If you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at smoking different meats, cheeses, or vegetables, but you don’t own a smoker, you may be wringing your hands in despair at the cost of buying a brand new smoker.
Investing in a smoker is a big decision that is likely to set you back in terms of money and space. For many people, this simply isn’t a viable option.
But did you know that there’s a tried and tested way of turning your gas grill into a smoker for a very affordable price?
A smoker box is a simple, relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that quite literally resembles a metal box with holes in it.
Don’t be fooled, though! This minimalistic kitchen accessory has the power to transform your grill into a surprisingly effective smoker, and in some cases, can even rival the flavorsome results produced by traditional smokers.
We think everyone should be able to enjoy amazing, new flavors, with or without a dedicated smoker. So, we’ve made a list of what we believe are currently the best smoker boxes for gas grills.
If you need any further advice, please feel free to consult our buyer’s guide and FAQ section below!
Best Smoker Box for Gas Grill
The smoker box that we have chosen as our top pick is the Charcoal Companion Stainless Steel V-Shape Smoker Box.
This is an innovatively designed smoker box that will enhance the smoky flavor of your ingredients like none other.
Charcoal Companion’s V-Shape Smoker Box is made from stainless steel, which is an excellent choice of material for a smoker box because it is so durable, easy to wipe clean, and is able to hold its own against very high temperatures. It’s also lightweight, at just 1.29 lbs, so it can be handled effortlessly.
While the steel does get discolored relatively quickly, meaning that this smoker box probably isn’t the best choice if you want a box that remains aesthetically pleasing for a long time, you can certainly trust the Charcoal Companion smoker box to boost your culinary skills.
The main reason why this smoker box has taken the top spot on our list is its shape. As its name implies, the Charcoal Companion smoker box is constructed in a triangular or v-shape structure. The point of the triangle is designed to slot in between the flame deflector bars of the grill, allowing the smoke to distribute itself more evenly throughout the grill, in close proximity with the grilling surface.
In addition to the triangular shape, the 13 ¾-inch length of the smoker box contributes to the effective and even distribution of smoke throughout the grill surface.
We also like that the Charcoal Companion smoke box features a hinged lid that can be easily opened and closed with the help of tongs to add more fuel as needed.
- Stainless steel – Durable and temperature-resistant
- V-shape construction – Enhances flavor
- Hinged design – Easy to refuel
- 13 ¾ inches – Effective smoke distribution
- Weighs 1.29 lbs – Lightweight and easy to handle
- Prone to discoloration – Does not retain aesthetic value
Next up, the Grillaholics Smoker Box is the perfect choice of smoker box if you’re looking for a durable, sturdy piece of grill equipment at a reasonable price point.
The Grillaholics Smoker Box is made of thick layers of stamped stainless steel, which ensures that the box will retain its shape and not become warped under intense heat. In addition to this, it also carries all the other benefits of stainless steel construction, including easy cleaning.
Thanks to its hinged lid design, this smoker box is easy and quick to refuel as needed, and because the capacity is relatively large at 3.75 x 8 x 75 inches, you can smoke your food for longer between refueling.
This smoker box is compatible not only with gas grills but with all grill types, including charcoal and pellet-fueled grills. So, if you ever replace your gas grill for a different type, you can continue to use your smoker box.
We should point out, however, that the smoke output of the Grillaholics smoker box is quite modest, so this probably isn’t the smoker box to choose if you want to create really powerful flavors. With that being said, it’s absolutely perfect for subtle infusions of smokiness.
- Stamped stainless steel – Tough and warp-resistant
- Hinged lid – Easy refueling
- Large capacity – Smoke for longer
- Compatible with all grills – Wide application
- Does not produce much smoke – Best for mild flavor infusion
As we mentioned earlier, a smoker box is a much cheaper alternative to investing in an actual smoker. However, there is still a pretty significant price difference between the higher-end and more budget-friendly smoker boxes on the culinary market.
If you’re looking for the best value at a budget-friendly price, we would highly recommend the Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box.
Because this smoker box is made entirely of cast iron, it is extremely durable and tolerates high temperatures very well. This makes it a great choice for long-term use.
The vent design in the lid of the box serves two functions: firstly, of course, the wide slots allow smoke to escape the box easily for a more direct smoke output. The second purpose of the vents is automatic ventilation, which prevents the wood chips from bursting into flame.
This smoker box is compatible with most types of grills, including gas grills, so it’s very versatile, especially for such a reasonable price.
However, please be aware that the edges at the bottom of the box are very sharp, so these may need to be filed down. Until then, make sure to wear grill gloves while handling the box.
- Cast iron construction – Highly durable
- Optimal vent design – Direct smoke output
- Automatic ventilation – Minimizes fire risk
- Compatible with most grills – Versatile
- Low price point – Budget-friendly
- Sharp edges – Handle with care
If you’re in the market for a more high-end smoker box, check out the Weber Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box!
Another stainless steel smoker box, the Weber design stands out from the competition through more than just its wear-resistant construction.
This smoker box features a hinged lid with a sizeable tab on the front for easy accessibility and a quick refueling process.
At 9.7 inches in length, the Weber Universal Smoker Box has enough capacity to allow for long, uninterrupted smoking sessions. It’s also an optimal size for use with most grills, from gas to charcoal models.
There are more ventilation holes in this smoker box than any other on our list today, which is a good thing because it allows for greater smoke output, which, in turn, delivers better flavor. The holes also help to minimize the risk of a fire.
However, the fact that there are also holes in the bottom of the box means that any ash produced can fall through the grill, which makes more cleaning work after cooking.
- Stainless steel construction – Wear-resistant and strong
- 9.7-inch length – Wide design for even distribution
- Hinged lid – Effortless refueling
- High levels of ventilation – Good smoke output and hazard-reduction
- Works with most grills – Universally compatible
- Holes in base release ash – Not ideal for grill cleanliness
Last but not least, our highly commended pick is the Cave Tools Smoker Box, which has received excellent reviews from many satisfied customers.
The Cave Tools Smoker Box is a simple, minimalistic smoker box with a large capacity, which also happens to be a fantastic budget option for beginners!
This smoker box is constructed from thick stainless steel, which is resistant to warping and generally durable, indicating good longevity.
Although the box has a large capacity, allowing for longer cooking times before you have to refuel, its profile is quite narrow, which helps to enhance the smoke output for more flavor.
The Cave Tools Smoker Box has a hinged lid for ease of access. Speaking of accessibility, you can benefit from 25 professional recipes to try with your new smoker when you complete your purchase. This makes this smoker box ideal for beginners who are just testing the waters.
Something we did notice, however, is that there aren’t very many ventilation holes in this box compared to others we’ve featured in today’s article. While this doesn’t usually pose a problem, it does increase the likelihood of your wood chips catching on fire.
- Thick stainless steel – Warp-resistant and durable
- Narrow profile – Enhances smoke output
- High capacity – Longer smoking times
- Hinged lid – Ergonomic for refueling
- Free recipe journal included – Perfect for beginners
- Relatively few holes – Increases risk of fire
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Smoker Box for your Gas Grill
Smoker boxes may not be as expensive as traditional smoking appliances, but it’s still worth making sure that you make the ideal purchase for your needs the first time.
After all, it would be frustrating to try out your new smoker box for the first time only to realize that it isn’t compatible with your grill or doesn’t deliver the smoke output you were expecting.
If you want to know which features and factors are the most important to bear in mind when searching for your perfect smoker box, you’re in exactly the right place! Read on to find out how to choose the best smoker box for your gas grill.
There are some factors in a smoker box that might not be perfect but that you will usually be able to work with through some small adjustments. Grill compatibility is not one of these.
If the smoker box that you choose is not compatible with your gas grill, then it’s likely that you simply won’t be able to make use of it. Even if you can make it work, if your smoker box is not designed for use with a particular grill, you could be creating a potentially dangerous situation.
It’s worth noting that many smoker boxes, including most of the products featured in our selection, are universally compatible. This means that they are designed to be compatible with various types of grills.
Of course, if you’ve clicked on this article, then the chances are that you’re looking for a smoker box that works specifically with gas grills, but if you can find a universally compatible model, it means that you’ll be able to continue using it if you ever decide to change grills.
When verifying a smoker box’s compatibility with your grill, it’s a good idea to look at the measurements and take measurements of your grill at the same time to make sure it will fit comfortably.
A smoker box needs to be durable, easy to clean, and able to withstand extremely high temperatures without warping.
For this reason, stainless steel and cast iron are the most commonly used materials for constructing smoker boxes.
Stainless steel makes a great smoker box because it can be wiped clean easily, is resistant to rust and high temperatures, and generally has a good level of wear-resistant. However, stainless steel is more prone to warping at very high temperatures than cast iron, so if you do decide to choose stainless steel, it’s best to prioritize thick construction.
Cast iron is an excellent choice because it’s extremely durable, conductive, and relatively inexpensive.
Shape and Size
The shape and size of your smoker box can make all the difference to your user experience, so it’s important to consider this thoroughly before purchase.
Most smoker boxes have a standard rectangular construction. This is absolutely fine, but if you want to maximize your direct flavor output, a narrow profile will be the best choice.
Alternatively, you can think out of the box (no pun intended) and go with a triangular or v-shaped smoker box. V-shaped smoker boxes are great for enhancing smoke output and flavor because the tip of the triangle goes in between the grill bars, increasing proximity to the food.
Generally speaking, a wider smoker box will distribute heat and smoke more evenly, so if your grill is large enough to allow for it, we recommend choosing the widest box possible.
There are several perspectives from which you should consider the lid design of your new smoker box.
First and foremost, the lid is the area of the smoker box where the ventilation holes tend to be. Having them on the bottom isn’t the best idea because it means ash and other debris can fall through into the grill.
Bearing this in mind, you ideally want to have a decent amount of ventilation holes in the top of your smoker box to ensure optimal smoke output. Ventilation holes are also important because they allow for air circulation, which prevents the wood chips from catching on fire.
An ergonomic smoker box lid should have hinges and, if possible, a tab at the front of the lid for lifting purposes. The combination of hinges and a lifting tab will help you to easily access the inside of the box when you need to refuel. Without either of these features, you may struggle to open the lid without dropping it onto the grill or burning yourself.
If you’re a complete beginner to smoking meat and other ingredients, why not choose a smoker box that comes with instructions and recipes?
Our Highly Commended pick comes with access to a free download, consisting of 25 different recipes to try out with your new smoker.
This will help you to get the most out of your new purchase and improve your skills as a cook.
Other than that, there really aren’t any other additional features that you’ll often find included with smoker boxes for gas grills. This goes to show that you really don’t need any expensive kitchen equipment with excessive bells and whistles to achieve that coveted smokey flavor on your grilled meats and vegetables.
Just get your hands on a well-built smoker box designed for use on a gas grill, have your kitchen tongs at the ready, and you’re good to go!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are smoker boxes worth the money?
Smoker boxes are absolutely worth the money. They are much less expensive than smoker appliances and will produce roughly the same flavor enhancement (albeit usually slightly less intense) for a fraction of the price.
If you really enjoy smoked foods but don’t want to, or can’t afford to, invest in a smoker, then a smoker box is the next best fit and will definitely be worth the money if you choose the right one.
Where do I put a smoker box on my gas grill?
Ideally, you want your smoker box to be positioned over the burner on your grill. This will ensure that the wood chips keep smoldering because of the heat.
With that being said, some smoker box manufacturers provide specific positional instructions for the placement of the smoker box on a grill, so make sure that you consult the product guidelines for any additional specifications.