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tips for BBQ | The secrets for low and slow barbecue ribs, pulled pork, brisket and more

What is a Smoker Box?

Smoker Box for Smoking on a Gas Grill -

A smoker box is a small metal container that can be used on a gas grill to give a smoky flavor to grilled or indirectly cooked foods. Simply fill it with pellets or soaked wood chips then place it under the grill grates. Smoker boxes are an inexpensive add-on to your grill. Smoker Pouches are another alternative that may be used once, whereas these boxes may last longer than your grill.

When picking out a smoker box it’s important to measure the clearance between the burner shields and the bottom of the grates. If the clearance is smaller than normal you may want to look at something like the v-notched box (pictured right). These are built to fit most major brand grills and knock-offs – so check to see which one should fit.

If you're using wood chips be sure to soak them in water for at least an hour. This will help them from burning instead of smoldering and providing the smoke you want. With wood pellets you won't need to soak them.

Start by filling the smoker box half-way as you start using your new grill toy. Think of smoke as a spice – you don’t want to add too much. Warm up your grill to about 400°F or above to get the box smoking and then settle in on the desired temperature. When done cooking let the grill cool or wait until next cook to attend to the spent wood.

Wood Choices

Take the time to experiment with the different wood flavors and try mixing to get the exact flavor you prefer.

Wood pellets [left] are gaining a lot in popularity and usually available at most grilling supply stores or online via Amazon or Big Poppa Smokers. These are a great way to sample different wood flavors that are consistent and taste great.
Note: you don’t soak wood pellets.

Wood chips [right], not to be confused with chunks, can also be used. These come in a wide variety of flavors and are available at most larger grocery stores, barbecue suppliers or online. Wood chips must be soaked for at least an hour before use so they will smolder instead of just burning.

Go to the BBQ Dictionary for more definitions.

Last Updated: September 22, 2015