Not everyone is lucky enough to own a food smoker or, better yet, a grill with a built-in smoker. Fortunately, anyone who appreciates smoking their food has the opportunity to do so at home on their regular gas grill. Many grill manufacturers choose to make their own cooking accessories, including reusable smoker boxes for propane grills, though there are plenty of universally-matching smokers on the market that would fit any grill just fine.
So Which Smoker Box Do I Choose?
If you plan to smoke your food on a regular basis, most professionals recommend investing in a separate smoker device instead of using your gas grill. However, this option might not be available for everyone, so if you are planning to frequently smoke meats, seafood, and vegetables on your gas grill, choose reusable and smartly-shaped smoker boxes.
- Under-grate smoker boxes can be reusable (made from stainless steel or cast-iron) or disposable (made from aluminium foil). These are designed to fit directly between the flame diffuser bars located under the grate of the gas grill. Under-grate smokers vary in shape and form: they can be V-shaped, cup-shaped, tube-shaped, or flat. When a smoker box works from beneath the grates, the end result is more effective and the flavor is much stronger.
- Over-grate smoker boxes are generally rectangular in shape, though some models are flatter than others. They can take forms of perforated tubes, pouches, trays, or grids. Like under-grate smokers, these boxes are mainly made from stainless steel.
- Freestanding smoker boxes can be used over the grates as well as directly over the burners (or over coals in charcoal grills). These boxes can be much larger and take more wood chips or pellets per one smoking session. Freestanding smoker boxes are generally made from stainless steel and sometimes cast-iron.
- Disposable smoker boxes are made from aluminium foil and can only be used ones. You can make these yourself by using foil pans and aluminium foil lids with holes in them. If you can’t find a foil pan, simply use aluminum foil to create a pouch-like container and cover it with a foil lid. Be sure that the holes in the lid are more or less uniform in shape and size. These boxes or pouches also use wood chips and can go directly over the burners.
Most traditional rectangular boxes can be adapted for use directly over the grill’s burners as well as over the actual grates, but some models are built to be used exclusively under the grates. So while most smoker boxes will have intersecting features in terms of intended usage, you can still use this broad classification to help you navigate the wide smoker selection.
List of Top-Rated Smoker Boxes for Gas Grills
|Carpathen Pellet Smoker Tube 12″||12” x 2” x 2”||stainless steel||View on Amazon|
|Charcoal Companion CC4066||13 ¾” x 4.2” x 2”||stainless steel||View on Amazon|
|Cave Tools Wood Chip Smoker||9” x 5.1” x 1.3”||stainless steel||View on Amazon|
|GrillPro 00150||8” x 5” x 1.5”||slim cast iron||View on Amazon|
|Weber 7576||9.7” x 4.7” x 2”||stainless steel||View on Amazon|
|Broil King 60190||13” x 3.2” x 2”||stainless steel||View on Amazon|
Review of the Best Smoker Boxes for Gas Grills
Carpathen Pellet Smoker Tube 12″
Distinct for its singular and compact design, this smoker box from Carpathen offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of both cooking and handling. Carpathen also takes great care in supplying their kits with additional accessories and learning material, and this Z-smoker kit is no exception.
At 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, this stainless steel tube is designed for smoking a wide range of meats, poultry, and other foods such as fish, cheese, sausages, and even various nuts.
The tube works on most types of pellets favored by smoker grill enthusiasts and produces up to 5 hours of smoke which is enough to suffuse almost any piece of meat with the delicious smell of apple, oak, or cherry smoke.
The smoker box is made to fit gas grills from most manufacturers, from Weber to Char-Broil and even some ceramic grills, so you won’t need to buy any special accessories to adapt the tube for your grill model.
Not only does the size of this Carpathen smoker box make it easy to take with you on camping trips, but it can also serve as a great gift for your friends or family members who take a great interest in various grilling techniques.
- 1 stainless steel smoker box
- 1 printed user manual
- 1 canvas bag for storing and protecting the smoke tube
- 1 extensive guide for making marinade and sauces in ebook format
- 1 temperature chart for meat in ebook format
- Includes a collection of recipes and smoker box manual in ebook format
- Goes directly over the grate
- Light and sturdy
- Easy to clean after smoking
- Great for fish and white meat
Charcoal Companion CC4066
With its unique V-shape look, this Charcoal Companion CC4066 smoker box offers a rare combination of sufficient interior capacity and space-conscious design able to fit almost any type of gas grill.
This triangular smoker box measures 13 ¾ inches in length, with its edges reaching 4.2 inches and 2 inches. As a result, this smoker box supports long wood chips to sustain the smoking process while still fitting seamlessly over the grill.
Thanks to its triangular or V-shape bottom side, the box can be put under the main grill grate and between the heat deflector bars in order to maximize the smoking effect. In addition to the smart design, the box is equipped with a lid that can be opened and closed with ease thanks to the handy hinges that hold it in place.
All parts of the box are made with the use of premium stainless steel meant to take on particularly high temperatures and last through almost any weather.
- Long smoker box with V-shaped base
- Weighs 1.29 pounds
- Includes easily accessible lid
- Takes long wood chips
- Hinged lid lets you manage wood chips at any time
- Helps avoid unnecessary staining of the grill
- New design gets the best smoke infusion results
- Easy to clean and set up
Cave Tools Wood Chip Smoker
If you are partial to more traditional smoker box shapes, this Wood Chip Smoker Box from Cave Tools with maximum capacity and optimized lid design is the ideal choice for your gas grill regardless of dimensions.
Wide & Slim Profile Increases “Wood to Metal” Surface Area So More Chips Smoke at Once High smoke output
What makes this smoker particularly effective is that despite its classic design, the well-balanced proportion of width to height of the entire frame doubles the effectiveness of the box as it covers more grill surface at once and therefore can take even more wood chips. At maximum capacity, the box can be filled with more than three regular cups of pellets so you won’t need to add any more during the smoking process.
However, this trick doesn’t affect the lightness of the box or its portability. The material, though, is made of especially durable stainless steel that resists warping when met with extreme heat. The entire structure, on the whole, sees an increase in thickness by about 25% compared to standard smoker boxes.
On top of it all, Cave Tools include special guides with this purchase, namely the comprehensive manual for smoking on a gas grill and several videos with recipes. All of them can be accessed via the product’s app available for iOS and Android devices.
- Stainless steel smoker box measuring 9 inches in length
- Item weight is 1.52 pounds
- Designed for grills that run on liquid propane
- Kit features digital recipes
- Made from stronger material
- Withstands premature warping
- Spacious and light
- Refund and manuals are available
A more compact and resilient option, this GrillPro 00150 smoker box combines the portability of any mid-level gas grill smoker and the substantial durability provided by its tough cast iron construction.
Like other classically shaped smoker boxes, this GrillPro box offers a neat rectangle-base design measuring 8 inches in length and 5 inches in width. The height of the box is only 1.5 inches which allows for more surface contact with the grill while also providing enough interior space for wood chips.
The lid isn’t connected to the main body and can be taken off completely for cleaning. On top of the lid you will find six smoker holes that deliver ample amounts of smoke, resulting in delicious and juicy smoked foods.
Although the cast iron frame means the box is a bit heavier than its steel counterparts, the net weight is still incredibly light, reaching only 3.09 pounds in total. The surface is easy to handle during cleaning and cooking, though it may require some extra care in terms of rust prevention.
On the plus side, cast iron is able to weather incredibly tough conditions, from high heat settings to the exposure to the elements.
- Slim cast iron smoker box
- Easily detachable lid
- Weighs 3.09 pounds
- Slim and relatively long
- Easy to set up and fill
- Survives the toughest conditions
- Easy to clean from ash
- Produces especially rich smoky flavor
One of the undisputed leaders of the outdoor gear market, Weber is known for catering to both Weber gas grill users and those who prefer other brands. This Weber 7576 smoker box is designed to fit all Weber gas grills from the Q200 line as well as most large propane grills from other manufacturers.
Thanks to its universal yet very recognizable design, this smoker box can be set up on top of grill grates of most larger grill units while at the same time significantly improving the smoke delivery compared to standard smokers.
The stainless steel box comes with a hinged lid that lets you add and adjust wood chips whenever you need without being in your way. As for the lid design, on top of the classic perforation pattern it includes 15 slim openings that interconnect the central row of holes to optimize the smoke output.
This pattern choice also adds to the overall flavor and gets the most out of your wood chips regardless of what type of wood you prefer. The Weber 7576 can also be installed under the grates for a better smoking experience. At the remarkable 9.7 inches in length, this box weighs only one pound so it can be effortlessly transported.
- Stainless steel construction
- Measures 9.7” L x 4.7” W x 2” D
- Only 1 pound in weight
- Unique lid design
- Hinged lid allows more freedom during cooking
- Lid pattern optimizes smoke filtration
- Fits Weber Q200 gas grills as well as other brands of similar dimensions
- Supports pellets of all kinds
Broil King 60190
Broil King has long been a customer favorite when it comes to premium grade accessories for various forms of cooking, so it’s no surprise that this Broil King 60190 sits on the top sellers list for grill smoker boxes designed for gas grill usage.
Made from premium stainless steel, this smoker box is engineered with gas grills users in mind since it can be set up directly over the grates of a grill thanks to its exceptionally thin design. When this smoker box is positioned particularly close to the heat source, the smoke efficiency is considerably increased, not to mention the flavor becomes so much tastier.
What separates this smoker box from other rectangular-shaped models is its dual-chamber construction. Not only do the two chambers allow you to enjoy the doubled smoking capacity, but it also expands your options in terms of flavors. While filling the box with wood chips of practically any type, you can also play around with other flavors provided by liquids such as wine, beer, and even various juices. Such combos can give especially tasty results since they imbue food with delicious smoke, moisture, and alluring flavors.
In addition to its two-chamber addition, this box boasts a reliable lid design: mounted on hinges, the lid also provides vital air dampening qualities to ensure your smoke source can be adjusted for intensity. By sliding the lid, you can control the smoke output so you are able to follow your smoking recipes as closely as possible. On either side of the box, you will also see sturdy all-stainless handles made to ease everyday handling and cleaning.
- Stainless steel box measuring 13 inches in length
- Weighs only 2 pounds
- Includes handles and air dampener
- Fits Flav-R-Wave or Broil King grills
- Two chambers expand your smoking options
- Can fit large amounts of wood chips thanks to the long design
- Flatter construction makes the box more flexible
- Durable materials and easy-to-handle side grips
Where does the smoker box go on a gas grill?
Traditionally, smoker boxes are placed under the grates of a gas grill in the space between flame deflectors. Some manufacturers design their boxes to also support over the grate installation.
Are smoker boxes worth it?
Whether purchasing a smoker box pays off in the long run or not depends on the circumstances in which it is used. Owners of heavy duty outdoor propane grills who are partial to smoked food will find that investing in a reusable smoker box will save more time and money over the years. But those who smoke their food extemelt rarely will probably do just fine with disposable foil smoker boxes designed for one-time smoking sessions.
How do you use a smoker box on a grill?
While everyone uses their own tricks when it comes to some aspects of smoking on a gas grill, the basic technique to the entire process is pretty universal, at least with a reusable smoker box.
For this you will need the box itself, barbecue tongs, wood chips (any type you prefer), and of course the gas grill.
- Preparing wood chips. It may come as a surprise, but the well-known step that involves soaking your wood chips is actually a matter of dispute among many grill enthusiasts. While most tutorials (both professional and amateur) recommend soaking your wood chips before usage for at least 30 minutes, other users prefer to follow their own experience that have shown wood chip soaking to be pretty much pointless.
The supporters of soaking claim that dry wood chips will catch fire and burn up without producing substantial smoke required for the smoking of foods, thus hindering the process. Those who don’t soak their pellets, however, bring up the fact that soaked wood chips don’t actually produce more smoke but instead create the appearance of smoke, so what you see is, in fact, all the water evaporating. This means that it takes longer for soaked wood chips to start smoking since they can only do so once every last drop of water has evaporated.
But what type of wood chips is better?
Well, it largely depends on your personal preference and sometimes on the actual food you are planning to smoke. Here is a brief overview of recommendations for some of the most common wood chip types:
|Type of wood chips||Compatibility||Flavor|
|Mild, sweet, suits white meat as it imbues it with deep amber color;|
Great for mixing with other wood chips
|Mild, with only a slightly sweet tinge;|
The soft yet rich texture makes it perfect for mixing
|Very strong and persistent flavor;|
Aromatic, sweet, and very smokey, should be used in moderation
Delicate white meat
|Mild and subtle flavor, somewhat sweet;|
Best suited for tender and delicate meats as to not overwhelm the original flavor
Some strong flavored seafood
|Intense, piquant flavor;|
Suitable for rich red meats;
Only small amounts of wood ships are required due to strength of flavor
- Preheat the grill. This usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes, provided you are preheating on the highest setting. If it’s a multi-burner grill, use all burners for preheating.
- Prepare the smoker box. Add the wood chips of your choice (soaked or dry, whichever way you are leaning, though most manufacturers recommend soaking the wood chips) to the box. Use barbecue tongs to add and arrange the pellets inside the box. Make sure the wood chips are evenly spread out inside the box. Close the lid after the required amount of wood chips has been added.
- Put the smoker box on the burners. This step is the last one to prep the box for the actual indirect smoking. Some smoker box designs fit seamlessly between burner covers (V-shaped or flat), so it’s best to measure your burner covers beforehand. Let the smoker box sit on the active grill with the burners running on low heat until sufficient smoke starts escaping through the holes in the box lid. If it takes too long, close the grill’s top lid for a few minutes until the box starts smoking.
- Begin cooking. Now it’s time to turn off the burners and let the indirect heat take care of your food. Place your meat or fish on top of the grates that cover the smoking box and close the lid of the grill to contain the smoke inside. Follow the recipe and see what type of temperature adjustments need to be made during the course of smoking. The smokier you want your food, the closer the smoker box must be to the grates.
Do gas grill smoker boxes work?
There are many ways to smoke your food with the use of a gas grill, from built-in smoker boxes to DIY aluminium foil pouches, all of which indicate that as a concept, smoker boxes do indeed work. Some better than others, of course, but anyone who doesn’t happen to own a dedicated smoker and finds themselves in need of smoking meat or fish, a universal stainless steel smoker box will serve as an ideal smoking solution.