What is a Smoker Box For a Gas Grill
When choosing a BBQ grill to buy, you are faced with two general choices. You can go with a charcoal grill, which has the benefit of great authentic BBQ flavor, or a gas grill, which has the benefit of ease of use. A gas BBQ is easy to light, easy to clean, and easy to maintain temperature, but you are missing our on the delicious flavor you get with an authentic charcoal grill. Well if you have a gas grill, fear not! There is a solution. It comes in the form of a smoker box. You can get a smoker box for a gas grill that simply slots in, and transforms your grill into a smoker. This means you get all the delicious smoky flavor and all the convenience of gas.
A smoker box is generally made from stainless steel. It can come in a few shapes such as rectangle, V shapes and circular, and it sits into your grill. The top of smoker boxes is filled with holes so the smoke can escape, and usually hinged so that you can fill up with wood chips.
How Does a Smoker Box for a Gas Grill Work
A smoker box for a gas grill is a purpose designed device, so you should not have any issues in getting it working. Here is a step-by-step guide in getting your smoker box up and running:
- Open the lid of your smoker box
- Fill the box with your chosen type of wood chips
- Place the smoker box on top of the grill, directly above the heat source. If you wish, you can remove the grate, and place directly onto the flames
- Fill an aluminum tray with water, which mixes with the smoke and keeps things moist
- Close the lid of your grill and let the smoke build up.
- You are ready to go!
Generally, when using a smoker box on a gas grill, you are going to be cooking ‘low and slow’, meaning that you will be slow cooking at a low temperature, for a long length of time. Because of this, you will be only turning the heat on one side of your grill, and placing your piece of meat away from the smoke and direct heat on the other side of the grill.
Why Use a Smoker Box For a Gas Grill
The reason to use a smoker box on a gas grill is simple: the delicious flavor it adds. With a gas BBQ alone, it is impossible to get that BBQ flavor. You might get a little flame, but the smoke is the secret ingredient that is missing. You wouldn’t be able to make an amazing smoked brisket like this one without a smoker box.
When you smoke meat, you also build up this amazing crust on your meat called bark. This is a mixture of your seasoning rub, the meats juices and the smoke. Depending on how you finish your cook, this can be crispy, or it can be softer if you opt to wrap your meat.
Where To Buy a Smoker Box For a Gas Grill
There are lots of places where you can buy a smoker box, but our favorite place to buy pretty much everything is on Amazon.com. Amazon is really useful as you can see a lot of the reviews that other pitmasters have left, so it can help you make your decision. Also, it saves a trip to the store!
There are plenty of other places where you can buy smoker boxes for gas grills online, and also in your neighborhood. A quick Google Search will reveal more, but we tend to stick to Amazon.
What is the Best Smoker Box for a Gas Grill To Buy
When choosing a smoker box for your gas grill, there are a few things to consider before you make your choice. The first thing to consider is whether is will fit your grill. This isn’t a major issue as they are fairly standard size, but we have come across ones that didn’t fit our smaller grills, so just make sure to check the measurements before ordering.
The next thing to consider is the shape. V-shape smoking boxes will only fit certain types of grill too, so make sure that your is compatible.
The Weber Smoker box is definitely our favorite. The build quality is superior to any of the other boxes, and it is reasonably priced too. You don’t need to own a Weber grill to use this box. As it is universal, it swill fit pretty much any type of grill out there.
The box itself has a quality feel compared with some other inferior boxes, and you just know it’s going to last the test of time. We have put this smoker box through its paces, and experienced no warping or bending in the heat. For the price, it is hard to find a better smoker box for a gas grill.
This beauty takes the second spot on our list simply due to its massive size! More capacity equals more smoke, right?
This box is different from the rest in that it doesn’t have a hinged lid, but what it lacks in lid it makes up for in size!
With all the other boxes on our list, you are refilling them about every 45 minutes to an hour, but with this box, you get significantly longer. A true heavyweight in the gas grill smoker category!
Number 3 on our list is our first V-shape smoker box. This box is especially great for Weber gas grills, as it can slot right in between flavorizer bars. It also fits on other grills, and due to it’s shape you can often fit it into a nook or cranny near the burner tubes, but it is best to check your grill first.
The main benefit of this is that the box will sit snugly near the flames, and will produce consistent smoke, even if you are raising or lowering the temperature of the grill.
We tested the black version of this smoker box, and the coating starting coming off after literally 3 minutes, so we would recommend going for the stainless version.
Our next gas grill smoker box is from Grillaholics. This is a smiple and solid smoker box, that does exactly what it says on the tin.
It is reasonably priced, made of good build quality, and doesn’t warp in the heat.
Can’t find any flaws with it.
This is the first cast iron gas grill smoker box on our list. It has a really nice feel to it, and you can tell by the weight that it is of great build quality.
The bottom live is that it just looks really cool! We love cast iron, and have a number of different cast iron skillets, and this just fits with those. Its down to personal preference really.
This is the #1 selling smoker box on Amazon, and is also really well priced.
The first W-shape smoker box. This is a really awesome box that will fit directly onto the flame deflector bars of almost any grill.
This means you have a direct heat hitting your wood chips at all times, so you will produce a consistent smoke.
On the lid, they have gone for wave shaped holes, but that is just for design and doesn’t make any difference to the actual smoke.
Another large size smoker box for those who have a larger grill, or want extra smoke flavor.
This is almost double the size of most of the other standard sized boxes. On top of being able to produce more smoke, it has the added benefit of holding more chips, so you don’t have to come back to refill as often. This lowers the amount of time you have to open your grill, which keeps the temperature more constant.
SO this one is a combination of two others on our list. It is in the v-shape, and it is cast iron instead of stainless steel.
We just love the look, feel and weight of cast iron equipment, but it is all down to what floats your boat.
If you are going to put it directly onto your flame bars, maybe the steel version might be better, as the weight of this could bend your bars over time (not likely, but there’s a chance).
The final smoker box on our list is similar to other v-shape boxes, but this one is unique in that it has a built-in water reservoir.
This is a nice feature, as you usually have to get an aluminum tray or something similar to hold your water.
However, this comes with a major drawback. Since you put water in the smoker box, there is much less room for wood chips. This means that you will be back to fill this up every 30-45 minutes, which is going to mess with your grill temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smoker Boxes
Here are some of the questions that we have been asked about smoker boxes. We will keep this updated as more questions come in, and if you have a question, let us know in the comments.
Can You Use a Smoker Box in an Oven?
No. These smokers are for outdoor use only, and are purely designed to be smoking boxes for gas grills. While it is possible to smoke in the oven, we don’t recommend it.
Can You Use a Smoker Box On a Charcoal Grill?
In most cases, yes. But be sure to check with the manufacturer, as the higher temperatures found in charcoal grills could warp the metal or cause it to crack.
How Do You Light a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill?
You smoking box doesn’t have to be lit separately on a gas grill. Just put it close to the flames and it will ignite.
Where Should You Place a Smoker Box On a Gas Grill?
You should put it as close to the flames as possible. Some grills can lower the grate to the flames, while with others you will have to remove the grate and place the box directly onto the flame pipe.