What is a smoker box?
A smoker box is a small rectangular metal box you can place on your smoker. when using a smoker box, place wood pellets inside the box, and then put the box on a preheated grill. The box will heat up and cause the wood pellet to smoke, and enabling you to smoke meat or other food in your grill.
A smoke box is not the same as a firebox. A firebox is a “smaller grill” mounted on the side of the main grill, and cannot be moved around like a smoke box.
Also read: how to use firebox on a combo grill
Do smoker boxes work on gas grills?
Smoker boxes work great on gas grills as well as any other grill. The smoke mainly comes from the wood pellet in the smoker box, so as long as the grill can produce enough heat and has a lid you can use a smoker box.
Also read: Using a smoker box with a charcoal grill
Where do you place a smoker box on a gas grill?
Place the smoker box over a burner you will leave on during the entire smoking process. Some grills have a dedicated burner that is meant to be used with a smoker box. When you preheat the grill you should have all burners turned on, but when it has reached the desired temperature, place the smoking box above one burner and turn all of the other burners off.
How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill – Step By Step
Using a smoker box is actually fairly simple. Here is a step by step method that we also follow:
1. Preheat the Grill
Make sure to follow the correct instruction for your gas grill when starting it up.
Open the lid on the grill, and then open valve on the propane tank. Turn on the burners and then close the lid so the heat doesn’t escape. Let the grill heat for around 15 minutes until it reaches a temperature above 250°F. The temperature depends on on what food you’re want to smoke. We have found 250°F to be fine for most things, but check the recommended temperature for the meat you’re smoking.
2. Put Wood chips in the smoker box
Grab some grill tongs and load the wood chips or pellets in the smoker box so that they cover the bottom. You don’t want to cram it full with wood, just add a decent amount so it covers the bottom of the smoker box. Check the recipe to see how much wood you’ll need. Make sure to spread them as evenly as you can around the bottom so they get them most heat possible. Close the lid on the smoker box
If your smoker box doesn’t have holes
If your smoker box doesn’t have holes smoke won’t come through. A good way is wrap some aluminum foil on the tip and then poke some holes.
Should you soak Wood chips or wood pellets?
If you’re using wood chips it might be a good idea to soak them in water for around 30 minutes. Soaking them will cause the wood chips to give more smoke, and more flavor will be added to the meat. You can however get away with not soaking them. If you’re using wood pellets, then it’s a bad idea to soak them. Wood pellets are made of saw dust and soaking them will cause them to fall apart. Whether you’re using wood chips or wood pellets, make sure that they are designed for food-smoking.
3. Place the Smoker Box over a single burner
Place the smoker box above a single burner, preferable on the side so you have room for the meat you’re gonna smoke. If you have a grill with a dedicated smoking burner, place the smoker box above it. For now, keep the burner running.
Turn the burners below where you want to place the meat off as we do not want to grill the meat. Turn the other burners down to low so that the grill doesn’t lose too much heat. Since we are using indirect heat for slow cooking the meat, we want to keep the temperature fairly low but still high enough so that the meat is cooked sufficiently.
4. When the Wood Chips Smoke, Turn Down the Smoker Burner and Regulate
When the wood chips are smoking. Turn down the burner under the smoker box to around somewhere between medium and low.
Regulate the smoker burner and the additional burners throughout the entire smoking process to according temperature smoking time for the meat you’re smoking.
Low temperature smoking is usually considered below 250°F, whereas high temperature smoking is usually above 250°F, but there are various opinions on this.
Tip: Most of the smoke will be around the smoker box. The closer you place the meat to the smoker box, the more smoke flavor will be absorbed.
5. Make Sure the Meat is Cooked Sufficiently
When you think the meat is done, use a meat thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature is high enough which, again, depends on what meat your smoking.
There is not many things in the food-world better than perfectly smoked meat, and it’s not even that difficult to do.
Sure, fancy smokers and fireboxes are nice, but in reality the same result can be achieved with a simple smoker box on a regular grill.
Some people may find smoking too time consuming and are not sold on whether or not it is worth it getting a fancy smoker. Using a smoker box as a beginner can especially be helpful as it is a cheap way for you to learn if smoking is something for you. And our object with this article has been to help you get a clear an image as possible on how to smoke a smoker box and a gas grill so you can do it yourself without too much confusion. We hope you found our guide helpful!