Grilling is one of those things. For some people it’s just food, for others it’s something like art. Vacation in your own garden or on the balcony. The competition at the kettle grill is getting bigger and bigger and so it was only a matter of time until the trend of smoking spills over the big pond to us.
Making barbecuing a very special experience has never been easier. But finding the ideal smoker box for your needs isn’t so easy. Therefore, we have compared articles for you and tell you what you should look for when buying.
The most important facts in a nutshell
- A smoker box is an inexpensive, universally applicable alternative to the smoker and uncomplicated to use. However, it is important that your grill has a lid so that the smoke does not evaporate directly.
- The smoking wood should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes before grilling. This ensures that the wood does not burn directly in the grill and can thus release its aroma evenly to the meat.
- Smoker boxes are already available for the small purse. However, you should pay particular attention to the material. Stainless steel is best suited for smoking, as it is temperature-resistant, easy to clean, and rustproof.
Buying and evaluation criteria for smoke boxes
So that you are not overwhelmed when buying your new smokebox, we have picked out the most important buying criteria. These are as follows:
- Possible uses.
Now we’ll explain what to look for in these criteria, so you can find the right smoker box for you.
There are different types of smoke boxes and at least as many grills. You should pay attention to which grill your smoke box is suitable for, to avoid unpleasant surprises later. Most smoke boxes are suitable for gas or coal grills. Smoker boxes can also be used in your electric grill, but smoking boards are more common here.
Most important feature: Your grill should have a lid so that the smoke can properly wrap around the meat and not evaporate immediately.
There are smoking boxes in different sizes. From 700 ml to 1600 ml capacity, everything is there. Pay attention to the size as well as the shape not only to what you personally like, but what really fits in your grill.
If you plan to smoke for a long period of time, you should go for a box with at least 1000 ml capacity. Refilling a hot smoker box is not that easy.
If you go in search of a smoke box, you will quickly come across various forms of these. Smoke box, V- and even W-shapes. But what are these good for? The idea is that when used on a gas grill, the smoke box is inserted under the grill grate and thus does not slip between the flame plates. This, therefore, provides more support, is more space-saving, but also goes hand in hand with a smaller capacity.
For all other types of grills, rectangular boxes are recommended. They take up little space on your grill due to their slim shape, leaving more room for the essentials: Your food.
Smoker boxes are available in different materials. Stainless steel, cast iron, or metal. A gas grill reaches maximum temperatures of up to 300 degrees. In a charcoal grill, your food will burn after about half an hour in an environment of up to 800 degrees. The material of your smoker box should be able to withstand these temperatures.
If you want your smoker box to last as long as possible, we recommend that you use stainless steel.
Professionals like to use cast iron because it produces an even and constant heat due to its thermal properties, but stainless steel has a decisive advantage: stainless steel is a high-quality, very temperature-resistant material, it is easy to clean and, unlike cast iron, it is rust-proof. Keeping a cast-iron smoker box rust-free is still possible but requires significantly more work.
There are great differences in the processing of smoke boxes. Many suppliers entice with great product images and designs. The problem of sharp edges on the housing is especially with the cheaper smoke boxes unfortunately a problem.
A little tip: If you like a smoke box, take a closer look at the reviews of other customers. The topic of workmanship is particularly frequently addressed here.
Smoker box for a gas grill – Best Choice
Skyflame Stainless Steel Double V-shape Smoker Box
- w-shape bottom sits directly on the burner.
- Faster heat transfer.
- Thick stainless steel construction.
Guide: Frequently Asked Questions about Smoker Boxes Answered in Detail
In this section, we explain the most frequently asked questions about smoke boxes so that you can go on the search for your smoke box informed.
What is a smoke box?
Smoker boxes are suitable for all hobby grillers and grill professionals who want to make a special experience out of their next barbecue. For this purpose, a special box is filled with smoking material and placed on the preheated grill grate.
The smoke that comes out after a short time creates a barbecue aroma that is otherwise only known from much more intensively priced smokers. This way, you get an authentic, smoky taste for dishes like pulled pork or spareribs, which your guests will remember for a long time.
Best cast iron smoker box
Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
- Prevents wood from catching on fire.
- Durable cast iron body and lid.
- Can withstand hotter grill temperatures better.
How to use the smoking woods properly?
Before using your smoking wood, you should soak it in a bucket of water for at least fifteen minutes. This has the effect that the fully soaked woods do not burn directly on the grill and thus release their aroma evenly. Smoking flour does not need to be soaked beforehand.
After you have filled your smoking box with the larger smoking chunks, the smaller smoking chips, or smoking flour, place it on the heated grill grate. After about 20 minutes, the contents of the box start to smolder and form a smoke that comes out of the slits in the lid.
This smoke, thanks to the closed lid, collects in the grill and wraps around the meat, giving it a special smoky flavor.
Best universal stainless steel smoker box
Weber Stainless Steel Smoker Box
- Easily add chips while in use.
- Fits most sizes of grills.
- Must-have for any gas grill.
What alternatives to the smoker box does the market offer?
The idea of smoker boxes developed from the use of smokers. Smokers are very expensive smoking grills. Besides their price, they are also much bulkier than a small smoker box, and they require much more background knowledge.
Smoking boards are wooden boards on which you can place the meat or fish directly. Smoking boards can be used several times, but a smoker box gives off a much more intense flavor and is much more durable, especially with high-quality materials.
An inexpensive DIY variant is the one-time use of aluminum trays. Here you form small bowls from aluminum foil and fill them with the smoking wood. However, the heat development and aroma distribution lag significantly behind that of professional smoke boxes.
Best smoker box with large wood chip capacity
Cave Tools Smoker Box
- Thicker stainless steel.
- Chips smolder instead of burn.
- Extremely durable.
How to clean a smoker box?
Most smoke boxes are now dishwasher safe. After you have given the box time to cool down, dispose of the remains of the smoking woods and put your smoking box in the dishwasher with the other grill remains. For the special care and cleaning of your stainless steel smoke box, we can recommend stainless steel cleaner.
Best V-shape smoker box for gas grill
Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel V-Shape Smoker Box
- Measures 13 ¾” long.
- Sturdy stainless-steel construction withstands high grilling temps.
- Positions the smoke right beneath the food grate for the most intense smoke flavor.
If you’re in the mood for a special grilling experience, smoker boxes are a great thing. Inexpensive to purchase, they can be easily integrated into your already existing grill. In any case, you should pay attention to the quality of the material. From a smoker box made of stainless steel, you have the longest what of. Cleaning is also much easier.
With the help of a smoker box, you can discover a whole new world of grilling. Some dishes you bring only thereby on a completely different level.