How to Use a Smoker Box on a Gas Grill

Barbecuing is one of the world’s most well-known and loved methods of cooking. The char that you get out of grilling meat and veggies directly over flames gives a delicious mix of flavours that make the food great. And on top of that, the barbecuing methods of using a high level of heat to cook allows many of the nutrients in the meat and vegetables to be retained, essentially making barbecued food healthier than some normal ways of cooking. 

However, many people choose to get a charcoal grill over a gas grill since it often allows wood chips or pellets to be tossed in along with the lit coal, adding a new level of smoky flavour. One of the disadvantages that many gas grills have is that they don’t give the food smokiness. So, if you have a gas grill instead, are you stuck without the ability to get the same smoky taste in your meat or do you need to buy a new smoker?

The good news is that you aren’t forced to do either. Dickson Barbeque Centre has a range of smoker boxes that can be used on gas grills as well as other kinds of grills. If you’ve just gotten a new smoker box and don’t know how to use one just yet, or want to do some research into how to use a smoker box first, this article covers the main tips and directions on how to use one on your gas grill.

What is a smoker box?

If you haven’t ever seen what a smoker box is, there’s a high chance that once you’ve seen one, you’ll want to get one for your next barbecue party. As a super simple item, smoker boxes are small rectangle boxes with holes or slats in the lid and bottom to allow heat and smoke to enter and exit it. Many smoker boxes are made out of a light weight steel but you can also find the odd cast iron smoker box available on the market. 

Typically, wood pellets or chips can be put inside, and the box itself will likely have a hole in the side to light them before you start barbecuing. Much like your grill itself, smoker boxes have varying features, making some simple boxes while others can have channels to direct the burning process better. 

How to use a smoker box on a gas grill

Season the box before use

Much like a barbecue grill after you first get it, seasoning your smoker box before you start to use it is an important first step. The manufacturing process often leaves oils and bad chemicals on the surfaces of the box that, when enough heat is used, start to burn off and mingle with the smoke. You don’t want that to happen, since these chemicals will more than ruin the smoke and its flavour. Additionally, the seasoning also helps you make sure that the smoker box is less likely to rust in the future.

Start the seasoning by cleaning the box with mild dish soap and water before drying it well and setting it onto your grill. Depending on where your smoker box’s manufacturers say you should set it on your gas grill during seasoning, place it there and turn the grill up to high. Keep the grill’s lid open and - if you want, add a little oil - smoke off all the manufacturing chemicals for about 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to flip it over at least once halfway through so that the lid gets a proper amount of heat, too.

Preheat the grill

In order to grill your meat well, preheating the grill can be a big step forward. Preheating your gas grill has many benefits to the grilling process, letting the wood chips or pellets inside the smoker box start to smoulder and burn earlier. Starting it an hour or so before you prep your meat ensures that it cooks properly and quickly. The heat inside the grill also kills off any bacteria that may be on your meat and veggies and prevents any more from growing later on. All that’s needed is turning your gas grill’s burner up to the highest heat until you’re ready to start.

Fill your smoker box with wood chips or pellets

Once you’re ready to start grilling, fill your smoker box with your choice of pellets or chips. It’s highly recommended to avoid overstuffing the box since packing them in would reduce the flow of oxygen and create less smoke than what you need. Depending on the type of smoker box you bought or plan to buy, you then can light the wood inside after closing the lid. Finish this step in how to use a smoker box off by setting the box underneath your grill’s cooking grates.

Start grilling!

When there’s enough smoke coming out of the smoker box and your gas grill’s at the appropriate internal temperature to start grilling your food, all that’s left is to put your food onto the grate and start grilling! Depending on where you set the smoker box on the burner or flavorizer bars, be sure that you move and flip the food properly so that each side get the right amount of smoke that doesn’t overpower the original taste.

What makes smoker boxes great

Smoker boxes are a great accessory for people that love barbecuing and the food that you get out of it. You aren’t limited to using a smoker box with just your gas grill, even though they do get quite a lot more benefit out of the box. The box is just as efficient at creating smoke as a dedicated smoker, acting as a substitute for those with a tight budget. Once you’ve seasoned it well, knowing how to use a BBQ smoker box then becomes incredibly easy.


Using a smoker box with your gas grill can be one of the best things about barbecuing. Using the box properly can make one of the gas grill’s disadvantages null, creating a wide range of possible smoky dishes that everyone can love. And, you don’t need to pay too much, to get a smoker box for yourself. If we’ve convinced you to get your own, visit Dickson Barbeque Centre today to get one.