How to Use Smoker Box? The Step by Step Guides 2023

Smoked is a form of cooking that has been around for a long time. The proof is that our ancestors have smoked meat since the Stone Age. Today, this cooking method is still viral, thanks to its unique smoky flavor.

If you are serious about smoking meat, you should consider investing in a fume hood. Simply put, it is a heat-resistant metal box used to store chips. In addition, it can enhance the smoky flavor of your meats by exposing them to more smoke.

Today, we will discuss “how to use smoker box” and prove to you other helpful information.

How to Use Smoker Box?

Smoking is one of the oldest cooking methods

Smoking is one of the oldest cooking methods

In general, using this device is very easy. Here, we have compiled a 5-step guide that will show you exactly how to use a smoking box to get a tasty flavor for your food.

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Tools

Of course, you need to prepare the necessary things for this project. These include a smoker box and chips. Both come in many variations, and we will cover them later.

Step 2: Put the Chip In Your Smoker Box

Let’s start by filling up more than half of the smoker box with wood chips. Seasoned cooks will love to soak chips in water for about half a minute to prevent them from catching on fire.

But most modern smoking boxes do not have holes in the bottom. Therefore, the wood chips will not have a chance to contact the flame directly. So wetting them will only prolong the time it takes to start smoking.

Step 3: Place Your Smoker Box Near the Heat Source

If you use a charcoal grill, you will have to put your box directly on the coals. It is wise to use quality charcoal for this process.

If you choose a gas grill, you must place the smoking box on the burners.

It is essential to place the smoking box as close to the heat source as possible.

If you use a charcoal grill, you should not put too much charcoal around your box. The reason is that embers born from burning charcoal can fall into the hole in its top, igniting the chips inside.

If you are an electric grill user, you should cover your box with tin foil and poke some holes in its surface.

It will take a while to start creating smoke, so we recommend setting the heat to the maximum for gas grills.

Step 4: Once Your Box Is Smoking, Turn Off the Burners

After the chips start to smoke, turn off all extra burners. In addition, you need to adjust the remaining burners until the internal temperature reaches between 220 degrees F and 250 degrees F. The purpose of it is to set up the grill for indirect cooking.

Step 5: Start Smoking your Meat

Put your meats on the grill and smoke them

Put your meats on the grill and smoke them

Throw the meat to the grill and smoke it as you usually would.

Cooking times may vary, depending on your food type. But you should cook slowly to get the delicious mild smoke flavors. This method can take an hour and a half to smoke each pound of meat.

Experienced chefs recommend cooking red meats between 190 and 200 degrees F and 160 to 175 degrees F for poultry.

Step 6: Refill Wood Chips

If your wood chips burn out before your dish is cooked, you need to refill the wood chips. Then, all you need to do is remove your box from the heat source and add the chips.

Don’t forget to use a pair of heat-resistant gloves or heat-resistant tongs for this process to avoid burns.

Watch the following video to understand better:

What Features Should a Good Smoker Box Have?

You should use a model that is easy to use

You should use a model that is easy to use

By now, you know about different kinds of smoker boxes. So, what criteria do you need to consider when buying one?

Made From High-Quality Metal

The product you choose should be made from a durable metal, such as cast iron or steel. These high-quality metals will not warp or melt when you place them near the heat source of a charcoal or gas grill.

They may be a bit more expensive than other models, but they will last longer. So, in the long run, they are smart investments.

The Traditional Design

A box with a traditional design features fixed holes, which allow the smoke to flow appropriately. In addition, they also prevent any ash from escaping and clinging to your food.

Come With a Non-stick Coating

When wood chips are burned during smoke generation, they produce ash that clogs the holes. Also, if your smoker box is placed directly under the meat on the grill, fats and juices will fall into the box.

So, a model without a non-stick coating will be challenging to clean and have an unpleasant smell after each use.

Easy to Use

You should choose a product with a top-open lid, allowing you to refill the wood chips during the smoking process with ease. In addition, you also need to consider its shape and size. Finally, make sure it fits your grill for the best results.

What Are The Best Chips for Your Smoker Box?

Wood Chips

Wood Chips

If you have a lot of knowledge about smoked meat, you will know that you have many woodchip options to choose from.


This wood is perfect for smoking chicken, pork, and wild birds because it is pretty mild and has a subtle fruity flavor.


This wood is ideal for a heavy smoky flavor. So, it is an excellent choice for smoking larger cuts of pork such as shoulders and ribs.


It will add a sweet hint to your food. It works well for pork, poultry, and fish. Moreover, it also produces less ash!


This wood adds sweet and sour fruit flavors to your meat. It is considered the best wood for smoking and goes well with any food.


It has a medium smoky flavor and is suitable for smoked beef, lamb, brisket, and sausage.


These wood chips work best with poultry and gamefowl meats. They offer a delicate taste, with a slight sweetness.


These chips are recommended for use with poultry. However, it can work well with most meats. They feature a nutty, rich and sweet flavor.

Grape Vine

They work well with pork,  lamb,  and poultry. However, these chips feature a sharp, tart flavor. So, it is best to use them sparingly.

Wood chips Work Best For
Apple Chicken, pork, and wild birds
Hickory Red meat, bacon, and ham
Almond Red meat, bacon, and ham.
Cherry Go well with any food
Oak Beef, lamb, brisket, and sausage
Maple Poultry and gamefowl meats
Pecan Work well with most meats
Grape Vine Pork,  lamb,  and poultry

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I use wet wood chips?

Many people believe that using wet wood chips can prevent them from catching fire.

It sounds reasonable. However, most smoker boxes today do not have holes in the bottom. Therefore, the chips will not come into direct contact with fire.

On the other hand, wet wood chips will need more time to smoke, making your cooking process longer.

2. When Should I Add More Wood?

If you notice that the smoke seems weak or has been wholly extinguished, that’s when you need to add wood chips.

3. Should I Clean Hot Smoker Boxes?

The answer is no.

If you pour cold water on hot stainless steel, it may warp. So, it is best to use a set of heat-resistant tongs to remove the smoker box from the grill and let it cool before cleaning.

4. What Are Disposable Smoker Boxes?

These boxes are made of aluminum foil, making them disposable. It is possible to DIY this box at home. All you need to do is make foil pans and aluminum foil lids. Then, it is essential to poke holes in the lid.

When poking holes, you need to make sure they are the same shape and size so that the smoke is evenly dispersed.

5. What Are the Best Meats to Smoke?

You can smoke a variety of meats. Here are the best meats to smoke for beginners:

  • Beef brisket
  • Salmon
  • Whole duck
  • Beef ribs
  • Whole turkey
  • Lamb’s shoulder

6. How long does it take smoker boxes to start smoking?

Depending on your grill, it may take up to 10 minutes for the box to heat up.

Wrapping It Up

Smoking at home can take your cooking skills to the next level. However, don’t expect to get good results overnight.

Patience is the key to getting the perfect smoke flavor. So, you should experiment with different meats, wood chips, and smoking methods to improve your skills.

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