A smoker box is a device that can be used in place of wood chunks, chips, or pellets to add flavor and aroma to food cooked on a grill.
The first thing you need to do is preheat the grill. Once it’s hot, add the wood chips of your choice and place them in a metal or ceramic container that can withstand high temperatures. Keep adding more until they start smoking. The smoke will be drawn into the meat from below, infusing it with flavor for an authentic barbecue taste! It’s really easy once you get started—just be sure not to overfill the container because if there are too many chips then not enough will burn and create smoke.
If you’re a fan of smoked meat, but don’t have the space for a dedicated smoker, this blog post is for you. In it we’ll go over how to use your charcoal grill as a wood chip smoker box and what ingredients are needed. First things first: when cooking with a wood chip smoker box, make sure that the food is not directly in contact with the coals so that it doesn’t burn on one side before being cooked through on another. The best way to do this is by placing an aluminum tray or baking sheet underneath whatever you plan on smoking so that there’s no direct contact between fire and food (you can also place aluminum foil under any vegetables like potatoes or carrots).
A lot of people use their charcoal grill for smoking food. The problem is that they need to add wood chips and it’s hard to get the right ratio of wood chips to charcoal
Potatoes are one of the easiest things to cook on a grill – just slice them up and put them right onto the grates. But then what about that smokey flavor? We’ve got you covered with a quick tutorial on how to use your wood chip smoker box or foil packet of chips on your charcoal grill! It’s easy peasy!
-If using a smoker box, make sure it’s opened before placing it over the coals. You’ll want to place some wet wood chips -hickory, oak, applewood work well- inside as well as some dry kindling too. How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? This article will show you how to make a smoker box with your own materials so you’ll never have this problem again!
What is a wood chip smoker box
A wood chip smoker box is a container that holds your favorite smoking materials. You can fill it with sawdust, pellets, or other types of dry humidified “sticks” which will release the aromatic smoke when heated over an open flame.
The smoker box can be made from different materials, but tin boxes seem to be very popular. They are easy to use and fit nicely into the cooking chamber of many smokers on the market today. A lot of barbecue chefs recommend them because they allow you to easily control the amount of smoke flavor that goes into your food. They also help keep heat inside your barbecue cooker by preventing excess airflow through its firebox vents.
There are several advantages that make these wood chip smoker boxes an attractive choice for the serious pit master. Tin smoker boxes are cheap and readily available, even in small towns all over America. You can get them locally at hardware stores or order them online from barbecue equipment suppliers.
Using a wood chip smoker box allows you to add smoke during long cook times without opening the lid of your cooker. This preserves heat and prevents the meat inside from drying out too much while cooking it slowly to tender perfection!
The chips burn evenly and emit clean-tasting smoke so that it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of food. The byproducts don’t touch the meat because they remain in the container until you remove them after your cooking session is finished. You only need several ounces of smoking material to bring deep smoke flavor to everything you cook. These boxes are more economical than using larger bags of chips.
Wood chip smoker boxes work best if you use them with charcoal and gas grills, smokers, pellet grills, electric smokers, and even wok-style indoor smokers. They seem less practical when used with open fire pit cooking equipment like kamados or ceramic grill/smokers because these appliances produce a lot of direct heat that could burn the smoking material. Wood pellet stoves also have a less receptive cooking chamber because pellets can fall through the cracks between lava rocks and metal grate fast enough to prevent smoke from building up inside the stove.
You may need to make some modifications to your smoker before using a wood chip smoker box. You’ll need to use half as much smoking material because it is difficult to block all the holes around its bottom opening. You can also put them under or above food in any other type of grill, but this will cause chips burn faster than they would inside an enclosed metal box.
Wood pellet smoker boxes are easier to add more smoke during long cooks when used with pellet grills. They are made from a material that is more receptive to smoke and doesn’t burn as quickly. This helps keep wood pellets inside their designated smoker box longer, allowing them to release all sorts of aromatic flavors during extended slow cooking sessions.
Some barbecue smokers have an optional ring attached to its lid or built in brackets on the ends of its firebox. You may need to add one if your grill doesn’t come with it already installed because it creates an airtight seal when placed between nether primary cooking chamber and the top portion of the appliance. It also allows you place a wood chip smoker box right over hot coals in order to boost smoke levels in a hurry!
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill
There are many other ways to make a smoker box, but one of the best and cheapest way is using an empty tin can. First you should take hole puncher at side of can to make some vent holes about 2 inches apart form each other, then fill that will wood chips (preferably hickory or pecan), close that lid tightly and punch few more next to first ones for better airflow. Make a quick grill marks on side of box just for good looks, then put it on direct heat part of cooking grate with coals underneath or over half of grate if you have a two level fire going.
Make sure you keep lid on so the smoke won’t escape and your wood chips will smolder efficiently. If almost all of your charcoal is burned, move box to indirect heat side of grill for more cooking time or until internal meat temperature is 185-195 degrees F.
Wood chip smoker box can also be used for smoking larger cuts of meat like pork shoulder (Boston butt), ribs, beef brisket and other types of meat which require longer smoking time up to 10 hours (or more depending on the weight). I use my tin can smoker box at least twice a week, especially when I crave for juicy ribs! It’s pretty much an essential tool if you want to become a low and slow cooking addict! Just don’t forget to make holes in it, or else you might get finger or hand full of ashes while trying to fill this sucker up! Stay tuned for more barbecue tips and recipes.
A wood chip smoker is a great tool for smoking meat. The only disadvantage of the wood chips is that they are not very easy to handle on a charcoal grill. Because you have to place them in between the coal and it’s hard to control or keep track of.
Even when you put it in your grill, there will most likely be some parts where the smoke won’t come out because either the battery is empty or there wasn’t enough heat generated to start smoking due to lack of oxygen. There are many ways how to use a smoker box on charcoal.
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? Start by preparing your fire. Take your charcoal, lighter fluid and light up the coals (don’t use gas or electric because it’s not good for you). And then let them burn down into white ash, add the wooden chips to the oven tray and place it on top of the coals Cover again with foil so that no heat is lost during smoking, let smoke build up until desired smoking time has passed, take smoker box off the grill once you are done smoking pull meat off after 10-15 minutes. Cut open foil carefully so you won’t have ashes spilling all over remove meat from grill serve immediately!
Why you should use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill
One of the most common questions that we encounter is why should somebody use a wood chip smoker box on an offset stick burner or any charcoal grill for that matter? A good question! The answer is quite simple actually, smoke. Wood chips are one of traditional techniques to flavor your food with smoke. It’s the same process barbecue pit masters have used for years and still use today. With gas grills it can be difficult to achieve this effect due because you don’t want all the heat to escape out of the open lid vent so manufacturers block off access to it by closing off various vents with metal plates inside their grills. That doesn’t help much either as they also make it difficult to add smoke from liquid smoking products like liquid smoke. However, many grills do allow for the use of wood chip smoker boxes. They are an excellent way to add smoke flavor to your grilled foods while allowing you to keep all that wonderful heat inside your grill by keeping the lid on. Even if you don’t have a gas grill all is not lost. You can still get smoke flavor into your food with one of our favorite products that we introduced in our article about alternative ways on how to smoke on a charcoal grill. Wood chips are small pieces of hardwood or fruit wood and most commonly used woods include: hickory, oak, pecan and apple. Fruit woods like cherry and peach which give off more sweeter flavors than say hickory which is more pungent in taste so you might want to stick to the fruit woods in a fish and poultry application.
When using wood chips for smoking your food, we recommend you soak them in water for about 30 minutes before placing them on the charcoal or gas flame/burner. This will give you more smoke flavor with less wood chips being used at any given time since they are more saturated. It’s also important that you not let your grill heat get too high. You don’t want burnt tasting food! So, monitor your heat closely by checking the temperature with a good digital thermometer or leave one of the vent dampers open just enough so it doesn’t choke off additional oxygen supply inside the smoker box which stifles the fire but still allows smoke to escape through… our favorite method! Since the juices from the meat you cook will drip down, they will flavor the wood chips and produce even more smoke flavored to your liking. There is always a debate on which one produces better results – charcoal or gas? We say use both. That’s why we offer different types of smokers like our bullet smoker (which needs no wood chips), electric/indirect smokers like the Cookshack smoker, vertical water smoker (if using wood chips place them at the top between grate and water pan). We also offer gas smokers that work very well for adding that smoky flavor to your food since there are many gourmet recipes available now where you can marinate your meats in beer, wine etc…and let it soak overnight before cooking.
Our personal favorite way to add smoke flavor on a charcoal grill is by using the smoking gun. It’s an awessips and let them soak up all those incredible juices from the meat for hours. Delicious! If you want extra smokey goodness, once you start cooking your meat, just drop some more chips down through the top of it and give it some extra time. You can also purchase some water smoker pans where you place the wood chips inside and they slowly release small amounts of smoky flavor into your food as it cooks.
We have found that these two products can really produce outstanding results since adding smoke flavor to food is one of the best ways to amp up taste whether it be smoked bacon, ribs, chicken or steaks. Also, if you’re using a wood chip smoker box, we recommend that you place it on top of the cooking grate and not inside your charcoal grill. We did try to use one in the bottom like normal and usually end up with burnt out chips by time our meat is done cooking which means less smoke flavor!
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? Many different ways to get great tasting smoked meats without having to buy an expensive electric or gas smoker. All you need are some simple tools like a good digital thermometer (we like the type with two probes), a dry wood chip/pellet smoker box or smoking gun, a charcoal grill and some patience.
Common mistakes when using it and how to avoid them
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? The following is a summary of the most common mistakes when using a wood chip smoker box on a charcoal grill and how to avoid them. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to understand what happens during the process. The main factors that determine success or failure are:
Using the wrong type of wood chips
Wood chips typically come in three different flavors: hickory, mesquite, and fruitwood (cherry, apple, etc). Each flavor is associated with a distinct burning temperature. Mesquite burns hot; cherry and apple burn cool. Hickory really falls somewhere in between. Most people agree that it’s best to avoid pine because it can often give your food an unpleasant turpentine taste.
You want to use fruit wood not maple as maple doesn’t burn very hot… it will just smoke and not provide much heat at all. Maple is ideal for grilling salmon or other fish since its mild flavor won’t compete with the food! If you have some maple lying around that you don’t know what to do with, then by all means go ahead and use it in the smoker box.
Not using enough wood chips
You can put just a few wood chips in at a time, but they will be gone within 10 minutes or so. Think of smoking as baking – you are applying low heat over a long period of time. You wouldn’t put one cookie sheet’s worth of cookies in the oven unless you wanted them to come out tasting like charcoal briquettes!
The general rule is about 1 cup per 30 minutes of smoking time for adequate smoke production. If your smoker box isn’t producing much smoke, increase the amount of wood chips used. For best results, start with 1 cup and add more if needed.
Over-filling the smoker box or wok pan
Using a smoker box with a capacity of less than 5 cups can be a bit of a pain because you have to refill it so often. Also, too much smoking chips in the smoke box will reduce airflow which could negatively affect your grill’s performance or even damage some components. Some manufacturers suggest gently tapping the contents of the smoker box on a hard surface to settle them before placing it on the charcoal grate to prevent over-filling. In general, however, just don’t overdo it! If possible, use two small smoker boxes rather than one large one whenever possible for more convenience and smoke production that is more even.
Buying cheap, low-quality smoker boxes or grill woks
At the end of the day, it’s pretty simple: if you buy a high-quality smoker box (or wok pan), then you’ll get good results and save yourself some headaches. If you go with a cheap, poorly designed one that doesn’t hold enough chips or that has too small of an area for airflow and heat to pass through, then you’re going to be disappointed and might waste your money
Using Cooking Oil On Wood Chips
A lot of people think that by soaking their wood chips in cooking oil they will produce more flavor when using them in a smoker box or cold smoker. Soaking wood chips in cooking oil is not a good idea because most oils contain water and this dilutes the actual content of the liquid marinade soaked into the stick. If you rub liquid onto solid wood it may form a seal which prevents liquid from reaching the surface where it can be vaporized during smoking so stay away from this method! Not Using Enough Wood Chips – You need to use enough wood chips for two reasons: It takes a lot of wood to produce enough smoke for smoking, If you use too little, your food will not be flavored correctly.
Temperature Issues in a Wood Chip Charcoal Grill
There are two temperature issues that can occur when using a smoker box on a charcoal grill: Not preheating the cooking chamber properly when adding new wood chip packets – Temperature within the cooking chamber will continue to drop until the heat from the last packet dissipates. The solution is simple: add new wood chip packets when your old ones start smoking heavily or when you see them smoldering. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes before adding more because this will allow time for the charcoal to burn off any residue from previous uses and soak up some moisture from the smoke. Using too many wood chips – Adding too many of any type of fuel on a charcoal grill will cause fire to flare up dramatically and it will take some time for the overheated charcoal to burn off the soot from previous cooking sessions
What types of wood chips are best suited for smoking on the grill
We’ll admit that though some may think this question is subjective, it’s not. First off, there are different types of grills out there and what you use for smoking wood chips will be determined by your grill type. Second, if you read on you’ll find the only real factor to consider in selecting a good wood chip for smoking is availability or convenience.
Since most people reading this article probably own a gharcoal Grill, we’ll focus on using wood chips on charcoal grills. There are several woods that work well on charcoal grills but the following 3 are considered quite universal: Hickory, Alder, Mesquite. The reason that these three woods are so widely used is because they burn hot and long with an intense flavor. They are also readily available most places.
Hickory is a very strong smoke flavor and sometimes a bit overwhelming for the beginner. Alder is a sweet smoke that works well with most seafood, poultry and pork dishes. Mesquite gives off quite a strong flavor so it’s best used in moderation or when you want to add some pizzazz to your dish. A good rule of thumb with mesquite is if you use it in only one component of your recipe add less than half as much as you would if you were using hickory or alder, otherwise the over-powering smokiness will become too prominent in all components of your meal.
When using wood chips for smoking on the grill, soak them in water for 40-60 minutes before placing over hot coals. Place them directly on top of your coals and close grill cover to extinguish flames.
The smoke that comes off these woods during this process is what flavors your food. Wood smoke is not raw heat or flame so don’t be afraid if you see sparks coming out of the wood while it’s burning. That’s completely normal and expected!
Here are some examples of great recipes to try with these 3 types of wood:
Hickory: Chicken/Pork/Beef Brisket
Mesquite: Beef Ribs/Pork Chops
For more ideas check out our recipe section.
Other woods that are good to use on charcoal grills include:
Oak bourbon-soaked oak applewood post oak cherry peach tree other fruit woods including apple, pear, apricot, etc.
These tend to give off more of a subtle flavor than the other 3 mentioned above so they’re not as popular or widely used. The advantage is that generally they’re easier to find and also available in pellet form which makes them very convenient for quick cooking pleasures. They do burn up fast though, so you’ll need to soak your chips/pellets for about 30 minutes before using them if you want an extended burn time. If you want something similar but without any soaking involved consider buying wood chunks instead of chips or pellets.
Wood chunks are exactly what they sound like, just solid wood pieces that have been cut into cylindrical shapes. They vary in size but most are between 1″ and 3″ long and come either plain or pre-soaked with a flavoring agent to give off an enhanced flavor profile. Some people claim soaking them is unnecessary because the chunk essentially becomes its own self-soak. Others say it makes no difference so if you prefer one over the other by all means stick with it. The advantage of using wood chunks instead of chips is that unlike wood chips these won’t need to be soaked before being used on your grill/smoker, just throw them directly onto hot coals for an instant smoke infusion!
Oak: Pork/Beef Butt, Ribs, Brisket, Sausages
Apple wood: Chicken, Pork, Seafood
Cherry: Poultry, Pork
Although apple and cherry are more mild than hickory or mesquite, they’re still considered very strong smoke flavor so use with discretion and remember that just because you like the way a food tastes doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “authentic”. That being said both of these woods burn cool so they’ll give your meat a slightly sweeter taste.
Oak is another good choice for smoking but expect to let your meats sit in their smoke bath for several hours as oak doesn’t burn as hot as the other 3 mentioned above.
Post Oak is a hybrid of the two types of oak mentioned above, but it’s more mild than white or red. In my opinion this is the only type of Oak you should try smoking with if you’re a beginner because I feel like the other 2 are just too strong and can easily ruin your food by overpowering all of its flavors.
Woods to avoid on a charcoal grill:
Cedar: This wood has a very distinct flavor which is terrible when paired with any meat and best used for cheese and vegetables. Be careful using cedar chips though as they tend to burn hotter than other woods, so soak them in water for at least an hour before using lest they set your food on fire! Fruit woods such as pear, peach, etc. Their subtle nature is easily overpowered by stronger flavors such as hickory and mesquite, avoid at all costs!
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? I hope this article has been helpful in clearing up any confusion between the various types of wood and their purposes
Tips and tricks for using a smoker box on your charcoal grill
When you want a little extra flavor on a charcoal grill, a good-quality smoker box is essential. While it may seem simple to heat up some wood chips and fill the cooking chamber with smoke, there are a few tricks to make your life easier – and your food smokier. In this article I’ll pass along all of my tips for using a smoker box successfully every time.
The smoker box is simply an enclosure that holds wood chips or chunks against the heat source in order to generate smoke during grilling. Since wood only creates smoke once it’s heated up, this method accomplishes two goals: generating plenty of smoke flavor quickly and ensuring that enough residual heat remains inside the box to keep the wood smoldering.
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? The most basic smoker boxes are nothing more than a few holes on each end of a metal or foil pan, but I’ve found that there are some definite advantages to using a box designed specifically for grills.
Compare it with regular smoker boxes
Grill-specific models have several features which make them more effective and easier to use:
Larger size holds more chips. More wood leads to faster smoke generation and better flavor. Most of these also come with a grate which elevates your chips above the bottom of the grill. That way you get even heat distribution and smoking from all sides instead of just from below. Even contact with the heat source is essential for quick, thorough smoking.
More wood leads to faster smoke generation and better flavor. Most of these also come with a grate which elevates your chips above the bottom of the grill. That way you get even heat distribution and smoking from all sides instead of just from below. Even contact with the heat source is essential for quick, thorough smoking. Easy-to-remove lid. You’ll need to check on your wood or chips every so often throughout the smoking process in order to add more as necessary and monitor how they’re doing inside. When using a basic pan, you have to lift up the whole thing every time you open it which means losing some heat and smoke each time. The grill-specific models that I’ve found are designed with a hinged lid for simpler access.
You’ll need to check on your wood or chips every so often throughout the smoking process in order to add more as necessary and monitor how they’re doing inside. When using a basic pan, you have to lift up the whole thing every time you open it which means losing some heat and smoke each time. The grill-specific models that I’ve found are designed with a hinged lid for simpler access. Larger design holds chips better Just because all smoker boxes hold wood against the heat source doesn’t mean that they do it equally well. Some designs allow chips to spill over the sides easily while others pack them in tight enough to ensure maximum smoldering. The ones which feature a grate or screen that elevates your chips above the bottom of the box are by far the best
Recipes that use smoked meat, such as pulled pork or smoked chicken wings, from the smoker box
Recipes for the pulled pork
– 4 lb of Boston Pork Butt
– 2 Oz of Liquid Smoke
1) Prepare your smoker box with wood chips at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use hickory, mesquite, apple or other fruit woods to bring out the flavor in the meat. I used Alaskan yellow cedar because it is easy to source locally. Other woods work just as well but will affect the taste of the meat. Clean off any pieces of bark or pieces that are too big for optimal smoking, and let them soak inside water before placing on hot coals so they’ll smoke better later.
2) Place your pork butt inside a large pan to catch juices, if it necessary on top of some aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and liquid smoke.
3) Close grill lid and keep temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke for 5 hours or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
4) Remove pork butt from smoker box and place in aluminum pan. Coat with your favorite barbeque sauce – I suggest using a sweeter one since this is very smoky already! – close grill lid, increase temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, cook for an additional hour until sauce thickens slightly.
5) Pull out pork butt and enjoy! You can now use it as part of any type of sandwich using buns or rolls as well as put into tacos or quesadillas for a tasty Tex-Mex meal! Makes roughly 10 servings.
Recipes for the smoked chicken wings
– 1 lb of chicken wings
– 1 Oz of liquid smoke or 3 oz wood chips
1) Prepare your smoker box with wood chips at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, either liquid smoke or dry hardwood will suffice. You can use hickory, mesquite, apple or other fruit woods to bring out the flavor in the meat. I used Alaskan yellow cedar because it is easy to source locally. Other woods work just as well but they may affect the taste of the meat so stick to my suggestions if you are not sure what you are doing. Clean off any pieces of bark or pieces that are too big for smoking and let them soak inside water before placing on hot coals so they’ll smoke better later.
2) Rinse your chicken wings off with cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Season the meat, inside and out, with salt, pepper, garlic powder or other preferred seasonings to taste – I suggest adding thyme in addition for a unique flavor twist. If you are using liquid smoke instead of wood chips, rub over the inside of each wing evenly before adding any additional spices or seasonings that will be rubbed into the meat.
3) Place chicken wings into smoker box along with wood chips or liquid smoke. Close grill lid and keep temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes per pound of meat being smoked is optimal when smoking larger amounts of food – in this case, smoke for 2 hours.
4) Remove chicken wings from smoker box and place in aluminum pan or cast irons skillet. Coat evenly with your favorite barbeque sauce – I suggest using a sweeter one since this is very smoky already! – close grill lid, increase temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, cook for an additional hour until sauce thickens slightly.
5) You can now use it as part of any type of meal that you like such as sandwiches using buns or rolls as well as put into tacos or quesadillas for a tasty Tex-Mex meal! Makes roughly 5 servings.
>> How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill – See more: I cooked every MEAT in a SMOKER, it blew my mind!
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? You can use a wood chip smoker box to add that smoky flavor you crave, without the hassle of building an entire fire just for smoke. Simply take your charcoal grill and place it on top of a few chunks of hardwood in order to get that delicious smoked taste–without all the work!
There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing the perfect smoker for your grilling needs. Which wood chips, how often you use it, and what types of meat do you plan on smoking? These questions will all impact which type of charcoal grill is right for you. So take some time to think about these factors before purchasing one or just ask one of our experts who can help point out the best options based on your specific needs. One thing that isn’t too difficult though is figuring out how to add a chip box onto an existing charcoal grill with vented lid – this setup allows smoke from wood chips placed in the container below the food grate near coals at bottom of kettle style smokers to infuse into meats being grilled over
If you’re looking to smoke your food with a wood chip smoker box on your charcoal grill, here’s what you need to know. The first step is making sure that the chips are dry and not wet or burnt. You’ll want about 1/2 cup of fresh wood chips per hour for small foods like chicken thighs, pork shoulder chops, ribs, brisket flat-iron steaks, salmon fillets etc., but increase this amount if cooking larger cuts of meat like whole turkeys or hams. Some smokers come with their own built-in smoker boxes; these can be used at either end of the kettle grate (if there are two). Otherwise use aluminum foil pans filled with water under one end of the grates to
How to use a wood chip smoker box on charcoal grill? A wood chip smoker box is a great way to add flavor and smoke to your food without adding too much hassle. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and the best part – you can still cook on your charcoal grill! If you’re in the market for an upgrade or new equipment altogether, we recommend one of these top-rated grills.