Very soon, it will be time to get out the grill and enjoy all of our spring and summertime favorites fresh off the grill. No matter what your grilling style is, you can make so many things! Want a pizza? Toss it on the grill!
Of course, some grills seem to be more versatile than others, but there are things you can do to make even the most basic grill into a one-stop-shop of flavor.
Take a smokebox, for example. If you like that smoky flavor, you can achieve it even on a gas grill. You don’t have to do without that delicious smoky flavor!
How do you use a smokebox for a gas grill? There are some important things to know before using a smokebox for a gas grill so you can get your flavors just right. Most importantly, you should avoid over-filling or under-filling your smokebox with wood chips to achieve the right balance.
In this guide, we will provide you with every last detail of information that you need in order to use a smokebox with your gas grill.
We’ve got some tips and steps for you so that you can be sure you do it right and get to enjoy that nice, smoky flavor for every grilled food you enjoy. Stick with us and enjoy this complete guide to using a smokebox for a gas grill.
How to Use a Smokebox for a Gas Grill
When you bought your gas grill, maybe you never thought you would care about that tender, smoky flavor. Or maybe you didn’t even think about missing it.
So many people have gas grills and they are great for any number of skills, but the one thing they can’t do is give your food smoky flavors.
Or can they?
You don’t have to suffer just because your gas grill isn’t a smoker. With all of the technology constantly changing, you can turn your gas grill into a smoker, while still enjoying the luxury of a gas grill.
When you think of smoking meat, do you think of an affair that takes several hours? Well, it sure can, depending on what you’re smoking.
But with a smokebox that is compatible with a gas grill, you can enjoy that smoked flavor on even your quickest dishes!
What Is a Smokebox for Gas Grill?
If you’re here reviewing this complete guide, you probably already have a general idea of what a smokebox is. You might also hear it referred to as a smoker box.
It’s ultimately the same thing. By definition, it is pretty much exactly as it sounds. A smokebox is a small metal box that you can use with your gas grill.
You fill the box with your choice of wood chips or pellets and then you place it under your grates, much like you might place wood chips on a smoker.
You can buy smoker boxes for gas grills at a pretty reasonable price. Some places also have smoker pouches, which are a similar concept. A smokebox tends to last quite some time, even with regular use, and you just refill it as needed.
There are different sizes of smokeboxes, so be sure to refer to that part of our guide before you pick one out officially for your gas grill.
The smokebox uses those pellets or wood chips and infuses your food with that hearty, smoked flavor that nearly everybody loves.
It’s the perfect tool for enjoying smoked flavor without having to upgrade to a smoker or have two different grilling appliances.
Using a Smokebox for a Gas Grill
You might think that you can just load up your smokebox and throw it under the grill grate but it’s not always that simple.
Yes, it is simple but you should follow the proper steps in order to achieve the best results. You don’t want to just load a bunch of dry wood chips in there.
This won’t achieve what you are after. In addition, you have to be sure that the box you choose will fit properly in the space.
Apart from these things, it’s possible to add too much wood or pellets to your smokebox and end up with an overwhelming smoke flavor that is far more than you bargained for. This is why we are here.
We have all of these valuable tips to share with you and later in the guide, we will even share some specific product recommendations in case you just can’t seem to make up your mind!
Finding smoker boxes and things to fill them with is pretty easy but it’s not always clear exactly how they should be used because each grill is different.
You can find general usage instructions but it’s a good idea to be familiar with best practices just to be on the safe side.
If you are using wood chips for your smokebox, you should plan to soak the wood chips first. It is recommended that you soak them for at least an hour.
Since wood chips are designed for smokers, this added step will help to keep the wood chips from just burning while you cook. Wood chips are designed to smolder so that they smoke.
You don’t always have to soak them on a smoker, but with a gas grill, if you skip soaking them, you might end up with a burnt wood flavor because the dry heat will cause them to burn rather than smolder and soak.
And yes, burnt wood is different from smoked wood.
Ok, so you’ve soaked your wood chips if you need to and we’re going to assume you already have a smokebox in hand for your grill. If you don’t, you can check out our recommendations a bit later in this guide!
Now, let’s talk about exactly how you should use your smokebox.
Here’s the thing. We know your smokebox comes with a limited amount of space. But they all come in different shapes and sizes, so you might not want to fill your smokebox to the brim.
This could be way too much smoke flavor; think of it almost like a seasoning. If you over-season something, it’s barely edible and overwhelming. If you under-season something, it’s a little bland but edible.
You have to approach using your smokebox in much the same manner. If you have too much in the smokebox, it might be too much for your meal.
It’s better to start out with small amounts and then you can always add to it if you want more of a smoky flavor the next time. Unfortunately, this could be a game of trial and error.
The first time you try your smokebox, we recommend filling it about halfway full. This is a good starting point and you can adjust with future smoking endeavors from there.
Here are the steps for using your smokebox with a gas grill:
- Start by pre-heating your gas grill. Set your burners to a high temperature and let it heat for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- While the grill is heating up, load up your smokebox with your chosen wood chips or pellets to the desired level. Start with filling it halfway if you don’t know how much to use.
- Choose the burner that you want to use for the smokebox if you have multiple burners. Use an indirect cooking method for the best results. The burner you place the smokebox with will remain on.
- Wait until the smokebox starts to smoke from the heat.
- Turn off the burners that are directly underneath the food (leave all other burners and the burner with the smokebox on). This is called indirect cooking.
- For any burners that are still on, reduce their temperatures to somewhere between 225-250°F.
- Proceed to cook your items until they are appropriately cooked to the right temperature.
In this process, if your wood chips stop smoking, you may need to add additional wood chips to the mixture.
It’s a pretty straightforward process that is easy to follow, but the tips about indirect cooking and heating up the grill are valuable advice that you shouldn’t go without.
If you try to just throw your smokebox anywhere on the burners, you might end up with a heavier smoke flavor than you really want. It’s the perfect way to smoke anything from fish and veggies to beef and pork!
And if you want the perfect method for smoking chicken, you can find it in another article waiting just for you!
Choosing a Smokebox for Your Gas Grill
Ok, we’ve talked about how to use a smokebox. But how do you make a decision when you’re ready to purchase a smokebox? We have a few tips for you on this subject too!
Pellets or Wood Chips?
Do you know if you prefer to use wood pellets or wood chips for your smoking practices? There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer, but it’s more a matter of preference.
There are pros and cons to using either side of the coin, so ultimately, it’s completely your decision.
But before you purchase a smokebox, you should consider this as there are boxes that are made specifically for wood and boxes made specifically for pellets.
If you need something smaller, we recommend pellets because the boxes are typically smaller and more versatile.
Apart from that, it’s totally up to you. Wood chips are larger to work with but you can choose unique wood styles and flavors.
Consider also that the design and style of your smokebox could make a significant difference as well.
One thing that will be very important is the smoke output of your box. You want a reasonable outlet of smoke for whatever might be in your box and you want it to evenly distribute as well.
Look for designs that have quite a few places for the smoke to escape and that have those spaces spread out over the entire top surface of the box.
You will want to be sure that whatever smokebox you end up with will properly fit in your grill.
Some smokeboxes are designed so they fit directly on a burner (these are typically V or W-shaped options) while others are made with a flat base.
Some of the smokeboxes can even be hung from grates or used on top of the grill grates. These are all aspects to look at and consider so that you get the best solution for your needs.
If you have a small grill, you want to consider a small box or tube that will easily fit wherever you can place it. You certainly don’t want to get stuck with a box that won’t fit anywhere on your grill.
Another important factor that you should keep in mind for your smokebox is the durability. First, let us set your expectations.
Your smokebox is going to discolor and it is probably going to warp as well. These are to be expected because of the heat and smoke that they are subjected to.
What you want to know is whether that warping is going to quickly make your smokebox unusable or cause it to fall apart.
You can expect some warping, but you need to still be able to use the box and open it and shut it. These are the key things that keep even a warped box functional.
Best Smokeboxes for Gas Grills
If you don’t have a smokebox yet, it’s time to consider your options. We have some great options to share with you.
|1.||Skyflame Smoker Box||For wood chips, w-shape design|
|2.||Weber Universal Smoker Box||For wood chips, easy access, universal fit|
|3.||Lanney Pellet Smoker Tube||For pellets, universal fit, accessories|
Before you pick out a smokebox, you should measure the space under your grate and between the burner to determine what size smokebox you need.
You just want to be sure that the smokebox you choose will really fit into the space on your grill. Here are our top picks for the 3 best smokeboxes for gas grills.
1. Skyflame Wood Chip Smoker Box with Wavy Smoke Outlet
This first option from Skyflame is a really great choice. It’s perfect for use on gas grills or even charcoal grills if you want.
This smokebox is made with sturdy stainless steel materials so it’s less likely to warp for more time.
It has a flap that opens upwards, which gives you the ability to add and remove wood chips as needed while you are smoking your food.
This smokebox has a wavy design that allows the smoke to filter through in reasonable amounts. This also helps to spread the smoke out over a wider range of space.
The shape lets you set the smokebox directly on your burner bars to get the best heat distribution possible.
This smokebox is under a U.S. patented design and it’s highly rated across the board. It’s a great size and the W-shape design is very nice for making it fit better into whatever type of space you might be squeezing it into.
You can use any kind of wood and rely on this box to give you the best results overall.
- Long-lasting stainless steel materials
- Wavy design for better smoke distribution
- W-shaped indention on the bottom for the best fit
- U.S. patented design
- Long box with sections give you the best results
- Less smoke filters through so you may need a full smokebox for the best flavor
2. Weber Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box
We know that Weber is a reliable solution for grills, so why not rely on their smokebox for some great smokey flavor as well?
This smokebox measures about 9.8 x 4.5 x 2 inches. This means it holds a decent amount of wood chips without it being overly bulky in size.
This box is made from stainless steel materials. It’s durable and reliable and isn’t likely to warp quickly like some models out there.
It’s also very easy to use and very easy to add wood chips to, even during the cooking process. You don’t have to remove it to add wood.
This is built to fit the majority of gas grills. There is a guide on the listing as well so you can double-check to be sure your grill is one that it will work with. You just need your model number to check it out.
- Easy to add wood chips
- Great design for good smoke distribution
- Durable stainless steel materials
- Made to fit most grills
- Can be used on top of your grate if needed
- Might warp at high temperatures
3. Lanney Pellet Smoker Tube for Any Grill
Finally, we leave you with an option specifically designed for pellets.
This is a pellet smoker tube and it works with the same concept but is built for smoking pellets rather than wood chips.
It can be used for any type of grill, from smoker to charcoal to gas.
This tube is a pretty neat tool and it is very well-made and highly-rated. It measures about 12 inches long and has a diameter of only about 2 inches so it is slim enough to fit in most grills just fine.
It can also be used on top of the grate if necessary.
This little tool is mighty and offers billowing smoke with major diffusion properties. The set comes with a nice cleaning brush as well as a basting brush.
It even comes with hanging hooks so it’s easy to store and hang for use. Did we mention it’s made with 304 stainless steel as well?
- Made with high-quality stainless steel
- Full set comes with brushes and hooks
- Made for pellets
- Delivers a ton of smoke and flavor
- Compatible with nearly all grills
- May need to be refilled fairly often
We hope that you found this guide to using a smokebox for a gas grill to be a valuable resource. Choosing and using a smokebox isn’t all that difficult, as long as you know the tips and tricks to help you be the most successful.
Check out the following question and answer section for some additional details that may be helpful to you. And if any of these products have caught your eye, you may also be interested in the 7 best cold smokers.
Do You Have to Soak Wood Chips?
There are a lot of mixed reviews when it comes to whether or not it’s required to soak your wood chips before soaking them. We feel as though this is a good step to take because it does help your chips smolder and smoke rather than just burn.
What Is the Best Flavor of Wood Chips?
This is really a matter of preference more than anything. Everyone prefers different flavors and this directly affects the wood chips you might use.
Which wood chips you use might also differ depending on what you are smoking. We recommend checking out different flavors and what they are recommended for and then you can test them out from there.
What’s the Best Way to Melt Cheese on a Grill?
A little-known type of grill is the Raclette grill, which allows you to grill and saute food on the top layer while the bottom melts the cheese.
Where Do You Put a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill?
Typically, it’s recommended that you place the smoker box underneath the cooking grate. It’s also recommended that it isn’t placed directly under your food.
However, there are some smoker boxes that can be hung or set on top of the grate if this works better for your needs.
Up Next: How to Reheat Smoked Turkey