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Can you or Should You use Smoker Boxes or Pellet Tubes in a Pellet Grill

using a smoke box or pellet tube in grill

The answer is yes to both questions. You can use smoke boxes or pellet tubes in your pellet grill to add more smoke volume to the cooking chamber injecting more smoke into the food. However because of how pellet grills work, pellet tubes work a bit better in these machines. 

Pellet grills have gained immense popularity for their versatility, combining smoking and grilling functions in one single grill. However, some pellet grills only add a bit of smoke flavor not comparable to that of a charcoal or offset smoker. The fix is very simple, use a smoker box or pellet tube.

Using a Smoker Box and a Pellet Tube in a Pellet Grill

smoke boxes

Several methods can be employed when it comes to achieving that delectable, smoky flavor on a pellet grill. Two popular options include using a smoker box or a smoker tube. Let’s explore each of these alternatives in more detail.

Smoker Box: A Flavorful Companion

A smoker box is a small, metal container designed to hold and traasnfer heat to wood chips. Placing the smoker box on the grill grate allows the wood chips to smolder, releasing smoke flavor into the cooking chamber infusing the food.

To use a smoker box on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the smoker box with your preferred wood chips (note that chips, not pellets, are suitable for pellet grills).
  2. Position the smoker box on the grill grate, either directly over the heat source or off to the side, depending on your desired level of smokiness. Most of the time placing the smoke box on the grates gets the box hot enough but if you are cooking at “smoking temperatures”, 250 to 275 degrees, you likely wil need to place the box closer to the burning pot. This is for pellet grills I like to use a pellet tube instead and will get into that later.
  1. Preheat your pellet grill to the desired temperature.
  2. If the wood chips haven’t been lit yet, ignite them now.
  3. Place your food on the grill and close the lid.
  4. Allow your food to smoke until it reaches the desired level of doneness.

Using a smoker box on a pellet grill provides a practical and cost-effective way to infuse your meats with smoky flavor without requiring a separate smoker. However, because most pellet grills not not cook using direct flame, it can be a challenge to keep the smoke box hot enough to burn the wood chips.

Smoker Pellet Tube: Expanding Possibilities

pellet smoke tube

Alternatively, a pellet smoker tube can be used to achieve higher smoker flow in a pellet grill. A smoker pellet tube is a cylinder-shaped metal tube with lots of small holes for airflow. 

Pellet smoke tubes generate smoke for long periods of time, particularly useful for cold-smoking items like cheese and vegetables.

Pellet smoke tubes work better in pellet grills because the pellets in the tube have to be ignited with a fire source before placing the tube in the grill. Once the pellets in the tube are ignited they will continue burning slowly for hours egenrating smoke.

This means that pellet tubes do not need heat from the grill to remain ignited, just the airflow in the cooking chamber is needed. 

For this reason I highly recommend using pellet smoke tubes with pellet grills instead of wood boxes. 

To use a smoker box on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the pellet smoker tube with your preferred wood pellets 
  2. Place the pellet tube in smoker and use a lighter to safely ignites the pellets.
  3. Place your food on the grill and close the lid.
  4. Allow your food to smoke until it reaches the desired level of doneness.

Tips for grill when using a smoke box or pellet smoke tube

To make the most of your smoker box experience on a pellet grill, consider the following tips:

Prepare the Smoker Box: Before use, ensure the smoker box is clean and dry, as any residue can affect the flavor of your food. Soaking wood chips is optional, but if you choose to do so, consider using flavorful liquids like whiskey or apple juice. 

However, using dry wood chips is perfectly acceptable.

Choose the Right Wood Chips: Selecting the appropriate wood chips significantly impacts the flavor of your food. Stronger smoke flavors can be achieved with woods like hickory and mesquite, while milder options include fruit woods like apple and cherry. Experimenting with different herbs and spices can also add unique flavors to your wood chips.

Monitoring the Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature between 225-250°F for optimal smoking results. Adjust the temperature as needed to stay within this range. Minimize lid openings to avoid temperature and smoke fluctuations.

Cleaning After Smoking: Once you have finished smoking, let your pellet grill cool down before cleaning. Remove any leftover wood chips and ash from the smoker box and firebox. Use a grill brush to clean the grates, and wipe down the inside of the grill with a damp cloth. This regular cleaning routine ensures that unwanted flavors do not carry over to your next cook.


By adding a smoker box or a pellet smoke tube into your pellet grill, you can easily elevate your culinary creations with delightful smoke-infused flavors.

Keep in mine that because pellet smoke tubes will work better when smoking at lower temptures becuase pellets are ignited by you and once ignited do not need heat from the grill to keep on keeping on!



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