How to Use a Smoker Box – Tips & Techniques

How to Use a Smoker Box

Do you love having grilled meat? Do you grill often? Do you know that you can multiply the taste of your grilled item easily with a smoker box?

Don’t know how to use a smoker box? Then, this is the write up you need the most. In it, we have presented you with a complete guideline of using a smoker box from first to last.  

How to use a smoker box?

Follow every of the steps to add a new dimension to the taste of your grilled meat or fish like never before.

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Wash the smoker box well

The first and foremost thing that you need to do is cleaning up the entire box well. It doesn’t matter whether the box is a fresh unused one or not, you are to wash it with soap and water solution.

Once you wash it thoroughly, get the box dried up in the scorching heat of the sun. 

This entire washing and drying process will kill the unseen metallic germs to ensure hygiene of you and your dears.

Place the wood chips

Is the box dried well? Then, this is the time to place the required amount of wood chips inside it. 

Which type of chips – saturated or dried, should I use? Actually, you can use any of the types bringing yourself out of the so-called hearsays. Both the chips are going to satisfy your necessity very well.

The only thing that stands a difference between the two is duration.

If you use the dried chips then this will take comparatively less time to produce smoke. One the contrary, your use of soaked chips will be taking a bit more time. But, the soaked chips are never going to be caught by fire, which is really a good thing.

Choose the perfect wood chips 

Do you know what the toughest part of using a smoker box is? It goes to the choosing  of the wood chips on the basis of things  you will be grilling and then on the basis of your taste. 

To help you out from this labyrinth, here we have listed the mostly used wood chips with their respective flavor and best compatibility with different meats and fishes. Here goes the list:

  • Pecan: For ribs, roasts and briskets there is hardly any impeccable alternative to pecan chips. The chips produce a rich nutty flavor.
  • Oak: Do you love sausages made of lamb or beef? Then, this classic wood – oak is for you. The chips of this wood give your meat medium to strong relish.
  • Apple: No, we are obviously not talking about apple slices or juice rather apple wood chips. The chips are too good for pork and chicken. The chips can enrich your meat with a mild sweet taste.
  • Alder:Gonna grill salmon or any other similar fishes? Then, go for alder wood chips. You will have a light sweet flavor while the fish touches the tongue. 
  • Cherry: Are you going to grill turkey or ham in the upcoming holiday? Then, we recommend you to end the grilling with the mild fruity flavor of cherry wood chips.
  • Hickory: Hickory wood is host in itself. The chips of this wood are highly flexible with red meat, shoulder, rib and pork. And, leave the grilled meat with a savory flavor.
  • Maple: Maple wood chips are recommended for you only if you want subtle sweet flavor in your grilled pork or poultry. 

Place the smoker box

Ya, placing the box is really simple and you may think how we dare put this section here like an ox head. You are thinking so might be because of your superficial idea of box placement.

But, you will be amazed to learn that your placement of the box decides the quality of the finally cooked meat. Hence, you must be careful regarding how you place the box over your burner or charcoal.

Suppose, you are using a burner, then you must put the smoker box on the burner close-up to the heat source as much as possible. Again, if you prefer charcoal to a burner, then in this case your box must be directly in touch of the charcoal. But, it doesn’t mean that you will place a huge pile of charcoal around the box.

Remember that the chips may take more or less 10 minutes in producing smoke. 

Control the temperature 

As soon as smoke starts coming out of the box, you can bring down the temperature of your burner or charcoal as needed. 

Don’t worry about the halting of smoke production because once the wood chips are heated up enough, these keep producing smoke for a lengthy duration. And, that duration is enough for the entire cooking process. 

Prevent fire from catching the chips

To make a secure use of your smoke box, you must be alert to prevent fire from catching the chips that may eventually lead to a nasty experience. 

So, what do you need to do? Keep the following things in mind:

  • First of all, don’t let the temperature be higher than 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature that is more than this enables the chips to be caught by fire.
  • Then, you must not be in a hurry for smoke production. Have patience while using charcoal to heat up the wood chips. Don’t surround the box with a large pile of charcoal to accelerate the heating up process. This is often found to be excessively heat producing that eventually creates fire.


  • The more you fill the smoker box with chips and the longer you heat up the chips, the thicker will be the smoke. Eventually, the flavor will be more raw and intense.
  • Your box should feature a hinged lid. So, whenever you will feel like some more chips should be put inside the box, you can do that far easily without getting your fingers burnt.

Final words

So, this was all about how to use a smoker box. Remember that your skillful use of the box may not be able to give you a satisfactory feedback unless your box is of poor quality with poor features.

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