How to use a smoker box for gas grills Complete Guide

Do you want to experience authentic smoky flavor on your gas grill? Take a look at this guide for an easy and effective solution – the smoker box!

Learn how to use a smoker box for gas grills and get delicious BBQ results every time. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is!


Cooking with a smoker box is a great way to add unique and complex flavors to your food. While most smokers are made for charcoal and wood-burning, gas grills can also be used to smoke food with the use of a smoker box.

This guide will explain how to set up and use a smoker box for gas grills, including what types of woods are best for different foods. We’ll also cover tips and tricks for getting the most out of your smoky flavor experience.

So whether you’re looking to add an extra layer of flavoring or expand your cooking repertoire, this guide will show you everything you need to know about using a smoker box with your gas grill.

Definition of a smoker box for gas grills

A smoker box for gas grills is a container made of metal or other material that has small holes on the top, allowing smoke to escape and infuse the food with flavor and aroma.

The box can be placed directly on the heat source – either inside a gas grill or over an open flame – and used to smoke a variety of foods. It usually comes with an additional heat shield or tray, which lets you move it away from the direct heat source when necessary. This prevents food from overcooking due to intense direct heat.

Smoker boxes also offer some flexibility in terms of what can be smoked, as different woods impart different flavors upon food. Some smokers even come equipped with adjustable air ventilation systems, allowing you to dial in just the right amount of smoke while controlling flavor intensity.

Smoke boxes are great ways to add delicious smoky flavor to traditionally cooked dishes within a short time frame.

Types of Smoker Boxes

Smoker boxes for gas grills come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The most popular types of smoker boxes are the stainless steel or cast iron style. Quite often, these boxes have multiple racks that allow hot smoke to circulate evenly or dividers that can separate different types of wood chips, allowing you to get creative with your flavor profiles.

Wood chips and wood chunks are the most commonly used fuel type when light smoking with a smoker box. You’ll want to use a combination of sweet woods such as apple, cherry, pecan, hickory and other fruit woods to impart a unique flavor profile. However you choose to mix your wood chips or chunks is up to you – experimentation is key when mastering your smoking technique!

It’s important to note that some grillers may opt for using dry pellets in place of chips and chunks; these tend to provide an easier setup overall, but the flavor produced from these is generally not as strong as their more traditional counterparts. Additionally, if you’re using a pellet-style smoker box it’s important that the lid is left off during ignition so there is proper air flow during lighting; leaving the lid on could result in smoky smoke output.

Material types

The material of your smoker box will have an effect on the flavor profile and intensity that your food absorbs from the smoke. Different woods are available to impart different smoke flavors, such as mesquite, hickory, apple wood and oak.

You can also use dry herbs in your smoker box. Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme will provide a lightly smoky herb flavor to vegetables or meats and fish. If you’re smoking vegetables it is recommend to use a small box dedicated only to herbs, so that the herbs do not overpower the wood smoke flavor being introduced by the wood chips in your smoker box.

Smoke boxes are available in different materials depending on what type of smoker you have:

  • Wooden smoker boxes: These work with both gas and charcoal barbecues, depending on their size and setup. Wooden boxes are inexpensive but need soaking in water for 30 minutes before using them. Use caution when handling wet wooden boxes because they can easily break or splinter if not handled properly.
  • Aluminum foil smoker boxes: These foldable aluminum smokers are lightweight and easy to store away when not in use. They allow for more direct smoke delivery than wooden enclosures because they don’t insulate as much heat as wooden versions do. However, aluminum foil can’t handle high heat as well so it’s recommended for shorter smokes where low temp is necessary for best smoked flavor results with less charring or burning of whatever it is you’re cooking up!

Stainless steel

Stainless steel smoker boxes are the most common type of smoker boxes used on gas grills. These boxes come in a variety of sizes, but all have a lid that slips over the top to contain heat and smoke within the box. The lids should always be in place while smoking to achieve proper results.

To set up stainless steel smoker boxes:

  1. Place wood chips, chunks, pellets or smoked sawdust inside of the box.
  2. Put the lid back on and close it securely with a pair of tongs.
  3. Place the box on top of your gas grill’s heating element according to manufacturer instructions (usually in between the two elements).
  4. Preheat your gas grill for about 15 minutes before beginning to smoke as normal.

5a. If your gas grill has multiple burners, light only one or two burners (depending on manufacturer instructions) and make sure they remain relatively low while you are smoking; you do not want your food to cook too quickly! You should also avoid opening your grill’s lid too often since much of your heat will escape each time you do so.

5b Alternatively, if your gas grill has only one burner, you may need to light all burners at once (again following manufacturer instructions) for enough even heat for optimal smoking performance; again make sure that it remains low enough that any direct flames don’t come in contact with food whilst it cooks/smokes through indirect heat from hot air pockets within grill spaces unchecked by direct flames.

Cast iron

The most common type of smoker box is made of cast iron. Cast iron can withstand extreme temperatures and makes it easy to distribute Smoke Gases throughout the grill. For this reason, most of the several smokers fit within a standard gas grilling system. To assemble your smoker, you’ll need: cast iron smoker box, oil, gas grills, burners and fuel.

Before use all you need to do is season your cast iron box. This will help ensure that rust won’t form and that your smoker box will be ready for use whenever you are. To season your cast iron smoker:

1) Preheat your oven to 350° F
2) Put a thin layer of oil on the inside and outside of the box (vegetable or olive oil works best)
3) Place in the oven for at least an hour, allowing it to heat up. Once done baking, it’s time to put your new smoker to use!
4) Add wood chips or wood chunks into smoking chamber
5) Place on one side fo gaste grill over direct heat for about 20 minutes with lid closed
6) After 20 minutes open and adjust the temperature settings down low
7) Your cast iron smoker can now be used as an indirect heat source while smoking food on the other indirect side of grill

Size and shape options

Smoker boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you will want to choose a box that fits your gas grill. Smoker boxes typically come in two shapes: rectangular and cube-shaped. Rectangular smoker boxes usually measure approximately 10 inches across by 6 inches wide, while cube-shaped boxes are roughly 5 inches across by 4 inches high.

Some smoker boxes may also have adjustable vents so that you can control the heat level of your cooking.

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III. Preparing Your Smoker Box

Once you’ve selected the type of smoker box best suited for your needs, it’s time to prepare it for use. There are several steps you’ll need to take before adding your favorite flavorings and starting the smoking process.

To begin, fill the smoker box with a few handfuls of wood chips; depending on the size of your smoker box, you may need anywhere from ¼ cup to 1 cup or more of chips. Be sure to check with the manufacturer’s instructions as well for specific numbers regarding how much fuel is required for optimal performance.

If you’re working with an aluminum or stainless steel smoker box, keeping safety in mind by placing a piece of foil over it first will help protect against flare-ups. This will also allow steam to move around freely within the smoke chamber while ensuring that your wood chips still ignite properly.

Finally, place your now-prepared smoke box directly over medium heat on your gas grill and close the lid; begin preheating until smoke begins coming through the vent off hinge of lid. This should take anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes. Once the smoker is producing a thick white smoke, tobacco pipes are assembling properly and it’s time to add food items!

Pre-soaking wood chips

Pre-soaking wood chips: Pre-soaking your wood chips for at least 30 minutes before using them is highly recommended for a few reasons. Soaked wood chips will smolder for a much longer time allowing you to maintain a consistent temperature inside the smoker box throughout the cooking time of your food. Additionally, pre-soaking will help avoid any flare-ups, which can cause an unpleasant bitterness to your food. You do not need to soak the chips for longer than 30 minutes—any extra water will just release too much steam and prevent optimal smoking flavor from developing.

Filling the smoker box

Once you have your smoker box, it’s time to fill it with your favorite smoking woods. It’s important to note that larger chips and chunks take longer to produce smoke than small chips and dust, so if you are looking for a quick burst of smoky flavor, use smaller pieces. When filling the smoker box, make sure not to overfill it as this can cause air circulation issues and can lead to an uneven burn. We recommend filling the box up to about two-thirds full.

Another important factor is the type of wood you choose; different woods will provide different flavors and aromas. The most common types of wood used in smoking are hickory, cherry, apple, oak and mesquite; however, you can use any type of wood that will fit into the box. Experiment with different types of wood combinations until you find the perfect flavor!

Finally, dampen the wood with a mist from a spray bottle – just enough to add humidity but not enough to douse it – then cover your smoker box before placing on top of your gas grill over indirect heat.

Using Your Smoker Box

Using a smoker box for your gas grills can be a great way to add flavor to your meals. Once you have your smoker box, the first step is to prepare it for use. Start by cleaning the smoker box and removing any loose particles that may have accumulated during shipping or storage. Place the box on a clean surface before lighting it with a match or other source of heat.

Next, make sure the smoker box lid is securely fastened and that any vents are open. Fill the smoker box with soaked wood chips, making sure not to overfill it; any chips that overflow are likely to catch fire. Put your wood chips in loosely, so that they receive an even burn when heated up. Allow smoke to escape through vents at the top of the lid and enjoy the delicious smoky aroma! Finally, place your gas grill on a flat surface and light it carefully according to manufacturer instructions.

Once your grill has been lit, place your filled Smoking Box directly above one of the burners; then lower its lid onto your grill’s top grate. This helps ensure that smoke passes over as much of your food as possible during cooking time. After this step is done, you’re ready to start using your Smoker Box! For best results, cook foods on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes or until done; for large cuts like pork butts or baby back ribs you will want to extend cooking time accordingly until tender. With smoky flavor at their fingertips, everyone can now enjoy delicious grilled dishes!

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Placing the smoker box on the gas grill

When you are ready to use the smoker box, it is important that you place it correctly on the gas grill. The placement will depend on your specific gas grill and model of smoker box, as different grills have different configurations. Some grids have side-burner units and some have an exact grate area for a cast iron smoker box.

If your gas grill has an exact grate area for a cast iron smoker box, start by placing it in the center of the heat source that goes underneath the grate. Make sure that all three pieces (wood chips, water reservoir and lid) are in place before turning on the burner. Preheat the smoker to desired temperature. Generally, you will want to preheat it at high temperature for best performance when using a gas grill with a cast iron smoker box.

Once all pieces are in place and preheated, reduce heat to low or medium-low setting while still maintaining an even distribution of smoke inside of the closed BBQ area. This open-vent method of using the BBQ reduces smoke loss and keeps more flavor locked into your food being smoked!


Using a smoker box for a gas grill is an easy way to add the smoky flavor that is so associated with barbecuing. Before you use your smoker box, make sure to check it regularly and clean it after each use. Doing this will ensure that your food tastes amazing every time you barbecue and keep your smoker box in good condition.

The type of smoker box you get depends largely on the size of your gas grill, what type of cooking you want to do, and whether you prefer wood chips or sawdust for smoking. Many people are now turning to pellet smokers that allow for even greater temperature control and smokiness. No matter which type of smoker box you choose for your gas grill, following the steps above will help you get the perfect smokey flavor every time.

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