Can You Use a Smoker Box on a Pellet Grill?

The GrillingDad Answer: You can absolutely use a smoker box on a pellet grill. Just make sure you position it properly on the grate and direct the smoke toward your food. You can also use a smoker tube, or a foil packet on a pellet grill without issue as long as they are placed on the grate. 

Pellet grills are the perfect answer when you want something that can both smoke and grill your food. But what about those times you want your meat really smoky, can you use a smoker box on your pellet grill?

Or are you wondering about the pros and cons of using a smoker box on a pellet grill? Let’s look at everything you should know about smoker boxes and also smoker tubes on pellet grills before you jump in. 

Smoker Boxes And Alternatives On A Pellet Grill

When it comes to smoking on a pellet grill, there are a few different methods you can use to achieve that delicious, smoky flavor. Namely by using a smoker box or smoker tube, both options we will cover below. 

Using a Smoker Box on a Pellet Grill

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A smoker box is a small, metal box that you can fill with wood chips and place on the grill grate of your pellet grill. The box sits directly on top of the heat source, allowing the wood chips to smolder and release smoke flavor into your meats.

To use a smoker box on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the smoker box with your desired wood chips (Note that these need to be chips and not wood pellets for your pellet grill!)
  2. Place the smoker box on the grill grate, directly over the heat source, or off to the side depending on how much smoky flavor you want.
  3. Preheat your pellet grill to the desired temperature.
  4. Light the wood chips in your smoker box if you haven’t already.
  5. Add your food to the grill and close the lid.
  6. Let your food smoke until it’s cooked to your liking.

Using a smoker box on a pellet grill is a great way to add smoke flavor to your meats without having to invest in a dedicated smoker.

Not to mention that a smoke tube gives you a great way to cold-smoke items like cheese and veggies on your pellet grill.

Related: What To Do if Your Pellet Grill Loses Power

Using a Smoke Tube on a Pellet Grill

A smoke tube is a metal tube that you can fill with wood pellets and place on the grill grate of your pellet grill similar to a smoker box, but in a tube shape. The tube has small holes along the length of it, allowing the pellets to smolder and release smoke flavor into your meats.

To use a smoke tube on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the smoke tube with your desired wood chips.
  2. Place the smoke tube on the grill grate, away from the heat source.
  3. Preheat your pellet grill to the desired temperature.
  4. Light the wood chips in your smoker tube if you haven’t lit them already.
  5. Add your food to the grill and close the lid.
  6. Let your food smoke until it’s cooked to your liking.

Using Aluminum Foil or a Foil Packet on a Pellet Grill

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If you don’t have a smoker box or a smoke tube, you can still add smoke flavor to your meats by using aluminum foil or a foil packet that you make yourself at home. 

To use aluminum foil or a foil packet on a pellet grill, follow these steps:

  1. Take a piece of aluminum foil and place some wood chips in it.
  2. Fold the aluminum foil over, leaving some space for airflow.
  3. Poke some holes in the aluminum foil using a knife or fork.
  4. Place the aluminum foil or foil packet on the grill grate, away from the heat source.
  5. Preheat your pellet grill to the desired temperature.
  6. Add your food to the grill and use a lighter to ignite the wood chips in your foil packet.
  7. Close the grill lid. 
  8. Let your food smoke until it’s cooked to your liking.

Tips for Using a Smoker Box on a Pellet Grill

When it comes to smoking on a pellet grill, using a smoker box is a great way to add some extra flavor to your food. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your smoker box:

Preparing the Smoker Box

Before using your smoker box, make sure it is clean and dry. Any leftover ash or debris can affect the flavor of your food. While some people may recommend soaking your wood chips, we don’t recommend this unless you are soaking them in whiskey or apple juice, or something else flavorful. It’s fine to just put them in dry. 

For more information about soaking wood chips check out our related article Soaking Wood Chips: How Long and When to Do It.

Choosing the Right Wood Chips for Your Smoker Box

Choosing the right wood chips for your smoker box can make a big difference in the flavor of your food. Hickory and mesquite are popular choices for a stronger smoke flavor, while fruit woods like apple and cherry are milder. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to add extra flavor to your wood chips.

Related >> Best Wood Chips for Smoking Brisket

Placing the Smoker Box on Your Pellet Grill

Place your smoker box on the grill grates, preferably over the firebox or on the opposite side of the direct heat source. This will allow the wood chips to smolder and create smoke without catching fire. Make sure to leave enough space around the smoker box for airflow.

If you want more direct smoke on your meat, place it on the top grate and the smoker box below it. This will only work for people with two grill grate levels. Never place the smoker tube near your pellet grills flame. 

Monitoring the Temperature

Keep an eye on the temperature of your pellet grill while smoking. You want to maintain a consistent temperature between 225-250°F for optimal smoking. Adjust the temperature as needed to keep it within this range. Avoid opening the lid too frequently, as this can cause fluctuations in temperature and smoke.

Cleaning Your Pellet Grill After Smoking

After smoking, allow your pellet grill to cool down before cleaning. Remove any leftover wood chips and ash from the smoker box and firebox.

Use a grill brush to clean the grates and wipe down the inside of the grill with a damp cloth. Keeping your grill clean will help prevent any unwanted flavors from lingering on your next cook.

Using a smoker box on a pellet grill is a great way to add some extra smoke flavor to your food. By following these tips, you can create delicious smoked dishes with ease. Happy smoking!

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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