If you’re interested in grilling food of a higher caliber, though, you may need to add an extra accessory to your barbecue. That’s because mouth-watering smoky meats and vegetables are only achievable with a smoker, and if your grill doesn’t have one built in, then you’ll want to buy a freestanding smoker box to take your barbecuing to the next level.
Using a smoker box is fairly simple. On the surface, it’s little more than a rectangle-shaped metal box with holes in it. Simply put the wood chips of your choice in the box—hickory works great for red meats while apple adds subtle flavors to seafood—and seal it tight. Put the box on your preheated grill, and cook the food on top of the device. The smoker’s perforations will allow the smoke to seep into the meal you’re preparing. And by the time you’re done, it will have a distinct, smoky flavor to rival the ribs at your favorite barbecue restaurant.
Of course, it’s worth keeping an eye out for grills with built-in smokers the next time you’re in the market for a new barbecue setup. That way, smoking your food is less of a hassle. In the meantime, though, here are four smoker boxes that will have you whipping up deliciously smoky meats in no time.
1. Weber Smoker Box
Confident in your grilling abilities? Weber’s steel smoker box will help take your skills to the next level. It’s larger than other boxes, so you can pack it full of wood chips and make meat and vegetables even smokier. It’s also designed so that you can easily open it and plop more wood chips in as needed while cooking—though this isn’t something newbies should attempt.
Pros: Can hold more wood chips than the average smoker.
Cons: Larger size means it may not fit every grill.
2. Andes Broos Smoker Box
Andes Broos’ smoker ticks all the boxes when it comes to making deliciously smoky meats. The box itself is made of a thick stainless steel, with larger vents that facilitate smoke flow and moisture distribution. Tiny, evenly spaced holes at the bottom of the box allow the grill’s heat to reach the meat or vegetables you’re cooking even faster. You’ll get a silicone basting brush and a pair of tongs along with the smoker, too, so you can start grilling right away.
Pros: Includes a basting brush and a pair of tongs.
Cons: Slightly smaller than other smoker boxes, so it can only hold so many wood chips.
3. Cave Tools Smoker Box
If you’re new to the grill but want to dive right in and start making the best, smokiest foods possible, then Cave Tools’ box is a perfect match. The box is as simple and easy to use as it gets, and its construction promises it will be with you for the long haul, as it’s made of a thick stainless steel that won’t warp under pressure (or intense heat). Plus, you’ll get a free download of the BBQ Smoking & Cooking Journal app with purchase, which grants access to hundreds of barbecue recipes and includes tips on what wood chips to pair with different foods, so you’ll be able to start cooking right away.
Pros: An easy-to-use box that includes plenty of recipes to get you started.
Cons: Holes are smaller than other boxes, so smoking may be too slow for some.
4. GrillPro Smoker Box
Most smoker boxes are made of stainless steel. That will hold up in most cases, but it’s not as sturdy as cast iron, which GrillPro’s box is made out of. The result is a more durable box that won’t warp under high heats or break should it get dropped by accident. Plus, the larger slits will make smoking a much faster process, and infuse stronger flavors.
Pros: One of the more durable smokers out there.
Cons: Cast-iron construction means it will be heavier than other boxes.