal grills. That lets you prepare tastier veggies and steaks and keep the bursting smoky flavors lively. The glad tiding that these boxes aren’t highly huge to take up space and wood is readily available. Hopefully, this article will help you use your smoker box better for the natural, smoky flavors.

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