There are a lot of cool grill and smoker accessories that can make grilling fun, but a pellet smoker tube can actually make food cooked on a gas, electric, and even a pellet grill taste amazing.
Nevertheless, you will find hundreds of options available online and in stores. To make it even harder to choose, these smoke tubes all seem pretty similar.
In this article, I share the best pellet tube smokers after filtering through a few brands, tossing out out the bad, and testing the top. I go over my top picks, what to look for when choosing a smoker tube, and how to use them.
What is a Pellet Smoke Tube AkA Pellet Tube Smoker Aka Smoke Tube
You will see different names to refer to these gadgets online and in stores; pellet tube smokers, smoke tubes, and smoke tubes all refer to the same artifact, a pellet smoke tube.
A pellet smoker tube is a hollow tube with perforations on its walls, typically made of stainless steel.
The inside of the pellet tube is hollow so that you can insert wood pellets and ignite them. The holes on the tube walls allow for air flow and pellet smoke to escape and infuse your grill’s cooking chamber and thus meat, with wood flavor.
These smoker smoke tubes come in different types and shapes. But they all primarily perform the same function and work the same.
Insert pellets in the tube, ignite them, and generate smoke. Later in this article, I’ll go over how to use and how these pellet smoke tubes work.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the larger these tubes are, the more hours of smoke they will generate.
Simply put, gas grills are simple to use and cook on. But food tends to lack flavor, specially meat, due to the absence of wood or charcoal combustion. However, as pellet cookers became more popular, so did pellet smoke tubes.
These simple yet effective gadgets can turn your grill into a smoke flavor machine.
Our Top Picks for the Best Pellet Tube Smoker
1. Lizzq Premium Pellet Tube – Best Overall
Why our Best Overall
We chose the Lizzq Premium as the best smoke tube because its construction and quality seemed to work best out of all the tubes we tested. I have used a lot of these smoke tubes over the years and all sort of work the same but i really enjoyed using the LizzQ. Also this smoke tube has amazing reviews on Amazon.
Nevertheless, what I like most about the Lizzq Premium Pellet Smoker is that one of the tubes has a cap, making it easier to fill up and move around without dropping a bunch of pellets.
This pellet smoker tube is made out of stainless steel, and the quality is good enough to justify its price.
Some people are perplexed about how to light the pills in the tube.With this tube, you have to wait a few minutes for the pellets to start combusting before letting the tube down and starting to cook.
The Lizzq Premium Pellet Smoker is our top pick and best pellet tube smoker because it checks all the important boxes. First, it is priced well and is simple to use. The tube is a foot long and holds enough pellets to generate smoke for about four and a half hours.
- Good airflow means that once the pellets are lit, the smoker’s tobacco keeps generating smoke for hours.
- It is a foot long, so it can hold a lot of pellets.
- I recommend using gloves; the tube can get hot during ignition.
- You will see a small ash mess in your grill.
2. Skoo Pellet Smoker Tube – Runner Up
I really like the Skoo pellet smoker. I like this tube because not only is it pretty much the exact replica of the LizzQ, but they upped their game by offering their tube as a packaged bundle. This doesn’t necessarily make the Skoo better, but it is nice to get a little extra bang for your buck.
As far as this bundle goes, you get a cleaning brush on a hook. Hook would allow you to hang the pallet tube on your grill’s accessory hooks just like you do with you grill brushes, and the cleaning brush will help you keep this tube clean.
The Skoo is also 12 inches long, and you can expect about 4 to 5 hours of smoke.
3. The Z Grills Smoker Tube – Good Choice
Z Grills makes pretty great budget pellet grills and also offers accessories like grilling mats and wood pellets. They also offer their own wood smoke generators, including their very own smoker tube.
Z Grills does not stray very far from our top two options. As far as design, in fact, Z Grills smoker tube looks just like the LizzQ Premium pellet smoking tube. This is quite simply because a lot of these vendors are sourcing their products from the same manufacturers.
4. Dimeshy Smoker Tube – Best Budget
The Dimeshy is a square-shaped tube made out of 304 stainless steel and 12 inches long. This option is just like all the others but half the price.
How A Pellet Smoker Tube Works
These devices are very simple and pretty much use the natural air flow and pressure inside your grill to slowly ignite wood pellets, which generate smoke that infuses meat and other foods with that “smoky” aroma and taste we all enjoy in BBQ.
There isn’t much to do but fill the tube with wood pellets, ignite them, and let it do its job. As the pellets burn and your grill gets hot, the wood pellets will continue to slowly combust and deliver smoke me for hours.
What should you consider when choosing a Pellet Smoker Tube smoker?
Length of the wood pellet tube
Unlike your pellet smoker, these tubes can only hold a limited amount of pellets, and how many pellets you can fit in the tube affects how long it will be able to generate smoke. If you use good pellets, a foot-long pellet tube will hold enough pellets for 4 to 5 hours of smoking.
But considering the length and smoke tube size not only for capacity reasons, you also need to make sure it fits in your smoker. Some electric smokers are small and might be hard to fit a 12-inch tube inside them, so double check your cooker to make sure you have space for a pellet tube smoker before you jump in.
The tube shape of the smoker
This is one aspect of these tubes that, at first, I wasn’t too concerned about until I started testing. I have a large pellet smoker with plenty of space, and I was able to throw the pellet tube right down the middle of the grate and let it rip.
However, I wanted different tubes of different shapes in my Green Egg, my portable charcoal grill, and my electric smoker. That’s when things became more obvious. First, as I mentioned before, make sure you have ample space for the tubes. In my Green Egg Large, the grate is 18 inches in diameter and the grill is round, forcing me to put the tube more towards the center of the grate, taking up space I need for food.
But getting back to the topic of shapes, well, smoking tubes come in at least three shapes: square, round, and hexagonal. You might think that the shape might not make much of a difference, but it does.
When the tubes are hot, move them with a pair of barbecue tongs and try to grab a round tube with tongs. Yeap, it will not be easy. However, if you roll around the tube, it’s a breeze.
Because they have a large flat surface, the wide-shaped smoking tubes fit well and securely on top of any size grates. The hexagonal-shaped tubes are a cross between a square and a round tube.
Quality of pellet smoke tubes
Quality is something that we all look for when buying anything, but when it comes to a pellet tube, quality matters just a bit more. As you will see, these tubes are not all that expensive, and quite frankly, most are almost identical.
Nevertheless, we “left out” the lower-quality smoking tubes and only included the pellet tubes with good customer reviews and feedback, then tested those top picks.
If you decide to look outside the options provided in this article, just be sure to pick a wood pellet tube that is made out of good stainless steel.
Although these tubes are meant to very slowly burn wood pellets and not really smolder them under direct fire, the smoker tube will be exposed to heat and various temperature changes. Cheap metal ones will not last.
Intended Use of the Pellet Tube Smoker
Ah, intended use. This is important. These pellet tubes can be used for both cold smoking and hot smoking. If you are wanting to use the pellet tube to smoke for long periods and low-smoking cooking sessions, be sure to get either a long tube or more than one.
When smoking large cuts of meat like briskets and pork shoulders, you will be cooking them for eight plus hours, so you can either keep refilling the tubes or have an extra ready and just swap them out when the peels run out.
Cold-smoking cheese, nuts, and other small foods might not need too much smoke infusion, so smaller or shooter tubes will do. Again, this is also up to your preferences. Some people like lots of smoke.
Should you use more than one pellet smoker tube?
It is important to note that these tubes are intended to be small smoke generators, not replacements for the amount of smoke produced by a pellet or charcoal smoker.
A pellet tube smoker will not, in a million years, replace an offset smoker, but it will turn a nothing-but-tasting gas grill into an amazing grill. These inexpensive gadgets can assist in converting your expensive gas grill into a flavor machine.
With that said, I recommend getting more than one tube and using more than one tube if you like the smoke flavor or want to be able to cook with different pellet flavors at the same time.
Two tubes will generate a lot more smoke than a single one.
How to use a smoker tube in your pellet smoker or gas grill
Using these tubes is fairly easy, but some people do have trouble igniting them at first. Pellets need a nice flame with some airflow to ignite. In your pellet grill, there is a powerful electric igniter and a fan to ignite and keep the pellets burning.
With these tubes, everything happens in a more natural way, where pure oxygen and airflow from the tubes’ holes keep the wood burning slowly.
The easiest way to start your pellet tube is to use a flame torch. The power, flame, and heat output of the torch will get the pellets going very quickly. You could use a lighter as well, but it will take longer, and you will need to sit there holding that lighter until the pellets start turning red and amber with a light coat of white ash; that’s when they start to combust.
Using the smoker tube for smoking
Using a pellet tube with a smoker is easy; simply ignite the pellets and find a good place for the tube. You want the tube beneath the food so that as the smoke rises, it can penetrate the food.
Using the smoker tube when grilling
To avoid dampeding the smoking tube, keep the pellet tube away from direct heat when grilling. However, direct fire will burn up the pellets and turn them to ashes in minutes rather than hours.
Maintenance and Care of a Pellet Tube Smoker
The beauty of these tubes is that they require very little maintenance. Still, there are a few things you should do to keep them in top shape and hopefully be able to use them for a few years.
First, after each use, empty all the ashes, grab a rag, and wipe the teapot clean. If possible, add a bit of oil to a rag and wipe the tube with a bit of oil; this will help fight corrosion.
Second, store the tube in a nice, dry place, and make sure you brush the air holes to ensure the tube always has good airflow.
A pellet smoke tube can add flavor to food, especially when using a gas or electric grill. Nevertheless, there are many options, and our goal in this article is to show you those options with great ratings that performed well.
As you might have noticed a lot of these gadgets are pretty similar but LizzQ takes our vote for the best pellet smoker tube because of its performance, but also has been in the market the longest and has gained a lot of great reviews and happy customers.