Want to turn your gas grill into a smoker? Well, for that, my friends, you need a smoker box for your gas grill.
We all enjoy the advantages of propane and gas BBQ grills. Simply turn a knob, push a button, and fire! You’ve got flames and are ready to cook. Propane grills are clean, easy to use, and sometimes safer than charcoal grills.
However, gas and propane BBQ grills are easy to operate and are convenient. However, one significant disadvantage with gas grills is that you don’t get the smokey wood flavors that you get from charcoal or pellet grills. Well, there is a way to fix this. All you need is to add a smoker box to your grill. Using smoker boxes is straightforward, and in this article, we will help you find the right one for you.
|Best||Second Choice||Third Choice|
|The Char-Broil Cast Iron Box||The Charcoal Companion V-Shape||Cave Tools Box|
Best smoker box for gas grills based on our research
The Char Broil wood chip box is built out of cast iron, which means it will take longer to heat up and burn the chips but can stay hot for longer periods of time.
Being built out of durable cast iron means it can withstand higher cooking temperatures than some of its stainless-built competitors. This box is large and has a well-vented lid, which should produce contact smoke during the cook. This box is heavy, feels solid, and is tough.
However, it is essential to remember that this box will require some maintenance to preserve its finish, coating, and stay rust-free. Char Broil recommends seasoning the box by applying a coat of cooking oil before using the box. This is a bit of extra maintenance but will keep this box going for a long time.
Applying the “seasoning” process after the first couple of times using the product will prevent rust. Iron items do not like moisture, so do not pour pure water on a hot smoker box or leave it exposed to the elements.
- Dimensions: 1.38 x 5.13 x 8.12 inches
- Weighs: 3.6 pounds
- Properly maintained, cast iron can last for years.
- Its solid build will withstand heat and years of use well, including the occasional “drop.”
- Good smoke airflow.
- Cast iron boxes will retain heat better than stainless.
- Universal Fit – Great to turn any propane gas grill into a BBQ smoker.
- It will take longer for the heat to build up in this box because it is made of iron.
- Some people might find 5 pounds heavy.
- I had a hard time “removing the lid off” to refill the box with chips. Tongs are needed!
- No hinged lid.
- Extra maintenance: if you want this box to last, coat it with cooking oil or olive oil. It will keep it rust-free.
2. Best V – Shape Box – The Charcoal Companion V-Shape
The Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel Smoker stainless steel box is v-shaped and designed to fit between v-shaped heat deflector or flavorizer bars found in popular grills such as Weber Spirit models. This Charcoal Companion stainless steel v-shaped box is efficient at delivering smoke and fits neatly under the cooking grate, adding plenty of smoke flavor.
This box is built with durable stainless steel and has a hinged lid for easy refills.
- Dimensions: 4.21 x 13.78 x 2 inches
- Weighing 1.29 pounds.
- Stainless steel v shape with hinged lid
- Designed to fit within flame deflector bars or flavorizer bars
- A stainless steel v shape grill box fits within flame deflector bars, flavorizer bars, and heat shields on gas grills for an efficient and snug fit.
- Sturdy stainless-steel construction resists high grilling temperatures ( for short bursts )
- The hinged lid allows for easy access to adding wood chips.
- The Charcoal Companion stainless steel v-shape box is easy to clean up.
- This steel V-shaped box will only work in certain grills ( with flavorizer bars or flame deflector bars ); check your gas grill and make sure it has v reflectors.
3. Good – Cave Tools Box
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 tool company in this review, but they sure are trying to earn your business. The first and most noticeable thing about this 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 steel. 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, they will warp.
Again, keep in mind that a grill smoker box is designed to be used at BBQ smoking temperatures of around 220 to 275 degrees.
- Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 1.5 inches
- Weighs: 1.3 pounds
- Hinged lid
- 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
The Weber 7576 universal stainless steel box is made of durable stainless steel. This product is an enjoyable and user-friendly gas box. It features a hinged lid, which simplifies the process of adding extra wood chips.
The lid is hinged but also has a built-in edge that makes refilling extra easy. You may lift the lid using the protruding lip with any BBQ tool, such as a pair of tongs.
The Weber 7576 universal stainless steel smoker box will fit most grills, and it works well in the 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!
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.5 x 2 inches
- Weighs: 1 pound
- Holes in the bottom of the box allow for quick wood chips ignition; thus, more smoke.
- Hinged lid with a lip – easy to open.
- The lid has a “lip” that makes opening and refilling very easy.
- Good capacity.
- Universal – works on most grills.
- It will warp when cooking at high temperatures, so make sure to only use it at smoking temperatures.
- Holes at the bottom can let too much heat into the box and burn the wood chips prematurely.
The Grillaholics box is a simple but functional design. This box is another good option for those looking for a stainless steel box with a hinged lid.
The Grillaholics hinges are not as sturdy as other boxes in this review. During our research, we found this wood chip smoker box’s construction is not as robust as other boxes.
- Dimensions: 8.75 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches
- Weighs: 15.5 ounces
- The Grillaholics smoker box has side air holes.
- built from durable stainless steel.
- Works in most grills
- Users have reported the lid warping. However, it is essential to mention that a smoker box is not meant to be used at high temperatures.
This gas grill smoker box is very good-looking, and it does the job well. Silverious claims the X- shape design of the vents helps propagate smoke better.
The CEO of Silverius Pro BBQ Box claims to use 25% thicker, more durable stainless steel. However, we have read some user feedback, and 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 these boxes are made to operate at meat smoking temperatures, meaning a BBQ smoking temperature range of about 220 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dimensions: 8.75 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches
- Weighs: 15.2 ounces
Many of us own both pellet smokers and gas grills. If you want to enjoy the flavor produced by pellets in your grill, the solution is to use a Pellet Smoke Tube. These tubes can be filled with pellets and provide smoke for hours. This pellet smoker tube is built out of 304 stainless steel.
- Easy way to add pellets to any grill.
- Built out of durable stainless steel.
- Obviously one can only use pellets with this accessory whereas some smoke boxes can handle both pellets and chips.
What is a Smoker Box?
A smoker box is a small metal container shaped like a box and is used to burn wood chips to generate smoke, which infuses a smoky flavor to foods when grilled on gas grills or propane grills. It can also be used on charcoal grills and even on smokers.
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 grates or top of the gas burners. Smoke boxes are an ingenious BBQ device, yet the most straightforward way of turning any gas, propane, or electric grill into a practical smoker.
A smoke box for gas grill applications can be found in different sizes and shapes, but the concept and how they work are the same.
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. Smoke boxes are the simplest grill accessory you will ever own. Start by choosing the right wood chips for the meat you are cooking.
Fill the container with wood chips or pellets and preheat your grill with the smoker box in it. This will allow the box to get hot enough to start burning the wood chips.
Once you start seeing a bit of smoke coming out of the box, set the grill back to the desired cooking temperature, and put the meat in the grill. It is worth mentioning that you can also use these smoke boxes in charcoal grills to add an extra smokey flavor to your meats.
Do not preheat these boxes to high temperatures as you will damage them. When exposed to high temperatures, even the high quality boxes can be ruined. These boxes are meant to be used at smoking temperatures. Be patient! Enjoy the smoking process.
What to Consider When Choosing A Smoke box
Most smoke boxes have a similar look and design, but one must consider a few factors when choosing a smoker wood box.
Smoker box features like lid configuration, ventilation vents, and construction materials play significant roles when buying a smoker box for gas or propane grills. Let’s go over these factors and help you find the right box for you.
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 they can fit between the burners and the grill grates, or at the very least rest on top of the grill’s cooking 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’s cooking surface evenly. The v-shape pockets make it an excellent anchor for these v-shaped smoker boxes.
However, your grill must have “V” style burner heat covers to use these smoke boxes.
Box Size and wood chip capacity
You want the smoker box to be large enough to allow for a reasonable amount of wood chips; otherwise, it won’t smoke for long periods of time and will need constant refilling.
The box size and wood chip capacity will directly impact the amount of smoke it will generate and how long it will effectively produce smoke. Smaller smoke boxes will only hold small amounts of wood chips or smoking pellets, producing smoke for shorter periods and requiring frequent refilling.
On the plus side, smaller smoke boxes heat up faster and start making smoke quicker.
While wood chip capacity may not be an issue when grilling small cuts like pork chops or steaks, it becomes a problem when smoking a brisket or pork shoulder.
Bigger smoker boxes can hold more wood chips or pellets, produce large amounts of smoke and keep producing smoke for longer periods. Larger wood chip boxes will take longer to ignite the wood chips, but if you are doing long cooks or cooking large amounts of food, consider bigger smoker boxes with a good wood chip capacity.
Materials Used and Durability
You’ll 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 start to corrode, warp, discolor, and break apart.
Remember, these boxes will rest directly above your grill’s heat source; they will get used and abused, plus you need to get enough fire to radiate heat to the wood chips inside the box.
Some steel smoker boxes 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 for building 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 wood chip boxes for gas and propane grills is cast iron. Iron boxes can take longer to heat up but do a better job of absorbing and retaining heat, which helps during long cooks. By absorbing and keeping heat better, these boxes can start generating smoke quicker between wood refills.
Cast iron smoker boxes do a great job of transferring heat to the wood and keeping a more steady smoke flow during long cooks. If properly maintained, these boxes can last for years.
These boxes usually sit right under the food you are cooking, and all the fat and grease from your food will land right on your smoker box. After a long cook, your box can look quite dirty; thus, consider something easy to clean up. Some boxes, such as cast iron boxes, will require more maintenance, such as oil coating, to keep their finish neat and rust-free.
Good Lid Design
It’s important that the box’s lid fits snugly but is also easy to open. Some smoke box lids are hinged, making them easier to tilt open, while others are free, requiring a bit more precision and care when opening.
Also, the lid of the box will have something to do with the smoke output. A lid with a few holes might retain heat better, but a box with more holes can have a better smoke output. The best smoker boxes will have an easy-to-use lid design.
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 good, and your wood chips won’t last more than a few minutes.
Smoke flow is important since too much smoke will drastically alter the flavor of your meal, and too little smoke flow will have minimal effect throughout the cooking process and add little to no smoky flavor.
Using a Smoker Box on Your Gas Grill
Smoke or wood chip boxes are simple to use, but you achieve amazing smoky flavors by using one.
how to use a smoker box
- Set the smokebox on 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 food on the grill you wish to give a smoky flavor.
- Cook on and get ready to enjoy athentic wood smoke flavor.
- It is ok to use the smoke box on top of the cooking grill grates.
To learn more about how to use these smoke boxes with any grill, check out our comprehensive tutorial, which includes pictures and step-by-step instructions.
Are these boxes worth it?
We all enjoy the ease of use and simplicity that gas and propane grills offer. A smoker box for gas grill use is absolutely worth it if you want to add a smoky flavor to your food. But the bottom line is that gas grills burn propane or natural gas, which doesn’t generate smoke or wood flavors like charcoal or burning wood.
This is why these smoke boxes are useful. By using a smoker box, you can turn your gas grill or even charcoal grill into an amazing smoker and add amazing smoke wood flavors to your food.
If you don’t want to spend the money on buying a smoker, these boxes will get you pretty close to the real deal.
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, these boxes will do the job. If you simply throw wood chips on 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. The best smoker boxes will turn your grill into a smoker.
Always remember to enjoy the process.