How to Use a Smoker Box Step by Step – Complete Guide

How to use a smoker box on a Gas Grill, for example, is a straightforward operation, provided you follow the right instructions. The best gas grill smoker box adds a delicious smoke flavor to your grilled meal. All you need to do is place the smoker box on top of one of the burners of your cooking grate, and you’re good to go.

It’s so easy to convert any gas grill into a smoker using a smoker box to give your veggies and meats that smoky flavor you desire or crave. This review will provide you with adequate guidance on how to make smoking on your gas grill easier. Some of the tools needed include a smoker box, wood chips, or chunks of your choice. 

How to Use a Smoker Box?

smoker box

Preheat Your Grill 

Brush the cooking grates, cleaning it with a Grill brush, and then start the grill to preheat for 10-15 minutes on high heat. Place your smoker box close to the heat source, so it preheats with your grill. Most smoker boxes are made of stainless steel or cast iron, depending on the manufacturer. You must turn the gas grill burner on the highest setting only at this stage to get the smoker box and the grill hot on time. It may consume up to 10 minutes depending on the gas grill, but it is worth it. Skipping this step would have a considerable impact on the flavor you get at the end of the day as stall food, or improperly ignited wood chips can interrupt the genuine smoke flavor you should get. 

Use Tongs to Open the Lid of the Smoker Box

When the grill is hot enough, use tongs to open the lid of the smoker box. If you do not have a tong, use a well-insulated grilling glove to open the top of the smoker box. Now it depends on the type of smoker box you have, but most boxes come with a lid and holes at the top and bottom. The essence of these holes is to let out the smoke and the air and heat, so the wood remains hot and produces smoke.  

Load Smoker Box with Wood Chips

Load your gas grill smoker box with wood chips. Pour some wood chips into it and use a tong to spread it. Spread the wood chips to cover the bottom of the box, and expose them to the Burner below. Add as many wood chips into the smoker box, but leave the box open. Close the lid of the grill and wait for a few minutes to allow the wood chips in the smoker box to ignite or catch fire. Many people prefer to soak their wood chips in water first to prevent the grill box from catching fire. But at this stage, we want the wood chips to ignite, so it will keep burning throughout your Grill session. So it is alright if the wood chips ignite as it produces smoke better. So, it is expedient to use dry wood chips at this stage for the best results. 

Ensure the Temperature of the Grill is Right 

It is also expedient to set an ideal temperature if you are using a gas grill smoker box. If the temperature is too high, the wood chips will remain on fire throughout the session. Similarly, if the temperature is too low, the wood chips would not produce enough smoke. Therefore, when you want to use a gas grill smoker box, try to keep your grill temperature stable and medium.

You have to keep an eye out as most built-in smoker grill thermometers are inaccurate and cheaply produced. And because only the temperature at the top of the grill is measured rather than where the food is, you might need to get an extra pair of probe thermometers. The temperature inside your smoker grill varies because the side closer to the firebox is usually hotter. Insert the thermometer probes near the door at the end of the cooking chambers so you can easily measure the temperature. 

Add More Wood Chips and Cover the Smoker Box

After a considerable amount of time at the right temperature, open the lid of the grill. By this time, the smoker box should be on fire. At this point, add more wood chips or chunks. And if you are a fan of using wet wood chips, now would be a perfect time to toss them in. Using damp wood chips is excellent in the sense that they burn slowly and offer moist smoke. Moist smoke is more flavorful, and it quickly permeates your food. 

Moreover, some specific wood burns the best dry and delivers the best flavor with no need to soak them before adding them to the smoker box. While some wood hardly absorbs any water at all. Whatever the case may be, ensure you add some more wood chips, preferably flavored, and then use a tong to give the box a good shake to mix the new chips with the already ignited wood chips or chuck. Cover the smoker box, set it on the cooking grate correctly before covering the lid of the grill. 

Start Smoking Food

After adhering to all this step highlighted so far, smoking your food will become so easy. Make such you arrange your food correctly in the middle of the cooking grates and close the lid as soon as possible. Control the temperature of the grill using the knob in the case of a gas grill smoker combo. And if you are using a charcoal grill, control the temperature by opening and closing the vents. 

If you want to smoke at a low temperature, make sure you turn off some burners but use the main Burners under the smoker box for the heat. But in most cases, you will have to adjust one or two of the main burners during cooking. You should note that when you place the box close to the Burner, it will produce more smoke for your food. Moreover, more smoke equals more flavor. 

Keep the Wood Chips Smoking

At this point, you must maintain an adequate temperature. And to do so, you must adjust the intake baffles to control the heat. Controlling how oxygen flows into the cooking chamber has the most significant effects on cooking temperature and the amount of smoke produced. Monitoring the wood pellets for smokers you use, and ensuring you are continually topping it before it burns out would help keep the smoke constant. 


In conclusion, we believe this review should be a helpful guide to teach anyone how to use a smoker box on any gas grill, electric grill, or any other grill. All the necessary information you need to use a bbq smoker box for gas grills is here in the review to give your veggies and meats that desired taste. Keep in mind that a box is straightforward to use on any Grill, especially those that do not typically produce smoke. 

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