Smoking meat is one of the best ways to infuse flavor into your food. The char from the grill and the aroma from charcoal is great, but smoke is the best. If you already have a grill, did you know that you can transform it into a smoker? All you need is one of these smoker boxes and you’ll be ready to smoke meat in no time! The smoker box is great because it can hold soaked wood chips, as well as pellets. It’s quick and easy, and you don’t need to go out and buy another grill to get great smoky flavor.
Here at Pitmaster’s Choice, we’re determined to rank grilling tools and find the best of the best. So we chose four different smoker boxes and rated them based on Design, Durability, Smoke Production, and Capacity. We looked at each one on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the greatest and 1 was the worst. Once the scores were in, we calculated an Overall Score for each brand.
The table below will show you the overview of each of the smoker boxes. You can read our brief summary in this article, but you can also click on each brand to get a more in-depth review. If you see anything you like, go ahead and purchase it on Amazon and let us know what you think!
Overall Smoker Boxes Review Scores
Cave Tools BBQ Smoker Box
The Cave Tools BBQ smoker box is made from thick, brushed-finish stainless steel, measures 9”x 3” x 1.5” and has a hinged lid for access. The hinge runs the full length of the box for strength. There are ten holes in the lid to allow the smoke to escape. The barbecue smoker box has a capacity of about two full cups, and is designed to fit between the grill grates and the flavorizer bars of charcoal or gas barbecues.
If you need to find some recipes for your barbecue session, this wood smoking box comes with access to dozens of recipes and tutorial videos, and is also backed by Cave Tools lifetime warranty.
Brinkmann Cast Iron Smoker Box
Once it is smoking, the wood box gives out a good amount of smoke, but it goes through chips very quickly, and they can catch fire if you aren’t careful. Refilling the box isn’t so easy, as you have to lift the grill bars, and then the lid, which are both hot of course, top up the chips, and then replace everything. The slots in the lid at least allow you to get a good grip on it when taking it on and off.
Overall, I don’t think there’s a great deal wrong with this product, but it has been left behind somewhat by the newer and better products, like the stainless steel smoke boxes. They look better and function better, leaving these Brinkmann cast iron boxes on the scrap heap with the huge TVs and those phones that have to be plugged into the wall.
Char-Broil Smoker Box
I notice that according to Char-Broil, this is a grill top item, and not meant to be put any closer to the heat. Both the publicity shots and the picture on the packaging support this. If this is the case, then it produces minimal amounts of smoke unless the grill is on it’s highest setting. And more importantly, most of the smoke is going to go nowhere near the food, unless there’s another, higher shelf on your grill. I’m not sure why, or if, this is the case. The Char-Broil website gives very little extra information, and also carries the picture of the BBQ smoking box being used on top of the grill.
For some reason, the holes on top of the Char-Broil wood smoking box are hexagonal. I didn’t notice any difference in the amount of smoke produced, or the flavor of the meat, so maybe it’s just a design choice.
Weber Universal Smoker Box
When I first picked up this Weber wood smoker box, I expected it to be heavier, but the steel isn’t that thick. It is well made and designed, I like the ease with which the lid lifts for filling, but it isn’t the sturdiest on the market. It takes a good amount of wood chips and takes a while to get going, at least twenty minutes. I also found it isn’t a matter of if the chips will catch fire but when, so have a bottle of water ready to dampen them down.
If you get one of these smoking boxes without the holes it should work fine. Or why not cut out the gamble and go for another make.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Smoker Box?
The smoker box is made from metal and is designed to sit directly on top of the heat source. This can be coals or burning embers if you have a charcoal grill, or the element on a propane or natural gas grill.
How Do You Use A Smoker Box on The Grill?
Once you have loaded your smoker box with damp wood chips, you can place it directly on the heat source for your grill. The heat from the grill will ignite the wood chips, but since they are soaked in water they will not light on fire. Instead they will smolder and release smoke.
Can You Use Pellets Inside the Smoker Box?
Yes, you can use pellets inside a smoker box, as well as wood chips. Pellets often do not need to be soaked in water, whereas wood chips should be soaked first.
Why Do You Soak Wood Chips Before Smoking?
Soaking wood chips before smoking allows you to get the most smoke possible. It prevents the chips from lighting on fire, which means they will shoulder instead of burn. This will release the greatest amount of smoke, infusing the best flavor into your food.
How Often Do You Need To Change Wood Chips When Smoking?
The amount of time your wood chips will last depends on how long they have soaked before going into the box. The temperature of the grill and the type of wood are also factors. In general, you should get between 2 and 3 hours of smoke from a smoker box.