tools logoAccessories

5 Best Smoker Boxes for Gas Grills – Buying Guide and Reviews

You can smoke on gas grills with the addition of a purposely made smoker box. Discover how they work, some of the best models available to suit different grills, and what we like and don’t like with each in our guide to this handy accessory.

Last Updated: October 19, 2021

Metal smoker box sitting on the grates of a gas grill

When it comes to choosing the best smoker box for gas grills, not all are created equal, and various factors should be taken into account to ensure you choose the right one for you and your grill.

In this article, we walk you through the buying process, to ensure you end up with a quality product that will help you to achieve great results and smoky goodness.

Cooking up delicious, smoked foods can be incredibly rewarding. And it doesn’t have to mean buying an expensive standalone smoker either!

A smoker box to use on your existing grill can do the trick just as well.

At a Glance: The 5 Best Smoker Boxes Discussed in our Guide

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Best Smoker Box for Gas Grills – A Detailed Look at Our Recommended Products

The smoker boxes we’ve listed below are some of the best available on the market today.

1

Cave Tools Smoker Box

♔ Top Pick

This model is incredibly easy to use. It’s also very durable, with 25-percent thicker stainless steel, making the possibility of it warping much less likely than with comparable products.

Another bonus to that super thick layer of stainless steel is that it decreases the possibility of discoloring.

The hinged lid of the smoker box easily permits adding in a large number of wood chips. You’ll avoid having to refill often and be able to keep the lid closed for a longer period. This capacity is also great because more chips mean a lot more smoke for your meat.

If you’re someone who can’t stand handling hot objects, you’ll like the lid, which allows accessibility with complete ease, making accidents and burns unlikely.

It also comes with free, downloadable access to a BBQ smoking & cooking journal app, which is compatible with iOS & Android. The app has 25 mouthwatering recipes with step-by-step instructions.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Dimensions are 9 x 3 x 1.5 inches
  • Weighs 1.3 pounds
  • Thick stainless steel reduces warping
  • Rectangular shape designed for sitting atop flavorizer bars

Pros

  • Affordable price point and good value for money.
  • Spacious wood chip
  • Ideal size whether you place it between flavorizer bars or on top of the charcoal.
  • Since there are no holes at the bottom, the chips smolder instead of burning and are unlikely to catch fire.
  • Compatible with almost any type of grill or homemade bonfire
  • Lifetime guarantee. If you’re unhappy with the product at any point, you get a full refund.

Cons

  • Although this is hard to believe, we really cannot find anything bad to say about to say about this product. It does what it needs to do and does it well.

The Cave Tools smoker box is pretty easy to use. The manufacturer recommends not soaking the wood chips first and, instead, placing them in while they’re dry.

For best results, keep it within reasonable proximity of the heat source and turn the burners to the highest heat until it starts producing smoke. After that, you can bring the grill down to regular cooking temperature.

This product is a great candidate for the ideal smoker box. In terms of durability, smoke output, and more, it’s a decent choice, even for a beginner-level smoker.

2

Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel V-Shape Smoker Box for Gas Grill

♔ Runner Up

Available in two different sizes, this product from Charcoal Companion is constructed in a V-shape, so it easily fits between the flavorizer bars of gas grills and allows for optimum heat exposure, generating tons of smoke.

Its versatile shape also makes it compatible with a variety of smokers and grills. This smoke box is developed particularly for gas grills, which are a popular choice because of their convenience.

Similarly to the Cave Tools product above, it comes with a hinged lid that allows you to easily add in flavored wood chips of your choice.

The Charcoal Companion is also a great choice for anyone who doesn’t particularly enjoy cleanup. The way it’s designed, ashes fall to the bottom of the smoker box as you cook. As all residue remains in the box, all you need to do for cleanup is empty the box after cooking and wipe it over.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Dimensions are 4.2 x 13.8 x 2 inches (long version) or 4.4 x 6.1 x 2 inches (short version)
  • Weighs 1.6 pounds (long version) or 13.6 ounces (short version)
  • Made of durable stainless steel

Pros

  • Available in two sizes.
  • The hinged lid allows for easy access to the wood chips, making it super simple to add more without pausing the cooking process.
  • Unique V-shape allows for an easy buildup of smoke.
  • No need to scrub off fat from this when cleaning, since it stores ashes

Cons

  • Some users say it rusts quickly, making it a less durable option than other smoker boxes.
  • Since the box is not particularly large, you might not be able to fit a large number of wood chips inside it, which means you’ll waste time refilling during cooking.

Ingeniously designed, the Charcoal Companion is a durable stainless steel product.

Its shape allows for a concentrated smoke flavor, and the V-shape works on most grill setups.

3

Grillaholics Smoker Box

♔ Great Value

The Grillaholics smoker box is simple to use. Getting started, all you need to do is insert your favorite flavored dry wood chips inside the device. Then, place it as close as possible to the flame, while you kick back and wait for the meat to cook.

Suitable for gas and charcoal grills alike, this product comes with a promise from Grillaholics that it will up your BBQ game. At a slightly higher price point than some other options in this list, it’s probably well worth the extra few bucks given the large number of wood chips that fit in it.

Pretty convenient setup and size make it easy to use on a grill, without the limitations that come with using a larger smoker. The Grillaholics brand is committed to making the outdoor cooking lifestyle enjoyable, even for a novice, and its products are some of the finest grilling accessories out there.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Dimensions are 8.8 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches.
  • Weighs 1 pound.
  • Constructed from durable stainless steel.

Pros

  • Compatible with most types of grills.
  • Numerous holes on the product’s surfaces allow for optimum ventilation, making the heat level consistent.
  • Comes with instructions to access the Grillaholics VIP club, a like-minded community interested in outdoor cooking.
  • Large wood chip capacity keeps the smoke burning for longer, eliminating the need for constant refilling.
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Some users complain that the lid warps and discolors.

Another strong, durable smoker, the Grillaholics smoker box is designed to make your grilling experience all the more enjoyable.

Wood chips might take as long as 15 minutes to start smoking, which is a bit of a longer window than the other boxes on our list.

The product’s generous dimensions also make it possible to add in lots of wood chips without having to refill often. You’ll build heat and strong smoke easily.

4

Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box

Recommended

The only product listed here that isn’t stainless steel, the Char-Broil cast iron smoker is specifically designed so that it stays hot for longer, even if it does take a while to heat up initially.

It can also withstand higher grill temperatures better than comparable products. Its large, vented lid design allows smoke to be closely directed toward the food for just the right amount of flavor and heat.

A significantly durable smoker, the cast iron is an entire quarter-inch thick. The wood chips smolder inside and are unlikely to burn, as smoke is vented from the lid.

The product does require some upkeep at the start if you want it to last. The manufacturer recommends seasoning it by coating the smoke box with oil the first time you use it.

Repeating this process after the first couple of times using the product will make it so well-seasoned that rust is unlikely.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Dimensions are 1.4 x 5.1 x 8.1 inches.
  • Weighs 3.6 pounds.
  • Cast Iron.

Pros

  • A versatile product, it works well with most types of grills.
  • Wood chips are unlikely to catch fire given the sturdy iron make.
  • Vented design allows more smoke to reach the roast.
  • The double cast iron body and lid make this smoker one of the most durable.

Cons

  • This smoker’s weight and thickness might make it awkward to carry around.
  • Traditional lid structure makes it difficult to add extra wood chips in if needed.
  • Some prep required before first use, to avoid rust developing.

A great product for adding real smoky flavor to your next BBQ meal, this Char-Broil cast iron smoker box suits different type of grills, including gas, charcoal, and electric.

It’s also great with a range of dishes. The longer, vented holes at the top allow for smoke release into the food without the mess.

As some users note, similar products have been in their families for generations. We say that this one is definitely worth checking out.

5

Weber 7576 Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box

Recommended

Made of durable stainless steel, this product is one of the more enjoyable and user-friendly smoker boxes. Like many of those featured here, it comes with a hinged lid, which simplifies the process of adding in extra wood chips while the roast is smoking.

A little pricier than some of the others, this is a Weber brand smoker that’s compatible with the grills from the same brand. Fitting many size grills, the Weber smoker box is a great accessory, whether you’re cooking meats, veggies, or more.

As a plus, the company website also offers a few tips on the process.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Dimensions are 9.8 x 4.5 x 2 inches.
  • Weighs 1.5 pounds.
  • Constructed from durable stainless steel.

Pros

  • Effective surface hole design oozes smoke generously.
  • Easy clean-up after every cook. All you need to do is empty the box of any excess ash, and then it will be ready to cook with once again.
  • Very easy-to-use hinged lid makes adding chips in a breeze.
  • The durable stainless steel makes the product great for consistent use.

Cons

  • Some users said that this smoker box is susceptible to warping and discoloring, which can even lead to the lid not closing properly

Asides from the fancy look on the surface, with the unique, widespread hole arrangement, this product is certainly one of the more attractive ones in the market.

What is a Smoker Box?

It’s a box used to produce smoke from smoldering wood chips, generally speaking they used to turn a gas grill into a smoker, though they can also be used charcoal grills.

A smoker box can be used in conjunction with pretty much any existing gas grill and is a cheap and effective way to get great smoky flavor from a product not particularly designed for the task. It saves you from having to buy a second piece of equipment just to add smoky flavor to your food.

Are Smoker Boxes for Gas Grills Only?

Not at all! You can use them with charcoal grills and many models of electric grills, too.

They are simply a means of producing smoke from wood chips in a controlled way. Something that’s incredibly hard to achieve by throwing wood chips straight onto flames or coals.

Buying Guide for Smoker Boxes

Although most smoker boxes look very similar, some degree of selectivity is needed, to make sure you get just the right one for your requirements.

Considering the lid, the ventilation, the model, and how easy it is to clean – among other factors – means you’ll end up with an awesome product that suits your needs perfectly.

Here are a few of the things you’ll want to bear in mind:

Materials Used and Durability

You’ll want to look for a smoker box made from thick and durable material. The box will be heated many times, so it’s important to watch out for and avoid cheap ones with poor build quality that are prone to warping and discoloring easily.

Many models are made of stainless steel, most of which contain chromium, forming a self-healing, protective outer layer.

Further on in this article, we also review a cast iron version. The latter might take longer to heat up, but once it does, it stays hot for longer. It will also smoke foods quicker after a refill of wood chips than a stainless-steel model.

Easy Clean

Smoker boxes are often situated under food, which will drip fat onto them, so an easy clean model is a bonus.

Size

You want the smoker box to be big enough to allow for a reasonable volume of wood chips, otherwise it won’t smoke for long and will need constant refilling.

As grill aficionados say, “When you’re looking, you ain’t cooking!” The lid should be closed as much as possible so that the heat and smoke stay inside, so having a sizable smoke box that needs refilling less often is a good thing.

A Tightly Fitting but Easy-Open Lid

It’s important that the lid fits very well, but is also easy to open.

If the lid is loose and too much air gets inside, the wood chips might burn with a flame. This makes them burn quickly instead of smoking from a slow smolder.

Wood with a burning flame produces very little smoke, so you want a flameless smolder to achieve a good smoke output and to impart some flavor.

The Basics of Using a Smoker Box on Your Grill

A silver smoker box on the grates of a portable gas grill

It’s a straightforward process to get that smoky flavor on your barbecue. Weber Grills has a few pointers to start off with, and Chef Tips also has a great video guide on using a smoker box.

The smoking process should, ideally, only take up a portion of your cooking time, because once meat has reached a certain temperature it stops taking on any more smoke.

Therefore it’s important to get the smoke rolling before you place your meat on the grill, and while the meat is still cold.

Also, you should only see white smoke gently drifting up out of your grill. If the smoke is thick and billowy, or even worse if it’s black, then there’s something not right!

Here’s a general list of steps to using a smoker box on a gas grill:

  1. Place the smoke box on the grill and allow it to heat with the barbecue.
  2. Slowly remove or turn (if it’s hinged) the lid away from the box using kitchen tongs.
  3. Place the wood chips into the box. As mentioned in the product reviews above, these may or may not be soaked, depending on the type of smoker box and your preference (though for the record, we recommend never soaking them at all, ever.)
  4. Close the lid of the barbecue so the heating process of the wood chips begins.
  5. Wait a few minutes for the temperature to rise inside, and wait to see visible signs of smoke before opening the grill again.
  6. With the first sign of smoke, you can now open the grill and place any meat and foods on the grill that you wish to give a smoky flavor.
  7. Close the barbecue once again and cook as normal, while getting ready to taste the difference as the smoky flavor builds.

Once you’re done, you’re ready to enjoy a mouthwatering BBQ meal.

Conclusion

Choosing the right smoker box can go a long way toward helping you cook a great BBQ meal. When you turn your grill into a smoker, the flavors you can get are infinitely better than with a regular grill!

Whichever type you go for, you want to make sure you select a durable product that works well. And check out the lid design and don’t forget to make sure that the box you’re choosing will be compatible with your grill.

If you’ve already tried a smoker box, let us know in the comments section how you got on?.

And If you have any questions, please do ask below, we promise to answer every one.

Happy grilling!

I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *

9 Comments

  1. Charles Fortney says:

    Great article, thank you for sharing. Very useful for anyone who’s looking for the best smoking products and accessories, I hope they can get a chance to see this.

  2. Donna Reardon says:

    Thank you. Been wanting to get a smoker for along time. Your article is very helpful for saving me money and space. I’ll try this first.

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Smoker boxes are a great way to add a smoky flavor to foods without the expense of a full on smoker. But be careful, you might get addicted and end up buying one anyway 😀

  3. Hi Mark I have weber q2000 do you have to use the weber smoker box or could use a less expensive smoker box with wood chips?
    Thank you
    Dee

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Truth be told, almost any one would suffice (except truly awful ones / badly designed ones), as they all serve the same purpose and work the same.

  4. Walt Boychuk says:

    Thank you for the site! Wealth of information, as I just started and have become addicted, but need some help. Using Weber 310 with 3 burners, with Weber Universal box, and Cave Tools standard size smoke box (not at same time). No problem with Weber smoker designed for over grate, but where do you place the Cave Tools, on top of the grate over burner, or under grate between and across flavoriser bars? Picture shows under which makes refilling a pain if grill is loaded up. Have contacted Cave Tools, response was immediate but still not sure what was the placement recommendation. Have tried both ways with Cave Tools, dry chips, seems after 30 minutes have to reload and takes another 20 to restart smoke. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thanks again!

    1. Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Walt,

      It really depends on the grill you have and the results gained from trying it in different ways to find what suits you.

      Generally speaking, placing the box on the flavorizer bars will generate smoke more quickly, and burn through the chips more quickly, while generating more smoke. Placing the box on the grates will take longer for them to light / smolder, create a little less smoke but for quite a bit longer.

      I have a Weber Genesis 3 burner, and with this, I prefer to place my smoker boxes – regardless of brand – on the grates. I have the burner under the smoke box full on until it starts gently smoking, then turn it right down, then smoldering smoke gently carries on. Using it this way, though, as you’ve rightly said, when it runs out, I have to wait a good 15 to 30 minutes after a refill to get the smoke rolling again. To combat this I just place a second smoke box in there after 20 to 30 minutes of smoke, so it starts to generate smoke before the 1st one runs out. Rinse and repeat for as long as I want smoke for.

      I also have a Napoleon pro 285 travel gas grill, and with this (a smaller 2 burner) if I place the box on the grates, it just takes too long for it to ignite and start smoking, so I place it under the grates, resting at the back on the burners. There’s also just not room to place a second one in there for pre-heating. So with this one I have to fill it, use it, let it run out. When it’s run out, use heat-proof gloves to remove the grates, refill the smokebox, put it all back together, and let it do its thing, which means no smoke for a good 15 minutes+ while it warms then ignites.

      Rambling here a bit, sorry, lol.

      In your situation, I would place a smoke box on top of the grates until it generates smoke, have a second one filled and ready to go. Add it to the grill a good 20 to 30 minutes or so after the first box generates smoke, so there’s some overlap. When the first one stops smoking, refill and add it back. This way, you will always be generating smoke from one or two boxes with no downtime.

      1. Walt Boychuk says:

        Hi Mark, can’t thank you enough for the information and sharing your smoking experience, so by all means I appreciate the ramble! LOL! Dabbled with a charcoal bullet smoker 20 years ago, forgot how addictive and fun this is. Once you get the, “what can I smoke now?” bug…noticed the rabbits and squirrels are staying out of the yard.
        Sounds like I’m not doing anything wrong, but one big difference between Weber box and Cave tools, the Weber will keep chips going until there is ash, or I can load onto coals before they’re burned out so little down time for smoke. The Cave doesn’t have holes on bottom, so when smoke stops, I opened the box and black chips with no room for refill unless you dump them. On the 4th go around, I transferred chips to the Weber and they took right off smoking, and was able to load more chips easily. Who’s rambling now? LOL!
        Thank you again, and just an incredible site you folks have here. What a find!
        All the best,
        Walt

        1. Mark Jenner says:

          Thanks for the compliments, Walt. All the best!