Best Smoker Box For Gas Grill
We all enjoy the advantages of propane and gas BBQ grills. Simply turn a knob, push a button, and fire! You got flames and are ready to cook. Propane grills are clean, easy to use, and sometimes safer than charcoal grills.
Propane and gas BBQ grills are easy to operate and convenient; however, there is one significant disadvantage with gas grills, you don’t get the smokey wood flavors you get in charcoal or pellet grills. Well, there is a way to fix this. All you need is a smoker box for your gas grill.
Our Top Picks
- Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
“Best Cast Iron Smoker Box”
- Charcoal Companion V-Shape Smoker Box
“Best V-Shape Smoker Box”
- Cave Tools Smoker Box
“Best Stainless Steel Smoker Box”
- Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box
“Best Smoker Box Lid Design”
- Grillaholics Wood Chip Smoker Box
“Good Stainless Steel Smoker Box”
What is a Smoker Box?
A gas grill smoker wood box is a small metal container shaped like a case and is used to burn wood chips and create smoke adding a smoky flavor to foods when grilling in gas grills.
Smoke boxes are easy to use; simply fill the box with your favorite wood chips flavor or pellet and set the smokebox on top of the grill’s greats or top of the gas burners. Smoke boxes are an ingenious BBQ gadget yet the most straightforward way of turning any gas, propane, or electric grill into a practical smoker.
Do smoker boxes work on gas grills?
Smoker wood boxes are usually included in smoker grills. If you purchase any kind of smoker grill, whether it is propane, charcoal, or electric, it should include a smoke box or wood chip smoker box. This is because smoker grills are purpose-built to cook low and slow plus smoke meat.
Gas grills are not designed to cook like smokers but can be turned into one by using a smoker box. These boxes work great in gas grills because they can pack the wood chips, isolate the wood chips from direct fire, but absorb enough heat to smolder the wood chips into smoke slowly.
How to use a smoker box in Your Gas Grill
Using smoke boxes in a gas grill is not rocket science; really, it isn’t. Smoker boxes are the simplest grill accessory you will ever own. Start by choosing the right wood chips for the meat your cooking.
Once you start seeing a bit of smoke come out of the box, set the grill back to your cooking temperature, and put the meat in the grill. It is worth mentioning that you can also use these smoker boxes in charcoal grills to add extra wood flavor to your meats.
Do not preheat these boxes to high temperatures as you will damage them. These boxes are meant to be used at smoking temperatures, be patient!
How to choose the best smoker box for gas grill
Most smoker boxes have a similar look and design, but one must consider a few factors when choosing a smoker box for gas grill.
Features like lid design, ventilation holes, and construction materials play significant roles when buying a smoker box. Let go over these factors and help you find the right box for you.
Smoker Box Shape
There are two common shapes of smoke boxes, flat boxes, and v-shape boxes. Flat or square smoke boxes can fit in just about any grill, although you still need to check and make sure it can fit between the burners and the grill grates or at the very least rest on top of the grill’s grates.
V-shaped smoke boxes are specially designed to fit in v-shaped burner heat covers, also called heat reflectors or flavoring bars. Many gas and propane grills use v-shape heat covers to distribute heat across the grill cooking surface evenly. The v-shape pockets make it an excellent anchor for these v-shaped smoker boxes.
However, to use these smoke boxes, your grill must have “V” style burner heat covers.
You want the smoker box to be big enough to allow for a reasonable quantity of wood chips; otherwise, it won’t smoke for long periods and need constant refilling.
The smoker box’s size will have something to do with the amount of smoke it will generate and how long it can effectively produce smoke. Smaller smoke boxes will only hold small amounts of wood chips or smoking pellets, which will only produce smoke for shorter periods and need frequent refilling. On the plus side, smaller smoke boxes heat faster and start making smoke quicker.
Bigger smoker boxes can hold more wood chips or pellets, produce large amounts of smoke and keep producing smoke for more extended periods. Larger smoker boxes will take longer to ignite the wood chips but if you are doing long cooks or cooking large amounts of food, consider a bigger smoker box.
Materials Used and Durability
You want to pay close attention to the materials used to build the smoker box. Some materials are prone to corrosion, and when exposed to continuous heat, they will begin to corrode, warp, discolor, and break apart.
Remember, these boxes will be directly above your grill’s heat source; they will get used and abused, plus need to get enough fire to radiate heat to the wood chips inside the box.
Some steel smoker box models are built using high-grade, durable stainless steel, which can be pretty resistant to heat damage, while others are made using cast iron.
Staines Steel Grade
Stainless steel is an excellent material to build grills, smoker boxes, and just about any major cooking appliance. However, it is essential to understand the difference between various grades of steel. Different steel grades will affect the quality, durability, and heat tolerance of the product. The higher the steel grade, the better the product will be.
Another common material used to build smoker boxes for gas and propane grills is cast iron. Cast iron boxes can take longer to heat up but do a better job at absorbing and retaining heat, which helps during long cooks. By absorbing and keeping heat better, cast iron boxes can start generating smoke quicker between wood refills.
Cast iron smoker boxes do a great job at transferring heat to the wood and can keep a more steady smoke flow during long cooks. Cast iron boxes can last for years if properly maintained.
Smoker boxes usually sit right under the food you are cooking, and all the fat and grease of your food will land right on your smoker box. After a long cook, your smoker box can look quite dirty; thus, consider something easy to clean. Some smoker boxes, such as cast iron boxes, will require more maintenance, such as oil coating to keep its finish neat and rust-free.
Good Lid Design
It’s important that the box’s lid fits snugly but are also easy to open. Some smoke boxes lids are hinged, making it easier to tilt open, while others are free, requiring a bit more precision and care when opening.
If the lid doesn’t create a good seal around the box and too much oxygen flows through the box, the wood chips can ignite into flames. Flame smoke is not right, and your wood chips won’t last more than a few minutes.
Using a Smoker Box on Your Gas Grill
Smoker boxes are simple to use, but you achieve amazing smoky flavors by using one.
This is how to use a smoker box on a gas grill:
- Set the smokebox in the grill and allow it to preheat with the barbecue grill.
- Carefully open the box and fill it with your favorite wood chips.
- Wait a few minutes and let the box heat up and smoke to start coming out of the box.
- Once you see smoke, you can now open the grill and place any meat and foods on the grill you wish to give a smoky flavor.
- Cook on and get ready to enjoy the smoke flavor.
What is the best smoker box for a gas grill? …and Charcoal Grills
The Char-Broil smoker box is built out of cast iron, which will take longer to heat up and burn the chips but can stay hot for more extended periods.
Being built out of durable cast iron means it can withstand higher cooking temperature that some of its stainless built competitors. This box is large with a well-vented lid, which should produce contact smoke during the cook. This box is heavy, fills solid, and is tough.
However, it is essential to remember that this box will require some maintenance to keep its finish, coating, and stay rust-free with any cast iron kitchenware. Char-Broil recommends seasoning the box by applying a coat of cooking oil before using the smoker box. This is a bit of extra maintenance but will keep this box going for a long time.
Applying this process after the first couple of times using the product will make it so well-seasoned that rust is unlikely. Cat iron items do not like moisture, so do not pure water on a hot cast iron smoker box or leave it exposed to the elements.
Product Dimensions 1.38 x 5.13 x 8.12 inches Item
Weight 3.6 pounds
- Cast iron can last for years if properly maintained.
- Its solid build will withstand heat and years of use well, including the occasional “drop.”
- Good smoke flow.
- Cast Iron boxes will retain heat better than stainless.
- Because it is cast iron, this box will take longer to build enough heat to smolder the chips
- some people might find 5 pounds heavy
- No hinged lid
- Extra maintenance – if you want this box to last and coit with cooking oil or olive oil, it will keep it rust-free.
The Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel Smoker box is v-shaped and designed to fit between v-shaped heat deflector bars found in popular gas grills such as Weber Spirit models. This v-shaped box is efficient at delivering smoke and fits neatly under the cooking grate for plenty of smoke flavor.
This smoker box is built using durable stainless steel and has a hinged lid for easy refills.
- V-shape fits within flame deflector and heat shields on gas grills for efficient and snug fit
- Sturdy stainless-steel construction resists high grilling temps ( for short bursts )
- The hinged lid allows for easy access to adding wood chips.
- This box will only work in certain grills; check your gas grill and make sure it has v reflectors.
Product Dimensions 4.21 x 13.78 x 2 inches
Item Weight 1.29 pounds
Cave Tools is a relatively new company founded in 2013. Cave Tools started as a small company and has designed and developed its products based on customer feedback. Cave Tools might be the youngest BBQ tools company in this review, but they sure are trying to earn your business. The first and most noticeable thing about this smoker box is its thicker stainless steel build.
Cave Tools states that they use 430-grade stainless steel, which is about twenty-five percent thicker than other brands’ stainless use. The ticker steel should prevent warping, although if you put any of these boxes in your Green Egg and crank up the heat to 800 degrees, yes, it will warp. Again, keep in mind these boxes are designed to be used at smoking temperates of around 220 to 275 degrees.
Product Dimensions 9 x 3 x 1.5 inches Item
Weight 1.3 pounds
- 430-grade stainless steel – Thicker stainless steel lessens warping
- Hinged Lid – less fumbling around with a hot lid again when adding more wood chips
- The top is attached with multiple hinges, which make the lid solid
- Larger Capacity – means fewer wood refills
- Good looking box – it won’t help you any, but good looks are ok in our book.
- Nothing really
Made of durable stainless steel, this product is one of the more enjoyable and user-friendly smoker boxes. Like many of those featured here, it comes with a hinged lid, which simplifies adding extra wood chips.
The lid is hinged but also has a built-in edge that makes refills extra easy.
This box might not fit all gas grills but works well in Weber Q200 and 2000 series. Make sure you double-check your grill’s dimensions to make sure this box will fit.
It is essential to mention that the bottom of this box also has holes, which means wood chips will heat quickly and, if not careful, will burn faster!
Item Weight 1 pound
Product Dimensions 9.8 x 4.5 x 2 inches
- Holes in the bottom of the box allow for quick wood chips ignition; thus, smoke.
- Hinged box lid
- The lid has a “lip” that makes opening and refills very easy.
- Good wood chip capacity
- Will warp on when cooking at high temperature
- Holes at the bottom can let too much heat into the box and burn the wood chips prematurely.
The Grillaholics smoker box is a simple design but functional. This box is another good option for those looking for a stainless still smoker box with a hinged lid.
This box hinges are not as sturdy as other boxes in this review, and during our research, we found the box construction not as robust as other boxes.
Product Dimensions 8.75 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches
Item Weight 15.5 ounces
- Built from durable stainless steel.
- Works in most grills
- Users have reported warping of the lid. However, it is essential to mention that these boxes are not meant to be used at high temperatures.
This Smoker box is very good looking, and it does the job well. Silverious claims the X- shape design of the vents help propagate smoke better.
The CEO of various Pro BBQ smoker box claims to use 25% thicker durable stainless steel, although we have seen many users report warping. It is important to remember that these boxes will sustain some sort of damage when exposed to high temperatures. Again it’s imperative to remember that smoker boxes are made to smoke, meaning the temperature range of about 220 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dimenssions 8.75 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches
Item Weight 15.2 ounces
One Last Word.
We all like the taste of smoked BBQ, and smoking meats can be a lot of fun; however, not all of us own smoker grills to smoke the perfect rack of ribs or brisket.
Maybe you just want to add more flavor to your pork chops or steaks; well, smoker boxes will do the job. If you simply throw wood chips and top of the burners, you will burn the chips and potentially damage your grill’s burners.
This inexpensive gadget is a great way to improve your grilling and impress your friends and family.
Always remember to enjoy the process.